The TV in question is the Vizio SV420M. The problems I have been having lately include the noticeable flicker on my previous smaller TV. Upon getting this "supposedly" 120hz tv I notice much of the same. From what knowledge i gained in the short time, i understand there are several reasons for screen flicker but having a 700watt power supply and correctly seated radeon hd 5770's in crossfire i find the problem being the refresh rate. The reason i believe this is because when running games with vsync off (ive started doing this with my newly acquired pc since i like the extra frames) flicker is noticeable much more, but when i enable vsync it doesnt which makes sense since 60hz refresh rate + 60 fps = sense.
The problem is here that my tv claims its 120hz yet only shows up to 60hz refresh rate at the most. My understanding is I may have been gipped or Im missing something when it comes to movies vs using the tv as a monitor for gaming. Now i notice an almost 3d effect and amazing and smooth fluidity like ive never seen before with my last monitor when watching movies but the screen flicker when playing some game is unbearable. Can someone just clarify whats the issue and what im doing wrong and possibly enlighten me with what im not understanding as far as 120hz display vs refresh rate?
Thanks in advance for your responses.
FYI Im heading off to work as i post this so dont expect a response till the evening. Regardless, any information and opinions as well as recommendations for a different TV thats not poopy if this one is would be appreciated.
120Hz HDTVs and 120Hz PC monitors operates differently.
120Hz HDTVs only accepts 60Hz inputs. The 120Hz refers to video processing done internally by the HDTV to smooth out video and also give it that "live" look. In between every two actual from the source the HDTV will create an intermediate frame. Gaming wise, this creates input lag because it requires time for the HDTV to make an intermediate frame. You need to switch the HDTV to "60Hz mode" to eliminate this input lag. This also applies to 240Hz HDTVs.
120Hz PC monitor accepts dual linked DVI-D (60Hz each link). Apparently you did your research on 120Hz PC monitors and simply assumed it applies to HDTVs as well. 120Hz HDTVs came out before 120Hz monitors.
After careful research and much consideration I now understand the difference between HDTVs and monitors. One major problem is that it seems I would have to get a Monitor to get the full experience without the flicker as far as games go. I now understand the differences but now have some questions: When looking at larger monitors (30+in.) Im pointed to plasma, which dont always have a nice Refresh Rate or are very high priced. It does seem that the first generation of 120hz Monitors only going in 22in and have a 1600/1050ish, but the next generation monitors like the Alienware Optx AW2310 come in 23in with a 1920/1080 display.
Seeing as i run dual cards, i want to get the highest resolution i can to have the greatest impact on performance so im considering getting one of those monitors. My question is that if i have a ATI card Im not going to be able to get the full 3D? It seems cool and all but can i just get the monitor for its ability to have such a high refresh rate to play at max performance without screen flicker or do i have to go all the way? Another question is that im seeing Nvidia all over this 3D glasses/technology where as i dont see ATI anywhere?
Thanks for all your answers as always, but to finish things up what do i need to consider as far as ports for purchasing these monitors? I see that people mention going dual dvi, keeping the HD display, the 120hz refresh AND have reduced input lag(The monitors mention there is less in DVI mode only, but the alienware monitor i mentioned only has one DVI port). Is all that required? How bad is the lag if any if i just plug a HDMI cable in to one of those babies?
All in all id like some good recommendations for a 120Hz Monitor (not worried about the price) and what to look for when shopping for one.
Are you definitely going to use 3d vision? Are your graphics cards capable of a sustained 120fps in the games you want to play at the intended resolution? Do you think you can tell the difference between 60fps and 120fps?
IMO you'd need to say yes to all three to make a 120hz display (monitor not TV) worth it…
With LCD, there is no 'flicker'. With CRTs the flicker is produced by the image being re-drawn in front of you 60 times a second (@60hz). Some people can detect the little gap between one image being drawn on screen, it fading away, then the next one being drawn. Higher CRT refresh rates=more re-draws per second, this helps eliminate this effect by reducing the delay between the picture being re-drawn on screen.
On a LCD, there is no 're-draw', the backlight is continuous (its not really unless it’s a LED backlight, but a CCFL backlight is probably operating at 150hz+ so definitely not giving a perceptable flicker… anyway) yes, the backlight is continous so there is no flickering effect from the re-draw, the image is constantly displayed on screen until the pixels change. So it is only the colour of the pixel that is being 're-freshed' 60 times a second, not the entire image on screen. So with LCD, 60hz translates into a maximum of 60 fps displayable on the monitor. This is why you need to enable vsync, so that it caps the output from your gfx card to the maximum that your 60hz monitor can display - 60 fps.
Getting back to the point, you won't see any less 'flicker' on a 120hz vs a 60hz, as there is none, what you might be describing is ghosting due to a high response time, but that is separate. What you have to do is find out if you can see the difference between a solid 60fps and a solid 120fps on two low response monitors, then work out if your rig can output a solid 120fps at your desired settings. There will be a difference in smoothness, 120 fps will undoubtedly be smoother than 60, but can you tell. Its all down to the person, and personally I find that I can tell the difference between a constant 60fps, and a varying rate of 50-75-59 say. A solid 60 is perceptively smoother. So for me, personally, I would rather have a rig and low response LCD that are both capable of showing me a constant 60fps without any fluctuation, than one that is capable of 120 fps, but in reality will be fluctuating all the time. Of course that is just me and in an ideal world I'd have a rig/monitor that could do 120fps in everything all day long but that is out of my budget, and for some games doesn't even exist yet!
