60Hz vs 120Hz vs 144Hz vs 240Hz Gaming Monitor – Which Is The Best Monitor In 2021?

60Hz/120hz/144hz/240hz Monitor for Gaming

What Hertz gaming monitor you currently have will largely depend on your budget and individual gaming needs. If you’re an avid competitive gamer that wants to get any advantage over the competition, then you would have probably invested in a high refresh rate panel – a 144Hz monitor or a 240Hz monitor being the most likely.

Some gamers prefer aesthetics and graphics over fast response times so they may favor a 4K monitor with an IPS panel – which commonly run at 60Hz. Having said that, that isn’t always the case, with modern monitors offering up the best of both worlds when it comes to picture quality and responsiveness. Having said that, there are a few things to consider before you upgrade your monitor – and by the end of this article, you’ll know if you should stick with a 60Hz monitor or upgrade to a 120Hz, 144Hz, 240Hz, or even 360Hz model.

Below we have compiled a list of our top monitor picks for each category with lots of information, comparisons, and more. All of which you could use to narrow down your options and improve your gaming experience.

But before we dig into the specifics, let’s take a look at the basics to get you started.

Watch our video rundown!

What Is Hertz?

Hertz (Hz) is the number of times your display refreshes itself every second. This means that a 60Hz monitor will refresh the image its displayed and return 60 images per second while a 120Hz monitor returns 120 images per second every time it refreshes.

Basically, a higher number of hertz means you get more images per second, effectively creating a more fluid experience on the screen. A higher value basically means you get a smoother display, which matters greatly when gaming.

In the past, it was said that our eyes can only see up to 30Hz. It was then said to be up to 60Hz and now the numbers just can’t come to a conclusion. With the introduction of 144Hz monitors a while ago everyone noticed the immense difference when you jump from 60Hz to 144Hz, you can see it clearly when even jumping up to 120Hz. Recently with the introduction of 240Hz, we don’t notice as much of a difference in comparison but this may be the limits of our eyes, however, there is still something super smooth about a 240Hz monitor proving the higher the better.

If it is true that eyes can see up to 60Hz, then manufacturers wouldn’t have produced 240Hz monitors you could find today.

If you don’t know how to check your monitors refresh rate, you can read up on how to check and change your monitors refresh rate, ensuring you get the most out of your equipment.

What Classes As A High Refresh Rate Monitor?

Back when LED monitors first became popular, a high refresh rate monitor was considered 60hz. These old-school panels had the ability to play aging titles in a smooth fashion – or so we thought. As we move forward into the 21st century, monitor technology has evolved exponentially, with refresh rates increasing well past the flagship 60hz of yesteryear.

In current times, a high refresh rate monitor is classed as 240hz and above – so 360Hz. At these speeds, monitors will be refreshing at 240-360 times per second, offering up incredible levels of fluidity when gaming. Having said that, and as we’ll discuss in more detail shortly, the visual boost you get when moving up the theoretical refresh rate ladder does diminish the higher you go. For example, jumping from a 60hz monitor to a 144hz monitor is like night and day. However, making a jump from 240hz to 360hz isn’t nearly as beneficial.

That being said, there is no substitute for a high refresh rate monitor – it really does make a huge difference (especially if you want to take your competitive gaming to the next level).

How Does Hertz Affect Your Gaming Experience?

Seeing the difference is not nearly as noticeable for an average user as it is for competitive gamers. For gamers, these small differences play an integral role in winning competitive games, especially FPS games like CS:GO, Valorant, Overwatch, Battlefield, Fortnite, and PUBG.

The quality of the image will not improve, it is the fluidity of the motion that is improved. A 60Hz monitor will display 60 different images per second while a 120Hz monitor will display 120 different images per second. In other words, Hz is the refresh rate and has nothing to do with improving the graphics whatsoever.

Similarly, this means 120Hz and 144Hz monitors give gamers the opportunity to make faster reactions when compared to a 60Hz monitor.

What Makes A 60Hz Monitor Different From 120Hz And 144Hz Monitors?

So you now understand what hertz is in reference to a monitor and how it can affect your overall gaming experience but what are the actual differences between 60, 120, 144, and 240?

In this section, we’re going to go over the different refresh rate values, the pros and cons of each type, and finally recommend a high-quality option for each category.

60Hz Monitors

60Hz monitors were once the standard with some CRT monitors going as high as 85Hz. On paper, they show 60 images per second, making them far superior to the 30Hz monitors. This means that a new image is generated every 16th ms.

4K gaming monitors have been growing in the market and this is largely down to them being cheaper than ever at the moment and games are slowly becoming available in 4K. So if you wish to get one down the line, then your best decision at the moment is to settle with a 60Hz gaming monitor until you can save up and afford one.

We have our personal pick presented in the 60Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz and 240hz category below so make sure you check that out. For a better overview of what is considered the best of the best when it comes to monitors, you can check our best monitor picks. We reviewed several monitors there from different categories and did an in-depth explanation along with the pros and cons of every single monitor.

