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60hz vs. 120hz refresh

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 9, 2013 3:50:37 AM

Is the quality / performance that much better? Would it be worth it for me to get a nice 120hz monitor to use for games, programming, skype, movies and such?

More about : 60hz 120hz refresh

January 9, 2013 4:05:15 AM

I can't get to the site due to browser restriction / ACL policy on the network. :/ 
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January 9, 2013 4:24:37 AM

Regardless, the article was about CRT monitors, and quite outdated. Basically, it made sure you knew the difference between the refresh rate and the frame rate.

My question to the OP is: can you already tell a difference between 50 and 60 FPS on your current monitor? I ask this because some people think 60 is the lowest end of playable, whereas some people don't mind 30. I, personally, can tell when the frames go above 60, but I don't find it worth the loss in image quality to reach those frames.
January 9, 2013 4:28:17 AM

There is a loss in image quality above 60 fps? I do not own the monitor / computer yet but i shall be buying it when i return from overseas, i am just trying to get my ducks in a row. i can tell from lagginess during game play when it would jump from 60 down to say...40 or 30 but i dont know or have never seen frame rates during a movie or anything. so Yes i believe i can distinguish between frame rates.

What would a higher frame rate do ? I was under the impression it improved upon performance and quality?
January 9, 2013 4:31:25 AM

No, you need to drop the image quality to up the frame rates.
January 9, 2013 4:35:55 AM

Most movies are 24/30 FPS and I don't see any difference.The advantage of 120hz to 60hz is that it would look more smooth and natural(but sometimes it can make you sick,its reported that some people watching 48 FPS movies get sick :o )since it can show more change at a time.And also you can also do 3D :D  if it accepts 120Hz signals~
January 9, 2013 4:53:07 AM

Ok i guess i will just have to stick to a good 60Hz monitor and i can get a 3 monitor set up. I just wanted to get a 120hz if it was completely worth it, but it appears it can cause problems?

I just dont want to drop a lot of money for a 120hz monitor and have anything like that happen and it end up being a waste of money.
a c 87 U Graphics card
January 9, 2013 5:11:14 AM

No - these people aren't telling it straight. It doesn't cause any problems whatsoever, the only issue is that if you want to game at a hundred and twenty frames a second, you have to be able to output a hundred twenty frames a second - something that either requires a decent graphics card, or as they state erroneously, lowering image quality.

A 120Hz monitor will, in fact, make everything much much smoother, so long as the game is running at 100+ frames a second - but if you're considering dropping the money for a 120Hz monitor, you probably have the computer to do it. I'm actually surprised that "I8myhippo" is saying he has to turn down his image quality - the only games I have to do so with are Far Cry 3 and Battlefield 3... My 670 can max out basically any other game at 120Hz and 1080p, and it's a HUGE improvement over 60fps; at least to me. No issues at all, and nothing like these people have been mentioning.

Don't just take my word for it, but do listen to people who have experience with what we're talking about, rather than mentioning movies. (*The idiotic myth that we can't process more than 24 frames a second is utter bs that stems from ancient movie filming technology and the fact that movies have motion blur.)

Here's what you actually should be looking at - some facts and knowledge of the experienced:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CML9GaMSdg
January 9, 2013 6:44:31 AM

Assuming you play with vsync turned on, 120hz is definitely superior to 60hz regardless of your frame rates. Even at frame rates below 60 FPS you will see a big benefit. At 120hz the maximum amount of time the video card will have to wait to send a frame is only half as long as it would be at 60hz. This means you will get a more even delivery of frames, as well as slightly higher frame rates.

If you play with vsync turned off you won't get as much of a benefit at lower frame rates (though you'll probably see less tearing), but you will still get the benefit of higher maximum frame rates, and 100FPS is definitely better than 60 in a fast action game.


I miss CRT monitors, and this is the biggest reason. I'm currently using a 1440x900 monitor that supports 75hz (even that is noticeably better than 60hz), and I refuse to upgrade to 1920x1080 until I can afford a 120hz monitor.
January 9, 2013 7:03:28 AM

I dont think my computer will be a problem, i am thinking of getting a 670,680, or 690, depending on when the new 700 series cards come out i may get a 670/680 if they come out soon and if not i will get a 690 and just not upgrade for awhile.
a c 87 U Graphics card
January 9, 2013 7:36:08 AM

Don't bother getting a 680 - it's a waste of money. A 680 is only 5% faster than a 670, for $100 more. When you overclock, it's only about 3% better.

