Last Updated on December 3, 2020
I’d like to post about 60 FPS vs 144 FPS, share my experiences between the two FPS rates and see if having 144 FPS over 60 FPS actually matters.
I had gamed at 60 FPS on my PC rig for about 4 years before I decided to upgrade to a better video card and monitor to display higher frames per second with all of the different games that I play.
Some of you might not see a huge difference whereas others will say that the difference is very significant and that gaming at 144 FPS vs 60 FPS is an absolute no brainer.
Let’s take a look the actual differences between the two, what it takes to achieve 60 FPS, what it takes to achieve 144 FPS and discuss whether or not if it’s worth the upgrades to get higher FPS rates.
What Is FPS?
No, we aren’t talking about first person shooters in this post. FPS is also used as an acronym for gaming performance.
If you don’t already know, FPS is an acronym for frames per second.
When you are playing a game, whether it’s on PC or on console, the smoothness that you experience as you’re moving around in-game is measured by how many frames are able to be displayed per second.
The higher the FPS rate, the smoother your overall gameplay is going to be.
However, you also need to have a display that is able to refresh itself fast enough if your PC or console is able to display higher frames per second.
For example, if you are able to pull 100 FPS in your game, but you are playing on a display that has a 60hz refresh rate, then the maximum FPS that is displayed is actually going to be 60 FPS.
If a monitor is not able to refresh the display fast enough then it is not going to be able to display a faster FPS rate.
That’s why it’s important to understand your hardware, how many frames per second your rig will be able to provide in a game and to understand the monitor that you have or plan on using to be sure that you’re able to fully utilize your hardware as a whole.
Gaming At 60 FPS
Gaming at 60 FPS feels very smooth and is a definite visual upgrade from just a couple generations ago with consoles.
“Pro” or higher end versions have had to come out with the previous generation’s consoles in order to achieve 60 FPS at 1080p for most titles.
This isn’t the case with PC gaming and the newest generation of consoles.
120 FPS is what the Xbox Series X and the PS5 will be able to achieve out of the gate and gaming PCs have been able to achieve 144+ FPS rates for a long while now.
Jumping from a 30 FPS cap to a 60 FPS cap is a very noticeable difference. 60 FPS is smooth to the point of enjoying any game, for me even at 30 FPS I’m still able to enjoy any game – it’s just that extra bit of smoothness that comes into play is a nice feature.
With that said, you also need to consider that gaming at 60 FPS on a PC is going to be a lot cheaper than gaming at 144 FPS because of the hardware and display you would need to achieve 144 FPS rates.
Lower Budget VS Higher Budget
We will go over the hardware a bit deeper down below but just wanted to bring that up quick as some of you might be more interested in a lower budget build vs a higher budget build if you are building your own PC.
As I said earlier, I had played my games at 60 FPS for many years before switching over to a higher frame rate because I was happy with 60 FPS and didn’t think the difference would be big enough to justify the upgrades.
You have probably played at 30 FPS vs 60 FPS and noticed the huge difference, right?
Take that example and imagine the smoothness that is past 60 FPS.
Remember Gaming At 30 FPS?
You can look at a visual comparison of the different frame rates on this frame rate comparison website – if you don’t have a higher refresh rate monitor then you aren’t going to be able to see the difference on the higher frame rates, it’s more so for you to see the difference between 30 FPS and 60 FPS.
At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. If you are happy with 60 FPS and don’t want to drop the extra cash for the higher frame rates then that makes sense.
However, there are some advantages to be aware of when it comes to 60 FPS vs 144 FPS.
Gaming At 144 FPS
Gaming at 144 FPS has been a night/day difference for me personally but everyone is going to have a different perspective when it comes to this.
It usually boils down to either the amount of money it takes to achieve higher FPS rates is too high or the difference isn’t significant enough to justify the upgrades that are necessary.
If you want to see the true difference then I’d highly recommend going to your nearest electronics store.
Or maybe you have a friend that has a 144hz monitor with a gaming rig that can run games around 144 FPS. If so, then be sure to check it out.
