In recent years, many gaming users are business they got used to using 144Hz refresh rate monitor, but in recent times technology has made a considerable leap forward, bringing this value up to 360 Hz. Do you want to know if this step can be useful for you? Let’s see together what it consists of!
Understand the monitor refresh rate and framerate
Refresh rate refers to the number of times a monitor can “refresh” the image with a new frame in one second. There refresh rate standard for most monitors, TVs and phones are 60Hz. The refresh rate is closely related to the framerate (FPS), but the two are not the same.
To try to explain it better: it is possible to perform a game that requires 100 FPS on a 60Hz monitor, but you won’t actually get all the benefits of 100 FPS. This is because the refresh rate determines the maximum framerate your monitor can actually display, so in this example, you will reach a maximum of 60Hz.
Also, running games at a higher framerate than your monitor can support will result in screen tearing, which will then visibly limit the image quality.
A quick note on response times and panel types
When looking at high refresh rate displays, the response time and the panel type become very important.
The response time (more precisely called pixel response time) measures the amount of time it takes a single pixel to change color. If your response time is too high, your image will be subject to ghosting is artifacts, which reduces the benefits of a high refresh rate in the first place. In practice, watching an image move on your display, you will have the sensation of seeing a very annoying “halo” effect.
The panel type has a direct impact on pixel response time due to the limitations of technologies currently on the market. The three main types of panels are TN, IPS, and VA.
- THE TN panels have the lowest response times and the highest refresh rates, but at the cost of much worse image quality – especially noticeable when looking off-axis.
- THE IPS panels can have great response times and refresh rates and have the best image quality, but they tend to be very expensive and slightly slower than TN panels across the board. Viewing angles are the best too.
- THE VA panels are a decent middle ground with particularly good performance but are also known to have poor response times, even on high refresh rate VA displays. Viewing angles tend to be better than TNs.
After this initial information, we can say that, if you have decided to try some displays with a high refresh rate, our advice is to go on a TN or IPS panel, which, net of some compromises, are still more usable than VA panels.
How to refresh rate (and framerate) affect gameplay
The question that might be bouncing in your head is: Do a higher refresh rate and framerate make you better at games?
Yes and no. Ultimately, your skill and practice will be what determines your results, especially in eSports titles. However, low framerates and refresh rates are a bit of a drawback, especially if you’re having a hard time maintaining 60 FPS.
Real-life isn’t perceived in single frames like movies or games are, but if it were, one could imagine it as a truly unlimited framerate. The only limit to your ability to react to things in real life is your eye-manual coordination.
Monitors are another story, though, and even a 144Hz monitor is a far cry from realistic motion. The simplest way to explain the difference between two otherwise equal players with different monitors is that the one with the higher refresh rate sees the game update faster than the other player.
Especially in high-octane action games, this can make all the difference. If you want to know more, take a look at the study by Nvidia. This research shows a tangible improvement in player performance in Battle Royale titles with higher refresh rates.
Do you want to do a little test on your display? The site Ufo test allows, even in a fun way, to try all this.
You will always be limited by the refresh rate of your display, but you can get a better idea of what we have described so far.
Conclusion: Do you need a 360 Hz monitor?
If you are looking for a competitive gaming experience without compromise, especially on a professional level, then one you definitely need.
But for the average player and the average consumer we feel we advise against it, also because currently the costs are not really affordable and the advantages, in normal use, there aren’t that many.
Furthermore, it is not enough to spend on the monitor, but you will also have to adapt the hardware of your PC to be able to effectively take advantage of the 360 Hz and, if you are playing from the console, however, you will not be able to go beyond the 120Hz.
A high refresh rate monitor is a great upgrade to any gaming experience, but ultimately the only way to improve in a game is to play, experience, and keep training. A luxury monitor won’t do it for you.