benefits of 120hz LCD monitor?

#1 Posted by Megalibra (19 posts) -

Hi there,

I am considering buying a 120hz LCD or LED monitor and I have couple of questions which is:

1-which games are supporting 120hz at the moment and will I still have an advantage if I play a game which doesn;t support 120hz?

2-does all nvidia graphic cards support 120hz or there are a list of specific cards?.

3-someone mentioned that I will notice a difference even I play the game on low frame rate because the refresh rate will better, is that true ...is it true that If i play the game on let's say 50fps there will still be a difference.

I hear so many mixed opinons about the 120hz monitor I just want to know what aspects that I will witness a change in it, or in a nutshell what are the real advantages of a 120hz monitor?.

#2 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

Two things:-

  • Higher refresh rates than 60hz are sometimes more comfortable for the eye.
  • 3D

That's it.

It will have no effect at all on framerate.

#3 Posted by killacam (1284 posts) -

well think about it.. if you're playing at 60 frames per second and the screen is refreshing 120 times per second, you're still going to see the exact same thing as if it were refreshing at 60 Hz, because there are still only 60 frames. each refresh will just show the same frame.

#4 Posted by stinky (1544 posts) -

best off googling. there are plenty of TV review sites that talk about these issues in great depth.

#5 Posted by CaLe (3959 posts) -

I just got one this week in fact. I have it running alongside my 4 year old 60hz monitor and I must say, I feel zero difference between them. I actually like my older monitor better in terms of colour reproduction and brightness/contrast. I got the Samsung S27A750D and it has noticeable horizontal lines running down it when on a dark background (like Giant Bomb). The 3D is absolutely not worth paying any premium for. Luckily I got it for pretty cheap.

#6 Posted by MikkaQ (10283 posts) -

The only true advantage is the elimination of the 3:2 pulldown effect when watching movies, but watching movies on a computer monitor is miserable, so there's not much point there. It's also not nearly as noticeable of an effect on something that small, so that's more of a TV thing.

#7 Posted by killacam (1284 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

The only true advantage is the elimination of the 3:2 pulldown effect when watching movies, but watching movies on a computer monitor is miserable, so there's not much point there. It's also not nearly as noticeable of an effect on something that small, so that's more of a TV thing.

so what are the differences between a computer monitor and a tv screen, in that sense?

#8 Posted by EXTomar (4687 posts) -

With older LCD monitors that had slow refresh rates, you could see distortions and artifacts depending on how fast the graphics updated. At 120hz that "never happens".

#9 Posted by MAGZine (437 posts) -

@EXTomar: if you have vertical sync on, yes.

#10 Posted by MikkaQ (10283 posts) -

@killacam said:

@MikkaQ said:

The only true advantage is the elimination of the 3:2 pulldown effect when watching movies, but watching movies on a computer monitor is miserable, so there's not much point there. It's also not nearly as noticeable of an effect on something that small, so that's more of a TV thing.

so what are the differences between a computer monitor and a tv screen, in that sense?

Well most monitors are really small compared to TVs, so the weird motion effect that happens as a result of the 3:2 pulldown used with 24 FPS movies on 60hz TVs and monitors is a lot more noticeable when it's blown up to 40 inches.

#11 Posted by Jams (2960 posts) -

I thought I read somewhere that refresh rates on LCD's aren't really the actual refresh rates on something like a CRT. Anyone know if that's true? Might have been from that doom 3d john carmack interview.

#12 Edited by squirrelnacho (331 posts) -

@CaLe: What do you mean there are lines on it? Backlight problems?

Also, on the samsung monitors you need an ATI card to use the driver based 3d, and that is about of equal quality of the nvidia 3d vision. The monitors own 2d to 3d conversion is not as good as the driver based 3d.

120hz monitors can display a true 120fps without vsyc issues, 60hz monitors are limited to 60 fps.

#13 Posted by CaLe (3959 posts) -

@squirrelnacho said:

@CaLe: What do you mean there are lines on it? Backlight problems?

Also, on the samsung monitors you need an ATI card to use the driver based 3d, and that is about of equal quality of the nvidia 3d vision. The monitors own 2d to 3d conversion is not as good as the driver based 3d.

