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120Hz vs IPS for a gamer who isn't casual, nor professional

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August 22, 2012 6:26:16 PM

So I have a nice new PC arriving at some point next week with a gigabyte overclocked GTX 670 and I am currently facing the dilemma that I assume has frequented hundreds of Tom's Hardware threads over the last few years...

If I go IPS my most likely choice would be the Dell U2312HM, very low input lag even by TN standards, good response time and all the perks of an IPS panel.

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2312hm.htm

If I choose 120Hz I would probably go for the BenQ XL2420T (anyone have any cheaper recommendations, Samsung S23A750D?). Seems to be one of the best TN panels in terms of image quality, not bothered about 3D but obviously it's the 120Hz refresh rate that is the most attractive feature.

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/benq_xl2420t.htm

It seems a shame to get a GPU that should be able to push 100+ fps on most games on high/ultra settings (at least above 60) and being only ever able to see 60 fps. I also like the idea of general Windows usage being enhanced (which I've heard it is @120Hz). Having said that I doubt I could tell the difference between the response times/input lag (as they're very good on the Dell anyway). Is the 120Hz worth the drop in picture quality? I am not going to be doing any photo editing or anything like that but I want my games to look as good as they can.

What do you guys think? Any advice would be appreciated!

[EDIT] In terms of the games I play, I basically play all genres of games, RPGs being my favourites. I play first and third person shooters, racing games, western rpgs, japanese rpgs, action/adventure games, haven't yet played any MMOs but I wouldn't rule them out either...I was a console gamer so I played all sorts. But I'm not a massive COD enthusiast or anything, though I do like to play it.
August 22, 2012 6:55:03 PM

what i like about ips panels is the viewing angle. you might not realize it but we all move around a bit while using a panel and tn panels have a nasty habit of color shifting when you look at them at anything other than a few degrees off center axis. some coatings increase this, and some such as laptop screens are worse than others but in general they all have the same issue.

while true there is an increase in color accuracy with 8bit ips panels you might not even realize it unless dealing with fine gradients. 6bit ips, va and tn all share the same color accuracy.

not sure what you mean by increased windows performance with 120hz tn. some people note that video looks smoother but personally i can hardly tell the difference. i've never had a problem with 60hz looking choppy so why change a good thing.

i would say go with an ips over tn any day unless your budget does not allow it or if 3d is important to you.
August 22, 2012 7:08:14 PM

ssddx said:
what i like about ips panels is the viewing angle. you might not realize it but we all move around a bit while using a panel and tn panels have a nasty habit of color shifting when you look at them at anything other than a few degrees off center axis. some coatings increase this, and some such as laptop screens are worse than others but in general they all have the same issue.

while true there is an increase in color accuracy with 8bit ips panels you might not even realize it unless dealing with fine gradients. 6bit ips, va and tn all share the same color accuracy.

not sure what you mean by increased windows performance with 120hz tn. some people note that video looks smoother but personally i can hardly tell the difference. i've never had a problem with 60hz looking choppy so why change a good thing.

i would say go with an ips over tn any day unless your budget does not allow it or if 3d is important to you.


Thanks for your reply. By increased windows performance I meant that people report that doing simple things, like moving windows around on the screen or just moving the mouse, feels noticeably smoother in 120Hz.

So are you saying the Dell U2312HM IPS monitor has no better colour accuracy than the BenQ TN? I am not sure whether it is 6-bit or 8-bit.

The viewing angle thing is a bonus, yes, but the main thing I was hoping to gain out of an IPS display was a better quality picture. If it is noticeably better then I think it could be worth a purchase over 120Hz tn display, but you are saying otherwise?
August 23, 2012 12:25:54 AM

jonnyb193 said:
Thanks for your reply. By increased windows performance I meant that people report that doing simple things, like moving windows around on the screen or just moving the mouse, feels noticeably smoother in 120Hz.


This can vary from person to person. I've read people who say that outside of games a 120Hz monitor works the same as a 60Hz monitor. Others have said that they do notice Windows looking a little smoother such as dragging a window around. I have never seen a 120Hz monitor so I cannot tell you my experience.

jonnyb193 said:

So are you saying the Dell U2312HM IPS monitor has no better colour accuracy than the BenQ TN? I am not sure whether it is 6-bit or 8-bit.


The e-IPS panel used in inexpensive monitors using like the Dell U2312HM use 6-bit panels. The more expensive H-IPS and S-IPS panels are 8-bit. 8-bit panels are generally more accurate than 6-bit panels when it comes to colors. An e-IPS panel will likely have more accurate colors than a TN panel when both are properly calibrated. More importantly the viewing angle of an e-IPS panel monitor should be better than a TN panel monitor. However, color accuracy and viewing angles on an e-IPS panel monitor will not be as good as on a H/S-IPS panel monitor.

jonnyb193 said:

The viewing angle thing is a bonus, yes, but the main thing I was hoping to gain out of an IPS display was a better quality picture. If it is noticeably better then I think it could be worth a purchase over 120Hz tn display, but you are saying otherwise?


Viewing angle is directly linked to picture quality (at least to me it does). If colors shift (washed out / darken) on one side of the monitor just because you move your head a fraction of an inch, then that affects overall picture quality. IPS panel monitors do suffer from viewing angle issue, but are not as severe as in most TN panel monitors, especially when it comes to H/S-IPS panels.

