March 12th, 2003, 01:45 AM
Langalist Nails Refresh Rates
5) What's the "Best" Monitor Refresh Rate?
Hi Fred. I would like to know what is the best setting for
your monitor for refresh rate...I heard on TV that the higher
the setting the better for your eyes ..every time I change
color settings or some other things my monitor always sets
it's self on optimal...does this mean this is the best
setting? I have been running mine on 85 so I wanted to run it
on the best for my eyes...I'm not worried about wear and tear
on the monitor as my eyes are the most important of all
Higher refresh rates are easier on the eyes, up to a point. But beyond
that point--- which can vary from monitor to monitor and from user to
user--- going even higher doesn't really gain you anything perceptible
in eyestrain-inducing areas such as improved clarity or reduced
And higher refresh rates do consume more horsepower: Your monitor has a
fixed number of pixels for any given resolution (800x600 = 480,000
pixels; 1024x768 = 786,432 pixels; 1280x1024 = 1,310,720 pixels; etc.)
and each pixel is made up of three colors (red, green, blue) whose
intensity must be set independently and individually. Now take all
and multiply it by the refresh rate--- the number of times per second
the screen is entirely redrawn, pixel by pixel, from top to bottom---
and you can see that there's an enormous amount of data being pumped
by your video card every second. The higher the refresh rate, the
greater the amount of data the video card must generate.
(As an aside: At some combination of high refresh rate, deep color
depth, and high resolution, the video card will reach its maximum
bandwidth. Then, if you want to go higher in any one setting, you'll
have to scale back at least one other setting, so the card can stay
within its available capacity. This is why your video controls may not
allow some combinations of refresh rates, color depths, and
-- they're simply beyond the card's capacity.)
In PCs with "integrated" video, the main CPU may actually do most or
of the heavy lifting of calculating the video data and pumping it out
the monitor. At high refresh/color/resolutions, the CPU may be so busy
painting the screen that the rest of the system bogs down and becomes
In PCs with stand-alone video cards, a separate, dedicated processor
(called a video coprocessor) may take over some or most of the
burden from the main CPU, delaying the point at which system slowdown
sets in. Here, high refresh/color/resolutions may exact a toll either
the video subsystem itself (video may become choppy, for example) or
system as a whole may start to slow down, or both.
Finding the "best" settings involves tradeoffs. Gamers need their
screens to redraw fast to keep up with rapid gameplay; resolution and
color depth are less important. Digital artists need maximum resolution
and color depth; if the screen's a little slow to update, so what?
Office-type users (email, word processing, web browsing, etc.) need
crisp text, good colors, and a rock-steady, flicker-free image to avoid
eyestrain over long hours of use.
I'm typing this on a high-quality Trinitron-style monitor. In theory,
the monitor can handle up to 2048x1536 resolution--- but to support
many pixels, my video card would drop to a flickery, headache-inducing
60Hz refresh rate. Alternately, in theory, my video card can go to a
blazing 240Hz refresh rate--- but at that speed can only handle 800x600
pixels, which is too low for my tastes. Again, it's all trade offs.
So what I use is this: 1280x1024 resolution, 16 bit color, and a 75Hz
refresh. I have crisp text, good colors, a rock-steady flicker-free
image, and minimal impact on system performance. For me, this is the
(BTW: At 1280x1024pixels x 16 bit color, my monitor and video card will
allow me to go as high as a 170Hz refresh rate. I've tried it, and many
other available rates, but I honestly see no improvement at all over
what I get at 75Hz on this system.)
Bottom line: If an 85Hz refresh rates looks good to you, leave it.
There's no need to go higher. In fact, depending on your visual acuity,
your monitor and the "persistence" of its phosphor, you may be able to
go down to 75, 72, or even 70 with no flicker. (LCD-type monitors can
often go even lower and still remain flicker-free.)
In short: use whatever looks crisp, colorful, flicker-free and stable
you: Ultra-high settings may be good for special purposes, but for
uses, why max everything out if there's no perceptible benefit?
March 12th, 2003, 19:27 PM
When i was younger i used to produce my own animated films.
And one fact i remember reading about in several animation books is that the ideal refresh rate for the average human eye is 72-75hz.Anything above that figure is generally not noticeable or beneficial.
March 12th, 2003, 21:16 PM
Let me guess, you are the creator of 'Wallace and Gromit'. Amazing.