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Thread: Langalist Nails Refresh Rates

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Apr 2002

    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
    best mix.

    (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?

  2. #2
    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    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.

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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Let me guess, you are the creator of 'Wallace and Gromit'. Amazing.

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