60Hz vs 144Hz vs 240Hz

ProSettingsLibrary57 Comments

60Hz vs 144Hz vs 240Hz – Is the jump worth it?


It’s a debate that’s been going on for a while now: with a console generation setting the standard at 30 frames per second (FPS) and moving up to 60 FPS for more competitive games, a lot of gamers are asking themselves the question:

Is upgrading to a setup that can support 144, 240, or even higher frames per second worth it for competitive gaming?

If you just want the short answer: of course! Graphics cards and monitors are more powerful than ever and with a wide variety of graphics cards available you can get exactly the performance you need at the price you can afford.

For the longer answer we’ll delve a little deeper. We need to go into the specific advantages that gaming at higher FPS and refresh rates will give you as a competitive gamer, and we’ll later supplement our conclusions with stats and figures from the professional players and what they are using.

For the sake of simplicity we’ll compare the different breakpoints of 144Hz and 240Hz because they’re the most commonly used high refresh setups by our pros. Of course, a high refresh rate monitor is required and your graphics card needs to be able to push enough frames towards it. As a rule of thumb you want a setup that can exceed the refresh rate of your monitor in frames per second. A setup with a 240Hz monitor hooked up to a system producing 350 frames per second is still better than a system with a 240Hz monitor that produces just over 240 frames per second.

Advantages of high FPS and refresh rates


If you’re not quite convinced how a low framerate might hamper your ability to track whatever is going on around you we can point you to an excellent video by WASD.ro. We’ve linked it to the right, but feel free to full screen it as well so that you can really see what a huge difference a higher refresh rate can make.

Moving images (such as games) are essentially created by displaying a series of still images in rapid succession, and the lower the framerate the ‘choppier’ the moving image appears.

A 144Hz gaming monitor (that’s hooked up to a graphics card and system that can produce 144+ frames per second) refreshes the image on your screen more than twice as fast as what a regular 60Hz display would be capable of, so it should come as no surprise that these higher refresh rate monitors make it a lot easier to accurately track whatever is going on inside the game. So in essence, a 144Hz monitor will make the game world appear a lot smoother and more ‘lifelike’ when it comes to motion.

The advantages don’t end there, however. A regular 60 FPS setup has an end to end latency in the range of 55 to 75ms (if you’re playing in fullscreen) while a 144 FPS setup ranges from 30 to 45ms. A setup that’s running at 240 frames per second has an end to end latency between 20 and 35 milliseconds, which means that a high frames per second setup gives you advantages that go beyond only the visual aspect. A high framerate setup translates your inputs much faster, which can give you an advantage in those close fights. That’s why you’ll see (for example) CS:GO professionals with framerates that are well above 240. You might think that that’s overkill, as their monitors can’t display more than 240 frames per second, but the advantages of a rig that can push a lot of frames go beyond what you can see on your monitor.

In addition to that, higher refresh rates also reduce the amount of visible screen tearing (see: ‘What is V-Sync’) and motion blur (see: ‘What is Motion Blur (Reduction)?‘) which is another big advantage when it comes to image clarity.

Summing up we can say that a 144Hz (or higher) setup gives you a much smoother and responsive image, as well as a more direct and responsive connection to the game. This is an invaluable advantage for gamers.

60hz vs 144hz vs 240Hz

144+ Hz as the competitive minimum


Looking at the graph to the right it’s quite clear that 144+ Hz really is the current competitive standard. In fact, less than 1% of our analyzed professional gamers are playing on a standard refresh rate 60Hz monitor. 144Hz seems to be the minimum acceptable refresh rate according to pro gamers, with 98% of our analyzed professionals using a refresh rate of 144Hz or higher.

240Hz is the most popular refresh rate at this point in time, as you can see. We’re confident that this number will only go up as graphics cards and monitors become cheaper and better.

You can run most older generations of games (like CS:GO, for example) at 240HZ with a mid-tier CPU and GPU combo. However, for modern games (like Fortnite, Apex Legends, etc.) you’ll need a top tier setup.

MOST USED REFRESH RATES
240Hz
48%
144Hz
47%
Other (160Hz, 165Hz, 185Hz)
3%
120Hz
1%
60Hz
1%

240Hz vs 144Hz


A lot of gamers say that the jump from 144Hz to 240Hz isn’t as massive as the jump from 60 to 144, and we tend to agree. Looking at the image refresh times (to the right) you can see that the jump from 60 to 144 Hertz is larger than the jump from 144 to 240 Hertz.

