Looking at the massive array of features, anyone can easily get confused and fall into a dilemma of what and how to choose the right gaming monitor. From panels to resolutions to inputs, everything plays a significant role in gaming. One such feature is the refresh rate. Unlike panels, it does not improve your color accuracy or resolution. So, what role does it play in gaming? What is the best refresh rate for gaming? Let’s find out.
What Is Refresh Rate?
The refresh rate of a monitor refers to the speed at which a monitor changes the images in seconds. Meaning, a monitor with 60 Hertz per second can change 60 images per second. Hence, a faster rate offers smoother image quality.
Refresh rates not only applies to monitors but also to other display devices like TV, cinema projector, and smartphones.
For example- an old PAL/NTSC TV run at 50/60 HZ while a cinema runs at 24 HZ. When it comes to monitors, they usually come with a common refresh rate of 60HZ.
However, for advanced gaming, the requirement goes as higher as 240HZ.
When you are playing high-end games like overwatch, counter-strikes, Fortnite, etc., you most probably require a monitor with faster refresh rates.
For example, all aforementioned games (including more) can run at 100+ frames per second.
Therefore, you need a monitor that can keep up with your GPU and let you have an edge over other competitive players.
Flickering of images happens mostly in old CRT monitors, compared to a flat LCD monitor, where flickering is less visible even with a lower refresh rate.
However, this rule doesn’t apply in high-end games. Most games nowadays support extravagant color spectrum and high FPS.
As a result, you need a monitor with high refresh rates as 144 HZ or 240 Hz.
Although the human brain and eyes don’t process more than 60 HZ, you can still see a noticeable difference in gameplay while moving your mouse or looking around the corner of the screen.
Are FPS & Refresh Rates The Same?
We often find people getting confused between frame rate and refresh rates. Despite not sharing any similarities, they remain dependable on each other in some cases.
Frame rate per second (FPS)-A frame contains a single still image. When that image gets combined with other still images, it creates an illusion of natural motion.
So, when we say 60 fps, it means, your monitor displays 60 of these individual images back to back in one single second.
Your GPU and CPU have to work in tandem to produce a frame rate. They do this by evaluating the texture, positions, AI, and physics behind the objects in the scene.
Upon setting a frame, your GPU distributes the single frame into pixels as per your monitor’s resolution and transmits the information to the display.
The quality of the frame entirely depends upon the capability of your CPU and GPU.
FPS refers to the number of frames your monitor produces each second, while the refresh rate decides how many times your monitor refreshes a displayed image.
Generally, the refresh rate of a monitor doesn’t affect the FPS of a GPU.
However, a monitor with a low refresh rate cannot display all the frames of a GPU producing higher FPS.
Technically, if your GPU generates 90 FPS but have a monitor with 60 HZ, then you will still receive a capped version of that image.
Different Types Of Refresh Rate
Apart from improving the display of the screen, a high refresh rate also improves your gaming performance.
The most common refresh rates that are available in the marketing are 60 Hz, 75 Hz, 144 Hz, and 240 Hz.
1. 60 Hz Monitors
As mentioned earlier, a 60 Hz monitor can display up to 60 images per second, which seems fair for most newbies. Since the monitor works perfectly with the generic built-in graphics card, you don’t have to need any additional investment as well.
You can easily play adventure games like assassin’s creed, GTA V, and Minecraft without noticing any visual glitch or performance loss.
2. 75 Hz Monitor
The 75Hz is an ideal monitor refresh rate for gaming if you like playing racing and shooter games.
Monitors with 75 Hz provides 25 percent more images than a 60HZ monitor. If you are just starting as a gamer, then you wouldn’t see any difference.
While professional gamers may experience some stutter since they already have played in a high refresh rate.
There is not much price difference between 75Hz and 60 Hz. So, you can easily find a 75 Hz monitor at a price range of 60 Hz monitor.
However, make sure you are not missing out on other crucial features.
3. 144 Hz monitor
If you love fast-paced games and have a decent budget, then we highly recommend you go for 144 HZ monitors. Just by looking at the numbers, you can clearly infer the difference in picture quality.
The monitor displays exceptional images without stuttering or screen tearing. However, make sure you have the right GPU and CPU configuration to get the best out of the monitor.
Recommended GPUs- Zotac GTX 1660, Gigabyte Windforce Gaming 1660 Ti, MSI RTX 2060 Super Ventus, and Sapphire-PULSE-RX-5700-8G-GDDR6.
4. 240Hz Monitor
Without a doubt, 240Hz monitors deliver timeless motion quality. However, unless you are a hardcore gamer, you are most likely to miss out on those visible differences.
60 Hz: Best for newbies or gamers who only plays adventure and strategy games.
75 Hz: Recommended for novice to mid-level gamers for playing a shooter and racing games.
144 Hz: Great for experts who spend hours in shooting games.
240 Hz: The Best Refresh Rate For Gaming. Highly recommended for experienced gamers and esports athletes.
G-Sync and FreeSync- Enabled Monitors
As we discussed earlier, a monitor with 144 Hz will only work to its optimum, when it receives 144 fps from a capable video card.
However, there is one more thing to it. Unlike refresh rates, the FPS in GPU keeps on changing every second.
As a result, it affects the refresh rates of the monitor, leading to screen tearing and stuttering on the screen.
To combat this issue, monitor manufacturers have introduced technologies like G-sync and Freesync.
The technology synchronizes your monitor’s refresh rates with the fps of the video card. In other words, it turns the refresh rate of your monitor from static to variable.
Is a Higher Refresh Rate Better For Your Eyes?
Everybody see motions differently. For example, If you are sitting idle and see an object in motion, then your brain will send a different kind of signal. The signal changes if you start walking alongside the motion. Usually, when you play a game staring constantly at the middle of the screen, your eyes don’t respond to refresh rate higher than 60 Hz. Also, moving your eyes rapidly around the corner of the screen activates your peripheral vision. In such situations, your eyes start reacting to higher response rates more than the usual 60 Hz.
This is why technicians advise professional gamers to pick a Gaming monitor with a refresh rate higher than 60Hz. A monitor with a high refresh rate always deem better for gaming, but its effect on eyes remain a topic of multiple interpretations. However, most specialists argue that a higher refresh rate can limit eye fatigue at a certain level.
What Refresh Rate Can Your Eyes See?
No doubt, a monitor with a high refresh rate offers a better gaming experience than a low-end monitor. To clarify, your eye can capture 60 frames per second but the number may even go higher in a different situation. While the actual number requires more conclusive evidence but considering a ballpark figure, it can stay within the limit of 120 Hz to 180 Hz. Moreover, you will find monitors with refresh rates as higher as 200 frames per second.
According to research, our brain can smoothly execute in between 7 to 14 images per second. The best refresh rate for the brain is considered as 60 HZ. However, some people can easily recognize a visible difference between a 60 Hz and 90 Hz monitor.
A 60Hz or 75 Hz monitor may make an experienced gamer might miss out on those crucial split seconds. Meanwhile, buying a monitor with a high refresh rate may not give you the expected result unless you achieve that expertise in gaming. At the end of the day, it’s your preference that really matters. In case we have missed something important, do let us know in the comment section below. Our readers will appreciate your input for sure.