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Monitor advice -- 120Hz worth it for gaming?

By Ritwik7 ยท 35 replies
Feb 26, 2013
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  1. Hi everyone!

    My current specs are as folllows:

    Intel i5 3570K (Stock)
    ASUS GTX 670 DCII (Stock)
    GSkill Ripjaws 2x4GB

    Currently gaming on a Samsung SyncMaster B2030 20" monitor. The resolution is only 1600x900 @ 60Hz.

    I was thinking that I should pick up a new monitor to justify the rig that I've built. I have been looking at 24" monitors that have a resolution of 1920x1080. Now, here's the dilemma. I see a lot of 120Hz monitors and people saying that they are much better suited to gaming (especially FPS, which is what I usually enjoy). Upon researching a bit, I came upon the BenQ XL2420T. It's quite expensive but I might just be able to pick it up if it's completely worth it. So here are my questions:

    1. Has anyone had any experience with the BenQ XL2420T and what are your views?

    2. Is 120Hz worth it and will there be any noticeable difference?

    3. Will my single GTX 670 be able to handle it? Just for perspective, I run Crysis 3 @ a little over 50 FPS average with all settings Very High, FXAA and Transparency AA enabled in nVidia Control Panel. I'm also open to OCing my GPU and CPU (using a Corsair H100).

    4. Any other suggestions?

    Look forward to your responses.
  2. LukeDJ

    LukeDJ TS Maniac Posts: 349   +111

    The 670 will be able to give you those 120 fps in less demanding games, however you may end up turning the quality and resolution down for the more demanding titles (such as Crysis 3). So you have a choice, sacrifice image quality for more fluid game-play, or get an IPS monitor, which will give you much superior color, but you'll have to live with 60 fps. (In my opinion, 60fps is enough, although that's a matter of opinion)
  3. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,887   +627

    120Hz is capable of displaying up to 120 fps, normal ones are 60. Things will only be more fluid if you run above 60 fps.

    Also, you won't need to use v-sync as much! Which means more fps and more fluidity, yet again.
  4. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,281   +527

    1. I've never used that BenQ monitor, but I do have a 120Hz capable monitor.
    2. 120Hz looks great and is very noticeable if you have enough hardware to do it well
    3. Only older games will run at 120Hz with that single card. More modern games will require AT LEAST 2 of those and games like C3 will require at least 3.
    4. I think you should see 120Hz gaming for yourself at a store or at a friends before making a decision.
  5. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,482   +978

    My friend uses 2 water-cooled and OCed EVGA 580s to run games on a 120Hz monitor, he recently picked up 2 titans because he told me that they are beginning to struggle, so he has to play games at very high to achieve 120 FPS in Crysis 3. He is a enthusiast, so you may want to maybe go for a Samsung or ASUS monitor which may be cheaper and use the extra money to an extra GTX 670.
  6. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,657   +9

    1. If my hardware outputs less than 120FPS (or less than 60 FPS in games like Crysis 3) will that be a problem on a 120 Hz monitor? Will it look/ perform inferior to that on a 60Hz screen?

    2. The BenQ is going to set me back as much as a second GTX 670 will. Is buying another GTX 670 now, and a monitor later the wiser decision?
  7. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,703   +171

    No, it will look the same as on a 60Hz monitor.

    Another GTX 670 now will be totally wasted with your current 1600x900 60Hz screen and will just be sitting there depreciating and probably producing microstutter. So my advice would be to get the monitor first or save up and buy a monitor and GPU upgrade together.

    You might also want to look into the Crossover/Yamakasi Korean monitors, dunno about you but I can't stand TN screens which that BenQ is.
  8. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,657   +9

    Thanks there.

    I was just checking out the Yamakasi monitors. I'm a little confused with the models available. Lots of different 27 inch ones. What are the differences? There;s also a 23" one but no reviews/info on it?

    Anyone here with any experience with these? If I recall correctly, LNC Papa, had mentioned these before. Do you currently use one of these?
  9. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,281   +527

    I do have one and you need to be very careful which Yamakasi you get if you go that route. There are several versions but only one that supports real overlocking - they are called the 2b models. Many people try to pawn off their other versions as 2b on ebay so be careful. Also, due to extremely high demand the price has gone up considerably on these models also. I got mine from http://www.120hz.biz/monitors/ and you'll notice they are almost always out of stock. Good news is there are competitors now - Overlord Tempest OC (notice the OC at the end) can be found at http://www.overlordcomputer.com/overlord_tempest_X270OC_display_p/ot_x270oc_a.htm . Some monitors will explicitly claim to do 120Hz but then they just do frame skipping/dropping so you're only really getting 60 frames from those monitors anyway. Do a lot of research before going this route and hope for the best but prepare for the worst. It's definitely a risk with this option.

    And the IPS thing... think of the phrase "once you go black..."

