120Hz vs. 240Hz Refresh Rate – What Is The Difference?

120hz vs 240hz refresh rate

120Hz vs. 240Hz Refresh Rate – What Is The Difference?

Key Points

  • With 120Hz, each pixel is refreshed 120 times per second meaning each image should be refreshed every 8.33ms.
  • The frequency can result in crisp images and a reduced risk of distraction caused by moving images.
  • With 240Hz, each pixel is refreshed 240 times per second, and each image every 4ms. This frequency can be especially beneficial for first-person shooter games.

As technology has advanced more and more in recent years, the screen refresh rate has reached up to 240Hz with HD monitors, thanks to the rapid development in LCD technology. It is important to know the differences between 120Hz and 240Hz as they have a difference in output.

The difference between 120Hz vs. 240Hz is simply the number of times the screen gets refreshed in a single second. 120Hz is the standard refresh rate that most monitors operate on. They usually have only one mode with no options to customize the refresh rate or change it at all. 240Hz is a new technology that was developed in recent years along with other advances in LCD technology.

In this article, we aim to cover 120Hz vs. 240Hz refresh rates so you’ll be able to decide which one is better for you.

120Hz vs. 240Hz Refresh Rate: Side by Side Comparison

Before we go into the details of 120Hz vs. 240Hz, it would be best if we start off by taking a look at the side-by-side comparison chart to understand the differences between each refresh rate. The chart below is based on the ANSI standards.

Smooth motion with a possibility of motion artifactsSmoother motion with a higher likelihood of motion artifacts
3D content3D content
Most are reasonably priced, for example, a 40″ LED TV costs between $350 and $700.Expensive (a 40″ TV costs between $500 and $1,000).
24fps and 30fps compatibility.24fps and 30fps compatibility.
120hz vs 240hz refresh rate
A 120Hz monitor delivers good quality viewing and is more reasonably priced than a 240Hz screen.

©Krivosheev Vitaly/Shutterstock.com

120Hz vs. 240Hz Refresh Rate: What’s the Difference?

In a 120 Hz monitor, each pixel on the screen refreshes 120 times per second. Provided the refresh rate is accurate enough, 120Hz provides high response times in most cases, which translates to the screen image being updated once every 8.33ms. This makes the images look very crisp on your screen and means that there are fewer instances where your eyes would be distracted by moving images. This is achieved by means of a new liquid crystal technology that has been integrated into monitors.

With this, it makes any 120 Hz monitor able to display about 16.7 million colors in, which users can enjoy with smooth transitions and without any blur or ghost images at all.

120Hz monitors don’t degrade as quickly as those with slower speeds. Most gamers that use their PC for entertainment rely on 120Hz monitors because they allow them to take more advantage of their graphics cards.

In a 240 Hz monitor, each pixel on the screen refreshes 240 times per second. A 240Hz monitor changes the images on its screen every 4ms. With this, it makes any 240 Hz monitor able to display about 120 million colors in. Some gamers report that in 240Hz, they are able to spot better projectiles and other factors that occur in FPS games over a 120Hz monitor.

More frames and higher refresh rates equate to smoother, more fluid-moving images that are less likely to make your eyes uncomfortable as they follow what’s on the screen.

120Hz vs. 240Hz Refresh Rate: 10 Must-Know Facts

  • 120Hz has been around longer and is less expensive; 240Hz is more recent and offers clear improvements.
  • 120Hz is a standard feature of LCD monitors, whereas 240Hz is achieved through overclocking.
  • 240Hz offers clearer picture quality thanks to its increased framerate.
  • 240Hz has better clarity in moving images; something that 120Hz has trouble with, especially in movies.
  • 240Hz is mainly for PC use, though 120Hz laptops are becoming more popular for other reasons.
  • 120Hz monitors have a higher resolution, though the difference becomes negligible at this point.
  • 240Hz monitors give better response times on fast-paced games.
  • 240Hz has a reduced input lag, making it perfect for gamers and fast-paced activities.
  • 120Hz will give better colors than 240Hz at the same price point; however, this difference is negligible between more expensive models.

120Hz Monitor PC Requirements

In order to run a 120Hz monitor, it only requires that the device you are using has at least an NVIDIA GTX 650 Ti or equivalent. If you do not have this GPU, then a GPU with around the same performance will suffice. A minimum of i7 processor and displayport 1.2 or HDMI 2.0 ports are required, which 120Hz monitors need.

240Hz Monitor PC Requirements

In order to run a 240Hz monitor, it requires a strong PC system to support this kind of functionality. The processor needs to be at least i7 if you are using your computer for gaming purposes. You also need a GPU of at least GTX 980 or better, and your PC must have displayport 1.2 or HDMI 2.0 ports as these are what is required by 240Hz monitors.

The Things to Consider when Making the Decision

When determining whether or not you should buy a 240Hz monitor, it is important to consider the following:

Will the 240Hz Monitor work with My Current Hardware?

If you do not have a GPU that is as powerful as the GTX 980, then you will not be able to get the full benefit of a 240Hz monitor. This means that you need to decide if it is worth spending money on upgrading your PC or to save up and buy a better GPU first to use this feature. This is especially important if you are on a budget and do not have much money available for upgrades.

What Kind of Monitor Do I Need?

You also need to make sure that your device has the necessary ports and that it is not an older model (older than 2010), as this could mean that the ports on your computer only have HDMI 1.3, which is not compatible with 240Hz monitors, you may have to upgrade your PC to support this feature. It could be a problem if you do not have this port.

Will I Be Able to Play Games at a 120Hz Rate?

If you plan to play competitively or often in eSports, it may be worth investing in a 240Hz monitor. With the increased frame rate that such a display can provide and the ability to do more with games, you will get better results when playing, and it also helps you gain skills faster because of this.

