Wondering if a 7Hhz refresh rate monitor is good enough for gaming? We can help!
These days, every frame matters when gaming competitively or when simply looking for the smoothest motion possible. 60Hz has long been the standard, most common monitor for everyday use, but, aside from cinematic gaming experiences, it’s usually not the top choice for PC gamers.
There are lots of refresh rates on the market- 60Hz, 144Hz, 244Hz, etc. So how does 75Hz stack up?
Monitors come in all different sizes, resolutions, and refresh rates these days. You’re probably familiar with monitors and televisions with refresh rates of 60Hz—the standard refresh rate for a wide range of displays—but you may have as much experience with refresh rates like 75Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz, or higher.
It’s fairly difficult to adequately explain the visual difference between, say, 60Hz and 75Hz without showing you side-by-side comparisons, so check out this video from a Youtuber who does a great job of accurately showing how 75Hz performs alongside other refresh rates:
Games look okay at 60 FPS (especially compared to the standard 30 FPS of previous console generations), but you’ll still run into all of the problems mentioned above. Screen tearing can be distracting and occasionally game-breaking, ghostly afterimages can distract you and throw off your aim, screen flickering can cause or exacerbate eyestrain during long play sessions, and the system input lag can prevent you from reaching your full potential.
Lightning-fast reflexes don’t mean much if your monitor can’t keep up, after all. Nowadays 60Hz is considered the bare minimum for gaming, especially for first-person shooters, racing games, and other games that benefit from higher framerates.
So where does 75Hz come in?
Monitors with refresh rates of 75Hz occupy a sort of middle ground between the standard 60Hz and monitors with refresh rates of 120Hz, 144Hz, etc. If a monitor with a refresh rate of 60Hz can display up to 60 frames per second, then a monitor with a refresh rate of 120Hz can display up to 120 frames per second, or twice as many as the 60Hz monitor.
A refresh rate of 75Hz (up to 75 frames per second), then, can display 15 more frames per second than a 60Hz monitor, equivalent to a 25% increase in performance.
Don’t think 25% sounds like much of an improvement?
Think of it this way: You notice a difference when you accelerate from 60 MPH to 75 MPH even if it doesn’t completely change the way the road feels or how your car handles. Or if you don’t have a car, pull up one of your favorite podcasts, songs, or YouTube videos and change the playback speed to 1.25x. You’ll absolutely notice a difference, though it won’t be as night and day as the difference between 1x and 2x or above.
Monitors with refresh rates of 75Hz won’t make gameplay look as buttery smooth as those with refresh rates of 120Hz, 144Hz, or above, but they’re definitely a big step up from 60Hz.
Monitors with refresh rates of 75Hz are typically cheaper than those with higher refresh rates, and the amount of processing power required to run a game increases considerably with each extra FPS.
That means you’ll need a powerful (and expensive) graphics card and processor to even approach 120 FPS, 144 FPS, or higher, which will undoubtedly ratchet up the price tag for your build.
Likewise, if you’ve ever watched live sports or played a game at high FPS you probably understand what a big difference a few frames per second can make.
Higher FPS directly translates to smoother motion, less blur during fast-moving action scenes, and minimizes the amount of screen tearing. Live sports are often broadcast at 30 or higher FPS for this exact reason; higher FPS makes the action appear smoother and makes it easier to see just how fast and graceful your favorite athletes are.
Video games benefit from higher FPS as much or more than sports. Higher FPS means smoother, less choppy gameplay, which makes it significantly easier to track your targets and react quickly to your opponents. Higher FPS also reduces distracting effects that can throw you off your game and mean the difference between victory and defeat.
Effects like ghosting (afterimages created by screens not refreshing quickly enough) and screen tearing (what happens when your display is showing different frames at the same time) are all but eliminated at higher framerates, and rendering more frames per second even helps reduce system input lag (the time it takes to render and display frames).
There’s even a study by NVIDIA that suggests players’ kill/death ratio improves significantly at higher framerates.
It’s no wonder why serious gamers and eSport athletes only game at high FPS, and why many PC gamers opt for higher FPS over higher resolutions.
If you’re looking to move up from 60hz to something more geared for eSports, we recommend looking at our guide to the pros and cons of 144hz monitors. 144hz is a good starting point for better fast-twitch performance and is a better option than 75hz when it comes first-person shooters and most eSports-centric titles.
How Refresh Rate Actually Works
Movies, shows, videos, and games create the illusion of movement by displaying still images in rapid succession. Before the switch to digital, movies were printed onto long strips of transparent film that were fed through a projector at a rate of 24 still images—or frames—per second; fast enough to trick the viewers’ minds into seeing movement where there was none.
Times have changed since the era of silent movies and analog projectors. Film reels have been replaced by digital storage media, televisions have become ubiquitous, and we can watch movies at home without a huge projector and a projectionist to run it.
But though the technology has changed, the basic premise behind it has stayed the same. Movies, shows, and video games still use fast-moving still images to trick our minds into seeing motion, and the number of frames displayed per second still has a major impact on our viewing experiences.
Now, back to monitors.
If frames per second (FPS) measures how many still images are displayed per second, then a TV or monitor’s refresh rate measures how many still images can be displayed per second.
Refresh rates are measured in hertz (Hz), with one hertz corresponding to one cycle per second. That means a monitor with a refresh rate of 60Hz is capable of displaying a maximum of 60 frames per second, a 75Hz monitor is capable of displaying a maximum of 75 frames per second, and so on.
How Refresh Rates Affect Gaming
Many PC gamers prefer monitors with high refresh rates, and some console gamers are jumping on the high Hz wagon now that the 120 FPS-capable PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have arrived on the scene. It isn’t hard to understand the reasoning behind this trend.
Human eyes don’t work in terms of frames per second, we receive visual information as one long, steady input—broken up by blinking and sleeping, of course—which is part of why media needs to play at many frames per second to trick our brains into seeing it as one cohesive whole.
If you’ve ever played a laggy game or watched anything in sub-24 FPS before you probably already know that a low FPS makes media look choppy, jittery, and even a little disorienting.
Is a 75Hz Monitor Right for Me?
There are a few reasons why a 75Hz monitor may be a good choice for you.
First, if your computer isn’t powerful enough to run games at super high framerates. You’ll have a perfectly functional gaming experience at 75 FPS, and your computer will be able to render games in higher resolutions if you aren’t forcing it to crank out 120 or more frames per second.
Second, a 75Hz monitor may be a good choice for you if you play slower-paced games. You’ll be missing out on some of the smoothness and fluidity that comes with higher FPS, but that doesn’t matter much for RPG’s, turn-based games, or anything that doesn’t involve fast-twitch reflexes.
Third, you might want to opt for a 75Hz monitor if you value photorealistic graphics over high FPS. Diverting your graphics card’s power to rendering fewer, higher-quality frames will let you experience games at the highest possible graphics settings, and it’s totally fine if that’s your top priority.
Finally, you may want to get a 75Hz monitor if you just plain don’t want to shell out a mint for a monitor with a higher refresh rate.
At the end of the day, whether or not you should opt for a 75Hz monitor is totally dependent on your own specific needs and habits. It can be a great choice if you need to jump up just a bit from a standard 60Hz monitor, but you may find it lacking if you’re trying to hit benchmarks suitable for uber-competitive eSports gaming.