There’s been so much innovation in display technology in recent years that it’s become common for buyers to compare screen specs before making a purchase, especially refresh rates (measured in Hz). But will you notice a difference between 75Hz and 120Hz monitors?
75Hz vs 120Hz: What’s The Difference?
The main difference between a 75Hz display and a 120Hz display is that a 75Hz display updates its on-screen image up to 75 times per second, while a 120Hz display updates its on-screen image 120 up to 120 times per second. Since it has a higher refresh rate, a 120Hz monitor offers better performance for gaming.
The straightforward, technical difference between a 75Hz and 120Hz monitor is this: a 120Hz monitor has a faster refresh rate, so it updates its on-screen image more frequently.
A 75Hz refresh rate means your monitor can display up to 75 images per second. This is the industry standard for most monitors, and it should be good enough for most people.
A 120Hz refresh rate means your monitor can display up to 120 images per second. This is ideal for gamers playing competitive games and professionals who benefit from fast response times.
I upgraded from a 75Hz to a 120Hz monitor, and I can tell there is a difference. Games run much smoother and I can even feel there’s been a small increase in my accuracy.
That being said, your own experience switching from a 75Hz to a 120Hz monitor may vary.
For starters, there is a heated debate in the gaming community over whether the human eye can discern the difference between 75Hz and 120Hz displays.
On one side of the debate, skeptics argue that, even if humans can perceive framerates higher than 60Hz, they cannot act on them–our brains are too slow (supposedly).
Gaming enthusiasts, on the other hand, swear by faster refresh rates as a matter of personal and lived experience. They argue faster refresh rates improve gameplay and have made them more competitive.
Then, there’s also the matter of graphics cards and computing performance. If your GPU is weak and you’re playing graphically-demanding games, then your graphics card may not output 120FPS.
So, while a 120Hz monitor provides the potential to game in 120FPS, in reality you will only experience the framerate your GPU can output.
If your GPU can only output your game at 50FPS, as an example, then a 120Hz monitor will not do you any good. Your monitor’s performance will be limited by the performance of your graphics card.
To sum it up, if you’re not a gamer, you probably don’t need a 120Hz monitor. Most people will be fine with a 75Hz monitor.
After all, we all played and enjoyed games like Halo (30FPS btw) and Golden Eye 007 (16 FPS btw!) as kids, so clearly framerate and refresh rates aren’t everything.
But if you are a gamer, or if you do other activities that require a fast response time, a 120Hz monitor is worth the investment.
Anything beyond 120Hz, however, may not be worth the extra investment, depending on whom you ask.
Still, you might be wondering if this difference is a bit overplayed. Is there a noticeable difference between 75Hz and 120Hz?
Is The Difference Between 75Hz And 120Hz Noticeable?
The difference between 75Hz and 120Hz is noticeable, but it’s not as big as you might think. If you’re switching from a 75Hz monitor, you’ll see a difference in games and other fast-paced activities. But if you’re switching from a high refresh rate monitor, the difference will not be very pronounced.
It’s important to remember that not all games are optimized for high refresh rates. Even if you have a 120Hz monitor, you might not be able to take advantage of the higher refresh rate in all games.
For starters, your graphics card will need to be capable of putting out high framerates in order to get the full effect of a 120Hz monitor.
If your graphics card can only output your game at 50FPS, for example, then it won’t do you any good to have a monitor with such a high refresh rate.
Then, there’s also a question of what you’re planning on doing with your monitor. I.e., what games you’ll be playing.
Generally, framerates and refresh rates really only matter for two specific kinds of games: virtual reality and first-person shooters (and other performance-based action games).
So, if you’re playing a game like Apex Legends or Call of Duty, then you’ll see a big difference switching from 75Hz to 120Hz.
It won’t make you a vastly better player. If you’re bad, you’ll still be bad (sorry for the bad news). But, it’s enough of a difference that you’ll definitely notice smoother gameplay.
The most significant difference I’ve noticed switching from a 75Hz to a 120Hz monitor is reduced screen tearing.
If you’re not familiar with screen tearing, it’s when part of the image is displayed on one frame while the other part is displayed on the next frame. This can happen when your monitor can’t keep up with the game’s frame rate.
I also find myself reacting more quickly to things because the image is updated more frequently. This is especially helpful in games like Fortnite, where every millisecond counts.
Is 75Hz Good For A Monitor?
75Hz is good for a monitor. It’s decent enough for casual gaming, high graphics application software, and day-to-day use. However, the picture experience isn’t as fluid as on monitors with higher refresh rates, and you may want something with a higher refresh rate to keep up with your graphics card.
Generally, a 75Hz monitor will be just fine for gaming. Even while playing shooters and other competitive titles, it’s unlikely that you’ll have any problems using a 75Hz monitor.
That being said, depending on your graphics card, you might be able to get a little more juice out of a display with a higher refresh rate.
For example, if you have a current-generation NVIDIA GeForce GPU, then you can probably get over 100FPS on many titles at 1080P, so it wouldn’t make sense to have a monitor that caps out at 75Hz.
Upgrading to a more powerful monitor, like a monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate, will allow you to use more of your graphics card’s potential and improve your gameplay a bit.
If you can afford it, then it’s definitely worth the upgrade, even if you won’t improve your in-game performance by a whole lot.
Can You Run 120 FPS On A 75Hz Monitor?
You cannot see 120FPS on a 75Hz monitor. Even if your graphics card is outputting 120 frames per second, your monitor will only be able to display 75 of those frames, so you’ll be seeing a maximum of 75 frames in a second.
Although you can technically run a framerate that’s higher than the refresh rate of your monitor, the results won’t be great.
For starters, you won’t be able to physically see over 75FPS on a 75Hz monitor, 75FPS is the theoretical limit of what the monitor can display.
So, the extra frames will go to waste and possibly cause screen tearing or other issues. Ideally, you want your monitor’s refresh rate to be in constant sync with the output of your graphics card.
The goal of technologies like GSync and FreeSync is to allow your GPU to control the refresh rate of your monitor so that the two are in constant synchronization.
Is A 120Hz Monitor Worth It?
A 120Hz monitor is worth it despite the high price tag attached to most models on the market. However, you’ll only get your money’s worth if you have a powerful enough gaming PC that can output graphics at or around 120FPS, otherwise the higher refresh rate will go to waste.
You’re likely only going to benefit from a 120Hz monitor if you are a gamer, particularly if you enjoy playing FPS titles.
The thing is, high refresh rates don’t really make a huge difference in how a display looks, especially for things like photo editing or watching Netflix.
The only demographic that will get any benefit from refresh rates above 30-60Hz is gamers. The boost in refresh rates will make cursor movements more smooth and precise, and possibly improve accuracy.
So, what’s the best 120Hz monitor you can get?
Best 120Hz Monitor
The best gaming monitor you can get for your money is this AOC 24″ 120Hz gaming monitor with FreeSync.
This is the first gaming monitor I invested in, and I still use it for console gaming. It has great features like super low response time and a 120Hz refresh rate.
Best of all, it’s really affordable, so you won’t need to break the bank to experience gaming with a high refresh rate.
Best 75Hz Monitor
The ASUS VP229HE 21.5” Frameless Eye Care Monitor is the best 75Hz monitor for gaming and work.
It produces crisp pictures thanks to its frameless IPS display—a perfect screen if you’re looking to enjoy casual gaming and day-to-day work.
The monitor’s design features borderless frames that give the display a sleek look while giving you a lot of value for your money.
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