Modern gaming can be a pretty complicated business, if you start digging below the surface. There is a great deal of powerful hardware involved, after all, and if picking that hardware apart a person can get quickly overwhelmed by the foreign sounding terminology. For the most part a casual video game player doesn’t need to understand these terms, and can simply put on a game and start playing it. But, if you like to consider yourself a hardcore gamer, you likely play on PC, where these terms start becoming a bit more important.
One term that might have come up, and takes a bit of explaining, is refresh rate, which refers to the rate at which a monitor or television refreshes per second. Most televisions have a 120Hz, or 60Hz, refresh rate, which is more than adequate for consoles displaying modern video games. But in the world of PC gaming refresh rate plays a major role, and can mean the difference between a game displaying correctly, or looking like a bit of torn up mess.
Let’s take a closer look at refresh rate, how it works, and how to effects gaming.
Refreshes Per Second
Refresh rate and frames per second are very closely linked. A display, such as a monitor, has a native refresh rate that it operates by. If that refresh rate is 60Hz it means that the screen is refreshing the image 60 times per second. This is so fast that the human eye cannot possibly tell where one frame ends, and another replaces it, which is the intended purpose. But how is this different from frames per second?
A graphics card in a computer can construct images of a game at a certain rate, and display those frames on the screen. This is referred to as the frames per second of the game. The more demanding the game, and the more visually complex, the harder the load on the graphics card, which can reduce the frames per second the graphics card is able to construct. A simple rule is that the more visually impressive the game, the more demanding it is, and the less frames the graphics card can create.
How does refresh rate work into this?
Mismatched Display Rates
If the graphics card is sending more frames to the monitor that that monitors refresh rate, problems arise. After all, if the feed to the monitor is 120 frames per second, for example, and the display has a refresh rate of only 60Hz, where are the extra frames going? We have an unsynchronised mess.
V-tearing is a term used to describe this lack of synchronicity between the graphics card and monitor, and looks as if two separate, unaligned frames are occupying the top and bottom half of the screen. This because two frames, or more, are attempting to occupy the same space. It’s not a very pretty sight, although the game will still be playable.
Having this problem? Don’t worry, it’s easily solved, and it won’t affect the online slots Canada has to offer either! Turn on the V-sync option in the game’s graphics settings. This solution will work, but may result in the game feeling slightly more sluggish. Solve the problem for good by buying a monitor with a higher refresh rate.