The PlayStation 5 is Sony’s fastest-selling console, no doubt due to its exceptional specs regarding load time, 4k resolution, and improved controllers that far exceeds the performance of its predecessor and many of the console’s current competitors. Amongst these specifications, gamers are curious whether their new PS5 is capable of supporting 144Hz refresh rates akin to those offered by increasingly popular PC gaming monitors.
The PS5 does not support 144Hz. Instead, it is equipped to support 60 Hz or 120 Hz (meaning your paired monitor/screen will refresh 60 or 120 times per second) for 1080p or 4K resolutions. The reason for this has more to do with Sony’s prioritization of televisions than the console itself.
In this article, we will explain why the PS5 does not support 144hz both in terms of design and as a conscious choice by Sony. As you read, you’ll learn what prevents the PS5 from supporting this spec, what it would need to do so, and what the future might hold for PlayStation and 144Hz gaming.
Why Does the PS5 Not Support 144Hz?
Console specs play a crucial role in gaming experience, but it is safe to say that nowadays, not all gamers prioritize them equally. For instance, competitive gamers want high response rates to give them an edge versus more casual gamers who might prioritize resolution for superb and immersive graphics.
With the rise of professional and competitive gaming, more gamers are noticing the edge CPU gaming has in the realm of responsiveness, and this is partially due to their systems supporting 144Hz monitors and above.
The result is a noticeable shift to CPU and monitors over the once dominating consoles of PlayStation and Xbox, but with the release of the PS5, after a seven-year gap from the PS4, gamers were hopeful it would have specs more comparable to CPU gaming only to be disappointed by its 60 or 120 Hz support. The question is, what is holding these consoles back?
There are two overarching reasons as to why the PS5 does not support refresh rates above 120Hz. The first being that the PS5 isn’t built with components that can handle that workload and degree of strain required for 144Hz without risking component integrity and overall functionality. The second is that PS5s simply aren’t commonly paired with 144Hz screens.
Let’s dive into each of these reasons a bit more closely so you can fully understand what would be necessary for PS5 to support 144Hz, if not now, then perhaps in the next generation.
Monitors Vs. Televisions
We’re going to discuss this a bit out of order, but first thing’s first; having a refresh rate of 144 frames per second really comes down to having a monitor or television that is built to support this spec (to an extent; of course, you’re paired device needs to be able to support it as well).
On average, most computer monitors and televisions have a refresh rate of 60Hz but where the noticeable difference arises between these two is that televisions have a much lower cap for this spec than monitors.
It is standard for televisions to have a 60Hz refresh rate with the occasional option that peaks at 120Hz, whereas monitors can potentially support 144Hz, 165hz, 240Hz and above, resulting in generally lower input lag, higher refresh rates, and faster response times.
Apart from the recent announcement by Samsung that they’re creating the world’s first 4k 144Hz television, purchasing a 144Hz TV simply wasn’t an option. While most PlayStation owners pair their console with a television, it is possible to pair them with monitors using the right USB cord, you would just have to downscale to 60 or 120 Hz.
So, why didn’t Sony build the PS5 with components that would allow it to support monitors with 144Hz capabilities? The overarching answer is that they’ve actively chosen not to. When asked why the new PS5 doesn’t feature 144Hz or 1440p resolutions, Sony’s PlayStation hardware boss Masayasu Ito and PlayStation platform boss Hideaki Nishino stated that the company is choosing to prioritize support for TVs.
At first glance, this is a baffling decision considering the rise in demand and popularity of CPU monitors and their exceptional gaming capabilities, but once you consider the fact that Sony also thrives in television production, the intentional refrain from supporting monitors becomes less surprising.
Components Necessary for 144Hz Gaming
One of the reasons many gamers are astounded that the PS5 doesn’t support 144Hz is because the technology is available. When it comes to this and 1440p, Microsoft owned consoles are quickly exceeding PlayStation’s capabilities.
So, let’s say, hypothetically, that Sony decided they want to create the PS5 with 144Hz compatible components that would allow gamers to connect the console to a 144Hz monitor when a television isn’t an option; what would they need?
In layman’s terms, the PS5’s hardware, in its current state, is not powerful enough to support 144Hz. The main components that would need to be boosted are its GPU and CPU, as these directly affect FPS (GPU speed controls FPS speed and CPU needs to be on par with GPU capabilities).
The PS5 features:
- an Oberan GPU with a GPU clock of 2233MHz
- a memory clock of 1750MHz
- 16 GB of memory
- x86-64-AMD Ryzen Zen 8 Cores / 16 Threads at 3.5GHz (variable frequency).
While this a significant upgrade from the PS4’s hardware, it isn’t enough to support 144Hz. The console is simply incapable of providing and executing vital game instructions fast enough to provide the monitor with the high number of frames necessary for it to then produce a high-refresh rate. Even if you opted to connect your PS5 to a 144Hz, there would be too much bottlenecking to fully utilize the spec.
The PS5 is also missing helpful features that would potentially allow it to reach 144Hz on television, such as auto low-latency mode (ALLM), which would allow it to prompt and enable ‘Game mode.’
This input would significantly reduce that amount of time the TV needs to process video input, increasing the chances of higher FPS. True, these aren’t the only components and specs that affect the PS5’s ability to support 144Hz, but they are some of the most crucial.
As it currently stands, the PS5 is incapable of supporting 144Hz and whether next-gen consoles will follow suit is currently unknown. Many gamers are hopeful that the upcoming PS5 Pro will finally provide this desirable spec, but if Sony continues to adamantly tailor their consoles to televisions, it might be several years before they decide to include components to support this refresh rate.