In the dynamics of the ever-changing gaming world we found ourselves in, one is left wondering whether 60hz monitors are of any use. When it comes to gaming, most serious players will tell you more refresh rate is always better and that 60hz monitors don’t make a wonderful gaming experience.
But the truth is, it is a bit complicated than that:
First of all, a higher refresh rate enhances in-game responsiveness, particularly if you are if your computer is pumping out a lot of FPS in those competitive games. But You will want to max out at about 240 Frames Per Second, the reason being, after that, it won’t make any difference; you will just be putting too much strain on your gaming PC.
Secondly, getting a monitor with a refresh rate exceeding 60hz allows objects on the screen to update faster and smoothly, but only if you have Frames Per Second to match; there is still a high chance you will be restricted by the in-game animation speed.
Most games have animation speeds between 24 – 60 FPS, the reason being it is a niche market with very few gamers having monitors with refresh rates above 60hz. Consequently, there is very little inducement to design smoother game animations.
Therefore, to answer the question of whether a 60hz monitor is good for gaming:
It depends on the types of games you are playing. If you are not playing a lot of FPS, a 60hz monitor will do fine. If your setup can run the games in 1080p with ultra-graphics and over 40 to 50 FPS, then the 60hz display is more than enough.
60hz is the optimum refresh rate when playing PVE games that do not require fast reaction times. Getting a monitor with a refresh rate of above 60hz when the in-game animation speed is lower than 60 FPS won’t make the graphics smoother by any chance.
A 60hz monitor is okay for casual gaming but too slow for FPS games, particularly the competitive type. Everything gets blurry in clutch situations. If you are playing games with high FPS, get a high refresh rate monitor for competitive advantage and a seamless experience.
What is the meaning of refresh rate and FPS?
Two things influence the monitor you buy: its refresh rate and the PC’s FPS. While the two terms are closely related, they are actually different. The refresh rate is an indication of how fast a monitor updates images every second. It’s indicated in hertz (Hz). On the other hand, FPS stands for frames per second and indicates how many frames the graphics chips can pump out per second.
If your PC is sending, say, 45 frames per second to a 60 Hz monitor, you will only perceive those 45, nothing more, nothing less. The screen can’t magically make you see more frames if the PC sends it less than it can update per second.
In another case, if your PC sends 200 frames to a 60hz monitor, the monitor will show you it’s frame limit only; it won’t produce all the received frames.
Consequently, you’d do better to test out your 60hz monitor. Turn off the frame rate caps on your game so you can see the FPS.
If your Pc is struggling to pump out 60 frames per second, there is no need to upgrade to a monitor with a higher refresh rate. But if your PC is generating more than 60 FPS comfortably, you’d enjoy the game with a better refresh rate. Otherwise, you will be restricting your PC performance; feel free to upgrade.
Disadvantages of lower refresh rate monitors include:
Motion resolution problem
Blurring is a big problem with lower refresh rate monitors when playing FPS games. The human brain processes the set of individual images outputted on the screen. Motion is perceived as the difference between the frames. In the case of low refresh rates, the brain lacks enough information to put images together, so moving images won’t appear sharper.
A higher refresh rate makes things better. It decreases blurring by giving the brain enough info to act on. When playing games like CS: GO, COD, esports, and Pubg 144, the experience is better with high refresh rate monitors. Take advantage of the high refresh rate to react faster.
For gamers who use high Hz monitors, things are more fluid, and the experience is much better. You won’t notice the difference immediately when you make the switch. Still, as you play more, you will start experiencing increased in-game responsiveness, fast action, sharper visuals, and smoother mouse movements.
Screen tearing is another negative outcome of mismatched fps and refresh rate. If the pc pumps out more frames per second than the monitor can update, you will start to notice half-frames on the screen, and they won’t be perfectly aligned. Screen tearing is very distracting when playing games.
While most games have animation speeds between 24 and 60 FPS, there are some with animation speeds upwards of 100FPS. In this case, a 60hz monitor doesn’t do the animations justice. As the monitor fails to keep up with sent data, you will notice images begin to tear on the screen.
A 120hz monitor refreshes two times more than a 60hz monitor. It is the best display for handling 120FPS data. And a 240hz monitor will handle 240FPS data well, solving your screen tearing problem.
Alternatively, you can use V-Sync, G-Sync and other frame syncing techs to keep screen tearing at bay. But these are not without weaknesses. Gaming enthusiasts say V-Sync limits performance. G-Sync needs a special video card and monitors hardware combinations. You are going to need a G-Sync monitor and a G- Sync monitor too. Even Freesync requires specific hardware to run.
In a 60hz monitor, the amount of time between one refresh to the next is 16.67milliseconds. that means an input lag of 16.67ms. A 120hz monitor decreases the input lag to 8.33ms, and a 240hz monitor brings it further down to 4.16ms.
For many people, decreasing input lags to less than 10ms may not be a top priority. Not for competitive gamers, fast inputs and smoother gaming experience can mean the difference between a loss and a win.
You are certainly not getting a higher competitive advantage playing Fortnite or Mortal Kombat on a PC with a 60 Hz refresh rate monitor.
A higher refresh rate helps avoid the ‘ghosting’ effect. This is when an outline follows a moving object, so the animations appear blurred. It happens when the refresh rate and FPS are unmatched such that the PC is pumping out more frames per second than the monitor can update.
Disadvantages of higher refresh rate:
Higher refresh monitors aren’t cheap; while it’s possible to find 144hz displays under $200, you may have to contend with poor visual quality.
Cheap 144hz monitors utilize inferior VA or TN panels. These come with their shares of shortcomings. The best 144hz displays are IPS panels, but these don’t come cheap. For a good 144hz display, you may have to part with more than $600.
TN panels do not reproduce colors well. The display tends to appear pale and faded. VA panels are not any good; while they don’t have a color reproduction problem, their pixel response times are slightly higher, which tends to cause blurred motion.
Another issue with higher refresh rates is the need for powerful GPUs. Unless your graphics unit can pump out high frame rates to match the high refresh rate, the monitor won’t do you any good. If you plan on playing Counter-Strike and other low demanding esports, you may fare well with a low-end graphics card. But for GPU-demanding games, you are going to need high-end graphic chips to hit high refresh rates.
What is the optimum refresh rate for gaming?
You can easily find monitors with 60hz, 57hz, 120hz, 144hz, and 240hz in the market. Experts say 120hz is the ideal refresh rate for a smooth gaming experience.
As mentioned earlier, most games are designed with in-game animation speeds of 24-60FPS. There are maximum games with over 100FPS. Still, a 120-refresh rate is sufficient for handling the latest and advanced game animations.
Some brands claim their monitors have 240 Hz refresh rates. Experts’ advice is to proceed with caution as most 240hz monitors aren’t very different from 120hz monitors. They use some image processing and frame, adding tech to improve quality. Additionally, the relative improvement in the k/d ratio starts to decline after a certain point, usually 140FPS.
While the ever-changing gaming landscape demands high refresh rates and powerful graphic chips, 60hz is still the standard in gaming. It is more than enough when playing casual strategy and adventure games. But if your setup can pump out more frames per second, then upgrading to an even higher refresh rate monitor will lead to a fluid gaming experience. If you really need a competitive advantage, 144hz will do, or even a good 24ohz display, as long as you have the PC to support the high refresh rate. Have fun gaming!