First of all id like to thank you for your very descriptive post of very important information, it further helps my understanding of monitors. Now that you explain what it was that i really saw im starting to wonder what it exactly was. I noticed the supposed "flicker" on two games, one being WoW and the other being Dawn of War 2. Now that you mention the vsync, I did have it disabled and my system specs DO allow me to run very high frame rates. This lead me to believe this is what i really saw and enabling vsync made this disappear.
As far as your 3 questions earlier, I know there are several games i can run at 60+ fps consistently. Not exactly all at 120fps, but the idea of capping your framerate makes me feel like my rig specs go to waste, which is why im turning to a 120hz monitor. Even on battlefield bad company 2 with 8xMSAA max settings id consistently get 90-100fps..... And as far as how much ill notice the change between 60hz vs 120hz id say its damn noticeable with my HDTV just watching movies. Just watched my Blu-Ray Evangelion 2.22 after watching it twice on my old 60hz monitor and i thought i was gonna get knocked in face the thing looked so damn real. In case you dont know, the movie in question is a flippin animation. The fluidity of the animation and video itself just blew me away. Not sure if its my eyes or just the fact that i wear glasses, but things like that become very noticeable for me very fast.
This all considered, am in the good to where a 120hz monitor would benefit me?
The difference when watching a movie on your 120hz HDTV and the 60hz monitor is a separate comparison again. Your 120hz TV is actually creating frames that aren't there with its 120hz processing engine. With your 60hz monitor it is only showing the film in its original format, 24fps or 30fps. The movie will definitely appear smoother to anyyone watching it on the two screens as your TV is creating intermediate frames itself, which smooths out the motion. With a 120hz TV you also don't get any 'pulldown' in which certain movie formats can look like they pause fractionally every second.
Anyway, a gaming pc output on 60 or 120hz monitors is different kettle of fish as you are talking about the pure framerate the screen can display, not taking into account any kind of processing of the signal done by the display itself. Whether it is worth it to you or not comes down to
1: If you can you see a difference with the extra 60 fps? I'd suggest to try and have a look at some in-store or read a few reviews. (I saw X-bitsLabs reveiwed the Samsung 22" 120hz 1680x1050 monitor and sang its praises, saying the 120hz was very good.)
2: If your PC can do 120fps in the games you want it to? - I think with dual 5770s you will be close, depending on the game and resolution - check the charts on Tom's to get an idea
3: Will the games you play benefit from the extra fps enough to make it worth the money? If you are really into quick FPSs then you might find that 120hz really helps with gameplay, and you might be willing to compromise detail levels in the future or upgrade your gfx to get your 120fps if needs-be? If you play a lot of real time strategy games then 120hz may not be that important. For me I like eye candy and MSAA, and I play on a 22" 1080p screen so it looks super sharp with no jaggies. This drains every last pony from my 8800GTs in Sli so there are very few games that I would make 100fps in! For me 120hz wouldn't make sense without a big gfx upgrade.
You do have a PC with a good spec though, so if you have the money to spend then a 120hz monitor would be a nice thing to have, and it will give you an element of future proofing too, being 3d ready. You need to decide whether the benefits you will get personally will make it worth the cost.
High settings + AA + Direct X 11 + games coming out all the time = massive drains on GPUs. Depending on games you are playing, in order for 120fps to be a regular occurance you would be needing to update your GPUs very very regularly.
I cannot really state whether it is worth you getting 120mhz or not as a constant Framerate is all that matters to me - once I am beyond 30fps games are playable and if I have a steady constant fps above that I am perfectl happy and cannot tell the difference at higher fps - maybe my eyes just aren't good enough
But you just have to keep in mind that games push cards to their limits so quickly these days, and we have seen from benchmarks that Direct X 11 really cripples FPS, IF you even can tell much difference between 120 and 60fps, how long will you actually get to have 120fps?
Also, with 60mhz and vsync, as MMc stated, you get a constant FPS (particualrly if your card exceeds 60fps) and most will find that gives a smoother looking gameplay than having your fps jumping from 90-120
Personally, I don't see 60mhz as a capping of my expensive GPUs, I see it as a license to push my GPUs as hard as they can with all the settings to make the game look as good as possible. At 120mhz you will want to try keep your fps at that kind of lvl which means sacrificing quality settigns for it (otherwise you are in the opposite side of the same boat - instead of feeling capped by 60mhz thus wasting the power of your GPU, you have all the settings maxed and an FPS much lower than 120 and feel you are notgetting the most out of your monitor).
In all honesty I think it depends on what games you will play that will truly cripple the framerate. Im sure your thinking since i mentioned battlefield that ill be playing the new crysis and all that shiny shtuff. In that respect i say nay, rather I plan to play mmorpgs since im more of that type of gamer. As far as updating GPU's, I have all the intention to do that when TERA online and FFXIV release (the only two games Ill really be using my computer to play.) so i find that the investment is worth it. However with every advantage there comes a few disadvantages. As shiny and amazing 120hz monitors are, they are very small and i dont expect them getting bigger any time soon. After taking a break from my 24" monitor and getting a 42" 120hz HDTV i would say it would be hard to go back to another little monitor when i get my 120hz one.
Games like WoW and certain mid range aged games on a beefy system do make it more worthwhile for the monitor. My question is, when your framerate on games consistently go 90+ and jump between 90-120 then is there really a noticeable difference in the fluidity?It just seems that 60+ you should get amazing fluidity and moreso 30 more frames later the difference would be supper smooth and just smooth right? Your eyes shouldnt technically be able to pick up those misconceptions when your going for such a high bracket frame rate am i right? Something like dropping to 30fps when your capped at 60fps makes sense but above 60 it just all would seem to be smooth to me >,>.