Computers & Electronics

Monitor Purchase in 2021 - Refresh Rate vs Resolution

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  • May 27th, 2021 12:41 am
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Monitor Purchase in 2021 - Refresh Rate vs Resolution

Hi, hoping for some feedback on what I should do. My work from home setup includes a personal laptop, work laptop, and a monitor. I have limited desk space and was initially running them all beside each other, however, due to limited desk space I could not fit all 3 horizontally while keeping them straight enough (everything is or can be VESA mounted with arms).

My thoughts now are keeping one monitor beside my work laptop to get two screens, and my personal laptop below, and just using the monitor as primary outside of work hours, as I really only NEED two for working.

The below are the two monitors I have so far - it seems at 24 inches I am stuck choosing between 1440p or a refresh rate higher than 75hz. Which of the below two would you pick?

Monitors:
Acer Nitro 24” FHD IPS 1080p 165Hz Gaming Monitor VG240Y Sbmiipx w/built-in Speakers - paid $219 plus tax
Lenovo L24q-30 23.8-inch QHD IPS 1440p 75hz Monitor - paid $175 plus tax

It seems to be suggested that 1440p is more valuable than refresh rate for work-related items, but that gaming may benefit from a higher refresh rate. My personal laptop is this Acer one, if it matters.

Thanks for any recommendations!
22 replies
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Feb 10, 2007
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if you don't game, theres no reason to consider a high refresh rate monitor
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[OP]
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sexyj wrote: if you don't game, theres no reason to consider a high refresh rate monitor
I wouldn't say I game extensively, and certainly nothing new as that would be done on consoles. If I am doing a majority of my time working, using web browsers, and using Excel/Outlook, it seems I might get significantly more utility out of a 1440p monitor, and the 75hz vs 165hz refresh rate would be negligible? Even if used in gaming, is it likely to be a significant difference, or would the difference in resolution be more significant?
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QHD, although on a 24" seems overkill. For me, 27" is minimum for QHD, in order to read text without scaling.

Have you thought about three QHD monitors vertically?
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rabbit wrote: QHD, although on a 24" seems overkill. For me, 27" is minimum for QHD, in order to read text without scaling.
Have you thought about three QHD monitors vertically?
I have been trying the vertical setup and I am not sure I like the up and down - I prefer left and right. I can fit either a laptop and monitor beside each other, with one below, or two monitors beside each other with the laptops below (using only the 2 screens). I really only NEED two screens for work, so one of them would double as a primary monitor with the laptop underneath being primary outside of work hours.

Maybe I am doing it wrong and should do a larger 27 inch monitor with my work laptop beside that as a second screen under the circumstances.
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A 22" FHD and 27" QHD? :)
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24" - stick with 1080p and go with the higher refresh rate if you like

27" - definitely 1440p.

Once you go to a 120hz display, 60hz looks and feels like garbage.
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Avenger wrote: I wouldn't say I game extensively, and certainly nothing new as that would be done on consoles. If I am doing a majority of my time working, using web browsers, and using Excel/Outlook, it seems I might get significantly more utility out of a 1440p monitor, and the 75hz vs 165hz refresh rate would be negligible? Even if used in gaming, is it likely to be a significant difference, or would the difference in resolution be more significant?
If you doing 2d work task, then go with higher resolution lower refresh rate, I think you want 4k and 100Hz+. If you game then get 1440p with 144Hz display. Monitor size would be 30"~40" ultrawide curved depending on how big your desk is.
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Apr 18, 2017
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I went for 1440p 75hz and did t really see what the hype was about. Ended up going for a 1080p 144hz and noticed the refresh rate more than the boost in pixels.
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User131439 wrote: I went for 1440p 75hz and did t really see what the hype was about. Ended up going for a 1080p 144hz and noticed the refresh rate more than the boost in pixels.
For gaming, or for other tasks?
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24" inch monitor - stick with 1080p or 1200p (16:10 monitor)
27 inch QHD - no need for high refresh
32" go for 4K - just need a single (using your laptop as your auxiliary)
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With regards to web browsing and productivity apps, is there a practical difference between 60hz and 75hz?
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Sgt_Strider wrote: With regards to web browsing and productivity apps, is there a practical difference between 60hz and 75hz?
From what I've been reading you'll notice that jump, but not the jump from 75hz to 144hz+. I think part of the issue is a lot of this is subjective.
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For productivity resolution wins every time. High refresh isn't worth it unless you are a hardcore gamer and have the GPU power to actually drive and sustain those pixels at that resolution. It is nice to have super smooth scrolling and window dragging, but apart from being nice to have I can't say it helps productivity any appreciable amount.
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OP, I am in a very similar situation. I bought that same laptop from Amazon. I too am considering the trade-off between higher resolution and higher refresh rate and I too am looking at those monitors. I am inclined to go with the WQHD 24" Lenovo. I think 1080p on a 24" monitor is too low in terms of PPI. I can make out the pixels and it is not a good experience. My previous monitor was a 27" WQHD and I think that is the minimum (in terms of PPI) that gives a decent experience for text. For reference, the display on this Acer laptop is 1080p on only a 15.6" panel. I think this resolution is really nice for text.

