Is a 240Hz monitor worth it?
When you shop for monitors, you will see some with high refresh rates, such as 120 Hz, 240 Hz, or even higher. So are they even worth the premium price tag usually attached to these monitors? Let’s take a look at the advantages, limits and possible disadvantages.
The more Hertz, the better?
Hertz is the unit of measure for the maximum number of frames your monitor can display per second. A 60Hz monitor will show you up to 60 frames per second, while a 120Hz monitor can display twice that.
In the game world it is always better to get more frames per second as it gives you a competitive advantage over your opponents with lower rates. You see all the action faster on the screen, allowing you to react quickly. Higher refresh rates also reduce motion blur and give you the smooth gameplay you see in high-level gaming.
For regular use outside of gaming, such as scrolling through web pages or social media, moving files, or watching an action-packed movie, a higher refresh rate will make these activities feel smoother. The reduced motion blur when doing something on the computer can reduce eye strain. It can also improve how accurate you are when controlling your mouse.
What do higher refresh rates offer and require?
If you’ve only used a 60Hz monitor, especially for fast-paced games or regular use, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You also miss the immersive experience that higher frames can provide. Going from 60 Hz to 120 Hz will be a drastic improvement, and you’ll see it right away. This is especially true when playing video games.
That said, you won’t see a noticeable difference between 120Hz and 144Hz or 165Hz. However, you will still see a small difference between 120 Hz and 240 Hz. It’ll make a big difference if you jump all the way up to 360Hz, but we’ll talk more about those sky-high speeds later.
One thing to keep in mind is that in order to reap the benefits of your monitor’s refresh rate, your computer must be strong enough to deliver the same number of frames. This mainly depends on your graphics card. You also need to make sure that your display cable can transmit the expected refresh rate.
In other words, if you have a 120Hz monitor, but your system can only deliver 60 frames per second, you’re not looking beyond 60 frames. Without the right hardware, it won’t be any different than using a 60Hz monitor. So focus on your PC and cables before investing in a monitor with a higher refresh rate, or at least plan to upgrade later.
You probably don’t need more than 165 Hz
Most people don’t need a monitor with a high refresh rate above 165 Hz, as this is usually overkill. Even as a gamer or someone who wants a high-end gaming experience, anywhere from 120 Hz to 165 Hz is more than enough. For general use outside of gaming, a 120Hz monitor is sufficient because you hardly notice any difference outside of it.
You may also experience screen tearing if your monitor’s refresh rate exceeds your system’s capabilities (or vice versa). Screen tearing occurs when your PC or console can’t deliver frames fast enough to keep up with your monitor. This will cause horizontal lines to appear making your screen look like it is cracking. In this case, you’ll want to use variable refresh rate technology such as AMD’s FreeSync and NVIDIA’s G-Sync to eliminate tearing.
Who needs 240 Hz and above?
The only people who could benefit from a monitor at 240 Hz or higher are professional gamers who want the greatest possible competitive advantage. It’s hard to beat the in-game reaction speed you can get with these monitors.
With such high frames, you may be able to react a little faster to everything that’s happening in your game, making it feel smoother. Monitors with a high refresh rate above 165 Hz generally have less input lag, but unless you’re extremely attuned to it, the difference after 120 Hz is so small that you probably won’t notice it at all. It’s just another small bonus that competitive gamers can aspire to.
What shall I buy?
High-refresh monitors can get very expensive, especially in the 240 Hz to 360 Hz range. However, it is extremely difficult to justify the cost of anything above 240 Hz. In addition, monitors with higher refresh rates only offer resolutions up to 1440p, with most still at 1080p. This is one of the main drawbacks, as higher-resolution monitors in the 4K range tend to have lower refresh rates.
If you value image quality over performance, you’ll want a monitor with higher resolutions, typically 60-144Hz monitors. If performance is more important to you than visuals, you will benefit more from a monitor with a higher refresh rate. Again, even if you prioritize performance, 120Hz will suffice for most people.
However, you might want to consider a monitor that converges in the middle, such as the AOC CQ32G2S 32″ Gaming Monitor† It is a 165Hz gaming monitor with 2K resolution on a curved and frameless display. You get great image quality with a large number of frames!