Does a true gaming monitor need to have a 120 or 144 Hz refresh rate? BenQ’s RL2460HT offers plenty of features that cater to enthusiasts, but it tops out at 60 Hz. Can those extra capabilities compensate, or should you continue your search elsewhere?
Over the past few months, we reviewed two gaming monitors: Asus' VG248QE (Asus VG248QE: A 24-Inch, 144 Hz Gaming Monitor Under $300) and BenQ's XL2720Z (BenQ XL2720Z Monitor Review: A 27-Inch, 144 Hz Gaming Display). Both set high marks for speed, mostly due to their 144 Hz refresh rates. We wanted to add a 60 Hz gaming-oriented screen for comparison's sake. Can a lower refresh rate still satisfy hardcore enthusiasts?
BenQ offers seven gamer-specific models in its XL and RL lines. XL enables the high-refresh rates, with both 120 and 144 Hz models at 24 and 27 inches. RL screens have one- or two-millisecond response times and share most other features with the XLs, but refresh at 60 Hz. They're aimed at the value segment, shipping in 22- and 24-inch sizes.
|Backlight||W-LED, edge array|
|Max Refresh Rate||60 Hz|
|Native Color Depth||8-bit (6-bit w/FRC)|
|Response Time (GTG)||1 ms|
|Speakers||2 x 2 W|
|HDMI 1.4||2 in, 1 out|
|Audio In, 3.5 mm||1|
|Media Card Reader||-|
W x H x D
|22.7 x 19.7 x 8.4 in|
579 x 502 x 213 mm
|Panel Thickness||2.3 in / 58 mm|
|Bezel Width||.8-.9 in / 22-24 mm|
|Weight||13.4 lbs / 6.1 kg|
Most of the monitors that specifically target gamers rely on twisted-nematic technology. TN is somewhat old-school, but it still delivers the best response times and lowest input lag compared to popular IPS displays.
To make these displays more suitable for gaming, BenQ includes some unique features designed to enhance your experience. In my opinion, ZeroFlicker is the most significant one. Backlight intensity in LCD panels is typically controlled by a technique called pulse-width modulation (PWM). Rather than dimming by voltage reduction, the LED or CCFL tube is cycled on and off rapidly, sometimes as fast as 4400 times per second. By varying the duty cycle (the length of time the light is on during each pulse), the screen appears less bright. This method can sometimes cause visible flicker in the image, even at high modulation rates. To sensitive users, eye fatigue is the consequence.
LED backlights, which largely replace the CCFL tubes used in the past, exacerbate the issue. CCFL technology utilized PWM too, but since a florescent light glows between duty cycles (it’s never completely dark), the flicker was all but unnoticeable. LED elements, on the other hand, turn off completely between cycles, thereby creating the potential for a visible artifact.
BenQ eliminates the issue by driving its backlights differently. Rather than varying output, dimming is achieved at the pixel level instead. That way, there are no on/off cycles; the backlight glows at full intensity all of the time. While not the only company to offer an alternative to PWM, BenQ has more displays with ZeroFlicker than anyone else.
To be clear, the goal here is to reduce eye fatigue. Flicker may not actually be visible. But after hours of staring at an LCD screen, some folks find it difficult to focus and may even feel a physical manifestation like a headache. Keeping the backlight at a constant level with no current cycling has been shown to reduce those symptoms. BenQ includes ZeroFlicker on 17 of its 22 LCD displays.
- BenQ RL2460HT 24” TN Gaming Monitor Review
- Packaging, Physical Layout, And Accessories
- OSD Setup And Calibration Of The BenQ RL2460HT
- Measurement And Calibration Methodology: How We Test
- Results: Brightness And Contrast
- Results: Grayscale Tracking And Gamma Response
- Results: Color Gamut And Performance
- Results: Viewing Angles And Uniformity
- Results: Pixel Response And Input Lag
- BenQ RL2460HT: Half The Speed Equation