A monitor with a refresh rate on the lower end of the scale (60Hz monitors fall into this category) will limit how quickly new graphics can be displayed on-screen and this in turn can create a less fluid gaming experience and introduce micro delays that become disadvantageous in competitive gaming environments.
That said, a 60Hz monitor powered by a dedicated GPU is adequate to play all games. In the opinion of many professional gamers if you practice for enough time at 60Hz, bringing a higher refresh rate monitor into your setup would barely provide an edge to your gaming abilities.
In this article, we look at the importance of the refresh rate when gaming to answer the question of whether a 60Hz monitor is fast enough to deserve a place in your battle station.
Whilst a 60Hz monitor brings its own set of pros and cons to your gaming setup, which we will cover below, another consideration to take onboard when assessing whether a monitor is suitable for long gaming sessions is eye strain.
Check out this post investigating whether a glossy or matte screen is best for your eyes when gaming.
Are there any advantages of using a 60Hz monitor for gaming?
A 60Hz monitor backed up with a reasonable graphics card is adequate for all modern gaming and actually offers several benefits over a monitor with a higher refresh rate.
1. You will limit the strain placed upon your graphic processor
How suitable a 60Hz monitor is for gaming will be influenced by the graphics processor in your system.
Displaying images above 60Hz is more resource-intensive, and so having this lower refresh rate might actually be to your advantage especially if you are trying to game in a setup that utilizes integrated graphics over a discrete GPU.
On the opposite end of the spectrum a powerful graphics card that can kick out 240FPS used in combination with a 60Hz monitor will reduce input lag and provide more up to date frames vs a graphics processor capable of producing only 60FPS.
2. 60Hz monitors typically cost less
Being the most commonly manufactured refresh rate means 60Hz monitors generally cost less than screens of the same size and resolution.
The exception to this rule being budget 144Hz gaming monitors such as the MSI Optix G24C6P.
What are the disadvantages of using a 60Hz monitor for gaming?
Here are some of the potential drawbacks of using a 60Hz monitor as part of your gaming setup:
- A 60Hz monitor will mean you won’t fully experience the highest quality visuals designed by gamemakers
- A 60Hz monitor could mean you are not realizing the full potential of a strong graphics card that is capable of producing a high number of frames per second
- The comparatively slow appearance of new graphics on screen could also introduce motion blur
Aside from beautifully flowing visuals, the benefits of a higher refresh rate mostly apply to specific gaming situations, such as playing a highly competitive multiplayer video game online.
Every frame counts when playing first-person shooters and other fast-paced games!
A 60Hz monitor may present graphics that appear to have minor ‘tearing’ or motion blur. This occurs when FPS is above the frequency of a monitor and a frame that hasn’t been fully drawn (monitors draw the frame row by row) is discarded to make way for a new frame to be shown.
There are however, plenty of ways to prevent tearing from happening.
Although you may not easily detect the difference in the visual performance of a 60Hz and 120Hz monitor, you may notice a minor input lag. A 60Hz monitor may slightly reduce your ability to respond quickly in a fast paced game. Yet, the difference is measured in milliseconds, making lag difficult to notice in most situations.
What are the different refresh rates of gaming monitors?
Monitor refresh rates represent the maximum number of times a display can be updated each second. With a 60Hz monitor, the screen refreshes 60 times per second.
Monitors designed for gaming offer refresh rates from anywhere between 60Hz to 360Hz with the most popular models falling in the window between 120Hz – 144Hz.
Common refresh rates for computer monitors include:
In a controlled experiment conducted by Linus at Linus Tech Tips , FPS and refresh rate were put to the test to see whether they made any tangible difference to your gaming abilities.
For a casual gamer, the difference between 60Hz and higher refresh rates may be difficult to detect, and when paired with a computer that has a dedicated GPU and plenty of RAM can still offer a smooth gaming experience.
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