When it comes to enhancing your digital experience, few factors are as crucial as the refresh rate of your monitor. This often-overlooked aspect plays a pivotal role in determining how you perceive motion and clarity on your screens, affecting everything from casual browsing to high-stakes gaming. Whether you’re a professional gamer, a video editor, or someone who enjoys crisp and fluid visuals, understanding the significance of the most common refresh rates—60Hz, 75Hz, 144Hz, and 240Hz—is essential. Explore why refresh rate matters in this article, and how it affects your digital interactions.

What is refresh rate and why should you care?

Refresh rate, measured in hertz (Hz), refers to the number of times per second that a display updates its image. It’s a critical factor in determining the smoothness of on-screen motion. A higher refresh rate means the image is updated more frequently, leading to a smoother, less choppy viewing experience.

Why should you care about refresh rate? For starters, a higher refresh rate can reduce eye strain and make long periods of screen time more comfortable. In fast-paced gaming or high-speed video, it can mean the difference between a seamless experience and one plagued by motion blur or screen tearing.

Comparing 60Hz, 75 Hz, 144Hz, and 240Hz

Understanding the differences between the common standards: 60Hz, 75Hz, 144Hz, and 240Hz is important when it comes to choosing the right monitor for you. Each of these figures represents a distinct level of performance, impacting how smoothly images transition on your screen. This section will compare these four refresh rates, highlighting their advantages and ideal use-cases.

60Hz monitors: The standard choice

60Hz monitors represent the most common refresh rate standard in the market. This level of refresh rate is perfectly adequate for everyday tasks such as browsing the internet, word processing, and watching standard definition videos. However, while 60Hz provides a decent experience for the average user, its limitations become apparent in scenarios that demand high-speed visuals, such as advanced gaming or professional video editing, where motion may appear less smooth.

Best use case: Ideal for general computing tasks, such as web browsing, office work, and watching standard-definition videos.

75Hz monitors: A step up for enhanced clarity

75Hz monitors offer a subtle yet noticeable improvement over the standard 60Hz, especially in scenarios where screen content changes rapidly. This slight increase in refresh rate can reduce eye strain and provide a smoother visual experience for everyday use. While not as high-performance as 144Hz or 240Hz monitors, 75Hz displays strike a balance between affordability and enhanced performance, making them a great entry point for those seeking a better than standard experience.

Best use case: A great choice for casual users seeking a slightly smoother experience without a significant investment.

144Hz monitors: The balanced choice for gamers and professionals

A significant leap from lower refresh rates, 144Hz monitors update the screen 144 times per second. This refresh rate is particularly favoured by gamers and professionals who require more fluidity in motion at an accessible price tag. At 144Hz, motion blur is significantly reduced compared to 60Hz, offering a smoother and more responsive experience. This can be particularly beneficial in fast-paced games or when working with high-speed video content, where precision and smooth motion are key.

Best use case: Perfect for intermediate-level gaming and professional creative work like graphic design and video editing.

240Hz monitors: The ultra-smooth option for competitive edge

240Hz monitors are at the forefront of refresh rate technology, offering the smoothest and most fluid visual experience currently available. This ultra-high refresh rate is particularly advantageous for competitive gamers and professionals who require the utmost precision and the least amount of motion blur. While the difference between 144Hz and 240Hz might not be as pronounced as the jump from 60Hz to 144Hz, it still provides a noticeable improvement. These monitors are ideal for scenarios where every millisecond counts.

Best use case: Tailored for competitive gaming and high-speed professional applications, where precision and response time are critical.

Which refresh rate is right for your needs?

To decide which refresh rate is the best fit for you, think about your individual needs and usage patterns. Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

Consider your primary activities

  • General use and office work: If your daily activities mostly involve web browsing, document editing, and watching standard videos, a 60Hz monitor is more than sufficient. It offers a good balance of performance and cost-effectiveness for these tasks.
  • Gaming and multimedia: If you are an avid gamer, especially in genres that require quick reflexes like first-person shooters or racing games, a 144Hz monitor can greatly enhance your experience. Similarly, if you enjoy watching high-definition videos or are into light video editing, the smoother motion of a 144Hz monitor is beneficial.
  • Competitive gaming and professional video editing: For those who participate in high-level competitive gaming or work in fields requiring the utmost precision in motion handling, such as professional video editing or animation, a 240Hz monitor is the way to go. The ultra-high refresh rate will provide the smoothest experience with minimal motion blur and latency.

Assess your hardware compatibility

  • Graphics card performance: Ensure that your computer’s graphics card can support higher refresh rates, especially if you’re considering a 144Hz or 240Hz monitor. Higher refresh rates demand more from your GPU, so it’s crucial to have a setup that can keep up.
  • Connectivity options: Check the ports and cables you have. For instance, older HDMI versions might not support higher refresh rates at higher resolutions. Ensure that your monitor and computer support compatible standards like HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2 and above for 144Hz and 240Hz displays.


  • Long-term use: If you plan to keep your monitor for several years, consider opting for a higher refresh rate than you currently need. This can be a wise choice for future-proofing, especially as more content and games are optimized for higher refresh rates.

How to check and adjust your monitor’s refresh rate

To check your monitor’s refresh rate, you can usually find this information in the display settings of your operating system. For Windows, you can navigate to Settings > System > Display > Advanced display settings. For macOS, it’s in System Preferences > Displays.

Adjusting the refresh rate

If you have a monitor that supports higher refresh rates, ensure it’s set to its maximum capability for the best experience. This adjustment is also done through the display settings on your computer. However, remember that your graphics card and cable type (HDMI, DisplayPort, etc.) must also support the higher refresh rate.

Find the right monitor for you at Best Buy

Understanding and choosing the right refresh rate is crucial for optimizing your digital experience. Whether it’s for gaming, professional video work, or just a smoother viewing experience, considering the refresh rate when purchasing a monitor can make a significant difference. The evolution from 60Hz to 240Hz displays marks a remarkable advancement in display technology, offering options for every need and preference. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother your screen time will be.

Shop a wide selection of monitors at Best Buy.

This article was drafted using AI technology and then reviewed, fact-checked, and revised by a member of our editorial team.

Best Buy (assisted with AI)
Best Buy is exploring ways to use AI technology to help us craft engaging content for our customers and fellow tech enthusiasts. It is important to us that we provide you with articles that are timely, accurate, and helpful, which is why our amazing team of writers and editors review, fact-check, and revise any AI-generated content before we post it on our blog. Learn more about our Policy on the Use of Generative AI Content.


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