For me I would choose an IPS panel over a TN panel w/o a second thought. I do have a TN panel monitor (Asus VK246H) and while it is a pretty good monitor for a TN panel monitor and while I only use it at most 4 hours per month, I am really thinking about replacing it with an IPS panel monitor. Perhaps an e-IPS panel monitor to save money.
August 23, 2012 12:33:54 PM

the loss of image quality when viewing an ips panel at an angle is rather minimal. to me i can view it at an 85+/- degree angle from off center and it still looks as good as 30+/- degrees and head on. i have a matte finish on my monitor and not a glossy or anti-glare coating which could affect performance.

window dragging might look better on 120hz tn, but think about this: is this little benefit worth color shifting? to me a little bit of chop with window dragging (its a minor issue really) is far less irritating then colors inverting, greying out or shifting due to angle like tn panels do. laptop monitors are notorious for this. my laptop has a tn panel and i hate it. its a laptop though so i have to make do. cannot complain about the price i paid.

in general, color accuracies for all 6bit panels are roughly in the same bracket. i've never heard that e-ips offer better accuracy but they might. 8bit panels definitely are more accurate.

the reason i suggested e-ips was for the viewing angle. even if they are the same accuracy this reason alone is worth recommending them.
August 23, 2012 3:54:18 PM

jaguarskx said:
This can vary from person to person. I've read people who say that outside of games a 120Hz monitor works the same as a 60Hz monitor. Others have said that they do notice Windows looking a little smoother such as dragging a window around. I have never seen a 120Hz monitor so I cannot tell you my experience.



The e-IPS panel used in inexpensive monitors using like the Dell U2312HM use 6-bit panels. The more expensive H-IPS and S-IPS panels are 8-bit. 8-bit panels are generally more accurate than 6-bit panels when it comes to colors. An e-IPS panel will likely have more accurate colors than a TN panel when both are properly calibrated. More importantly the viewing angle of an e-IPS panel monitor should be better than a TN panel monitor. However, color accuracy and viewing angles on an e-IPS panel monitor will not be as good as on a H/S-IPS panel monitor.



Viewing angle is directly linked to picture quality (at least to me it does). If colors shift (washed out / darken) on one side of the monitor just because you move your head a fraction of an inch, then that affects overall picture quality. IPS panel monitors do suffer from viewing angle issue, but are not as severe as in most TN panel monitors, especially when it comes to H/S-IPS panels.

For me I would choose an IPS panel over a TN panel w/o a second thought. I do have a TN panel monitor (Asus VK246H) and while it is a pretty good monitor for a TN panel monitor and while I only use it at most 4 hours per month, I am really thinking about replacing it with an IPS panel monitor. Perhaps an e-IPS panel monitor to save money.


Thanks for your reply. I think I will go for an IPS, provided they have good input lag and response time (like the u2312hm for example) but another option is the ASUS PA238Q. This is meant to have nearly as good input lag/response time, however it has a 10-bit H-IPS (or S-IPS I can't remember) screen and has similarly positive reviews

http://www.prad.de/en/monitore/review/2011/review-asus-...

http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/monitors-and-pr...

Would I have any problem gaming on it? I originally chose the Dell because it seemed the best IPS for gaming, with an average input lag lower than most TN screens (0.6ms on TFT central), and good response time for an IPS, but if the screen on the ASUS is noticeably better then I might consider that instead. However I've heard that ASUS has had a bit of a problem with quality control and many people have had pretty bad backlight bleed on their monitors.
August 23, 2012 4:05:17 PM

ssddx said:
the loss of image quality when viewing an ips panel at an angle is rather minimal. to me i can view it at an 85+/- degree angle from off center and it still looks as good as 30+/- degrees and head on. i have a matte finish on my monitor and not a glossy or anti-glare coating which could affect performance.

window dragging might look better on 120hz tn, but think about this: is this little benefit worth color shifting? to me a little bit of chop with window dragging (its a minor issue really) is far less irritating then colors inverting, greying out or shifting due to angle like tn panels do. laptop monitors are notorious for this. my laptop has a tn panel and i hate it. its a laptop though so i have to make do. cannot complain about the price i paid.

in general, color accuracies for all 6bit panels are roughly in the same bracket. i've never heard that e-ips offer better accuracy but they might. 8bit panels definitely are more accurate.

the reason i suggested e-ips was for the viewing angle. even if they are the same accuracy this reason alone is worth recommending them.


But considering that I will be gaming on it, is the viewing angle enough to sway me alone, in exchange for poorer response time/input lag? I'm not sure, but in the Dell u2312hm's case, those figures are very good anyway so I think gaming on that would be fine. What do you think of the ASUS PA238Q (see my last post)?

Also could you tell me a bit more about screen coatings, I don't really understand which is which. My dad has a PVA panel for the good blacks, because he reads a lot of text on his monitor. He originally got an IPS panel and said he would've been fine with it if it wasn't for the horrendous screen coating (he described it as "sparkly"). Now, I can't find out what type of screen coating is on the ASUS but the Dell has anti-glare I believe. Which is the least distracting coating and could you recommend a good IPS panel (yours maybe?) with this coating. And with the supposedly most distracting coating, is it really a big deal? I just can't imagine that Dell would put out a brilliant monitor then ruin it with a screen coating to the extent where, in some cases like my dad's, it becomes unusable.
August 24, 2012 1:39:31 AM

The Asus PA238Q should be fine for games; 6ms is pretty standard for H-IPS and S-IPS panels and some people say up to 12m response time is still playable with hardly any ghosting effect. It's input lag is really not that bad at less than 0.5 frames (<16ms) so it should be find.