I don't think it's a backlight issue because the lines go away if I set the monitor to 100Hz, but then certain backgrounds seem to be flickering. There are just 2 thin horizontal lines constantly moving from top to bottom. It's only noticeable on certain coloured backgrounds but it's annoying for a brand new monitor. I have only tested the real 3D on Dirt 3 and it was terrible (yes I'm on ATI). Everything gets extremely dark and there's basically no 3D effect. The 2D-3D is even worse than that. Maybe I just need to see a good example of it but I haven't yet.

#14 Posted by Demoskinos (14770 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

@killacam said:

@MikkaQ said:

The only true advantage is the elimination of the 3:2 pulldown effect when watching movies, but watching movies on a computer monitor is miserable, so there's not much point there. It's also not nearly as noticeable of an effect on something that small, so that's more of a TV thing.

so what are the differences between a computer monitor and a tv screen, in that sense?

Well most monitors are really small compared to TVs, so the weird motion effect that happens as a result of the 3:2 pulldown used with 24 FPS movies on 60hz TVs and monitors is a lot more noticeable when it's blown up to 40 inches.

I do believe pixel structure is different on PC monitors and TVs as well.

#15 Edited by WilltheMagicAsian (1544 posts) -

The only real benefits of real 120hz monitors (not the 120hz+ tvs that use an interpolated signal) is smoother gameplay at higher framerates. If you can't get high framerates (like 90-120 FPS) in the games you want to play it'll be pretty much worthless. They're great monitors if you're used to playing games at 100hz with CRTs but you'll still have a lot of the downsides of LCD like the motion blur and a native resolution.

#16 Edited by Insectecutor (1186 posts) -

@EXTomar said:

With older LCD monitors that had slow refresh rates, you could see distortions and artifacts depending on how fast the graphics updated. At 120hz that "never happens".

@SeriouslyNow said:

Two things:-

  • Higher refresh rates than 60hz are sometimes more comfortable for the eye.
  • 3D

That's it.

It will have no effect at all on framerate.

These aren't quite true. The refresh rate of the panel doesn't guarantee any particular response time, ghosting can still be visible in 3D at 120 Hz if the response time is poor.

There's not much perceptible improvement to smoothness above 60Hz, the real improvements are in micro-hitching / controller lag when vsync is on. 120Hz will also improve framerate with vsync across the board, because vsync without triple buffering means additional waiting for the monitor to be ready, even in poorly performing games. Triple buffering isn't used much because it introduces lag.

@Jams said:

I thought I read somewhere that refresh rates on LCD's aren't really the actual refresh rates on something like a CRT. Anyone know if that's true? Might have been from that doom 3d john carmack interview.

Active matrix LCDs used in monitors and TVs refresh row by row like a CRT. The difference is there's no flicker, the rows hold the image until they are next refreshed. I think passive matrix displays may support some kind of random access, but they still require constant refreshing and don't scale to useful resolutions.

@CaLe said:

@squirrelnacho said:

@CaLe: What do you mean there are lines on it? Backlight problems?

Also, on the samsung monitors you need an ATI card to use the driver based 3d, and that is about of equal quality of the nvidia 3d vision. The monitors own 2d to 3d conversion is not as good as the driver based 3d.

I don't think it's a backlight issue because the lines go away if I set the monitor to 100Hz, but then certain backgrounds seem to be flickering. There are just 2 thin horizontal lines constantly moving from top to bottom. It's only noticeable on certain coloured backgrounds but it's annoying for a brand new monitor. I have only tested the real 3D on Dirt 3 and it was terrible (yes I'm on ATI). Everything gets extremely dark and there's basically no 3D effect. The 2D-3D is even worse than that. Maybe I just need to see a good example of it but I haven't yet.

You have this hooked up with HDMI, right? Horizontal rolling lines and flickering sound like analog video problems.

#17 Posted by NTM (7343 posts) -

@CaLe said:

it has noticeable horizontal lines running down it

How could it be horizontal and running down?

#18 Posted by CrazyBagMan (841 posts) -

@NTM said:

@CaLe said:

it has noticeable horizontal lines running down it

How could it be horizontal and running down?

Because you're trying too hard to be a smartass. Let's stack some horizontal lines...

