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60 Hz vs 75 Hz Refresh Rates – What’s the Difference?

When comparing 60 Hz vs 75 Hz refresh rates, the answer is quite clear: 75 Hz is better. A refresh rate measures how many times a screen can update in one second. Higher refresh rates are associated with better video quality, reduced eye strain, and even improved gaming experiences. And while 60 Hz has been the bare minimum for decades, a 75 Hz monitor offers an accessible upgrade. 

Learn more about the difference between 60 Hz and 75 Hz monitors. Or see our recommended 75 Hz monitor here.

What Is Refresh Rate?

Refresh rate measures how many times a display can update the image on the screen. Video is actually a series of still images that change so quickly that they give the illusion of movement. The faster these images change, the smoother the video appears to be. 

A screen’s refresh rate is measured in hertz (Hz), which is a unit of how many times something occurs in one second. Therefore, a refresh rate of 1 Hz shows a new image on the screen every second. A refresh rate of 75 Hz shows 75 separate images in a single second. 

Generally speaking, a higher refresh rate results in smoother and more lifelike video so long as the frames per second match. (Ever wonder how many images per second the eye can process? It turns out it’s up to 500 Hz.)

Refresh Rate vs Frame Rate

If refresh rate is how many images your screen shows per second, then what is frame rate?

Measured in frames-per-second (fps), frame rate also describes how many images get displayed on the screen each second. The difference lies in the source: refresh rate is determined by the display while frame rate is determined by the computer’s processors.

To fully take advantage of a monitor’s high refresh rate, it’s important that the computer’s central processing unit (CPU) and graphic processing unit (GPU) are able to produce enough frames per second. And on the other side, a high-performance graphics card would only go to waste if paired with a monitor with a slower refresh rate. 

You can learn more about the interplay between refresh rate and frame rate here: G-Sync vs Free Sync Explained

Benefits of a Higher Refresh Rate

Sometimes more is just more. When it comes to refresh rates, a higher rate results in smoother video, less strain on the eyes, and even improved performance in competitive gaming. Even if that jump is a modest increase from 60 Hz to 75 Hz, there is a noticeable improvement in media quality.

Smoother Scrolling

So much of modern work deals with viewing and processing data. A smoother display makes a huge difference both in eye health and quickly understanding what’s on screen. A faster refresh rate makes it a much nicer work experience by reducing motion blur in text, graphics, data, and even your cursor.

Clearer Video

Higher refresh rates result in smoother, more realistic on-screen media. More images per second can also significantly reduce motion blur, which can make a huge difference in video quality and gaming experiences. 

So how much better is it to improve from 60 Hz to 75 Hz? It’s 25% better, so you can expect a noticeable improvement in media quality without having to upgrade to a high-performance display. 

Easier on the Eyes

Clearer and more natural motion on screen can go a long way towards better eye health. In fact, at lower refresh rates you may even start to notice a flicker, which can cause a wide range of vision problems and challenges. 

A big part of effective ergonomics – for work and for play – is a high-quality display. A higher refresh rate on your monitor goes a long way towards protecting your eyes. Even a small difference like 60 Hz vs 75 Hz can make a huge difference over time.

Learn more about monitor features that protect your eyes here

Gaming Performance

Though there are monitors specializing in gaming performance, it’s not always possible to get a high-end monitor just for entertainment. However, raising the bar by just 15 Hz can make a world of difference in not only game enjoyment but also performance.

  • Improve motion resolution
  • Reduce ghosting and tearing
  • Better responsiveness

Together these three factors can make games way more fun to play and even improve accuracy in high-paced games. But unless it’s a dedicated gaming rig, even hardcore gamers feel high-performance monitors aren’t strictly necessary for anything but games

Final Thoughts

When it comes to monitor refresh rates, bigger is definitely better. However, 60 Hz represents a bare minimum while anything over 120 Hz is more appropriate to more demanding users. More modest screens with a 75 Hz refresh rate offer a middle ground. 

To see the difference for yourself, check out ViewSonic’s VX76. See a full selection of monitors here.