Is 60Hz Good for Gaming?

Understanding the role of the refresh rate in a monitor will enhance your gaming experience significantly. A 60Hz monitor refreshes the screen 60 times per second, which equates to every 16.6 milliseconds. For casual gamers or those who primarily play slower-paced games, this rate proves sufficient, providing an enjoyable experience without the need for higher-end, more expensive equipment.

If you’re delving into the competitive gaming scene or enjoy fast-paced action, you may notice limitations with a 60Hz display. The smoother motion and improved responsiveness of higher refresh rate monitors, such as 144Hz or higher, become more desirable in these scenarios. These monitors can provide a more fluid visual experience, which can translate into a slight competitive advantage.

Choosing your monitor depends on your gaming preferences, hardware capabilities, and budget. While 60Hz monitors are not the cutting edge, they remain a viable option for many gamers. You should consider what types of games you play and whether the benefits of higher refresh rates align with your needs. Remember, the best gaming setup for you is one that matches your personal gaming style and goals.

Understanding Refresh Rates and Gaming Performance

Refresh rates significantly influence your gaming experience by determining how smoothly the action unfolds on your screen.

Defining Refresh Rate and Its Role in Gaming

Refresh rate, measured in hertz (Hz), refers to how many times your monitor updates with new images each second. A 60Hz monitor updates 60 times per second. In gaming, higher refresh rates can lead to smoother motion, provided your graphics card can keep up and output a sufficiently high frame rate measured in frames per second (fps). Frame rate is the speed at which those images are delivered by your PC.

Comparing 60Hz to Higher Refresh Rates

When evaluating a 60Hz monitor against displays with higher refresh rates like 144Hz240Hz, or even 360Hz, it’s crucial to consider the types of games you play.

  • 60Hz Displays: Suitable for less demanding, casual games where precision timing is less critical.
  • 144Hz and Above: Ideal for competitive or fast-paced games where quick reactions are paramount.

At 144Hz, a new image appears every 6.9 milliseconds, compared to 16.6 milliseconds at 60Hz. As a result, you perceive motion as significantly smoother, which can enhance your ability to track moving objects and react to fast-paced action. At 240Hz and 360Hz, these improvements continue, diminishing returns to consider in terms of perceivable differences, especially when jumping from 240Hz to 360Hz.

Examining the Impact of 60Hz on Different Genres

When selecting a monitor, understanding how a 60Hz refresh rate affects gameplay varies across game genres, which can be crucial for your gaming experience.

60Hz in Competitive Gaming and Shooters

In competitive gaming, where every millisecond counts, a 60Hz refresh rate can put you at a disadvantage. Games like first-person shooters (FPS) demand quick reflexes and rapid response times. While 60Hz monitors refresh the screen 60 times per second, competitive gamers often prefer monitors with 144Hz or higher to reduce motion blur and screen tearing, allowing for smoother gameplay and the ability to respond more quickly to in-game events.

60Hz in Casual and Single-Player Games

For casual or single-player games, a 60Hz monitor can still provide a satisfactory experience. Titles that prioritize story over reflex-dependent gameplay typically don’t require high frame rates to enjoy. You’ll find that games focused on narrative, strategy, or role-playing maintain playability and visual fidelity at 60Hz, as these genres often favor immersion over split-second reaction time.

60Hz for Console Gaming

Console gaming generally aligns well with 60Hz monitors due to the compatibility with current console refresh rates. Most consoles are designed to output at 60 frames per second, which matches the refresh capabilities of a 60Hz screen. This means you won’t necessarily benefit from a monitor with a higher refresh rate unless you own the latest generation consoles that support higher frame rates for certain games.

60Hz Monitors and Gaming Hardware

In the realm of gaming, the interplay between your 60Hz monitor and gaming hardware is crucial for achieving an optimal experience.

The Symbiosis Between Monitor and Graphics Card

Your graphics card (GPU) serves as the heart of visual rendering, pushing images to your 60hz monitor. High-end graphics cards can render games at high frame rates, but a 60hz panel caps the display of these frames to 60 per second. Therefore, pairing a high-end GPU with a 60Hz monitor may not fully utilize the GPU’s potential when it can render well above 60 frames per second (fps). On the flip side, if your video card outputs less than 60fps, you’ll notice a dip in smoothness, manifesting as stutter or lag.

How RAM and CPU Influence Gaming at 60Hz

RAM and CPU work in tandem to affect gaming at 60Hz. You need sufficient RAM to ensure smooth gameplay, as it temporarily holds game data for quick access. Aim for at least 8GB of RAM, but 16GB is the sweet spot for modern gaming at 1080p resolution. Your CPU processes game logic and physics, and a more powerful CPU will prevent bottlenecks that can hinder performance, even at 60Hz.

