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Comparing Frame Rate vs. Refresh Rate and Differences

Comparing Frame Rate vs. Refresh Rate and Differences

When looking to buy the best high-quality monitor, one of the prime issues you are likely to encounter is the confusion between the Frame Rate and Refresh rate.

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While the two terms designate the same concept, it is essential to find the significant differences between them. This would help let you understand the two terms and, in turn, help you pick the best high-end monitors as per your personal preferences.

The terms frame rate and refresh rate are the two recurring terms you would come across quite frequently when looking for the best monitors. While they may denote a similar concept, it is advisable to check out the two rates in finer detail and find how they relate to one another.

Frame Rate – What is it?

The activity on your monitor is shown through the movement of still images that keep moving on the screen.

These are called frames, and the term frame rate is used in different scenarios that would include the different types of screens, including film, a television set, a video game, or a mouse cursor on a computer screen. The movement of individual frames changes on your screen, but the overall direction and concept remain the same.

The frame rate refers to the rate at which each of the frames is displayed on the screen or monitor. The frame rate is measured in terms of frames per second abbreviated as FPS.

The high frame rate will indicate more frames per second, translating into a smoother and more realistic movement on the screen. A lower frame rate will get you a stuttering or staggering movement.

It should be remembered that the frame rate is not decided by the monitor alone. It is ideally determined by the combination of software and media that you may be using.

It can also depend on several other components, including the central processing unit (CPU) and your graphics card.

In essence, a video consists of a series of images shown in quick succession. When you find that these images move in quick sequence, it simulates a moving picture.

Refresh rate – An Overview

Unlike the frame rate, the refresh rate is related to the monitor and is directly controlled by it. It is also the concept that is controlled by other display hardware.

Refresh rate refers to the number of times the display on the monitor is refreshed. The refresh rate is generally expressed in terms of Hertz or Hz.

In the good old days of the CRT screens, the refresh rate referred to the number of times the electron gun would draw a new image on the screen. This used to cause a flickering, which you would instantly notice as the screen’s brightness changed between the two frames. In the case of modern-day digital displays, the refresh rate would indicate how fast the screen would update the image.

Having a higher refresh rate is always preferred. The higher refresh rate on the monitor or display hardware will ensure that the movement on the screen is relatively smoother.

You can check the refresh rate by moving the cursor on your monitor. However, the lack of availability of the refresh rate will be more understandable and more pronounced in the case of demanding applications such as games or eSports.

On the modern range of monitors, the 60 Hz has been rated one of the bare minimum options. However, you would find that the 60 Hz of refresh rate has been associated with a few issues such as fatigue and eye strain.

The 75 Hz refresh rate may be a good option in many cases, to begin with. However, modern gaming monitors today have a refresh rate of 120 Hz. If you are into full-fledged gaming, the 120 Hz refresh rate should be more practical.

Frame Rate vs Refresh Rate

From the discussion above, you know that refresh rate is directly involved with the computer monitors (or any other display hardware), and the frame rate is concerned more with the other components. However, both refresh rate and frame rate together give you perfect display performance.

That is to say, if you have a monitor with a higher refresh rate and if your graphics card or other components do not support it, you will not get the appropriate frame rate or performance. You will not be able to get the required experience as expected on a monitor with a higher refresh rate. This is true in the case of the non-optimal content as well.

You do not necessarily need a high frame rate on your devices in every case. The chronological and a few modern-day movies can work best with a frame rate of just 24 fps.

The services such as sports broadcasts will need a frame rate of 30 fps. The higher frame rate of 60 fps can be best suited for showing fast-paced content such as sports or action movies. This will also provide you access to a powerful performance such as high FPS gaming.

When you find the frame rate and refresh rate are not in sync with each other, you will likely encounter a situation called screen tearing. This is what is expressed through the single screen refresh that displays the data across multiple frames simultaneously.

The display manufacturers such as AMD or others come up with the technology such as FreeSync or GSync to access the proper combination of frame rate and refresh rate.

What is essential in gaming – Frame rate or Refresh rate?

For gaming purposes, you would find that the refresh rate and frame rate are needed together for a smoother performance. The proper combination of both frame rate and refresh rate is essential for getting one the unique performances.

The refresh rate should be at least equivalent to the maximum FPS produced by the graphics card. His will help provide you with smoother performance, and this will ensure that there will be no clutters and lags of any nature.

For high-end gaming, you need a refresh rate of at least 144Hz and 120FPS. This can go a long way in promoting the avoidance of screen tearing and motion blur.

The Concluding Thoughts

The primary difference between the frame rate and refresh rate would be that they differ in terms of the source of the technology or concept. The frame rate originates from the graphics card and the processor, and the refresh rate is generated by your monitor itself.

The frame rate is measured in terms of frames per second, and the refresh rate is measured in Hertz. Make sure that the two rates are in sync with one another so that you do not come across the situations such as screen tearing.

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