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The #FramesWinGames Study From NVIDIA Reveals a Bold Truth about Competitive Gaming

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Multiplayer gaming has created the platform for a more competitive bunch of players that aim to take their skills to the next level. Everyone wants to be the best – pushing ranks till there aren’t any more left. The competitive framework of games laid the foundation of esports and the growth of a new type of gamer – the competitive minded gamer. That’s exactly where the concept of hardware dedicated to catering to these new players was borne. As more and more players started getting into the crux of competitive gaming – the concept of exclusive “gear” became more mainstream. Companies like LG, Zowie, Alienware (Dell) and NVIDIA tried to tap into this new industry

So what exactly are these “gear”? Technically, they are superior versions of the stuff you already may be using. These are specially designed headsets, monitors, mice, keyboards, monitors, and so on. If you’re into shooter games, then headsets help enhance enemy footsteps, which in turn helps you locate enemies and get the upper hand on them. If you’re into strategy games (and MOBAs), then keyboards have special switches so that your hand doesn’t become tired after repeated tapping of the keys. Mice are more genre-agnostic – a better mouse with DPI controls and better sensors goes a long way in enhancing your performance in-game. What makes the most difference, perhaps, is a monitor. A proper “esports-ready” monitor (pun intended) does wonder when it comes to helping players get the upper hand in-game.

There have been naysayers who dunked the concept of “better” gear for competitive gaming. Their main argument is that gaming does not need separate gear, and any claims made by companies that such gear actually enhance one’s performance in-game are wack. Last year, NVIDIA decided to go for a test that could help determine if better gear indeed helps improve one’s performance or not. While the experiment was solely targeted for gaming monitors, it could easily be applied across the spectrum for mice, headsets, keyboards, and so on.

Let’s discuss the NVIDIA study in some detail, sticking to higher refresh rate panels. The problem lies in how many times the screen is allowed to refresh itself. If you have a graphics card which quite ‘capable’, then there’s a greater chance that it pushes more frames than the screen is capable of rendering. The problem here becomes that you would only be able to see as many frames as your panel would be able to render. The lower the refresh rate of the panel, the lesser frames it could render, and any motion on screen will appear even less smooth. Considering just the aspect of shooters, the lack of smoothness in the motion often means one can’t make out the exact silhouette of a player in motion. This becomes an even bigger issue in long-range encounters, where accuracy is key to winning an aim duel. A 144hz panel significantly increases the frames rendered, and consequentially the smoothness of motion. This gives one a significant advantage in-game. A 240hz panel makes for a minor upgrade over 144hz panel in improving the smoothness of the rendered scenes (you need to be especially observant to spot this).


If that itself isn’t enough of a reason to get yourself a higher refresh rate panel, maybe the fact that it offers less ghosting and tearing of images should offer some incentive to do the same. What exactly is ghosting? Well when you observe objects in motion, you see not only the current position of the object but also faint outlines of its previous locations (along the path taken by the object). This causes major distractions – often causing you to misclick unnecessarily. Ghosting is significantly lesser on a 144Hz and on a 240Hz panel because of the higher frame rates rendered on the screen. Image tearing occurs when vertical synchronization is turned off, so parts of the textures may seem out of place because the GPU is allowed to render frames to the screen unconditionally (this is prevented by vertical synchronization, which limits the rate at which frames are rendered to the screen). While this does offer a greater frame rate (which is useful especially if your system isn’t too high end), the effects can cause distractions which might hamper your performance. If the frame limit of your monitor is higher, more frames can be rendered to the screen, so the problem of artifacts and tearing does not occur.

We ourselves had the opportunity of working with 240Hz and 144Hz monitors in the past (so we did it before NVIDIA made it cool?). In both cases, the advantages offered by the monitor outnumber its negatives. A competitive gamer really needs to use a higher refresh rate monitor before one can debunk the advantages it offers as “rumors”. The only negative might be that it would be difficult to get a panel with sufficiently low response time, high refresh rate, and decent color production at a decent price. We have a few recommendations that you might consider if you do want to upgrade your experience.

Alienware 34-inch AW3420DW

Alienware 25-inch AW2518H

Dell 27-inch S2719DGF

Acer 23.6 inch KG241QP

Samsung 24 inch LC24RG50FQWXXL

LG UltraGear Gaming Full HD Wide

BenQ Zowie 24.5 inch XL2546

LG Ultragear 27 inch 27GK750×1/dp/B078TTSB8V/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=240hz+monitor&qid=1588758204&sr=8-2

NVIDIA’s experiment did take the opinion of a few leading streamers like shroud, grimmz, chocoTaco, Diego and Corey. If that wasn’t enough in itself, Linus Tech Tips was asked to put the claims to the test with hardware dedicated to it. If you hate believing content dished out by NVIDIA themselves, maybe seeing a test being conducted right before your eyes will convince you.

If this doesn’t convince you to get a better panel to upgrade your gaming experience, I don’t know what will. Go get them!

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