However, that does not mean that the difference isn’t worth it.

Going from 144Hz to 240Hz still means that you’re (roughly speaking) going from a frame every 6.95 ms to a frame every 4.17 ms, which does mean that there’s definitely a benefit when it comes to the clarity and fluidity of the image on the screen.

If you’ve got the machine to handle it (and the money to spend) we always recommend going for a 240 frames per second setup as that’s simply better in every way, but if you’re on a bit of a budget or your PC cannot push enough frames for a 240Hz display you can opt for a lower refresh rate monitor (i.e. 180, 165, or 144 Hz) in a pinch.

240 frames per second is the target though, as more and more professional gamers are moving towards that standard, so we do recommend you to start steering your hardware in that direction if you want to be serious about competitive gaming.

60hz vs 144hz vs 240Hz
0%
of our analyzed pros play on a 144+ Hz setup

144+ Hz gaming requirements


Hardware

Before you invest in a shiny new high refresh rate setup you should make sure that your PC is up for the task. It’s no secret that games get more and more demanding with each passing year, as new technologies and rendering techniques help developers push boundaries when it comes to visual fidelity. This all means that you’ll need a pretty beefy PC to get the most out of a high refresh rate monitor.

At ProSettings.net we believe that framerate takes precedence over visual fidelity (feel free to check out or recommended settings and options guides under ‘guides’) so we always recommend people to turn down (a few) ingame video settings in order to achieve the best balance between having enough frames to get that silky smooth and responsive 144+ Hz experience while still maintaining a game that doesn’t look like a pixelated and confusing mess.

Still, there is a minimum amount of graphical processing power required if you want to feed enough frames per second to your monitor, so you will need a powerful GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) if you want to game at higher framerates. NVIDIA’s newest RTX 2080 Ti is currently the most powerful graphics card on the market (and one of the most popular RTX card with the pros) so if money isn’t an issue and/or you want to future proof your build you can definitely cop one of those.

As mentioned, the GPU that you decide on will depend on your game of choice. Some games require a lot more horsepower to run at high framerates than others, which is why we make GPU guides for all of our analyzed games. Feel free to check those out under ‘guides’.

In general, we recommend the RTX 2080 series for most modern games at 240Hz and the RTX 2060 for 144Hz on less demanding titles. You could also go for the older 1080 series instead of the RTX 2060. In general, the more frames the better, so if you have the budget go for raw power.

Software

You don’t need any special software to play games at higher refresh rates, but it’s important that you make sure that the higher refresh rate is enabled in Windows. To do this, go to settings -> system -> display -> advanced display settings -> display adaptor properties -> monitor and select the native refresh rate of your monitor (make sure to click ‘Apply’) under monitor settings – screen refresh rate. 

Aside from that, you should also run your game of choice in full screen. This is always recommend in our settings guides, but we thought we’d mention it here again. Running a game in full screen gives you the least amount of latency, which is what you want if you want to get the most out of a high refresh rate.

You should also make sure to enable your game to run at higher refresh rates. This setting is normally found under the video settings tab of your favorite game.

It can be a good idea to set your Pre-rendered frames to 1, either in the control panel of your graphics card or in the ingame settings (some games have this setting in the form of, for example ‘future frame rendering’, others don’t) though it’s been reported that his can give issues with some games, so it’s best to test this out before heading into a ranked game.

G-Sync and FreeSync

G-Sync and FreeSync often get mentioned when people are talking about high fps and refresh rates, and many ask themselves the question ‘do I need it?’ The answer is twofold; when you’re gaming at, for example, 240 frames per second on a 240Hz monitor there will probably be instances where you drop below that 240 mark, which can cause screen tearing. Technologies such as G-Sync eliminate that entirely, which results in a smoother experience, even when the action gets tough.

Rumor has it these technologies can introduce a bit of input lag. Interestingly, the higher the frame rates the lower the input lag and at 240 FPS the input lag is close to impossible to notice. Tearing, however, is still noticeable even at 240 FPS and can distract you in critical moments, which can lead to lost fights and matches and the latency that’s introduced by G-Sync in particular is almost negligible so it’s definitely something to consider in case you’re struggling with tearing.