Experience 144 FPS In Person
You aren’t going to be able to tell the full difference without actually using the mouse or moving around in a game in person.
This is due to your screen not having the higher refresh rates in the first place.
With that, I did find this video to be pretty informative as far as the difference between the two and goes into further detail as to why videos just will not cut it. You really do need to see it in action, in person to actually understand the difference.
Some of you are probably wondering if a higher FPS rate in a game with a monitor that has a higher refresh rate will give you any competitive advantages in your favorite shooters or otherwise other games and the short answer is yes, I do believe that it does.
Advantages of 144 FPS
The reason why is because if you’re able to get more frames in a given second then you’ll be able to see an enemy coming around a corner faster than someone that is capped at 60 FPS which gives you a pretty good advantage.
Yes, it will also come down to how well you can aim, how good the opponent is among using other mechanics and what not in game… but if you’re seriously competitive in games like that then the advantage is definitely there.
If you want to see for yourself, Nvidia has detailed data to share overall K/D ratios using video cards that are able to utilize 144hz monitors vs video cards that are better suited for 60hz monitors.
Sure, this data comes directly from Nvidia so take the information with a grain of salt as they sell these cards and will obviously say good things about them but it’s worth looking into! I trust their words and their data.
Getting a more powerful video card and a monitor that is able to refresh itself faster isn’t the “master key answer” to being better at a game. You still need to develop skill and use the mechanics well but there are clear advantages to being able to have higher FPS in-game.
Also keep in mind that the desktop experience is also smoother! Simply browsing the web, using your desktop and navigating different programs on your PC… it’s all a lot smoother of an experience that again, you need to experience for yourself to truly understand.
Are The Hardware Upgrades Worth Getting?
If you have been gaming at 60 FPS and want to know if it’s worth getting the necessary upgrades for 144 FPS then I’m going to help you decide.
You should ask yourself a few questions before upgrading your gaming rig for 144 FPS:
- Have you seen the difference between 60 FPS and 144 FPS in person?
- Are you big into competitive gaming and are looking for a competitive edge?
- How much are you willing to spend to have the necessary hardware upgrades?
Your answers to those questions are going to help you decide whether or not you should upgrade your rig for 144 FPS.
If you haven’t seen the difference in person or at least have experienced using a computer at 144 FPS with a 144hz monitor then you need to do so before thinking about buying the hardware you need for it.
If you’re more so playing casually or don’t need the competitive advantages that come with gaming at 144 FPS then you should consider that as well. With that said, even with single-player gaming, the smoothness is very nice to have!
If you aren’t ready to spend upwards of $300-$400+ on a video card that is powerful enough to get games to run at 144 FPS on average and $200+ on a good monitor that has a 144hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time then you’ll either want to save up or disregard the upgrades anyway.
Don’t see yourself caring as much about 144 FPS averages and would be happy with around a 100 FPS average? Do you see yourself being happy with a 144hz desktop experience?
There are options out there for that as well.
It’s not cheap to have the right hardware involved for 144 FPS gaming but, in my opinion, it’s entirely worth it if you’re wanting the buttery smooth experience and the competitive edge.
Choosing A Video Card
Choosing the right video card is important because you need to be certain that the amount of performance power behind a card is going to be able to handle the right amount of FPS that your monitor is able to refresh itself at.
It’s true that if you are running a game at 250+ FPS but you are locked to a 60hz monitor that you still do get a slight advantage as you’ll be able to see more going on the screen than others that are playing at 60 FPS and using a 60hz monitor… Check out this video if you want to see more details in that regard.
But the difference isn’t nearly as significant as playing at 60 FPS on a 60hz monitor vs playing at 144 FPS on a 144hz monitor.
You also need to factor in the game, the optimization going on with any specific game and the amount of power your card will have.
If you want 60+ FPS on Fortnite at 1080p then you’ll be able to use some of the cheaper cards because the game is very well optimized. Achieving 60+ FPS averages is not hard to do with a game like Fortnite.
If you are mainly playing something more demanding, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, then you will need to gauge your options if you plan on trying to have 60+ FPS average on the highest graphics settings.
