I work on different types of monitors (CRT, LCD) and all PCs have the same screen refresh rate as 60 Hertz. Recently I've read an article which claims that low refresh rates cause headaches. The writer states that 60 Hertz is a low refresh rate and should be increased to the maximum value that the monitor supports. If I increase this value to the maximum as the monitor can display (for example 75 Hertz), does it damage the monitor in the long term? Answers about the pros and cons of low & high refresh rates would be highly appreciated.


4 Answers 4


Low refresh rates are only problematic on CRTs (where they cause flickering), not on LCDs.

Because of this, most LCDs only support a single fixed refresh rates, usually 60 or 75Hz. I don't think you could break one by trying to set it higher; it would simply refuse to work or ignore the setting.

With CRTs, there is a potential for damage if you exceed the maximal refresh rate the hardware supports, but modern CRTs support very high rates (usually at least 100Hz) and probably also have safeguards to protect against misconfiguration.

  • 3
    In the distant past it was possible to damage a CRT by incorrectly setting the refresh rate out of bounds for the monitor. Modern monitors (made within the last ~10 years) will refuse to operate at a rate that could hurt them. I recommend setting the rate of CRTs as high as you can to avoid eye strain. As noted below if you have two or more monitors next to each other set them at the highest common rate. LCDs don't have the same flicker issue so a slow refresh rate is not a problem for eyestrain (but may affect graphics performance.)
    – Chris Nava
    Dec 9, 2009 at 16:35

The concept of refresh rate, is applicable only to CRT, as the refresh rate is an indication of how many times per second the electron beam scans and draws the data. The higher the refresh rate, more number of times the beam is drawn. I can clearly make out the "flicker" at a refresh rate of 60Hz, and it indeed causes severe headache and eyestrain. It's recommended that you set it to as high as your monitor allows, if not atleast 72/75Hz.

As for damaging the monitor, most newer monitors simply will refuse to operate if set at a refresh rate beyond the capability, you will get an error message like Sync out of range.

  • "The concept of refresh rate, is applicable only to CRT." This should have been accepted as the solution because Sathya was the only poster who didn't make the amateurish mistake of saying LCDs have a refresh rate. Mar 1, 2013 at 12:28
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    LCDs do have a refresh rate, it just doesn't cause headaches. CRTs will flash at the refresh rate, and if it's too low that will cause visible and eye-straining flickering. LCDs don't flicker but the still refresh at a certain rate, just that the image is always there statically between refreshes rather than emitting light as flashes. Refresh rates on LCDs are only important when displaying fast moving graphics, where low refresh rates will cause ghosting. (sources: I was studying this in my CompTIA A+ class today)
    – SilentVoid
    Nov 25, 2016 at 18:10

No risk.
If the monitor supports higher refresh rates then by all means try them. Not everyone thinks higher is better, I'm quite comfortable at 60Hz even though my monitors supports 75Hz.

One thing though. If you have a more than one monitor on your desk make sure they have the same refresh rate. If they don't I can almost guarantee that you'll get a headache.


Read the specification of your monitor, don't go past that (It may not even work if you go past it!) and you shouldn't break your monitor... I wouldn't exceed or go past whatever the specification says.

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