Frame Rate vs. Refresh rate (FPS vs Hz). What’s the difference?

Frame Rate vs. Refresh rate (FPS vs Hz). What's the difference?

Frame Rate vs. Refresh rate : You may have heard of the terms Frame Rate and Refresh Rate if you’re just starting to get into monitors and graphics cards. These terms refer to the number of frames per second. The monitor’s refresh rate is determined by the GPU, while the frame rate refers to the GPU.

A monitor’s refresh rate refers to the maximum number frames it can display per second. Frame rate, on the other hand is the number of images that the GPU sends per second to the monitor.

For most readers, this is the point where confusion starts. If you’re not familiar with the refresh rate, topics, or frame rate, this definition might not be clear. The following article will explain the differences and both topics in greater detail.

What is a refresh rate?

Before we get into the definition and application of refresh rate, let’s first explain how LED lights work on a monitor. The frame buffer is where data is sent by a computer to the monitor. The stream of pixel information is contained in this data, which is generated by the GPU or CPU.

The data from your PC is used to set the RGB details (Red, Green and Blue) of each pixel. The monitor will need to adjust the RGB settings for each pixel after the video data has changed.

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Technically, the number times that a single pixel is able to refresh its RGB intensity in a second is called a pixel’s refresh rate. A monitor’s refresh rate is simply the number of times it can refresh an image per second. The Hertz is the refresh rate for a monitor.

Let’s take, for example, a 60 Hz monitor. This monitor can display 60 frames per second. This number will depend on the GPU of your system. Your system’s GPU may not be powerful enough to provide 60 frames per second. The monitor will only refresh 60 frames at 60Hz.

A powerful GPU will be able to supply 60 frames per second, or 144 frames per second. The monitor can display 60 frames, as it is limited to 60 Hz. The monitor can’t display the remaining 84 frames (144-60).

What is a Frame rate?

It is important to understand how images are processed before we discuss frame rates. The CPU sends data to GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), and this data is processed by the GPU, which generates still images.

Each still image is known as a frame. It contains information about the display unit, such as the brightness and the color of each pixel.

The GPU sends frames per second to the monitor. These frames are then displayed one by one on the monitor, creating a visual output. To create motion on the monitor’s screen, several frames of rapidly changing images are displayed.

Frame rate, also known as Frames per Second (FPS), is the number of frames sent by the GPU to the monitor. Frame rate is dependent on the power of your GPU and how much data an application generates.

Most video files play 24FPS. The monitor displays 24 images per second, giving the illusion that objects are moving. Some games and applications support high FPS. These range from 60FPS to 200+FPS. This allows for seamless transitions between changing objects.

A system that has a powerful GPU will generate more frames per second. But, unless your monitor supports a higher refresh rate, you won’t be able to see all the frames.

A dedicated screen capture device will record every frame sent by the GPU when you are recording a video. The screen capture device can record all video data sent by the GPU, even if your monitor is 60Hz.

Any FPS counter app can be used to measure FPS.

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Frame Rate vs. Refresh rate

The refresh rate refers to how often a monitor can refresh frames every second. FPS is the speed at which the graphics card can draw frames on the screen every second. Both are measures of different things but they are both directly related and impact each other.

Notable Differences

Frame rate and refresh rate are both important for smooth output.

Refresh rateFrame Rate
The maximum number of times that a monitor can refresh an image is called the refresh rate.Frame rate is the number frames sent by the GPU to the monitor.
Measured in Hertz (Hz).Measuring in frames per second (FPS)
Low FPS can be caused by the monitor’s limit or low setting.If the GPU doesn’t have enough power to create frames often or if video data has a lower FPS, the FPS will be lower.
It all depends on what type of monitor you use.It all depends on the GPU and the application. A powerful GPU will deliver more FPS
If you don’t have enough FPS, a monitor with a higher refresh rate will not make any difference.Independent of monitor’s capabilities.

Higher Refresh Rates or Higher Frame Rates

You can view more frames if you have a higher refresh rate. A higher refresh rate monitor will only be of benefit if the system is providing an equal amount FPS. Without adequate FPS, you will not get the most from the monitor at a higher refresh rate.

You will also not see extra frames if your monitor’s refresh rates are lower but the GPU can provide higher frame rates. Even if your monitor has a lower refresh rate, a higher FPS is better than having lower frames rates.

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Is a higher frame rate correlated with lower input latency?

A higher frame rate means lower input latency. Imagine that you’re working at 60Hz, but the FPS counter detects an application running at 144FPS. Although 60 frames will be visible in a second, the GPU actually sends 144 frames per second.

These frames are not displayed, but are processed by GPU. Even though the monitor is unable to display them, the system records the input. Therefore, no output is visible.

The CPU has processed all frames of information. This reduces the time between input commands and the display. This allows input commands to be registered even if the display isn’t updated.

It will be a bit abrupt and slow. The truth is that the information has been processed and the input data is being updated.

Let’s now look at a situation where you are playing a video game. A game that records movement at 144FPS is more common than a game that records it at 60FPS. This delay could be the difference between losing and winning a match, even though the time difference between higher and lower frames devices is only milliseconds.

This is further illustrated by the fact that your computer responds even to input from keyboards or mice, even when it is turned off. Your graphics unit supports maximum FPS, while the switched-off screen has a refresh rate of 0 The input has been registered but the display isn’t being updated.

What can I do to increase the refresh rate of my monitor?

Variable refresh rates may be possible depending on which monitor you are using. Gaming monitors that have a higher refresh rate are more likely to support overclocking. In Display settings, you can determine if your monitor supports variable refreshing rate.

To open Settings, press the Windows + I key.

Navigate to SystemDisplayAdvanced.

Click on the dropdown menu to choose a refresh rate .

If the refresh rate is multiple. Choose a higher number, and then select Keep changes.


You can adjust both FPS and refresh rate through the settings of your computer. You should be aware that increasing these parameters to their maximum power consumption can cause significant power drain. This could lead to faster battery drain for mobile devices and laptops. These settings should not be increased if high-performance gaming is needed. This will heat up your display and computer, as they will be required to work harder each second.