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Home Tech How Does the Refresh Rate of a Monitor Affect FPS

How Does the Refresh Rate of a Monitor Affect FPS

Refresh Rate to a Monitor

The refresh rate is the number of times a monitor refreshes an image on the display per second. It is measured in Hertz. On the other hand, the rate at which individual images are displayed on your screen is called frames per second (FPS). The greater the frame rate of your monitor, the smoother and more fluid your visual experience will be. 

You must remember that having a high FPS is restricted by your monitor’s refresh rate. Monitors typically have a fixed refresh rate, such as 60Hz or 244Hz. If your gaming monitor can handle a title at 200 frames per second, but your monitor’s refresh rate is just 75 Hz, the extra frames are effectively squandered. Because your monitor cannot render more frames per second, you will only see the game at 60 FPS. 

Thus, typically, if a monitor has a higher refresh rate, you will need more FPS for high performance. While some people think that monitor refresh rate doesn’t necessarily affect your fps gain.  

The refresh rate of your monitor constrains the maximum FPS output. This indicates that no matter how many frames per second your monitor can generate, it can only display as many as its refresh rate allows. Your FPS rate depends on the hardware components like CPU, GPU, etc. However, if your monitor’s refresh rate can’t keep up with the FPS your GPU is generating, there will not be any benefit from the extra FPS. 

In essence, the monitor acts as a bottleneck, limiting the visual experience while ensuring that everything fits into place properly. So, what is the truth? Let’s uncover this in this comprehensive guide! 

What is FPS (Frame Per Second)? 

As mentioned earlier, FPS is the number of frames your graphics card renders per second. The graphic cards being regarded as the “heart” of a monitor is the source of FPS. These frames are then sent to the PC monitor, where refresh rates come into play.  

The higher the rate of FPS means the graphics card is working smoothly and seamlessly. The visuals on your screens are also comfortable for eye health and prevent motion sickness because higher framerates are closer to what we see in the natural environment.  

The ability to render additional frames depends on your graphics card’s capability. For instance, a top-tier GPU optimised for high-end gaming, such as the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti, may attain hundreds of FPS (frames per second). In contrast, a less powerful GPU, such as the Intel UHD GPU, often runs from 60 to 80 FPS in the exact scenarios. 

FPS can be purposely ‘limited’ in specific applications, particularly games, to provide a fluid and reliable visual experience. When you limit the FPS, you specify the maximum number of frames the application can generate. If FPS capping is absent, your graphics card may cause as many frames as possible, resulting in erratic and potentially very high frame rates. 

However, when the workload increases, those increased FPS can contribute to a steadier and more controllable rate. The variable frame rates might make games less smooth and unpredictable.  

What Is Refresh Rate and Why Is It Important? 

As discussed above, the graphics card is the source of the frame rates, and the monitor is the recipient. Refresh rates measure how many times a monitor refreshes its screen per second. In other words, it’s similar to the FPS but works for the display.  

High refresh rates are equally crucial for achieving a high-quality visual experience as a high frame rate. The refresh rate does not affect the frame rates, but they limit the frames you can see. For example, if your graphics card renders 144 frames per second, a monitor with a 75Hz refresh rate will display only 75 FPS on the screen. These constraints result in a restricted frame rate of 75 FPS or “screen tearing.” 

Screen tearing happens when your monitor’s refresh rate and GPU’s frame rate are not synchronised, resulting in portions of your screen falling behind or displaying different images. It’s characterised as a horizontal split, which leads to a visually disruptive experience. 

With the advancements in computing devices, the latest monitors also come equipped with compelling functionalities. Variable Refresh Rate is one of them. It is incorporated into the newest monitors to address screen tearing. VRR enables the screen to adapt to the varying FPS the graphics card produces to eliminate the synchronisation issue. 

The standard refresh rate of monitors, televisions, and laptops is 60Hz. This refresh rate works fine for most users, whether playing, streaming, or working. Nonetheless, high-end monitors feature higher refresh rates, such as 120Hz, 144Hz, or even 300Hz, which improve the visual experience, most notably in fast-paced applications like content creation and competitive gaming.  

What Happens If FPS Are Lower than Refresh Rates?  

If your frame rate is lower than your refresh rate, your gaming monitor will repeatedly display the same frame until a new frame is rendered. For instance, if the refresh rate is 60 Hz and the FPS rate of your graphics card is 30, each frame will be displayed twice. As a result, the gameplay or animations may appear to stutter or need to be smoother. Screen tearing is another issue when the FPS doesn’t match the refresh rates.  

Screen tearing usually happens when two different frames display on the monitor at the exact moment. This can make the image appear to be distorted and visually unappealing. Some gaming titles still run at 30 FPS on 60 Hz computer monitors. To make the most of your new monitor, you must ensure that FPS is as close to your refresh rates as possible.  

However, when you play a game at 75 frames per second on a 165 Hz panel, the experience is noticeably smoother than on a 75 Hz monitor. However, you’ll only see 75 frames per second graphically, similar to playing the game on a 75 Hz monitor.  

Consider the following scenario: your monitor can generate between 75 and 120 frames per second on a 165 Hz monitor. You will see more frames in this instance, resulting in buttery animations. You’ll need a graphics card consistently providing higher frame rates aligned with the Hz to squeeze the full benefits of a high refresh monitor.  

FPS vs Refresh Rate: What Should You Pay Attention More? 

Between refresh rates and FPS, it might be overwhelming to choose one and decide which feature you should invest your resources in and what you should try to increase. If you have a dedicated graphics card on your computer, you should get the most out of it. The same goes for a cutting-edge monitor; you should try to get the refresh rates and FPS to match up to squeeze its full potential.  

Regarding gaming, you’ll need to pay attention to FPS because you can tweak it using in-game display configurations. Enhanced FPS creates more cohesive images and reduces display issues.  

Ultimately, both are essential parts of your PC graphics; however, if you had to choose one, it would be a refresh rate. This is because refresh rate measures how frequently your screen can display images on the screen, whereas FPS measures how many frames your computer can output per second.  

Even if your FPS is high, you will face screen stuttering if your refresh rate is low. However, if your refresh rate is high, you will have the smooth and responsive gaming visuals you want, regardless of whether the FPS is lower. 

Final Verdict 

FPS and refresh rate are the primary factors determining your overall viewing experience. Refresh rates do not directly affect FPS. Refresh rates depend upon your computer monitor. In contrast, FPS depends on components such as GPU, CPU, PC temperature, and game optimisation. The higher the both of them, the smoother your gameplay will be. 

 Nonetheless, as previously mentioned, these two factors are not directly interlinked. A high refresh rate doesn’t lead to a high FPS (and vice versa). The best way to create optimal visual performance is to have a high refresh rate PC monitor and a graphics card that consistently outputs frame rates that match the refresh rates.  

So, do you want to take your gaming experience to the next level? Explore a wide range of high-refresh-rate gaming monitors and cutting-edge desktop PCs with top-tier GPUs available at Laptop Outlet.  

Enjoy visual excellence like never before! 

Read More: Do you know what SMD SCREEN is?

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