The best 144Hz & 165Hz gaming laptops

The finest 144 Hz laptop & 165 Hz laptop options currently available for gaming

Best 144hz laptop for gaming

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This page will help you find the best 144Hz laptop or 165Hz laptop for your gaming needs. These two refresh rates are the sweet spot for most gaming displays, enabling the majority of people to enjoy fast-paced shooters at a high enough effective FPS to play competitively, whilst either being more affordable than higher refresh rate screens, or allowing for higher resolution displays like 1440p. If you’re interested in seeing our top selections for gaming laptops not limited to this category, have a read of our best gaming laptop page.

Black Friday Deals: find huge savings on 144Hz laptops on Best Buy or via our Best gaming laptop Black Friday deals 2021 & Best laptop Black Friday deals pages this November.

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Hz laptop meaning: laptop refresh rate explained

The refresh rate of any kind of display, be it a laptop screen or a desktop monitor, measures how many times the image on the screen is redrawn/refreshed within a second. This is measured in Hertz (Hz). Refresh rate becomes particularly apparent when trying to depict objects moving at high speed, for completely still images it is not noticeable at all. Essentially, if an object is moving fast (such as an enemy player jumping around a corner) the time it spends in each place on your screen is very low. If the refresh rate of the screen is not high enough, the object will have passed through a noticeably large amount of space in between each refresh of the image, meaning it will appear to have jumped, leading to a stuttering effect or, in extreme instances, appear to have teleported completely. A high refresh rate will be able to depict every minute change in the object’s travel along the way – leading to a smooth moving image. Low refresh rates hinder one’s ability to see faster-moving images and react to them, thereby negatively affecting performance in fast-paced games.

144hz vs 165hz gaming laptops

As of 2021, most new laptop and monitor displays which would have been 144Hz in days past are now 165Hz. In other words, 165Hz gaming laptops are the new standard for most models in the middle price range, or 1440p display laptops, and any 144Hz laptop for gaming that you encounter will likely be a slightly older model; this doesn’t mean they aren’t worth buying though, particularly if you’re looking for a budget 144Hz gaming laptop.

Ultimately, the difference between 144FPS and 165FPS will not be particularly noticeable to the average gamer, and will only make a slight bit of difference (14.6% to be exact) to your competitive gaming performance, still, every little helps. Either way, both refresh rates offer a great middle ground between FPS performance and cost-effectiveness.

For more information about this, we recommend you have a quick scan through our Things to consider when buying a 165hz or 144hz laptop for gaming section further down this page before you pull the trigger on any of these laptop purchases.

Our Top Picks

01
Editor's Choice
A terrific value AMD gaming laptop with 5900HX CPU & RX 6800M GPU
02
Runner Up Pick
A solid mid-range 1080p, 165Hz gaming laptop
03
Best budget pick
A great budget 1080p, 144Hz laptop for gaming

Best 165Hz & 144Hz laptop for gaming: first look

01
Editor's Choice
A terrific value AMD gaming laptop with 5900HX CPU & RX 6800M GPU
ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition

ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition

0 /5
Editor's Rating

For all your 165Hz gaming laptop needs, the 1440p version of the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition is a superb value machine that punches well above its price in terms of FPS performance with its powerful Radeon RX 6800M graphics card and Ryzen 9 5900HX processor. This fully AMD machine has superb battery life for a gaming laptop and even come with half-decent speakers to boot.

02
Runner Up Pick
A solid mid-range 1080p, 165Hz gaming laptop
Lenovo Legion 5

Lenovo Legion 5 15-inch, 2021 (RTX 3060, Ryzen 7 5800H)

0 /5
Editor's Rating

The best value Nvidia option for those looking for a mid-range gaming laptop in the 144Hz – 165Hz range. The Lenovo Legion 5 (2021 version), like its predecessor, comes with a graphics card with a high TGP, that means it can compete with underpowered versions of the SKU above. In this case, the RTX 3060 can go tow-to-toe with some RTX 3070 laptop GPUs. The decent battery life and G-Sync support make this a worthy contender.

