Best graphics cards for 1080p 144Hz gaming in 2023
Reaching the highest settings on AAA games at 144FPS requires a strong GPU.
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If you’re into high refresh rate gaming a 1080p gaming monitor is a good starting point. Games should work much better on 1080p vs 1440p. Also, you will be able to play with higher details vs 1440p using the same graphics cards. Finally, you can reach 144Hz in most eSports games with budget graphics cards. If you’re looking for a new GPU but aren’t interested in best GPUs for 1080p high-refresh rate gaming see our graphics cards section. It features a ton of different GPU buying guides.
Now, if you want to be on the bleeding edge, running AAA games on max details, be ready to pay a lot. The ultimate 1080p 144Hz experience demands great sacrifices in the form of a bunch of bills getting thrown out of your wallet. The good news is that our best graphics cards for 1080p 144Hz gaming list includes GPUs for every 1080p 144Hz gaming scenario. You can check it our below.
Look, the EVGA RTX 2080 Super Black Gaming might seem like an insane recommendation for 1080p gaming, but hear us out. Even at 1080p, there isn’t a GPU capable of running every single game at 144Hz with all settings maxed.
Most titles will reach that magic mark. Lots will hover around the 120Hz area. The most demanding ones, being poorly optimized or using advanced visual settings made for future cards, will run around the 80-FPS mark. And that’s when using 2080 Ti.
So yes, 2080 Super is the best GPU for 1080p 144Hz overall. RTX 2080 Ti is better, yes, but the price is insane. While it’s justifiable to get one for 1440p (and that’s a stretch) getting one for 1080p gaming is ludicrous.
The RTX 2080 Super will perform almost the same with a 50 percent lower price. Lots of games will work at 140 frames on max details. A good chunk will reach that goal after lowering a couple of the most demanding settings.
Those offering negligible visual improvements that are not visible in motion. And a select few (AC Odyssey, Metro Exodus, RDR 2) will never reach 100 frames or more, except if you’re ready to play on medium settings.
2. ASUS RTX 2070 Super OC: Best bang-for-buck Nvidia graphics cards for 1080p 144Hz AAA gaming
If the RTX 2080 Super is too expensive for you, or if you don’t want to get that overpowered GPU for 1080p gaming, check out the 2070 Super. The RTX 2070 Super is an excellent bang-for-buck GPU for 1080p 144Hz gaming. This card will run eSports titles in silky smooth 144 FPS.
The ASUS RTX 2070 Super will run most games around 100 FPS or higher at max settings. Unlike RTX 2080 Super, you will have to lower a couple of settings to achieve 144 FPS performance in a good amount of recent AAA games.
A couple of games (AC: Odyssey, RDR 2, Borderlands 3) will have to be played at high or medium settings in case you want to achieve 144 FPS performance. But, if you’re okay with AAA titles running at around 100 frames with max details, the RTX 2070 Super will achieve that goal without issues.
3. Sapphire Nitro+ RX 5700 XT: Best bang-for-buck AMD GPU for 1080p 144Hz AAA gaming
The Sapphire Nitro+ RX 5700 XT is the Goldilocks choice for 1080p 144Hz gaming. It can run most AAA titles at 120 FPS or higher after lowering the most demanding visual settings. Settings difference of which is noticeable only by zooming in screenshots.
And yes, the aforementioned graphics hogs will require lowering a good chunk of visual settings. But you can achieve a steady 60 FPS or higher at max settings even in those most demanding games of today.
It’s worth noting that the RX 5700 XT suffered greatly from driver issues. AMD reportedly fixed most of the issues with driver updates. But, it’s better to get this card from a store that supports no-questions-asked returns.
4. Gigabyte RTX 2060 OC: Best value graphics card for 1080p 144Hz AAA gaming
Now we’re entering the mid-range arena. If you’re okay with lowering most settings to medium the best value GPU for fast refresh rate 1080p gaming is the RTX 2060. This is a capable card and a perfect match for any game running at 1080p.
The Gigabyte RTX 2060 OC has less video memory than the RTX 2060 Super, but 6GB of memory is enough for 1080p gaming. Sure, games such as Doom Eternal have proved that even 6 gigs of VRAM aren’t enough for max textures, even at 1080p. But those titles are outliers.
For all other purposes, the RTX 2060 is a great choice. Expect gaming performance of about 70-90 frames in most AAA games with max settings. That means lowering settings a bit more to achieve 100 FPS or higher performance. But still, you’ll have a great visual experience. Of course, indie and eSports titles will run like a charm even on max settings.
And even in titles where the medium is required for 100 FPS and higher performance you always have the choice to simply turn on settings to the max and play at 60 FPS if a game is too unattractive on medium settings.
5. Zotac Gaming GTX 1660 Super: Best esports GPU for 1080p 144Hz gaming
The best budget GPU for playing esports games at 1080p and 144Hz is the EVGA GTX 1650 Super SC Ultra Gaming. Esports gamers who also like to plan an occasional AAA titles will be happy to hear that our budget choice is capable of running most modern games with high/max settings and 60 FPS.
Graphics hogs will run at 60 FPS only after you change visual settings to medium, but that’s still a great result for a 1080p budget card. eSports titles will run great. Turn down settings to medium/low and you’ll enjoy a silky smooth 144Hz experience. Great result for the price.
The GTX 1650 Super is a cool and quiet card. It will have low temps inside any PC case. But if you want the best thermals do check our best airflow PC case article. Overall, the GTX 1650 Super can be used for 1080p high refresh rate gaming, just know what you’ll get before buying this one.
Best 1080p 144Hz GPUs can’t deliver their goods without a fast CPU
Yes, high refresh rate gaming demands a capable CPU. As in our best 1440p 144Hz graphics card piece, the minimum for 1080p high refresh rate gaming would be Core i5 9400 (or its 9400F variant without the iGPU) or Ryzen 5 3600. They’re both 6-core CPUs with Ryzen’s advantage being hyperthreading.
If you want a future-proof CPU, get the Ryzen. Also, Ryzen 5 3600 is much better for people who use their PC for work, not only for gaming.
Anything more powerful is always welcome. Something like the Core i7-9700K or Ryzen 7 3700 would be a sweet spot. Again, Ryzen is our personal favorite but the i7-9700K is still great for gaming-only builds.
You also need 16 GB of RAM. 8 gigs aren’t enough for some games. For instance, if you’re having a top-of-the-line rig and only 8 GB of RAM you will experience stutter in some titles. Do note that both AMD and Intel CPUs like fast memory. if you like to learn more you could read our RAM vs CPU piece.