120 Hz vs 240 Hz

120 Hz vs 240 Hz

Manufacturers are churning out numbers year on year. Every few months, a new phrase is thrown around by the marketing departments and complemented by even bigger numbers. I remember a time when 30 fps was considered an A-grade gaming setup. Nowadays, that is barely feasible!

The question then arises, is it worthwhile to pay big bucks for all those extra frames??

Before we move on to answering the question, it is important to know some of the related jargon. If you know what you’re looking for, it would be harder for you to get conned.

There is no doubting the fact that a 240 Hz monitor will offer twice the number of frames a 120 Hz monitor can offer. But this is only one spec, and a monitor is a complex machine with numerous working parts. Which begs the question, what exactly is Hz?

What is Hz?

The human eye visualizes events in a series of actions, essentially treating our surroundings as if they were a movie. The same principle is adopted when displaying motion and movement on a computer screen.

A computer screen also produces distinct moments of action. When these moments are displayed in a series at high speeds, it results in helping our eyes perceive it as motion.

Hz (Hertz) is the unit of frequency and is used to describe two properties related to computer monitors. First is the screen refresh rate, and second is the frames rate supplied by the GPU of a computer.

 Refresh Rate Vs Frames Per Second:

Refresh rate is strictly a property of the monitor screen. It is the number of times your monitor screen can display distinct images in one second. It is measured in Hertz, and as a rule of thumb, the higher its value is, the better a computer monitor is.

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Conversely, frames per second are the number of frames your CPU and GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) combination can provide.

It is important to keep in mind that although the two terms are used interchangeably and have similar units of measurement, these are entirely distinct terms, and it is important to distinguish between the two. The difference becomes even more critical when looking for a decent monitor to fit your needs.

120 Hz v 240 Hz:

As mentioned earlier, a monitor with a refresh rate of 120 Hz would refresh the screen 120 times per second and display 120 images. A 240 Hz monitor is twice faster than that. It can display 240 different images per second.

Refresh rate is only one of several properties that differentiate a good monitor from a top-class monitor. What higher refresh rates mean for performance and display is discussed at length further in the article.

Benefits of a Higher Refresh Rate:

1.) Smoother Gameplay:

The higher the refresh rate the smoother the games and programs will run. Multimedia becomes a joy to watch as higher refresh rates ensure a seamless watching experience without any interruptions. The content flows and glides across the screen.

2.) More Responsive:

As a result of reduced reaction times due to increased frames per second, games become more responsive. You can quickly react to increasingly difficult gaming scenarios because higher refresh rates help you in anticipating the situation more quickly.

3.) Reduced Motion Blur:

The edges of objects and items being displayed on the screen become blurred as a result of the low frame count per second. The easiest way of solving this problem is to bump up the frame rates of the monitor.

4.) Easier On The Eye:

Did you know that the frame rate of a natural human eye is approximately 500 Hz (or 500 different images per second)? No man-made machine can come even close to such an extraordinary performance.

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However, higher refresh rates are more compatible with the frequency of the human eye, and as a result, put less strain on eyesight. Over the long run, a computer with a lower refresh rate can damage vision.

5.) Ideal For Gamers:

All the above-mentioned properties are typically demanded by hardcore gamers only. Monitor screens with such outstanding specs are more in demand in niche markets and not necessary for office work or professional environments.

Disadvantages Of Higher Frame Rates:

1.) Poor Colors:

Computer monitors with higher frame rates are usually built on TN panels which are considered some of the worst panels display-wise.

To achieve maximum speed and performance, TN panels employ dogshit display quality. The upside of using poor colors and resolution is that the monitor screen can quickly change from one color to another. By the way, there aren’t many colors to change in the first place.

2.) Costly:

Models, that boast higher frame rates come at a hefty price and the question you need to ask yourself is, it is worth the money? There are cheaper models available as well but there is no guarantee for their performance or longevity.

3.) Incremental Improvement:

Once you cross the 144 Hz mark, any improvement in the refresh rate becomes increasingly difficult to be noticed by the naked eye on the first inspection. Although it definitely improves your gaming performance, you can only notice the difference when doing a side-by-side comparison or when you switch to a lower fps screen.

120 Hz:

Pros
  • Cheaper
  • Sufficient for gaming
  • More widely available
Cons
  • Not suitable for heavy gaming
  • Comparatively poorer performance

240 Hz:

Pros
  • Smoother display
  • Better for gaming
  • Reduced strain on the eyes
  • Reduced screen tear
Cons
  • Relatively costly
  • Poor display quality

Overclocking:

CPUs and GPUs have built-in presets that automatically shut them down under drastic conditions. When a CPU or a GPU is exposed to these conditions, it instinctively stops working to prevent damage to itself and related hardware.

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Overclocking is the process of manually overriding the default presets and pushing the GPU to its limits. This is done to speed up the computer processes and extract maximum performance out of the installed hardware.

Overclocking can be done using software widely available on the internet or by manually tampering with the GPU. Caution needs to be exacted during the overclocking process because extreme heat can literally fry the GPU chips.

FreeSync/G-Sync:

GPU chips are manufactured by two competitors AMD and Nvidia based in America and then shipped across the globe. FreeSync and G-Sync technology has been developed by both companies independently and are responsible for keeping the refresh rate of the monitor and fps provided by the GPU in sync.

If the two processes are not in sync, it results in screen tears which can be annoying and affect game performances as well. Screen tear occurs when the monitor screen starts displaying multiple frames at the same time. To avoid this, a monitor should be FreeSync/G-sync enabled and compatible with the GPU.

Conclusion:

If you’re a hardcore gamer and want every bit of edge in performance you can get, then a 240 Hz monitor is the right choice. Keep in mind that it is a tradeoff between display quality and speed of performance. If you can negotiate on picture quality and want maximum effectiveness and responsiveness, only then a 240 Hz monitor is justified.

A 120 Hz monitor on the other hand is a drastic improvement on a regular 60 Hz monitor and you will immediately notice the increase in texture quality and performance. But as you go higher than 144 Hz, the difference in quality becomes less and less obvious, and the performance is marginal at best if any.

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