While gamers and consumers have become somewhat accustomed to 144Hz monitors in recent years, newer advances in technology have brought 360Hz monitors to market. Is a 360Hz monitor a worthwhile upgrade over 144Hz? Here we answer these questions and more.
Understanding the refresh rate and frame rate of a monitor
Refresh rate refers to the number of times a monitor “refreshes” with a new frame in one second. The standard refresh rate for most monitors, TVs and phones is 60 Hz. The refresh rate is closely related to the framerate (FPS), but the two are not exactly the same.
You can run a game at 100 FPS on a 60Hz monitor, but you will not actually see the full benefits of 100 FPS. This is because your refresh rate determines the maximum frame rate that your monitor can actually display.
In addition, playing games at a higher frame rate than your screen can support will result in a screen rupture, which interferes with any gaming experience.
GPU refresh rate ratio
Before we move on to the technical issues of refresh rates, response times and all these other things, you should consider the importance of the connection between your GPU and the refresh rate.
If you have a high refresh rate monitor, you should be able to run Windows at a high refresh rate regardless of your GPU status. You will see the difference in your mouse movement, which will be silky smooth on your entire screen, but beyond a slightly smoother feel, it does not make a significant difference to your Windows experience.
To play games at a high refresh rate, you need to have a strong GPU, and even then it is very unlikely that you will get close to a refresh rate of 360 Hz. For perspective, look at Standards for each game Of one of the most powerful GPUs on the market. In ultra settings at 1080p, it is capable of achieving frame rates in the range of 100-180fps – nowhere near 360fps is your 360 Hz screen capable. It is estimated that you will need to play games 10 years old or older on a leading GPU to achieve ridiculously high frame rates.
Furthermore, if your screen has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 or higher, you will probably prefer to use the higher resolutions than try to reach the highest frame rates. From my personal point of view, once you go over 120fps, it decreases in applause because it becomes harder and harder for the human eye to grasp the difference.
Obviously almost every GPU out there is weaker than that, so the frame rate you get will be even lower and these 360Hz are even less necessary.
Simply put: 360Hz is for serious amateurs, and 144Hz is the more sensible choice for most gamers today.
Quick note on response times and panel types
When considering high refresh rate displays, response time and panel type become much more important.
response time (Read more correctly Pixel response time) Measures the amount of time it takes for individual pixels to change colors. If your response time is too high, your image will be prone to ghosts and objects, which reduces the benefits of a high refresh rate in the first place.
Panel type There is a direct impact on the response time of the pixels due to the limitations of the technologies currently available in the market. The three main types of panels are TN, IPS and VA.
- TN boards have the lowest response times and the highest refresh rate, but at the price of much poorer image quality – especially noticeable when viewed off-axis.
- IPS boards can have excellent response times and refresh rates and have the best image quality, but they tend to be unusually expensive and slightly slower than TN boards all over the board. The viewing angles are also the best.
- VA boards are a decent middle ground with particularly good performance in a dark room, but VA boards are also the most notorious due to poor response times, even in high-refresh VA displays. However, viewing angles tend to be better than TN.
With all this information in mind, we recommend sticking to TN or IPS panels if you choose to select a high refresh rate monitor (144Hz or higher), and a response time of 5-1 ms, 1 ms is the best case for a 360Hz monitor.
How the refresh rate (and frame) affects your game
Do higher refresh rates and frame rates make you better at games?
Yes and no. Ultimately, your skill and practice will determine your results, especially in eSports titles. However, low frame rates and refresh rates are a bit of a drawback, especially if you have trouble maintaining 60 FPS.
Real life is not perceived in individual frames like movies or games, but if it were, one could imagine them as a virtually unlimited frame rate. The only limitation to your ability to respond to things in real life is your hand-eye coordination.
However, screens are a different story, and even a 144Hz monitor is far from real motion. The simplest way to explain the difference between two different equal players with different monitors is that the one with the higher refresh rate sees the game update faster than the other player.
Especially in action games with high octane, it can make all the difference. If you want to learn more, Check out the research from Nvidia. This study shows a tangible improvement in player performance in Battle Royale titles with a higher refresh rate.
Want to test yourself different refresh rates? Click here to open the UFO test in a compatible desktop browser. (NoteA: You will still be limited by the refresh rate of your current monitor but you can easily see the difference between high and low FPS.)
Conclusion: Do you need a 360 Hz monitor?
For most gamers (and certainly not casual gamers and gamers), the biggest benefit you will see after upgrading from 60 Hz is 144 Hz. While 240 Hz and 360 Hz offer additional benefits, they end up being marginal compared to a 60 to 144 jump and a large monetary cost.
Aside from the much higher price of the monitors themselves, you’ll have to spend a lot more on your computer hardware to actually push 360 Hz – and if you’re playing on consoles, you can not really go over 120 Hz anyway.
A high refresh rate monitor is a great upgrade for any gaming experience, but in the end the only way to get better in the game is … to get better in the game. A fancy monitor will not do this for you.
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