What Is Refresh Rate And Why Is It Important?
by Rustam Iqbal
Refresh rate is an important factor to consider when choosing a display panel for gaming, video editing, or other tasks that require high visual fidelity. A higher refresh rate can reduce tearing and stuttering, and it can also make games and other content look and feel more realistic.
Refresh Rate Effects!
You are playing your favorite first-person shooter game with the latest high-end graphics card but what you see on the screen needs to be clarified; your screen tears when moving the mouse horizontally. There is a noticeable stutter, while the statistics show high fps(frames per second). You might be facing a low refresh rate issue.
A high refresh rate monitor ( AMAZON ) is a computer monitor that can update its image at a high frequency, typically 120Hz or higher. This results in smoother and more fluid motion on the screen, which can be beneficial for gaming, watching videos, and other tasks that require a lot of visual fidelity.
Feel The Differece!
If you plan to become a competitive gamer, having a high refresh rate monitor is critical for your rig. However, owning a 144Hz or 240Hz computer display is not enough; you need a combination of hardware to achieve a smooth gaming experience. We will help you understand the refresh rate and how to eliminate the low refresh rate issue.
Understanding Refresh Rates
Refresh rates are represented in terms of Hertz(Hz), which is the same term that is used for frequency. The screen takes time to change the display while receiving information from the graphics card, and it’s written in milliseconds (ms). The number of times the screen changes in a second is Hz.
A typical computer screen is 60Hz, which can refresh the screen 60 times a second. Gaming visual display units go even higher with 144Hz to 360Hz. Anything above 240Hz is overkill. You need a GPU and CPU that are 100% compatible.
For a buttery smooth gaming experience, you will need a combination of three hardware that can directly affect your performance in gaming:
- A computer display that is capable of changing screen at high rates
- A Central Processor Unit capable of providing the latest generation of PCIe lanes operates at high frequency, holds a large cache, and supports fast memory.
- A graphics processing unit capable of handling fast instruction from the input devices and quickly converting them into visually representative displays within short intervals.
Consider an open-world game where a whole city or landscape needs to be simulated. A Central processor calculates the in-game physics, changes weather conditions, and affects AI-based characters, cars, and animals.
The main processor needs to be faster than the visual processing unit to calculate the position movement of these objects and provide it to the graphics processing unit to change the data into the display.
If the main processor lags, the graphics processing unit will remain underutilized, which can be spotted by looking at the CPU and GPU utilization while gaming.
If one is 100% utilized while the other is not fully used, there is a bottleneck. Having the 240Hz display will not be helpful if the central and visual processing units bottleneck the process. If they can only produce a display 70 times a second, then the visual display unit will not have enough information to display.
The hardware configuration depends on the game. You will see specific title-based PC builds. Top AAA games are hardware intensive and require a High-end GPU and best CPU to achieve 100+fps on a 4K or higher resolution. Competitive games are optimized for the best performance online. They do not require elite hardware to function at a frame rate fit for competition.
A high refresh rate will require a CPU and GPU to keep the computer screen fed consistently with enough frames to ensure a smooth experience. A 144Hz monitor requires a PC that can output significantly higher than 144 fps.
So when the computer sends the next frame to display, the computer screen can skip some frames and display 144 frames in a second.
Sometimes, screen tearing may occur when the next frame is already displayed, but the computer display is busy displaying the previous frame.
We will explain later how you can eliminate screen tearing, as it requires a dedicated visual display unit and graphics processing unit for operation. Besides the impact of the title that you are playing on the frames per second. There is an effect of the game settings that you have chosen.
Usually, games have a benchmark option to determine the best settings for your computer, but as a user, you must know the effect of each setting on the performance. If you are running a game in 10K resolution with ray-tracing enabled, you will likely face a low frame rate as it is a highly GPU-intensive load.
Steam reported that 1080p is still the most played resolution, one of the largest gaming platforms. Low resolution will result in high pixels per inch if you have a small VDU. So the most liked size is 24-25” are the best size monitors with 1080p or 1440p gaming.
What Is Your Goal!
Determining Your System’s Capabilities
You need to understand some things before planning to buy a new computer screen. You will need to determine the capabilities of your system. We have already recommended an ideal size and resolution for your next computer screen. To check if your current system can support a high Hz VDU, you will need to follow these easy steps.
- Install your favorite game.
- Install Fraps.
- Make sure all the visual processing unit drivers are updated.
- Start your game and Fraps.
- Set the resolution of the game to 1080p, 1440p, 4K, 8K, and 10K as per your requirement.
- Enable AI-based resolution to more upscale (DLSS, FSR, or XeSS), if required to improve the high-resolution frame rate per second.
- Now start playing the game and look at the average frame rate on the Fraps overlay.
If you observe an average frame rate between 144 to 240, then a VDU with 144Hz is recommended. However, if the fps exceeds 240 fps, then go for the 240 Hz VDU. The ideal ratio of Hz/fps should be 1. However, a higher Hz/fps ratio is always preferred for a smoother interface. If your computer cannot achieve a 360 frame rate with your desired resolution, you will need to upgrade your Graphics Card or Central Processing Unit.
Watch the utilization of both while gaming; if your graphics processing unit reaches 100%, then your graphics processing unit is the bottleneck. The central processor can be the culprit if the visual processing unit cannot achieve 100% utilization. You will need to upgrade your hardware. If you achieve high frame rates and have a high Hz/fps ratio, you still might find occasional tearing; to eliminate that, you need adaptive sync.
Adaptive sync was introduced by Nvidia in 2013 as a commercially available technology with a G-Sync label. AMD calls it FreeSync, while Intel does not have a specific name. Adaptive sync is a property associated with monitors and GPUs. If you do not have adaptive sync in either of these, the sync will not occur.
Playing a game with adaptive sync enabled on the visual processing unit will ensure that the frame rate per second overlaps the Hertz. The variation of frame rate per second is in line with the visual display unit frequency variation.
If the graphics processing unit is giving out too much information and the computer screen is not capable enough to display it very fast, the graphics processing unit will adjust itself. On the other hand, if the visual processing is too fast and the graphics processing unit lags in frame rate, it will adjust to maintain the ratio. Adaptive sync ensures the Hz/fps ratio is held at 1.
Pick The High-end Monitor
Choosing The Right Monitor!
Which monitor should we name the best refresh rate monitor? Well, it’s not a simple answer, as every user is unique. Some like the screens to be bigger, while others prefer smaller screens. Mostly competitive gamers prefer 24-25” screens, while casual gamers with AAA titles prefer high resolutions with big screens. Both of them have different hardware requirements and suitable monitors for their attire.
To simplify, we recommend understanding the strength of your build. If it can provide 140+fps at 4K resolution, go for a big 40”+ 144Hz VDU with adaptive sync. If you are a competitive gamer, go for 1080p resolution to push the maximum frame per second and buy a 240Hz VDU with adaptive sync.
Finally, we came to the conclusion that refresh rate plays a key role in gaming and other tasks as well. So we need to pay high attention when picking the components for a high-end gaming rig. Buying the proper display is critical as a top-performing high-end gaming PC may not result in a stunning display if the display does not support the required refresh rate.
Every component plays a vital role in PC performance because all of them make it possible to deliver the best possible performance. If you use the tips from our guide, we are sure you will find the proper hardware that you are content with. I tried to give reader-friendly information so that beginners could understand it.