Either way, both technologies can be turned off, so it doesn’t hurt to get yourself a setup that with the most recent sync technology.



Check on Amazon
MOST USED GPUs in Fortnite
GTX 1080 TI
17%
GTX 1080
12%
RTX 2080
9%

60 vs 144 vs 240 Hz conclusion


There’s a particularly stubborn myth/meme on the internet that says that ‘humans can’t see more than 30/60 fps‘ but that is categorically false. A high refresh rate setup (we consider 144Hz the minimum) greatly improves the smoothness and fluidity of the image on your screen, as well as the overall responsiveness, and it reduces latency. On top of that it also greatly reduces screen tearing and ghosting issues, so it’s not hard to see how a high refresh rate monitor can improve your gameplay.

In fact we are seeing 98% of our analyzed professionals across all of our games using a setup that’s capable of displaying at least 144 frames per second. With most of the players opting for NVIDIA’s GTX 1080 or RTX 2080 series.

In Summary: If your main focus is competing in multiplayer games, a GPU that can hit 144+ frames (and a monitor that can display them) should be on or near the top of your ‘must buy’ list. You won’t want to go back to 60Hz for competitive gaming ever again.

57 Comments on “60Hz vs 144Hz vs 240Hz”

  1. So, if I have 240Hz monitor, I need FPS higher than 240, and 144Hz monitor must have 144+ FPS to reduce screen tearing or eliminate it?

    1. No, not really. On higher framerates you just get less tearing. You don’t need to exceed your monitor’s native resolution for that. That said; you might still get tearing on a high framerate monitor, even if your machine pushes way over what your monitor can produce, but in all honesty tearing is all but eliminated if you’re gaming on a 240Hz monitor with a powerful machine.

  2. What about panel types? Do the latest IPS panels with 144Hz suit for competitive gaming? Or the TN is inevitable?

    1. TN certainly isn’t inevitable, it’s just a faster type of panel so the vast majority of high refresh monitors tend to use TN. An IPS is definitely an option too, though those are usually more expensive but do look better.

  3. Hey! I have a 27 inch monitor that can push 165 frames on 2560. Yet most players in siege play 1920 even though they can play at 2560 without the drop in frames . What are you thoughts?

    1. Playing at higher resolutions is, in the vast majority of cases, going to be more taxing on your system. Pros need every extra frame that they can get and since there’s no real advantage to using a higher resolution (you don’t necessarily see things better; the game just looks more beautiful) they don’t want to make any compromises when it comes to framerate. Furthermore, getting as many frames as possible has advantages even when you’re pushing beyond the refresh rate of your monitor, and for the best players in the world these small advantages can definitely add up.

  4. Hi,I want to know if the refresh rate will end up at 360Hz,because maybe we cann’t distinguish the difference from 360Hz above Monitor. What do you think?

    1. Until we actually get to see a 360 Hz monitor it’s difficult to say whether or not humans notice the difference. That said; 240 Hz is becoming the pro gaming refresh rate at a rapid pace but it’s not really that widely adopted by casual users yet so it’ll probably be a while until something with a substantially higher framerate comes along, though we obviously don’t have any way to look into the future.

  5. Yo i play on console with a 240hz monitor so I wanna know if the change from 60 ha to 240hz was helpful

    1. The current generation of consoles isn’t capable of pushing over 60 frames per second so you actually won’t have any benefit from getting a high refresh rate monitor at all.

  6. It is night and day. Just playing on 144 hz you can immediately see improvement in your skills you have. Going to 240 would most likely be drastic as well. More FPS= faster response time and you get lots of advantages.

    1. Completely true. One of the most noticeable trends that we’ve seen over the course of this year is that more and more pros are making the switch from 144Hz to 240Hz, so the difference is definitely there, though going from 144 to 240 is admittedly less of a jump than going from 60 to 144.

  7. I am confused, please help. I have a powerful rig that can display well beyond 240fps with a 240hz monitor in competitive low, shouldn’t I just cap it at say 250fps since anything over will essentially do nothing but extra work on the computer?

    1. Going for higher framerates has other advantages as well (less input lag and so on) so it’s generally a good idea to let your frames run free.