The Role of Resolution in 60Hz Gaming

Resolution vastly impacts your gaming experience on a 60Hz monitor. A 60Hz panel can display games beautifully at 1080p (Full HD), which is less demanding for most GPUs. Opting for higher resolutions like 1440p or 4K increases the load on your hardware, requiring a more robust graphics card to maintain a stable 60fps. Remember, at 60Hz, regardless of the resolution, you won’t see benefits beyond 60fps.

The Role of Technologies in Enhancing 60Hz Gaming

While a 60Hz monitor updates the image 60 times per second, certain technologies can optimize your gaming experience even at this refresh rate.

Understanding G-Sync and FreeSync with 60Hz

G-Sync and FreeSync are adaptive synchronization technologies that help reduce screen tearing and stuttering by aligning the monitor’s refresh rate with the graphics card’s frame rate. This Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) technology is especially useful when playing games at 60Hz, as it can smooth out inconsistencies in frame timing.

  • NVIDIA G-Sync: This technology requires an NVIDIA graphics card and works by dynamically adjusting the refresh rate to match your GPU’s output.
  • AMD FreeSync: Compatible with AMD cards, FreeSync provides a similar benefit, increasing fluidity without the need for high-end hardware.

Both technologies ensure a synchronization between the monitor and GPU, eliminating issues that can detract from smooth gameplay.

The Importance of Response Time and Input Lag

When gaming at 60Hz, response time and input lag are two critical specs to consider:

  • Response Time: This is the speed at which a pixel can change from one color to another. Shorter response times mean sharper images during fast action sequences, which is vital for competitive gaming.
  • Input Lag: Refers to the delay between pressing a button and seeing the action on the screen. Lower input lag results in a more reactive gaming experience.

You’ll want to look for a monitor that offers a low response time and low input lag to complement the 60Hz refresh rate, ensuring that you receive the visual feedback as soon as possible. These specs are particularly pertinent for fast-paced games where timing is critical. Technologies like G-Sync and FreeSync can further minimize issues, but the intrinsic monitor response time and input lag are equally important to ensure a seamless gaming session.

Visual and Performance Considerations for 60Hz Gaming

When evaluating a 60Hz monitor for gaming, you should understand how it affects visuals and performance, focusing particularly on screen tearing, motion blur, and framerate issues.

Analyzing Screen Tearing and Motion Blur

Screen tearing occurs when your monitor displays pieces of multiple frames at once. This is less of a concern with a 60Hz monitor provided your graphic card’s output does not exceed 60 frames per second (fps). To prevent screen tearing, V-Sync can be enabled, which synchronizes the frame rate of the game with the refresh rate of your monitor.

Motion blur, on the other hand, is the blurring of moving objects on your screen. It’s often more noticeable on 60Hz monitors due to the longer interval between frame refreshes (16.6 milliseconds). While it doesn’t eliminate motion blur completely, having a higher refresh rate monitor can reduce its occurrence.

ConcernDescriptionImpact on 60Hz Monitors
Screen TearingDisplaying multiple frames at onceLess prevalent if fps <= 60Hz
Motion BlurBlurring of moving objectsMore noticeable at 60Hz

Exploring Frame Smoothness and Framerate Consistency

Frame smoothness refers to the continuity of motion in video playback. On a 60Hz monitor, this is optimal when the game consistently runs at 60 fps, aligning with the refresh rate. Any significant drop below this can cause noticeable stutter, reducing the smooth gameplay experience.

Framerate consistency is critical for a fluid gaming experience. Fluctuations in the frame rate are more pronounced on 60Hz monitors since there’s less room for variation before performance issues become evident. Maintaining a steady output that matches the refresh rate is key.

  • Aim for consistent 60 fps for smooth gameplay on 60Hz monitors.
  • Variance in frame rates can lead to stutter and disrupt the gaming experience.

By considering these aspects, you can better assess whether a 60Hz monitor meets your gaming needs.

Selecting the Right 60Hz Monitor

When you’re in the market for a 60Hz monitor, understanding screen size, panel type, and budget constraints are key factors to consider. High refresh rate options also play a significant role in your decision-making process.

Screen Size and Panel Type

Selecting a suitable screen size and panel type enhances your gaming experience. Screen size is largely a personal preference but typically ranges from 21 to 27 inches for 60Hz monitors. The panel type affects image quality and viewing angles. Consider an IPS panel for better color reproduction and wider viewing angles than standard LCD monitors.

