With monitors getting cheaper, good quality 120Hz monitors are in the same price bracket, as 60Hz monitors were, just a few years ago. Setting price aside, there are plenty of reasons to go for a high refresh rate monitor.
To understand the benefits, you first need to know about the differences between a 60Hz and a 120Hz monitor. Because it’s not just the refresh rate that matters. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
Difference Between 60Hz vs 120Hz Monitors
There are many determinants that can distinguish between 60Hz vs 120Hz monitors. Two significant points are explained below.
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.
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.
What are the Benefits of Choosing 120Hz Monitors?
The monitor display will get smoother with the higher refresh rates. Let’s know the other advantages.
Better Gaming Experience
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.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is 120Hz monitor worth it?
Yes, 120Hz monitors are well worth it. However, going above that, like 144 or 240Hz is not worth the money in our experience.
Do I really need 144Hz?
If you are a professional in the competitive gaming space, you can get benefitted from 144Hz monitors. Otherwise, no, you don’t really need a 144 Hz monitor.
The competitive gamers prefer to invest money in 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.