The monitor's gaming-centric menu features an easy-to-use dashboard and customisable preset game modes to make your gaming experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible. The company's anti-glare tech will let you enjoy consistent imagery without having to shut the blinds.
The DisplayPort cable doesn't come with the monitor.
Provided you have the necessary hardware, the Alienware AW2518HF will elevate your online performance more than any other mid-range 144Hz monitor. You'll be able to dominate shooters. Plus, you can purchase multiple monitors and arrange the most seamless multi-screen setup.
1920 x 1080
240 Hz / 1 ms
AMD FreeSync™ technology, Anti-glare, 3H hard coating, Height, pivot, swivel, and tilt adjustment, VESA wall-mounted
2 x HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, SPDIF Out port, USB Upstream, 4 x USB 3.0, Headphone port
Manipulating low-end gamma, the Black Boost technology is able to make shadow details more visible. As you would imagine, it will prove particularly useful in games that have a lot of deep black areas. The three-prong glossy black stand will let you save on desk space without sacrificing style.
The on-screen menu will take some time to figure out.
The Acer KG271Cbmidpx is as attractive as it is functional and practical. It will likely be able to elevate your performance in many different first-person shooters. The built-in 2W speakers are surprisingly good. The model is wall-mountable, so you can use it as a TV anywhere around the house.
1920 x 1080
144 Hz / 1 ms
Black Boost, BlueLightShield, ZeroFrame design, AMD FreeSync, Built-in 2W speakers, Adjustable tilt angle, Wall-mountable
DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort
The GameFast Input tech further minimises input lag. ASUS-exclusive GamePlus hotkeys will let you make quick in-game adjustments, whilst the company's GameVisual will provide optimised visuals for different content. The 0.5ms response time practically eliminates smearing and motion blur.
The speaker is passable at best.
The ASUS VG278QR is the most complete, versatile, adaptable, and well-rounded gaming screen between budget and mid-range price brackets. You'll be able to make any game work. The monitor is equally suitable for different rigs and various genres. The display will provide the smoothest, most responsive gameplay.
1920 x 1080
165 Hz / 0.5 ms (GTG, Min.)
GameFast Input technology, Extreme Low Motion Blur technology, FreeSync™ technology, G-Sync compatible, Height, pivot, swivel, and tilt adjustment, VESA wall-mounted
HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2, Dual-link DVI-D, Headphone port
The Black eQualizer technology increases the visibility in dark scenes without overexposing the bright areas. Colour Vibrance offers you the flexibility to set your preferred colour tone. You'll also be able to make colour grading more defined.
You'll have to tinker with the colour rendition settings.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P is one of the most affordable options on the market that has all of the markings of an actual gaming monitor but without the usual price tag of one. With it, you'll have the opportunity to hone your skills and show the gaming world what you're made of.
1920 x 1080
144 Hz / 1 ms
Black eQualizer, Colour Vibrance, Flicker-free and Low Blue Light technologies, Game modes, Height-adjustable stand
DVI-DL, HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, 3.5mm Mini-Jack
The 1500R curvature of this model will give you the same immersive experience as other more expensive models. The monitor comes fitted with two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, and even a VGA port for older video cards. The inclusion of the headphone jack will also be a big plus for many gamers.
The stand is a bit unstable.
If you need a good monitor with a diagonal of 24 inches, then we recommend purchasing this model: it compares favourably in parameters to most of its competitors in this price category, and the thin frames allow you to use the AOC C24G1 as a second monitor.
1920 x 1080
144 Hz / 1 ms (mprt)
Flicker-Free technology, AMD FreeSync technology, Low blue light, Height, swivel, and tilt adjustment, VESA wall-mounted
2 x HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, Headphone jack
Ridiculous Refresh Rate
The people behind Alienware have always been about pushing the gaming boundaries and the Alienware AW2518HF model follows that philosophy as well as the next product.
This is not the most well-rounded monitor. Needless to say, the TN panel that the model comes equipped with doesn't hold a candle to IPS and even VA. The monitor's colour reproduction is pretty poor compared to any mid-range IPS display.
We've no issues with that though. The screen is not about that. First and foremost, the screen is about the 240-hertz refresh rate. As you would imagine, with refresh like that, you'll be able to put 99.9% of people online to shame.
Provided you have the hardware to run the games you want to play at ~240 frames per second, you'll be able to witness much more detail compared to people with 144Hz monitor (and that's don't even remotely constitute the players' majority).