03
Best budget pick
A great budget 1080p, 144Hz laptop for gaming
Lenovo Legion 5 15

Lenovo Legion 5, 2020 (GTX 1650 Ti, Ryzen 7 4600H)

0 /5
Editor's Rating

This great value 144Hz laptop is a great choice for mobile gaming on a budget. The particular Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics card that it comes with punches above the weight of most cards of this model type thanks to its great TGP. The 1080p has respectable color and contrast for gaming uses, but its response time is truly impressive for this price point.

04
Best 14-inch pick
The best portable 165Hz gaming laptop
Razer Blade AMD

Razer Blade 14 AMD Gaming Laptop (RTX 3080, 1440p, 165Hz)

0 /5
Editor's Rating

The premium 14-inch gaming laptop, the Razer Blade 14 comes with the classic high-end Razer display, with lush colors, great contrast, and peak brightness. It has the fastest response time of a laptop in its size category, even though the ms still lags behind that of larger laptops on this list.

05
Also consider
The best looking 144Hz - 165Hz laptop with 1440p display, good response time & battery life
ASUS Zephyrus G15 2021 RTX 3070

ASUS Zephyrus G15, 2021 (RTX 3070, Ryzen 9 5900HS)

0 /5
Editor's Rating

An Nvidia-powered ASUS G15 with Ray-Tracing support and a superb 1440p screen with great response time, color replication, peak brightness and contrast ratio. The ASUS Zephyrus G15 is arguably the best-looking laptop on this list to boot, though it isn’t the most powerful.

Things to consider when buying a 165hz or 144hz laptop for gaming

If you want to know what to consider when looking for a gaming laptop in general, regardless of subcategory, have a quick look at this same section on our Best gaming laptop in 2021 page. The below points will be a quick summary of what you need to be aware of when shopping for a 165hz or 144hz laptop specifically.

Is a 144Hz refresh rate good for gaming?

The short answer to this question is yes, at least for the vast majority of gamers. Whilst the perceptible difference between 60Hz and 100Hz is huge, and almost the same gap between 100Hz and 144Hz is less significant, but still substantial, by the time you go from 144Hz or 165Hz up to 240Hz or higher, the same numerical gap (in terms of Hz) just doesn’t feel as noticeably different. 240Hz or even 300Hz and 360Hz are only for those gamers who are committed to squeezing every edge they can out of games like CS:GO, the Call Of Duty, or Battlefield series etc. Even so, you will need a truly beastly gaming laptop, and a willingness to turn the graphical settings down, in order to achieve these kind of FPS in your games. For most people a 144Hz laptop or a 165Hz one will be more than adequate.

FreeSync and G-Sync support

FreeSync and G-Sync are collectively known as Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) or adaptive sync technologies, which help to smooth out motion displayed on the screen, and reduce the artefact known as screen tearing. This is accomplished through more precisely matching (i.e. synchronizing) the frame rate output of your PC with the refresh rate of your display.

FreeSync is AMD’s version of the technology, whereas G-Sync is Nvidia’s, although GPUs from both manufacturers can use either technology to a degree, full G-Sync is often only usable by machines with an Nvidia graphics card. G-Sync Compatible is the term used to describe the less potent version of the technology, and you’ll find a lot of gaming laptop display with native FreeSync support which are also G-Sync compatible.

1080p vs 1440p gaming laptops

Every laptop you will see recommended on this page which comes with either a 144Hz or 165Hz refresh rate will have 1080p (aka HD) or 1440p (aka QHD or WQHD) resolution. Refresh rate and resolution are the chief determinants (besides size) of the price of a screen, so if we’re keeping the refresh rate constant then you can expect the 1080p models to be the cheaper options available. 165Hz is increasingly the standard for any recently released 1440p gaming laptop, and you’ll only find higher refresh rates on premium end 1440p laptops.

