I never really realized this, but are the FPS in games limited by your monitor's refresh rate? I have an older dell 19" LCD that came w/ my PC and has a max refresh rate of 75mhz. This seems to be the cap in FPS when I run games w/ fraps. If FPS is limited by refresh rates, what are the rates like on today's displays? How do benchmarkers see FPS in excess of 120?
If you use Vsync then it limits your frame rate to that of your monitor refresh rate. If you turn vsync off then it will cause "tearing" which occurs when your fps is higher than your monitor refresh rate.
the "FPS" rate is what the graphics card is processing per second.
in actual fact, an LCD doesn't "refresh" at ALL, unless something on the screen changes. so if you were just sitting on the desktop with nothing changing (what about the clock? ), your monitor would never refresh. CRT's on the other hand did have to refresh 75 times a second or whatever.
so yeah, if your graphics card is processing 120 frames a second, thats all well and good. but if your monitor is only refreshing 75 frames a second, the extra frames are effectively wasted.