There's no downside to the model's ridiculous refresh rate. The only issue is that you'll need the hardware to run different games at 200+ fps and that means you'll probably need an upgrade asap (provided you haven't splurged major dough already recently).
For some reason, the monitor comes supplied without the DisplayPort cable that's necessary to use the 240Hz refresh rate, so you'll have to purchase that separately.
Setting the refresh rate aside, the model doesn't necessarily stand out that much compared to any other mid-range gaming screen.
The AMD FreeSync™ support will let people with AMD graphics cards enjoy their favourite games without any screen tearing. You'll be able to play without pixel distortion, motion jitter, and/or image artifact. You won't have to deal with dropped frames or choppy visuals.
The monitor's gaming-centric menu features an easy-to-use dashboard and customisable preset game modes to make your gaming experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible. There are also guiding lines for multi-screen setups.
The bezels are ridiculously thin, so you can stack as many monitors together as you want without making the setup feel forced and unnatural/inconvenient.
Last but not least, the company's anti-glare tech will let you enjoy consistent imagery without having to shut the blinds.
Bottom line, provided you have the necessary hardware, the Alienware AW2518HF will elevate your online performance more than any other mid-range 144Hz monitor. You'll be able to dominate shooters. Plus, you can purchase multiple monitors and arrange the most seamless multi-screen setup.
The Acer KG271Cbmidpx doesn't really present anything we haven't seen before. We're talking about the same tech here and familiar features but, this time, refined to a tee. Let's start with the model's aesthetic and overall form factor.
First things first, its three-prong glossy black stand will let you save on desk space without sacrificing style. This little component is as practical as it is aesthetically pleasing.
But the model's ZeroFrame design makes much more difference. It is able to create a virtually seamless look so that you're able to create a multi-monitor setup and see more of what matters most: the screen.
Other than that, the adjustable tilt angle is always a plus and the fact that the monitor tilts on its stand from -5° to 15° gives you some additional placement options. Of course, so does the fact that the model is very much wall-mountable, so put it anywhere you like.
Putting the form factor and appearance aside, let's talk specs and numbers. The model adopts a relatively standard 27″ TN panel with a peak luminance of 400-nits, 1,000:1 contrast ratio, full HD 1080p resolution, 1ms response time speed, 144Hz refresh rate, and the sRGB color gamut.
On paper, this is all nothing to write home about. We've seen these numbers before. They aren't too bad for any budget monitor but nothing out of the ordinary too. But there are little details here and there that do make the model stand out from the otherwise unimpressive crowd.
Let's Play in the Dark
The monitor supports AMD FreeSync, the technology when it comes to eliminating stutters and/or broken frames for the most fluid gameplay at more or less any frame rate. When paired with any modern-day AMD graphics card, the monitor lets you enjoy incredibly responsive gaming. It allows the GPU to directly control the screen's update rate, meaning that you're being constantly updated with the smoothest imagery.
TN panels seldom present particularly convincing, vibrant, and/or dynamic/true-to-life images but the model is pretty good in this department. It isn't just about aesthetics though. The model is a gaming monitor first and foremost. That's partially where the Black Boost technology comes in. Manipulating low-end gamma, it is able to make shadow details more visible. As you would imagine, it will prove particularly useful in games that have a lot of deep black areas.
In short, the Acer KG271Cbmidpx is as attractive as it is functional and practical. It will likely be able to elevate your performance in many different first-person shooters. The built-in 2W speakers are surprisingly good. The model is wall-mountable, so you can use it as a TV anywhere around the house.
Fluid and Responsive Gameplay
The ASUS VG278QR is up there with the most popular 144Hz displays that have ever hit the mass market.
Of course, we're talking about the monitor's line and not necessarily about this specific model. Having said that, this specific model is definitely worth talking about.
As far as that line between budget and mid-range gaming monitors is concerned, this screen is about as good as it gets.
First things first, the refresh rate reaches 165 hertz, so you'll have a slight advantage even over people with 144Hz monitors.
Of course, that refresh rate won't do you any good if you don't have the hardware to support it, meaning that you'll need your rig to be able to pump out 165 fps to make full use of that refresh rate.
That being said, you don't need high-end specs to run games like Fortnite and League of Legends at 150+ frames per second, so you should be able to make things work even if you haven't upgraded your PC in years.
Setting the refresh rate aside, the monitor's 0.5ms grey-to-grey response time is pretty insane too. Response time like that practically eliminates smearing and motion blur. You'll be able to instantly react to the on-screen action, especially in fast-paced games. The screen's response time will let you take corners like pros or hit headshots like seasoned vets.
