Refresh rates vs. FPS, what is better for optimal gaming experience?

Petros from Canada has some questions surrounding refresh rates and frames per second, which we try to clear up.

Question by Petros from Canada | Answered by in Displays & Projectors on Thu, Jan 21 2021 3:10 PM CST

Is it better to play at a higher FPS and lower Hz refresh rate or lower FPS and higher Hz refresh rate? To explain a little better, would it be better if I played my games at 100 FPS on 60Hz or if I played at 100 FPS on 144Hz?

Since my monitor is a BenQ XL2411 but only have a 1060 6GB graphics card, I cap out at about 100-120 FPS on Apex Legends, which is my currently most played game, but I have similar FPS on other games as well. I just wanted to know which would be the optimal experience.

Hi Petros,

This is a great question and something we don't often think of when building our gaming PCs!

Refresh rates vs. FPS, what is better for optimal gaming experience? 1 | TweakTown.com

This also happens to have a rather simple answer, but I'll explain it to the best of my ability, making it easier to understand. We will start with your prescribed 100 FPS you receive from your GTX 1060 when playing Apex Legends. Breaking it down, this means that every second your PC processes 100 frames and throws it at your BenQ.

Your monitor is a BenQ XL2411 that can process this data but only refreshes the screen 60 times per second or 60Hz. Because of this, your GPU is throwing an additional 40 FPS at the screen that it just can't do anything with. This leads to screen tearing and why most will enable vsync to cap the GPU at 60FPS to reduce tearing, giving a smoother experience.

Now, if you were to move your system over to a screen that could potentially handle a 144Hz refresh rate, we are talking about a screen that refreshes more than twice as fast as your 60Hz screen, allowing it to run the full 100 frames your GPU throws at it every second. This would be the optimal experience, especially in Apex Legends, as you would get less ghosting, tearing, and lower system latency.

I hope this explanation helps!

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