Numerous monitor models on the market today offer refresh rates of 60, 100, 144, and even 240 Hz. What advantage do the latter devices give? Is it worth reaching for such equipment? Do they give an advantage in gaming?
Our gaming comfort – and, with it, the possibilities in multiplayer games – is affected not only by the number of frames of animation per second but also by the refresh rate. From time to time in the life of every PC gamer, there comes that moment when you have to decide to buy a new monitor. The choice is enormous, and the devices available on the market often differ very significantly from each other, offering different technologies and features, such as G-Sync or FreeSync.
Some time ago, the offer also expanded to include panels with a refresh rate of 240 Hz. What do these types of products offer in practice? Is it worth reaching for them?
What is the refresh rate all about?
As expressed in Hertz, the refresh rate of a monitor determines how many times it can display a given image (animation frame) in a single second. This should not be confused with the number of frames of animation (i.e., the popular FPS) – the refresh rate value is a kind of upper limit, which determines how many frames of animation generated by the graphics card will actually be used. When the FPS is higher than the monitor’s refresh rate, the image may be displayed erroneously – the so-called screen tearing occurs. This is prevented by features such as V-Sync, G-Sync, and FreeSync (you can read more about them in our article).
Benefits of 240 Hz refresh rate
There are several key benefits that we can count on having a monitor with an extremely high refresh rate. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
On the web, you may come across a circulating opinion that the human eye is unable to notice the difference between 30, 60, and 120 frames of animation per second. This is a bunch of nonsense – don’t give it any credence. Instead, to understand what the difference is – and how huge it can be in practice – just take a look at the video below (noting that the last two boxes look the same only because YouTube does not support videos recorded at 120 FPS).
A 240 Hz monitor will allow you to make even better use of your graphics card’s potential and display a smoother image. The difference will be downright colossal if you have previously played on a screen refreshed at 60 Hz. Some gamers will also notice greater fluidity after switching from a 100 or 144 Hz monitor, although in this case, there is unlikely to be a gap – it’s a more subtle change, and its perceptibility will depend to some extent on the experience and even individual biological characteristics.
Lower latency and better response time
Users of 240 Hz monitors can also count on lower latency – in the range of 20 to 35 milliseconds (by comparison, with a 60 Hz panel, it is 55-75ms, while with 144 Hz, it is 30-45ms. This means that commands issued by the mouse and keyboard are read and transmitted more quickly by the computer, which can be at a premium in some situations.
240 Hz monitors also allow us to enjoy faster response times than gamers playing on 60 Hz panels. This is due not only to the aforementioned technological advantage in terms of latency but also to the way our eyes work – tracking a smooth image is definitely easier, making it easier to target when looking at a 240 Hz screen. Interestingly, how much of a difference we’ll feel depends to some extent on our playing style, as illustrated by the Linus Tech Tips channel test.
Better image quality
At least in certain limited areas. First, the high animation frame rate significantly reduces screen tearing, even without using features such as G-Sync or FreeSync. Second, higher refresh rates allow us to see more detail in a scene – moving objects are less blurry.
Do 240 Hz monitors have any disadvantages?
Does a refresh rate of 240 Hz come with any disadvantages? In theory – no. The higher value simply our computer to generate a smoother image. What could be wrong with that? In practice, the situation is a bit more complicated because most of the 240 Hz monitors available on our market – even those for which you have to pay a lot – use TN matrices, which, let’s face it, are not the best option in terms of image quality. These panels often fail to knock down contrast, color saturation, and viewing angles. Their advantage, on the other hand, is short response time. To be precise – most does not mean all. There are devices offering VA or even IPS matrices, but they are definitely rarer, and you generally have to pay a lot for them.
In which games will you appreciate the 240 Hz refresh rate?
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive remains one of the most popular e-sports titles in the world, and for many gamers, it’s the primary reason to buy a 240 Hz monitor. CS:GO also has a few nice years on its neck, so “cranking out” 240 frames of animation per second in it is a slightly easier task – even if you don’t have the latest graphics card.
As the game that started the fad for the battle royale subgenre, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is a perfect example of a production where every advantage we can get over our rivals counts. Shifting to a 240 Hz monitor will undoubtedly help in this regard, although you should keep in mind that PUBG is not one of the best-optimized games – you’d better have a really capable GPU on your PC.
Fortnite – perhaps the most popular video game in the world today – couldn’t be missing from the list either. The title is gaining popularity quite quickly in the e-sports arena as well, thanks in part to the huge amount of money spent on promotion and rewards by its creators, Epic Games. Buying a 240 Hz monitor will certainly make it easier to reach for victory.
The latest (so far) production of the Respawn Entertainment studio is another battle royale shooter but, at the same time, a title that introduces some ideas of its own about this genre. The game is not yet particularly popular in the eSports arena, but it has been acclaimed by players around the world. It is worth noting that this is a fairly new title, so in order to run it at 240 frames of animation per second, you will have to equip yourself with suitably powerful components.
Quake Champions is a shooter in the classic style – the title refers in its gameplay model to the cult Quake 3, which means that dexterity and an accurate eye count above all. This also makes it one of the games where the advantage of having a 240 Hz monitor will be clearly visible. It’s worth remembering that the production is only available in early access for the time being (but it is regularly developed and devoid of really serious problems).
240 Hz and 144 Hz. Who is it for?
Is it worth it to equip yourself with a monitor with a refresh rate of 240 Hz? For most users, the answer to this question will be “no,” but some people may gain from such a purchase. This group will first include professional gamers and people who care a lot about any, even the smallest, advantage over rivals in online games. However, it is worth checking this type of equipment live first because the difference between 144 and 240 Hz for many people is practically imperceptible (this is a very individual issue).
You should also keep in mind two points. First, even the best 240 Hz monitor will give you absolutely nothing unless it is supported by a sufficiently powerful graphics card. These rules govern both the human eye and display technology and are absolute in this regard. We searched a bit in the editorial team for a computer that will take advantage of the capabilities of our LG 27GK750F-B… Take into account the productions you intend to play, and when going shopping, first spend money on a sufficiently powerful GPU and a processor that will not limit the graphics chip. Only what is left can be used for a new monitor. Not the other way around.
Second, although 240 Hz monitors have their advantages, the choice of such a device also involves a certain compromise in terms of image quality. It is related to the use of TN matrices (in most cases) but also to the rather mundane need to play at a lower resolution and/or with a limited level of detail – even a powerful GeForce RTX 2080 Ti will not allow you to run Battlefield V in 4K resolution, with all the graphical water features and fluidity at 240 FPS. It’s simply impossible. You yourself must answer the question of what is more important to you – the fluidity of the gameplay or the quality of the displayed setting.
The material was created in cooperation with LG, the manufacturer of the LG 27GK750F-B monitor with 240 Hz reproduction frequency, which provided the equipment for testing.
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