Is 165Hz Enough for Gaming? 

Is 165Hz Enough for Gaming

The quest for the smoothest, most responsive gaming experience is an ongoing battle. One of the key players in this arena is the monitor’s refresh rate, measured in Hertz (Hz). It dictates how many times per second the image on your screen refreshes, directly impacting visual fluidity. So, when faced with the question of “is 165Hz enough for gaming?”, the answer becomes a nuanced exploration of performance, perception, and personal needs. Let’s delve deeper and unveil the refresh rate sweet spot for your ultimate gaming experience.

Refresh Rate

Imagine flipping through a flipbook rapidly. The faster you flip, the smoother the animation appears. That’s essentially how refresh rate works. A higher refresh rate translates to more frequent image updates, minimizing blur and creating a noticeably smoother viewing experience. This is particularly crucial in fast-paced games like first-person shooters (FPS) or racing titles, where split-second reactions can determine victory.

The standard refresh rate for monitors for a long time was 60Hz, which refreshes the image 60 times per second. However, the rise of high-performance graphics cards and competitive esports has fueled the demand for higher refresh rates. Enter 144Hz and 165Hz monitors, offering a significant leap in visual fluidity compared to the traditional 60Hz standard.

165Hz: The Sweet Spot Between Speed and Value?

Is 165Hz Enough for Gaming
While a 165Hz monitor might not guarantee victory, it can shave off precious milliseconds in your reaction time

Now, let’s explore the advantages of a 165Hz refresh rate for gaming.

Smoother Gameplay and Reduced Tearing

A higher refresh rate minimizes ghosting effects (residual images) and screen tearing (horizontal image fragmentation). This translates to a more visually pleasing and immersive gaming experience, especially in fast-paced scenarios.

Potential Competitive Edge

In esports or highly competitive online games, every millisecond counts. The quicker your monitor updates the image, the sooner you can react to in-game events. While a 165Hz monitor might not guarantee victory, it can shave off precious milliseconds in your reaction time.

A Middle Ground Between 144Hz and 240Hz

If you’re looking for an upgrade from 144Hz without breaking the bank, 165Hz offers a compelling balance between performance and price.

However, before rushing out and buying a 165Hz monitor, there are some crucial factors to consider.

Can Your Hardware Deliver the 165 FPS Dream?

There’s a catch – to fully utilize a 165Hz monitor, your graphics card needs to be able to consistently deliver at least 165 frames per second (FPS) in your desired games. Here’s where the horsepower of your graphics card comes into play.

Matching Refresh Rate and Frame Rate

For a seamless experience, your monitor’s refresh rate and the game’s frame rate should be in sync. If your graphics card can’t maintain 165 FPS, the higher refresh rate won’t deliver its full potential.

Graphics Card Capabilities

Different graphics cards have varying performance ceilings. Research your graphics card’s benchmarks for the games you play to see if it can consistently hit 165 FPS. You might need to adjust graphics settings or consider upgrading your GPU.

Resolution Matters: 1080p vs. 1440p

Pushing high frame rates becomes more demanding at higher resolutions. If you prioritize high refresh rates, sticking with 1080p might be a better choice. Upgrading to 1440p might require a more powerful graphics card to achieve 165 FPS consistently.

Subtle Differences: 144Hz vs. 165Hz

The jump from 60Hz to 144Hz is a significant leap, offering a stark improvement in visual smoothness. However, the distinction between 144Hz and 165Hz can be more subtle. Here’s what you need to know.

The Law of Diminishing Returns

Is 165Hz Enough for Gaming
The average user might not find a world of difference between 144Hz and 165Hz

As refresh rates climb, the human eye’s ability to perceive the difference becomes less pronounced. While some hardcore gamers might swear by the slight edge of 165Hz, the average user might not find a world of difference between 144Hz and 165Hz.

Focus on Your Needs

If you’re a casual gamer or prioritize other monitor features like color accuracy or panel type, a 144Hz monitor might be a perfectly suitable and cost-effective choice.

Is 165Hz Enough for Gaming? 

So, is a 165Hz monitor the ultimate upgrade for every gamer? Here’s a breakdown of who might benefit the most.

Competitive Gamers

If milliseconds matter in your pursuit of online dominance, a 165Hz monitor paired with a powerful graphics card can offer a potential competitive edge.

High-Frame Rate Enthusiasts

If you prioritize buttery-smooth visuals and have the hardware to push high frame rates, a 165Hz monitor is a fantastic upgrade.


If you plan on upgrading your graphics card in the future, a 165Hz monitor can ensure it has the headroom to deliver optimal performance.

However, if you’re a casual gamer who prioritizes other monitor features like resolution, color accuracy, or price, a 144Hz monitor might be a more balanced choice.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the ideal refresh rate depends on your individual needs, budget, and gaming preferences. If you’re unsure, consider the following. Start with your current graphics card’s performance. Can it consistently deliver 165 FPS in your desired games? Also, evaluate your gaming habits. Are you a competitive gamer chasing milliseconds, or do you prioritize visual fidelity and a broader range of monitor features? Finally, consider the price difference. A 144Hz monitor might offer excellent value, while a 165Hz provides a slight performance edge.


Q. Is 165Hz a significant upgrade over 60Hz?
A. Absolutely. The jump from 60Hz to 144Hz, and subsequently 165Hz, offers a dramatic improvement in visual smoothness, reducing blur and screen tearing for a much more immersive gaming experience.

Q. Can I see the difference between 144Hz and 165Hz?
A. The difference can be subtle, especially for casual gamers. However, some users with trained eyes might perceive a slight improvement in smoothness with 165Hz.

Q. Do I need a specific graphics card for a 165Hz monitor?
A. Yes. To fully utilize the refresh rate, your graphics card needs to consistently deliver at least 165 FPS in your desired games. Research your graphics card’s benchmarks to see if it can handle this workload.

Q. What other monitor features should I consider?
A. Panel type (IPS, VA, TN) impacts viewing angles and color accuracy. Response time affects visual responsiveness. G-Sync or FreeSync compatibility eliminates screen tearing. Consider these factors alongside refresh rate when making your choice.

Q. Is a 165Hz monitor worth the investment?
A. For competitive gamers or those prioritizing high frame rates, yes. However, for casual gamers on a budget, a 144Hz monitor might offer excellent value. Weigh your needs and budget before making a decision.