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Resolution vs refresh rate on gaming monitors

We gamers are very demanding regarding performance and gaming experience and we always want the best of the best, but many times the budget is limited and we cannot have it all. Obviously the ideal is to have a high resolution monitor, with a low response time and a high refresh rate, but those monitors are too expensive for most of us and many times we are forced to choose so once we come to this assumption, in which of the two things income plus invest the money?

Frames per second, the crucial factor for gaming

Before getting into the subject of monitors, we must first explain what frames per second, frames per second, frames per second or simply FPS are. This frame rate in its simplest form is explained as the way movement is displayed on the screen. The “frames” are still images that display information on the screen in response to the input stimulus. For example, if you decide to aim your gun in a shooter game, press a button, or pull a trigger, movement in the image results.

This output is displayed in a series of boxes that move from one image to the next as quickly as possible to provide the best visual feedback experience and immerse the user in activity. That smooth movement is exactly why FPS speed is so important to gamers.

When playing at a low FPS rate, you have fewer frames per second on the screen at any given time, so your gaming experience is slower. This can be a serious detriment to both the gaming experience and competitiveness, especially if you’re playing fast-paced games like shooters or MOBAs where reacting a millisecond late can be the difference between winning or losing.

When you have a low FPS rate, fewer frames are sent to the screen every second; For example, when you have 60 FPS in a game this means that the monitor is representing 60 different images (or not) every second, but if the FPS drops to 15, in a second you are only seeing 15 images, so the results they are much slower. You can also experience FPS drops that generally have to do with a lack of information from the graphics card, which has to do with performance, but we will talk about this soon.

Refresh frequency

To explain the refresh rate in a simple way, we will say that it is defined as the number of times the monitor information is updated every second. Unlike frames per second, which is the number of frames that the graph sends to the monitor, the refresh rate is determined by the monitor regardless of the number of images it receives, since it has a maximum that it can display.

For example, if your graphic is capable of generating 300 FPS in a game but your monitor only has a 60 Hz refresh rate, this means that it only updates 60 times per second and therefore you will only be able to see 60 of those 300 generated frames. per second. So, in order to take advantage of the high FPS speeds that modern graphics are capable of generating, you also need a monitor with a high refresh rate. As a main advantage, a higher refresh rate will provide you with greater fluidity in the gaming experience.

Monitor resolution

Resolution can be explained as the number of pixels, or their density. The resolution your screen generates is how many individual pixels (that is, colored dots) are on the screen at any given time, and obviously this largely defines the sharpness and quality we see on the screen.

Gaming monitor

When looking at an image rendered at 1080p versus a 4K resolution image, the difference in visual quality becomes apparent. This is because a 1080p resolution (Full HD, 1920 x 1080 pixels) has 2,073,600 pixels or color dots, while a 4K screen (3840 x 2160 pixels) has no less than 8,294,400, literally four times that of points. This makes the image much more defined, since the color point that on a Full HD screen is represented by a single point, on a 4K monitor it is represented by 4, which allows to introduce greater nuances and smoother color transitions .

Resolution or refresh rate, what is better to invest in?

At this point you should know that both a higher resolution and a higher refresh rate have an impact on the performance of the computer. With a higher resolution we are forcing the graphics card to get a greater number of pixels in each of the images it generates, while with a higher refresh rate we are forcing the graphics to generate more images per second. The difference between the two in terms of performance is that when the graphics no longer gives for more, there are more jerks relative to the refresh rate than for the resolution, although the cost of a higher resolution has more impact on performance.

SDR vs HDR Gaming

Therefore, to decide if you want to have a higher refresh rate and therefore a higher FPS rate or a better resolution and therefore a better experience in terms of visual quality, you must first decide what you want to do. with your screen.

If you like multiplayer or electronic sports games where what you need is greater fluidity and speed and not so much a better visual quality, then a monitor with a higher refresh rate is convenient for you, since in this type of games a high speed is not necessary. resolution as long as you can see all the information you need on the screen. In fact, the vast majority of professional eSports gamers have 1080p monitors with high refresh rates.

However, if you are someone who likes single player titles or open world MMORPGs with stunning landscapes and large crowded cities, then a high resolution might be the best option for you. In these types of games, and while frame rate is still important, all you need is a good visual experience with a solid 60 FPS.