For the most part, a good majority of monitors out there come with a 60Hz refresh rate, but there are some that come with even higher refresh rates like 144Hz. However, these refresh rates don’t have to be fixed by default. In fact, if you wanted to, you can actually lower your monitor’s refresh rate or bump it up.
Changing Your Monitor’s Refresh Rate In Windows 10
- Click on your Start menu
- Select Settings > System > Display > Advanced display settings
- Under Refresh rate, select the rate that you want. If you don’t see this option, then continue following the steps below
- Click “Display adapter properties”
- Select the Monitor tab and under “Screen refresh rate”, choose the refresh rate you want
That being said, we want to point out that you cannot increase a monitor’s refresh rate beyond what is it capable. For example, if your monitor caps out at 60Hz, you cannot bump it to 90Hz, 120Hz, or 144Hz. You can only go lower. Obviously this means that users with 60Hz displays will have less options to choose from, but 60Hz is actually very decent anyway and you can run games, watch movies, edit photos or videos without any issues.
What Is A Refresh Rate?
For those who might be wondering about refresh rates and why it might sometimes be important, here’s why. A monitor’s refresh rate, usually measured in hertz (Hz), basically refers to the number of times a monitor’s screen is updated with new images every second. These “new” images could be anything from as mundane as the text cursor blinking on the screen, to a movie being played where every second there is a new scene.
Refresh rates will also help determine how smooth animations look on your display, so for example if you have a low refresh rate and when you click the Start menu, you might actually see the different animation frames appear as the menu is being launched, versus a high refresh rate where the animation comes across as buttery smooth.
Are Refresh Rates Important?
It might sound like having a high refresh rate is important, but that might not necessarily always be the case. Having a high refresh rate means that you have a wider range of options if you ever want to step it down. At the same time, you also need to understand that there is a link between your monitor’s refresh rate and what your PC is capable of handling.
For example, if you have a subpar build that’s capable of putting out 30fps at the best of times and you splurge $1,000 on a 144Hz monitor, then it makes no difference. While framerates and refresh rates are different from each other, they are still connected. The inverse is true where if you have a $5,000 gaming PC but a monitor that has a max refresh rate of 60Hz, you won’t be able to truly appreciate what your rig is capable of.
In that instance, you might actually run into issues such as screen tearing, where framerates exceed that of your monitor’s refresh rate, resulting in a “tear” in the visuals of your movie or game.
Refresh Rate VS Framerates
As we mentioned, refresh rates refer to how many times a screen is updated with new information per second. Framerates refers to how many frames can be displayed per second. It sounds almost the same, but there is a difference.
Refresh rates are determined by your monitor, meaning that it is pretty much independent of your computer’s capabilities. You could have an absolutely terrible PC but your monitor’s refresh rate remains unchanged.
Framerates, on the other hand, are determined by your computer’s components and how powerful it is. Having a more powerful PC, more RAM, and a high-end GPU will allow you to achieve extremely high framerates, sometimes even higher than your monitor’s refresh rates.