What is Monitor Refresh Rate and Why Does it Matter For Gaming?

Monitor Refresh Rate For Gaming

So you’re wondering about what monitor refresh rate is and why it is so important for gaming? Well, you’re at the right spot. While display screens are featured with innovative and high-end resolution for professionals and gamers, its performance for smoother graphics is equally important to understand.

While you are at the market, or searching online for the best gaming monitor it becomes next to impossible to get the smooth-performing screen without having to know what each feature does. And for a buyer who is a novice and just starting out to make a full-fledged gaming rig, the technical terms like monitor overdrive, motion blur, FreeSync or refresh rate sounds heavy and complex.

To help you clear most of your doubts about the refresh rate of a display monitor, we have crafted an in-depth analysis about the very factor.

What does Refresh Rate Do?

Although refresh rate counts in every monitor but for gaming, media performance, streaming and fast-paced motion it becomes more vulnerable to discussion. So what is the refresh rate to the gaming monitor?

The measuring unit for refresh rate is hertz (Hz). Refresh rate is that particular time that determines how many times the screen draws a new image, in a single second. The images you see on screen are updated by the monitor (depending on the quality you have) and the monitor refreshes it in each passing second to maintain fluidity.

To understand it in a simpler way, if you have the monitor with 240Hz it means it refreshes the images 240 times in each passing second hence you receive the most fluid-like, smoother and natural graphics especially in FPS and RTS gaming or streaming fast-paced media.

Monitor Refresh Rate

When you see those fast-moving graphics on screen like flowing water, it indicates the better refresh rate since the screen is updating images super efficiently to extract a new one without any time hold up.

Hence for a gaming monitor the refresh rate efficiently and smoothly makes sure that there is no lagging and therefore, image update factor remains well-focused throughout the fast-paced or competitive media playing.

For television the basic refresh rate is 30Hz to 60Hz however for gamers, 60Hz refresh rate is just a start, provided that the game is mid-range to competitive. But as a rule of thumb, the higher you go for refresh rate, the better gaming experience you get ultimately.

Refresh Rate and GPU Configuration

Since in gaming the most abrupt and minute size movement matters a lot so the refresh rate wisely ensures the matching screen movement with what happens on the computer. On the other hand the mismatch information results in visual artifacts and more similar glitches.

There are latest 144Hz gaming monitors that keep the real-world gaming approach alive and deliver you the kind of smoothness in graphics and image update that is no less than the incredible dream.

But if you opt for a higher refresh rate monitor it is equally important to match this configuration with your gaming requirement and GPU as well. This is because higher refresh rate monitors demand more FPS (Frame Per second) that the CPU and GPU would need to provide.

In other words, if the graphics card processing of the CPU cannot attain the high frame rate per second, opting for the higher refresh rate would be no less than a bottleneck approach!

Refresh Rate for Gaming Monitors

Refresh rate and gaming are pretty closely related parameters that certainly have to do with the smoothness of on screen visuals. The computer hardware renders the graphics that you ultimately see on the display and this action happens within seconds, in most computer monitors and hence there is minimal to zero chance of input latency.

However it is important to note that if your monitor is 75 Hz or 60Hz and you are playing a high-end competitive game of 144Hz or anything beyond the recommended hertz, screen tearing is the next thing you will experience. This is because the frames are rendered faster than the display refresh rate.

Is screen tearing handled by a higher refresh rate?

Traditionally speaking, the higher you go for the refresh rate in the display monitor the better and smoother gameplay you will get. However screen tearing can also be tackled if you have AMD FreeSync or Nvidia’s G-sync technology compatible in the screen. And in that regard, VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) technology comes with an advantageous approach that would reduce and eliminate the screen stuttering and tearing effect at any frame rate up to the apex refresh rate of the display screen.

Ultimately the best advice for the refresh rate would be ‘don’t go for the higher refresh rate but opt for the right one’. If your work is usually browsing, streaming and watching YouTube you do not need 240Hz and screen tearing concern. And the typically recommended gamer’s hertz is 144Hz that suits most of the latest games plus media!


Refresh rate in gaming and display screen serve as the backbone for smoother screenplay. That is the reason why it is often related to gamers and media editing tasks. Usually the higher refresh rate value you choose the better performance you get at the end of the day. 

However matching the GPU configuration with display screen output is co-related and if your work i.e gaming is not in demand of the best gaming monitor with 144Hz, you should not opt for it. The regular refresh rate such as 75Hz or 120Hz would be far better for a regular user.

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Jennifer Scott
By Jennifer Scott

I am a PC gamer and a geek. I have always been interested in computers and loved to take them apart and put them back together. I studied computer hardware engineering at MIT and now work as a computer engineer. I am the chief editor at PCGEARGUNT, where I unbox and review all the latest gadgets. My goal is to help people make informed decisions about the products they buy.

PCGEARHUNT is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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