1440p gaming is a great sweet spot for many gamers, offering increased visual fidelity over 1080p without the GPU-crushing pixel density of 4K. But while 1440p gaming is quite attainable, 1440p at 144 Hz isn’t as easy. You’ll still need a powerful GPU, and that’s where the best GPUs for 1440p 144 Hz gaming come into the picture.
To keep our list concise, we’ve opted to focus on cards that can reach that 80-100 FPS threshold at 1440p ultra settings. This offers an appreciable improvement over 60 FPS without the heavy demand of a locked 144 Hz at 1440p. But enough chat; let’s get started.
- Best Nvidia Graphics Card for 1440p 144 Hz Gaming: Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 Ti is a slightly tough sell at its $800 MSRP, but it’s an excellent 1440p card with some 4K credentials, too.
- Best Nvidia Graphics Card for 1440p 144 Hz Gaming Runner-Up: Asus GeForce RTX 4070 Dual offers solid high-refresh-rate 1440p performance at a decent price.
- Best AMD Graphics Card for 1440p 144 Hz Gaming: Sapphire Radeon RX 7900 XT Pulse competes directly with the RTX 4070 at its newly reduced MSRP and comes out on top in several games.
- Best AMD Graphics Card for 1440p 144 Hz Gaming Runner-Up: XFX Speedster MERC319 RX 7800 XT Black Edition is neck-and-neck with the Nvidia RTX 4070 but costs less and has more video memory.
Our Favorite 1440p 144 Hz Graphics Cards
|Boost Clock||2610 MHz|
|Memory||12 GB GDDR6X|
|Ports||• 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
• 2x HDMI 2.1a
|Power Consumption||~300 watts|
|Dimensions||12.01 x 5.43 x 2.56 inches|
Nvidia’s RTX 4070 Ti has come in for a lot of flak for its $800 MSRP, and perhaps justifiably so. But look beyond the storm of negative press, and you’ll find a capable 1440p 144 Hz GPU that’ll handle modern Triple-A games without any major issues.
Tom’s Hardware put the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti through its paces across nine games, recording a great mean average FPS of 118.0 frames. The RTX 4070 Ti’s 91.2 FPS 1% lows were impressive too, only dragged down by the intensely demanding A Plague Tale: Requiem and its brutal ultra settings.
A Plague Tale: Requiem is one of the most demanding games available, capable of bringing all but the most powerful parts to their knees. The RTX 4070 Ti “only” manages an 82 FPS average in the title, despite comfortably breaking past the 120 FPS barrier in almost all other tests. But that’s where Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) upscaling can help: enabling DLSS brings the RTX 4070 Ti’s average in Requiem up to 108.1 FPS, with 1% lows just under 95 FPS.
Enabling DLSS Frame Generation further improves performance, resulting in a minimum FPS of 143.5 and average FPS readings of 159.4 FPS. This means you’ll be able to play the game at a locked 1440p 144 Hz without compromising visual settings.
The RTX 4070 Ti will happily blaze through most other AAA games at 144 FPS without any upscaling, provided you have a fast enough CPU to back it up. Far Cry 6, for example, hits an average of 154 FPS, while Forza Horizon 5’s high-speed racing action will blaze past you at just about 141 FPS. The RTX 4070 Ti matches the RTX 3090 Ti in these games; seen in that light, the RTX 4070 Ti’s $800 seems like a bargain compared to the older card’s $2000 launch price.
In fact, the RTX 4070 Ti is fast enough that you’ll still find yourself CPU-limited in some scenarios if you enable DLSS. Forza Horizon 5, for example, only gains three FPS on average when you enable DLSS 2, pushing it from a 141 FPS average to a 144 FPS average.
The RTX 4070 Ti’s real-time ray tracing (RT) performance is decent, albeit miles behind the RTX 4080 and RTX 4090. It managed a mean average FPS reading of just over 60 FPS in Tom’s Hardware’s six-game test suite, with 1% lows of 49.6 FPS. This is just about playable in most games and outperforms AMD’s $1000 RX 7900 XTX.
However, RT fans should enable DLSS here, pushing the average to 102.9 FPS. The 1% lows also significantly improve, surpassing the 60 FPS barrier with a 74.1 FPS reading. You’re unlikely to max out your 1440p 144 Hz monitor with RT on here, but ~100 FPS gaming shouldn’t be an issue.