    BTW - I talk about about my experience with the Catleap starting here - read through it a little to see some of the issues I ran into.


    edit: I just remembered something else. The owner of 120hz.net has been putting up videos that revolve around the use of the Yamakasi monitors. You should check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/user/Theologist?feature=g-subs-u
    You can tell by the dates on the videos that 2560 @ 100hz+ hasn't been around for very long and there are hurdles when you want to be first at the gate. Keep that (the fact that you will likely have to put in more work for normally simple things) in mind as well.
    One more thing I forgot to say. It's the nicest looking monitor I've EVER seen (not just used) for gaming. I've been PC gaming since 1986-87.
  10. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,482   +978

    There is a large difference in game with 120Hz, not as much if you are not picky. If you are running C3 @ 60FPS on a 120Hz monitor, it means 1 frame will be refreshed 2 times, when running @ 120FPS with a 120Hz monitor, a frame is only refreshed once, which makes the game smoother.
  11. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,657   +9

    @ LNCPapa - Well, the Yamakasi Catleap 2B and the Overlord Tempest OC (with the additional shipping to India) seem to be out of my price range. Has playing at 120Hz been a significant improvement for you? I ask this again because now I'm stuck between picking the 120Hz BenQ TN @ 1920x1080 or a similarly priced IPS panel with a higher resolution. What do you suggest? Also, I feel that 27" might be a bit too big.

    I am considering picking up a second GTX 670 soon. Do you guys think that SLI GTX 670 will be able to hold their own @ 1080p for close to 2 years?
  12. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,887   +627

    I think you'll have troubles getting over 100fps with most games maxed these days, even with two. Once next-gen consoles drop, I expect the graphics demand to go up again.
  13. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,657   +9

    But I do hope that it will not cause any problems @ 120Hz.
  14. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,887   +627

    I won't, as others have said above. It's like getting 50fps on a standard 60Hz monitor. :)
  15. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,281   +527

    It's all eye-candy. I don't play anything competitively anymore and I think I'm getting older and slower (reflexes) so it's not as fun for me to go online and clean up as it used to be. I mostly play single player games or coop games and just as with any other option you can enable in a game like AA or some other effect this is just an always on setting for me. 120Hz looks great, but I can't say it's making me any better... it just makes people drool when they see it. If you don't have the horsepower or budget to play your games at 120 fps then I wouldn't bother with it. Also, an IPS screen isn't going to be as noticeable when gaming as it will be at the desktop or working in an application with images. You literally need double the GPU horsepower to push 120hz vs 60hz.
  16. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,657   +9

    So, if I bought the second GTX 670 along with the BenQ this week, you would say yes? :)
  17. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,281   +527

    I would say yes, but keep in mind that a pair of 670s can drive most games at 2560x1440@60hz. Add the fact that it's an IPS giving a better non-gaming experience and I'd probably opt for the IPS+second 670 instead.
  18. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,657   +9

    Possible IPS options at 24"? Still a little skeptical about 27inch. There's a Yamakasi Catleap 2300. Any clues on that?
  19. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,281   +527

    I have no experience with any other Yamakasi monitor so no to that. I was very impressed by a 23" IPS monitor I recently got for my daughter - ASUS VS239H 23" IPS Monitor.It looks amazing but she only does a bit of light gaming on it. From what I can remember the retail price on it was very low as well - maybe $160-180ish.
  20. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,657   +9

    Okay guys. After a lot of reading, I've come up with two options:

    1. ASUS VG23AH (60Hz, Can be clocked up to 76Hz, IPS panel)
    2. BenQ XL2420T (120Hz, TN panel)

    The price difference is slight, with BenQ being the more expensive. Would like a vote on the better purchase.

    And, most importantly, what sort of difference can I expect coming from my Samsung B2030 (1600x900)?

    Thanks for all your inputs so far.
  21. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,482   +978

    Your 2 670s will be able to easily do 120fps in most games at highest settings once the drivers mature for newer games... maybe you can 3way sli when the 700 series comes out lol. Make sure you PSU can handle the 2nd card
  22. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,657   +9

    No issues with the PSU. It's a Corsair TX750. But I need help deciding between the ASUS VG23AH (60Hz, Can be clocked up to 76Hz, IPS panel) and BenQ XL2420T (120Hz, TN panel).
  23. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,482   +978

    750 is probably the bare minimum. Well 120Hz is what you want right? Why would you get a 60Hz monitor if you wanted a 120Hz lol.
  24. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,887   +627

    I don't see how we can help you decide.

    - 24inch nice-looking IPS.
    - 24inch which looks amazing in motion scenes only, and perhaps might not be visible to you, and won't work with 100% of games (GPU load)

    In my opinion, you're better off doing either of these:
    a) Cheap, simple method. Standard 1080p monitor.
    Then, once you get more money, you have two main paths to choose from:
    I) 27-30inch IPS monitor
    ii) 24inch 1080p 120Hz monitor.
  25. Geesus

    Geesus TS Rookie Posts: 22   +15

    A friend had a BenQ 120hz monitor though im not sure of the model number. Is it their only 120hz 24inch? If so it was the same. He also had an Asus gtx 580 DCII. He said he loved the monitor but he had upgrade fever (again) and bought some 27" ips monitor and a gtx 680. If your a fps nut like me then I would say buy the BenQ for the 120hz. If not then get the ips. Come to think of it, Asus do a new monitor thats capable of 144hz You considered that? Asus VG248QE

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