WQHD 1440p may be the commonly accepted “sweet spot” resolution for gamers, but there’s still something to be said for the humble 1080p monitor. For one, the lower resolution makes hitting that magical 144 Hz target easier, even in demanding games. So if you want that high-refresh-rate life without the high-refresh-rate cost, this list of the best graphics cards for 1080p 144 Hz gaming is for you.
Our list will cover cards capable of playing games at close to 144 Hz with ultra settings and cheaper cards more suited to high-refresh-rate gaming at medium settings. So no matter your budget, you should be able to find a 1080p 144 Hz card for you here. Let’s get started.
- Best Nvidia GPU for 1080p 144 Hz Gaming: Asus GeForce RTX 4070 Dual OC is borderline overkill but will handle even modern AAA games at 1080p ultra settings without too many issues.
- Best Value Nvidia GPU for 1080p 144 Hz Gaming: Zotac GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8 GB Twin Edge is a solid mid-tier card perfect for high-refresh 1080p gaming, although you’ll have to tweak your settings to get the most out of it.
- Best AMD GPU for 1080p 144 Hz Gaming: XFX Speedster MERC319 RX 7800 XT Black Edition goes toe-to-toe with the Nvidia RTX 4070 for cheaper, making it a compelling option for non-ray traced games.
- Best Value AMD GPU for 1080p 144 Hz Gaming: PowerColor Fighter AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT offers excellent bang-for-buck and should handle 1080p 144 Hz gaming fine at slightly reduced settings.
- Best Budget GPU for 1080p 144 Hz Gaming: Intel Arc A750 Limited Edition 8 GB is a sub-$250 card capable of hitting triple-digit framerates, provided you reduce graphics settings accordingly.
The Best GPUs for 1080p 144 Hz
|Boost Clock||2550 MHz|
|Memory||12 GB GDDR6X|
|Ports||• 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
• 1x HDMI 2.1a
|Power Consumption||~230 watts|
|Dimensions||10.51 x 5.27 x 2.01 inches|
Nvidia’s RTX 4070 gets a bad rap for its pricing, but look beyond the controversy, and you’ll find a great 1080p and 1440p card that offers better value than the RTX 3080 it replaces. If you’re after a smooth high-framerate experience at ultra settings, this is the Nvidia GPU for you.
Tom’s Hardware tested the RTX 4070 in its 15-game 1080p ultra test suite, which mixes rasterized and ray-traced workloads to provide a representative picture of modern gaming performance. The RTX 4070 performed reasonably here, posing a 105.8 FPS average with 78-FPS 1% lows.
Of course, the mean FPS result is dragged down by ray-traced titles, which are still heavy going even at 1080p. For context, games like Borderlands 3 and Far Cry 6 blaze well past 144 Hz, with 148 and 177 FPS averages, respectively. Others, like Microsoft Flight Simulator and A Plague Tale: Requiem, predictably push the 4070 much harder, settling around the 90 FPS mark in both.
So, while you’re not getting a guaranteed 1080p 144 Hz lock at ultra settings in all modern AAA games, the RTX 4070 is powerful enough that you’ll likely get close in most games. Spend some time tweaking your graphics settings or use Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) upscaling, and you should hit the 144 Hz target without issue.
For instance, dropping A Plague Tale: Requiem down to its (still beautiful) medium settings brings the RTX 4070’s averages up to 120 FPS. In fact, dropping all games down to medium without disabling ray tracing or enabling DLSS sees the RTX 4070 average 158 FPS across the same games, which means you’re going to get three-digit framerates even in some ray-traced workloads (such as Control).
It’s worth noting that the RTX 4070 is on the borderline of being overkill for running games at 1080p and may expose any CPU bottlenecks you have. But we think it’s a solid future-proof option (especially with its 12 GB of video memory) that should be able to push triple-digit framerates at 1080p even for the next few years’ worth of AAA games.
Asus’ RTX 4070 Dual OC is a basic dual-fan card without much visual flair, but we think that’s a fine tradeoff for a card available at Nvidia’s $600 MSRP. You want to eke out as much value as possible from Nvidia’s new offerings. Thus, we think sacrificing features such as RGB to stick close to MSRP is the way to go.