Same thing applies to a 690, basically. A pair of 670s will be just as good for $300 less. (Though both will be overkill - a 670 will max out basically any game at 60Hz and 1080p.)

That being said, you're far better off upgrading every couple years than you are going big every so often. This guy puts it way better than I can: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK4ip08auGg
January 9, 2013 9:28:25 AM

Ok, excellent :) 
January 9, 2013 11:02:13 AM

IMO a nice IPS display is vastly superior to a 120 Hz TN display... but it's really a matter of preference

120 Hz displays are the best for competitive FPS gaming, for sure.
a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2013 12:24:05 PM

I honestly think 120hz monitors are overrated. I much prefer my IPS 1440p monitor over a TN panel anyday... but I think of it this way. When I played on 120hz for a couple of hours, it didn't feel any different, but when I went back to 60hz I couldn't play on it easily for a week. So even though it didn't feel any different to 60hz *for me anyways, could be different for others* it ruined my experience of 60hz for a week.
January 9, 2013 1:16:43 PM

waicool20 said:
Most movies are 24/30 FPS and I don't see any difference.The advantage of 120hz to 60hz is that it would look more smooth and natural(but sometimes it can make you sick,its reported that some people watching 48 FPS movies get sick :o )since it can show more change at a time.And also you can also do 3D :D  if it accepts 120Hz signals~



Just an fyi... don't compare the frame rates from TV/movies to the frame rates of video games. Camera's capture some blur with movement that helps the transition from frame to frame. Games on the other hand don't have this. It's 1 static frame coupled with the next static frame that creates the jerkiness at 30 fps that you don't see when watching TV at 30 fps. Game developers can try to articficially add this blur but it's not the same.
a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2013 1:46:18 PM

i8myhippo said:
Regardless, the article was about CRT monitors, and quite outdated. Basically, it made sure you knew the difference between the refresh rate and the frame rate.

My question to the OP is: can you already tell a difference between 50 and 60 FPS on your current monitor? I ask this because some people think 60 is the lowest end of playable, whereas some people don't mind 30. I, personally, can tell when the frames go above 60, but I don't find it worth the loss in image quality to reach those frames.


The article is about FPS and refersh rate. It covers both CRT and LCD display tech. And unless your Geordi La Forge, it's not outdated. geesss...
@ASHISH65 thanks for the link.
a c 217 U Graphics card
January 9, 2013 2:06:33 PM

120hz is pretty much only a gaming thing, but for gaming it has a couple advantages. Not only do things run smoother, but games are much more responsive, at least for games that you control your view with the mouse.

If you like the idea of feeling as if the view you see in the game is more like an extension of you, 120hz would help a lot, assuming you have the GPU power to get 80+ FPS.

For movies, programming and just about anything else, you won't gain much in the way of responsiveness.

I personally get nauseated playing on a 60hz monitor due to the increased latency. At 30 FPS, I get nauseated within a couple minutes, up to 60 FPS, it happens after about 30-60mins, and at 80 FPS, I can play all day and not get sick.

So, the question comes down to what you want more and will benefit from the most. Do you want smooth responsive game play, or higher resolution and color clarity (assuming you get a good IPS monitor as an alternative)? I'll take responsiveness any day, but I'm not you.
January 9, 2013 2:52:20 PM

What you want is a 120 mhz IPS monitor :) 
January 9, 2013 2:54:05 PM

Except sadly there's no out of the box 120 Hz IPS displays... you have to try your luck overclocking one of the Korean LG panels :( 
January 9, 2013 3:03:43 PM

BigMack70 said:
Except sadly there's no out of the box 120 Hz IPS displays... you have to try your luck overclocking one of the Korean LG panels :( 


Ya I know, I was looking into those Korean panels on e-bay and decided I'm just not lucky enough to try my luck on one of those.
January 9, 2013 3:14:10 PM

BigMack70 said:
IMO this would be the one to try for 120 Hz, though the price has been steadily climbing on it for a few months and I think it's currently $100 too high since 120 Hz is not guaranteed:
http://www.overlordcomputer.com/overlord_tempest_X270OC...

