60hz vs 120hz Monitors | Differences Between Them

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Monitor settings and specifications are necessary to know before buying one because the computer system and the gaming console are worthless without a better monitor. Nowadays there are indeed so many options in the monitors as it is upgrading day by day with better panels, higher resolutions, and more satisfying inputs. This article mainly explains “60Hz vs 120Hz monitors” – which is one of the most common talking points.

Modern display monitors are improving not only in resolutions but also the refresh rates are getting higher with time. Monitors selling in the markets are specified like 60Hz, 120Hz panel, 144 Hz panel or 240Hz monitors, etc. Some of them even let users change the refresh rate. It may create confusion in customers as the labels don’t provide much information. Which monitor is better? Is it better to choose higher refresh rate monitors? Do you need a 60Hz or a 120Hz monitor? Let’s find the answers.


What is Hertz for 60hz vs 120hz Monitors

Hertz, commonly abbreviated as ‘Hz’ is a measure of the numbers that whenever the monitor refreshes, how many images display per second on the screen. It is known as the refresh rate of a monitor. Usually, monitors are categorized based on their refresh rates like 60Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz, and 240hz categories. Refresh rates are different from the frame rates of a monitor.

Some may confuse between the refresh rate and the frame rate of a monitor, but they are not similar. A 60Hz monitor redraws 60 images per second, and a 120Hz monitor redraws 120 images per second every time the monitor refreshes. A higher number of refresh rates means more images will be displayed per second that will create a smoother display during gaming.

60Hz Monitors

60Hz monitors can display 60 images per second whenever the screen refreshes depending on the refresh rate. These monitors were once standardized with 85Hz CRT monitors. But now, they provide a 60 Hz refresh rate which means they generate an image every 16th ms. Entry-level monitors of different resolutions like 1080p, 1440p, and 4k have refresh rates of 60 Hz. Higher quality ones like the G-Sync monitors are custom-built for more performance improvements.

These monitors are affordable for both gamers and regular users as they offer better image quality in monitors with different resolutions. But, fast-paced games need a better fluid experience and a smoother display, so players may face some issues when using monitors with 60 Hz refresh rates, it is better to use a 120 or 144Hz.

120Hz Monitors

Monitors with 120Hz refresh rates are highly recommended by mainstream gamers for their smoother and better display. These monitors can redraw 120 pictures or frames each second whenever the screen refreshes depending on the refresh rate. This means a 120Hz monitor can reproduce images in every 8th ms.

A gamer will see a significant difference in the display when upgrading from a 60Hz or 75Hz monitor to a 120Hz monitor. 120Hz refresh rates are available in both 1080p and 1440p resolution monitors. A monitor with 1440p and 120Hz resolution can be a premium alternative for users looking for a better resolution monitor.

120Hz monitors sometimes overclock when running at 144Hz refresh rate. Despite its far better quality, it seems a middle ground decision to choose the 120 Hz option over 144 Hz because they are available almost at the same price and 144Hz monitors are the upgraded version of 120Hz.

What are the Benefits of Choosing 60Hz vs 120Hz Monitors?

The monitor display will get smoother with the higher refresh rates. Let’s know the other advantages.

1. Poor Gaming Experience & Screen Tearing

Nowadays advanced games require monitors higher than 60Hz refresh rates, because if one plays those games on a 60Hz refresh rate monitor, then they will experience sluggishness and slow response time in the middle of the game. Monitors with lower refresh rates cannot get through the requirement of the game, or the exact ping sensitivity.

Another problem will occur when using lower refresh rate monitors and higher video cards. The monitor cannot handle frames when the video card is way faster than that. This difference between the monitor’s refresh rates and the game’s frame rate occurs in screen tearing or display flickering

For this screen tearing issue, only half frames of the video card can synchronize in the screen or may split between two portions. It proves as a distracting problem when using low refresh rate monitors for games, even the least sensitive viewers will not allow this.

