You might have noticed unnatural movements in a game where the image feels laggy and jumpy. Just today, it happened that I threw double grenades instead of one while playing Warzone II.
Well, it was a single grenade in reality, but a poor latency showed it as two. However, for you, that might be half the story.
Having the best pings or even playing single-player games could give you such glitches. Only, the truth is that what you think are glitches might actually be indicating refresh rate as the culprit.
Ahead, I will explain the refresh rate and how you can choose the best refresh rate for your exact type of gaming.
What Is Refresh Rate And How Is It Different Than FPS?
Your computer’s refresh rate is the ability of your monitor to update its display a number of times within a second. It is measured in Hertz (Hz) – meaning, for a 60 Hz display, the monitor shows a new image 60 times within a second.
For 120 Hz, the monitor refreshes 120 times, and so on it goes. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother and more realistic the motion appears.
The refresh rate is essential because a monitor doesn’t display a video, but, actually, it displays new (but still) images so fast that it creates the illusion of a dynamic video.
FPS, or frame rates, on the other hand, measures how many images per second can be produced by your computer’s components (primarily the graphics card power, VRAM capacity, however, CPU, RAM, etc. also have some effect).
How Does Refresh Rate Affect Gaming?
Refresh rates are very important for gaming, especially when you go competitive. For competitive gamers and many e-sports titles, having the most updated information on your screen, although not decisive, but it can give you a huge advantage over your opponent.
Think about it: the sooner you know what’s happening, wouldn’t you be able to react to it quicker?
That’s exactly what a high refresh rate helps you accomplish, and it can be considered in the same context as FPS.
Additionally, a higher refresh rate will improve the responsiveness of the game you’re playing and help make the gaming experience feel realistic and real-time by eliminating delay and ghosting.
Although a high refresh rate is better, there’s also a point, for different gamers, where the benefits seem to fall off; the very high refresh rate monitor would then only be overkill.
Besides, a budget factor is involved, not limited to monitors. Ahead are some of the different categories of refresh rates and their suitability for different types of gamers.
How to Choose the Best Refresh Rate for Gaming?
1. Casual Gamers – 60Hz
This is the basic refresh rate for some casual gamers and those who enjoy single-player / campaign-mode games. Strategy and puzzle games are also more suitable to be played at 60Hz.
You can play slow-paced games like Assassin’s Creed or God Of War on these monitors without experiencing lags and stutters.
Generally, at this 60Hz refresh rate, users tend to invest in a higher resolution, such as 1440p or 4K. This lets them enjoy the mesmerizing scenery within games and their favorite movies and TV shows at high resolution.
60Hz also pairs well with a larger screen size for productivity tasks such as Photoshopping, video editing, coding, and software development.
60Hz with 1080p resolution are entry-level monitors of 16:9 aspect ratio that are super-highly budget-friendly, so you can always have them as backup monitors also or for simply running your Twitch chat.
2. Budget-Conscious Gamers – 75Hz
75Hz doesn’t sound much and looks slightly faster than 60Hz, but it gives you up to 25% more images per second. This can mean a huge difference for novice gamers who play shooters and are on a budget.
Gamers who like to play story-mode games can also benefit from 75Hz. However, in my opinion, they might benefit more if they couple 75Hz with a higher resolution or screen size for an ultimate gaming experience.
Regardless, 75Hz is the minimum recommended refresh rate for fast-paced games such as Apex Legends or Warzone.
3. Competitive Gamers – 144Hz
144Hz is almost considered a standard requirement for competitive gaming, considering the requirement as well as the popularity of 144Hz / 1440p gaming.
Thanks to the advancement of technology and DLSS feature, 144Hz at 1440p isn’t a struggle to achieve – neither for the monitors nor the underlying PC components. Hence, gaming in this setting has become super-popular, especially when it isn’t too taxing on the budget (which it isn’t).
Games such as CSGO, Apex Legends, PUBG, etc., are recommended to be played at 144Hz. These games won’t necessarily benefit from a resolution beyond 1080p, so your games can comfortably push out a higher FPS without putting too much pressure on your hardware.