I play games on my NEC LCD2690WUXi monitor which has an input lag of 32ms (1 frame) and I don't have any issue with it. My Planar PX2611w has less input lag (about 5ms), but I prefer using my NEC as my defacto monitor.
August 24, 2012 3:53:31 PM

Do people really move their head around that so much they can see color shifting on TN panels? I can't see color shifts until I move my head about a foot to the left or right, and it's still barely noticeable then. I still don't get what is so great about large viewing angles when sitting in a stationary chair in front of your monitor. Especially for gaming purposes. Maybe my TN panel has better than average viewing angles, or maybe you guys are extra sensitive to it due to getting used to it?

Color accuracy is another one that seems rather dubious to me when it pertains to gaming at least. The only way you can tell a color is not accurate is if you compare it directly side by side with a photo, so you can tell that this is not the same as the original photo, but you don't do that while gaming. All the colors could be off, but can you really tell without something else to compare it too? As long as you can get the basic skin color close to a persons color, having a slightly different shade means nothing when you game.

That leaves latency and refresh rate. A 120hz monitor, is hugely better than a 60hz monitor. Not just due to input lag, but also because a 60hz monitors image is updated half as often. When a frame is rendered, the system has a longer wait for the next update to the screen, causing latency. In this way, I can notice a huge difference between 60hz and 120hz. Of course, it's hard for me to visually see this difference, but unfortunately for me, I get motion sickness when gaming. Switching from a 60hz panel to a 120hz panel, motion sickness vanishes when I can reach FPS over 80+. Of course I notice a difference when turning fast or tracking a target, but the motion sickness is the biggest difference for me.
August 24, 2012 10:33:55 PM

bystander said:
Do people really move their head around that so much they can see color shifting on TN panels? I can't see color shifts until I move my head about a foot to the left or right, and it's still barely noticeable then. I still don't get what is so great about large viewing angles when sitting in a stationary chair in front of your monitor. Especially for gaming purposes. Maybe my TN panel has better than average viewing angles, or maybe you guys are extra sensitive to it due to getting used to it?



I can see the colors starting to shift on my Asus VK246H when I keep my head perfectly still and centered on the monitor and simply rolling my eyes around to focus on certain parts of the monitor.
August 24, 2012 11:45:41 PM

jaguarskx said:
I can see the colors starting to shift on my Asus VK246H when I keep my head perfectly still and centered on the monitor and simply rolling my eyes around to focus on certain parts of the monitor.


Are you sure that has anything to do with viewing angle? The difference in viewing angle is so small, by the ratings.

170°(H) / 160°(V) of the TN compared to
178°(H) / 178°(V) of an IPS

Are you sure there isn't another issue with your monitor or something else entirely that you are talking about? Even if there is a difference, it is a small difference, meaning your eye movement would cause viewing angle issues with both, if it were viewing angle.

EDIT: I have read around a bit, and I believe you are referring to what many have noticed as color shift. Not viewing angle. Anyways, by those who have both IPS and TN monitors on all the searches I've found, it is clear that some TN displays are worse than others in that department.

As far as the question at hand, from those who have both, almost all will tell you this; for gaming, particularly fast action gaming, 120hz TN displays are far superior, for everything else, IPS. For slow moving games, IPS is often chosen by the same people, but others still prefer the 120hz.
August 25, 2012 6:02:59 AM

TN panels have terrible viewing angles. "170°(H) / 160°(V)" is just a spec and specs can lie because they are mostly generic.

Color shifting is part of viewing angles. The more "off-center" you are, the more the colors beings to shift. I definitely do not experience color shifting on my IPS monitors when I simply roll my eyes.

I think 120Hz monitors only comes in handy if your rig can push at least 80FPS
August 25, 2012 6:44:26 AM

The viewing angle is basically the angle at which the monitor looks good. Color shifting is another thing all together, though it is related to viewing angles.

Personally, I have to look real hard, on at the desktop, where you can have a full screen worth of the same color, to notice any color differences from one point to the next. In a game, when you have textures all over the screen, you don't notice any shifting what so ever.

Which goes with the general rule of thumb. 120hz is great for gaming, fast paced gaming in particular, IPS is great for everything else. It's also true that you'll want over 60 FPS to make it more useful, though latency is still improved even if you can't go over 60 FPS. It's also true that to reach 90+ FPS with a 120hz 1080p screen takes about the same power as sub 60 FPS with a 1440p IPS screen.
August 25, 2012 3:28:10 PM

jaguarskx said:
TN panels have terrible viewing angles. "170°(H) / 160°(V)" is just a spec and specs can lie because they are mostly generic.

Color shifting is part of viewing angles. The more "off-center" you are, the more the colors beings to shift. I definitely do not experience color shifting on my IPS monitors when I simply roll my eyes.

I think 120Hz monitors only comes in handy if your rig can push at least 80FPS


bystander said:
The viewing angle is basically the angle at which the monitor looks good. Color shifting is another thing all together, though it is related to viewing angles.