Resolution makes less of a difference in games and gamers need to keep the resolution in check because frame rates drop quickly as resolution is increased. For text, resolution is important. Ignore those who think that scaling is not good. It is the other way around: scaling was added to help people use high PPI displays because high PPI displays provide a better experience. Text displayed by scaling on a high PPI display looks really nice and clear. The Lenovo monitor has both a higher PPI and a higher refresh rate than typical/average, so I think it is a good trade-off. If I decide to go for a much higher refresh rate monitor, I will spend the extra money to get one of the 27" WQHD 144Hz or 165Hz monitors.

Be aware that there are a couple of other options with 75Hz refresh rate that have higher PPI than 1080p on 24":
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B088BC5HKF
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01BV1XB2K
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M1K3Z0R wrote: For productivity resolution wins every time. High refresh isn't worth it unless you are a hardcore gamer and have the GPU power to actually drive and sustain those pixels at that resolution. It is nice to have super smooth scrolling and window dragging, but apart from being nice to have I can't say it helps productivity any appreciable amount.
Have you used an iPad Pro with 120hz screen before? It's super smooth and makes for a very nice web browsing experience. 60hz is not quite the same, but when I need a bigger screen, I don't really have a choice so I use my PC from time to time. I just don't know if the 60hz to 75hz is a big enough jump. I can definitely see the difference between 60hz and 120hz.
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For productivity, I find having a big enough monitor also is more important than high refresh rate. Being able to read an entire page without scrolling and also the ability to easily fit multiple sub windows onto the screen (say IDE programs like Visual Studio).

Higher resolution (4K) and a big screen (say 32") gives you a lot more choices to fit your productivity. The other option is ultra wide in widths of 38" and above. That gives you vertical space and lots of horizontal space. But if you are on a budget, one 32" 4K monitor gives you an expansive view without breaking the budget ($400 ish)
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Sgt_Strider wrote: Have you used an iPad Pro with 120hz screen before? It's super smooth and makes for a very nice web browsing experience. 60hz is not quite the same, but when I need a bigger screen, I don't really have a choice so I use my PC from time to time. I just don't know if the 60hz to 75hz is a big enough jump. I can definitely see the difference between 60hz and 120hz.
I have a 12.9 iPad Pro 2020, but I'd rather sacrifice refresh for resolution. I'm not scrolling constantly so the high refresh is wasted. If you are an artist and constantly scrolling, zooming and drawing, the high refresh is nice, but for browsing/reading, it's not noticeable. My work monitor is 32" 4K 60Hz
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warpdrive wrote: I have a 12.9 iPad Pro 2020, but I'd rather sacrifice refresh for resolution. I'm not scrolling constantly so the high refresh is wasted. If you are an artist and constantly scrolling, zooming and drawing, the high refresh is nice, but for browsing/reading, it's not noticeable. My work monitor is 32" 4K 60Hz
The iPad Pro's resolution is already pretty high. I'm not really sure what you're talking about.

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