60hz vs 75hz: Is there really any difference?

60hz vs 75hz: Is there really any difference?

Overview:

Nowadays there are two primary refresh rates that the lowest tier of monitors come with: 60hz and 75hz. Despite being at the bottom of today’s monitor hierarchy, low refresh rate monitors are still widely popular because of their affordability. Faster screens with 144hz, 240hz, or even 360hz refresh rates usually come with a high price tag to match that performance.

Because of this, a lot of people end up in the market for a 60hz monitor. When researching 60hz monitors, however, you will inevitably come across their 75hz counterpart. We all know that higher refresh rate is better, but is the extra 15 refreshes per second really a significant difference?

60hz vs 75hz
The ASUS VP248QGL, a 75hz monitor, courtesy of asus.com

What is refresh rate?

If you’re unfamiliar with the “hz” notation, we’ve got you covered with a quick crash course. “Hz” denotes the frequency of an action per second. This is why you see CPUs, GPUs, RAM, and everything in between with clock speeds denoted in terms of hz or some related unit (like MHz and GHz).

For monitors, the action in question is a screen refresh. When the screen refreshes, the picture updates with a new image if one is available. So if a screen has a 60hz refresh rate, the image refreshes 60 times per second. This is why a higher refresh rate is better; your screen updates more times a second, meaning your inputs like moving your mouse around or pressing a key are displayed on the screen more quickly.

60hz vs 75hz:

Now that we’ve covered refresh rate in brief, it seems that 75hz would be the obvious choice, right? Well, not exactly. There are other, more important factors that need to be considered. The short version is that if all other factors are the same, a 75hz is a miniscule amount better than its 60hz counterpart, but in certain circumstances you may be better off buying a 60hz.

For most people, the extra 15 refreshes per second is a virtually intangible boost in performance. 75hz feels nearly identical to 60hz; it takes closer to 100hz or 120hz to start noticing a significant difference in speed. With this in mind, there are two primary considerations when shopping for a monitor (assuming you already know what resolution you’re looking for):

Adjustability:

It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about important monitor features, but adjustability is key for a good computer-using experience. Some monitors come with adjustable tilt and height, while other have just one of these features or neither.

Adjustable height is beneficial for obvious reasons, as it allows you to set the height to your preferred level so that you don’t have to strain your neck or sit awkwardly.

Adjustable tilt has a similar effect, as it allows you to fine-tune the angle at which you view the monitor for maximum comfort.

Let’s say you’re comparing two monitors. One’s a 60hz and the other is a 75hz. If the 60hz monitor has adjustable height and tilt but the 75hz doesn’t, and they’re the same otherwise, you’re better off getting the 60hz.

Response Time:

Response time is the measure of how long it takes for the screen to display a change following an input. Basically, if your response time is lower the overall latency between you performing an action and seeing that action’s results onscreen will be lower.

Response time is measured in milliseconds, and monitors are widely available in sub-10ms response times. With such a wide variety of low-response-time monitors available, there’s really no reason to settle for a monitor with a response time over 5 or 10ms. If a 75hz monitor has a response time of 30ms but a 60hz monitor has one of 5ms, you’d probably be better off going with the 60hz.

Size:

Monitor sizes vary greatly. A bigger screen size will obviously result in a larger picture, making everything on-screen easier to see to a certain extent. Make sure to check the screen size; if you’re comparing a 27-inch 60hz monitor with a 24-inch 75hz, you may want to buy the larger one.

Connectivity:

Make sure your monitor of choice has the right kind of ports to support what you want. Usually this is not a huge factor with 60hz monitors, but you can’t run a monitor at refresh rates higher than 60hz without an HDMI 1.4+ or DisplayPort cable.

Also, make sure there are enough ports to connect all desired devices. For example, you may want to connect your cable box, PC, and gaming console, so you’d need at least 3 display ports.

Price:

Price is, of course, one of the main factors when buying anything. If you’re shopping for a 60hz or 75hz monitor, there’s a good chance you’re on a relatively tight budget. At any rate, there’s no reason to spend more than necessary for a certain performance threshold.

If a 75hz monitor is $10 or so more expensive than an otherwise similar 60hz monitor, it’s probably worth the extra money for the extra 15hz. Anything more than that, though, and I’d be hesitant to drop the extra money for such a small increase in speed.

Best 60hz and 70hz monitors:

We’ve taken the liberty to compile a list of the best 60 and 75hz monitors that check all of the boxes. These monitors feature great picture, a 60 or 75hz refresh rate, adjustable height, fast response times, and a great price.

HP 24mh:

HP’s 24″ monitor offers a 75hz refresh rate and quick 5ms response time. It supports HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2, and VGA, allowing connection of up to three devices. Adjustable height and tilt round out this monitor’s respectable specifications.

HP VH240a:

It’s no coincidence that HP has two monitors on this list; they make really great products. The VH240a is another 24″ monitor. This one has a 60hz refresh rate, 1 HDMI and 1 VGA port, a 5ms response time, and adjustable tilt and height.

Dell P2419H:

The P2419H is yet another 24-inch monitor. This one includes one DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA port. It’s a 60hz screen with adjustable height and tilt to boot.

Asus VP248QGL:

This one’s one of the best, if not the best, monitor in its price range. While its name is a mouthful, the important thing to know is that the VP248QGL features an extremely low 1ms response time, DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA connectivity, adjustable height and tilt, and great picture.

Thanks for reading! We hope this article helped you decide between a 60hz or 75hz monitor, and gave you better insight into the differences you should look at when selecting between the two. Check out our PC-building beginner’s guide for more resources to help you select hardware and even build your own PC.

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