Personally, I have to look real hard, on at the desktop, where you can have a full screen worth of the same color, to notice any color differences from one point to the next. In a game, when you have textures all over the screen, you don't notice any shifting what so ever.

Which goes with the general rule of thumb. 120hz is great for gaming, fast paced gaming in particular, IPS is great for everything else. It's also true that you'll want over 60 FPS to make it more useful, though latency is still improved even if you can't go over 60 FPS. It's also true that to reach 90+ FPS with a 120hz 1080p screen takes about the same power as sub 60 FPS with a 1440p IPS screen.



Thanks for the replies, both of you. Do you think my rig could benefit from a 120Hz screen, and push 90+ fps on high or max settings on most games like you were saying? My CPU is a i5-3570k (not overclocked) and my GPU is a gigabyte overclocked GTX 670. Should certainly be powerful enough to get well over 60 fps on a 1080p IPS screen.

Bear in mind that I'm a console gamer and most of their games are at 30 fps or scaled-up resolution 60 fps so constant 60 fps @ 1920x1080 should impress me anyway! I was more just worried about input lag and response time on IPS screens, but as you've mentioned it shouldn't be a problem, especially on the models I mentioned.

So what would your recommended 120Hz monitor be bystander? A BenQ XL2420T? I don't play those twitch type shooters like quake or counter strike (my reaction time is pretty bad), what I really want is for my games (skyrim for instance, with lots of mods) to look brilliant and play smoothly. Could my GPU cope with this @120Hz? And let's say I find a game that it can't cope with, I could just switch the refresh rate on the monitor down to 60Hz right?

I generally play all types of games both fast moving and slow and in an ideal world I would have a "best of both worlds" (wish they made 120Hz IPS panels), so I'm just wondering which side could offer me the best compromise in terms of colour accuracy, response time/input lag, and performance. For instance those IPS monitors I mentioned have good response times and input lag that is well suited for gaming, do you know of any particularly good 120Hz TN panels with colour accuracy of near IPS quality? As far as I know there are only about 5 23" 120Hz monitors. Bear in mind this won't be exclusively used for gaming, I also will watch a lot of movies/TV series/anime on this screen so that is why I am leaning towards the IPS side.

August 25, 2012 3:53:07 PM

That becomes a difficult question.

Response time is only part of the equation when it comes to input lag. Refresh rate plays a large factor as well. Every time the graphics cards generates an image, you must wait until the monitor updates it before it's viewable. 60hz monitors update their image once per 16.7ms, while 120hz monitors update their image ever 8.3ms. The average delay between screen updates will cause latency.

When playing games using a mouse, rather than a controller, latency seems to be a bigger deal. At least for me. The latency causes simulator sickness in a lot of people, and I'm one of them (I get nauseated, others get headaches or eye strain). For me, I always fought nausea until I got a 120hz monitor, and got my FPS over 80ish FPS. I'll turn down settings in order to achieve 80+ FPS, because it just feels a lot smoother and comfortable to my stomach.

I'm sure you are thinking that you don't experience this, as you've never noticed it on your console games, but that's because the game controller is far more restrictive in motion, that it doesn't seem to cause this issue, the mouse changes all that.

As far as color goes, I've read a few times that the Samsung 750 monitors have excellent color. So good that a few IPS owners preferred their 120hz Samsung over their IPS monitors for color vibrancy. The BenQ XL2420T(X) is known for better response time, and a matte finish, which helps prevent glare, but the color is not quite as vibrant (probably more of a matte thing).

TN panels are not going to have as accurate color, as the colors are 6bit (6bit per red, and 6 bit for blue...so a total of 18bit color in all reality) compared to 8bit for IPS. They just don't display as many colors, but in reality, you can't tell without something to compare to, and even then it's going to be difficult to tell the difference.

The bottom line is that every time you see someone that has both IPS and 120hz monitors, they game with their 120hz monitor and do everything else on their IPS monitor. What do you wish to do more? Neither is horrible at their weakness either.

For me, I need the 120hz to eliminate nausea, and for 3D Vision, which is extremely good, though it does induce some mild nausea, due to the 60 FPS cap.
August 25, 2012 4:11:10 PM

bystander said:
That becomes a difficult question.

Response time is only part of the equation when it comes to input lag. Refresh rate plays a large factor as well. Every time the graphics cards generates an image, you must wait until the monitor updates it before it's viewable. 60hz monitors update their image once per 16.7ms, while 120hz monitors update their image ever 8.3ms. The average delay between screen updates will cause latency.

When playing games using a mouse, rather than a controller, latency seems to be a bigger deal. At least for me. The latency causes simulator sickness in a lot of people, and I'm one of them (I get nauseated, others get headaches or eye strain). For me, I always fought nausea until I got a 120hz monitor, and got my FPS over 80ish FPS. I'll turn down settings in order to achieve 80+ FPS, because it just feels a lot smoother and comfortable to my stomach.

I'm sure you are thinking that you don't experience this, as you've never noticed it on your console games, but that's because the game controller is far more restrictive in motion, that it doesn't seem to cause this issue, the mouse changes all that.

