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Ctrl+Alt+Delete: 500Hz displays are a pointless luxurious



Throughout Computex 2022 this week, Asus and Nvidia partnered as much as announce the world’s very first 500Hz gaming monitor. 

For these unfamiliar with refresh charges, this implies the upcoming Asus ROG Swift monitor is able to producing 500 pictures per second, leading to fantastically easy movement.

Consider it like a flipbook – in case you’re turning the pages slowly to see an animation of a person strolling, it’ll look robotic and static. Flick via the pages at a larger pace, and also you’ll get extra fluid movement, which seems to be considerably extra pure.

After all, animations look fairly easy to the bare eye on 60Hz screens, which is the bottom refresh price you’ll possible discover on any monitor or TV lately. However bumping up the refresh price can even have a serious impression in your gaming efficiency, making it simpler so that you can hit the goal in a first-person shooter and even allow you to completely time a roll throughout an Elden Ring boss battle. 

Because of this, gaming monitor producers have been making an attempt to push the refresh up as excessive as doable in recent times, as there’s an enormous market within the eSports area, in addition to these keen to take a position cash into bettering their kill/demise ratio on the likes of Fortnite and Apex Legends. 

Earlier than this week, the quickest gaming monitor you could possibly discover had a 360Hz refresh price. Such displays have area of interest enchantment, as a result of they’ve bank-depleting costs and in addition are solely viable to those that had high-end graphics playing cards able to producing sufficient frames per second to truly benefit from the monitor’s speeds. Besides, there was nonetheless a marketplace for 360Hz displays within the eSports area. 

However 500Hz displays? I personally suppose that’s a step too far. I can perceive that Asus and Nvidia need to push innovation to its restrict, and the PC gaming crowd is at all times clamouring for sooner speeds and better figures, however we’re attending to the purpose that there isn’t actually any GPU on the market that’s highly effective sufficient to make a 500hz monitor worthwhile. 

We reviewed the Nvidia RTX 3080 again in 2020, which is among the quickest graphics playing cards you possibly can at the moment purchase. However regardless of flaunting some spectacular benchmark outcomes, it not often managed to surpass the 250fps mark for any of the video games we had on check at a 1080p decision. 

The one exception was Doom Everlasting, which is sensible because it’s splendidly optimsed and never very intensive on PC {hardware}. However even that recreation solely noticed a median efficiency of 385fps in 1080p, which is way from the required variety of frames to take advantage of out of a 500Hz monitor. 

After all, the massive elephant within the room right here is that AMD and Nvidia are each trying to launch their subsequent era of graphics playing cards (Nvidia 4000 Sequence and AMD RDNA 3) earlier than the top of the yr. We at the moment do not know what sort of efficiency upgrades these GPUs will supply, so it’s actually doable that they’ll be capable of push the body price nearer to 500fps for eSports-grade video games reminiscent of Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege and Valorant

However even then, would leaping up from 360Hz to 500Hz actually make that a lot of a distinction? The extra frames you add, the much less noticeable the distinction is – it could be very troublesome to inform the distinction with simply the bare eye. 

Nvidia argues that boosting the refresh price as much as 500Hz does make an enormous distinction, and you’ll see their video beneath which argues the case. However I do discover it fascinating that Nvidia selected to make use of a 144Hz show for comparability, slightly than a 360Hz monitor. 

It’s vital for me to acknowledge that I’ve not seen a 500Hz monitor in individual simply but, so I could be proved improper after I lastly get one in for testing. However my instincts inform me that 500Hz displays received’t be the game-changing improve that Nvidia insists it to be. This appears to be merely a advertising ploy to impress players with new world data. 

There’s nothing improper with doing so, however in case you’re searching for a top-end gaming monitor, I critically advocate avoiding a 500Hz refresh price – you’ll possible get simply nearly as good of a efficiency out of a 360Hz monitor, however at a fraction of the fee.


Ctrl+Alt+Delete is our weekly computing-focussed opinion column the place we delve deeper into the world of computer systems, laptops, parts, peripherals and extra. Discover it on Trusted Opinions each Saturday afternoon. 

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