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Frames Per Second and Refresh Rates

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

Sometimes we get so excited about the technology we forget what it really does. If you go on to Youtube or any game review website, you're going to find a common benchmark theme- they all post FPS counts for your favorite games. They boost your confidence that you are going to buy the very best your money can afford, but what do those numbers really mean?

FPS seems easy enough, it means frames per second. It is simply a number boasting how many frames your GPU can push out while rendering your favorite games at the settings of your choice. As a general rule the the more FPS the better, but FPS is only half the story. What's not talked about during these game and GPU reviews is the refresh rate. The refresh rate has nothing to do with your GPU and ironically even if you do get a GPU that can push 120FPS, you will never see all 120FPS. Its a choke point that people give little thought to. The refresh rate is the rate that your monitor can display a change in frames. The typical monitor is 60Hz, meaning that your monitor displays changes 60 times a second. Its easier to think of FPS and Hz as the same thing, a refresh rate.

Long story short, if you're going to spend some money upgrading the graphics card, spend some extra money on getting a monitor that can keep up with it, or maybe consider buying a graphics card that pushes out fewer frames per second and saves you some money. Computers are complicated, but know what you want and purchase what you need.

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