As far as color goes, I've read a few times that the Samsung 750 monitors have excellent color. So good that a few IPS owners preferred their 120hz Samsung over their IPS monitors for color vibrancy. The BenQ XL2420T(X) is known for better response time, and a matte finish, which helps prevent glare, but the color is not quite as vibrant (probably more of a matte thing).

TN panels are not going to have as accurate color, as the colors are 6bit (6bit per red, and 6 bit for blue...so a total of 18bit color in all reality) compared to 8bit for IPS. They just don't display as many colors, but in reality, you can't tell without something to compare to, and even then it's going to be difficult to tell the difference.

The bottom line is that every time you see someone that has both IPS and 120hz monitors, they game with their 120hz monitor and do everything else on their IPS monitor. What do you wish to do more? Neither is horrible at their weakness either.

For me, I need the 120hz to eliminate nausea, and for 3D Vision, which is extremely good, though it does induce some mild nausea, due to the 60 FPS cap.


And do you think my PC can handle 120Hz @ 1080p with all the graphics settings up to the max? Perhaps not on say BF3, but on Skyrim or similarly demanding games? Thanks for the explanation about latency and refresh rate, now I understand what people mean when the say any input lag under 16.7ms is fine because it's under "1 frame" of lag, so surely that means you can't tell the difference between a 15ms input lag and a 2ms input lag, because the screen only refreshes every 1/60 seconds which is over 15ms anyway? Although I guess the lag times vary up to a maximum which is often above 1 frame.

I'll have a look at the Samsung thanks, if I can find it at a decent price I might consider it. In terms of the motion nausea you were talking about, I have played PC games before, mainly COD 4 or 6 over LAN and I do sort of know what you mean, I think. Though it doesn't affect me nearly as bad, so I don't think it would be a problem, provided I can keep it at a good 60 fps most of the time.

Also I'm a little apprehensive about screen coatings. I mentioned in an earlier post that I didn't really understand why some people can't stand the sparkly anti glare coatings. I don't know if I could tell, I might be using one right now! But for my dad it was intolerable, and he can only use glossy or semi glossy screens now. Is this just something that some people are more susceptible to than others? It seems amazing that Dell would "ruin" a brilliant monitor by putting on an agressive anti-glare coating, that visibly detracts from the colour accuracy (so I've heard) and actually makes the screen harder to look at, when reading text for instance. Is this just people overreacting or is it really that bad?

Thanks for the quick and lengthy reply.
August 25, 2012 4:31:42 PM

As far as getting 80+ FPS on your setup goes. A single OC'ed 670 can play games like Skyrim maxed with 90+ FPS.


Games like BF3 will require you to lower settings. Personally, 80+ FPS is the sweet spot, and I'll lower settings to reach that as it's more comfortable.

As far as the latency thing goes. It's cumulative and it averages out as well. While a 60hz monitor updates its images once every 17ms, the frame will be ready somewhere between 0 and 17ms or 0 and 8ms for a 120hz monitor. The input latency will also mean that once it is being updated, it has the input latency delay on top of that, so input latency is still important.
August 25, 2012 4:39:31 PM

Anyways, if you are looking at a 1080p IPS vs 1080p 120hz, and you game at least as much as you do other stuff, I'd definitely go with the 120hz monitor. If you were to go with a 1440p or 1600p IPS vs 120hz 1080p, then it's a closer call.
August 25, 2012 9:59:09 PM

bystander said:
The viewing angle is basically the angle at which the monitor looks good. Color shifting is another thing all together, though it is related to viewing angles.



As stated, viewing angles is just a spec, and specs can lie. I have personally seen some TN panel monitors with "170 degrees viewing angle", to me they seem more like 150 degrees or less, the color shifts were very pronounced. Yeah, 170 degrees if you don't mind very dark images / inversed colors.
August 25, 2012 10:10:12 PM

Assuming you want to max out the graphics quality in your games, the GTX 670 is actually a bit too weak to give you consistent FPS above 90FPS (or even 80FPS). See following link for review and benchmarks.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_6...

The test rig has an i7-3770k @ 4.7GHz.
August 25, 2012 10:51:53 PM

jaguarskx said:
Assuming you want to max out the graphics quality in your games, the GTX 670 is actually a bit too weak to give you consistent FPS above 90FPS (or even 80FPS). See following link for review and benchmarks.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_6...

The test rig has an i7-3770k @ 4.7GHz.


Once again thanks for the response!

True, though the overclocked 670 should have performance levels closer to the 680 than standard 670. Had a look at some of the tests and it does look like 120Hz @max settings is reserved for SLI or crossfire rigs, with a 690 as a minimum to really push the fps to the triple digits on those sorts of games. Having said that though with my gigabyte overclocked 670 I should get ~60-70 fps on the big guns like crysis and BF3, ~75-95 fps on the pretty heavy games (skyrim, arkham city, alan wake), and on games like dirt III and COD4, I could be getting an astonishing 200+ fps (need 240Hz for that!). Though they haven't benchmarked @1920x1080 so I'm sort of guess-averaging between x1050 and x1200.

But I'm guessing this test was done at a 60Hz refresh rate? Which means if I was trying to run these games at 120Hz, it would put additional strain on my graphics card and lower the fps significantly? If that is correct then it might not be worth the investment.

