Question on monitor resolution vs refresh rate

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josh

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Hi all, not entirely sure if this is the right section for the question so feel free to move if not.

In brief my question is, when playing an Xbox Series X with a gaming/PC monitor (as opposed to TV), given the choice between one with 4k and 60hz or QHD/full HD 1080 at 120hz, what am I likely to notice more, the lower res or lower refresh rate?  The screen will be around 27-29".   My budget is about £3-400 so from what I've seen, I think it will only cover one of those choices, and not a 4k at 120hz one, which are closer to £1k.

For reference, I’m not going to be playing shooters in competitions where split second advantages count. I do want to play driving/flight sims though, and games like Doom/Call of Duty on a more casual level.

Thanks a lot in advance.

 
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MartinC

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I think that's a tough call personally. Are these definitely the only two options for you?

 

josh

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Yeah. Well I've found I can get QHD (1440p) and 120hz for my budget (£3-400), but 4k and 120hz screens are a grand which is too high (and even then, very few have HDMI 2.1 which you need for both that resolution and refresh). 

 
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Don RJ

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There are plenty of 4k 120hz monitors out there, I have one which is excellent if a bit spendy as it is also used for graphic work with a mac book pro.

 

MartinC

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Yeah. Well I've found I can get QHD (1440p) and 120hz for my budget, but 4k and 120hz screens are a grand which is too high (and even then, very few have HDMI 2.1 which you need for both that resolution and refresh). 
If XSX supports 1440p at 120 Hz that seems like a good option to me. Nothing really does 4k at 120 Hz, you choose one or the other. I'd do some Googling around the 1440p option if I were you.

(For context I'm lucky enough to use a PS5 on a 4k and 120 capable TV.)

 

Don RJ

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Go for 4k then, though I did find this one for under £750, 4k and 144hz on amazon ASUS ROG Strix XG27UQR DSC 

 
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josh

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Thanks both. That Asus is outside my budget too unfortunately.  As @MartinC says though, I've discovered today that most monitors use HDMI 2.0 which won't run both 4k and 120hz anyway. It's more the TVs that have HDMI 2.1 which does. Maybe that'll change over the course of the year though. I'll settle for 1440p which can be had with 120hz for £2-300 and can always upgrade as and when, assuming the difference is worth it.

Out of interest Martin, what led you to choose PS5 over Xbox?

 

MartinC

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Out of interest Martin, what led you to choose PS5 over Xbox?
Principally because my pre-existing force-feedback wheel and pedals for racing games was compatible with the PS5 but not with XSX (I bought it for my PS4), coupled with there seemingly being very little difference in real performance terms. I was lucky enough to be able to buy a PS5 in I think March last year but have no regrets. 

If the huge number of games available via Game Pass appeals then there is no meaningful equivalent on PlayStation. The new PlayStation controller is fundamentally different that the XSX one in terms of the haptic feedback and resistive triggers, although time will tell how much these are really made use of. I believe really competitive players of the likes of COD actually choose not to use the adaptive trigger feature too as it slightly reduces response times.

I don't think 1440p screens are compatible with PS5s FWIW though.

 

josh

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Yeah, in deciding between the two systems there seemed little to tell them apart. While I don't really want to get roped in to the Game Pass subscription, I think it does offer pretty good vfm and that's ultimately what swung it for me for the Xbox.  I don't think there are any exclusive games on the PS that are persuading me to go that route.  The haptic feedback controllers do sound good though, but I'd rather have the Game Pass.

 

garn63

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Yeah !   You boys take me back, except I thought the ZX Spectrum was amazing ?  * Unless you knocked the wires...and all that you had achieved during the day was lost. It was heartbreaking with games  xD     * Cassettes ?

 

MartinC

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Yeah !   You boys take me back, except I thought the ZX Spectrum was amazing ?  * Unless you knocked the wires...and all that you had achieved during the day was lost. It was heartbreaking with games  xD     * Cassettes ?
A ZX spectrum was the first system I got to use at home as a child, so I kind of just took it for granted really. I remember being very excited when it was replaced by an Atari ST though  :) .

I was playing the 2018 God of War earlier (@4k 60 Hz), which I don't think would port too successively to either of my early computers!

 
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garn63

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I would learn how to use them vaguely...then my son would have it. I remember the Atari being quicker but the Amiga came round & blew it out of the water for games?   Now I just use a tablet & dont turn my laptop on for fear of a 3 day update. My son....I call them the Playstation generation. He does the father bit but I can tell his mind is still on level 59 somewhere ...... at 38 ?     xD     

 

Lawrence001

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The ST was popular with home musicians/composers and smaller studios with a midi interface while the Amiga was the best for games.

I had a Dragon 32 for my first computer but most of my friends had spectrums with more and better games, it was quite depressing. I actually preferred the C64 though as I thought the graphics and games were better. My mate had one with a floppy drive and loads of copied games, we spent hours wargaming on it.

 

MartinC

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I would learn how to use them vaguely...then my son would have it. I remember the Atari being quicker but the Amiga came round & blew it out of the water for games?   Now I just use a tablet & dont turn my laptop on for fear of a 3 day update. My son....I call them the Playstation generation. He does the father bit but I can tell his mind is still on level 59 somewhere ...... at 38 ?     xD     
My Atari ST was replaced by an Amiga A1200 :) . I don't recall the Amiga 500 being that much of a step about the Atari ST though.

 

Warszawa

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I still think 4K is a no brainer. Very few games support 120fps. In fact not all 4K games are a fixed 60fps yet. Check out the latency/input lag figures of the monitors you're looking at as well.

You can occasionally get Game Pass Ultimate for a steal by upgrading a Gold membership. When mine expired a couple of months back I bought two 1 year Gold memberships for £36 each from CD Keys and upgraded that to GPU for £10.99 (it's £1 your first time). 

 

MartinC

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I still think 4K is a no brainer. Very few games support 120fps. In fact not all 4K games are a fixed 60fps yet. Check out the latency/input lag figures of the monitors you're looking at as well.
Different people will prioritise different aspects but as you say few games are even 4k @60Hz and most have a choice between a mode that prioritises resolution and other graphical features to run at 4k 30Hz, whilst a performance mode runs at 60 Hz but at a lower resolution (often that varies with what's going on) and with other tweaks to make the graphical rendering less demanding. I personally favour the latter and actually games running at 60 Hz is for me the single biggest graphical improvement of the current generation. The OP also mentioned the like of COD which does have a 120 Hz mode and this is the sort of game where this makes the most difference.

 

MartinC

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So with all this being said, does the Series X (or PS5) still have demonstrably better graphics than the Series S?
Check out some of the Digital Foundry game graphics reviews on YouTube to get an idea of the differences. They almost certainly go into more detail than you're really after but they do make a point of comparing game versions.

Personally I would avoid the Series S as my guess is you'd likely end up regretting it long term. You'll always know you'll be playing a poorer version, which in some cases is worse than can be achieved on a last gen machine (Xbox One X).