Generally speaking, we’re of the opinion that 1080p is the perfect resolution for any gaming laptop with a 15-inch display or smaller. At this size, the benefits of a 1440p display, whilst noticeable, aren’t usually worth the sacrifices that must be made in other areas (i.e. price and the lower FPS performance on the higher resolution screen). Still, if you have your heart set on a 1440p display, either for light workstation use, watching higher-res movies and films, or just because you like the look of them, you can always turn down the resolution settings in-game to 1080p to maximize your FPS.

4K 165Hz & 144Hz laptops

At the time of writing, 165Hz or 144Hz laptops with 4K resolution aren’t a reality. The highest refresh rate you’re likely to see in a 4K gaming laptop is 120Hz, such as the MSI GE76 Raider 10UH or the Razer Blade Pro 17 4K Touch, though even these are rare. Most 4K laptops tend to come in at a refresh rate of 60Hz, which isn’t a high enough refresh rate for competitive online gaming, and is only around the minimum we’d recommend for slower-paced, single-player titles.

Best 165Hz & 144Hz laptop for gaming

01
Editor's Choice
ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition
Asus Logo 500x177 1

ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition

CPU

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX

GPU

AMD Radeon RX 6800M

RAM

16GB

Storage

512GB SSD

Screen Size

15.6"

Max Refresh Rate

300Hz

02
Runner Up Pick
Lenovo Legion 5

Lenovo Legion 5 15-inch, 2021 (RTX 3060, Ryzen 7 5800H)

CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 5800H

Graphics Card

Nvidia RTX 3060

RAM

16GB

Max Refresh Rate

165Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

03
Best budget pick
Lenovo Legion 5 15

Lenovo Legion 5, 2020 (GTX 1650 Ti, Ryzen 7 4600H)

CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 4600H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

04
Best 14-inch pick
05
Also consider
ASUS Zephyrus G15 2021 RTX 3070
Asus Logo 500x177 1

ASUS Zephyrus G15, 2021 (RTX 3070, Ryzen 9 5900HS)

CPU

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX

GPU

AMD Radeon RX 6800M

RAM

16GB

Storage

512GB SSD

Screen Size

15.6"

Max Refresh Rate

300Hz

In-depth Review

01
Editor's Choice
ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition
Asus Logo 500x177 1

ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition

CPU

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX

GPU

AMD Radeon RX 6800M

RAM

16GB

Storage

512GB SSD

Screen Size

15.6"

Max Refresh Rate

300Hz

Pros

AMD Radeon RX 6800M GPU

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU

1440p display

Superior battery life

Respectable speakers

Cons

slow stock RAM bottlenecks performance

no webcam or no SD card reader

cheaper versions only come with 512GB SSD

AMD GPU lacks Ray Tracing

The ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition comes in two main varieties: the 1080p 300Hz display version, or the 1440p 165Hz option. Either option offers superb value for money, with the 1080p version being our top pick on our best gaming laptop under $1,500 page. The color replication and contrast on both displays are solid, more than enough for a gaming laptop, though not up there with the premium offerings, and the response time is equally respectable.

Other than the display, both versions of this laptop come with the same core components, with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor and an AMD Radeon RX 6800M graphics card. The 5900HX CPU is literally the best you can get in a gaming laptop, so there’s no room for criticism there, and the RX 6800M GPU can go toe-to-toe with an Nvidia RTX 3070 (laptop version) in terms of raw FPS, though it lacks the same Ray Tracing capabilities. Simply put, you won’t find better power per price in a gaming laptop.

