The refresh rate of your monitor is measured in hertz (Hz) and lets us know how fast the monitor can refresh the image it’s displaying. For example, if you own a 144Hz monitor, it can refresh its display 144 times per second. Easy, right?
So, as a general rule of thumb, the faster the refresh rate, the smoother the video is going to be.
Now, with that in mind, we must remember that, whilst the best gaming monitor might come with a 240Hz refresh rate, it doesn’t always come set to that right out the box. In this specific scenario, users will have to go into the monitor’s setting and change this manually.
While this process isn’t exactly rocket science, it can still be a little tricky if you’ve never done it before. So, for that reason, we’ve created this easy to follow guide on exactly how to check and change a monitors refresh rate.
Let’s waste no further time and dive straight into it!
Right-click on the desktop and click Display Settings
Right-clicking will open up a drop-down menu on the desktop, allowing you to access the display settings.
NOTE: If you are running Windows 7 or perhaps Windows XP, you could click on the Control Panel from the Start Menu
Find And Select The 'Advanced Display Settings' Tab
Once inside the 'Display Settings' window, scroll down and select the 'Advanced Display Settings' option.
NOTE: For Windows 7 users: In the Control Panel, Under the Appearance and Personalization options, click on the Adjust Screen Resolution
Click On Display Adapter Properties
This will be a text link that will take you to the advanced settings of the monitor.
NOTE: If you have a dual monitor setup enabled, you'll have to remember to select the correct monitor from the drop-down menu at the top.
Click The Monitor Tab
This is usually located in between the 'Adapter' and 'Color management' tabs at the top.
NOTE: For Windows 7 users: click on the Advanced settings to open up a new Window
Choose your desired refresh rate and click on Apply and then OK
See from the Monitor Settings the option to choose and adjust your monitor refresh rate, respectively
It really is not that hard to check and change your monitor’s refresh rate in Windows. Follow these steps and you should be able to confirm and adjust your monitor accordingly
As we siad earlier, the refresh rate of a monitor is a measure in hertz (Hz) of how many times (per second) the display refreshes the image on the screen. A refresh rate can sometimes be confused with FPS output from a game and while they both refer to the number of times a static image is displayed per second, FPS refers to the content, and refresh rate refers to the video signal or display.
A higher refresh rate will make motion look smoother and is extremely important for gaming – especially if you play competitive esports games. You may have heard the old “well the human eye cant detect such speeds” and while there is an argument for this, contrary to popular belief, the human eye is actually very good at detecting these changes.
Below is an example of how monitor refresh rate can affect your visual experience:
Obviously, this isn’t a 100% true representation of how your game will look at each refresh rate. However, it does give us an idea of how blurry a moving image can be when compared to higher refresh rates.
There is no doubt a monitor with a higher refresh rate is going to make huge changes to your gaming experience, especially when going from 60Hz to 144Hz. That being said, there are a few things to know before you just go upgrading.
Firstly, you are going to want to make sure you can achieve the same amount of FPS (frames per second) as your monitor’s refresh rate when playing your favourite games. For example, if your current system can only manage 30-60FPS and you buy a 144Hz monitor, you may experience a visual artifact better known as screen tear. This is when your frame rate and your refresh rate aren’t synced properly – leading to two frames being showcased at the same time.
It’s also worth noting that monitors with higher refresh rates will become increasingly more expensive the higher you go. Also, when we get to the dizzy speeds of 240Hz and above, you will find that some manufacturers will start to compromise other features to accommodate this level of response – including color accuracy, viewing angles, and overall build quality.
Finally, high refresh rate monitors should only really be considered for gaming purposes only, as you are rarely going to see applications or video playback running higher than 60 FPS.
Anyone who has looked into buying a gaming monitor will have come across the different panel technologies on offer – whether you know what they mean or not. You will have most likely heard or seen TN (Twisted Nematic), VA (Vertically Aligned), and IPS (In-plane Switching).
TN: These types of panels have always featured the fastest refresh rates since CRTs were replaced back in the day. Competitive gamers who play fast-paced action titles usually will go for a TN panel. TN panels boast the highest refresh rates and until recently used to post the best response times too.
Of course, there is a compromise when going for TN and that is mostly color accuracy and poor viewing angles but these are negligible if you are buying a monitor for hardcore gaming.
VA: VA displays are often seen as something in-between TN and IPS, offering better viewing angles and response times all in one monitor. Like TN panels, VA is a cheaper alternative to IPS and will often feature higher refresh rates for less. Color accuracy can vary from model to model but VA panels are generally considered to be better than TN.
IPS: IPS panels have grown in popularity significantly over recent years, mainly thanks to the increased responsiveness that they now offer. Historically, the main benefits of an IPS panel were found in the color and picture quality departments. However, since many IPS panels can now boast 144Hz refresh rates and low 1ms response times, we’re seeing more and more individuals opt for the more expensive panel alternative.
So, there you have it guys, our easy-to-follow guide on how to check and change your monitor’s refresh rate. I hope this guide has answered any and all questions you might have on the subject. However, if it hasn’t, why not drop us a comment in the section below letting us know your issue. Better still, why not head on over to our Community Hub where you can discuss everything monitor related with like-minded individuals.