It’s 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 or just makes them more enjoyable, then a 240Hz monitor will be well worth the expense.
If not, a 144Hz monitor can offer you all the extra performance 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 monitor performance even further.
Before anyone knew it, monitors with 144Hz refresh rates became commonplace and 240Hz was the new goal for performance-oriented gamers, although even they won’t remain on top of the food chain for long, as there is already a handful of 360Hz currently on the market.
However, in this article, we will focus on answering the titular question: is a 240Hz monitor worth it for gaming in 2021?
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 that is imposed by its refresh rate.
As you probably already know, the average monitor comes with a standard 60Hz refresh rate, although most gaming monitors feature 144Hz refresh rates at the moment. But, as mentioned above, many models feature 240Hz refresh rates and a handful of new monitors can go as high as 360Hz.
Now we will look at the specific advantages and disadvantages of monitors with such high refresh rates.
Advantages Of 240Hz Monitors
Considering that the refresh rate mainly determines the maximum FPS that can be displayed by a monitor, the advantages of high refresh rates are essentially the same advantages associated with high framerates.
With that said, the following are the two primary upsides of high refresh rates:
- Increased responsiveness and a 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 who tend to focus on competitive multiplayer, where a split second can make all the difference. 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.
Although TN panels are not as popular as they used to be, they still constitute a good portion of the available 240Hz gaming monitors due to their affordability and great performance, both in terms of refresh rates and response times.
However, this particular panel technology is commonly associated with subpar color reproduction and poor viewing angles, so getting a TN-equipped monitor usually means trading visuals for performance.
Now, one of the reasons behind the TN panel’s fading popularity is the fact that IPS panels have largely caught up and perform much better than they did only a few years ago. Essentially, they offer much better colors and viewing angles, all the while they have also become more affordable, even when it comes to 240Hz monitors.
Still, not all IPS panels are created equal, so while there are affordable 240Hz IPS monitors out there, you would still need to spend a bit more if you intend on getting the “full set”, i.e., a monitor that has you fully covered on both the performance and visuals fronts.
Finally, we have VA panels that sort of find a middle ground in all this. They have better color reproduction and viewing angles than TN panels, although this panel technology is known to have issues with ghosting and high response times, which is why 240Hz VA monitors aren’t as popular as their IPS counterparts.
And of course, we have the question of the actual 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 factors 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 144 FPS, it becomes very difficult to tell apart 144 and 240 FPS. Granted, it’s a big jump in performance, but as you can tell from the video above, many can’t tell the difference unless directly comparing a 240Hz monitor to a 144Hz one side by side.
On top of that, there’s also the matter of resolution—the overwhelming majority of 240Hz monitors are still 1080p, so getting one would likely mean 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, but others wouldn’t find the performance increase to be worth the visual fidelity awarded by 1440p or 4K.
That said, while quality high-resolution 240Hz monitors do exist, they are also more expensive, so a 144Hz 1440p monitor or even a 60Hz 4K monitor might be a better fit for your needs, based on where your priorities lie.
Finally, there’s always the fact that you’d need a graphics card powerful enough to push such high framerates.
While a triple-digit framerate is quite easy to achieve in eSports games with even a budget or a mid-range GPU, the more demanding AAA titles are a different story, so trading resolution for performance there might not make all that much sense, depending on what you play and how powerful your hardware is.
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 a tangible advantage in gaming?
First and foremost, you have to answer the key question: do you prioritize performance over visuals? There is no such thing as a perfect monitor, and getting anywhere close to such a thing would drag along a hefty price tag, too.
If you prefer the fluidity of high refresh rates to the clarity awarded by higher resolutions, and if your GPU can hit these high refresh rates in the games that you mainly play, then a 240Hz could very well be worth it.
However, we’d say that a 144Hz monitor would likely be a better fit for most people. Namely, it would be more affordable if you are on a tight budget, and a 144Hz 1440p monitor would make for a great middle-ground that would have you covered both in terms of visuals and performance.
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’ll certainly find some good picks there, regardless of which refresh rate, resolution, or panel type you’re aiming for.