144 hz - High frame rate monitors are the new standard for PC gaming

I took the plunge with a gaming monitor upgrade last week for my PC setup. I had read multiple articles preaching the benefits of a high refresh rate monitor for gaming. Since getting myself a high frame rate monitor I have realised standard 60 hz monitors don’t cut it anymore.

Q: Why get a 144 hz monitor - is it worth it?

A: Many games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or DOTA can easily play at over 150 fps (frames per second), yet most PC monitors only display 60 of those frames per second. A 144 hz monitor allows you to see all of the missing frames which dramatically improves the visual smoothness of a game.

BenQ 144 hz

Upgrading to a 144 hz monitor has made my PC feel new again. Even moving the mouse cursor around on the desktop was enough to notice the power of the monitor. Playing games at a 144 hz is a lot easier on the eye and a worthy upgrade if your monitor is feeling outdated. For gamers that play competitive games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA 2, StarCraft 2 etc. a 144 hz monitor will also be of importance tactically and will improve your ability in the game.

For example, in a shooter game you will have typically have 2 frames to see an enemy emerge round a corner on a 60 hz monitor. Compare this to a 144 hz monitor and you will have 5-6 frames to respond to an enemy instead giving a split second more to respond in time to shoot. Real time strategy games such as StarCraft and DOTA also greatly benefit from a better refresh rate as the mouse movement is much smoother and responsive and again seeing enemies emerge from the fog of war will give you an edge.

Reasons to go 144 hz
  • for improved visual smoothness
  • for improved frame response time in games
  • for improved mouse movement smoothness & mouse accuracy

I bought myself the BenQ XL2411Z which was the newly released monitor (2014) of choice for Pro and casual gamers. For initial visual setup I have provided a step by step short guide below and also produced a video tutorial for those who prefer.

Initial plugging in and setup (Windows 7)
  • Plug in monitor using DVI cable for 144 hz (HDMI for consoles but locked at 60 hz)
  • Update drivers for BenQ using Windows Updates, you may get black bars and a resolution locked to 4:3 1280x1024 until update is finished. Remember to check Optional Updates incase it is in there. If you cannot update from Windows Updates go to the BenQ website and download the firmware manually http://gaming.benq.com/downloads. Personally I found the Display Pilot software to be more of a problem than it was worth, I advise to only download the driver.
  • Turn on 144 hz mode --> Right click desktop --> Display settings --> Refresh rate 144 hz

Initial plugging in and setup (Windows 10)
  • Plug in monitor using DVI cable for 144 hz (HDMI for consoles but locked at 60 hz)
  • Windows 10 is recommended as the default drivers are already installed it should be plug and play

Monitor settings & parameters
  • Out of the box the brightness is too high if motion blur is not turned on --> turn down to 30-50% as required
  • Colours out of the box are very good, small tweaking if you want
  • Turn on Blur Reduction if desired
  • Try 'Photo mode' as the colour settings are perfect

Do you own a 144 or 120 hz monitor let us know your experiences!
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