  8. I have two questions.

    1. There are no mentions of CPU in this article but as far as I understand the CPU are more essential in CS:GO than the GPU to create high enough FPS – so which CPU do you recommend for a system using a 240Hz monitor?

    2. When it comes to CS:GO on low settings at 1920×1080 can 2070 be recommended because there is a huge price gap to the 2080?

    1. 1. CPU is indeed very important in CS:GO. Which CPU you get kind of depends on the rest of your system, as it’s never a good idea to bottleneck on component, but in general we do recommend an i7-9700K for gaming.

      2. You can definitely go for a 2070 for CS:GO. In fact we would recommend that card, along with the 2060 Super.

  9. Its a myth that you need high end to get 144 and 240 FPS. I get 240 with mud and low settings on a Ryzen 5 withGtx 1050TI and my son gets well above that but limits it to 240 with a ryzen 3 and Gtx 1660. Both 1080 monitors. All you need to do is play with your settings and find the sweet spot.

    1. It depends on what game you’re playing of course. Older or less demanding games are obviously going to be easier to reach higher frames.

    1. If you’re getting 144 fps rather consistently you should be fine, however it’s important to note that you’re already going to feel a major difference between 110 fps and 60 fps, so we do recommend to go for a 144Hz monitor if your budget allows for it.

  10. I have an Acer predator helios 300. I am planning to plug in an external monitor to play csgo. Do u think I should go with a benq xl2411p or xl2556. I want to play competitively. Do u think 144hz is good enough

    1. Well, the vast majority of pros are on 240Hz so if you’ve got the budget we’d recommend that. Granted, the difference between 144Hz and 240Hz is less perceivable than the difference between 60hz and 144hz but there definitely is a difference.

  11. Following situation:

    I have an RTX 2060 Super which can get around 160-200 FPS in games like Valorant, LoL, etc. Is it worth it to buy a 240 Hz Monitor even if I rarely reach the 240 FPS? Budgetwise it doesn’t matter, because I consider buying the Alienware AW2518HF (240Hz) which costs same like the Benq Zowie XL2430 (144Hz). Or will there be any other problems like Tearing?

    Thanks for answering.

    1. Hi,

      If there’s no budgetary concern we would definitely recommend a 240Hz monitor. Even if you cannot make full use of it now at least you won’t have to worry about upgrading your monitor any time soon. Aside from that you can definitely tell the difference between gaming on 200 frames per second and 144. Admittedly the difference is way smaller than going from 60 to 144 but it definitely still is there.

      As far as tearing goes you normally shouldn’t worry. We play plenty of more demanding (singleplayer and multiplayer) games in a more casual way with the graphics turned up causing our frames to be below 240 and there are no real issues with tearing.

      Hope this helps!

  12. Hello,

    I am looking for a new monitor, currently playing on 60Hz.

    Usually I get 140+ fps on games like Valorant,LoL and 250+ fps on Rocket League, CSGO with my 1660Ti.

    The question is what Hz should I aim for?

    144 Hz Asus vg249q (cheaper,could use full potential in almost every game)
    240 Hz MSI Optix MAG251RX (0.5″ bigger, 240Hz, future proof, could not use its full potential in every game)

    Thank you for answering.

    1. If budget is of no real concern we’d always suggest the 240Hz monitor. As you say yourself it’s future proof, so if you upgrade your PC down the line you don’t have to worry about your monitor. Aside from that the 240Hz will be well worth it already since you can reach the frames in CS:GO and Rocket League, and even if you can ‘only’ get (just an example here) 180 frames in Valorant you’re still seeing 40 more with the 240Hz monitor than you would be seeing with the 144Hz monitor.

    1. These games require varying amounts of power to run at high frames (and it depends on how powerful the rest of your system is as well) but it’s definitely one of the better cards for gaming out there. You should be able to reach those frames with relative ease in CS:GO and Valorant (based on limited info; we obviously don’t know how the optimization of that game will progress) and Fortnite, but Rainbow Six is a heavy game to run, even the 2080 Ti can’t reliably get 240 frames there. That said; the 2070 Super is a great card and one we’d recommend.

  13. Hi my gaming computer handles 200 fps well playing fortnite so not quite 240 fps would you recommend a 165 hz monitor or 240 hz.