Also can anyone shed some light on screen coatings for me? Does an anti-glare coating make the screen quality visibly worse? If I do go IPS will probably opt for the U2312HM or PA238Q as I mentioned earlier but do you know of any good IPS panels with glossy or semi-glossy screens that are in a similar price category (under £300 max)
August 25, 2012 10:57:57 PM

bystander said:
As far as getting 80+ FPS on your setup goes. A single OC'ed 670 can play games like Skyrim maxed with 90+ FPS.

Games like BF3 will require you to lower settings. Personally, 80+ FPS is the sweet spot, and I'll lower settings to reach that as it's more comfortable.

As far as the latency thing goes. It's cumulative and it averages out as well. While a 60hz monitor updates its images once every 17ms, the frame will be ready somewhere between 0 and 17ms or 0 and 8ms for a 120hz monitor. The input latency will also mean that once it is being updated, it has the input latency delay on top of that, so input latency is still important.


Right you've slightly confused me there, but I think I have a basic grasp of what's going on. So basically does the frame update every 1/60s and then the input lag is added to that, every frame? Or is the input lag processed while the frame is being updated, thus within 16.7ms it's unnoticeable?
August 25, 2012 11:00:56 PM

jaguarskx said:
Assuming you want to max out the graphics quality in your games, the GTX 670 is actually a bit too weak to give you consistent FPS above 90FPS (or even 80FPS). See following link for review and benchmarks.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_6...

The test rig has an i7-3770k @ 4.7GHz.


There is nothing that says you have to max ever game. Most those games are the cutting edge. He asked about Skyrim and similarly demanding games, which can get 90+ on ultra settings. Those are mostly all high demanding games.

Of course BF3, Metro 2033 and similar games require more power. I played Metro 2033, Crysis 2, and the like at near max settings, or High settings and had consistently over 80 FPS with a single 680. I feel a lot better with a 120hz monitor and those FPS than 60hz. I literally get sick with the 60hz version. Even with 60 FPS, latency is improved with a monitor running at 120hz, with the same input lag. The refresh rate just makes it a bit more responsive due to having less time between a frame finishing and being displayed.

If he didn't say that he was not a casual gamer, then it would make more sense to go IPS. But seriously, can you honestly tell me that you notice anything color shift when gaming? Even if you are inspecting it with all your focus. You have to have a solid one color area to see anything at all, and games are mimicking real life, which has color variances all over the place. I look at my wall and it has shadows and textures all over with different degrees of color. Having a small variance of color in a game just mimics real life.

What ever. It's his choice. After reading several reviews on the subject by a lot of people comparing 120hz vs IPS 1440p or 1600p side by side, which is better than what he's considering, I thought I should at least make sure he heard the view that every one of them will tell you. Everyone of the people with both, that I read at least, will choose 120hz for games with action. For non action games, it's mixed.

It's up to him now.
August 25, 2012 11:06:21 PM

jonnyb193 said:

But I'm guessing this test was done at a 60Hz refresh rate? Which means if I was trying to run these games at 120Hz, it would put additional strain on my graphics card and lower the fps significantly? If that is correct then it might not be worth the investment.


No, without v-sync on, there is no difference in FPS. The graphics card, in either case, just pumps out frames as fast as it can, and the monitor reads the screen buffer when it's ready.

With v-sync on, the 60hz monitor caps you at 60 FPS, and the 120hz monitor caps you at 120 FPS. If you can't reach either, you get frames somewhere in between.
August 25, 2012 11:16:14 PM

bystander said:
No, without v-sync on, there is no difference in FPS. The graphics card, in either case, just pumps out frames as fast as it can, and the monitor reads the screen buffer when it's ready.

With v-sync on, the 60hz monitor caps you at 60 FPS, and the 120hz monitor caps you at 120 FPS. If you can't reach either, you get frames somewhere in between.


So there's no difference? If I get 80 fps at 60Hz I will get 80 fps at 120Hz? Right, well I've got to say I really am considering it now, thanks to your advice. That was one of the things turning me off to 120Hz, I assumed it would put extra strain on my pc. Doesn't turning V-sync off causing screen tearing or something though?

August 25, 2012 11:26:50 PM

bystander said:

Of course BF3, Metro 2033 and similar games require more power. I played Metro 2033, Crysis 2, and the like at near max settings, or High settings and had consistently over 80 FPS with a single 680. I feel a lot better with a 120hz monitor and those FPS than 60hz. I literally get sick with the 60hz version. Even with 60 FPS, latency is improved with a monitor running at 120hz, with the same input lag. The refresh rate just makes it a bit more responsive due to having less time between a frame finishing and being displayed.

If he didn't say that he was not a casual gamer, then it would make more sense to go IPS. But seriously, can you honestly tell me that you notice anything color shift when gaming? Even if you are inspecting it with all your focus. You have to have a solid one color area to see anything at all, and games are mimicking real life, which has color variances all over the place. I look at my wall and it has shadows and textures all over with different degrees of color. Having a small variance of color in a game just mimics real life.