120Hz Monitors

As previously mentioned, 120Hz monitors show 120 images per second and they produce a far superior output compared to a 60Hz monitor, which you will notice. In terms of time, this is approximately an image being produced every 8th ms.

For the 120Hz category, we don’t really recommend our readers to get one. It may seem silly featuring a 120Hz category but it is important that you are aware of the difference in price for 24 more hertz, it’s tiny and you’d regret not getting a 144Hz at the end of the day. That being said, we understand that not everyone has the budget to get 144 frames per second out of their games, so having a 120Hz option could be considered a nice middle ground to achieve a more responsive experience at a pinch.

In any case, 120Hz gaming monitors are hard to come by and with 144Hz monitors being so affordable these days, it would be silly not to recommend one.

144Hz Monitors

For a 144Hz monitor, a new image is produced approximately every 7th ms. This is one of the reasons why you can see images much smoother when compared to 60Hz monitors, and only a little when compared to 120Hz monitors.

144Hz has fast become the new benchmark for smooth gameplay, with a wide variety of models popping up for all sorts of gaming needs. These types of monitors sport a variety of resolutions and are being produced from all gaming affiliated monitor manufacturers.

240Hz Monitors

The 240Hz gaming monitor is the latest to turn up and certainly worth getting, however, they are only recommended if you have a high spec computer that can handle running games at high FPS, especially if you want to run G-Sync, we would personally recommend an RTX 30 series GPU to get you started.

In our 240Hz category, our best recommendation is the BenQ ZOWIE XL2740 gaming monitor, a solid choice with some impressive gaming features.

Now the real question between the comparison is up:

What Monitor Should I Choose When Upgrading?

If you have a 60Hz monitor and you want to upgrade, with there being such a small difference in performance between 120Hz and 144Hz, choosing the former isn’t the worst thing in the world, especially if you can’t afford a 144Hz option. However, if you can afford to get a 144Hz monitor then you should definitely invest your money in one.

If you are currently using a 144Hz monitor and have been considering an upgrade to the 240Hz you only need to make sure you have the PC power to take advantage of the higher hertz. Be sure to check what framerates you are expected to get in certain settings for your games, otherwise grabbing a higher hertz monitor could be a waste of money or require you to spend even more cash. Other than that, they are well worth investing in and will give you a slight advantage in the competitive sphere.

Final Word

Do I Need Over 60 Hertz?

144Hz should be considered the norm for any gamer who doesn’t wish to play in 4K. The cost of 144Hz monitors has been dropping in price year on year, with some great options available for under $200 finally beginning to show. Anything lesser will show a significant difference in performance and gaming experience when it comes to responsiveness.

As for 240Hz, it’s a big investment and only beneficial if you have a GPU that can handle the high-performance required to pump out 240FPS in your chosen games. This is especially the case if you play FPS games such as CS:GO, PUBG, or BF5.

Further Reading:

You can check out our guide to the best 240hz monitors and lastly learn more about G-Sync and V-Sync.

Is It Worth Going For 144Hz Or 240Hz?

This depends on the games you play and what you want from your equipment. Competitive gamers like it fast and very accurate, any noticeable delay could result in a miss or slower reactions. CS:GO players surely know this statement is pretty much accurate and on point but it goes without saying that if you take competitive play seriously, grab a faster refresh rate monitor.

Where this becomes a little bit more tricky is towards the extreme ends of the gaming PC spectrum. If you are on a strict budget or just play casually, then a fast refresh rate monitor probably isn’t going to make all that difference to your gaming experience. 4K gamers may also opt for 60Hz, simply because 60FPS in max settings isn’t the easiest to achieve unless you have a godlike system and 60FPs is a much easier figure for your G-Sync/Freesync to work. While there are 4K gaming monitors with fast refresh rates out there, this is a relatively new idea and comes with incredibly high costs.

We’ve gone over the key differences between 60Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz, and 240Hz to ultimately answer which monitor is best for gaming. Of course, the answer isn’t as black and white as we would like but when is it in the tech world?

The main point to take away is: if you are a competitive gamer who loves fast and responsive equipment, you can’t go wrong with a faster refresh rate monitor. It is worth noting, however, that you will need to ensure your PC can handle the upgrade but many will consider this a small price to pay for that  competitive edge.

What is the refresh rate of you’re gaming monitor? Did you notice the dramatic difference between 60Hz and 144Hz? Drop us a comment below or head over to the WePC community to share with the team.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

Monitor & PC Product Specialist
For as long as he can remember, Charlie has always been interested in computers and gaming. It all started with the Sega Mega Drive and then evolved into PC gaming in his early teens. CS 1.6 was his first go at competitive gaming which soon evolved into CS:Source and now CS:GO – a game that he still plays (almost exclusively) today. Throughout that period he has also been a keen PC builder and enthusiast – dedicating a large portion of his time to the craft. My current rig is an ASUS 5700XT with AMD’s Ryzen 3600X.

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