Overall, the Asus GeForce RTX 4070 Dual OC is one of the best-value RTX 4070s on the market, if that’s not a strange term to use for a $600 RTX xx70-class GPU. It’ll blaze through most modern games at 1080p ultra settings and is the best GPU for 1080p 144 Hz Nvidia has to offer.
|Boost Clock||2550 MHz|
|Memory||8 GB GDDR6X|
|Ports||• 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
• 1x HDMI 2.1a
|Power Consumption||~160 watts|
|Dimensions||8.88 x 4.85 x 1.58 inches|
The RTX 4060 Ti isn’t the generational improvement many hoped for compared to the RTX 3060 Ti, but it’s still a solid 1080p gaming card capable of triple-digit framerates at reduced settings. Those running RTX 3060 Tis and RX 6000-series cards likely won’t need to consider this, but it’s a good pick for those upgrading from older cards or building a brand-new system.
Tom’s Hardware put the RTX 4060 Ti through its 15-game suite of rasterized and ray-traced titles and measured an 82.9 FPS average across all games at ultra settings. Rasterization performance is solid, with a 112.1 FPS average and 110 – 140 FPS results in Borderlands 3, Far Cry 6, and Forza Horizon 5.
However, ray-tracing drags the RTX 4060 Ti’s mean FPS down here. Even Control, a relatively light RT workload, only manages 68.6 FPS on average. So, you have two options: drop settings down to medium while retaining ray tracing, or forego RT altogether and stick to rasterized rendering. Which you go for will depend on what you’re after, but anyone aiming for 1080p 144 Hz should likely opt for the latter.
Dropping to medium pushes the RTX 4060 Ti into 200-FPS territory in many games, so you won’t have to go that far to max out a 144 Hz monitor. Borderlands 3, for example, is 240-Hz ready with its 236.3 FPS average and 167 FPS 1% lows. This also means that most esports games shouldn’t have any issues hitting absurd framerates with the RTX 4060 Ti.
There’s also DLSS 3 frame generation, which will help boost framerates further in games that support it. We don’t necessarily recommend using it if you’re already getting good framerates, but it’s a handy feature for when the RTX 4060 Ti’s raw performance just won’t cut it anymore.
Zotac’s RTX 4060 Ti is as simple as they come, but that’s good. Given the minimal improvements over the RTX 3060 Ti, it’s important to stick as closely to Nvidia’s MSRP as possible. So we’re opting for a simple card without bells and whistles.
However, there is an elephant in the room: the RTX 3060 Ti. At the time of writing, you can get RTX 3060 Tis, like the Zotac RTX 3060 Ti Twin Edge OC, for around $350. Given the similar performance, the RTX 3060 Ti is potentially the better deal—if you can find one at that price.
If you can’t, then cards like the Zotac GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8 GB Twin Edge are the slightly better choice, owing to the minor performance boosts and access to Nvidia’s new frame generation tech. Owners of previous-gen cards may want to skip this, but anyone else should at least consider the RTX 4060 Ti before dismissing it entirely.
|Boost Clock||2565 MHz|
|Memory||16 GB GDDR6X|
|Ports||• 3x DisplayPort 2.1
• 1x HDMI 2.1a
|Power Consumption||~280 watts|
|Dimensions||17.51 x 9.25 x 4.92 inches|
AMD’s new Radeon RX 7800 XT takes the fight to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4070, offering better rasterized performance at a noticeably lower price. If you’re not interested in ray tracing, this is the GPU to consider at the $500 price point.
Tom’s Hardware put the new AMD GPU through its paces in its 15-game test of rasterized and ray-traced workloads. Here, the RX 7800 XT trails the RTX 4070 by around 10 FPS on average, posting a 98.4 FPS mean average vs. the RTX 4070’s 107.6 FPS. The 1% lows are similarly close, with the AMD card’s 74 FPS minimums within touching distance of the RTX 4070 and its 78 FPS 1% lows.
However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. If you limit it to only rasterized workloads, then the RX 7800 XT comes out ahead, albeit only with the tiniest of margins (133.4 mean average FPS vs. 130.3 FPS for the RTX 4070). Highlights from Tom’s Hardware’s testing highlights include a massive 194 FPS average in Far Cry 6 and a commendable 89.4 FPS average in the punishing A Plague Tale: Requiem.
Unfortunately, AMD’s RT performance is still disappointing here. The RX 7800 XT posts a 62.3 FPS mean average in Tom’s Hardware’s six-game test suite (which includes Control and Cyberpunk 2077). That’s not a bad result at all, but trails significantly behind the RTX 4070’s 80.7 FPS mean average.