_______

_______

_______

_______

See how they're one on top of the other? As in verticle? As in up and down? You might even say I made horizontal lines down this page.

#19 Edited by CaLe (3959 posts) -

@Insectecutor said:

You have this hooked up with HDMI, right? Horizontal rolling lines and flickering sound like analog video problems.

It's connected by displayport as that's the only way to make it run at 120Hz. HDMI is limited to 60Hz. I have my 360 connected to it via HDMI and there are no lines. Could be a bad displayport cable I guess. Really not sure.

@NTM: They are moving from top to bottom, not static.

#20 Posted by NTM (7343 posts) -

@CrazyBagMan: That might be what he was trying to say, but it's not what he said. Also, I didn't have to try very hard.

#21 Posted by CrazyBagMan (841 posts) -

@NTM said:

@CrazyBagMan: That might be what he was trying to say, but it's not what he said. Also, I didn't have to try very hard.

I said the exact same thing he did, just more elaborately so that you might be able to grasp the concept. And clearly you didn't try very hard since you made yourself look like an ass.

#22 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@Insectecutor said:


@SeriouslyNow said:

Two things:-

  • Higher refresh rates than 60hz are sometimes more comfortable for the eye.
  • 3D

That's it.

It will have no effect at all on framerate.

These aren't quite true. The refresh rate of the panel doesn't guarantee any particular response time, ghosting can still be visible in 3D at 120 Hz if the response time is poor.

There's not much perceptible improvement to smoothness above 60Hz, the real improvements are in micro-hitching / controller lag when vsync is on. 120Hz will also improve framerate with vsync across the board, because vsync without triple buffering means additional waiting for the monitor to be ready, even in poorly performing games. Triple buffering isn't used much because it introduces lag.

You're conflating frame rate and Hz. They aren't the same thing. Many people who work staring at LCD monitors daily doing detailed work (such as Photoshop) prefer higher refresh rates above 60hz and there are even some who can see oscillations of 30hz and 60hz just due to how their eyes work (we're not all the same).

3D is mentioned because both ATI and Nvidia's technology REQUIRE a 120hz monitor to be able to display two 60hz fields at a time (one for the left eye and one for the right) which is the base standard needed for 3D to work using their respective hardware solutions.

What you're talking about is frame lag and that's an entirely different kettle of fish altogether and only relates to what I said marginally. Frame lag also affects 60hz LCD Panels too. Just as it can affect CRTs as well (depending on how much image processing the display does internally, as is the case with Loewe and Sharp CRT TVs).

#23 Posted by jasondaplock (260 posts) -

I bought a Benq XL2420T recently. As far as TN panels go it is very sharp, and it is great for making faster-paced shooters render more smoothly, but even a cheap IPS (ala the U2412M) provides a better visual experience I find.

If you want to spend more on a monitor go IPS, not 120 Hz. Unless you plan on toying with 3d, the payoff from better color on an IPS beats out the 120Hz refresh bump in nearly all cases.

#24 Posted by NTM (7343 posts) -

@CrazyBagMan said:

@NTM said:

@CrazyBagMan: That might be what he was trying to say, but it's not what he said. Also, I didn't have to try very hard.

I said the exact same thing he did, just more elaborately so that you might be able to grasp the concept. And clearly you didn't try very hard since you made yourself look like an ass.

Alrighty then.

#25 Posted by Devildoll (879 posts) -

@CaLe said:

I just got one this week in fact. I have it running alongside my 4 year old 60hz monitor and I must say, I feel zero difference between them. I actually like my older monitor better in terms of colour reproduction and brightness/contrast. I got the Samsung S27A750D and it has noticeable horizontal lines running down it when on a dark background (like Giant Bomb). The 3D is absolutely not worth paying any premium for. Luckily I got it for pretty cheap.

really?

try moving any kind of window across your screen. you should perceive the movement markedly more fluid on the 120 Hz monitor.

@jasondaplock said:

I bought a Benq XL2420T recently. As far as TN panels go it is very sharp, and it is great for making faster-paced shooters render more smoothly, but even a cheap IPS (ala the U2412M) provides a better visual experience I find.

