LCD Encyclopedia

What's the basic performance of a good monitor?

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Update time : 2017-06-20 10:54:58

Monitor performance specs are based on rates for frames and pixels—the faster the better for both. More frames per second means smoother-looking graphics. Pixels that change color faster offer more dazzle when viewing animated digital imagery. The relationship between system and monitor hardware is critical, which is why retailers assemble package deals for monitors and GPUs.


Frame Rate is achieved by your system — it is the number of times per second new images are displayed to give the illusion of animation, denoted by frames per second (fps). The higher the frame rate, the smoother the look. If your system is underpowered for the software, you get a choppy strobing effect. AMD and NVIDIA video cards correct this to an extent using Adaptive Vsync settings.

What is considered a good frame rate for PC gaming? 30 fps is on par with gaming console graphics; 60 fps is the solid standard for PC games; 100+ fps is elite status.

System requirements for gaming at 1080p @ 60 fps varies by game – but a decent baseline for reference is 16 GB of system memory; fourth generation Intel Core i5 or AMD FX-8300 CPU or better; GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon R9 or better.

Vertical Refresh Rate is achieved by your monitor — this is the number of times per second pixels can change color (not hue). Frequency is measured in hertz (Hz). Just like fps, the solid 60 Hz prevails for good gaming monitors. Ideally, a high end system capable of 60+ fps is hooked up to a 144 Hz monitor.

What if the monitor underperforms the system? If the Frame Rate outpaces the Refresh Rate, screen tearing and stutter decrease the user experience. Monitors are able to correct for discrepancy if equipped with adaptive syncing technology like FreeSync (AMD) and G-Sync (NVIDIA) – these are standard monitor features.

Response Time is about your LCD panel and backlight – which provides ‘crispness’ of moving images by adding saturation and shadowing—the backlighting effects. A 60 Hz monitor shows one new frame once every 17 milliseconds, but the light behind the screen is even faster—blinking light to dark in under 5 milliseconds. In turn, a pixel changes hue faster that it changes color; and the eye interprets this as sharp animation. But if you notice a “ghosting” effect for images moving on screen, that is likely due to monitor Response Time not keeping up.

Alternate resolution gameplay is the last resort – first try dialing back on shadowing, anti-aliasing or other features. Stay within the aspect ratio (go from 1080p to 765p says at 16:9) to maximize performance.
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