There are other areas in which the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition performs well which are surprising for a gaming laptop. Chief among these is the battery life, which can reach up to 9 hours when doing non-gaming, non-demanding tasks – very impressive for such a powerful laptop, and a testament to the efficiencies AMD have brought about with their Advantage Edition line. The speakers on this machine, whilst not terrific, are also actually pretty solid – with bass replication that is certainly better than the majority of the competition in this price range, and definitely good enough to enjoy watching YouTube and Netflix on.

For those looking for a laptop that can do more than just game, the lack of an integrated webcam or SD card reader may be off putting, though these can easily be bought seperately. The lowest spec option of this machine only comes with a 512GB SSD, and this is far too low for a modern gaming machine – we’d advise going with the 1TB version as a minimum.

The one major drawback of this laptop is that the performance is heavily bottlenecked by the slower RAM stock that it comes with, even by the standards of an AMD machine. Performance out of the box is still good value for what you pay for, but we’d heartily recommend upgrading the RAM as soon as you can, which can unlock an additional 10% of FPS performance in some titles, even up to 20% in a handful of cases.

02
Runner Up Pick
Lenovo Legion 5

Lenovo Legion 5 15-inch, 2021 (RTX 3060, Ryzen 7 5800H)

CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 5800H

Graphics Card

Nvidia RTX 3060

RAM

16GB

Max Refresh Rate

165Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

Pros

AMD Ryzen 7 5800H gives decent workstation performance on a budget

Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU means superior Ray-Tracing

G-Sync support

reserved design more suitable for office use

Good battery life

Cons

disappointing response time compared to the 2020 version

Need to upgrade the RAM to get the best performance out of it

No SD card reader

The Lenovo Legion 5 2021 version is another great mid-range gaming laptop from Lenovo, coming with an Nvidia RTX 3060 that performs well above the majority of RTX 3060 laptops thanks to its 115-130W high TGP. You can expect gaming performance alongside lower-powered RTX 3070 machines in terms of the FPS it can generate in games. Whilst it doesn’t match up to the raw power of the ASUS Strix G15 Advantage Edition, it does have the advantage of the vastly improved Ray-Tracing which comes with an Nvidia graphics card, and you can typically find it for slightly cheaper. The AMD Ryzen 7 5800H also definitely pulls its weight, though it isn’t as powerful as the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX in our top pick.

The 165Hz refresh rate display, adds an additional 21Hz on top of the 144Hz 2020 version. Unfortunately, the response time of the display in this laptop doesn’t match the impressively quick time of the previous year’s iteration of the Lenovo Legion 5. At around 6.6ms grey-to-grey, it’s not the worst response display out there, but it’s a tad disappointing. In terms of brightness, contrast, and color replication though it’s about the same i.e. perfectly adequate for gaming purposes.

Battery life is pretty good for a gaming laptop with a 30-series GPU, coming in at around 7 hours run time for non-gaming usage when you switch it to the battery saving ‘Hybrid mode’. Temperature results are pretty decent, with fan volume being around average. The 1TB SSD size is what we’d expect for this price, though unfortunately the stock 16GB RAM the laptop comes with has fairly slow timings which bottleneck its performance in games somewhat, though not as much as the ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition for instance.

The quality 720p camera and microphone are improved over the previous year’s iteration, though are still only around adequate for a machine at this price point. The membrane keyboard is nice and clicky, and there’s no issues with the trackpad. The build of the laptop is quite plasticky, and is essentially the same as the 2020 version, though for the extra cost of the 2021 model we would have liked something slightly more substantial. Still, the overall subdued aesthetic is fairly nice in a utilitarian sort of way, if you go with the Phantom Blue option, with the Stringray White actually looking pretty snazzy in our opinion. In terms of weight and dimensions, the Lenovo Legion 5 is perfectly adequate.

All-in-all, this is a solid mid-range gaming laptop at a decent price.

