60Hz vs 144Hz Refresh Rate – Which Is Better for You?

Monitors come in a variety of refresh rates these days. Some of the most common refresh rates that monitor’s come in are 60Hz and 144Hz. They can come faster than this but they are not as common to find. Right now, you could potentially even own a 30Hz monitor. Deciding whether or not you need a 144Hz or a 60Hz monitor can be a difficult decision. Typically, they vary significantly in cost, but is the upgrade really worth it?

I believe that it totally depends on what you use your computer for in the first place. Both options have pros and cons associated with them that are important to consider. I personally have owned both 60Hz and 144Hz monitors over the years and have found big differences between the two. But you may not notice that much of a difference depending on how you use your computer.

What Is Refresh Rate?

So, what exactly is refresh rate? I mean we have all seen monitors and displays with a Hz rating associated with it. In basic terms, the Hz means how many times the monitor updates in one second. If your display is 60Hz, the display will update 60 times per second. Respectively, if it is 144 Hz, that means it will refresh 144 times per second. The higher your refresh rate is the smoother the rendering will be on your display. Higher refresh rates can be especially important if you play fast-paced video games. If this is not you, a higher refresh rate won’t really impact you that much.

Apart from the refresh rate, there are many other things that you need to take into consideration. Such as resolution, input lag (response time), color performance, and cost. I won’t get too much into these as I will just compare the refresh rates against each other.

ultrawide monitor sitting on desk with computer

What Refresh Rate Is Best for You?

As mentioned before, the refresh rate you should get depends on how you use your computer. If you are big into gaming you may want to look at a monitor with a higher refresh rate. If you primarily use your computer for work or general purposes, a lower refresh rate will suit you just fine. It is also important to consider your PC’s frames per second (FPS) output as well. I will touch on this a little later on.

60Hz Monitors – Who Are They For?

In general, 60Hz monitors are perfectly suited for all-around light computer users. This includes basic work purposes, casual gaming, and typical internet browsing and applications.

Work Purposes

A 60Hz monitor is perfectly fine if you primarily use your computer for work activities. I am sure you could easily get away with a 30Hz monitor as well. Having a higher refresh rate won’t really affect you that much. The only noticeable change you might feel with a higher refresh rate is a smoother cursor on your screen. I believe that a 60Hz monitor is a perfect fit for general work purposes.

work monitor sitting on desk with keyboard

Casual Gamers

It was not until recently that gamers made the switch to 144Hz+ monitors. I personally have gamed on a 60Hz monitor for years and have had no issues at all. A 60Hz monitor is a perfect option if you are a casual gamer and don’t play too competitively. However, if you are looking for a little bit more of an improved experience you may want to consider higher refresh rate options.

Everyday Users

As an everyday computer user, this will suit you perfectly fine. If you mostly use your computer for browsing the internet, watching videos, and connecting with friends this is the perfect option for you. Most browsers and streaming services don’t even support FPS outputs higher than 60 frames anyway. Having a refresh rate higher than this would not impact you that much at all.

144Hz Monitors – Who Are They For?

Typically these displays are best for PC users that are looking for a little more from their display. Often this is heavy gamers or even PC enthusiasts. But, it is not just limited to them as you may just want that little extra benefit.

Heavy Gamers

If you play a lot of video games, especially fast-paced games, 144Hz monitors are perfectly suited for you. The gameplay feels completely different in a good way when we compare it to a 60Hz monitor. This is especially prevalent in first-person shooters and AAA titles. The higher refresh rate makes every aspect of the game feel smoother, even the little details like aiming in on a target. It is also noticeable in games that simply have a lot of graphic renderings as well. You will notice these differences in boss battles, raids, moving around, etc. If you consider yourself a gamer, I would recommend 144Hz if it’s within your budget.

gaming setup with monitor and pc

PC Enthusiasts

Even if you don’t play any video games at all but consider yourself a PC enthusiast, a 144Hz monitor might be for you. I would be lying if I said things don’t feel different when compared to a 60Hz monitor. To be honest with you everything just feels smoother. Whether it’s opening an application or dragging a file across the screen. However, is this that important to you? For some, it might be, and for some, not so much. But, if you do spend a lot of time on your computer and consider yourself an enthusiast, I say go for it.

FPS Limitations

This is something that people commonly forget to consider when looking at monitors. Depending on what GPU or graphics card you have, your computer will only output a certain FPS. In basic terms, this is how many frames (images) your computer is showing you per second. It is important to have your FPS at least equivalent, preferably higher than your refresh rate. If it is lower than your monitor’s refresh rate you will be limited to that frame rate. For example, if your computer is outputting 40 FPS, even if you have a 144Hz monitor, you will still see 40 FPS. If this is the case you may want to stick to a 60Hz monitor or lower. Upgrading the monitor for a higher refresh rate won’t make a noticeable difference at all.

On the flip side, If your computer is outputting 200FPS and you have a 60Hz monitor, you will only see 60 FPS. This means that if you were to upgrade to a higher refresh rate monitor, you would see a significant difference. If this is your case, I would start to consider the upgrade.

Final Thoughts

For most general computer users, a 60Hz monitor will be just fine. If you primarily use your computer for work, school, videos, and browsing, a higher refresh rate won’t offer you that much benefit. But, if you are a heavy computer user, you should consider a 144Hz monitor. This is primarily for PC gamers and enthusiasts. I personally love my 144Hz monitor for playing video games. Apart from that, I am sure a 60Hz monitor would do me just as well.

If you are curious as to how to clean your monitor I have written a guide on how to do so! Also, if you already have one monitor and are considering a dual monitor setup, I have written an article on that as well.