144Hz gaming has been with us for a few years now, and while some gamers still think that there is no major difference between 60Hz and 144Hz, others (myself included) can’t look at a low refresh rate screen anymore.
The trend started out a few years ago and, although it was quite an expensive hobby, some enthusiasts kept pushing the market further, and today we ended up with some really cool monitors, tablets and even phones.
So far we have only covered the monitors in our extensive guide to 144Hz gaming monitors and now we are going to explain the other end of that technology – the GPU’s. First, for those who are still new in the game, let’s cover the reason why you need a strong GPU for your 144Hz monitor.
For the full benefit of the technology, the game you’re playing needs to run at 144 frames, here’s why
Hz or Hertz is the unit with which you can explain the refresh rate of a display, or, more exactly, his pixels. The same refresh rate is managed in seconds, so a 60Hz monitor is refreshing his pixels 60 times per second, a 144Hz monitor 144 times per second, a 240Hz monitor 240 times and so on. Since most of us started out with 60Hz monitors, transferring to a 144Hz monitor will not only double that amount of refreshed images, but push it even further.
Now, although the technology built in to a 144Hz monitor is refreshing the pixels 144 times per second, the same benefit can only be achieved if your source file is also supporting the technology. So, if your monitor refreshes its screen 144 times per second, your GPU should be able to push the game you’re playing on 144 frames per second.
There are some additional technologies which can ease up this process, like G-Sync and FreeSync which we covered in our Monitor Guide mentioned above, but overall owning a 144Hz monitor and running a game in 144 fps is the point of this technology.
Was the GTX 1080 good for 144hz gaming?
Half a year ago, once we published above mentioned guide on monitors, we started getting questions about 1440p and 4k gaming in 144hz. The cruel truth back then was that the GTX 1080 series wasn’t good for 144hz gaming, because it couldn’t manage a stable count of 144 frames per second on high or ultra high settings in most modern games – not only in 4k, but it was even struggling with 1440p resolution also.
Don’t get me wrong, the power was more then enough to offer 144hz 1080p gaming on ultra settings, as well as 144hz 1440p gaming on medium settings, but for my taste and the price point of the 1080 Ti, this was definitely NOT next gen gaming, it was just a simple disappointment.
So, what can you tell to like minded people who are looking forward to a 144hz future same as you? You tell them to not worry, NVIDIA has our back, let’s just wait for the next gen, the RTX series, right?
They are probably going to double it now in the next gen and meet the current demand of 144hz gamers… Right?
Spoiler Alert: No.
Can the RTX 2080 Ti do what her older sister, the 1080 Ti couldn’t?
It can’t. Why? Because, although we do have the new platform, re-branding, a bump in specs and so on, the new models are just around 20 to 30% faster then the previous generation, which already struggled with 60fps 4k gaming, regardless of the model. So the best thing which you could expect is that the most expensive model, the RTX 2080 Ti, acts as the only card which can play games on medium settings in 4k at 60fps, or medium to high settings on 1440p in 144 frames.
The latest reviews show it here:
Try to understand NVIDIA – less then 7% of gamers are using 1440p and 4k monitors
Look, although I’m not happy to say it, the market is still not “ripe” for proper 4k or even 1440p 144hz gaming. If you take a look at the Steam Hardware survey, you will see that less then 7% of Steam gamers are using 1440p or 4k monitors, everyone else is mainly on 1080p monitors.
With that in mind, I think that NVIDIA is happy that they finally covered 4k gaming in 60Hz, which will (at least for the next few years) keep the crowd happy. Esports has their 1080p monitors which, basically, don’t even need something like a RTX 1080 Ti, these people would be happy with a high end AMD card for $400.
As for us few who want to experience either 1440p or 4k gaming in 144hz, we will need to be patient and wait for the next generation.
When can we expect 144hz gaming in 4k to enter the market?
What I’m thinking is this; NVIDIA is probably going to wait until 1440p and 4k monitors which are capable of reproducing 144hz go down in price, at least 50%, which is going to happen sooner or later After that, the Steam Hardware Survey needs to show at least 30% of gamers using 1440p and 4k monitors combined – once these two factors are in check, they will introduce the next gen GPU which will be able to push the new technology properly.
What does that mean and when can we expect 4k 144hz gaming? I would say around the next generation of GPU’s, three years from now, with a big IF AMD doesn’t jump in front of the crowd and introduces an RTX killer.
So, to conclude the article, expect 144hz 4k gaming end of 2021… Until then? Well, “medium settings” it is..