How to Get 4K 144Hz Gaming on a Monitor in 2022?

BenQ
2022/06/01

Technology keeps getting better, and that applies to PC and console gaming. Case in point, in the not so distant past 1080p 144Hz was considered high end. However, frame rate and resolution increases are important. We gradually went to setups with 4K 120K, but now in early 2022 4K 144Hz is fast becoming popular and trending upwards.

But when in 4K 144Hz territory we’re also in the realm of big bandwidth connections and powerful graphics hardware. That better technology we mentioned before means you need to have the latest graphics cards and connection standards to make the most of the increasingly popular 4K 144Hz gaming monitors on the market. 

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Display Interfaces Updated

In terms of sheer bandwidth, HDMI 2.1 48Gbps easily handles 4K 120Hz with full HDR and no compromises on color. It is also capable of 4K 144Hz with tweaked settings if you prefer a higher framerate.

These changes to color are not noticeable to most people and the image still looks great. It’s a good tradeoff for those who prefer higher framerates.

This is the first time HDMI has been able to work in such a high refresh. You can also opt for 1440p on HDMI 2.1.

It’s all a matter of which you prefer, color fidelity or refresh. We recommend going for higher frame rates, especially if your focus is reflex-based shooters.

 

Additionally, monitors such as the MOBIUZ EX3210U support digital signal compression technology or DSC, which allows for 4K 144Hz to transit via one DisplayPort 1.4 connection, despite DP 1.4 being around for quite some time. Note that the graphics card you choose should also support DSC, but that’s not a problem because nearly all video cards released over the last couple of years have this technology. If you choose to game in 4K 120Hz, then DSC isn’t needed and DisplayPort 1.4 will work perfectly. 

Graphics Power

To achieve 4K in 144 frames per second you need the best graphics cards money can buy, and we know finding one right now may prove tricky. As of this writing, you will definitely need an RTX 3080 Ti, RTX 3090, or RTX 3090 Ti on the NVIDIA side to ensure getting close to 4K 144Hz in demanding games.

 

We don’t mean famously high FPS titles like Rainbow Six Siege, Fortnite, or Counter Strike, but rather stuff such as God of War PC, Dying Light 2, and Forza Horizon 5, as examples. You’ll need at least 12GB of video memory, and if you prefer an AMD graphics card then your best options are RX 6900 XT or RX 6800 XT.

 

Graphics cards such as the RTX 3070 and RX 6700 may work in some games, but the results will be very inconsistent. Those GPUs were designed for high refresh 1440p or 4K 60Hz, not so much 4K high refresh. 

What Else to Look for in a Monitor?

Since 4K 144Hz is a premium experience, don’t settle for a compromised monitor that only gives you resolution and refresh but little beyond. Make sure you get a monitor with a good IPS panel for great colors and viewing angles. Insist on excellent HDR delivery that adapts to content and viewing conditions, and also remember to look for monitors with great 2.1-channel audio, which is always good to have. In case there’s any doubt, BenQ MOBIUZ gaming monitors have you covered in those departments.

 

Regarding HDR, as a rule for gaming monitors, DisplayHDR 400 is the minimum. That means the monitor has been tested to deliver consistent peak brightness of 400 nits or candelas. This is OK for HDR, but you can do better. 

The MOBIUZ EX3210U and EX2710U go further and have sweet spot DisplayHDR 600 for more vibrant HDR delivery

This is not an overwhelming level of brightness like with some monitors that push out 1000 nits or more at desktop viewing distances. That can be quite a strain on the eyes for many people.

 

One more thing to look for is variable refresh rate support. FreeSync Premium Pro covers the widest frame rate range, the highest resolutions, and HDR. With the highest FreeSync tier you also get low frame rate support, so if your GPU drops below minimum (for example 40fps), the monitor adds frames to create smoother movement. FreeSync Premium Pro is included with good monitors like the EX3210U or EX2710U

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In addition to the gaming and entertainment core specs of 4K, 144Hz refresh rate, and HDR 600, you may also want to think about aspects that relate to other applications. By that we primarily mean content creation, as there’s a lot of overlap here and many of the specifications of a good 144Hz gaming monitor also apply to content creation, delivering a versatile display.

 

youtuber jarv with benq mobiuz gaming monitor for content creation and gaming
youtuber jarv benq mobiuz gaming monitor multiuse

Image source from YouTuber Jarv

 

Top-tier 4K 144Hz gaming monitors are based on carefully-selected and tested IPS panels with 10-bit color depth. So, whether you’re creating videos, streaming, or even working on animation and graphics, you get superb colors. Monitors like the MOBIUZ EX2710U and EX3210U feature such panels and deliver wide color gamut with 98% DCI-P3. That’s not just great for more impressive gaming, it means you get an accurate display for any content you create. There’s no reason a gaming monitor can’t be multi-role, unless you opt for a basic model and by that limit your options. 

 

What About Consoles?

Much simpler situation here. Xbox Series X and PS5 work great via HDMI 2.1 and support 4K 120Hz. At this time most games on the two run at 4K 60Hz tops, but we expect the situation to improve over the next two years, with more titles reaching 4K 120Hz.

 

And as a parting note, do remember that it’s not like your monitor will be locked to 4K 144Hz. It’ll support anything up to those specs, and if you prefer to crank a 1440p game to 144Hz in the event that running it in 4K is a bit too demanding, then go for it. 

 

So, is a 4K 144Hz Monitor Worth It?

If within your budget, then definitely. In mid-2022, 4K 144Hz may not yet be entirely mainstream, but that’s where things are heading for games. Going with such a monitor buys you a lot of headroom and future proofing, so unless you tend to replace monitors every couple of years, this is a good investment. 

 

Even if right now you may hear that 1440p is the sweet spot for monitors, this is bound to change once new GPUs release in late 2022. Those will push 4K 120Hz and higher, even in the mid-range model selection, and the high end like RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 may be the first cards to deliver new levels of performance we haven’t experienced yet. Current gen consoles will also get better at delivering 4K in high refresh rates as developers learn to get more performance out of PS5 and Xbox Series X, not to mention the high likelihood of even more powerful “pro” versions in 2023/2024. 

 

In summary, getting a monitor with less than 4K in resolution and less than 144Hz refresh might be a short term savings, but in the longer term you’ll be bottlenecking your hardware with a display that can’t keep up with the times. We recommend you try to invest in a monitor that’s much more future proof. 

 

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