I’m looking to buy a new desktop PC and I’m confused by the MHz rates listed on the graphics card vs the monitors. The GeForce GTX 960 base clock is listed at 1127 MHz, but ASUS’s ROG SWIFT PG278Q Digital Signal Frequency: 89~222KHz(H)/50~144Hz(V). If I’m doing the math right, the graphics card is 10,000,000 times “faster” than the monitor. Obviously, there something is wrong with my thinking, but what is it?

Here are the links to the specs and a recap of the computer I’m looking to buy.

Graphics Card


Computer specs:

HP ENVY Phoenix 850qe Desktop PC

Windows 10 Home 64-bit OS

4th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4790 processor quad-core [3.6GHz, 8MB Shared Cache]

16GB DDR3-1600 DIMM (2x8GB) RAM

256GB SATA 2.5 TLC Solid State Drive

1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6G 3.5 2nd HDD

2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 [DL DVI-I, HDMI, DP, DP, DP]

SuperMulti DVD Burner

HP USB volume control Keyboard and USB Optical Mouse

7-in-1 Media Card Reader, 4 USB Ports (Top), Audio [Top 2USB2.0, 2USB3.0]

Integrated Sound

HP WLAN 802.11 ac 2x2 Dual Band MCard BT

Home and Home Office Insert

  • Your math is wrong. The clock frequency of the GPU has nothing to do with the output display frequency. – Ramhound Nov 23 '15 at 18:02
  • @Ramhound Are you saying the 1,127 MHz is NOT about the of 10^7 higher than 144Hz? – Imager Nov 23 '15 at 18:51
  • Your math is wrong in the context that the clock frequency of the GPU has nothing to do with the video output frequency of the card or the refresh frequency of the monitor. – Ramhound Nov 23 '15 at 18:57
  • @Ramhound The relationshop of the GPU and video output was the intent of my question, I wish I phrased like you did. – Imager Nov 23 '15 at 19:02
  • I can't read what you intended to say. I read what you actual say. If you intended to say something else, then say that, feel free to clarify your question. – Ramhound Nov 23 '15 at 19:09

The refresh rate of the monitor and clock rate of the GPU don't correlate like you think they do. The GPU clock rate is how many cycles the GPU can perform per second. The refresh rate of the monitor states how many times the screen will redraw each second. You want your GPU to be fast so it has that data ready to pass to the monitor so it can be displayed.

On a second note, I don't think you need a 144 Hz monitor if you're just using a GTX 960. In order to benefit from the 144 Hz, your games will have to be displaying 144+ FPS. That card won't be capable producing 144 FPS, with high settings, when playing in 1080p.

  • Does this mean Hz rate and FPS (frame/sec?) are a one to ratio? Sorry, I couldn't up vote but I'm a newbie. – Imager Nov 23 '15 at 18:58
  • @Imager to an extent it's a 1:1 ratio. If GPU is pushing more FPS than your monitor's refresh rate, you'll occasionally see screen tearing because it's showing data from multiple frames in one screen draw. If your monitor's refresh rate is higher than the GPU FPS output you won't see any tearing, and you won't benefit from the higher refresh rate. When you see FPS lag, it's because the FPS dropped to some number below 60 FPS, and the human eye can process information fast enough to notice the lag. – DrZoo Nov 23 '15 at 19:38

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