When we talk about the refresh rate in monitors, we will all agree that the standard or most used today is still 60 Hz, but in the gaming ecosystem , 144 Hz monitors and more are becoming more frequent. Advances in technology have seen up to 360 Hz monitors appear on the market in recent times, but is it worth upgrading to a 360 Hz monitor ? Is it really what you need or would a 144 Hz one work for you?
We all know the benefits that a monitor with a high refresh rate can provide, and not only at the gaming level but even when you use the equipment for other purposes, mainly because everything looks more fluid and gives the user experience a feeling smoothness that normal 60Hz monitors cannot provide. Now, a 360 Hz monitor can be a bit excessive even for gaming, right? Let’s see.
Refresh rate and framerate on the monitor
We have explained what the refresh rate is in depth previously, but we are going to get some background before proceeding to assess whether or not a 360 Hz monitor is worth it; refresh rate or refresh rate refers to the number of times a monitor is “refreshed” with a new image every second. This refresh rate is closely related to frame rate (FPS), but the two are obviously not the same.
For example, you can run a game at 100 FPS on a 60 Hz monitor, but in reality you are not literally seeing the benefits of having 100 FPS because your monitor does not give more of itself. This is because its refresh rate determines the maximum frame rate that the monitor can actually display, so if you have a 60Hz monitor it doesn’t matter if you run the game at 60, 100 or 200 FPS, you will see the same result.
Also, playing games at a frame rate per second higher than what the monitor can support will cause a phenomenon known as Tearing, which is detrimental to the gaming experience. Tearing occurs because the frame rate produced by the GPU and that displayed by the monitor are not synchronized, causing the image to “break” in some frames.
How the refresh rate impacts the gaming experience
Does a higher refresh rate and frame rate make you better at gaming? The answer is yes and no. Ultimately, your skill and practice will determine the results, especially in competitive eSports titles. However, a low frame rate will be a disadvantage, especially if you have trouble keeping a stable 60 FPS.
Real life is not perceived in individual frames like movies or games are, but if it were, you could imagine it as a practically unlimited frame rate (it is not, but for practical purposes, almost). The only limitation on your ability to react to external stimuli in real life is your own hand-eye coordination (what we know as reflexes).
However, on monitors the story is different, and even a 144Hz monitor is a long way from actual movement. The easiest way to explain the difference between two equal players with different monitors is that the one with the higher refresh rate is seeing game updates faster than the other player – the information reaches them earlier.
Especially in high-octane action games, this can make a difference. The well-known manufacturer NVIDIA conducted a study on this, showing a tangible improvement in player performance in Battle Royale-type titles with higher refresh rates. Now, keep in mind that NVIDIA is interested in selling monitors with high refresh rates, so the veracity of this data is a bit in question.
If you want to test how different refresh rates look on your own monitor, we recommend you access the famous free UFO Test, although you will always be limited by the maximum refresh rate of your monitor, keep that in mind.
So is it worth investing in a 360Hz monitor?
If you are looking to have a competitive gaming experience without compromises (especially at the professional level), then you do. But for the average gamer and consumer, the biggest benefit you’ll see in upgrading your monitor is going from 60 to 144 Hz; a 240 Hz and 360 Hz monitor offers greater benefits, but these are ultimately marginal compared to the jump from 60 to 144 Hz, which is where it is most noticeable, and they also have a fairly substantial price difference and it is enough to think it over whether or not it is worth investing.
In addition, you must take into account a crucial factor regarding the refresh rate of the monitors: if your hardware is not capable of generating the necessary FPS, you will not be gaining anything. For example, imagine that you have a 360 Hz monitor but your graphics card is not capable of giving more than 100 FPS in a given game, so you would not be getting more benefits than you would with a 100 Hz monitor. Also, Another thing to keep in mind if you intend to use your monitor with consoles is that they are not capable of exceeding 120 Hz in any case.