Balancing Performance with Budget

Your monitor choice should align with your financial limits without compromising too much on performance. Budget-friendly 60Hz monitors can still offer satisfactory gaming experiences, especially for casual or single-player games. Prioritize features like resolution and panel technology to maximize value within your budget.

High Refresh Rate Alternatives

While 60Hz monitors meet basic gaming needs, consider high refresh rate monitors if your budget allows:

  • 75Hz refresh rate: An affordable step up, offering slightly smoother visuals.
  • 120Hz or 144Hz monitors: Provide much smoother gameplay, especially for fast-paced games.

Best gaming monitors often feature higher refresh rates but come at a premium. Balance the cost against potential benefits for your favorite games.

Practical Tips for Gamers with 60Hz Monitors

For gamers with 60Hz monitors, the key to an enhanced gaming experience lies in optimizing game settings, considering strategic hardware upgrades, and utilizing benchmarking tools to measure performance.

Optimizing Game Settings for 60Hz

Ensure you tailor your game’s video settings to complement your 60Hz monitor. Start by setting the in-game frame rate cap to 60 FPS, which aligns with your monitor’s refresh rate, to maintain consistency in visuals. Focus on adjusting graphics quality options such as anti-aliasing, texture details, and shadow quality. Lower these settings if you notice performance drops; this helps maintain a smooth and steady frame rate without overburdening your system.

Hardware Upgrades and Considerations

In terms of hardware, examine your current setup to identify potential bottlenecks. If you own a mid-range graphics card, you’re typically well-suited for a 60Hz display; however, ensure your CPU is capable of keeping pace with your GPU to avoid imbalances that can affect performance. Upgrading to faster storage solutions like SSDs can also reduce load times, allowing for quicker access to games.

Using Benchmarking Tools for Performance Measurement

Leverage benchmarking tools to quantify your gaming setup’s performance. A reliable tool is, which can help you assess monitor refresh rates and frame skipping. Regularly reviewing your system with such benchmarks after adjustments or upgrades provides empirical data, informing you whether changes have positively impacted your gaming experience. Remember to subscribe to PC Gamer newsletters for the latest benchmarking tools and tips tailored for PC gamers.


When selecting a monitor for your gaming setup, you must consider the refresh rate. While 60Hz monitors were once the norm, technology has advanced significantly. These traditional screens offer consistency and can still deliver a satisfactory gaming experience, especially if you’re playing less demanding or non-competitive games.

However, as gaming graphics cards become more powerful, capable of rendering well above 60 frames per second, the limitations of 60Hz monitors become more apparent. You might experience screen tearing or missed frames, which can affect your gaming performance and visual enjoyment.

For a superior and more fluid visual experience, especially in fast-paced and competitive gaming scenarios, higher refresh rates can provide diminishing returns after a certain point. This means that the perceptual improvements decrease as the refresh rate increases. Specifically, the jump from 60Hz to 120Hz or 144Hz is significant and beneficial, but the noticeable differences become less pronounced with rates beyond 240Hz.

120Hz or higher refresh rate monitors are recommended if you’re seeking enhanced gameplay and have a system that supports high frame rates. Ultimately, your choice depends on your particular gaming needs, preferences, and the types of games you play most often. A balance is ideal between the technological capabilities of your hardware and the cost-effectiveness of your investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find detailed answers to common inquiries about the performance and implications of using a 60Hz monitor in your gaming setup.

Can you notice a difference between 60Hz and 144Hz in games?

Yes, you can notice the difference in smoothness and responsiveness. Games appear more fluid at 144Hz, which can be particularly beneficial in fast-paced genres.

What are the advantages of a 240Hz monitor over a 60Hz one for gaming?

A 240Hz monitor provides a significantly smoother gaming experience with enhanced motion clarity, which is essential for fast-moving competitive games.

How does 60Hz performance on a PS4 compare to higher refresh rates?

The PS4 generally outputs up to 60fps, meaning games will perform optimally at 60Hz. Higher refresh rates won’t yield benefits as the console doesn’t support them.

Are there any benefits to using 60Hz for 4K gaming?

Using a 60Hz monitor for 4K gaming can still be quite effective, as many current games and systems don’t consistently support framerates above 60fps at 4K resolution.

Is a higher refresh rate than 60Hz necessary for competitive gaming?

For competitive gaming, a higher refresh rate than 60Hz is often recommended. It may give you an edge by reducing motion blur and improving reaction times.

Does Xbox Series X gaming benefit from more than 60Hz?

The Xbox Series X supports up to 120Hz, which allows for smoother visuals and reduced input lag, therefore you would benefit from a monitor that exceeds 60Hz.