03
Best budget pick
Lenovo Legion 5 15

Lenovo Legion 5, 2020 (GTX 1650 Ti, Ryzen 7 4600H)

CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 4600H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

Pros

quick response time

GTX 1660 Ti GPU that performs above expectations

AMD CPU good for low-level workstation tasks

good contrast ratio

respectable battery life for a gaming laptop

Cons

limited array of ports

max brightness could be higher

narrow color gamut

This older version of the Lenovo Legion 5 is a great 144Hz laptop for those looking for a gaming machine without much cash to spend. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 1660 Ti GPU is a couple of generations older now, so don’t expect to be able to generate amazing FPS from it on the latest games at the higher settings, but they’ll still be playable at at least 60FPS in most cases. If you turn things down a notch you’ll be able to run many more demanding titles at at least the 100FPS mark, which are impressive results for a 1660 Ti machine, perhaps taking you up to the display’s 144Hz limit. The AMD Ryzen 7 4800H is a decent processor for the money which helps with some of the heavy lifting.

One of the best things about this laptop is the fast response time of the display, coming in at around 4.6ms grey-to-grey under actual testing (not the lower number stated by the manufacturer which is always the lower best case scenario measurement and not to be relied on). This is one of the lowest response times of any gaming laptop you’re likely to find outside of the premium 240Hz plus display models, and is certainly excellent for a budget-to-midrange 144Hz laptop, making the Lenovo Legion 5 a superb budget competitive gaming option. The display supports FreeSync, and has a decent peak brightness and solid color replication for gaming purposes (though for any color-based content creation look elsewhere).

As with the newer model, the membrane keyboard and trackpad are both satisfying to use. The build quality is a little plasticky, but that’s to be expected at this price and the 180-degree hinge of the display is quite a nice feature. The Lenovo Legion 5 comes with a 720p webcam and mic, though admittedly both of a lower quality, but the speakers are above average for this price point, with a decent amount of bass. Battery life is decent for a gaming laptop, at about 6 hours of non-strenuous general use (i.e. outside of gaming) if you turn on the battery-saving ‘Hybrid mode’. Temperature wise, the Legion 5 (2020 version) runs fairly cool, with its fan volume about average for a gaming laptop (i.e. not quiet).

Though prices may be inflated at the moment with the continuing global silicon shortage, we’ve seen these laptops go for around $1,000, and you’ll still be able to pick one of these 144Hz laptops up for around this during sale periods.

04
Best 14-inch pick
Pros

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX is a great CPU

RTX 3080 in a compact gaming laptop

1440p display

Great color replication

Great contrast and brightness

Great build quality

Thin and lightweight

Good response times for a smaller laptop

Cons

Only 16GB RAM which cannot be upgraded

Expensive

Low TGP RTX 3080 GPU

Only 8GB VRAM RTX 3080

Fairly loud fans

The Razer Blade 14 is the best 14-inch gaming laptop currently available. This 165Hz gaming laptop has the classic high contrast ratio, bright, vibrant colored display that Razer laptops are associated with. The screen is around 99.8% accurate in the sRGB space and 83% for AdobeRGB, making it suitable for graphic design work and other color accurate work, besides gaming. 1440p is overkill for such a small display in our opinion, but there’s no denying that it makes the screen look crisp and has its uses for creatives, plus the resolution can be turned down to 1080p in game no problem.

In terms of gaming, the real response time of the screen is around 9ms gray-to-gray, which isn’t fast compared to the other selections on this page, but still makes it the fastest response time for any 14-inch gaming laptop money can buy. FreeSync is fully supported and the 165Hz refresh rate is more than adequate.

Looking at the core components then, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU is the best processor available for a laptop in terms of FPS performance, and helps extend the battery life further than an Intel option would. The 8GB RTX 3080 is a relatively underpowered version of the Nvidia graphics card, not just in VRAM terms but also TGP (90-100W), so performs alongside many upper echelon RTX 3070 laptops in games; however, once again it still represents the best that money can buy in a laptop of this size. The reality is that such a thin and small chassis puts restrictions on the level of power you can realistically put into it, so that being the case, the Razer Blade 14 is still a very impressive machine.