You can also save a few bucks by skipping higher resolution and just going for a 144Hz monitor, but 1440p or 4K resolution is always nice for future-proofing your monitor.
4. Professional Gamers – 240Hz
Just like with any other profession, you’d also want the best equipment for professional gaming. The 240Hz refresh rate is for E-sports and diehard gamers. If you’re just a novice gamer, you might not be able to notice any difference between 144Hz and 240Hz, but it does result in better performance and reaction time by the user.
Although you might want to consider that while 240Hz does help you in gaming, it won’t make you a better gamer. And it is still possible to outmatch your opponents at a lower refresh rate if you’re a highly skilled player.
Regardless, 240Hz will ensure a sharper image with the most updated information on your screen.
You will, however, need a powerful graphics card as well as an equally strong CPU to keep up with such a high refresh rate. Meaning you will need a fortune to set up such a gaming setup, including the costly 240Hz monitor, GPU, and rest of the hardware.
It is a worthwhile and justifiable investment for professional and highly passionate gamers.
5. Absolutely Cutting-Edge – 360Hz
360Hz is currently the highest refresh rate for monitors in the market, and they can do everything that 240Hz does, with everything about it dialed up to 11!
With such a beastly gadget in your arsenal, you can rest assured that you’re playing at the least input lag. Considering your other hardware and reflexes, you can keep up with such a significant advantage.
As with the budget for 240Hz, 360Hz is also quite expensive – yes, 360Hz monitors cost more than 240Hz monitors (obviously). The same goes for the rest of the PC hardware required to push out a high FPS without causing any bottlenecks.
60Hz vs 120Hz vs 144Hz – Table Summary
Here’s a quick comparison of the 3 most popular categories of refresh rate for gamers. I haven’t included 75Hz – which is somewhat of a midpoint between 60Hz and 144Hz – and 360Hz – which is an extension of 240Hz.
God of War,
CSGO, Forza Horizon
Entry Level Gaming PC
Mid Range Gaming PC
High End Gaming PC
Tips For Hardware Configuration
A high refresh rate depends on 3 core components:
- The Monitor, of course,
- A GPU fast enough to quickly create the graphics you see on your screen and
- The CPU with the ability to quickly provide critical game instructions, multi threading, logic, and data.
This means that if your CPU and GPU aren’t capable of supplying the monitor with a sufficient number of FPS, then the monitor won’t produce a high refresh rate, irrespective of its specs.
However, not to worry, here are some tips that will help you get the optimal refresh rates:
1. Choose The Right Resolution
If you want to achieve a high refresh rate, you might need to turn down the resolution and lower the graphics settings so as not to put too much strain on your computer hardware.
2. Have a Good Graphics Card
To achieve your 144Hz or 240Hz on your monitor, you will need a powerful graphics card. One that’s fast enough to render frames at a decent rate and keep up with the demands of high refresh rates.
3. Use A DisplayPort Cable
DisplayPort cables offer more bandwidth than HDMI. DisplayPort 1.4 cable can support 144Hz at 4K resolution, while HDMI 2.1 cable can support 4K resolution at 120Hz.
4. Use SSD As Primary Storage
The SSD storage for desktop, as your primary boot drive, would ensure faster load times and smoother map loading in games.
5. Use A Wired Internet Connection
A hardwired internet connection offers a much better ping and lower latency than Wi-Fi. There isn’t any signal interruption either, and you get a higher priority download and good upload internet speeds than Wi-Fi.
Based on pure specs, it is pretty evident what is the best refresh rate for a monitor. Think of it this way: you can always buy a luxury car, how cool would that be?
But have you considered how expensive the it would be? How costly would the fuel and maintenance be? And most importantly, how do you plan to use that? It would be pretty useless if you only had to use it to travel back and forth from work in busy traffic. You won’t be able to utilize your high-end car at all…
The analogy fits perfectly on your monitor’s refresh rate as well. Know what kind of gamer you are, how you plan to use your monitor, and what games you will play. This will help you pick out the best refresh rate for gaming.