Is a 60 Hz monitor is good for gaming? The answer is complicated because there are many other factors to consider. One of those factors is the hardware capabilities of your current computer.
I decided to write this article to make it easier for you to find a monitor that suits you. When you’re done reading this post you’ll know if 60 Hz is right for you.
Remember, the Hertz (Hz) rate represents the number of times the monitor’s screen can refresh in a second. Hz is not the same as frames per second (FPS).
Is a 60 Hz Monitor Good for Gaming?
60 Hz monitors are the most common and they are good for gaming because they can display 60 frames a second.
However, 60 Hz monitors are a little outdated. I only recommend a 60 Hz monitor for gaming if the monitor supports a resolution of 1440P, has a good sRGB color coverage (100%+), and has a low response time.
If you’re going to buy a new monitor, I suggest moving to either 120 Hz or 144 Hz, depending on your budget and hardware.
Having a monitor with a higher refresh rate not only makes animations smoother but your computer also feels more responsive. Nevertheless, there are some situations where it makes sense to stay at 60 Hz, and I’ll cover them below.
Wondering if you should buy a 1440P 60 Hz monitor or 1080P 144 Hz?
What Games Do You Play?
Take a look at your most played games and see if they’ll benefit from a monitor with a high refresh rate. Generally, 60 Hz is good enough for most games because you can see 60 frames a second which has been the standard for a while. 60 Hz monitors are also much cheaper.
For casual games like RPGs, RTS games, and most single-player games, 60 Hz is good enough. I covered this topic in more detail in my 60 Hz vs 144 Hz comparison.
However, if you like to play competitive shooters, a higher refresh rate will give you a slight competitive advantage. The reason for that is the animations will appear much smoother, and you’ll be able to see enemies faster.
You’re also at a disadvantage when you engage with someone who has a 144 Hz monitor when you’re still using a 60 Hz monitor.
If you feel like enemies are able to shoot you before you have a chance to react, chances are they’re using a higher refresh rate monitor. In short, a higher refresh rate monitor will allow you to see enemies sooner than the standard 60 Hz.
Of course, the perceived benefit will depend on the game, how it’s optimized, and the tick-rate of the servers, but in general, a higher refresh rate gives you an advantage.
To summarize, for casual games 60 Hz is good enough. But for competitive shooters, you should upgrade to either 120 Hz or 144 Hz.
Can Your Computer Support Higher Refresh Rates?
Before you make the move to a higher refresh rate, there are some things to consider. The first issue is your computer might not be able to generate enough frames for the monitor to be effective. It would be pointless to buy a 144 Hz monitor when you only get 70 or so frames a second in your game.
To make the most of your new monitor, you want your game’s FPS to be equal to or above the Hz rate of the monitor. Having said that, even if your computer is not fast enough at the moment, buying a high refresh rate monitor is a way to future-proof your setup.
In other words, if your computer doesn’t support it now, maybe a new computer down the line will.
Overclock a 60 Hz Monitor:
An interesting feature I discovered the other day is you can overclock the Hz rate of a 60 Hz monitor. Most of the time, you can overclock a 60 Hz monitor to 74 Hz or even higher, depending on the model. It’s very straightforward and you can try it out.
How to overclock a monitor with an Nvidia Card:
- Right-click on your desktop, and select NVIDIA Control Panel
- Under Display, select Change Resolution
- Under Choose Resolution click on Customise
- Click on Create Custom Resolution
- Bump up the Refresh Rate by one or two a time and hit Test
- If your monitor goes blank, the Hz rate is too high
- Eventually, you’ll find a sweet spot, it’s usually 74 Hz.
Overclocking a 60 Hz monitor is a very easy way to squeeze out some more performance from your monitor. Not every game detects the overclock, but most do, and they should feel a little bit smoother.
Will Upgrading from 60 Hz to 144 Hz Make You a Better Gamer?
Upgrading from 60 Hz to 144 Hz can make you a better gamer because animations will appear much smoother.
However, there are many other factors to consider, such as your aiming accuracy, hardware, audio, and general game sense. Some people feel that it’s easier to get kills in competitive shooters when using 144 Hz vs 60 Hz because everything feels smooth and responsive.
You’ll want to optimize every area of your setup to get the best advantage, even if it’s only a matter of milliseconds. For example, a high refresh rate monitor, a fast internet connection, a mouse with a low response time, and an ultra-fast hard drive (M.2 or SSD).
The Bottom Line:
To summarize, 60 Hz has been the standard for displays for a long time now, and it’s okay for gaming but not the best. If you’re not competitive, staying at 60 Hz and bumping up the resolution is a good option.
But if you want to play competitive shooters, I highly recommend a 144 Hz monitor. Better yet, why not kill two birds with one stone and buy a 1440P 144 Hz monitor?