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Does increasing “Screen refresh rate” damage monitors?

I accidentally put the resolution of my screen to high and it caused my graphics driver to crash and had to reinstall my external display's driver again.

I wondered if putting the resolution too high can cause physical damage to the screen?


2 Answers 2


not the resolution but the refresh rate (if set too high) can cause damage to the display.

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    Though, with some CRTs, you should watch out because the acceptable refresh rate goes down when you raise the resolution. For example, I have a display which can do 120hz at 320x240, but only 60hz at 1280x960. Technically, the limiting factor is the pixel clock, the number of pixels actually refreshed per second.
    – marcusw
    Jan 15, 2010 at 21:22

To a CRT, possibly. To an LCD, not as far as I've ever heard.

Edit: Broam and Molly are absolutely correct, inappropriate refresh rate is what can pop a CRT, not resolution (call to fork() failed). Still, AFAIK, neither will do anything to an LCD.

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    Older CRT monitors could be damaged by a high refresh rate. More recent ones would have detect "out of range" refresh rates and refuse to display an image.
    – Broam
    Jan 15, 2010 at 21:00
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    and it wasn't just high refresh rates that could damage them; it was any refresh rates that the monitor wasn't designed for. Jan 15, 2010 at 21:02
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    Since refresh/resolution are just different variables in the same function, excessive resolution may result in an excessive refresh rate on a CRT, hence causing failure. So it's both right and wrong to say that refresh rate is all that matters. ;-) You could get away with higher than spec resolutions if the video card let you drop the refresh down low enough in some cases (43hz anyone? :-) ). As mentioned above too, LCDs are pretty much impervious. I've never run across one that you could push out of range. Jan 15, 2010 at 21:18

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