Add to that the company's Extreme Low Motion Blur (ELMB) technology that makes different objects in motion appear even sharper and you get to enjoy the most fluid and responsive gameplay.
Fast Motion Delivery
The monitor's gaming features don't end there though. Supporting Adaptive-Sync (FreeSync), the screen will let people with AMD GPUs play with virtually no screen tearing, eliminating choppy frame rates to provide seamless visuals and the smoothest gameplay.
Apart from that, there's also the company's GameFast Input tech that further minimises input lag. The technology offers faster motion delivery, meaning you'll always be up to speed with the in-game action at precisely the timing you need to respond as quickly as necessary.
Last but not least, ASUS-exclusive GamePlus hotkeys will let you make quick in-game adjustments, whilst the company's GameVisual will provide optimised visuals for different content.
Long story short, the ASUS VG278QR is the most complete, versatile, adaptable, and well-rounded gaming screen between budget and mid-range price brackets. You'll be able to make any game work. The monitor is equally suitable for different rigs and various genres. The display will provide the smoothest, most responsive gameplay.
BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P
Pick Your Own Battle
These days, the gaming scene is all about competitive titles. Yes, we can all enjoy a good story and most of us love exploring a new uncharted world, especially if it comes with a compelling overarching narrative to boot. But there is nothing quite like facing your opponent head-on, giving it all you've got as you push each other to your limits in a battle of skill, wit, and experience. Of course, competition is all well and good, but you want to come victorious. And with the BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P, you might just be able to.
Before we go into details, we'd like to say that what we have here is a true gaming monitor. By that, we mean that the manufacturers have incorporated just about every technology in the book to make their product improve most aspects of your gaming experience.
But despite that, this product is as affordable as they come. With a price tag just a smidge above 200 quid, the majority of gaming enthusiasts should be able to afford it. And for those 200 pounds, it will give you plenty in return.
As we've so eloquently put it earlier, it is League of Legends, Counter-Strike, DOTA 2, Overwatch, Fortnite, and other competitive titles that are ruling over the gaming scene these days. Which is why a high refresh rate and a low response time are by far the most important characteristics of a modern gaming monitor.
And with 144 Hz and a 1 ms in those respective categories, the model in question will be able to provide you with a smooth and responsive gaming experience. And, sure, it will look nice, but, more importantly, it will give you a solid advantage over most of your online opponents, enough to turn the tables in your favour.
Hone Your Skills
Truthfully, a 144 Hz panel with a 1 ms response time for a tad above 200 pounds is quite impressive on its own. But, of course, these types of panels aren't as much of a rarity these days as they used to be a few years ago. So the people at BenQ made sure to add a few extra features in order to tip the scales in your favour.
For starters, there's the Black eQualizer technology that works wonders in terms of increasing the visibility in dark scenes without overexposing the bright areas. Then, there's Colour Vibrance. The latter is a particularly helpful technology for a couple of reasons. First, it offers you the flexibility to set your preferred colour tone. On top of that, you will be able to make colour grading more defined. It might not sound like much but you cannot underestimate the importance of colour rendition, especially as far as fast-paced first-person shooters are concerned.
The monitor comes with a bunch of preset gaming modes but, naturally, you will have the freedom and the opportunity to make your own ones. And, as it usually is the case with gaming monitors in general and BenQ models in particular, the ZOWIE XL2411P isn't devoid of Flicker-free and Low Blue Light technologies, so you'll be able to spend hours sharpening your skills without putting too much of a strain on your eyes.
To rephrase our earlier point, the BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P is one of the most affordable options on the market that has all of the markings of an actual gaming monitor but without the usual price tag of one. With it, you'll have the opportunity to hone your skills and show the gaming world what you're made of.
Affordable Gaming Monitor
Gaming monitors are usually the envy of every hardcore PC gamer. WIth the wealth of features that they offer, including enhancements for gameplay that are included in some, along with the high refresh rates and low latency, many gaming monitors help to really bring out the best in any PC gaming experience. However, these high-end features tend to make many gaming monitors quite expensive, which unfortunately tends to put them out of the range of gamers who are on a budget. While some lower-cost monitors will work fine for gaming, the enhanced features offered by many gaming-specific models simply can't be matched.
The AOC C24G1 24-Inch Full HD VA Curved Monitor brings all of the great features of a gaming monitor at a very affordable price. This curved gaming monitor includes many of the features that help make more expensive models the best ones for gaming. With the included AMD FreeSync™ Technology, you can play any type of game without screen tearing or stuttering, which usually occurs due to the difference between the frame rate of the graphics card and the monitor refresh rate. Those who frequently play action and racing games will definitely notice the difference when compared to a non-gaming monitor.
