Since I built my computer back in 2016, I’ve been kind of bolting new baubles and trinkets to it in an effort to stave off obsolescence. At some point the rubber is going to hit the road, vis-à-vis me having to build a new computer from the ground up, but for the time being, I’m okay with my Frankenstein’s monster of a computer, especially now that I purchased a shiny new monitor.
For context, I’ve been living that dual monitor lifestyle for years now and have been pretty happy with it. The problem was that my secondary monitor was old and starting to fail. It was a 720p LCD monitor that starting getting acne in the form of dead pixels. It was fine considering I was only using it to watch Netflix and stuff, but my tax return came through and I decided to pull the trigger on a new monitor.
I initially wanted a 4K display that had G-SYNC capabilities. After seeing those prices, I set out for a 1440p monitor instead that checked all of my boxes. The problem was that I noticed my computer was starting to show its age on the CPU front, which made the prospect of high framerate, high fidelity gaming while watching something on the side less realistic with how I use my computer these days.
I strolled into my local Best Buy with all these factors in mind, hoping I could maybe find an open box item or special sale I could take advantage of. The 4K monitors were out of my price range, and the selection of 1440p monitors they had were pretty sparse and expensive. I was about to walk out and settle on waiting for Amazon to provide me an acceptable deal, when I spotted a monitor that checked the most important box: The price.
The monitor was larger than anything I’d had before, boasted G-SYNC compatibility with a refresh rate of 144hz. The only thing that made me pause was the 1080p display. But considering this monitor was only $100, had just about everything I wanted, and was about $200 cheaper than any alternative I had seen, I pulled the trigger and purchased it.
After some tinkering and ordering a DisplayPort cable (cause that’s the only way you can get G-SYNC to work apparently?), my monitor was ready for prime time. I decided instead of putting this new framerate capability through its paces, I would just do things the way I normally do to see how it all holds together. So I booted up NBA 2K20 and turned on a movie on the second screen.
Doing this actually helped me feel better about my purchase of a 1080p monitor in 2020. My computer couldn’t maintain the 144FPS I was aiming for while watching a movie, which I can’t blame it for, instead I averaged around 100-110FPS. The movie would stutter anytime I managed to get close to 144FPS, and even out when I dipped back around 100FPS. So I capped the games refresh rate at around 90hz, and everything has been running really nicely.
I always knew that higher framerates were better, and thought and still do think that 60FPS is just fine for gaming. But man, if you have the chance to play a game at 120FPS, you might never want to go back. That’s kind of where I’m at right now with my new monitor. I’m still feeling it all out and trying to find the optimal settings that work for me and my computer, but I’m genuinely happy with my new monitor. If you’re looking to upgrade, I would strongly suggest finding something with at least 144hz as a refresh rate. I think you’ll be happy with that decision.