On the plus side, the AMD RX 7800 XT will be getting AMD’s full suite of new Hypr-RX features, making it a better buy than a previous-generation GPU. This includes the all-important Radeon Anti-Lag+, which will be essential to keeping latency down once FSR 3 frame generation debuts.
PowerColor’s Hellhound AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT stands out for its excellent low-noise performance. It tops out at about 25.0 dBA while maintaining decent temperatures, which is not something many low-noise graphics cards do.
Overall, AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT-based graphics cards like the PowerColor Hellhound AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT are great options for high-refresh-rate 1080p gaming, competing with Nvidia’s rival for significantly less. However, don’t expect it to be a massive upgrade if you’re already using a similarly powerful RX 6000-series card.
|Boost Clock||2581 MHz|
|Memory||12 GB GDDR6|
|Ports||• 3 x DisplayPort 1.4a
• 1 x HDMI 2.1
|Power Consumption||250 watts|
|Dimensions||8.98 x 4.29 x 1.54 inches|
AMD’s RX 6700 XT is one of the best-value mid-range GPUs out there, especially in the guise of a card like the PowerColor Fighter AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT. With solid triple-digit framerates at 1080p and a sub-$400 price, this is the card to get if you’re looking for a good deal.
As with AMD’s previous-generation RDNA 2 cards, the RX 6700 XT doesn’t necessarily impress in combined rasterized and ray-traced workloads. Tom’s Hardware’s 15-game mixed test shows the RX 6700 XT only barely breaking past the 60 FPS barrier on average, with a 66.1 FPS mean over all tested titles.
But that’s because the poor RT performance drags the card’s results down significantly. Focus on just the rasterized performance, and things are a lot rosier. For example, the RX 6700 XT posts a 123 FPS average in Borderlands 3, a 137 FPS average in Far Cry 6, and a still-commendable 101 FPS average in the open-world Watch Dogs Legion. All of these are at ultra settings, too, so hitting a nearly-locked 144 FPS shouldn’t be an issue if you reduce some settings.
Far Cry 6, for example, hits an average FPS of 185.1 and 1% lows of 144 FPS at medium settings, ensuring you’ll get a near-perfect 144 FPS lock. Even the punishing Microsoft Flight Simulator gets close at medium settings, with a 1% low of 112 FPS and a 133.7-FPS average.
Ray tracing is, of course, the RX 6700 XT’s Achilles Heel. Expect sub-30 FPS in most RT-heavy games. Even the highly optimized RT workload of Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition turns in a sub-50 FPS average at ultra settings. Stick to non-RT games here for the best results.
Overall, PowerColor’s RX 6700 XT is a simple, no-frills card that gives up RGB and a third cooling fan to offer great 1080p performance at an affordable price. Considering that some triple-fan RX 6700 XTs are selling for between $450 and $500, we think the PowerColor offers excellent value here.
Yes, you could spend a bit more and get an RX 6750 XT like the XFX Speedster QICK319 Radeon RX 6750XT Ultra, but we don’t think the larger dimensions, increased power draw, and higher price are necessarily worth it for 1080p gaming. Of course, the option’s there if you want it, but we think most will be happy with the RX 6700 XT here.
|Boost Clock||2400 MHz|
|Memory||8 GB GDDR6|
|Ports||• 3 x DisplayPort 2.0
• 1 x HDMI 2.1
|Power Consumption||225 watts|
|Dimensions||11.01 x 3.87 x 1.65 inches|
Intel’s first foray into GPUs is a potent reminder of what “budget” used to mean, providing solid 1080p performance at a sub-$300 price. It’s not quite as fast as the other 1080p 144 Hz GPUs on our list, but those seeking a fluid 1080p experience and willing to compromise on graphics settings will find a lot to like here.
As you may expect, the Arc A750 can’t compete at 1080p ultra, where it’s only barely even a 1080p 60 FPS card across a mix of rasterized and ray-traced workloads. But drop settings down to medium, and you’ll find the A750 a capable card that performs better than you may expect for its price.
It shouldn’t surprise you that the A750 is at the bottom of Tom’s Hardware’s mixed 15-game chart; it is, after all, a $250 graphics card. But while its dedicated RT hardware isn’t enough to help it catch up to Nvidia’s cards, it’s a reasonable performer in purely rasterized workloads at 1080p medium. For example, the A750 posts a 155 FPS average in Borderlands 3, 119.1 FPS in Far Cry 6, and an excellent 132 FPS average in Red Dead Redemption 2.
