The refresh rate of a monitor is a measure in hertz (Hz) of how many times (per second) the display refreshes the image on the screen. It can sometimes be confused with frames per second (FPS), which refers to the content and not necessarily to the video signal or display.
A higher refresh rate makes motion look smoother and is extremely important for gaming – especially if you play competitive esports games. You may have heard the old “well the human eye can’t detect such speeds,” but new research suggests that the human eye is actually excellent at detecting these changes.
The following example shows how monitoring refresh rate can affect your visual experience:
Although this is not a 100% accurate representation of how your game will appear at each refresh rate, it does give us an idea of how much blurrier an image can appear when it’s moving.
Anyone who has looked into buying a gaming monitor will have come across the different panel technologies on offer – whether you know what they mean or not. You will have most likely heard or seen TN (Twisted Nematic), VA (Vertically Aligned), and IPS (In-plane Switching).
TN: Refreshed-rate panels have always featured the fastest refresh rates since cathode ray tubes (CRTs) were replaced back in the day. Competitive gamers who play fast-paced action titles usually will go for a TN panel, which boasts the highest refresh rates and is used to post the best response times too.
However, TN (Twisted Nematic) panels tend to have poor viewing angles and color accuracy but these are negligible if you are buying a monitor for hardcore gaming.
VA: A display is often considered to be a compromise between the viewing angles and response times of TN and IPS panels. Like TN, VA is a cheaper alternative to IPS, but it offers higher refresh rates for less money. Color accuracy can vary from model to model, but VA panels are generally thought to be better than TN.
IPS; In recent years, the popularity of IPS panels has increased significantly. The main benefits of IPS panels were once found in their color and picture quality. However, since many IPS panels can now boast 144Hz refresh rates and low 1ms response times, more and more individuals are opting for the more expensive panel alternative.
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