I'm currently in love with my Auria version of the display, though I could only get it up to 72 Hz before it started acting a bit weird:
http://www.microcenter.com/product/384780/EQ276W_27_IPS...



Those both look pretty sweet. Are you noticing any blur with a 6ms response time in gaming?
January 9, 2013 3:38:36 PM

ibjeepr said:
Those both look pretty sweet. Are you noticing any blur with a 6ms response time in gaming?


If I go looking for it, I can see it. But honestly, it's a bit better than my old Hannspree HF289H that this replaced (and that monitor claimed 3ms GTG response time). I don't find it distracting or notice it if I'm not looking for it.

I don't play FPS games competitively, so I don't care about a little bit of ghosting/blur. And honestly, no IPS display is going to satisfy a gamer looking for CRT-like response times and zero ghosting... high end 120 Hz TN panels are a must for those folks.
January 9, 2013 3:49:13 PM

BigMack70 said:
If I go looking for it, I can see it. But honestly, it's a bit better than my old Hannspree HF289H that this replaced (and that monitor claimed 3ms GTG response time). I don't find it distracting or notice it if I'm not looking for it.

I don't play FPS games competitively, so I don't care about a little bit of ghosting/blur. And honestly, no IPS display is going to satisfy a gamer looking for CRT-like response times and zero ghosting... high end 120 Hz TN panels are a must for those folks.



I'll keep that in mind next time I'm in the market. I wasn't sure how noticable 6ms would be. Glad to hear it's not bad.
January 9, 2013 3:52:56 PM

ibjeepr said:
I'll keep that in mind next time I'm in the market. I wasn't sure how noticable 6ms would be. Glad to hear it's not bad.


It just depends on how sensitive you are to it, I think (I'm not really sensitive to ghosting or to input lag). Also, I think that TN panels just have lies posted on their stickers a lot of the time... both my VH242H and the aforementioned Hannspree were as bad as this monitor if not worse with ghosting, yet they both claimed better response times.

Most likely IMO, that 6ms response time is an honest claim, while the claims of lots of TN panels are either lies or represent absolute best case scenarios for the monitor.
January 10, 2013 2:02:50 AM

Ok excellent, thank you all. I play WoW and League of Legends as well as HoN and various internet based games with the occasional FPS like call of duty i will probably end up getting more of those when i build my computer though. So a 120hz would be the most beneficial? I would like the colors and picture to look pretty good though. not crappy colors lol
a c 217 U Graphics card
January 10, 2013 2:21:22 AM

TN panels look great in games, their issue with appearance comes in the following:
1) Color shift (some people call this viewing angles, but this is not what the manufacturers call it) - Color shift will mean that at different angles, the colors appear slightly different. This is less relevant when it comes to games, as games uses textures and try to appear organic. Slight color shift really isn't noticeable in a game. This is more noticeable at the desktop.
2) Color accuracy. Good IPS panels have 8 bit colors, TN panels have 6 bit colors. That is to say, 8 bits per Red, green and blue, so it's more like 24 bit vs 18 bit color, depending on how you look at it. You'll be hard pressed to see the difference in a game, but if you look at gradients, which you may see in graphic art, you may notice a little less smoothness.
3) High resolution options - IPS panels come in 1440p and 1600p resolutions, TN panels top out at 1200p, but a 120hz version will be 1080p. Both require more power to be able to take advantage of it.

The downside of an IPS monitor, the ones with all the above advantages, is low response times, which results in ghosting, and a lack of 120hz for smoother and more responsive game play.

I suppose the choice might be similar to whether you prefer games which have very detailed textures, or one that has great animation. An IPS panel gives you a better still picture, a 120hz TN panel, gives you better animations.

QUESTION: Do you get headaches, nausea or eye strain when you play games in 1st person or over the shoulder views?
If so, a 120hz monitor with high FPS may relieve the symptoms of simulator sickness.

