If you’re on the fence on whether or not your should get a 1080P or 1440P or 4K monitor, in this post, we’ll go over whether or not a 1440P monitor is worth it for gaming and, if so, who would benefit from using one.
Earlier this week we did a post on whether or not 4K is worth it for gaming and today we’re going to try and answer the question of whether or not 1440P is worth it for gaming. Although, if you’re looking for a quick answer, our opinion is similar to what our conclusion on 4K was: 1440P will be worth it for specific gamers who have the budget necessary to acquire the hardware that is needed to run games at the higher resolution.
So, let’s dive right in and take a look at which gamers would benefit from upgrading to a 1440P monitor.
The Cost of Gaming At 1440P
The biggest determining factor in whether or not a 1440P monitor would be worth it for you is what your total budget it. The funny thing about 1440P monitors is that, at the lower end of the market (1440P 60Hz), they really aren’t priced much differently than the lower end of the 4K market (4K 60Hz). You can find entry-level 4K monitors for ~$200 and the same is true for entry-level 1440P monitors.
The main difference in cost between 1440P and 4K gaming, though, really comes down to the GPU that is necessary to run each resolution at acceptable framerates. Since 4K frames (images) have more pixels, they take longer to render, and, as a result, gaming at 4K requires a more powerful GPU than gaming at 1440P does, all other things equal.
However, the real cost of what it will take for you to run your favorite games at an acceptable frame rate on a 1440P monitor will ultimately depend on the types of games you are playing.
More Demanding Games Will Require More Expensive Hardware
If you’re someone who plays today’s most demanding games (The Witcher 3, Far Cry 5, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, etc.), you’re going to need a better graphics card in order to play those kinds of games on max settings on a 1440P monitor with acceptable framerates.
On the other hand, if you’re mainly playing non-demanding games (Rocket League, League of Legends, Dota 2, Fortnite, etc. ) you won’t need to spend nearly as much on your graphics card in order to achieve acceptable framerates on a 1440P monitor.
So, while you may need at minimum something like a ~$400 GTX 1070 in order to run more demanding games on a 1440P monitor, you might be able to get away with a ~$270 RTX 580 8GB or GTX 1060 6GB to run less demanding games on a 1440P monitor.
The Tradeoffs of Higher Refresh Rate or Higher Resolution?
The other thing that you’ll want to consider is whether or not you would benefit more from having a higher refresh rate monitor than you would from having a higher resolution monitor. For the same cost of an entry-level 1440P 60Hz monitor, you can get a 1080P 144Hz monitor for the same price.
And, for competitive games like Rocket League, Overwatch, Fortnite, League of Legends, etc. where the graphics aren’t the main selling point of the game, you’d probably be better off going with the higher refresh rate.
Of course, there are 1440P 144Hz monitors that can offer the best of both worlds (there are even some 4K 144Hz monitors starting to pop up as well). But, 1440P 144Hz monitors are actually more taxing for a system to run (at least, at framerates that can utilize the higher refresh rate) than a 4K 60Hz monitor is to run. A single GTX 1080 Ti can handle most of today’s more demanding games just fine on a 4K 60Hz monitor but will have a more difficult time running those same games on a 1440P 144Hz monitor at a framerate that would make it worthwhile.
So, again, it really all comes down to your budget and the types of games you play.
So, Who is 1440P Worth it For?
In my opinion, there are three categories of gamers who could benefit from using a 1440P monitor.
1. Gamers That Play Demanding Games and Have A Moderate Budget (1440P 60Hz)
The first type of gamer that could use a 1440P monitor would be a gamer who prefers to play more demanding games that have advanced graphics and excellent visuals, but who does not quite have the budget to purchase the hardware necessary to support gaming at 4K.
As an example of what kind of budget you would need to get a computer that can run demanding games on an entry-level 1440P monitor, this $700 gaming PC or this $800 gaming PC would likely do the trick. (That doesn’t include the cost of the monitor.)
2. Gamers That Play Demanding Games and Have A Large Budget (1440P 144Hz)
The second type of gamer that could use a 1440P monitor would be the same gamer as mentioned above (one that likes to play more demanding games that have excellent visuals), that also has a large enough budget to purchase the hardware necessary to run those more demanding games on a 1440P 144Hz monitor.
While visually-stunning story-driven games don’t benefit as much from running at higher refresh rates as more competitive-type games do, running those more visually-driven games at higher refresh rates can still have a significant impact on the overall experience of the game.
So, if you are a gamer that likes to play games like Far Cry 5, or The Witcher 3, then a 1440P 144Hz monitor would be worth considering. I think, though, that you’d have to debate whether you’d want the higher refresh rate that the 1440P 144Hz monitor comes with, or opt for a 4K monitor to get even better visuals. And, again, a couple of 4K 144Hz monitors recently became available (although, they’re more like 4K 120Hz monitors—and they cost ~$2,000).
As an example of what kind of budget you would need in order to get a computer that can run demanding games on a 1440P 144Hz monitor, you’ll probably want to consider at a minimum, this $1,500 build, and perhaps, even better this GTX 1080 Ti-based $1,750 build. (That doesn’t include the cost of the monitor.)
3. Gamers That Play Non-Demanding Competitive Games and Have A Moderate-to-Large Budget (1440P 144Hz)
Finally, the third type of gamer that could use a 1440P monitor would be a gamer that plays non-demanding competitive games (like Rocket League, Overwatch, League of Legends, etc.) and who also has a moderate-to-large budget.
These types of non-demanding games won’t benefit a ton from being run at higher resolutions, but since you can land 1440P 144Hz monitor for as low as ~$275, it isn’t that much of a stretch to get a 1440P 144Hz monitor over a 1080P 144Hz monitor (at least just on the cost of the monitor alone.)
So, if you have a moderate-to-large budget that will allow you to get the hardware necessary to be able to run less demanding games on a 1440P 144Hz monitor, then that might be the best option for you.
As an example of what kind of the budget you would need to have in order to run non-demanding competitive games on a 1440P 144Hz monitor at an acceptable framerate, you could probably get by with the $800 PC build listed above, but this $1,000 PC build would have you covered easily (and it would also allow you to play more demanding games on mediumish settings as well.)
Is 1440P Worth it for Gaming? It Really Depends on You
In the end, 1440P won’t be worth it for every gamer. Competitive gamers that are working with a tighter budget would probably be better off with a 1080P 144Hz monitor. Gamers that prefer visually-stunning games may find that a 4K 60Hz monitor is a better option for them.
However, as outlined above, there are gamers out there that a 1440P monitor would be worth it for. So, if you fall into the categories outlined above, a 1440P monitor would definitely be worth considering for you.