You might not give much thought to your monitor’s refresh rate, but if you’re a PC gamer, it’s crucial. Here’s everything you need to know about refresh rates and how to check yours.
Your monitor’s refresh rate is the number of times per second it redraws the image on your screen. This is different from the frame rate, which is the number of times per second your graphics card can send new frames to your monitor. A higher refresh rate means a smoother image while you’re gaming.
The most common refresh rate is 60Hz, which means the image is refreshed 60 times per second. Some monitors go up to 144Hz or even higher. If you’re a competitive gamer, a higher refresh rate can give you an edge.
To check your monitor’s refresh rate, head to your display settings. On Windows 10, right-click the desktop and select Display settings. On macOS, go to System Preferences > Displays. Look for the refresh rate under the Monitor tab.
If you’re not sure what refresh rate to set your monitor to, try starting at the highest possible setting and working your way down. If you start to see screen tearing, that means your graphics card can’t keep up and you’ll need to lower the refresh rate.
You might also need to lower the refresh rate if you start to see ghosting. This is when fast-moving objects leave a trail behind them. It’s not as big of a deal as screen tearing, but it can be annoying.
So why does refresh rate matter? A higher refresh rate means a smoother image, which can be helpful if you’re a competitive gamer. It can also reduce eye strain if you spend a lot of time looking at your screen.
If you’re not a gamer and you don’t spend a lot of time looking at your screen, you probably don’t need to worry about refresh rate. Just set your monitor to the highest possible setting and leave it there.