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Dumb questions about monitors

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  • Gaming
  • Graphics Cards
  • Monitors
Last response: in Displays
a b 4 Gaming
July 20, 2014 6:40:54 AM

Hey guys,
I have a couple of questions about monitors. You see, I've always thought about the gaming rigs, and their hardware, and the latest graphics cards, etc. I COMPLETELY ignored monitors. And now, I got a bit curious so I'm asking these questions that many of you will consider stupid. Anyway, here they are:

1. What is a refresh rate, how does it effect my gaming performance and would a lower refresh rate hurt my eyes?

2. What are the response times in ms supposed to mean? (e.g. 2 ms response time, etc.)

3. Are used monitors on Kijiji or eBay any good?

Sorry for the long read and thanks in advance.

More about : dumb questions monitors

a c 283 4 Gaming
a c 235 U Graphics card
a c 119 C Monitor
July 20, 2014 6:50:47 AM

1. Refresh rate = how many pictures/second your monitor can display. 60Hz is considered acceptable and more is better.

2. The time between the image being sent from the GPU and being displayed on the monitor (only theoretical, check reviews for accurate numbers).

3. Should be, as long as they're made by a reputable manufacturer and sold by a trustworthy seller.
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a b 4 Gaming
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 20, 2014 6:55:51 AM

refresh rate is the amount of frames per second the monitor can display. 60 Hz mean 60 frames per seconds. Since a graphics card on a computer display frames without blur effect (like 24 fps movie does), the more fps you get, the smoother display is. But it won't hurt your eyes and many people says they don't notice differences over 60 Hz.

Response time is the time your monitor takes to achieve a command. As an example, you click with your mouse to make your character moving forward. The actual time it would take for you to see him moving is the sum of every response time of all your component. Your mouse has a response time, if you play on internet, there is a response time due to data transfer time, then your computer calculation has a response time and finally, the monitor has a response time. so the shorter, the better. In gaming we recommend never going higher than 5 ms

used monitor aren't a good idea since there is a risk of encountering early dead pixel (pixel which won't emit light at all) and damaged hardware in a monitor due to use may cause some color to be glitch over time. Used would last less.
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a b 4 Gaming
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 20, 2014 6:58:22 AM

1)a refresh rate is basically how many times a screen will refresh itself every second to display the new image being sent by the gpu. Refresh rate is measured in 'MHz',you can think of it as frames per second. most monitors are 60hz meaning they refresh themselves 60 times every second. Some screens are 120hz or even 144hz. When I say refresh I mean the image that the monitor is currently showing is not displayed anymore so that the next image can be shown. Doing this at atleast 28-30 times a second will create the sense of movement. Regardless of the display MHz as long as your gpu can output 30 fps in a game you should be fine.

2) response times is how quickly pixels can turn on and of. One pixel only has red, green and blue small colours which are used to make any colour in the rainbow. fast-moving action like racing games require the pixels to turn on/off very quickly, anything at or below 8ms is pretty darn fast. If the response time is slow, ghosting can be seen. Try whizing your mouse around and notice the misty trail that follows the cursor, that's ghosting

3) used monitors are not a problem, just depends on how much they have been used, as monitors will eventually after use get dead pixels.

4) you didn't ask about display types but...there's mainly 2 displays, IPS and TN
IPS are known for their rich colour production and wide-viewing angles, that is you can view them at am angle with minimal colour distortion. However, IPS tend to have slow response times and I only know of one IPS panel right now that can exceed 60hz

TN panels are cheaper, and have fast response times, however viewing angles are not do great

apologies can't post any links, on my phone right now :)  if you have any more questions don't hesitate
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Best solution

a c 233 4 Gaming
a c 196 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 20, 2014 7:13:13 AM

gear999 said:
1. What is a refresh rate, how does it effect my gaming performance and would a lower refresh rate hurt my eyes?

The refresh rate is the number of times per second that your monitor will update the display with new information. This time is measure in hertz. @Leonell12 made a mistake here. It is not measured in megahertz. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother transitional image will be, especially in-game. If you were to spin around really quickly, you can see a difference between a high refresh rate monitor like 120 Hz over 60 Hz. Also, if your monitor is rated for 60 Hz, there is also no need to play at frames per second (FPS) higher than 60 because the monitor won't update any faster anyway.


gear999 said:
2. What are the response times in ms supposed to mean? (e.g. 2 ms response time, etc.)

Response time is the amount of time it takes for a pixel to go from grey to white to grey. As you may or may not notice, most monitors will say "grey to grey". This time is actually not standardized. A 2ms for one monitor is NOT necessarily faster than a 5ms for another monitor. This is because response time is calculated by the manufacturers and this process is not standardized. 5ms to one manufacturer may be 2ms to another manufacturer.

Most people notice a difference between 5ms intervals. So if I were to play a game and I stand in one spot and spin around and around, most people can tell the difference between a 2ms and 7ms monitor. Standing still or doing little activity would not be noticeable. As long as you don't exceed 15ms - 16ms, you should be fine because that is when it will really become noticeable.


gear999 said:
3. Are used monitors on Kijiji or eBay any good?

I would avoid eBay. It's hard to determine if there are any dead pixels in the monitor when you buy a used monitor. I have no experience with Kijiji. I advice that you buy a new monitor. If something is wrong with it, you get the benefit of warranty and returns.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 20, 2014 7:27:23 AM

Thanks for the fast replies!
So, a 60 Hz monitor won't be able to show over 60 FPS, right? And response times below 8 ms are good? About the used monitor thing, I found a used Acer 1080p monitor for $60 on Kijiji (which is like eBay but except it's only popular in Canada and you meet with the seller face-to-face and make transactions with cash. In local areas, of course). Will check the refresh rate and response time of that monitor later.

Thanks, guys.
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a c 233 4 Gaming
a c 196 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
July 20, 2014 7:36:51 AM

gear999 said:
So, a 60 Hz monitor won't be able to show over 60 FPS, right?

Correct. 60 Hz is pretty standard because below 60 Hz, it is a bit too slow because the human eye can process refresh rates faster. You sometimes notice this when you see flickering on the screen. That means that the screen's refresh rate is too slow. I would say between 60 Hz and 30 Hz is actually not insanely noticeable, but picky people can definitely find more to argue with. For example, YouTube videos (if I recall correctly) runs at 30 fps. Movies that you see run at only 24 fps. But the clarity in movies is trickier than I want to get into in this thread. They use something called motion blur to aid in tricking your eyes to fill in a lot of the blanks. In games, below even 40 fps is quite noticeable. This is because while most games have motion blur, it's not natural. When you capture motion blur on a camera of an event, that is a natural side effect. The ones in games are created and are not natural so they tend to not look as realistic and is harder to fool.


gear999 said:
And response times below 8 ms are good?

Yes; 8ms is fine. I did forget to mention this and edited my last post. You may have missed it. I'll re-paste:
"Most people notice a difference between 5ms intervals. So if I were to play a game and I stand in one spot and spin around and around, most people can tell the difference between a 2ms and 7ms monitor. Standing still or doing little activity would not be noticeable. As long as you don't exceed 15ms - 16ms, you should be fine because that is when it will really become noticeable."


gear999 said:
Will check the refresh rate and response time of that monitor later.

It's not always easy to check in a short amount of time. You will want to test for visual clarity, dead pixels, etc. And this can take some time. You will want to run through various tests to make sure because no one visual test will tell you everything.
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