Are you a keyboard turner or mouse turner?
If so, you may not notice much issue with low latency and choppier game play.
January 10, 2013 2:23:29 AM

I bought a benq 24" 120hz monitor, along with a gtx 680. I will never go back to 60hz again. Make sure you run vsync off, settings low enough so you can actually go upwards towards 120fps in the games you play. All eyes are different, but for me I notice a difference in smoothness up to 100fps, after that I can't tell.
January 10, 2013 2:25:47 AM

Hmm... gonna have to disagree big time about the difference the colors make in game.

IMO gaming was fugly on my old TN monitors compared to now on this IPS... everything looks sooooooooooooooooooooo much more vivid and gorgeous.

Before I made the switch, I probably would have said that it wouldn't have made a big difference in games beyond the resolution increase either, but WOW I was wrong... the difference is HUGE. I could never go back to a TN panel for gaming, even if it were 1200 Hz.
a c 217 U Graphics card
January 10, 2013 2:28:27 AM

BigMack70 said:
Hmm... gonna have to disagree big time about the difference the colors make in game.

IMO gaming was fugly on my old TN monitors compared to now on this IPS... everything looks sooooooooooooooooooooo much more vivid and gorgeous.

Before I made the switch, I probably would have said that it wouldn't have made a big difference in games beyond the resolution increase either, but WOW I was wrong... the difference is HUGE. I could never go back to a TN panel for gaming, even if it were 1200 Hz.


There are many people with IPS panels that will tell that their 120hz TN panel looks way more vivid and colorful than their IPS panel.

Vividness is not about IPS vs TN. My previous monitor was night and day worse than my current 120hz monitor as well.
January 10, 2013 2:32:13 AM

Colors just aint gonna pop on a TN panel the way they do on IPS... and that affects image quality in games. The idea that color matters on the desktop but not in games is just silly.

You could buy a 120 Hz panel expecting great color in games, but... that dog just won't hunt.

And I think this highlights the issue... If you are looking to spend more than $150-200 on a monitor, you more or less have to figure out for yourself if you prefer IPS & possibly high resolution or the responsiveness of 120 Hz; can't really have both.
a c 217 U Graphics card
January 10, 2013 2:35:38 AM

Color accuracy will be lower on a TN panel, but colors popping has more to do with the finish of the display and general quality.

Apparently you chose one that has a vivid display and are excited about it, but I've seen people make the move to a high end IPS monitor and have the opposite reaction. I hear the high end Dell IPS displays look very washed out, for example, even though they are considered some of the very best for graphic art. Ask JackNaylor about his experience, as he has both.
January 10, 2013 2:36:37 AM

Ok so i want the colors to look good, but i dont want there to be ghosting or any lag input, so i am thinking 120hz is the way to go on this for now, and if i want later i can get an IPS and have a dual or tri monitor set up if needed! I like to see the animations in games and such and i will be getting a 690 GTX probably so i dont think there will be a problem reaching the higher frame rates. i would hope not atleast lol.
January 10, 2013 2:37:34 AM

If you don't want any ghosting or lag input you need to more or less stay away from IPS displays and head for 120 Hz... I think you made the right call. You won't know what you're missing on the colors unless you stick an IPS panel next to it, but you'll definitely notice ghosting on an IPS display if you're sensitive to it.
January 10, 2013 2:39:07 AM

I think at the most i would be willing to spend is 600$ for a monitor. I want to be able to see the colors and animations extremely well, i know i cant have both i guess like extremely vivid detail and images with no response lag. but what would the response time / ghosting be like on a nice IPS? do they have IPS with 5ms or less response? and is 5ms really all that bad?
January 10, 2013 2:40:53 AM

Completely depends on how sensitive you are to it. IMO it's comparable to what any of the sub-$200 TN panels bring to the table in terms of response time.