Asus’ TUF Gaming line of graphics cards is one of the best, and the TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti is no exception. It doesn’t have fancy RGB lighting, but it offers great industrial design, excellent cooling, and a price point close to Nvidia’s $800 MSRP.
Asus ships the TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti with two BIOS options: the standard OC BIOS and a Quiet BIOS. TechPowerUp found that the former keeps the GPU at 66 degrees Celsius with a 76-degree hotspot at about 32 dBA of noise, which is excellent. The latter raises temperatures slightly to 70 and 80 degrees, respectively, but at a lower 29.1 dBA noise level.
Overall, the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti is a solid 1440p 144 Hz gaming GPU that offers great performance and surprisingly decent value for what it is. Paying north of $800 definitely hurts for an RTX 70-class card, but you do get a lot of performance for the money. Asus’ TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 Ti is an excellent buy, saving you $20-30 over many rivals and offering better cooling while it’s at it.
|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 is a solid GPU for 1440p 144 Hz gaming, albeit not one that’ll knock your socks off. But its $600 MSRP means it’s a reasonably affordable card (by current standards), and one that’ll serve you well for a good few years, given its access to DLSS Frame Generation.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 is Nvidia’s replacement for its amazing RTX 3080, offering similar performance at a $100-lower MSRP. Given that many RTX 3080s are still selling above Nvidia’s suggested retail pricing, RTX 4070s like the Asus model here are the better buy for 1440p 144 Hz gaming right now.
The RTX 4070 performs almost identically to the RTX 3080 in Tom’s Hardware’s 9-game test suite. The newer card records a mean average FPS of 98.4, compared to the 98.6 FPS of the RTX 3080. 1% lows are slightly better on the newer card at 78 FPS vs. the RTX 3080’s 73 FPS.
Overclocking shows some decent gains here, allowing the RTX 4070 to push past 100 FPS on average. Given that you’re not likely to max out a 144 Hz monitor with the RTX 4070, overclocking will likely be helpful here, letting you squeeze an extra 5-10% out of your graphics card.
Even without overclocking, you should be able to get between 100 to 130 FPS in many modern games at ultra settings, with the usual exceptions of A Plague Tale: Requiem and Microsoft Flight Simulator. The former brings the RTX 4070’s 1% lows below 60 FPS, which isn’t surprising considering how punishing the game’s ultra settings are. Turn down the settings and enable DLSS, though, and you’re likely to hit around 90 to 100 FPS, more than enough for a stealthy third-person game.
RT isn’t necessarily the RTX 4070’s strongest suit, but it’s still a capable card for 1440p gamers seeking realistic reflections and lighting. 60 FPS is off the table at ultra settings and native res, but enable DLSS and trim back some settings, and you’ll be fine. Don’t expect triple-digit framerates with RT on with anything but the most rudimentary ray-tracing implementations, though.
The RTX 4070’s RT performance is slightly better than the RTX 3080’s, which makes it the better buy at MSRP. You also get access to DLSS Frame Generation, which will help boost performance beyond what you can achieve with the RTX 3080. So while raw performance isn’t too dissimilar, we think the perks of the newer architecture swing the comparison decisively in the RTX 4070’s favor.
Asus’ RTX 4070 Dual is a compact, two-fan GPU that’s a far cry from the hulking RTX 4070 Tis and RTX 4080s of this world. It also only requires one 8-pin PCIe power connector, making it much easier to slot into mid-range systems than its more powerful siblings.
Despite the compact dimensions and dual fans, the Asus RTX 4070 Dual isn’t a slouch when it comes to cooling performance. Guru3d tested the Asus and recorded a 46-degree Celsius temperature delta during stress testing, with the card running at 66 degrees Celsius in a 21-degree room.
Let’s be honest: Nvidia’s RTX 4070 isn’t necessarily exciting. Still, it’s a solid mid-range graphics card that will appeal most to those who skipped the previous generation of cards and want an upgrade. If you want to hit that 80 to 100 FPS range without skimping on graphics settings, this is the card to get.
|Boost Clock||2450 MHz|
|Memory||20 GB GDDR6X|
|Ports||• 2x DisplayPort 2.1
• 2x HDMI 2.1a
|Power Consumption||~350 watts|
|Dimensions||12.32 x 5.27 x 2.07 inches|
AMD’s RX 7900 XT may not have started life as Team Red’s most appealing GPU, but price cuts have made it a compelling option for high-frame-rate 1440p gaming. If you want raw rasterized performance and don’t care about ray tracing, then the RX 7900 XT’s new roughly $800 MSRP makes it an excellent card for the money.