    1. We’d recommend a 240 Hz monitor. You can always upgrade your system in the future and you still get 40 frames more than a 165 Hz monitor even if you’re ‘only’ getting 200.

    1. For competitive gaming it’s always better to go for more frames so we’d recommend 240Hz for that purpose.

    1. We do recommend 240Hz. If you ever upgrade your GPU or PC you’ve already got the 240Hz monitor ready whereas you’d have to upgrade again if you’re coming from a 160Hz monitor. That said: if there’s a massive price difference for you (we can’t really comment on this since prices vary so much based on location) and you’re pretty sure you’re not going to upgrade in the future a 160Hz is still infinitely better than a 60Hz monitor.

  14. I play Fortnite on a 60hz monitor (77 overclocked) is it worth upgrading to 144hz? I play with 77hz.

    1. If you mean that you can only get 77 frames per second then you won’t be getting the max out of a 144Hz monitor. However if you’re planning on upgrading your PC in the (near) future it can be a good idea to go for a 144Hz monitor so that that part of your build is a bit more future proof.

  15. i have a question, i’m planning to buy a new laptop
    it has 240 hz screen with i7 10750h processor and rtx 2060, you recommended people to buy 240 hz monitor because they can upgrade their pc in the long term anyway, but how about a laptop, is it worth it to buy a laptop with that spec? or should i just buy a laptop with the i7 9750h and rtx 2060 (difference is on the processor) but 144 hz monitor? Thank you for answering

    1. A 240Hz display is a 240Hz display; whether it’s integrated in a laptop or not so we definitely recommend the higher refresh rate if your budget can swing it.

    1. That very much depends on what kind of game you’re going to be playing and what settings you’ll be gaming at so we can’t really answer that. A setup like that should be good to go for games like CS:GO and Valorant at 144Hz, but as we said it depends on a number of factors.

  16. Hello!! I have an MSI GE75 Raider, 17.3″, GeForce RTX 2070; Intel Core i7, RAM 16 GB and a Samsung CRG5 curved monitor, 240hz, 4ms response time. Which should be my ideal settings for Modern Warfare and Warzone?

    1. Hi! We have a guide with our recommended settings on the website. We recommend that you start from there and then (if you want more eye candy, for example) turn up the relevant video settings. It all depends on what you’re going for: if you truly want to get competitive then it’s a good idea to turn most settings down to get as many frames as possible, but otherwise it’s fine to leave some stuff up so that the game looks better.

  17. I have a laptop with a 60hz screen and frankly I love it, it’s enough for me.

    But it’s true when I see what you say and my friends I regret not having put 2000 euros for a laptop with 144hz screen

    1. If you are not a very competitive gamer (in the sense that you don’t play many competitive titles) it’s definitely fine to go with a 60Hz screen but as you no doubt have been able to tell we do recommend going higher. With the nearing release of 360Hz monitors we might see 144Hz panels become cheaper so that 144Hz laptop you’re wanting for could become a bit cheaper in the (near) future!

  18. Since the RTX 3080 is coming out, I’m am thinking of getting either a 27″ 1440p 240 Hz or a 24.5″ 1080p 360 Hz monitor to play FPS games like VALORANT. Given that hitting super high frame rates shouldn’t be much of a problem with the new RTX 3080, my general question is whether the benefits of a 24.5″ 1080p 360Hz monitor can outweigh the benefits of a 27″ 1440p 240 Hz monitor. While I know frame rate is always more important than fidelity, what happens when you start getting severe diminishing returns going from 240 Hz to 360Hz? Would it be worth exchanging some of that for fidelity if your GFX card can deliver the frame rate in both scenarios?

    Also, is there any benefit to having a frame rate that goes beyond the monitor’s refresh rate? Let’s say I have a 240Hz monitor and my game can consistently hit >240fps at 1440p, will there still be any benefit to lowering my resolution down to 1080p to get more frames given that the monitor is the bottleneck? My assumption is no, I’m putting it out here to see if there is a different perspective.

    Lastly, is there any special benefit to using a larger monitor like a 27″ over a 24.5″? I do find 27″ monitors more immersive, but I have to stretch my eyes harder to glance at things that are at the corner of my screen, e.g., mini map, stats, etc. However, in exchange, I can see the enemy a lot more clearly using a 27″ vs a 24.5″. I can’t really figure out which one is actually more beneficial, lol.

