You’re just shopping for a new gaming monitor, and you’re presented with a wall of letters, numbers and even the general claptrap. Well, it’s claptrap only if you don’t understand them. I’m taking about the monitor’s refresh rate. How does it affect the performance and experience of a gaming monitor? And more specifically, what should you be looking out for when buying a new gaming monitor?
Let’s dive in together.
But first things first.
What exactly is a gaming monitor’s refresh rate?
As the name suggests, the monitor’s refresh rate is the number of times per second that the screen refreshes the image or picture on it. In other words, the refresh rate is the number of times per second that any image displayed on the screen needs to be restarted to prevent the flicker when human eyes view it. It is measured in Hz (Hertz).
Like or not, refresh rate has an impact on the performance of your monitor. Therefore, as a gamer, it is vital to take into account the graphics setup that you have a better performing monitor. Depending on your monitor and the graphics set up, the refresh rate is something that you can always play around with and alter its settings.
Modern gaming monitors have alterable refresh rates that you can always adjust in any OS platform. You can achieve this by right-clicking on your Desktop>Display Settings>Advanced Display Settings and finally clicking on “Display Adapter Properties.” Once there, you’ll select the different values of refresh rates if your gaming monitor supports those variable refresh rates.
So, what refresh rates should you look for when purchasing a gaming monitor?
Strictly speaking, a gaming monitor whose refresh rate is 60 Hz can you provide with a bare minimum sound quality and hard experience when watching movies. However, if you are a gamer, a 60 Hz monitor may not produce the experience that you should have during gaming.
I know you’re now asking, “Why is 60 Hz insufficient for excellent performance in monitors?”
Well, the number of times per second that the screen refreshes the image affects the differences between the frames—also known as frame rate—placing a hard ceiling on visible frame rate. This has an adverse outcome of your monitor during gaming. Improving the refresh rate can increase your gaming experience.
Note, though, that the gaming monitor’s refresh rate isn’t the same as the frame rate. While increasing the refresh rate can have a positive impact on the quality of gaming, it doesn’t affect the frame rate since the game content determines the frame rate.
Here are reasons why you should consider a 120Hz to 240Hz monitor for a better gaming experience:
#1: There’s improved motion resolution
Obviously, the first main benefit of higher refresh rate is the improved motion resolution. Motion resolution is the perceived sharpness of the moving picture. Blurring can occur if you’re using a low refresh rate because the human brain processes individual sets of the video frames on the monitor displays.
A higher refresh rate helps to decrease the blur by giving the brain more information to process therefore minimizing the impact of perceived blur. However, unlike computer systems, our brains aren’t made to the same specifications. While other people can recognize the blur—even if the refresh rate is high—others can’t simply make the grade.
#2: There’s reduced screen tearing during gaming
As I had mentioned earlier, the monitor’s refresh rate and frame rate aren’t the same things. During gaming, the difference between them can cause an effect that’s commonly known as screen tearing. I know the term screen tearing seems confusing now. Let me break down this jargon for you.
If you set your monitor to a particular refresh rate, it is anticipated that the video card will split the frames at the refresh rate that you have specified for a quality gaming experience. In some cases, this may not happen. When your video card splits the frames that you’re watching on your screen at the rate that is well beyond the monitor’s refresh rate, then screen tearing happens.
Since more frames are being split out than what the refresh rate can handle, half-frames will be shown on the screen as opposed to full frames that the human brain will quickly notice. A higher refresh rate can help improve gaming experience by giving the brain more information to process therefore minimizing the impact of frame splits.
#3: There is improved responsiveness during gaming
A low refresh rate such as 60 Hz can never have a visible input lag that is below 16.67 milliseconds. This is because the amount of time that passes from one refresh to another. On the other hand, a high refresh rate such as 120 Hz halves the visible input lag time to 8.33 milliseconds, therefore, improving the gaming experience.
Putting it all together
Do you need a 60 Hz gaming monitor or a 120 Hz/240 Hz monitor? Strictly speaking, gaming monitors should have higher refresh rates. If you’re considering to buy one, then you can consider the G-sync based ASUS ROG SWIFT PG279Q. It’s a 27-inch monitor with a IPS panel made especially for gaming purposes and is one of the best gaming monitors right now. And according to me, a 144hz monitor is more than enough for regular gaming unless you are a professional gamer. That’s it for today. We will see you in our next post! 😊