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What is a Monitor’s Refresh Rate?

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Updated April 7, 2022

A monitor’s refresh rate is a key indicator of its performance. High refresh rates allow your screen to rapidly refresh images for a smooth flowing viewing experience, free of lag and tearing. Keep reading to learn more about what your monitor’s refresh rate is, how refresh rates work, the difference between 60 Hz vs 75 Hz refresh rates, and the type of panel (TN vs. VA vs. IPS) optimized for high refresh rates so you can select best computer monitor for your needs.

How Does a Monitor’s Refresh Rate Work?

In short, a monitor’s refresh rate refers to the number of times per second the image on the screen regenerates. In the backend, the screen can be changed as much as 240 times per second. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the action on the screen and the easier it is on the eyes.

What is a Good Refresh Rate for a Monitor?

Our recommendation is to go with a monitor with a minimum 60Hz refresh rate if you use your monitor for basic tasks such as pouring through spreadsheets, sending emails, or browsing the web. If you run more intensive applications, then a 120Hz minimum refresh rate could work. 144Hz or 240Hz monitors are best reserved for experienced hardcore gamers who have very discerning eyes and need the smoothest gameplay possible, especially on those heavy Call of Duty runs.

Tip: Our recommendation is to go with a monitor with a minimum 60Hz refresh rate if you use your monitor for basic tasks such as pouring through spreadsheets, sending emails, or browsing the web. If you run more intensive applications, then a 120Hz minimum refresh rate could work

What’s The Difference Between 60 Hz vs 120 Hz Refresh Rates?

A refresh rate of 60Hz means the screen is resetting and projecting a new image 60 times per second. With 120Hz monitors, this process is twice as fast. While knowing the difference between this two is great, how do you know which one is the best gaming refresh rate?

Does the Type of Panel (TN vs. VA vs. IPS) Matter?

There are three types of monitor panels – TN vs. VA vs. IPS. IPS panels are mainstream, running anywhere from 60Hz to 240Hz. However, most of them are in the 60 to 75Hz range. TN panels are best known for their high refresh capabilities and are preferred among gamers, reaching as high as 240Hz. They also beat VA and IPS slightly in terms of response time, with transition times as low as 1ms. Note, VA and IPS panels are quickly catching up to speed with TN panels. We expect the difference to be barely noticeable at all within the next few years between high-end versions of each.

Warning: Note, VA and IPS panels are quickly catching up to speed with TN panels

STAT:

According to Digital Trends, the desktop monitor standard is a 60Hz refresh rate, but in recent years more specialized, high-performing monitors have emerged that support 120Hz, 144Hz, and even 240Hz refresh rates. So, it’s a good idea to know where to buy the best 1440p 144Hz gaming monitors.

Sources:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/do-you-need-a-120hz-or-240-hz-monitor/

https://insights.samsung.com/2020/01/16/how-do-refresh-rates-work-for-monitors/

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/monitor-buying-guide,5699.html

https://www.windowscentral.com/what-does-refresh-rate-mean-your-pc-monitor

https://www.wepc.com/gaming-monitor/how-to/check-change-monitor-refresh-rate/.