Refresh Rate vs. Response Time

Refresh Rate vs. Response Time

Whether you are a gamer or professional editor, fast visual with no screen tearing or blurring is something you would cherish forever. This is why you must very well know what is refresh rate is and what is response time.

These two go hand in hand to offer the best ever visuals in terms of smoothness. Moreover, to deal with technology and gadgets in the best way possible, you must be aware of which refreshes rate and response rate are compatible with the device of your interest.

Refresh Rate vs. Response Time

When you visit the market to buy a new monitor, you will be overwhelmed with the number of technical specs your monitor packs. To get your desired monitor at the right price point, you must understand the importance of these technical specs.  

The difference between refresh rate and response time is one of the most crucial factors to look for especially if you demand top-tier performance. That is exactly what we have explained in detail in this article. So, without any further ado, lets get started. 

What is the Refresh Rate anyway?

Simply put, a refresh rate is the time a monitor takes to refresh its screen or the number of times the screen updates an image. Usually, a higher refresh rate is preferred for playing games at a faster pace. Its measuring unit is Hertz (Hz).

Why is refresh rate so important for faster-paced games or visuals?

Well, suppose your monitor has a native refresh rate of 60Hz it means that an image on the screen would update 60 times in a second. 60Hz is considered low for competitive gaming as it can cause motion blur.

But, if you go a bit up to 144Hz, the display is refreshing the screen 144 times after every second. At this refresh rate, an image on the screen is produced every 7th millisecond whereas, at 60Hz a new image is produced every 16th millisecond. Do you see the difference?

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This is why, to enjoy an immersive gaming environment and defeat your enemies quickly without any lags, your stepping stone must be a minimum of 144Hz monitor.

Note: Monitors come in several different refresh rates such as 60Hz, 75Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz, 240 Hz.

Refresh Rate Highlights:

If you want a monitor with higher refresh rates, always remember, CPU, GPU, and the monitor union is integral for a higher refresh rate. Getting your desired refresh rate can not only be achieved by buying a monitor offering the highest Hz, in fact, you must also have a compatible processor, graphics card, and monitor union.

For serious gaming and highly professional visual editing, dont forget to consider the refresh rate, resolution, response time, and input lagging of a monitor and also check your existing frame rates. Moreover, if needed, you must upgrade the system’s CPU and GPU for the best synchronized performance. 

Importance of Refresh Rate:

We know that the number of times a monitor refreshes in a second is known as Refresh Rate and is measured in Hertz (Hz). There are numerous advantages of higher refresh rates which can only be achieved if you have the following three important components:

  • A monitor with an ability to refresh fastly
  • A fast processer
  • A speedy GPU to proceed with the instructions in no time

Is a higher Refresh Rate good for games?

There is a one-line answer to this – Yes! A higher refresh rate is fantastic for dedicated gaming.

If the refresh rate is lower, you can face screen stuttering and this stuttering can spoil your gaming experience by increasing the chances of losing the games.

Note: For a higher-quality gaming experience, the frame rate of the monitor (FPS) must be equal and larger than your game console.

Refresh rate and FPS are directly proportional to gaming quality. These are also responsible for controlling or more importantly, preventing screen bursting and tearing. 

Low FPS means difficulty in handling new loads and the screen goes split. On the other hand, the aligned frame rates result in a vivid and smooth screen, exceptional for gaming and other motion-related tasks.

What is the highest and lowest Refresh Rate?

As mentioned before, there are different refresh rates integrated into monitors. When talking about the highest and lowest refresh rates, these can be opted depending on personal preference and the area of use. So, make sure to purchase the refresh rates accordingly.

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The lowest refresh rate is 60Hz found in a PC for a regular routine. Though the 60Hz monitor is not bad, it isnt much reliable either. For casual purposes, 75hz can work fine too.

Whereas the highest refresh rate is 240Hz, and a monitor with a 240Hz refresh rate is great for gaming enthusiasts. These can support every competitive game and deliver fantastic gaming experiences.

Enjoying the best ever gaming experience on a fully stylish screen without the fear of winning and losing is a true dream of gamers. You can achieve this by getting a compatible 240Hz monitor.

But, if you want to play average games that dont require competitive skills, a monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate would excel the job.

What is the Response Time, anyway?

Many people confuse response time with the refresh rate of a monitor, even though both have a similar job, i.e., provide fast visuals with no blurring and enhance the overall performance of a monitor.  

Time taken by a monitor to change from one color to another is known as Response Time. it is measured in milliseconds (ms). Lesser response time is better for smoother visuals, for example, 1ms response time is considered a perfect fit for professional gamers.

The response time of typical LCDs is generally anything below 10 ms however, some newer models have an incredibly fast response time of 1 ms. 

The phenomenon of response time can be explained as the time taken by a monitor to switch from one color to another. Elaborating a bit more, it is the time taken to shift black to white and then going to black again. This entire shift is measured in milliseconds. 

Do you wonder why is response time so important?

To enjoy your competitive games, you demand a premium visual quality with zero ghosting or blurring, right? That is what a fast response time prevents. You can find monitors with different response times including, 1ms, 2ms, 3ms, 4ms, 5ms. However, 1ms is the most preferable.

Note: Response time less than 5ms is considered perfect and very important for games especially fast-paced games. 

Why is the Response Time so important? 

Response time counts a lot especially when it comes to the difference between winning and losing a game. Faster response time is extremely important for the gamers since their victory or defeat depends on it. 

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Most of the users are unaware of the importance of a response time most probably due to their casual use of web surfing, photo editing, writing on Word documents, or watching YouTube videos. The time taken by the screen to switch pixels in these cases is extremely fast that your eye cannot detect the difference. 

In many modern monitors, the delay is very low that casual users dont feel anything. But, if the same monitor is used by a competitive gamer, the delay would be noticed instantly. 

Since the response time prevents ghosting and trailing, these can help the gamers to land the perfect sniper shot at a long range or stay in the perfect line while playing a racing game. 

Considering all the competitive edges, it is clear that every millisecond counts for gamers.

What are the different Response Times?

As mentioned earlier, there are different response times for different computers based on the purpose they are designed for. These types include 1ms, 2ms, 3ms, 4ms, and 5ms and every response time supports different functions.

Out of all the response times, 1 ms is the most demanding response time and it doesnt delay in color-shifting. On the other side, 5ms is the highest response time that supports casual work.

Refresh Rate vs. Response Time – Overview

Refresh Rate determines image refreshing per second whereas, response time is the switch of pixels. Refresh rate is measured in Hz and response time in ms.

For fast and competitive gaming or for professional graphical use, a higher refresh rate is more preferable and the lowest response time is better.


By now, we believe that you have a clear picture of both, Refresh Rate and Response Time in your mind and how they impact the overall performance. Honestly, both the specifications are very crucial when it comes to face-paced gaming. 

If you are one of those gaming freaks who cannot compromise on either of the two specs, we suggest you have a minimum of 144 Hz refresh rate and any response time below 5 ms. 

But, make sure whichever monitor you go for, you have a compatible processor and graphics processing unit for the best ever results.

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