It is difficult for the human eye to notice a difference between 144 Hz and 240 Hz.
As such, 240Hz monitors won’t appeal to the average person, but if you can see the difference and you find that it helps you perform better in games, then a 240Hz monitor will be well worth the expense.
If not, then a 144Hz monitor can offer you all the extra performance that you need, likely at a more approachable price and/or while offering better visuals to boot.
No sooner had 144Hz monitors become mainstream than the industry started pushing the display technology even further.
Before anyone knew it, the monitors with 144Hz refresh rates seemed diminutive compared to the staggering new 240Hz displays that were introduced. Now, not even 240Hz monitors will remain on top of the food chain for long as 360Hz monitors have also arrived.
But in this guide, we will focus on answering the titular question: is a 240Hz monitor worth it?
We will take performance, pricing, and more into account, but we will also see how a 240Hz monitor compares to a 144Hz one.
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What Are Refresh Rates?
Before we get into it, let’s quickly go over the fundamentals, for those who are unaware. What is a refresh rate, and what does it represent?
Essentially, a monitor’s refresh rate (measured in Hertz) determines how many frames it can display each second. That is, the refresh rate directly corresponds to the maximum FPS that the monitor can display in real-time.
Granted, the monitor doesn’t prevent your graphics card from rendering as many frames as it can, it simply cannot display all the extra frames that come on top of the maximum imposed by its refresh rate.
As you probably already know, the average monitor comes with a standard 60 Hz refresh rate, and some gaming monitors push this limit even further. The majority stick with 144 Hz, but some raised the bar to as high as 240 Hz and, recently, even 360 Hz.
And now we will look at the specific advantages and disadvantages of monitors with such high refresh rates.
Advantages Of 240Hz Monitors
Seeing as a refresh rate mainly determines the maximum FPS that can be displayed by a monitor, the advantages of high refresh rates are similar to the advantages of high framerates.
With that said, the following are the two primary upsides of high refresh rates:
- Increased responsiveness and more fluid gaming experience, complete with reduced motion blur
- The potential for slightly better reaction times in competitive multiplayer
Needless to say, these are two very important advantages for many gamers, particularly those tend to focus on competitive multiplayer. However, there are also some drawbacks to high refresh rates, and we’ll go over those below.
Disadvantages Of 240Hz Monitors
As is the case with 144Hz monitors, the 240Hz ones have to make some trade-offs to reach such high refresh rates. First, we should take a look at the panel technology.
Most 240Hz monitors utilize TN panels, and while these are some of the best-performing panels currently available for gaming, they also inevitably come with subpar color reproduction and viewing angles.
Meanwhile, IPS panels with 240Hz refresh rates do offer richer and more accurate colors, and while they are by no means exorbitantly expensive, they do tend to be a fair bit pricier than their TN counterparts.
Finally, there are VA panels with 240Hz refresh rates that sort of find a middle ground in all this. They have better color reproduction than TN panels and tend to more or less match them price-wise, although this panel technology is known to have issues with ghosting, which is why 240Hz VA monitors aren’t very common.
And of course, we have the question of framerates. There is just no denying that higher framerates provide a more fluid and more responsive gaming experience, as already stated above, but there are still some issues to consider here.
First and foremost, the higher the framerates get, the harder it is for the human eye to notice any difference. While it is easy to tell the difference between 30 and 60 FPS, as well as between 60 and 120 FPS, it becomes very difficult to tell apart 120 and 240 FPS. Granted, it’s a big jump in performance, but as you can tell in the video above, many can’t tell the difference unless directly comparing a 240Hz monitor to a 144Hz one.
On top of that, there’s also the fact that the majority of 240Hz monitors are 1080p, meaning that you’d be sacrificing visuals for the sake of performance. Needless to say, some gamers are perfectly fine with this and would take more frames over more pixels any day of the week.
However, considering what we know i.e. the fact that not everyone can actually tell the difference between 144 Hz and 240 Hz, it raises the question: do you really want to limit yourself to a lower resolution by getting a 1080p display in 2020? Granted, 1440p 240Hz displays do exist, but as you might expect, they are quite pricey.
Moreover, there’s always the fact that you’d need a graphics card powerful enough to push such high framerates. While a triple-digit framerate may be quite easy to achieve in eSports games even with a budget or mid-range GPU, the more demanding AAA titles are a different story.
Conclusion – Is A 240Hz Monitor Worth It For Gaming?
And finally, with all of the above in mind, we go back to the original question: is a 240Hz monitor worth the money, and does it offer any tangible advantage in gaming?
First and foremost, you have to answer the key question: do you prioritize performance over visuals? As mentioned above, TN panels are the most popular and most budget-friendly choice when it comes to 240Hz monitors, but they usually don’t look anywhere near as good as IPS or VA panels.
Now, you actually can have your cake and eat it too in this scenario, but as you might expect, you’d need to spend a good buck on a 240Hz IPS monitor. Of course, there’s also the fact that the vast majority of 240Hz monitors also come with a 1080p panel, and the few 1440p models that are currently available are also quite expensive.
That said, for the average person, we’d say that a 144Hz monitor would make for a much better solution, as they tend to be cheaper and offer a better balance between performance and visuals.
But, of course, every gamer needs to answer this question for themselves, and if you can try out a 240Hz monitor first-hand – all the better.
Whatever you decide, check out this buying guide for a list of the best gaming monitors currently available. You will find some good picks there, regardless of which refresh rate or panel type you’re looking for.