Saturday January 21, 2017

How Many Frames Per Second Can The Human Eye Really See?

This is a pretty relevant topic, as high-refresh monitors become increasingly popular and some of us are on the fence as to whether we should upgrade to one or not. Beyond doing the obvious and just scoping one out in person, you can read about what some experts have to say about motion. One guy even claims you cannot see over 20 Hz, although the actual implication seems to relate to gameplay and performance, not visuals. There is also an argument there that resolution and contrast ratios are considerably more important than refresh rates. Many thanks to Gigantopithecus for sharing this one.

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"Certainly 60 Hz is better than 30 Hz, demonstrably better," Busey says. So that’s one internet claim quashed. And since we can perceive motion at a higher rate than we can a 60 Hz flickering light source, the level should be higher than that, but he won’t stand by a number. "Whether that plateaus at 120 Hz or whether you get an additional boost up to 180 Hz, I just don’t know." "I think typically, once you get up above 200 fps it just looks like regular, real-life motion," DeLong says. But in more regular terms he feels that the drop-off in people being able to detect changes in smoothness in a screen lies at around 90Hz. "Sure, aficionados might be able to tell teeny tiny differences, but for the rest of us it’s like red wine is red wine." Chopin looks at the subject very differently. "It’s clear from the literature that you cannot see anything more than 20 Hz," he tells me. And while I admit I initially snorted into my coffee, his argument soon began to make a lot more sense.