Full HD Display
Although the 24 inch screen of this model doesn't match the size of many of the larger monitors featured in this review, those who have smaller desks won't really notice that much of a difference, and in fact will appreciate the smaller footprint of this model. This display runs at a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080, giving you plenty of screen real estate for any tasks you are doing on the computer, as well as giving you high-resolution visuals in all of your games. The 1500R curvature of this model will give you the same immersive experience as other more expensive models, so there is nothing you will be missing out on.
If you need a good monitor with a diagonal of 24 inches that is affordable yet without any missing features, then we definitely recommend purchasing this model. It compares favorably in parameters to most of its competitors in this price category, and the thin frames allow you to use the AOC C24G1 as a second monitor. Of course, it works just as well as a primary monitor too, with its inclusion of two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, and even a VGA port for older video cards. The inclusion of the headphone jack will also be a big plus for many gamers. In short, there are few models on the market that are a better deal than this one.
What Is a 144Hz Monitor?
As the name suggests, a 144Hz monitor is, of course, still a monitor. And that means you can use it in combination with your desktop, your laptop, or even as a television set since the majority of them include all of the necessary ports and connections. However, the key difference here is the refresh rate of the monitor. As you know, when you're watching a video or playing a game on your monitor, you're experiencing a series of images that are shown to you at a rate that will make it seem like you're watching all of that unveil in perpetual motion. And while a regular display is able to present you with no more than 60 images per second, a 144Hz monitor is capable of showing you more than twice the number of images, meaning that you will receive a sequence of pictures that'll look much smoother compared to the result of your standard monitor. However, since the majority of movies are shot at 24 frames per second, only the gamers will be able to utilize and appreciate all of the advantages of a 144Hz monitor.
And if you're not a gamer, you might want to take a look at our review of 4k monitors or consider purchasing a touchscreen one.
What Features to Compare
Refresh Rate / Response Time
Even though the majority of people usually refer to all of these displays as 144Hz monitors and the ones that we have carefully selected for you feature the very same number of hertz, there are plenty of models out there that have a different refresh rate, including but not limited to 120Hz, 160Hz, and even screens with over 200Hz. With that in mind, the refresh rate and the response time are the things you ought to look out for first and foremost. As we have explained earlier, the former is essentially the number of times per second the monitor refreshes its image. And, as it usually is with these technologies, there's virtually no downside to a higher refresh rate but the difference that a dozen or two additional hertz can make is fairly limited, so don't worry if the model you're interested in features a refresh rate of 120 or 160.
As for the response time, without going into some of the more technical details, it indicates the time it takes for a pixel to change from black to white or from one shade of grey to another. Lower response time is faster, so, again, you should be looking for those that feature the lowest possible number (usually 1 ms for TN panels and 1-5 ms for IPS ones).
With that out of the way, what we're left with is your typical monitor specifications that often don't necessarily differ from your regular 60Hz models. There's the size of the screen that, for 144hz models, generally ranges somewhere between 24 and 34 inches. And as it usually is with gaming monitors, a bigger size isn't always advantageous in terms of competitive gaming, so keep that in mind next time you go looking for the largest display out there.
Panels / Interfaces / Features
When it comes to panels, you have your standard TN, IPS, and VA models with the same advantages and disadvantages that always entail these types of displays. Finally, there are your typical interfaces that include a number of ports and connections. As far as these are concerned, the most important thing is to match at least one of these ports with an identical one found in your GPU. And, as it is with any piece of technology, you shouldn't forget about all of the additional features that may or may not be included in the deal. Some of them may not necessarily prove that useful to the majority of customers out there while others implement different systems and technologies that will be extremely helpful in terms of the quality of the picture, your gaming performance, or your health benefits.
Did you know?
Not Just the Refresh Rate
We have already established how important the refresh rate can be and what it is exactly that a 144hz monitor brings to the table. However, that's not even remotely all there is to it. See, the picture that you observe on your screen isn't just the result of a number of images that your display is capable of showing you. Yeah, if your monitor can only refresh 60 times a second, that means you will not be able to see more than that regardless of other elements. But, speaking of those elements, there's also the number of frames that your graphics card is sending to your monitor through the DisplayPort, HDMI interface, or any other type of connection. If you're usually dealing with somewhere around 60 fps, your monitor may refresh the image 144 times a second, but half the time it will be refreshing the same image since the GPU isn't sending enough of those pictures in order for you to experience up to 144 truly unique images per second. And that brings us to a point that we will describe a bit later. But, first, if you think that is the end of it, you might want to think twice, since, when it comes to online games, there's also your ping involved and the number of ticks that the server that you happen to be playing on allows you to experience. Of course, if you're planning on playing mostly single player games, that issue does not concern you, but the majority of people acquire these monitors to get an edge over their online opponents and that is why you should also put into consideration what games are you playing the most and what kind of servers the owners of this online game are running.
