Glossary

Refresh rate

Refresh rate© 2020 Gorodenkoff / shutterstock.com

What is a refresh rate?

The refresh rate is the number of times in a second that a monitor updates itself and shows a new image.

Refresh rate is expressed in hertz, so a refresh rate of 75 means the image is refreshed 75 times in a second. Refresh rate is most commonly used as a factor in comparing TVs and computer monitors, but it’s also relevant to smartphones and tablets.

How do you check a monitor’s refresh rate?

If you’ve recently taken a look at the specs for top TVs, you’ll notice that they are often marketed with the numbers 240Hz or 240Hz. This is the refresh rate. Because energy in the United States runs at a rate of 60Hz, the refresh rate for a monitor or TV screen was traditionally 60Hz. However, with the introduction of LCD TVs, this changed. They were now able to refresh images at rates of 120Hz and 240Hz.

When it comes to the refresh rate of phones, most phones have a refresh rate of 60Hz, but newer phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and the Asus ROG Phone II now have displays with up to a 120Hz refresh rate. Laptop screens are similar, with most functioning well at a refresh rate of 60Hz. However, gaming laptops and computers sometimes come with refresh rates of 120Hz for increasing motion resolution.

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