High refresh rate screens are becoming quite popular these days, whether for computer monitors, tablets, laptops, or even smartphones. Some models can even get all the way up to 360hz, but there is an argument about whether these increasingly higher refresh rates benefit the end user.
The short answer is yes, you will notice an improved experience between each refresh rate. But, what exactly is a refresh rate?
A refresh rate is how many times a screen can refresh the image on screen per second.
In theory, the higher number of times it can refresh per second, the smoother experience you will have using that screen. A good way to think about it is like a movie or game’s frames per second. In a movie, the frame rate is typically 24 frames per second. So, for each second that goes by, you will see 24 separate photos in sequence, making a moving picture.
Since modern-day LCD screens have been introduced, people have become accustomed to 60hz refresh rate monitors. But, primarily from PC gamers, there has been a push for faster refresh rate monitors. This article will look at the differences between 144hz and 240hz and which is more worthwhile.
144hz vs. 240hz: A Side-by-Side Comparison
|Time Between Frames||6.94ms||4.17ms|
|Average Cost||Around $200||$250 to $300|
|Competitive Gaming||Less preferred because of less FPS||More preferred because of more FPS|
|Simulation-Based Gaming||More preferred because it fulfills all requirements||Less preferred because of the high price|
What’s the Difference?
So, what does this mean for your user experience? Further, what makes one of these screens superior to the other? We will go over a couple of different use cases and products with which you can find these high refresh rate screens.
PC gaming is what pushed these screens into the mainstream and caused a continuously growing number of manufacturers to make them. As it goes with consumer PC components, gaming is a driving force.
Now, you won’t get better at a game with a higher refresh monitor—we can tell you from personal experience. Of course, as you go up in Hertz from 144 to 240, you will notice a smoother image while playing fast-paced video games, but it won’t instantly get you more headshots in Fortnite or whatever game you’re playing.
So, what’s the point if it won’t make you a better gamer? For one, a higher refresh monitor will make games feel more immersive and avoid those eye-sore screen tears we all hate. Note that if you don’t usually get over 144 FPS in your games, you will not be able to take full advantage of what a 240hz monitor offers.
Like most components with a computer, unless you have planned for it, there might be a bottleneck somewhere in the system. So unless you plan to upgrade your PC to play games consistently above 144 FPS, it does not make sense to shell out the extra money for a 240hz monitor.
Typically media such as movies and TV shows do not need high refresh monitors to be thoroughly enjoyed because the frame rate does not get above 60 FPS. However, that does not mean that the overall user experience of a TV will not improve with a higher refresh rate. There are not a ton of TVs that go up to 240hz today, but more and more are upgrading to 144hz.
This may be due to console gamers wanting to have a smoother experience playing on a big screen. It can also be a result of more and more people using the TV as a streaming hub in their living room.
When it comes to streaming, people can spend more of their time on their TV scrolling through apps and menus that feel a whole lot smoother and faster when you have a higher refresh rate.
Laptops, Tablets, and Smartphones
Now that PC monitors have adapted to the trend of higher refresh rates, other electronic products have started to follow suit.
Regarding tablets and smartphones, no one is gaming on either of these above 60 FPS, so gaming is not really the principal use. However, for devices that primarily run off of touch screen controls, a higher refresh rate makes the device feel snappier and more responsive. There are currently no phones that sport a 240hz screen, but a niche group makes 144hz screens for phones. We suspect we will see 144hz as a standard for flagship devices within a few years.
Laptops over the last couple of years, especially this year, have become wildly powerful and, in some cases, can hold their own compared to full PCs. So, naturally, the screen technology had to be upgraded to keep the experience seamless.
A majority of the laptops that feature 144hz or 240hz screens are targeted toward gamers. Still, many professionally-minded laptops are upping the refresh rate to give that same snappy experience to more people.
144hz vs. 240hz: 4 Must-Know Facts
- 144hz monitors refresh their image every 6.94ms, and 240hz monitors refresh every 4.17ms.
- The difference between 60hz and 144hz is much more noticeable, but 240hz will give you a smoother experience.
- More products have 144hz refresh rates than they do 240hz.
- Unless you regularly play games or consume media over 144 FPS, you will not notice a considerable difference between the two.
Which One Should You Buy?
As with all products, each Hertz speed has benefits for someone based on their screen use.
For gamers that like to play fast-paced and competitive games, and their PC can regularly play above 144 FPS, a 240hz monitor will be well worth it. Even for gamers that can get close to 144 FPS and have a component upgrade planned, 240hz still makes sense. But if you want to be a bit more budget-friendly while still having a smooth screen experience, a 144hz monitor is a great fit.
For people who are looking at a high refresh rate TV, tablet, or smartphone, we would not necessarily recommend looking at anything above 144hz, if you can even find it.
Tech is always progressing and, before long, instead of 60hz being the standard refresh rate, it will be at or around 144hz. At that point, we’ll likely be talking about whether it is worth it to upgrade to a 360hz or 444hz screen.