Noob question about refresh rates...

Discussion in 'Video Cards and Monitors' started by Tin Tin, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Tin Tin

    Tin Tin New Member

    Hi, I am about to upgrade my monitor. I have some questions about refresh rates.

    I edit photos and play some first-person shooters (BF & Far Cry), but would put preference on the editing... I think. Meaning, I definitely want IPS and at least 2560x1440 resolution for the image quality, but would like to have higher refresh than the usual 60Hz for the bit of gaming I do.

    My questions...
    When I see a monitor (for example) listed as 144Hz and Freesync compatible, does that mean only AMD Freesync cards can achieve the 144Hz or does that mean all capable cards can reach the 144Hz ?

    I know the Freesync cards would have more benefits like less tearing, ghosting, etc (according to what I read), but what I don't know is if the Nvidia cards can even reach the 144Hz.

    Also, I assume that, if the above is possible, 144Hz is based on lower quality game settings for the Nvidia cards but not so much for the AMD cards ?

    Bonus answers...
    1) I have read 75Hz is "a lot" better than 60Hz (I am used to 60Hz BTW), but should I try to reach at least 100Hz or more to make it worth it ?

    2) Is a VA panel worth considering if I desire IPS? (I have nowhere to go to see these next to each other and compare).

    Trying hard to stay under $400 and it hasn't been easy research... and of course G-Sync is out of reach.

    Info, if it matters...
    I use a Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB and am looking for probably a 27" or 28" monitor.

    Thank you very much.
  2. gillmanjr

    gillmanjr Member

    No, all capable cards can reach the full advertised refresh rate of any monitor. So yes, you can have an nVidia card with a 144 Hz Freesync monitor and still get to 144 Hz. Now, if the monitor is capable of being overclocked to higher refresh rates, that MIGHT require a matching GPU, but not necessarily. Frankly though, if you are looking at 2560x1440 at 144 Hz, overclocking is not necessary anyway. And FYI, a GTX 1060 is never going to achieve 144 Hz at 1440p. I don't know all these benchmarks off the top of my head but I doubt a 1060 will even get to 100 Hz in 1440p gaming.

    No this is not correct. The Freesync and G-Sync technologies do not allow the graphics cards to achieve higher refresh rates than they otherwise would. In other words, whether the monitor is Freesync or G-Sync, your graphics card (and PC) are going to achieve roughly the same frames no matter what brand of GPU you have. The only thing that Freesync and G-Sync do are match the frame rates from the GPU to the monitor to reduce or eliminate tearing, studdering, etc. This is only applicable down to a minimum frame rate, however. You have to pay attention to the Freesync and G-Sync range for the particular monitor. Some Freesync monitors only work from like 45-75 Hz, for example. Outside that range and you don't get the benefit.

    This is subjective and really depends on what kinds of games you play. But in general you will notice the difference between 60-75, 75-100, and 100-120. Beyond that, who knows.

    If you do mostly photo or video editing, than NO, you should not consider a VA panel over an IPS. I wouldn't consider a VA over an IPS for gaming either.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  3. Tin Tin

    Tin Tin New Member

    Exactly what I was looking for, thank you.

    Ok, this is also something I was wanting to find out. Not sure how I do this, aside from looking up benchmarks possibly ?
    Is there another way ?

    Edit: I just saw this at a site called Tweaktown...

    NVIDIA really hit the mid-range champion spot with the GeForce GTX 1060, and for its price point, you're only going to buy the GTX 1060 for 1080p gaming. I wouldn't recommend a GTX 1060 for 1440p or 4K gaming, but rather the GTX 1070 for anything at 1440p - and really, GTX 1080/GTX 1080 Ti for 1440p @ 100Hz or higher.

    This is disappointing. I assumed too much.
    I wonder if that means I have to change the resolution when going from photography to games, or just settle for lesser quality settings. Guess I won't really know until I get the monitor.

    Understood. Thank you.

    Thank you very much for your help.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  4. gillmanjr

    gillmanjr Member

    I just did a comparison on UserBenchmark of the GTX 1060 vs the card I have (Radeon R9 390) to give you an idea. Actually those two cards are comparable in terms of performance, if anything the 1060 is slightly better. Since I game at 1440p I can tell you that you can do it but you will rarely get more than 60 FPS unless you are playing an old game. For most recent AAA games, you would have to play on the medium graphics settings just to maintain over 40 FPS consistently. So its possible to game at 1440p but you'll have to sacrifice graphics settings, either that or change it to 1080p. In fact I just upgraded to an RTX 2080 because my card is getting a little sluggish now. Waiting for it to arrive in the mail.

    To stay within your budget there is really nothing else you can do. You need the 1070 or higher for "real" 1440p gaming and there is really no AMD card significantly better than the 1060 other than the Vega cards. I suppose you could get an RX 580 (which are cheap, less than $200) and a 1440p Freesync monitor. This would probably improve the gaming experience overall but getting both of those for $400 or less would be extremely difficult. You'd have to buy both used, but it might actually be possible.
  5. Tin Tin

    Tin Tin New Member

    Again, thank you for all the useful information.
    I think for me the image quality of a 1440 IPS is higher priority than the faster refresh rate. I'm not what most would call a "gamer" I just play some FPS like the ones I mentioned in the beginning and really can't complain about the performance I've had on my 1080p Acer with 60Hz. Would I like 100-144 FPS ? of course... but because I have trouble justifying $500+ for a monitor the one thing I would sacrifice is refresh rate. Especially since you pointed out my current GPU isn't likely to utilize it anyway.

    I just bought an AS Rock Phantom RX570 for my son's computer and considered swapping it if Freesync would really be worth it for me. The monitor he will be inheriting doesn't have Freesync anyway. But it probably isn't going to be much of an improvement over my 1060.

    Gilman, thank you very much for the education!
    Very much appreciated.
  6. Darren

    Darren Moderator Staff Member

    570 is slower than a 1060, don't downgrade for FreeSync.

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