120Hz vs. 60Hz

What's the Difference?

120Hz and 60Hz are both refresh rates commonly used in electronic devices such as televisions and computer monitors. The main difference between the two lies in the number of times the screen refreshes per second. While 60Hz refreshes the screen 60 times per second, 120Hz doubles that rate by refreshing the screen 120 times per second. This higher refresh rate of 120Hz results in smoother motion and reduced motion blur, making it ideal for fast-paced content like action movies and video games. On the other hand, 60Hz is more commonly found in standard displays and is sufficient for everyday use, such as browsing the internet or watching regular TV shows. Ultimately, the choice between 120Hz and 60Hz depends on the user's specific needs and preferences.


Refresh Rate120 times per second60 times per second
SmoothnessProvides smoother motion and transitionsMay exhibit slight motion blur or judder
Response TimeGenerally faster response timeMay have slightly slower response time
Input LagMay have lower input lagMay have slightly higher input lag
CompatibilityCompatible with most modern devicesCompatible with all devices
Power ConsumptionMay consume slightly more powerMay consume slightly less power
PriceGenerally more expensiveGenerally less expensive

Further Detail


When it comes to displays, the refresh rate plays a crucial role in determining the overall visual experience. The refresh rate refers to the number of times per second that an image on the screen is refreshed or redrawn. In this article, we will compare the attributes of two common refresh rates: 120Hz and 60Hz. By understanding the differences between these two refresh rates, consumers can make informed decisions when purchasing displays for various applications.

Smoothness and Motion Clarity

One of the primary advantages of a higher refresh rate, such as 120Hz, is the increased smoothness and motion clarity it offers. With a higher refresh rate, the display can update the image on the screen more frequently, resulting in smoother transitions and reduced motion blur. This is particularly noticeable when watching fast-paced content, playing video games, or viewing sports events. The higher refresh rate allows for more fluid movements, making the overall visual experience more immersive and enjoyable.

On the other hand, a 60Hz refresh rate may not provide the same level of smoothness and motion clarity as a 120Hz display. Due to the lower refresh rate, the image on the screen is updated less frequently, which can result in more noticeable motion blur and less fluid transitions. While a 60Hz display can still deliver satisfactory performance for everyday tasks, it may not be ideal for activities that involve rapid motion or require a high level of visual precision.

Responsiveness and Input Lag

Another important attribute to consider when comparing 120Hz and 60Hz displays is the responsiveness and input lag. The refresh rate directly affects how quickly the display can respond to changes in the input signal. A higher refresh rate, such as 120Hz, generally leads to lower input lag, meaning the display can more quickly reflect the user's actions.

With a 60Hz display, the input lag may be slightly higher compared to a 120Hz display. This can result in a slight delay between the user's input and the corresponding action on the screen. While this delay may not be noticeable in everyday tasks, it can become more apparent in fast-paced gaming or other activities that require quick reactions. Therefore, for gamers or individuals who prioritize responsiveness, a 120Hz display may be a better choice.

Compatibility and Content

When considering the attributes of 120Hz and 60Hz displays, it is essential to take into account compatibility and available content. While 120Hz displays offer superior smoothness and motion clarity, not all devices or content may support this higher refresh rate. Some older devices or certain video sources may be limited to a 60Hz output, which means the benefits of a 120Hz display may not be fully utilized.

On the other hand, 60Hz displays are widely compatible with various devices and content sources. Most devices, including computers, gaming consoles, and streaming platforms, are designed to work seamlessly with 60Hz displays. Additionally, the majority of video content, including movies and TV shows, is typically produced and distributed at a 60Hz refresh rate. Therefore, for individuals who prioritize compatibility and access to a wide range of content, a 60Hz display may be more suitable.

Power Consumption and Heat

Power consumption is an important consideration when comparing 120Hz and 60Hz displays. Generally, a higher refresh rate requires more power to drive the display. A 120Hz display, with its increased frequency of image updates, may consume more energy compared to a 60Hz display. This can result in higher electricity bills and potentially contribute to increased heat generation.

On the other hand, a 60Hz display typically consumes less power and generates less heat due to its lower refresh rate. This can be advantageous for individuals who prioritize energy efficiency or are concerned about the heat output of their devices. Additionally, lower power consumption may also lead to longer battery life for portable devices such as laptops or tablets.


In conclusion, the choice between a 120Hz and 60Hz display depends on individual preferences and specific use cases. A 120Hz display offers superior smoothness, motion clarity, and responsiveness, making it ideal for gaming or activities involving rapid motion. However, it may have limited compatibility with older devices or content sources. On the other hand, a 60Hz display provides satisfactory performance for everyday tasks, wide compatibility, and lower power consumption. Ultimately, consumers should consider their specific needs and priorities to make an informed decision when selecting a display with the appropriate refresh rate.

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