Why gamers take their screen and monitor refresh rates very seriously

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·Senior Games & Tech Producer
·4-min read
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Gamers take their refresh rates very seriously. (Photo: Getty Images)
Gamers take their refresh rates very seriously. (Photo: Getty Images)

Without a doubt, having high refresh rates can be a big advantage for a gamer.

Not only does it allow for a smoother gaming experience, but you are theoretically able to see your games' frames faster on a higher refresh rate monitor, compared to one with a lower refresh rate.

Ask any competitive gamer and they will agree that jumping from a 60Hz monitor to a 144Hz screen will provide a noticeable smoothness in gameplay and a slight advantage over their 60Hz brethren.

If a customer purposefully purchases a 144Hz screen or monitor, they are quite likely looking for that edge that a 60Hz version would lack.

When Lenovo Singapore and its former authorised reseller, Want Join Information Technologies Pte Lte, advertised the Lenovo Legion laptops as having an "up to 144Hz" screen refresh rate, it should come as no surprise that they were called out by a customer who purchased one Legion laptop, only to find out that the screen could only support 60Hz.

In January 2020, a Singapore media outlet published a case study by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) about a consumer who had purchased the Legion Y540 "after being misled by an online advertisement stating that the laptop had a 144Hz screen refresh" rate.

According to the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS), the consumer claimed that the laptop he received only had a 60Hz screen refresh rate and sought assistance from CASE.

Following CASE’s engagement with Lenovo Singapore, the customer was provided a full refund by Lenovo, the CCCS said in a media release on 14 April.

The CCCS' investigations found that Lenovo Singapore had advertised on its website that certain models of the Legion Y540 were able to achieve a screen refresh rate of "up to 144Hz".

While there were two versions of the laptops that were advertised as being able to only reach 60Hz on a model comparison table, there were four other 60Hz models that didn't have this printed in their specifications, the CCCS said.

This would have misled customers to think that these other four models would be able to achieve 144Hz on their laptops, the CCCS added.

The CCCS also confirmed that Want Join, now a former authorised reseller and partner of Lenovo Singapore, also posted product listings of the same 60Hz Legion Y540 models as being able to achieve "up to 144Hz" on their Lazada LazMall store page.

Misleading advertising aside, it also made no sense that some of these laptops came with a basic 60Hz, 1080p screen.

If you're an avid gamer, the refresh rate of your laptop's screen will play a big part in what you look for in a laptop. Let's take one of the 60Hz Legion Y540 models for example, the 81SX002DSB.

This laptop comes with an Intel Core i7- 9750H, a 6-core CPU which was one of the most powerful mobile processors in 2020.

The laptop is coupled with an Nvidia RTX 2060, which is a very strong GPU (and it still is) for 1080p gaming.

This GPU can easily churn out at least 200 frames per second with the i7 for games like CS:GO, VALORANT and Overwatch at 1080p, and you would expect to be able to take advantage of that on your amazing laptop screen.

The thing is, though, that if you buy that version of the laptop, you wouldn't be able to, because of the 60Hz screen.

If you are looking to only play at 60Hz 1080p, a laptop with an Nvidia GTX 1050 would be sufficient, together with a good 4 core mobile CPU. You do not need to spend on unnecessary parts that are overkill like the i7-9750H.

If you are a little paranoid right now after reading this article, and would like to check your computer's refresh rate, you can search for the "System" option on your Windows taskbar, and look for the "Display" menu.

In that menu, head on to "Advanced Display", and you are able to see and change your computer's refresh rate from that menu. This works for both Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Depending on your monitor or laptop, you will then be able to select your desired refresh rate that is suited to your needs.

Now, let's just hope that your device is performing at its intended specs.

Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy getting headshotted in VALORANT or watercooling anything he sees, he does some pro wrestling.

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