Are There Any Input Lag Issues?

Input lag is a number that determines how long it takes for your computer to respond to action commands. In 240Hz, there appears to be an input lag reduction, but this can vary from display to display. This means that some monitors may be superior to others in terms of input lag, and therefore it is worth checking this out before purchase to make sure whether or not you are getting an optimal experience or not.

What is The Quality?

Since 120Hz monitors only require that your device has a minimum of a GTX 650 Ti, you will purchase this at a lower price than if you were to get 240Hz. 240Hz monitors are therefore going to have superior performance, and therefore they are going to be the premium product. If you do not have a minimum of GTX 980, you must check out which one offers the best quality, as it may mean that you will have issues with input lag or screen tearing.

Do You Need Screen Tearing Reduction?

Screen tearing is a problem that occurs when your computer is not as powerful as it should be, and as a result, it cannot keep up with the refresh rate of any monitor. This means that there can be areas on your screen where the image is not completely updated, which will result in a line being drawn across your screen to the left, which can be distracting and annoying for any gamer who has to deal with this issue on a daily basis.

If your PC is not as powerful as your monitor, then there will be areas on your screen that you can see which are not being updated. This means that they will be on the screen, which will look like they have been drawn and this means that you can become distracted and annoyed by this.

What is The Response Time?

Your response time should be at least 1ms. This is what determines how fast the refresh rate of the display is going to be in relation to the frame rate of your computer. The refresh rate must be faster than the frame rate because your eyes will see it as an instant response.

120hz vs 240hz refresh rate
Gamers usually prefer a 240Hz Monitor.

©Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.com

Does it Support G-Sync or FreeSync?

If you are planning to use a new monitor, then having FreeSync or G-Sync will allow you to have a greater advantage than those who do not have this technology and be able to push the refresh rate of your monitor way above what is standard on your screen.

FreeSync is triggered by the framerate of the game you are playing. This technology depends on V-sync, and as a result, it will only work if there is a match between them. In order to get the benefits of this technology, you need a high framerate and an AMD graphics card, as this will allow your monitor to run at a higher refresh rate than normal to match your game.

G-Sync is another type of technology that allows your screen to keep up with the FPS of your game, and in turn, it will adjust the refresh rate so that you can have an optimum experience. Since NVIDIA makes this technology, it means that only those items which have been certified by them are going to be able to support this feature. In order for you to get the best experience, there needs to be a match between G-Sync and V-sync. This is vital because there may be screen tearing if this is not present.

What Kind of Ports Do I Need?

The type of ports you need to consider when purchasing your monitor includes PC input, Displayport 1.2, or HDMI 2.0. If you do not have a Displayport 1.2 or HDMI 2.0, then you will not be able to get the best quality out of your screen; therefore, this should be considered.

What Do I Need for Power?

It is important that you look at the power requirements before purchasing a monitor, which varies depending on the model you are purchasing. If you do not have enough power, it can damage your computer or the monitor, resulting in a lot of money being wasted.

Does the Monitor Have HMDI 1.3, Which is Required for 240Hz and Higher?

There is no point in purchasing a monitor if it does not have the necessary ports or features that are going to be able to support a monitor at 240Hz and above. Although some monitors may work with an adapter, these may not be an excellent investment as you will likely want to purchase one in order to get the best possible results, especially if you plan to play competitively.

Pros of a 120Hz Monitor

Pros of a 240Hz Monitor

  • Much higher refresh rate.
  • Much better and smoother gaming experience.
  • Higher quality and less blur when playing games or watching movies that support 240Hz.
  • Higher resolution (higher than 1080p).
  • More money is saved because it is a better monitor.

Cons of a 120Hz monitor

  • Not able to produce an image at the same level of quality as a 240Hz monitor.
  • Not able to play video games at the maximum frame rate possible

Cons of a 240Hz monitor

  • High costs
  • Eye strain

120Hz vs. 240Hz Refresh Rate: Which One Is Better?

120Hz is absolutely stunning, and there’s no doubt about that. This is because it produces a higher refresh rate and can produce a more fluid image with less blur. However, 240Hz is also an improvement on 120Hz in most circumstances. For example, the higher refresh rate provides a clearer and more natural feeling for players when it comes to gaming and fast-action games.

However, it doesn’t matter how high the refresh rate is when it comes to movies and TV shows. So, if you think about it that way and also take into account that 240Hz monitors are more expensive than 120Hz monitors, 120Hz will be a better choice for most people. Also worth considering is that many games you play won’t be played at 240 frames per second, so a 120Hz monitor will work better.

Up Next…

Interested in more intriguing facts on technology? Click on the links below:

  • IPS vs. LED Monitors: Which is Best for You? One offers wider viewing angles and enhanced screen consistency, while the other uses less energy, responds faster and offers better image quality. Find out which is which and what other differences set them apart.
  • LED vs. UHD: What’s the Difference? What are they precisely? Which one is a form of technology? Which one refers to a standard applied to screen resolution? Find out here.
  • Nano IPS vs. IPS Displays: What’s the Difference? They’re both varieties of liquid crystal displays invented by the brand LG. Which has slower response times and a wider color range? Discover all you need to know in this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 120Hz to 240Hz noticeable?

Yes, it is noticeable when you have it in HDTV or monitors. You will have slightly smoother action on the screen as compared to 120Hz.

Is 120Hz and 240Hz the same?

No, they are not the same. 120Hz is the standard refresh rate. 240Hz are refresh rates that are faster than 120Hz.

Does 240Hz show less blurring/smearing than 120Hz?

Yes, it does show less blurring/smearing. There is little difference in the quality between 120hz and 240hz.

Why is 240Hz better than 120Hz for gaming?

When it comes to gaming, 240Hz refresh is better because it produces sharper and faster video output.

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