Gamers all over are striving to get the best gaming experience possible. Whether they are into first person shooters, role playing games, strategy, or MMO’s, gamers want to be able to enjoy buttery smooth gaming while also squeezing the best performance out of the game that they can.
Gaming at a high refresh rate helps to provide a more fluid and smooth gaming experience, however up until recently the cost to achieve high refresh rate gaming had made this a luxury that most gamers could not afford.
Well, the great news is that today high refresh rate gaming is more affordable than ever and is something that gamers no longer have to compromise on.
But what exactly is high refresh rate gaming and why should you care?
What exactly is a refresh rate?
When people refer to the refresh rate of a monitor they are referring to how frequently (times per second), the image that is being displayed on screen updates. When it comes to measuring the frame rate, we use a unit of measurement called hertz, also referred to as Hz.
For example, if you have a display with a refresh rate of 144Hz, this means that the image on the screen will be being updated 144 times per second.
When it comes to monitors, most monitors that are used in an office and productivity environment come with a refresh rate of 60Hz. This is because high refresh rates are generally not required or utilised for productivity use. Where high refresh rates come into play are when it comes to gaming.
We generally consider a high refresh rate to be a monitor that supports a refresh rate of 144Hz or higher. Some of the best gaming monitors, such as the AORUS FI32Q X Gaming Monitor, offer high refresh rates up to 270Hz.
Does a high refresh rate make gaming better?
As we mentioned earlier, high refresh rates are generally more related to gaming than it is to productivity use. This is because the games and graphics being displayed on your monitor are much more complex and demanding than if you were just using the monitor for office or productivity use.
To put it simply, yes, higher refresh rates make a great difference when it comes to gaming.
The reason why this is the case is due to the additional information that you are provided when you game at a higher refresh rate. When you are gaming at a higher refresh rate you are actually able to see more visual information than if you were to use a lower refresh rate display.
As an example, if we compare a standard 60Hz display to a 144Hz display we can easily see the difference. A 60Hz monitor will update the image on the screen 60 times per second, whereas a 144Hz monitor updates the image 144 times per second. This means that with the 144Hz display you would be getting more than double the amount of image information per second than you would with 60Hz.
By showing more visual information per second you are left with a very noticeable difference in how smooth the action is on your screen whilst gaming.
As a result, high refresh rates can offer some key benefits when it comes to gaming. Firstly, you will have an overall better gaming experience thanks to the smoother visuals and gameplay. The higher refresh rates just simply allows more enjoyable gaming and helps create more immersion. Aside from a generally nicer experience, high refresh rates also help improve your skills in-game.
By having a display that updates the image more frequently per second, this allows you to track the action more quickly. If you are someone that enjoys fast paced games such as Counter-Strike, Call of duty, Valorant etc., then you know how important it is to be able to track a players movements precisely and how split second movements can be the difference between a headshot or a miss. High refresh rates help by providing more information to you on screen, allowing you to aim more smoothly and to track enemy movements as they make them.
Those with a high refresh rate display do have a competitive edge over those that do not.
Why Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) is important
Variable Refresh Rate, also known as VRR, is a technology that helps when gaming at higher refresh rates. Sometimes your display can fail to draw a frame within the timeframe that it should, this leads to an effect called screen tearing.
Screen tearing is a real pain when gaming as it makes the image on screen look distorted and really breaks the immersion for the player. Thankfully, variable refresh rate is there to help in these exact situations.
Variable refresh rate technologies such as G-Sync and FreeSync are pretty much standard amongst most quality gaming monitors and they help ensure that you have the tear free visuals whilst gaming. They do this by working alongside the target refresh rate that you have set for your display. At any point that frames are not going to display VRR kicks in and dynamically adjusts the refresh rate to match the frame rate of the game, in turn eliminating the screen tearing that would have occurred.
It is always a good idea to make use of variable refresh rate solutions where possible to get the best out of your high refresh rate display when gaming.
High refresh rate gaming doesn't have to cost the world
When it comes to gaming with a high refresh rate there is one key requirement that is needed in order to get everything running smoothly. The requirement is that you need to ensure that your gaming PC can pull the amount of frames per second that are needed. The general rule of thumb is that your computer should be able to produce the same number of frames per second as the refresh rate that you are targeting.
For example, one of the most sought after refresh rates today is 1080p at 240Hz. In order to achieve this your computer would need to be able to deliver 240 frames per second at a resolution of 1080p in the game that you are playing. Failure to do so would mean that gaming at 240Hz would be wasted as you cannot produce enough frames per second to take advantage of this.
Thankfully computer hardware and software has advanced in leaps and bounds over the past few years which means that you don't need to spend an absolute fortune to get into high refresh rate gaming.
Being able to put together a gaming rig capable of achieving 1080p gaming at 240Hz for games such as Counter-Strike, Overwatch and Valorant is much easier now thanks to more affordable hardware that also packs in fantastic performance. The latest offering from GIGABYATE with the 600 series Elite motherboards is a perfect example of this.
The B660M AORUS Elite helps to get gamers gaming at 1080p 240Hz without breaking the bank and offers superior gaming performance. Thanks to its 12+1+1 Digital VRM Design, fully covered MOSFET heatsink means that you can load in an Intel i9 and it wont even break a sweat. DDR4 XMP-5333 helps to give you the performance that you need. Gaming at 1080p 240Hz means that every framerate counts, especially for gamers that pursue 240Hz gaming on a limited budget, which is why the B660 AORUS Elite allows you to stop compromising and to go Elite.
Aside from the motherboard and CPU, the GPU is critical in getting you the frames per second that you require. The current series of video cards offer a range of options at different price points that will help you get the FPS that you need. Something like an AORUS GeForce RTX 3080 MASTER and the AORUS Radeon RX 6800 XT MASTER 16G offer brilliant graphics performance for those gamers looking to get the best refresh rate possible.
High refresh rate gaming really adds to the overall gaming experience and is often credited by gamers as providing them with a competitive edge in tournaments, leagues, and other competitive play. At a time where online gaming is one of the hottest forms of entertainment it helps to get every advantage that you can over your opponents to be able to truly dominate the battlefield.