Low Budget 60 FPS At 1080p
If you want a lower budget option for 60 FPS average gaming then I would recommend going with a RX 580.
For some titles such as Modern Warfare’s Warzone, you will see the frame rates drop below 50 FPS at times when you’re outside buildings if you’re running the game at the highest possible settings at 1080p.
With some slight tweaks to graphics settings you will be able to pull a 60 FPS average with something like the RX 580 on the higher demanding titles such as Modern Warfare.
With a game with better optimizations, such as Fortnite, you will be able to pull much higher frame rates – even at ultra graphics settings.
This card will typically cost under $170 which makes it one of the cheapest cards on the market when it comes to high quality 60 FPS gaming. When it comes to wanting 60 FPS avg. with some tweaked video settings for the lowest price possible then a RX 580 is the way to go.
Ask about any other titles in the comments if you’d like, I’ll tell you what kind of performance you could expect out of this card with whatever game(s) you are trying to play with it.
Be sure to do some of your own research as well! There are plenty of videos out there showcasing the performance of different videos cards on different games with different presets of video settings.
60-120 FPS Average At 1080p
If you want to be able to max games out at 1080p with over 60+ FPS on most titles then I would recommend going with a RX 5600 XT.
Comparing this card to the RX 580 with Modern Warfare specifically (on max settings, 1080p resolution), you should expect to not be dropping below ~70 FPS with an average of 110+ while playing any mode.
With something like Fortnite, you’ll be able to achieve 120+ FPS on average at the epic graphics settings.
Although this card is typically going to cost around $100 more than the RX 580, it’s the difference between having an entirely consistent FPS rate versus at times, especially with unoptimized games, dropping below 60 FPS.
I’d say that this card would be a good idea if you want some middle ground performance when it comes to enjoying 1080p gaming.
You’ll always have smooth gameplay with it and it’s a much cheaper alternative to the Nvidia cards that are comparable to it on the market right now.
144+ FPS Average At 1080p
If you want to max games out and fully utilize a 144hz display in the best way possible then I’d recommend getting a RX 5700 XT.
A RX 5700 XT has a lower price point than a RTX 2070 today yet it has a much better level of overall performance across multiple games. It’s hard not to recommend this card for 144+ FPS averages.
This card would be for those of you that truly want the best possible choice when it comes to a consistent 144 FPS mark in the high demanding games.
It’s also a great choice for the future high demanding titles since it is more than ready for what’s coming in the next few years, those games are going to look incredible at the maximum graphics settings.
If you aren’t picky about achieving the highest FPS levels possible in every game then the two cards that I mentioned before the 5700 XT would be more than enough.
Any of these cards are going to provide you with smooth gameplay experiences! It will come down to the monitor you are planning on using and what kind of frame rates you really want to achieve.
Now let’s get into monitor talk – it’s important to be able to recognize the refresh rates of monitors, to understand why it’s important and to be able to find one for the best price possible.
Choosing A Monitor
Choosing the right monitor comes down to what type of performance you are going to be getting from your video card to ensure that you’re not wasting your time and money using a monitor that isn’t able to be utilized to its full potential.
For example, if you are planning on using a RX 580 (especially for those using something less powerful than a RX 580) and you know you will not be upgrading for a while then you may want to look into using a nice 60hz monitor.
60hz monitors are going to cost the least and they are great! They get the job done and if you’re happy with 60 FPS across the board then there is no reason to have anything more.
Monitors come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and panels. The size and shape is entirely up to you and your personal preference.
I have one 21″ 60hz monitor to my left and a 27″ 144hz monitor as my main monitor with my current setup. I used the 21″ 60hz monitor for years before moving up to a 144hz because of the low cost of entry and because I was happy with 60 FPS gameplay.
If you are wanting one of the more powerful video cards then you also need to keep in mind that you need to have a more expensive monitor on top of that to make sure you are using your hardware to the full extent.
If you know what kind of video card you use or plan on using with your build then you can move forward to choosing a monitor that suits it best. I’ve got a few recommendations I’d like to share with you!