The RX 7900 XT competes directly with Nvidia’s RTX 4070 Ti and edges it out in pure rasterized workloads (i.e., those without any ray tracing involved). Tom’s Hardware tested the RX 7900 XT across nine games and recorded a mean average FPS reading of 125.2 and 1% lows of 98.2 FPS.
In comparison, the RTX 4070 Ti measured 118 FPS and 92.1 FPS, respectively, giving AMD’s part an average advantage of around 7% here. But averages don’t quite tell the whole story.
The RX 7900 XT’s advantage comes down to two games: Borderlands 3 and Far Cry 6. AMD’s card performs exceptionally well in Borderlands 3, with an impressive 165.5 FPS average and 1% lows of 136.6 FPS. It handily beats the RTX 4070 Ti here, which can only muster 130.8 and 107.5 FPS, respectively.
Things are much the same in Far Cry 6. Here, AMD’s card races ahead of Nvidia’s offering, posting a 172.2 FPS average and 121.0 FPS 1% lows compared to the RTX 4070 Ti’s 154.0 FPS average and 115.4 FPS 1% lows.
However, other games aren’t quite as clear cut, which much smaller differences between the two cards. The two are essentially tied in Microsoft Flight Simulator, for example, while Forza Horizon 5 sees the Nvidia card pull slightly ahead with a 141.1 FPS average vs. the RX 7900 XT’s 131.5 FPS average.
One area where the RX 7900 XT stumbles slightly is in ray tracing performance, however. AMD’s card fails to crack the 60 FPS threshold here, where Nvidia’s card just about manages it. This means you’ll likely have to make more judicious use of AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) and reduced settings to hit higher framerates here.
AMD’s FSR 3 frame generation can help too, although it’s not a magic bullet. AMD suggests a 60-FPS minimum before you enable it, so you’ll still need FSR to bring the framerates up to the minimum threshold. Of course, none of this is an issue if you’re not interested in ray tracing.
Sapphire’s Radeon RX 7900 XT Pulse isn’t the cheapest model out there, but it’s worth the minor premium over cheaper rivals for its impressive low-noise operation. Its lack of RGB may be an issue for some, but we’d take a quiet GPU over a flashy one any day of the week.
TechPowerUp tested the Sapphire and recorded a GPU temperature of 69 degrees Celsius, with the hotspot hitting 83 degrees. While that may seem high, both are within safe limits and shouldn’t pose any issues. What impressed us was the noise level: at only 28.7 dBA, the Sapphire is much quieter than the reference RX 7900 XT and XFX’s 42-dBA MERC310 RX 7900 XT.
Overall, the RX 7900 XT’s new $800 pricing makes it an excellent choice for 1440p 144 Hz gaming. It trades blows with Nvidia’s RTX 4070 Ti while outperforming it significantly in a handful of titles. Sapphire’s Radeon RX 7900 XT Pulse comes close to the new MSRP while offering a quieter cooler than its rivals, which combine to earn it a place on our list.
|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 RX 7800 XT may only be a minor upgrade to the RX 6800 XT, but it’s a great value option for those seeking high-refresh-rate 1440p gaming at high settings (albeit without ray tracing). It gives the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 a run for its money in rasterized workloads, all while costing less and offering four extra gigabytes of VRAM.
The RX 7800 XT is a strong 1440p performer, breaking past the 100 FPS barrier in Tom’s Hardware’s nine-game rasterized-only test suite. Its 105-FPS mean average and 82-FPS mean 1% lows handily best the RTX 4070, although only by around 6.8%. Still, a win’s a win, and the 7800 XT gets the dub here.
The performance differential between the RX 7800 XT and RTX 4070 differs between games, although the AMD card is generally always faster. Some, like Far Cry 6, see a massive 12% difference, with the RX 7800 XT managing 151.4 FPS vs. the RTX 4070’s 133.8 FPS average. However, a more demanding game like A Plague Tale: Requiem sees the AMD and Nvidia GPUs performing essentially identically at 66.5 and 64.3 FPS on average respectively.
Of course, ray tracing is a whole other matter. The RX 7800 XT’s 40.8-FPS mean average in Tom’s Hardware’s RT test suite trails the RTX 4070’s 51.8 FPS average, with titles like Control and Cyberpunk 2077 hugely preferring the Nvidia GPU’s better RT capabilities. The RTX 4070 manages a 59.4-FPS average in the former, while the RX 7800 XT can only muster 49 FPS.