If you want to spend more on a monitor go IPS, not 120 Hz. Unless you plan on toying with 3d, the payoff from better color on an IPS beats out the 120Hz refresh bump in nearly all cases.

it's all in your priorities, gorgeous color-reproduction or a more fluid experience.

#26 Edited by CaLe (3959 posts) -

@Devildoll said:

@CaLe said:

I just got one this week in fact. I have it running alongside my 4 year old 60hz monitor and I must say, I feel zero difference between them. I actually like my older monitor better in terms of colour reproduction and brightness/contrast. I got the Samsung S27A750D and it has noticeable horizontal lines running down it when on a dark background (like Giant Bomb). The 3D is absolutely not worth paying any premium for. Luckily I got it for pretty cheap.

really?

try moving any kind of window across your screen. you should perceive the movement markedly more fluid on the 120 Hz monitor.

I have done that. It's still just as blurry as the 60Hz monitor right next to it. It does seem to react more quickly to my mouse movement though. Maybe that's the difference.

#27 Posted by Eurobum (244 posts) -

Here's an experiment:

Try to move your mouse in a large elliptical curve (or a circle if you prefer) on your monitor, as you increase the speed of movement you should see a picture of a dozen or so mouse cursors.

Questions

1. How many cursors do you see?

2. Does their number appear to increase as you move your mouse faster?

3. Do you see fewer cursors than the monitors actually displays?

Explanation:

The number of cursors you see, either corresponds to the monitor refresh rate or the cycle rate of the optical nerve. Answers (1.about twelve; 2. No; 3.Yes)

My take is: Whenever the much slower cycle of the optical nerve (10-15 Hz) coincides with the flickering up of the cursor my brain can see it, the number of coinciding signals is increased as the monitor refresh rate increases, but with diminishing returns,

Predictions:

On a 120 Hz monitor one should see a couple more cursors when rotating the mouse.

Further Explanation (Conjecture):

Imagine the minute hand on an analog clock that runs the circle in a single second. A 60 Hz display would show 60 positions, exactly at the minute markers on the clock, while our brain would see only one out of five positions every twelfth of a second. So on the first hour of a clock between 12 and 1 we would only perceive one flickering instead of all five that the monitor is actually showing. Because both cycles aren't synchronised we would see the minute hand at different position every cycle.

#28 Edited by Devildoll (879 posts) -

@CaLe: that's really odd, you got it set to 120 Hz in windows and all that jazz?

diff between 120 Hz and 60 Hz is night and day on what I've tested.

#29 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -

1. Any game that supports 60hz supports 120hz. Any game which has a framecap can usually get it removed from a config file.  
 
2. More powerful cards will more readily be able to achieve near or above 120hz. You'll want at least a GTX 670, if not two.  
 
3. 120hz is much smoother than 60hz; pro gamers tend to go for 120hz monitors for quick movements.
 
I would recommend just getting a good 60hz though. Maxing out image quality is already very difficult on a 60hz monitor with nearly any setup, if you care about that kind of thing then there's not going to be much GPU power left over to reach 120fps as well. 

#30 Edited by Devildoll (879 posts) -

@Geno: stupid diablo 3 locks at 60 if you enable vsync (that's not what vsync is you bafoons!!). but other than that, yeah most games behave.

#31 Posted by Doctorchimp (4074 posts) -

@Megalibra: 120 hertz is a dumb thing to go for, unless you want 3D...even then don't get a 3D monitor.

Try and go for an IPS monitor if anything.

#32 Posted by g35fan (1 posts) -

Go 120hz all the way if you do any FPS game - without a doubt. I currently own a Dell 30" u3011 and a Viewsonic 22" 120hz. Before that have owned newer LED low input lag monitors as well.

The Dell 30" is awesome for general desktop work. The real estate, the resolution, the options. It's fantastic. It sucks for FPS gaming however. The input lag is noticable and I feel 1/4 second slow on everything.

The 120hz monitor is silky smooth and when you click your mouse the action feels absolutly instant and there is no blurring or ghosting. I'd recommend just about any 120hz monitor for 2D FPS gaming. The ASUS 27", the new Samsung 27", and the Benq 24" all get top reviews.

Currently run 2x670's in SLI with a newer i7 setup.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.