Can You Connect a 60Hz Laptop to a 144Hz Monitor?

So you’re wondering if you can connect a 60Hz laptop to a 144Hz monitor. Most laptops, even ones with good mobile graphics cards, often have built-in monitors that are limited to 60Hz.

What happens if you connect a 144Hz monitor to a 60Hz laptop? Will you be able to play games at 144Hz? Let’s find out.

Can You Connect a 60Hz Laptop to a 144Hz Monitor?

laptop connected to external gaming monitor

Yes. You can connect a 60Hz laptop to a 144Hz monitor if your laptop has a dedicated graphics card and supports either HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, or DisplayPort video output.

If you select the 144Hz monitor as the primary display (and disable the laptop’s built-in display) you can get the full benefit of 144Hz.

In most cases, it will work, but there are some factors you should consider. For one, if you’re planning on gaming on a 144Hz monitor, your laptop should have a graphics card that can output 144 or more frames a second.

Bear in mind, laptops can get quite hot when running games at high framerates, so make sure to keep an eye on temperatures. Another tip is to place the laptop on a flat surface and make sure the air vents are not blocked. You could also consider buying a laptop stand. 

Why is My 144Hz Monitor Locked at 60Hz?

A common issue people have when they connect a 60Hz laptop to a 144Hz monitor is the 144Hz monitor remains locked at 60Hz. The solution is to disable duplicate mode, set the 144Hz monitor as the primary display, and disable the laptop’s monitor.

The reason it happens is that in duplicate mode the laptop syncs the external monitor’s refresh rate with the internal refresh rate, so both displays are set to 60Hz.

To disable the laptop’s screen, right-click on Windows desktop and select Display Settings. You’ll see your connected displays. The first one should be your laptop’s main display. The second should be your external 144Hz monitor.

Scroll down, click the “Multiple Displays” drop-down menu, and select “Show on only 2”. Your screen should flicker and your laptop’s screen should turn off.

Once you change that, the external monitor should bump up to 144Hz.

Recommended 144Hz Monitor: ASUS VG278QR 27″

Monitor Locked at 120Hz:

If your external monitor is locked at 120Hz even though it supports 144Hz, the problem could be with HDMI. Certain monitors only support 144Hz over DisplayPort. Make sure to check your monitor’s manual to confirm which port supports 144Hz.

Unfortunately, not many laptops have DisplayPort, so you need to make sure the 144Hz monitor you buy supports 144Hz over HDMI.

You can also try using USB-C to DisplayPort adapter.

What If You Don’t See The Option for 144Hz?

Chances are your laptop does not support outputting 144Hz. It could be because your HDMI port is using HDMI 1.2 or an older version which only supports 60Hz. It could also be your graphics card or Intel HD only supports 60Hz.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing that you can do besides buy a new laptop.

However, most laptops designed in the last decade or so should be able to output 144Hz to an external monitor.

Can You Connect a 144Hz Monitor to Your Laptop If It Does Not Have a Graphics Card?

Even if your laptop does not have a graphics card, you can still connect a 144Hz monitor. Most laptops have integrated graphics cards such as Intel UHD that can handle the Windows user interface at 144Hz.

However it won’t be able to run games anywhere near 144 FPS, so the only benefit that you’ll get is a more responsive user interface, which can be easier on the eyes.

There is a variety of Intel HD Graphics. I recommend looking up the version on your computer and checking which resolutions and refresh rate it supports.

Check Integrated Graphics:

To find out what integrated graphics you have on your computer, open Device Manager, and expand the Display Adaptors menu.

You should see Intel HD Graphics there. Research the number and check the specifications sheet to see what display settings it supports.

Laptop Does Not Have HDMI or DisplayPort:

If your laptop does not have HDMI or DisplayPort you can still connect a 144Hz monitor by using a USB-C to HDMI or USB-C to DisplayPort Dongle.

However, your USB-C port needs to support ALT Mode, most modern laptops with USB-C support it by default.

This is a good method for connecting a MacBook to a 144Hz external monitor.

How to Manually Change Refresh Rate on a Laptop:

Before you open a game, it’s best to confirm your monitor is actually running at 144Hz. There are a couple of ways to do that. If your laptop has a Geforce card, right-click on a free space on the desktop, and select NVIDIA Control Panel.

Once it opens, browse to the Change Resolution option and you should see the current resolution and refresh rate. If it’s not on 144Hz, select the refresh rate drop-down menu and see if you can manually change it to 144Hz.

Another way to check your refresh rate is to open the Windows Display menu, select the 144Hz monitor (2), and scroll down to Advanced Display Settings. The menu will show information about the monitor, it should say Refresh Rate: 144.000Hz.

If not, click on Display Adaptor Properties for Display 2, select the monitor tab, and select 144Hz from the Screen Refresh Rate drop-down menu.

Recommended Gaming Laptops:

1 – Acer Nitro 5

2 – Acer Predator Helios 300

3 – Razer Blade 14

Just remember, gaming laptops are not future-proof. 


So now you know that you can connect a 60Hz laptop to a 144Hz monitor and it should work with no issues. If you have a powerful gaming laptop that can run games at 144+ FPS but the monitor is only 60Hz, now you know what to do.

In fact, using an external monitor with a laptop is a good idea for a couple of reasons. For one, you get a bigger screen, and two, the laptop remains stationary, allowing it to cool down, and you reduce the risk of dropping or damaging it.

What do you think? Drop a comment below.

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