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Tech Tom's Relies On: BenQ Zowie 144Hz Monitor

One doesn't transition from working on a 13" laptop to having a complete desktop system with multiple 24" monitors in one fell swoop. It happens gradually: You build a system, find a monitor, and live with it until a voice starts whispering in the back of your head about how nice it would be to have even more screen space. Eventually, if you're anything like me, you give in to that sweet temptation and buy a second monitor.

Making the transition from working on a relatively small laptop to having a full desk setup wasn't easy for me. I'd used a laptop as my primary device for my entire professional life, and I played games on consoles and handheld devices, not any of the laptops I've ever owned. So when I built my first system, I decided to get a 24" 1440p @ 60Hz monitor that could handle my primarily text-based job as well as any other display needs.

Then I started to take an interest in PC gaming. I bought a GTX 1080, used it to push the measly 60 frames per second to my monitor, and marveled at how pretty everything looked in 1440p. But I had a budding obsession with Overwatch and other first-person shooters that ultimately made me think that maybe all the enthusiasts weren't whackadoodles for playing on 144Hz (or higher) monitors. Enter the BenQ Zowie XL2411.

It's hard to explain how much smoother games look when you push 300FPS to a 144Hz monitor instead of pushing 60FPS to a 60Hz monitor. I'm no frame snob--it doesn't bother me to play 30 or 60FPS games on my Switch or PlayStation 4--but going from the 144Hz monitor to a 60Hz monitor is like ripping half the pages from a flipbook. Everything gets choppy and things get much harder to follow.

I suspected that would be the case going in--countless reviews and forum posts have espoused the virtues of 144Hz monitors. The hard part was deciding on what monitor I needed. Should I shell out the extra money for a G-Sync monitor? Did I need any other bells and whistles? Because I have no problem getting at least 144FPS, I decided that I didn't need G-Sync, which saved me some hassle and a couple hundred dollars.

With that decision point out of the way, I wanted to find something that people trusted. Scouring community pages, Twitch stream commands, and other resources showed me that many professionals swear by BenQ's Zowie monitors. Amazon just happened to have one on sale, so I picked it up, and I've been happy ever since. I hooked up the monitor, fiddled with the appropriate settings, and got used to that 144Hz life.

Now it's hard to imagine going back to a single-monitor setup, let alone a 13" laptop. I constantly have everything work-related on one monitor (hi, bosses!) while putting a stream, YouTube video, or other piece of #content on the other monitor. I also use one monitor to stream events, for example, while taking notes on the other. Having all this extra screen space just flatly makes working from home much more enjoyable.

  • AgentLozen
    Hey Nathaniel! Thanks for sharing your 144Hz story with us. Has Tomshardware ever run a story on the BenQ Zowie XL2411? I tried to Google for one but couldn't find anything.

    Here's a link to the Best Gaming Monitors article: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-monitors,4533.html How do you think the XL2411 compares to other monitors that Tomshardware recommends? If I were in the market for a monitor with these specifications, would you say that this one should be on my short list?

    The XL2411 seems to be an inexpensive 144Hz monitor. Was there a price restriction that dictated your purchase? Also, the XL2411 uses a TN panel. Was the panel type a consideration for you when you were looking for monitors? Generally, how is the picture quality of the XL2411 compared to competing monitors? Do you think in the future you would be willing to spend more on an IPS or VA monitor?

    While I was double checking to make sure my post wasn't retarded, I saw that I used a lot of question marks. That indicates to me that this news article left me with a lot of thoughts that weren't addressed. Consequently, the content here comes off as anemic and superficial. With a little more detail I could better appreciate what you wrote here.
    Reply
  • Brian_R170
    20922441 said:
    I saw that I used a lot of question marks. That indicates to me that this news article left me with a lot of thoughts that weren't addressed. Consequently, the content here comes off as anemic and superficial. With a little more detail I could better appreciate what you wrote here.

    My first thought when I saw "Tech Tom's Relies On: ..." was that it's an advertising plug, not technical review.

    Reply
  • lperreault21
    20922975 said:
    20922441 said:
    I saw that I used a lot of question marks. That indicates to me that this news article left me with a lot of thoughts that weren't addressed. Consequently, the content here comes off as anemic and superficial. With a little more detail I could better appreciate what you wrote here.

    My first thought when I saw "Tech Tom's Relies On: ..." was that it's an advertising plug, not technical review.

    yeah, that is what it seems like

    Reply
  • ElectrO_90
    Total and unashamedly sponsored blog.
    Reply
  • Colin_10
    Regarding that voice in the back of your head that whispers for more screen space. I find that it depends on what games I'm playing at any given time; back when I played Eve online I had no problem running a 3 monitor setup (all 3 at 60hz), but now that I mostly play Overwatch I find that even having 2 monitors kind of a waste of real estate, and considering my desk space is much smaller than it used to be, those 2 extra monitors are waiting boxed in my basement. So now I just go for a higher quality single monitor setup. I guess it really just comes down to, "how well does the game I am currently obsessed with run in windowed mode?" If it tends to crash because the game only works properly in full screen mode; when I have to alt tab out a lot to look at the other screen it is kind of pointless to have more screens.
    Reply