Does a 240Hz monitor really make a difference?

240Hz is an excessively high refresh rate, but damn did it look good. I was at DreamHack Austin all weekend, and managed to get my hands on two different 240Hz monitors: the BenQ XL2540 and the Asus ROG Swift PG258Q. Both are 24.5" 1080p TN panels, and I got to try out some CS:GO and Overwatch on both. You can watch the video above to hear my initial thoughts, but keep in mind I haven't had enough of a chance to give a definitive verdict on either monitor, or the idea of 240Hz in general.

To get the big question out of the way, I could definitely see a difference when swapping between 120Hz and 240Hz, but it wasn't a huge one. While playing Overwatch, further away movement and quick turns pretty much looked the same, but the fidelity in Zenyatta's basic attack animations close to the screen showed an impressive improvement. My mouse felt snappier at the high frame rate as well, so there were definitely differences, but not life changing ones.

The bigger issue to me is that reaching 240Hz means both monitors had to sacrifice 1440p and the option to have an IPS panel, not to mention I had to turn down graphics settings to hit frame rates that high at all. The TN panels were also really painful to see after using IPS monitors at home and work, and the colors in Overwatch on the BenQ monitor particularly looked very muddy. If this sort of frame rate is seriously important to you then the options are there, but I'm not sure it's worth those sacrifices to me personally for what are marginal but noticeable gains. 

We'll be getting some 240Hz monitors in for more extensive testing than can be done on the floor of a busy convention soon, but until then consider the video above my first impressions of some bleeding edge monitor tech.  

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Tom Marks
Tom is PC Gamer’s Associate Editor. He enjoys platformers, puzzles and puzzle-platformers. He also enjoys talking about PC games, which he now no longer does alone. Tune in every Wednesday at 1pm Pacific on to see Tom host The PC Gamer Show.