144Hz laptop & 165Hz laptop buyer’s guide
The best 144Hz laptop & 165Hz laptop models available across all price points and resolutions
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.
- Legion 7i Gen 7 – 16” WQHD+ 165Hz, Intel i7-12800HX, RTX 3070 Ti, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD – was
- Legion 5i Pro Gen 7 – 16” WQHD+ 165Hz, Intel i7-12700H, RTX 3070 Ti, 16GB RAM, 2TB SSD – was
- Legion 5i Pro Gen 7 – 16” WQHD+ 165Hz, Intel i7-12700H, RTX 3070, 16GB RAM, 2TB SSD – was
- GIGABYTE AORUS 17.3″ FHD – Intel i9-12900H, 32GB DDR5, RTX 3080 Ti, 1TB SSD – was
- GIGABYTE AORUS 15P XD, Intel Core i7, RTX 3070 –
- MSI GS66 Stealth, Intel Core i7-11800H, RTX 3080 –
- MSI Raider GE66, Intel Core i9-12900HK, RTX 3070 Ti –
- ASUS TUF Dash 15.6″ FHD 144Hz- Intel Core i7, 16GB DDR5 ,RTX 3070, 512GB SSD – was
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.
165hz vs 144hz laptop displays
As of 2022, most new laptop and monitor displays that 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
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 2022 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.
The Best 165Hz & 144Hz laptop for gaming in 2022
- AMD Radeon RX 6800M GPU
- AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU
- 1440p display
- Superior battery life
- Respectable speakers
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Only 16GB RAM which cannot be upgraded
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
Best 165Hz & 144Hz laptop for gaming in 2022 frequently asked questions
144 might seem a very specific number for a refresh rate. If you’ve pondered the question ‘why 144Hz?’ the answer lies in the movie business. Films are traditionally exported at 24FPS, and 144 is a multiple of 24, just as 120 is. 3D films are also commonly shot at a standard 48FPS, which 144 is also divisible by. This makes it easier to convert 24FPS/48FPS to a 144Hz video output: each frame of the former is ‘sent’ six times to the display, and each frame of the latter is sent three times to the display. 60FPS footage, which is a common standard for video in the USA, is a bit more difficult to match up (it requires a variation of the process known as 3:2 pulldown, but for a 5:12 ratio) but the fact that both 60 and 144 are divisible by 12 makes it a bit easier than it otherwise would be.
Can my 144Hz laptop run games at higher frames?
Technically speaking, a gaming laptop can run games at a higher FPS (as denoted by an in-game FPS tracker for instance) than the refresh rate of its display, it’s just that you won’t be able to appreciate the benefit as the screen isn’t capable of outputting that many frames per second. One way you can escape the 144Hz frame cap on your laptop however is by connecting it to an external display with a higher refresh rate, assuming your CPU and GPU are powerful enough to run games at above 144FPS.
What happens if I connect a 144Hz laptop to a 60Hz monitor?
If you connect a 144Hz laptop to a 60Hz monitor, the maximum effective FPS you will be able to experience will be 60FPS, as the display won’t be able to output any more images than this, per second.
Which laptop has the highest Hz?
The highest refresh rate for a laptop display is currently 360Hz. This is frankly a ridiculously high refresh rate, and only really necessary for high-end, fast-paced competitive gaming. If your laptop doesn’t have the hardware to run your chosen game on your preferred settings at near 360FPS, then it’s largely a pointless expense. Check out our best gaming laptop page for the best high refresh rate examples.
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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