As we have pointed out earlier, the refresh rate of your monitor does not necessarily matter if your favourite video games aren't capable of showing you a number of frames that are similar or, ideally speaking, identical to the number of fps you get in your game. And that is exactly why hardware matters just about as much as an actual monitor. To put it in simpler terms, if your laptop or your desktop is incapable of delivering more than sixty frames a second in any of the games you play, there's next to no reason to acquire a 144hz monitor, unless, of course, you're planning an upgrade in the near future. As some of you are probably aware, there's a number of aspects that contribute to your frame rate, but the most important one is usually the GPU, so that should be your priority when you go looking for a new setup to put that 144hz monitor to good use.
Do Not Underestimate the Human Eye
"The human eye is incapable of detecting more than 24 images per second". Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? That's because it is. Nevertheless, this myth has been able to spread like gangbusters to the point where actual scientists with relevant degrees felt the need to chime in and debunk this silly notion that vastly undersells the power of the human eye. Contrary to the now slightly less popular belief, the latter part of our body is actually capable of detecting and recognising over 500 images per second, depending on the conditions like lighting and fatigue. So next time you hear some "genius" claiming that you shouldn't acquire a 144hz monitor since your eyes won't even be able to tell the difference, you might want to make sure to educate that individual as to how far off from the truth he actually is. Or, you know, just give that person a good ol' shrug and move on with your life.
Q: What are the games that get the most benefit out of a 144hz monitor?
A: First of all, as we have mentioned earlier, you have to make sure that your desktop computer is capable of producing somewhere around 120+ frames per second in your favourite games, otherwise the benefits you will receive from a 144hz monitor are fairly limited. With that said, if you do have a powerful rig, just about any game out there will look considerably better with more than double the frames of your average framerate. Of course, shooter enthusiasts that spend hundreds and thousands of hours in games like Counter-Strike, OverWatch, Call of Duty, Battlefield, or PlayerUnknown's BattleGrounds will be able to receive the most noticeable advantage over their 60fps opponents given that this is the type of games where even a fraction of a second could easily make all the difference. However, you also shouldn't underestimate the impact your 144hz display will be able to have on your performance in such genres as MOBA and RTS. Those additional images will allow you to reach exceptional precision with your skillshots in League of Legends or to better dodge aimed projectiles thrown at you in DOTA 2. As for the Real-Time Strategy games, these types of monitors will offer you an additional advantage in terms of micro that may just be enough to give you an edge over your opponents. Finally, those people that prefer single-player video games over multiplayer ones will also be able to receive an upper hand in those difficult solo games like Dark Souls or BloodBorne where one-tenth of a second is the difference between that sweet taste of victory and bitter aftertaste of defeat.
Q: I just got myself a new 144hz monitor but I don't see any difference between my older 60hz one in terms of the refresh rate. What gives?
A: The reason you're not seeing any difference is that there isn't any difference to see yet. No need to worry though, despite the fact that "How to overclock monitor?" is one of the most popular questions people ask when it comes to computer displays, the process is actually fairly simple and straightforward. The first thing you have to do is open the Control Panel (you will be able to find it in the Power User Menu in Windows 10 and 8 and in the Start Menu in Windows 7. After that, tap on Display and choose the Adjust Resolution option. Once you're there, click on Advanced Settings, select the Monitor tab, and locate the Screen Refresh Rate. All that is left is choose the refresh rate that you deem fit and enjoy all of the advantages of 144 Hertz.
Q: I'm currently running Windows 10 and I seem to be having some issues trying to install a second monitor. Would you care to explain the process?
A: Once again, "How to setup dual monitors windows 10?" is one of the more popular questions that often boggles the mind of inexperienced PC users. Nevertheless, if you're running Windows 10, it couldn't be any easier. When you connect an additional monitor to your PC, Windows will automatically detect the monitor and display your PC's desktop screen. After that, you ought to figure out the way you'd like your screen to look and customise the display settings such as display style - clone mode, extended mode, first screen only or second screen only, screen resolution settings, and colour depth.
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