2. Enhanced Motion Resolution

When a computer can play a game at a higher refresh rate frame, but the monitor can’t match the refresh rate needed for the game, then the change in the perceived sharpness of a moving image occurs which is known as ‘Blurring’ where frames are interpolated. Human brains cannot get together the information of a series of frames because of blurring, which consequences the uncertainty of edges and lost details in images of a monitor.

This screen motion resolution can increase by using higher refresh rate monitors like a 120Hz panel. The more the difference between the game and the monitor’s refresh rate lessen, the more detailed images will create on the screen. It helps to decrease blurry vision, and the human brain can combine more information.

The motion resolution difference is very much noticeable based on the functions doing on the computer. A player can notice the sharpness of the screen clearly during fast-action gaming than a regular user. Again, web browsing on different browsers in higher refresh rates monitors views a little smoother when fast scrolling, but online activities won’t affect this.

3. Improved Input Response

Variation in input lag time on monitor screen due to lower refresh rate may not seem significant for many people, but for high-speed gaming, players prefer to play as smoothly as possible without lag. Though the difference in refresh rates in monitors produces very less lag time difference, it still disturbs the sensitivity of some competitive games.

A 60Hz monitor never takes less than 16.67 ms to create one refresh to the next, while a 120 Hz monitor reduces that time to 8.33 ms which is half of 60Hz. That’s why many users prefer higher refresh rate monitors for their small input lag response.

Difference Between 60Hz vs 120Hz Monitors

There are many determinants that can distinguish between 60Hz vs 120Hz monitors. Two significant points are explained below.

1. Variation in Picture Quality due to Frame Rate and Refresh Rate

Some may mix up the terms ‘frame rate’ and ‘refresh rate’ thinking that they are similar, but they are not. Frame rate is the measure of numbers a video content delivers a frame of visual data per second to a screen. Both the terms relate to the number of times an image is showed per second, but the difference between them is the frame rate points to the content’s frame itself and the refresh rate refers to the content image. We can improve frame rates on a system by upgrading better hardware, but the refresh rate only improves with the monitor.

When talking about the picture quality of a monitor, it depends on many circumstances like the monitor’s refresh rate, processor’s capabilities, and the frame rate of the video content. So, the refresh rates cannot improve the motion display of a monitor alone. Frame rate matters certainly because the difference between frame numbers displays the movement of images.

Usually, videos for a movie or other regular content are recorded at 24 or 30 fps. But high-speed games are being developed to push up to 120 fps and many sporting events, even animation movies are created at higher frame rates nowadays. Higher frame rate contents eliminate the issue of motion blurring and provide the smoothness of the video on the screen.

If 24 0r 30 fps contents are shown in a 60Hz refresh rate monitor, then it won’t make any difference to the viewer. But the higher frame rate games need refresh rate monitors like 120 Hz or 144Hz for a better viewing experience. Playing a 120-fps game on a 60 Hz monitor will reduce the image quality as it cannot use the full capacity of the processor to push all the frames.

2· Cost Differences

Generally, 120Hz monitors or higher than 120Hz monitor provides better picture quality, smooth gaming experience, and reduces motion blurriness more efficiently than 60Hz monitors. That’s why high refresh rate monitors are more expensive than 60Hz monitors.

Today, all modern high-definition TVs, like LCDs and plasmas feature 120Hz or higher refresh rate monitors and price two or three hundred dollars more than 60Hz monitors. That may seem expensive to many, but likely worth it because of their impressive service.


Choosing a monitor mainly depends on the budget of the user and the purpose he is going to use it. A 60Hz monitor is much cheaper than other higher refresh rate monitors and provides decent image quality for average users to see regular video content. A 120Hz monitor is expensive compared to the previous one but produces smoother video content. This article gives you the insight between 60Hz vs 120Hz monitors.

The competitive gamers prefer to invest money on high refresh rate monitors like 120Hz as they provide a more continuous, tearless gaming experience with minimal input lag. If you are a gamer, then 120 Hz monitors are a better option for you. But regular users don’t need the upgraded version, since the 60Hz monitors also offer good image quality, support 4k resolutions with an IPS panel, and you will hardly see the difference.

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