Why is Metro 2033 so hard to run! I completed it on my xbox and it wasn't brilliant so I won't even bother with that one. I see what you mean about the colour shift while gaming, but I was more worried about it in the context of movies or similar things. I watch endless anime too, I want it to look good and I think it would be really off-putting if I could see noticeable colour shift at the top/bottom/edges of the screen. Also I don't understand how 60fps would be improved at 120Hz? If it's only displaying 60 frames a second then how could refreshing the screen 120 times a second result in latency improvement?
August 25, 2012 11:27:41 PM

jonnyb193 said:
So there's no difference? If I get 80 fps at 60Hz I will get 80 fps at 120Hz? Right, well I've got to say I really am considering it now, thanks to your advice. That was one of the things turning me off to 120Hz, I assumed it would put extra strain on my pc. Doesn't turning V-sync off causing screen tearing or something though?


Yes, it does, which is why I always use v-sync and I know the next question you have. No, v-sync does not cut your FPS in half. That is an old problem before the use of triple-buffering. Old openGL games may require you to force it on through your graphics card control panel, otherwise games today have it built in. It does drop your FPS a little lower than without it, if you are below your refresh rate, but it's not much of a loss.
August 26, 2012 12:11:28 AM

bystander said:
There is nothing that says you have to max ever game. Most those games are the cutting edge. He asked about Skyrim and similarly demanding games, which can get 90+ on ultra settings. Those are mostly all high demanding games.



Which is why I stated, "Assuming you want to..."
August 26, 2012 12:11:36 AM

bystander said:
No, without v-sync on, there is no difference in FPS. The graphics card, in either case, just pumps out frames as fast as it can, and the monitor reads the screen buffer when it's ready.

With v-sync on, the 60hz monitor caps you at 60 FPS, and the 120hz monitor caps you at 120 FPS. If you can't reach either, you get frames somewhere in between.



http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1145474-is-120hz-Se...

http://www.overclock.net/t/1264724/6970s-just-got-hotte...

according to these threads running @120Hz does in fact cause your GPU to work harder?
August 26, 2012 12:15:48 AM

jaguarskx said:
Which is why I stated, "Assuming you want to..."


And your assumption is correct! :) 

August 26, 2012 12:29:59 AM

jaguarskx said:
Which is why I stated, "Assuming you want to..."


Are there any other IPS panels besides the Dell u2312hm and ASUS pa238q I mentioned that you would recommend, with gaming and movie watching in mind?
August 26, 2012 1:04:40 AM

jonnyb193 said:
http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1145474-is-120hz-Se...

http://www.overclock.net/t/1264724/6970s-just-got-hotte...

according to these threads running @120Hz does in fact cause your GPU to work harder?


Being 120hz does not make it work harder on its own. If you run with v-sync on, then a 60hz monitor caps the GPU at 60 FPS, not allowing it to work any harder than 60 FPS is needed. A 120hz monitor with v-sync on allows your GPU to work up to 120 FPS. Basically, for the same FPS, there is no extra work applied to a 120hz monitor. It only works harder if v-sync is in the equation and you are going beyond 60 FPS.

So, if you want 100% use of the 120hz monitor, you need to have a system capable of double the frames as a 60hz monitor. Some people get a little over zealous and believe 120hz is only good if you have 120 FPS, but you see improvements at anything above 60 FPS.
August 26, 2012 7:56:13 PM

jonnyb193 said:
Are there any other IPS panels besides the Dell u2312hm and ASUS pa238q I mentioned that you would recommend, with gaming and movie watching in mind?


Generally, no. Then again I tend to focus more on high end IPS monitors with $600+ price tags.

However, I am thinking about replacing my TN panel Asus VK246H with an inexpensive Dell U2412M monitor. I prefer 1920x1200 resolution over 1920x1080.
August 27, 2012 5:00:36 PM

I'm surprised this hasn't been said yet (though I only scanned through the replies), but your eyes can't perceive anything more than 61 FPS (per eye, so 122FPS max on 3D),

If you're not doing 3D, 60HZ is all you need. Most decent monitors run above that anyway (65-85hz), so as long as you're getting more than 61 frames output from your graphics card, you *won't* tell the difference!
August 27, 2012 5:21:49 PM

Gloomfrost said:
I'm surprised this hasn't been said yet (though I only scanned through the replies), but your eyes can't perceive anything more than 61 FPS (per eye, so 122FPS max on 3D),

If you're not doing 3D, 60HZ is all you need. Most decent monitors run above that anyway (65-85hz), so as long as you're getting more than 61 frames output from your graphics card, you *won't* tell the difference!


It hasn't been said because it's not true. This is a myth spread by those who don't own 120hz monitors.

http://www.100fps.com/how_many_frames_can_humans_see.ht...
August 27, 2012 6:05:24 PM

bystander said:
It hasn't been said because it's not true. This is a myth spread by those who don't own 120hz monitors.

http://www.100fps.com/how_many_frames_can_humans_see.ht...


This is very interesting.

Actually, I've heard it at least 10+years ago, when LCD's were still in the making and the whole 60hz flicker of CRTs was still an issue.

However, although my point may be incorrect technically, PRACTICALLY speaking, 60-62FPS is the consensus on 'good enough, and anything beyond that is hardly noticeable'.

That's why Valve caps their FPS counter at 62, at least in Half Life 2 + EP2, and Portal 2 being the most recent.

Going down even more, apparently 30FPS is deemed 'playable' by console-gamer standards, and beautiful skyrim/oblivion RPG gamers alike.


As for monitors, I would like to hear the argument why a more expensive 120Hz monitor is better if you're NOT planning to do 3D...
August 27, 2012 6:15:35 PM

I do realize that it is deemed good enough, and in a strict "does it look fluid way", it is, except when you decided to turn fast. However, going beyond 60 definitely feels more fluid.

