The best budget 144Hz gaming monitors of 2021

There are plenty of options available.

Screengrab via MSI

Gaming monitors range from budget-orientated offerings with entry-level specs to the fastest options with high performance and equally high prices. While everyone wishes they could have the best monitor, financial constraints are real, and most users have to make some sort of compromise between the price they’re willing to pay and the performance they can afford.

Users looking for a decent gaming monitor without spending top dollar might consider 144Hz options. These monitors are affordable but still have adequate refresh rates to keep up with the competition in most games. Budget 144Hz monitors are relatively inexpensive, but they come from reputable brands and offer up-to-date features like adaptive sync technology. On the other hand, their low price means they don’t have extras like RGB lighting or USB ports. 

Here are the five best budget 144Hz monitors

Best overall

Asus VG248QG

Image by Asus via Amazon

The Asus VG248QG has a subtle look compared to some of its ROG siblings, but it’s what’s inside that matters. It has a 24-inch twisted nematic (TN) screen offering full HD 1080p resolution. TN panels are known for their affordable price and fast response times, but they have low contrast and narrow viewing angles. While the VG248QG has a native refresh rate of 144Hz and a 0.5-millisecond Gray-to-Gray (GtG) response time, it can also overclock to 165Hz for users wanting more speed. The VG248QG is also FreeSync and G-Sync compatible to work with most graphics cards.

As expected from a budget monitor, there aren’t too many bells and whistles when it comes to design. All the bezels are thick, and the all-black design looks more like an office monitor. Despite its basic design, the VG248QG has decent connectivity with a DVI-D port, an HDMI 1.4 port, and a DisplayPort 1.2. The audio options include a 3.5-millimeter port and a pair of built-in two-watt speakers. Considering its affordable price, the VG248QG offers value thanks to its built-in speakers and adaptive sync. 

Best curved display

MSI Optix G24C4

Image by MSI via Amazon

Users looking for more immersion might consider MSI’s Optix G24C4. This monitor has the same 24-inch screen size as the VG248QG, but it has a 1500R curve instead of a flat panel. The 1500R curvature is quite pronounced and would form a circle with a 1.5-meter diameter if placed face-to-face with other monitors of the same type. 

Compared to the VG248QG, the Optix G24C4 has a Vertical Alignment (VA) panel instead of a TN panel. VA panels tend to have better color reproduction than TN panels but often have slower response times. The Optix G24C4 mimics the VG248QG by offering full HD 1080p resolution, but it’s only FreeSync compatible and not G-Sync compatible. 

Apart from its curved screen, the Optix G24C4 has a relatively standard all-black design without any lighting or bright accents. There’s a single DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 1.4 ports, and a 3.5-millimeter audio port when it comes to connectivity. The Optix G24C4 is one of the most affordable monitors on this list and punches above its weight, thanks to its curved shape.

Best design

AOC G2490VX

Image by AOC via Amazon

AOC’s G2490VX may be inexpensive, but its design stands out from the other monitors on this list. Instead of an all-black design like the VG248QG and the Optix G24C4, the G2490VX has slim bezels on the top and sides with a bright red stripe running along the bottom. 

The G2490VX has many similarities to the Optix G24C4. Both monitors use 24-inch VA panels with full HD 1080p resolution. Like the Optix G24C4, the G2490VX is only FreeSync compatible and doesn’t have G-Sync compatibility. 

Like the other monitors listed here, the G2490VX has limited connectivity options. It only has a DisplayPort 1.2, an HDMI 1.4, and a 3.5-millimeter audio port. There’s also a pair of two-watt speakers that can work in a pinch if the user doesn’t have a headset or external speakers. While the G2490VX has similar performance for around the same price, its looks make it stand out compared to the other monitors on this list.

Best for esports

MSI Optix G241

Image by MSI via Amazon

MSI’s Optix G241 shares many characteristics with the other monitors on this list, but it has an in-plane switching (IPS) panel instead of a VA or TN panel. IPS panels have better color accuracy and wider viewing angles than the other panel types, but they are more expensive.

Many of the other features are similar to the rivals listed here. It has a 24-inch screen with full HD 1080p resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate. While it’s certified for FreeSync, it can also work with G-Sync. 

Many design elements on the Optix G241 are similar to the Optix G24C4. It shares the spiked legs, all-black design, and slim bezels on the top and sides. There’s only a DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 1.4 ports, and a 3.5-millimeter audio port in the connectivity department. Despite many similarities to the other monitors on this list, the IPS panel distinguishes the Optix G241 and gives it better color reproduction.

Best value

Acer KG241Q Pbiip

Image by Acer via Amazon

Acer’s KG241Q Pbiip is another budget offering with a 144Hz refresh rate. Like the VG248QG, it has a 24-inch TN screen with full HD 1080p resolution. Where it differs is having a one-millisecond response time and FreeSync compatibility with no G-Sync compatibility. 

One of the standout features of the KG241Q Pbiip is its design. Instead of a full-black look of the VG248QG and two MSI options, it has a red accent running along the legs to add some color. The connectivity options include two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, and a 3.5-millimeter audio port. Like the G2490VX and the VG248QG, the KG241Q Pbiip has a set of built-in two-watt speakers. While all the monitors listed here are affordable, the KG241Q Pbiip offers better value because it costs slightly less and offers similar features.


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