From everything you're saying, it really sounds to me like you should go the 120 Hz route...
January 10, 2013 2:41:18 AM

Ok, so if my price range is 600$ could i get a decent IPS and 120hz and just use the 120hz for gaming and the IPS for desktop / images / movies and web surfing? or would i have to spend a little more, i havent delved that deep into monitor research yet, like pricing and such so i dont know that much about it. i wanted to get the type down first.
a c 217 U Graphics card
January 10, 2013 2:41:29 AM

Most of the responsiveness comes from the higher refresh rate, not so much the response time. The response time control the effect of ghosting.
January 10, 2013 2:43:01 AM

Yeah, I think 120hz is the way i will end up going first and foremost and then get an IPS as a second monitor.
January 10, 2013 2:44:25 AM

I'd get a solid 120 Hz model recommendation from someone like bystander who has used those, and then decide after you've used that if you want a second IPS monitor right away.

I'm obviously biased, but I'd swear by this Auria display from Microcenter as the absolute best $400 monitor around if you're interested in adding a hi-res IPS to your desk somewhere down the line. I can't see any reason to buy one of the HP or Dell models which are several hundred dollars more expensive.

I don't know how much nice 120 Hz displays cost but I'd guess that for two high end monitors you're looking at more like $700-800 and not $600.
January 10, 2013 2:44:29 AM

Ok so if i were to get a 120hz and it had like 10 ms response there is a good chance it will ghost still?
January 10, 2013 2:46:43 AM

treven said:
Ok so if i were to get a 120hz and it had like 10 ms response there is a good chance it will ghost still?


Pretty sure that most if not all 120Hz monitors advertise a 2ms response time
a c 217 U Graphics card
January 10, 2013 2:49:17 AM

As far as 120hz monitors go, I hear the Samsung's have great color, and they are typically glossy, which adds to the vividness. The 700, 750 and 950 series are also HD3D monitors, which won't help you much with Nvidia, if 3D is at all a consideration. The ASUS VG278HE is a 27" monitor that is 144hz. This is a solid monitor, but the colors are not considered as vivid as the Samsung, and I believe it is a matte finish. With some tweaking, the color can be made much better. It also supports 3D Vision 2, if you buy a kit separately.

Atm, it seems several 23-24" 120hz monitors are becoming discontinued and hard to find, we'll have to wait and see what pops up before I can recommend one that size.
January 10, 2013 2:59:58 AM

Why are they being discontinued? Isn't that a staple size?

3D isn't really a concern of mine at the moment, i dont see myself utilizing it or needing it really at all, atleast in 2013. My only experience with it was bad at a movie theatre, but i am sure its a bit different technology. Glasses are still needed for it though correct?

Does the Glossy effect cause much glare or interference with the screen?
a c 217 U Graphics card
January 10, 2013 3:30:36 AM

treven said:
Why are they being discontinued? Isn't that a staple size?

3D isn't really a concern of mine at the moment, i dont see myself utilizing it or needing it really at all, atleast in 2013. My only experience with it was bad at a movie theatre, but i am sure its a bit different technology. Glasses are still needed for it though correct?

Does the Glossy effect cause much glare or interference with the screen?

I personally prefer matte, as I don't like any glare, but many people like glossy, as it generally results in a brighter picture.

I don't know, my guess is there are new models going to be replacing them BenQ and ASUS models that have been popular in the past. The Samsung's may still be available though.
January 10, 2013 4:09:32 AM

Oh this is just for samsung 23-24" i thought you meant across the board lol. i was worried.
January 10, 2013 9:22:11 AM

There were claims that a human eye can only distinguish 10mil colors.
And there are also claims that human eye can only notice 60hz.

I have been using my S27A750 for a few months now.
It is an 8-bit color depth resulting in a total of 16.7 mil colors.
120Hz with a 2ms refresh rate.

I do not know if those claims are true or not.
But i can tell you one thing.
The difference between this monitor and other normal 60hz monitors makes you feel that everything is smooth.

If you want my advice, go for a 120hz monitor that has great colors.
You do not need to go for a 10-bit color depth monitor , those ones are for professional graphics editors and basically for still images more than gaming use.

I would advice that you look into the S27A950D and see if there are any complaints.
You will need a good system that does not bottleneck your monitor though.
January 10, 2013 10:46:16 AM

Ah, ok cool. Thank you! I will look into it :) 
January 10, 2013 10:54:55 AM

I love the design of it, it looks great as well. 120hz is a plus and 27"!


I just wish it had a higher resolution :/ 
!