You could probably still hit a decent 60 FPS lock in some ray-traced games with upscaling and reduced settings, but those who want as much eye candy as possible will likely be better off with the RTX 4070.
While it may be tempting to try and save some money and get the older RX 6800 XT, we recommend getting the newer GPU for one simple reason: Radeon Anti-Lag+. Lag reduction will be essential with AMD’s new FSR 3 frame generation, and only the latest RX 7000-series cards get access to the better (on paper, at least) Anti-Lag+.
Overall, AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT-based cards like the XFX Speedster MERC319 RX 7800 XT Black Edition offer great value for 1440p gamers seeking high framerates without totally breaking the bank. Its larger VRAM allocation than the RTX 4070 also makes this a great long-term GPU, provided you’re not concerned about ray tracing and don’t mind FSR’s lower-quality upscaling.
Before You Buy
We have a guide to choosing your GPU, so we won’t be covering any of those topics here. Instead, let’s quickly provide some reminders to help you reach that coveted 1440p 144 Hz with fewer issues.
Turn Down Your Settings
All the benchmarks we’ve shared use ultra (or equivalent) settings to stress the GPU and provide close to a worst-case scenario for in-game performance. That makes sense for testing and benchmarks, but it’s often far from the best use of your graphics hardware.
Ultra settings can often be very wasteful, offering little graphical return for the extra processing power required. You can often gain a lot of performance without drastically reducing visual quality simply by dropping down to the next-highest preset (or even one below it). You’d be surprised how much better your games will run once you abandon the idea that you have to play games at ultra settings.
You’ll have to experiment to see which settings you can turn down without losing too much visual quality. However, it’s always worth experimenting with decreasing post-processing, effects, shadow, and texture quality first to see how much performance you can claw back.
If you’re playing a recent game, check out Digital Foundry’s optimization guides. While they often focus on getting playable framerates out of mid-range hardware, nothing stops you from using the same tweaks with cards like the RTX 4070 or RX 6900 XT.
Upscaling isn’t quite as necessary at 1440p as at 4K, but it’s often an easy way to gain a decent amount of extra performance. Nvidia and AMD have great upscaling technologies, although we think the Nvidia-exclusive Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) often looks noticeably better than AMD’s equivalent FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR).
There’s also Intel’s Xe Super Sampling (XeSS), which runs on all hardware but performs best on Intel GPUs. It splits the difference between the two, occasionally offering similar image quality to DLSS while sharing FSR’s hardware-agnostic design.
I almost always enable DLSS, even if the game doesn’t necessarily need it. For one, it often looks better, with smoother edges and less aliasing. It also reduces the load on the GPU, making it run cooler, quieter, and with lower fan speeds.
Admittedly, not every game looks better with upscaling. Some games have poorer DLSS and FSR implementations or have graphical elements that don’t work well with upscaling. Forza Horizon 5 is a great example, with the thin power lines breaking up and looking jagged with upscaling enabled. Despite the performance benefits, we’d recommend sticking with native resolution in Forza Horizon 5.
So while upscaling isn’t always a win, it’s still a great feature that we recommend you try in games that support it. Provided your CPU is up to snuff, DLSS and FSR could be the difference between a 60-to-90-FPS experience and one that breaks past the 100-FPS barrier.
Frame generation is also slowly becoming a valid option for 144-FPS 1440p gaming, but the technology is still in its infancy; thus, we recommend aiming for stable framerates without frame generation for now. It’s a valid option, but your mileage will vary significantly from game to game, even with Nvidia’s AI-assisted DLSS 3 frame generation.
High-refresh-rate 1440p gaming is one of the best things about PC gaming, and it’s well worth spending the money on some of the best 1440p 144 Hz GPUs to achieve it. While it doesn’t offer the pixel density and sharpness of 4K, the increased motion resolution more than makes up for it. And, unlike high-refresh-rate 4K, it’s achievable with sub-$1000 hardware!
If you’re a fan of ray tracing and DLSS or want access to Nvidia’s AI features, then the Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 Ti is the card to get. It hurts paying $800 for an RTX 70-class card, but it’s a beast of a 1440p card that most of you will be thrilled with. If you’re an AMD fan, on the other hand, the Sapphire Radeon RX 7900 XT Pulse’s reduced MSRP makes it a genuine RTX 4070 Ti killer for running games without raytracing.
Feel like 4K gaming instead? Check out our list of the best GPUs for 4K gaming.