If you’re a gamer or e-sports player odds are you know a thing or two about refresh rates. Frames win games as they say, and when it comes to choice there’s hundreds of gaming monitors on the market. Do you need a high refresh rate monitor? Let’s take a look.
What does “Hz” mean?
For computer monitors “Hz” is how many times per second the display refreshes the picture. A 60Hz monitor can only refresh the picture 60 times per second, and so on.
Does refresh rate matter for gaming?
Yes. If your GPU is rendering a game with over 100FPS you will benefit from having a monitor that has a refresh rate of 100Hz or higher. The game will feel smoother, look sharper, and have less input lag. This is more noticeable in graphically demanding games like Modern Warfare. Most can notice a subtle difference between 60Hz and 144Hz, but noticing the difference between 240Hz and 144Hz is a gray area.
Why is input lag important in gaming?
In gaming input lag is the delay of a signal like a keyboard or mouse and the game reacting (measured in milliseconds). Another way to think about it is how long an image stays on your display. With a 60Hz monitor that would be 60 images per second. Divide 1 second by 60 and 16.67ms is your input lag, or the length of time between each image being refreshed on your display. This information is not listed by most most monitor manufacturers.
In competitive gaming, especially first person shooters, the less input lag the better. Refer to the list below for input lag on common monitor types. Just divide one second by your refresh rate.
- 60Hz monitor: 16.67ms
- 144Hz monitor: 6.94ms
- 240Hz monitor: 4.17ms
- 360Hz monitor: 2.78ms
Now that we know about refresh rate and input lag it’s up to your gaming preferences to decide what monitor is best. Keep in mind that a higher refresh rate doesn’t mean you will be a better player. The average reaction time for most people is 215 milliseconds, and if you’re curious you can take the test here. While milliseconds do count in competitive gaming, no one has a reaction time of 4 or even 15 milliseconds. A 60Hz monitor is perfect for e-sports or competitive gaming but if one is that concerned about 10-12 milliseconds, then upgrade to a 144Hz monitor.