Is it worthwhile to invest in a 240Hz gaming monitor, and is it a significant improvement over a 144Hz monitor? In this article, we’ll go over refresh rates and provide an answer to that specific question.
The human eye has a difficult time distinguishing between 144 Hz and 240 Hz frequencies when they are close together.
The average person will not be interested in 240Hz monitors, but if you can tell the difference and find that it helps you perform better in games or simply makes them more enjoyable, then investing in a 240Hz monitor will be well worth it.
If not, a 144Hz monitor can provide you with all of the additional performance you require, most likely at a more affordable price and/or while providing you with better visuals on top of it.
Soon after 144Hz monitors became widely available, the industry began to push the performance of monitors even further.
Before anyone knew it, monitors with 144Hz refresh rates had become commonplace, and 240Hz was the new benchmark for performance-oriented gamers. However, even these high-end monitors will not be able to maintain their position for long, as there are already a few 360Hz options available on the market today.
Nonetheless, in this article, we will concentrate on answering the question posed in the title: is a 240Hz monitor still worthwhile for gaming in 2021?
We will consider factors such as performance, pricing, and other factors, but we will also compare how a 240Hz monitor compares to a 144Hz monitor.
What Are Refresh Rates and How Do They Work?
Before we get started, let’s quickly review the fundamentals for those who are unfamiliar with the subject. I’m not sure what a refresh rate is, or what it represents.
To put it another way, the refresh rate of a monitor (measured in Hertz) determines how many frames can be displayed in one second. In other words, the refresh rate is directly proportional to the maximum frame rate that the monitor is capable of displaying in real-time.
Although the monitor does not prevent your graphics card from rendering as many frames as it is capable of, it is simply unable to display all of the additional frames that are added on top of the maximum number of frames that can be displayed by the monitor’s refresh rate.
In general, as you are probably aware, the average monitor has a refresh rate of 60Hz, although the majority of gaming monitors are currently equipped with 144Hz refresh rates as standard. However, as previously stated, many new monitors have refresh rates of 240Hz or higher, and a few of the most recent models have refresh rates as high as 360Hz.
We will now look at the specific advantages and disadvantages of monitors with such high refresh rates, as well as the general pros and cons of such monitors.
240Hz Monitors Have a Number of Advantages
As a result, given that the refresh rate is the most important factor determining the maximum number of frames per second that can be displayed by a monitor, the advantages of high refresh rates are essentially the same as the advantages of high framerates.
To conclude, the following are the two primary benefits of high refresh rates: increased performance and reduced lag.
A more fluid gaming experience, enhanced responsiveness, and reduced motion blur are all part of the package.
In competitive multiplayer, there is the possibility of slightly faster reaction times.
Naturally, these are two extremely valuable advantages for many gamers, particularly those who prefer competitive multiplayer, where a split second can mean the difference between winning and losing a match. High refresh rates, on the other hand, have some disadvantages, which we’ll go over in greater detail below.
Aspects of 240Hz monitors that are disadvantageous
To achieve such high refresh rates, as is the case with 144Hz monitors, 240Hz monitors must make some sacrifices in order to achieve them. First and foremost, we need to consider the panel technology.
Because of their affordability and excellent performance, TN panels continue to account for a significant portion of the available 240Hz gaming monitors, despite their declining popularity. This is due to the fact that TN panels offer both fast refresh rates and fast response times.
However, because this particular panel technology is commonly associated with subpar colour reproduction and poor viewing angles, purchasing a TN-equipped monitor usually entails sacrificing visuals in exchange for improved performance.
For example, one reason why traditional thin film transistor (TN) panels are waning in popularity is that in-plane switching (IPS) panels have largely caught up and are performing significantly better than they did only a few years ago. The bottom line is that they provide significantly better colours and viewing angles, while also becoming more affordable, even when it comes to 240Hz monitors and higher resolutions.
However, not all IPS panels are created equal, and while there are some reasonably priced 240Hz IPS monitors available, you would be better off spending a little more money if you want a monitor that is capable on both the performance and the visuals fronts, as described above.
Finally, we have VA panels, which are able to find a sort of middle ground in all of these situations. Color reproduction and viewing angles are superior to those of TN panels, though this panel technology is known for having issues with ghosting and high response times, which is why 240Hz VA monitors aren’t as popular as their IPS equivalents.
And, of course, there’s the issue of actual framerates to consider as well. As previously stated, there is no denying that higher framerates result in a more fluid and responsive gaming experience; however, there are still some factors to consider in this situation.
First and foremost, the higher the framerates are raised, the more difficult it is for the human eye to distinguish between them.
While distinguishing between 30 and 60 frames per second, as well as between 60 and 144 frames per second, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between 144 and 240 frames per second. Granted, it’s a significant increase in performance, but as you can see in the video above, most people are unable to tell the difference unless they are directly comparing a 240Hz monitor to a 144Hz monitor side by side.
On top of that, there’s the issue of resolution: the vast majority of 240Hz monitors are still 1080p, so purchasing one would almost certainly imply that you’d be sacrificing visuals for the sake of performance.
To be sure, some gamers would prefer more frames over more pixels any day of the week, while others would not consider the performance boost to be worth the increased visual fidelity afforded by 1440p or 4K resolution, respectively.
Even though high-quality and affordable 240Hz monitors are available, they tend to be more expensive. Consequently, depending on your priorities, a 144Hz 1440p monitor or even a 60Hz 4K monitor may be a better fit for your needs.
Finally, there’s the fact that you’d need a graphics card that was capable of pushing such high framerates to make this possible.
Even with a budget or mid-range GPU, it is possible to achieve a triple-digit framerate in eSports games. However, the more demanding AAA titles are a different storey, and trading resolution for performance in these games may not be a good idea depending on what you are playing and how powerful your hardware is.
Conclusion – Is a 240Hz monitor a good investment for gaming purposes?
After taking all of this into consideration, we return to the original question: is a 240Hz monitor worth the money, and does it provide a significant advantage in gaming?
First and foremost, you must answer the fundamental question: do you place greater emphasis on performance over visuals? No monitor can ever be considered perfect, and achieving anything close to that level of perfection would come at a significant financial cost as well.
If you prefer the fluidity of high refresh rates to the clarity provided by higher resolutions, and if your GPU is capable of achieving these high refresh rates in the games that you primarily play, then a 240Hz monitor may be well worth the extra money you spend.
However, we believe that a 144Hz monitor would be a better fit for the vast majority of people in this situation. Because it would be more affordable if you are working with a limited budget, and because it would provide an excellent middle-of-the-road experience in terms of both visuals and performance, a 144Hz 1440p monitor would be a great choice.
But, of course, every gamer must answer this question for himself or herself, and if you have the opportunity to test out a 240Hz monitor in person, all the better.
No matter what you choose, be sure to check out this buying guide for a list of the best gaming monitors currently on the market. No matter what you’re looking for in terms of refresh rate, resolution, or panel type, you’ll almost certainly find some excellent options there.