Are you considering buying a new monitor? But the technical specifications are confusing you. Which refresh rate to go for? Will 60 or 75-hertz monitor be better, or should you go for a higher number like 120 Hz or 144 Hz. What do these numbers actually mean?
While technical specifications may at times seem confusing, largely due to lack of information, these nuances are what differentiate between an entry-level and a high-quality monitor. Understanding these technical characteristics will help you choose the best monitor according to your need.
In this guide, we will take a look at a very critical characteristic of a monitor – Refresh rate. It has a direct impact on the image quality and visual comfort concerning what is displayed on the screen.
Table of Contents
- What is the Refresh Rate of a Monitor?
- What Does Hz Actually Mean?
- Importance of Refresh Rate
- Refresh Rate Options
- 60Hz vs. 120Hz vs. 144Hz vs. 240Hz: Which Gaming Monitor is Best For You?
What is the Refresh Rate of a Monitor?
What appears on the screens as a movement, like cars rushing across the streets or a plane zooming past the horizon, is actually a series of still images displayed sequentially one after the other. But they change so quickly that your mind perceives them as actually moving. The displayed image changes or refreshes so fast that our eyes could not administer the difference.
The number of times a second the screen renews or refreshes the displayed images is known as the refresh rate. As the phenomenon is periodic and measured in seconds, it depicts a frequency and is denoted by Hz. Now it will be easy for you to understand the refresh rate numbers. A monitor with a refresh rate of 60 Hz means that the image is refreshed 60 times a second or 60 images zoom past the screen in a second.
What Does Hz Actually Mean?
In your search for the best monitor available in the market, you must have come across a technical specification denoted in Hertz or Hz in short. So what does hertz (Hz) actually means? Why the technical feature it determines, is emphasized so much as a key indicator for the monitor’s performance and visual output?
Hertz or Hz denotes frequency. It’s how many times a thing happens in a second. For example, if something has a value of 30Hz, it means it occurs 30 times a second. When we talk about Hz for monitors, it indicates the number of times images refresh in a second. That brings us to the technical quantity that the Hz measures in the monitor – the refresh rate. The rule of thumb is the higher number of hertz means you will get more images per second.
Importance of Refresh Rate
As we have seen above, a higher refresh rate means a higher number of images displayed on the screen per second. So refresh rate directly relates to the output visuals. Monitors capable of a higher refresh rate will offer a smoother, more fluid display.
A low refresh rate can cause flickering on the screen. Moreover, if you are playing games where visual information is crucial, a difference in refresh rate can greatly impact the gaming experience.
Refresh Rate Options
The refresh rate is tied to smoother displays and better visuals. It is here that the allure of a higher refresh rate starts, and you see manufacturers boasting about 120 Hz, 144 Hz, and even 240 Hz refresh rate displays. As you have a working understanding of the refresh rate, let’s look at some of the options available in the market.
60 Hz: The standard
60 Hz is the most common standard for refresh rate. A 60 Hz monitor can handle a maximum of 60 frames per second. You will get a relatively smooth and visually appealing display while playing movies and adventure or strategy games. 60Hz monitors are ideal for novice gamers.
120Hz: High-Speed Fun
Double the refresh rate from 60 to 120 Hz, and you move to a level of high fluidity and more sharpness. 120Hz monitors show 120 images per second. 120 Hz monitor will be particularly good at displaying high-speed content like Sports or Gaming.
144Hz: Superfluid Action and Gaming
144Hz refresh rate exceeds the normal viewing experience and is only good for extensive visuals and high-speed action like action and shooting games. While you will definitely get an ultra-smooth display but most of the media and normal games operate well below the 144 FPS threshold.
That being said, a 144 Hz monitor does offer less blur than the standard 60 Hz monitor. Reduced blur means sharper images, which means you can make out greater details in videos involving fast-paced action.
240Hz: Ultra-Realistic and Super Fast
With a refresh rate of 240Hz, we are only talking about gaming and not just regular gaming but fast-paced, hyper-realistic competitive gaming. On a 240 Hz monitor, all the game action will be displayed at extreme fluidity and smoothness and will almost feel like a real movement.
60Hz vs. 120Hz vs. 144Hz vs. 240Hz: Which Gaming Monitor is Best For You?
If you have to make a choice between 60 Hz, 120 Hz, 144Hz, or a 240Hz monitor, you must make a decision based on the intended use of the monitor. For a normal viewing experience, like casual gaming and Netflix videos, a 60 Hz monitor with better resolution, graphics, and visuals will be more than enough.
If you are making a switch from a 60 Hz monitor and you are more oriented towards gaming, then instead of going for a 120 Hz refresh rate, a 144 Hz monitor will be a better choice. It’s because there won’t be much difference in the price for that extra 24 Hz, and at the end of the day, you will have a monitor that can support both casual and high-end gaming.
As far as the 240 Hz monitor goes, the giant in the refresh rate arena, it’s a must if you are deep into competitive gaming. At that level where things move ultra-fast, even the tiniest of extra visual details can give you a huge advantage. However, you must have a supportive GPU and processor capable enough to handle the ultra-high refresh rate.
In the end, all the comparison and technical details come down to one thing, what’s your purpose of buying a monitor. If you are just into movies and normal games, a refresh rate of 60 to 120 Hz is good enough. For high-end gaming, though, you also have to take into consideration the power of your GPU and processor you got.
You will need a processor powerful enough to relay gameplay data and a Graphics Processor fast enough to render this data to create the images at par with the refresh rate of the monitor. If you got a power-packed gaming rig and are a serious gamer, 144 Hz or 240 Hz monitors is what you should go for to enjoy high-speed gaming action to its full extent.