If you are a gamer, you may have noticed that the monitor you use to play games greatly influences how enjoyable the gameplay can be. The size and the resolution of the monitor are the obvious features to look for.
But the Hertz of your monitor can make a lot of difference as well. In this article, we will discuss what Hertz means, and what kind of difference, if any, it can make towards your game experience.
Further, we will mention some good monitors that can help amplify your gaming experience, and we will wrap up with three winning recommendations.
What is Hertz?
If you remember well, you must have heard your high school science teacher mentioning the word Hertz. Hertz is a measure of frequency. If something occurs once in a second, then that is 1Hertz, written as Hz.
In the good old days, people would tune in to FM stations to a certain Hz, and each station would have its own Hz address.
In the computing world, you must have heard about Hertz when CPU specifications are discussed. The CPU clock rate is expressed in megahertz or gigahertz higher the clock rate faster the CPU.
When it comes to monitors, Hertz (Hz) is the refresh rate or the number of images displayed per second. The hertz will not influence the color, or the resolution of the image. It is simply the number of images that will be displayed in one second.
So, what does a 120 Hz monitor mean? It means that a 120Hz monitor delivers 120 images per second, and a 144Hz monitor delivers 144 images per second. It is also called a refresh rate.
The higher the refresh rate, the more images you see within a short span of time. Therefore, a higher-quality monitor would have a higher Hertz. In terms of refresh rate, a 120 Hz monitor is better than a 60 Hz monitor. And subsequently, a 144Hz monitor is better than a 120Hz.
If you are only taking a passing glance at the monitor, then you will not be able to tell the difference. So, you may have a genuine curiosity that if you can’t tell the difference, why should you care?
To begin with, a monitor with a higher Hz, such as 144 is going to give you a more fluid viewing experience. The display will work smoothly.
To fully understand this, we also need to understand the ‘frame rate’. As the refresh rate, the frame rate is the number of frames a monitor can display in a second.
The frame rate is the number of frames a system can produce in a second, and the refresh rate is that rate at which your monitor can refresh the display.
A monitor can only display the information it gets, so a frame rate is a part of the information that is fed into the monitor.
Let’s take a case to make this even more clear. When you are gaming, you are looking at your monitor. The monitor is getting the instructions from your computer system, more specifically, your video card.
Now, what would happen if your video card released frames at a rate that is beyond the capacity of your monitor? This can cause, what is called, Screen Tearing.
The monitor will struggle to follow the commands, and it is simply incapable of showing you all that your video card wants to show. Screen tearing is when certain frames are overlapped, or only displayed in halves, and your experience is no longer smooth.
Screen manufacturers are developing screens with higher refresh rates because this improves the viewing experience. Cellphones that used to have a 60Hz refresh rate, now have 120Hz.
The overall quality of your display is going to depend on many other factors such as the color reproduction, and contrast, but how smooth and fluid the display will feel will be influenced by the refresh rate.
120 Hz vs. 144 Hz
In the market, 120Hz monitors are more commonly found than 144Hz monitors. The cheaper price tag of the 120Hz monitor is a contributing factor.
Some gamers argue that a 120Hz monitor is good enough for gaming, and the difference between 120Hz and 144Hz is too small to notice. Furthermore, it’s a bit easier to get games to actually run at a solid 120fps compared to 144fps.
Smooth images are critical for maintaining the quality of minute details and sharp edges, especially in fast-paced situations. If you are playing games like Valiant, Overwatch, PUBG, or Fortnite they render well with 120Hz monitors.
If you try playing them in the older 60Hz monitors, the difference is clearly felt. Lag is also significantly reduced on displays with a higher refresh rate. The connection between input latency and monitor refresh rate determines game responsiveness.
And by the extension of the same logic, a 144Hz monitor displays 144 images per second. 144Hz monitors have become standard for most competitive gamers.
Manufacturers keep coming out with various models that are targeted at gamers. Technically, there is no arguing that a higher rate is better, but the actual difference in a gaming experience that is felt between them may not convince many gamers to upgrade.
Which one should I get? 120 Hz or 144 Hz
If you are deciding which monitor to get, then perhaps you are better off comparing other features in tandem with the refresh rate.
If a 120Hz display has a better overall specification, when compared to a 144Hz display, then you would be wrong to only go for a higher refresh rate.
The latest top-end monitors have an even higher refresh rate of 240Hz, so in that case, the 144Hz is a cheaper buy. If you are upgrading from a 60 Hz monitor, then you should buy a 144 Hz. But if you already have a 120Hz, your money is better spent elsewhere, perhaps a graphics card.
In a competitive setting, small movements and even a small glitch can make a lot of difference, that is why gamers tend to prefer a 144Hz monitor in order to be safe.
But, if you are not competing professionally, and use the monitor for movies, and web browsing, then a 120Hz refresh rate is more than enough.
Best Monitor with a 144Hz Refresh Rate
If you are looking to upgrade, then we recommend that you check LG’s gaming monitor. The LG UltraGear is the fastest display out there, and it has a 144Hz refresh rate. This 27-inch screen is a good value for money as well. It can display 4K Bright vivid colors in 4K.
The LG UltraGear is the first 4K Nano IPS 1ms gaming monitor that will correctly display your powerful GPU. The Nano IPS technology provides a broader color range and excellent viewing angles.
The monitor is compatible with G-Sync and FreeSync. G-Sync provides steady images and smoothness, and the fast refresh rate and reaction times support this. The complete package, and unquestionably the greatest gaming display available.
Best Monitor with a 120Hz Refresh Rate
If you want to acquire a 120 Hz monitor, we propose the Alienware AW3420DW Curved 34 Inch monitor. The 1900R’s curved, wide 21: 9 display enhances the field of vision and offers a constant, even viewing experience. The resolution of the display is WQHD (3440×1440).
It produces images that are crisp and detailed. A 120Hz frame rate combined with NVIDIA G-SYNC ensures seamless gameplay. G-sync technology synchronizes the GPU and monitor, presenting full frames only when the monitor is capable of doing so; this prevents graphic distortions such as tearing and artefacts from developing on screen.
The monitor also has a 3H hardness Screen Coating Antiglare. It, too, has embraced IPS Nano color technology, as has LG. The Alienware 34 curved gaming display now meets DCI-P3, a cinematic, professional standard, and outperforms the sRGB color spectrum.
Go further: Best Monitor with a 240Hz Refresh Rate
If you are a serious gamer, and you want the best tech that is out there to support your adventures, then you should consider buying a future-proof display that can offer a 240 Hz refresh rate.
We recommend that you check out Samsung Odyssey G7. Because it can show deep blacks, it’s a wonderful choice for content makers or moviegoers as well. It offers an excellent image quality because of its high contrast ratio, superb out-of-the-box color accuracy, and wide color gamut.
The Odyssey G7 boasts excellent gaming performance because of its 240Hz frame rate, excellent reaction time, and FreeSync compatibility. It’s certified by NVIDIA to be G-SYNC compatible too.