BOE has announced the world’s first 500Hz gaming monitor. The display features a 27-inch, Full HD panel with 8-bit color depth, and a response time of 1ms. The prototype panel features a high mobility oxide backplane to enable such a high frame rate, easily beating out the 360Hz refresh rates of the fastest esports monitors on the market today. So yes, it's quick.
The news comes from Chinese news site Sina (opens in new tab) (via Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab)). BOE (Beijing Oriental Electronics) may not be a household name in the western market, but it’s actually one of the world's largest manufacturers of LCD, OLED, and flexible display panels.
Given the relatively steep pricing of a premium 360Hz monitor (opens in new tab), a 500Hz screen is likely to be very costly, and will also likely be restricted to a 1080p resolution, especially early on. Such a monitor would probably cost as much as a very good 1440p or 4K screen, meaning that it’s going to be one for the competitive gamer only.
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While advances in panel technology are welcome, there remains the question of whether a 500Hz panel actually offers a practical benefit to gamers, even those who play fast paced first person shooter titles. Minimizing input lag is always advantageous, but I've got to expect diminishing returns at these kinds of ever higher refresh rates.
Whatever, I'd love to get my hands on one and take it through its paces. Would such a screen make it onto our list of best gaming monitors (opens in new tab)? It would have to be quite some panel to convince us that paying big bucks for a 1080p screen in 2022 is worth the money.
You will also need a very capable GPU, because even at 1080p hitting a regular 500FPS isn't easy to achieve outside of a game's menu screen. That goes not just for the graphics card, but also the CPU. Lucky many esport titles aren’t graphically demanding, I guess.
The display is at the prototype stage right now, and BOE hasn’t yet revealed details about pricing or availability. So, it may still be some time before 500Hz panels come to market. And we may be trying to justify spending big on a 1080p monitor in 2023 instead.