    1. We haven’t yet done any real in-depth testing on a 360Hz monitor so we can’t really answer this for you just yet but we can tell you that framerates higher than your monitor’s refresh rate do definitely offer some advantages. Whether or not these advantages are tangible will differ from person to person (and is based on experience, how many frames you’re getting, …) so if you’re also planning on playing a bunch of singleplayer games at high resolutions you should be fine with a 1440p 240Hz monitor since you’re paying a pretty hefty premium with these new 360Hz monitors for something that can realistically only benefit competitive gamers.

      As for the size of your panel: there’s definitely a point where a monitor gets too big. Where that point is depends on a couple of things (how far you monitor is away from you, personal preferences, …) but you should be fine with a 27” monitor. We wouldn’t say that there’s a special benefit to using a bigger monitor though, it mostly depends on personal preference. For what it’s worth: most monitors focused on competitive gamers (at this point in time) are between 24” and 27”, generally speaking. We wouldn’t recommend going a lot higher (unless your main focus is immersive single player/casual gaming and you’re going to be playing competitive shooters on the side) since because then you could be having issues with quickly glancing at your minimap or the kill feed, as you said.

      Hopefully this helps you a bit, but if you have any more questions feel free to reply!

  19. Does refresh rate affect the final FPS of the game or it is only the job of CPU, GPU, and RAM’s?

    1. No, refresh rate is how many frames per second your monitor can display while frames per second is how many frames your PC is outputting each second (which is determined by the CPU, GPU, RAM; the whole PC).

  20. 1. How long will a video card last?
    2. How do I check how many hz my computer can run at maximum?
    3. Is there a website that shows what screen is needed to run each hz?
    4. If I have an RTX 2080 it will run me a 240hz part in Fortnight all the quality on epic?

    1. 1. That completely depends on a vast number of factors so we can’t comment on that. If you take care of your card and your PC it should last you years and years though.

      2. Your PC isn’t limited to any Hz number. Your PC may output 400 frames per second on a certain game while pushing only 120 on a much heavier game, so this depends.

      3. You can use any Hz screen with any PC. Even if your PC can only display 30 frames per second you could still use a 240 Hz monitor. It wouldn’t be useful to have such a high refresh rate monitor with such a weak PC but in theory you can do it.

      4. Probably not since Fortnite is a rather demanding game with everything maxed out. If you lower a couple of ingame settings you can definitely get a steady 240 frames per second output.

  21. Great explanation and post! Really helped a lot!
    I am in a dilemma between 27′ 1440p 144hz vs 24′ 1080 240hz.

    I would consider myself a competitive gamer and I am going to make sure that my system will produce the necessary 240+ frames. Now, I cannot decide what to get because I am envisioning my system to have a ryzen 5900x with a rtx 3080. What shall I get? Is the 144hz to 240hz enough to consider than the 1080 to 1440p jump? Also, is 27′ really too big of a monitor for competitive gamers even considering curved?
    I frequently been playing on a 144hz 1080p with lower settings and this time around I am going for a high end pc to run games on 1440p.

    Games: Valorant and looking forward to Cyberpunk to see its beauty.

    Thanks a lot, hope to hear from you guys

    1. Well both have their merits of course. We’d say that if you’re mostly a competitive gamer who plays at higher ranks/levels or you’re aiming to become one to go for the 240Hz monitor; pros across all of our analyzed games are switching to 240Hz monitors every week (and most have already switched) and there’s no doubting that 240Hz beats 144Hz for competitive gaming. The difference between 144 and 240 is way less pronounced than the difference between 60 and 240, but it’s still definitely there.

      If you’re in general more interested in looking at the beauty of (single player) games we’d recommend the 1440p monitor. You still get the advantages of a high refresh rate panel (though a 240Hz monitor is of course going to offer a larger advantage for comp gaming) but you get to experience games such as Cyberpunk with more visual sweetness.

      We wouldn’t say 27’ is ‘too big’. It’s true that most competitive gaming monitors are bit smaller but if you like a larger screen you can definitely swing a 27’ monitor.

      In short: is comp gaming your main ‘fix’? We’d say to go for the 240Hz monitor. If you’re mainly playing single player/eye candy games then we’d go for the 1440p 144Hz monitor.

      Hope this helps!

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