The Difference between 60Hz and 120Hz Monitor


Difference between 60Hz and 120Hz Monitor

Computer systems and gaming consoles are simply useless without a monitor. Sure you can play games with a tablet or a mobile phones but gamers would agree that screen size matters. Hence, a gaming monitor is necessary.

You may have scouted for gaming monitors in the past and found out that there are tons of options on the market. In addition, there are lots of factors to take into consideration so that you can be sure that you’re making a wise choice.

The Buzz About the Hertz – 120Hz vs 60Hz

One of the most important factors that you need to check before buying a gaming panel is the refresh rate. Simply speaking, refresh rate refers to the number of times an image displayed on screen refreshes for every second.

Refresh rates are express in Hertz (Hz) unit. Gaming and computer monitors are usually running at 60Hz and 120Hz.

It is important to note the number of Hz in monitors play a vital role in the quality of the image displayed in the panel. The higher the number, the faster the refresh rate is. Consequently, it reduces motion blurring resulting in a smooth frame by frame transition of frames and better picture quality.

60 Hz monitors have been dominating the market for decades. It may not be the best but 60 Hz panels were decent and average. However, with all the technological developments that we are experiencing, 120 Hz monitors have captured the spotlight.

The difference between 60 Hz refresh rate vs 120 Hz is simply very obvious. Considering the displayed image refreshes twice the speed now, it is expected to be able to handle games with high graphics without sluggishness.

Benefits of Choosing Higher Monitor Refresh Rates

Now that we all know what the “Hz” is all about, let us now go over some of the reasons why displays with higher refresh rates are better:

1. Reduced Game Latency

Gamers will go wild if they experience sluggishness and slow response time while they are in the middle of a game. More often than not, these problems are caused by low refresh rates values.

Take for example a monitor with a 60 Hz refresh rate. If you are playing Call of Duty or Sea of Thieves that requires 120 Hz refresh rate, you will end up with a slow and underwhelming gaming performance. This is because your monitor cannot cope with the requirement of the game.

In addition, you can visibly feel the difference when it comes to Screen Tearing. This phenomenon occurs when your video card is sending out frames way faster than what your monitor can handle.

This indicates that there is a difference between your monitor’s refresh rate and the game’s frame rate. As a result, you’re getting half frames that are not shown together or synchronized. Can you imagine how distracting can this be let alone on crucial moments of the game?

3. Enhanced Motion Resolution

Pixels are just part and parcel of the factors that affect how good the display of a monitor will be. The other half relies on how fast your refresh rate is. In fact, improving screen’s motion resolution is the most important benefit of higher refresh rates.

The most common consequence of low refresh rate is blurring. This is evident by the uncertainty of edges and details in a picture. This problem can be answered by selecting a 120 Hz panel.

Some may not even notice the difference but believe us, you eventually will. Hence, if made to select between a 60 Hz and 120 Hz monitor, don’t think twice and prefer the one with a higher number.

4. Improved Game Responsiveness

Input lag is greatly affected by the monitor’s refresh rate. For example, the input lag time of a 60 Hz IPS is 16.67 millisecond while that of a 120 Hz is 8.33. Make no mistake about it but the most notorious games can easily tell the difference of monitors with different refresh rates.

The difference may be very minute (just a few milliseconds), but it greatly affects the sensitivity of the game.

This major difference between 60 Hz monitors and 120 Hz panels is frequently a deciding factor why most hardcore games consider the refresh rate as the top factor in selecting a monitor. In addition, 120 Hz panels can easily handle higher frame rates with almost undetectable effects.

Do You Need a Monitor with 120 Hz Refresh Rate?

There is no definite answer to this question. It basically depends on what you are using your monitor for. For example, if you are simply using the screen for office stuff and viewing ordinary videos on line, a 60 Hz monitor will be good enough.

However, if you are using a monitor to play video games or doing some video editing works, monitors with higher refresh rates are highly recommended. In addition, on-line streaming contents and gaming console displays require high refresh rates for optimum performance. Hence, in cases like this, monitors with 120 Hz refresh rates or higher is the smartest option.

Below are the some of the most popular content and other related resources and their corresponding refresh rate requirements:

Content SourceRefresh Rate Requirement
Apple TV60 Hz
Chromecast60 Hz
Xbox One S/X24 to 60 Hz
Bluray Players24 to 60 Hz
PS4 /PS4 Pro24 to 60 Hz
Personal Computers60 to 240 Hz

Is 120Hz the Best Option for Me?

Sure, 120Hz is a very great option for a monitor. However, this is not the best in the market so far. Monitors with 144 Hz refresh rate were released on the market not so long ago.

Though it was an upgrade, it was not that much of an improvement. For others, they can hardly see the monitor differences between a 120 and a 144.

Hence, a more powerful 240 Hz refresh rate was introduced. Monitors with 240 refresh rates double the speed of a 120. It seems like having the performance of a dual monitor merged into one.

Motion Interpolation

Sometimes, it is hard to identify if your monitor is running at 60 or 120 Hz. This is because some monitors are using what they call as motion interpolation.

It is their technique to smooth-en the display to cope with the blurs and deficiencies resulting from an inadequate refresh rate. With the help of a software, the quality motion is enhanced and could look better. Though they might offer some fixes, its performance is simply not as good as the real refresh rate.


We hope that this article has answered your queries about monitor refresh rate differences and other questions. It is important to note that the price of a 60 and a 120 Hz monitor is not that significant at all.

Hence, if you are not sure which one to buy, it won’t hurt to settle for a monitor with a higher refresh rate. This makes you ready for whatever new feature or content format technology giants may throw at you. author Charles Mann
Charles has a day job as an author in some tech magazines, his passion about science and technology always encourage him to learn new trends in technology business.
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