Computer Monitors – Is Higher Resolution Better? Part 2May 2, 2020
Resolution Kills Frame Rate
Frame Rate is the number of still images that are cycled through your monitor or TV each second commonly called Frames Per Second or just FPS. The eye and mind work together to perceive motion at about 30 FPS. However that simple explanation has led to a lot of myths about only needing 30 FPS while vastly understating the complexity of human sight and perception. Higher FPS does have a lot of benefits and studies have shown that people can perceive and identify things as high as 220 FPS. Most TV and Movie film is done at 24 FPS and 30 FPS is considered the minimum acceptable FPS for gaming so most consoles are built to run at exactly that but most computer monitors run at 65hz refresh rate which is 65 FPS. New monitors are coming out that can run at over 200hz. The benefits of higher frame rates include smoother game play and help competitive gamers reduce their reaction time by shortening target identification time. The more frames you can get the better! However gaming in 4k will ruin your frame rate.
How does resolution play into frame rate? Each frame has to be rendered. It takes twice as much power to render 60 FPS as it does 30 FPS and that makes sense right? A 1080p frame is 2,073,600 individual pixels but a 4K frame is 8,294,400 pixels which is exactly 4 times more than 1080p and requires 4 times the graphics and computing power to render each frame. In part 1 of this series we learned you probably can’t even see all the pixels you are looking at if you have a 4k monitor and now you are either losing frame rate for pixels you can’t see. Even worse is if you have a gaming monitor with 144hz or 200hz you are not going to get anywhere near those refresh rates even with the best gear on the market! Even a $1200 Nvidia Titan X on a top of the line gaming build averages around 60 FPS in 4K.
So now you have pixels you probably can’t see that are reducing your FPS, unless you spend a fortune on hardware to get higher FPS for pixels you probably can’t see, which could also keep you from getting the most out of your expensive high refresh rate 4K monitor if you purchase on of those.