The build quality of Razer Blade 14 is superb. The fans are quite loud when gaming especially, and we would have liked to see upgradability for the 16GB of RAM, though this is still a decent amount to play with. The only other downside to this laptop is the high price, though if you want the best portable gaming laptop, this is it.

05
Also consider
ASUS Zephyrus G15 2021 RTX 3070
Asus Logo 500x177 1

ASUS Zephyrus G15, 2021 (RTX 3070, Ryzen 9 5900HS)

CPU

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX

GPU

AMD Radeon RX 6800M

RAM

16GB

Storage

512GB SSD

Screen Size

15.6"

Max Refresh Rate

300Hz

Pros

Nvidia RTX GPU has Ray-Tracing

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS CPU good for light workstation use

4.3ms response time

1440p display

Bright screen with great contrast ratio

Great battery life

Respectable speakers

Cons

GPU is underpowered, especially RTX 3080 version

no webcam

no SD card reader

Another ASUS laptop on our list, the ASUS Zephyrus G15 1440p gaming laptop is a great-looking, well-built machine. The white version in particular looks superb in our opinion, with all versions coming with nice thin bezels around the display and a relatively slim chassis, making them easily portable.

The screen of the ASUS Zephyrus G15 has great peak brightness, color gamut, and contrast ratio, meaning whatever you look at on the display will look top-notch and make it suitable for a dual-use workstation machine for graphic designers and the like. Gaming wise the 165Hz display has a great response time for a 1440p screen, coming in around 4.3ms grey-to-grey when tested.

In terms of FPS, the Nvidia RTX 3080 version of this laptop has relatively underwhelming performance, having a fairly low TGP of 75-100W which means it underperforms compared to other RTX 3080 gaming laptops; however, this difference is less pronounced in the slightly lower specced RTX 3070 version. Ultimately we’d recommend picking the less powerful RTX 3070 version for this reason to save a bit of money, or picking a different RTX 3080 machine if this is what your heart is set on.

This Zephyrus has a great battery life, despite the high core specs and high-resolution display, coming in at around 9 hours of non-strenuous, non-gaming usage, during which the Nvidia GPU is switched off in favor of the integrated graphics. Speakers are surprisingly good for a gaming laptop, and both the trackpad and the keyboard are solid.

There are various options in terms of both RAM spec and SSD size at different price points, but the 1TB SSD, 16GB RAM version with RTX 3070 can be found for a decent price. Even if the value in terms of FPS for money doesn’t match up to the ASUS ROG G15 Advantage Edition, it does have the benefit of Ray-Tracing thanks to its Nvidia GPU, if this is an important feature for you.

Final Word

So there we have it, this has been our guide to the best 144Hz laptop / 165Hz laptop for gaming.

Although we have ordered our choices starting with what we consider the best, each selection on this page is a worthy option and fulfill different needs depending on your budget and specific requirements, so make sure you at least have a look at the pros & cons of each before making your decision.

Please have a look above for recommended laptop guides for different budgets if you fancy something cheaper or more expensive, or our best gaming laptop guide for what we consider to be the best, regardless of budget, whether they’re 144Hz or higher, or other considerations.

If there’s a specific laptop you’d like us to review that we haven’t looked at yet, please leave a comment below.

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The Author Who Worked On This Article

Technology Writer
at
WePC
From halcyon days playing Sonic 2 on the Megadrive, to trying to work out how to make the ‘TOASTY!’ man appear on Mortal Kombat 3, many of Aaron’s fondest childhood memories are associated with gaming. He regrets nothing. First getting into PC gaming through exposure to text game Drug Lord 2.0 and then the original Half Life, Aaron has been a PC gamer ever since. A practical need to squeeze the most out of his machine turned into a genuine interest in the technology of PC hardware, a passion which fuels his desire to always be up to date on the latest tech news.

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