Ryan Flores, Trend Mi­cro

Re­fresh rates mat­ter, but only up till a cer­tain point

HWM (Singapore) - - Contents - By Koh Wanzi

In re­cent months, we’ve seen a grow­ing num­ber of 1080p dis­plays with blis­ter­ing na­tive 240Hz re­fresh rates. These mon­i­tors fea­ture TN pan­els with very or­di­nary FHD res­o­lu­tions, and pic­ture qual­ity and view­ing an­gles are quite frankly unim­pres­sive, es­pe­cially if you’ve got­ten used to an IPS panel.

Why would any­one want them? Be­cause of the but­ter-smooth ex­pe­ri­ence you get from be­ing able to dis­play 240 frames per se­cond. Is some­one strang in a panic across your screen? Gun him down with zero mo­tion blur and pixel-pre­cise track­ing!

If you own a 60Hz mon­i­tor, mov­ing to a 144Hz screen is prob­a­bly one of the most signicant up­grades you can make. The dif­fer­ence is ap­par­ent even at the desk­top, where reg­u­lar mouse move­ments and repo­si­tion­ing of win­dows ap­pear a lot more uid.

The smoother ex­pe­ri­ence also makes track­ing tar­gets and re­spond­ing to fast-paced ac­tion ingame a lot eas­ier and more nat­u­ral. It’s al­most as if an in­vis­i­ble bar­rier be­tween your ac­tions and how they trans­late on screen has been lifted, and once you’ve been spoiled by 144Hz, it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to go back.

So a 240Hz mon­i­tor should be an­other huge step up, right? Un­for­tu­nately, no. When I rst heard about the op­por­tu­nity to try out a 240Hz mon­i­tor, I jumped at it. Af­ter all, the up­grade from a 60Hz mon­i­tor to a 144Hz gam­ing dis­play did send me into parox­ysms of ec­stasy.

All of the claims about 240Hz screens are true – ul­tra-smooth and uid game­play with min­i­mal mo­tion blur – but the prob­lem is that they are true for 144Hz dis­plays as well. On pa­per, a 240Hz panel sounds like it should be a lot more uid than a 144Hz equiv­a­lent, but that’s just not the case. The law of di­min­ish­ing re­turns kicks in in a big way, and you’d be hard-pressed to tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween a 144Hz and 240Hz screen with­out spe­cial test­ing pro­grams.

If you own a 60Hz mon­i­tor, up­grad­ing to 240Hz will give you a vastly im­proved ex­pe­ri­ence. But you could get a very sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence and bet­ter pic­ture qual­ity with a 144Hz IPS dis­play, and if you al­ready have a 144Hz mon­i­tor, it’s hardly worth the up­grade to 240Hz.

240Hz mon­i­tors aren’t mere gim­micks. They just don’t make enough of a dif­fer­ence to be at­trac­tive at their cur­rent price points and fea­ture sets. I’ll em­brace them with open arms when they catch up with 144Hz mon­i­tors in va­ri­ety, fea­tures, and price, but a mon­i­tor needs more than just a 240Hz re­fresh rate to be com­pelling.

240Hz 144Hz 60Hz

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