To be clear, none of these numbers will set anyone’s world on fire. But they’re great for the price and even occasionally give the RTX 3060 a run for its money. In fact, the A750 actually beats Nvidia’s card in RDR 2 and A Plague Tale: Requiem, managing a 67.3 average FPS in the latter game vs. the RTX 3060’s 59.6 FPS average.
Like Nvidia, Intel has its own upscaling technology, Xe Super Sampling (XeSS). While the Arc A750 also supports AMD’s FSR, XeSS is a great way to boost performance if you’re playing a game that supports it. Cyberpunk 2077, for example, gets a 70% performance boost at medium settings with RT by enabling XeSS.
The Arc A750 is a perfect budget 1080p 144 Hz GPU for esports games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Rainbow Six: Siege, too. It’ll comfortably run all three games beyond 100 FPS at 1080p without issue, so it’s a great budget-friendly option for these titles.
However, there are a couple of factors to be aware of if you’re considering the A750 (or any Intel Arc GPU). First up is the ongoing driver situation. Things have improved significantly since launch, but you may still encounter performance issues in older games.
There’s also the sticky issue of the Arc GPUs requiring Resizable BAR (ReBar) or Smart Access Memory (SAM) support to perform their best. Running the A750 on an older system without either will reduce performance noticeably and is best avoided.
If you’re building a new system on a budget and want to hit those silky-smooth triple-digit framerates at 1080p, Intel’s Arc A750 is a solid choice. Manage your settings properly and enable upscaling (especially XeSS), and you’ll have a great 1080p gaming experience for much less than $250.
Before You Buy
We have a whole guide to buying a graphics card available, so we won’t cover those topics here. Instead, we’ll offer some advice on how best to hit that magical 1080p 144 Hz target even with mid-tier hardware.
While turning everything up to ultra is appealing, it’s often not the best use of your resources and processing power. Ultra settings are almost always wasteful, with the cost in rendering time and framerates often disproportionate to the amount of eye candy you get in return.
Reducing your settings and making informed compromises is often necessary, especially if you’re chasing triple-digit framerates with mid-tier hardware. Trust us; you’ll be surprised how much better your games run once you abandon the notion that you have play everything at maxed-out settings.
While the tweaks you’ll need to perform will differ on a game-to-game basis, there are a few settings that you can usually reduce without too many issues. Quality settings for post-processing, effects, shadow, depth-of-field, and textures are all worth experimenting with, as they can often help boost performance at a minor cost to aesthetics.
Upscaling involves running your games lower than your monitor’s current resolution before using filtering (or AI algorithms) to enlarge it to match your monitor. It’s often an easy way to gain extra performance without losing much image quality. Nvidia, AMD, and Intel all have their own upscaling technologies, each with pros and cons.
Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) is the best of the three but only works on Nvidia’s RTX 20-series cards and above. AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) works on any GPU but has more noticeable visual artifacts. Intel’s Xe Super Sampling (XeSS) is a mix of the two, working on all GPUs but performing best on Intel products.
Depending on your hardware and graphics settings, upscaling can make the difference between missing and achieving your framerate targets. Let’s take the RTX 4060 Ti in Bright Memory: Infinite at very high settings and with ray-tracing enabled. Even at 1080p, the 4060 Ti fails to hit the minimum 60 FPS target we want from a fast-paced shooter with all the bells and whistles enabled.
However, turn on DLSS in Quality mode (which runs the game at about 67% of native resolution), and you’re looking at a 90 FPS average with occasional dips below 60 FPS. That’s a 92% increase in average framerates simply by turning on one setting.
Upscaling, especially Nvidia’s DLSS, is often a nearly free performance boost, increasing framerates without too much visual degradation. We recommend enabling it most of the time; it’s that good. But don’t just take our word for it! Boot up your games and test them out yourself.
Full HD gaming is mostly a non-issue, with even a budget GPU capable of handling modern games at 1080p. But high-refresh-rate 1080p isn’t as easy; you’ll either need to brute-force it with a powerful GPU or manage your graphics settings to push those framerates up
If you’re interested in the former, then the Asus GeForce RTX 4070 Dual OC or XFX Speedster MERC319 RX 7800 XT Black Edition are the cards for you; these cards are beasts at 1080p, achieving triple-digit framerates at ultra settings with ease. But if you’re willing to compromise on settings, the Zotac GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8 GB Twin Edge shows that you can get a lot of 1080p performance for much less.
Unsure if 1080p 144 Hz gaming is worth the effort? Check out our 60 Hz vs. 144 Hz comparison to see what you’re missing out on with the former.