Low Budget 60hz Monitors
If you are on a tight budget and aren’t using one of the newer, more powerful video cards on the market then you may want to take a gander at the cheaper 60hz monitors out there.
These can be had for a little over the $100 range which is extremely affordable when you compare these price ranges with some of the bigger and higher refresh rate monitors out there.
I’ve always recommended the ASUS VS228h-P as a great first monitor because I’m going on over 8 years of using this same monitor with no hiccups or issues. It has been invincible so far and the picture quality is very nice!
It has served me well over the years and is still used as my second monitor for Discord, YouTube or whatever else I may be running in the background.
This was my main and only monitor for a long time and it’s definitely one of the best, if not the absolute best budget 60hz monitor on the market today.
Mid-Range 144hz Monitors
If you have the right hardware and want a 144hz display then you should consider getting one of the mid-range 144hz monitors on the market.
This monitor from Acer is currently at a great price (usually costs over $250) and has a 144hz refresh rate along with a 1ms response time. It’s one of the most affordable 144hz monitors right now.
120hz monitors used to be all over the market but it seems most of the monitor manufacturers have defaulted to going to 144hz and that makes sense. 144hz has become more and more popular and video card performance is getting crazy good at a fast pace.
Acer has been around for a long time, they’re a highly trusted brand when it comes to the monitor space and this model is a great example of what they do. They create high quality, affordable monitors.
When it comes to wanting the 144hz experience without breaking the bank and you’re happy with a smaller screen size then this one from Acer would be the one to go with.
High-End 144hz Monitors
If you want to have bigger screen space, more features and have a high-end 144hz experience then you should take a look at the higher end models on the market.
Another model from ASUS however this time a feature rich, 144hz and 1ms response time monitor that is extremely high quality.
I’m currently using the ASUS VG278Q which is essentially the same monitor with the VG279Q version having a new input lag feature which lowers the input lag even further.
This monitor is able to be tilted far, it can be rotated for horizontal or vertical viewing, it has a bunch of display features and includes technologies that are exclusive to ASUS.
I have been using this monitor for a little over two years now and it has been an amazing experience using it.
There are plenty of other high end, 144hz monitors out there. Some are curved, some have even more screen space and others have different technologies to them.
These recommendations are simply ones that I have had personal experience in and feel confident about.
Definitely browse around for other monitors that might better suit you! If you find some that you would like my perspective on or think it should be shared here, let me know in the comments below!
Concluding 60 FPS vs 144 FPS
I spent many years using the same 60hz monitor and gaming at a capped 60 FPS rate and happily doing so. 60 FPS is still a smooth experience and it’s a lower cost of entry to having a nice monitor that works how you’d expect it to.
But I’ve also been experiencing 144 FPS gaming with a buttery smooth 144hz monitor for the past couple of years and I don’t think I could ever go back to anything less than 144hz.
There is a huge difference, from simply using the computer to overall gaming… everything feels more “live” and smooth. I never thought the difference would be enough to justify the upgrades but sure enough, it was.
If you have a smaller budget and are just starting out in the PC gaming world then it’s not a bad idea to start with a video card that can provide high quality, 60 FPS experiences at 1080p.
When it comes to upgrading from 60 FPS, be sure to head to an electronics store or to a friend’s place and use a 144hz display in person. It’s impossible to truly understand the difference without seeing it yourself.
There are plenty of other video cards and monitors on the market today with new advancements with both constantly evolving and being created.
Be sure to do your own research as well and let me know if there is anything I may have missed or any other piece of hardware that you feel should be talked about within this post!
So, are you going to be using any of the video cards listed here?
Are you currently gaming with a 60hz monitor?
Are you planning on some upgrades soon?
Let me know in the comments below! 😀
Hey there! 👋 I’m Colton, founder of PC Builds On A Budget. Whether you need help putting your PC together, finding a great pre-built rig, or want some help finding awesome peripherals – I’ve got you covered!
I share my experiences of anything and everything related to gaming PCs with you here. 👍