While shopping for a new monitor, you may be wondering about the difference between a 60 Hz refresh rate and a 75 Hz refresh rate. Will a monitor with a 75 Hz refresh rate offer an upgrade noticeable enough from 60 Hz to justify shelling out a bit more money?
Our answer: yes. When comparing refresh rates for monitors, the answer is quite simple as to which is better: higher refresh rates mean a better, smoother video quality and better experience especially when gaming.
60 Hz monitors have been the standard bare minimum for gaming for a while now, with companies now producing monitors with a staggering 240 Hz refresh rates.
While it’s difficult for some to detect a difference in quality in anything above 120 Hz, many gamers will be able to tell the difference between a 60 Hz and 75 Hz monitor, with 75 Hz offering an improved gaming experience. Therefore, if you have the option for a 75 Hz monitor, go for it.
Not entirely convinced yet? Learn more about 60 Hz and 75 Hz monitors and the real importance of refresh rates below.
What is Refresh Rate?
The refresh rate measures how many times a monitor can update the image on the screen. Hertz (Hz) is the unit by which refresh rate is measured and refers to the number of times something occurs in one second. If a screen had a refresh rate of 1 Hz, that would mean that one new image would show on the screen per second.
Obviously, 1 Hz is too slow for any purposes! That’s why screens have much higher refresh rates. A refresh rate of 60 Hz shows 60 separate images per second, while a refresh rate of 75 Hz shows a total of 75 images per second. That means a refresh rate of 75 Hz shows 20% more images per second than 60 Hz.
Why Is Refresh Rate Important?
A higher refresh rate is important for various factors important for gaming. Higher refresh rates lead to smoother and clearer video, less eye strain, and can even lead to better performance. All of these will be improved by a simple jump from 60 Hz to 75 Hz.
Video on a monitor with 75 Hz will be cleaner, smoother, and feel more realistic than what is presented on a 60 Hz monitor. That increase of 25% of images per second will lead to a reduction in jumpiness or choppiness. It will also reduce motion blur, which can be quite annoying experience while gaming.
Not only will the image look smoother, but your eyes will thank you for having a monitor with a higher refresh rate. The clearer and smoother the image, the healthier it is for your eyes. Lower refresh rates can produce a jumpy display which is harder to comprehend for your eyes. Over time this can lead to eye strain.
Sometimes lower refresh rates can even produce a flicker which can cause issues with your vision. If you spend a lot of time gaming, it’s important to have an ergonomic setup.
Finally, one of the best perks of a higher refresh rate on your monitor is that you may see your level of performance increase. In high-paced games, a higher refresh rate can make or break your competitive edge. Because of improved resolution and quicker responsiveness, they can improve your accuracy and allow you to see things more clearly and quickly than your opponents.
Even if you’re not competing, a higher refresh rate will show you images that you may not catch on a display with a lower refresh rate, resulting in a better and more fun experience.
Refresh Rate vs Frame Rate
When researching refresh rates of monitors, you may have also come across the term “frame rate”. So, what exactly is the frame rate and how does it differ from refresh rate?
While the refresh rate is measured in hertz, the frame rate is measured in frames-per-second (FPS), but they both refer to how many images are shown on your screen on any given second. The difference is that the refresh rate is determined by the hardware in your monitor, while the frame rate is determined by the processors in your PC.
In short, FPS is the number of images your computer is producing while the refresh rate is the number of times your monitor refreshes the image on your screen.
These two processes go hand in hand, so it is important to make sure your processors and your monitor are compatible to not only ensure that you’re getting the best image possible but also so you don’t waste your money.
Because your central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) can produce a certain number of frames per second, it’s important to consider what your CPU and GPU can produce. If you have a monitor with a high refresh rate but your CPU and GPU can’t keep up, then you won’t be taking full advantage of your monitor.
Will You Be Able to Tell the Difference?
Most people and especially gamers will be able to tell the difference between a 60 Hz and 75 Hz refresh rate.
The ability to see the difference between refresh rates varies from person to person, but generally, almost everyone will be able to tell the difference on the lower end of the spectrum between 30 and 60 Hz. A 30 Hz monitor will appear noticeably choppy and the 60 Hz will provide a drastic improvement in the image.
However, it can be a bit more difficult for some people to tell the difference once rates increase beyond 60 Hz. For gamers, it might be especially evident as they may see smoother visuals and even increased performance on monitors with refresh rates higher than 60 Hz.
Once monitors start reaching beyond 120 Hz, it becomes increasingly difficult to tell a significant difference between refresh rates. For this reason, 240 Hz monitors are not necessarily worth the investment even though the refresh rate may sound impressive. For most users, the difference between 120 Hz and 240 Hz may not even be detectible.
We recommend testing out monitors with different refresh rates before making your purchase if possible. This way, you’ll be able to see if you notice a difference between 60 Hz and 75 Hz. Many gamers will be able to notice a difference, especially if they know what they are looking for from a monitor’s performance.
However, some may not notice a difference large enough to justify paying a higher price or upgrading to a new monitor.
Can You Change Your Monitor’s Refresh Rate?
In some cases, you may be running your monitor at a lower refresh rate than it is capable of. While usually, most PCs will automatically choose the highest and best refresh rate for each monitor that you connect, in some cases it might not happen automatically. You can go into your settings to change the refresh rate manually.
Luckily, this is a pretty easy process. If you’re not sure what refresh rate your monitor is capable of, it might be worth it to check your settings to see if your monitor can run on a higher refresh rate. First, right-click on your desktop and select “Display Settings”.
If you scroll down on the right pane to the heading “Display”, you’ll see the “Advanced Display Settings” link.
Click this and on the next page click the link for “Display adapter properties for Display 1”.
On the next Properties window that pops up, click the “Monitor” tab. This should show the details of your monitor and will allow you to select different refresh rates in the “Screen Refresh Rate” box. Check if your monitor is currently running on its highest refresh rate; select the highest number of Hertz possible. Then hit “OK” and refresh rate should be updated automatically.
Note that this is the process for Windows 10, if you’re running Windows 7, Mac, or Linux, the process will be different. However, no matter what Operation System you’re using you should always be able to manually select your monitor’s refresh rate.
When talking about refresh rates for monitors for gaming purposes, the bigger the number the better. If you don’t plan on gaming much, 60 Hz should be enough for your applications, even for displaying ultra-smooth online video.
However, gaming requires a lot more screen refreshes per second, making 60 Hz pretty much the minimum requirement. Therefore, if you’re looking for a smoother gaming experience, it’s a good idea to go with a monitor capable of 75 Hz.
A monitor with a refresh rate of 75 Hz will offer an increase in video quality and a decrease in eye strain and may even come with performance advantages. For those reasons, we think it is worth it to spend a bit more on a 75 Hz monitor over a 60 Hz monitor.