As far as that myth goes, I believe it originated because people didn't see a difference when seeing 100+ FPS when using a 60hz monitor. Many people, in the early stages of the myth, would make the statement that they didn't see a difference beyond 60 FPS. What they failed to take into account is their 60hz monitor can only display 60 FPS worth of images.

For me, a 120hz monitor and 80+ FPS brought about another revelation. 80+ FPS not only feels smoother, it almost completely removes motion sickness that I used to experience quite severely at 30-40 FPS, and mildly at 60 FPS. After realizing that cut scenes at 30 or 60 FPS did not give me any motion sickness, and only games that I control the action in 1st person or over the should view, made me sick, I realized it's the input latency that causes the motion sickness. A higher refresh rate reduces input latency simply by being able to display a frame more immediately than a 60hz monitor can because it refreshes twice as often.

Long story short. I didn't notice a big difference visually, moving to 120hz, but I notice a big difference in fluidity and reduced/removed motion sickness. After getting used to 120hz, moving to 60hz doesn't look as smooth anymore. It does seem our minds do get accustomed to certain frequencies, and lowering it makes things more noticeable than going up in hz.
August 27, 2012 7:17:19 PM

hollywood movies are shot at 24fps. does this make you motion sick during action scenes?

perhaps the motion sickness is tied to another factor such as backlighting type or other such difference between two monitors. for example, a difference in monitor size or distance sitting from a monitor can cause different effects.

there is a perceivable difference between 60fps and above. there is more fluidity during fast motion. with this said, the difference is not earth shattering and the benefits of ips versus tn are great enough (in my opinion) to completely negate any such "fluidity" however fleeting it may be.

we can only hope to see 120hz ips panels in the future.
August 27, 2012 7:27:49 PM

ssddx said:
hollywood movies are shot at 24fps. does this make you motion sick during action scenes?

perhaps the motion sickness is tied to another factor such as backlighting type or other such difference between two monitors. for example, a difference in monitor size or distance sitting from a monitor can cause different effects.

there is a perceivable difference between 60fps and above. there is more fluidity during fast motion. with this said, the difference is not earth shattering and the benefits of ips versus tn are great enough (in my opinion) to completely negate any such "fluidity" however fleeting it may be.

we can only hope to see 120hz ips panels in the future.


If you read my whole post, I explained the whole FPS and motion sickness thing, at least as far as it works for me.

I don't get motion sickness on anything if I'm not controlling the action with a mouse. Although, on rare occasion, I've seen a TV station view something were motion blur was disabled, and that made me sick too. Motion blur is something not in games, which makes 24 FPS tolerable, where it may not otherwise be, but that's another issue all together.

The motion sickness I get is due to latency between moving the mouse and it being displayed on the screen. There are 3 aspects to this which play a part, and a 120hz monitor helps in almost all 3 aspects. 120hz monitors have a low input latency, so when an image is sent to the monitor, it gets there faster. 120hz monitors also refresh their images twice as often, which means that an image generated by the graphics card doesn't have to wait as long before it is sent to the monitor, and a 120hz monitor just allows for twice as many frames if your card can handle it.

This difference is night and day to my stomach, which gets nauseated with lower FPS than 80. Some people get headaches or eye strain. These are all motion sickness issues, which for me at least, is resolved with higher FPS and lower latency.
August 27, 2012 7:35:37 PM

One more thing. Do you have a 120hz monitor that you've used for more than a few minutes? I know a lot of people like to make big statements about how it doesn't help, and you can't see a difference, but I see very few with actual experience with it.

When I search and read, whenever I see people who have both, they have always said the same thing. 120hz is their choice for action gaming, and IPS for non gaming activities, and you get mixed reviews on non-action games.
August 27, 2012 8:16:59 PM

How about IPS with a lower response ratio (say, 6ms like of the 27" Catleap Q270), vs a TN with 2ms?
August 27, 2012 8:57:58 PM

i was only asking you to clarify your condition. some people have an issue with backlight flicker. getting more information on the subject allows me to reference it in the future when questions arise.

do i own a 120hz tn panel?

of course not. i find the viewing angle to be terrible. in the past i used a 60hz 8bit s-ips panel and currently i use a 60hz lcdtv. i do have a laptop with a 60hz tn panel but i do absolutely hate the screen.

i have done a side by side comparison. i admit the benefits but also do not ignore the known issues. remember, every person has their own opinion on what they like and what they dont like.

most gamers might say that 120hz is better for fps, however most tend to focus on the slower response time of other panels. not for motion sickness but because they honestly believe a slower response time will make you lose the game. many gamers also believe that a $50 mousepad is a worthwhile investment and that anything below 3000dpi is bad for gaming. it is also common in gaming circles to mention that wireless perepherals are horrible and will cause you to lose games.

everything is personal opinion. i use the arrow keys not wasd. i use ips panels not tn. i use a $3 mouspad and i have used wireless perepherals in the past. i would not say i'm the best player out there but back when i played more i was at least in the top 3 every match at lan parties.

some people prefer 120hz, some prefer wide viewing angles.....everything is relative.... to your own opinion and what suits you personally. all we can do is write down our own experiences and let the OPs judge for themselves.
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