Can You Get 200 FPS on a 165Hz Monitor?

Can You Get 200 FPS on a 165Hz Monitor

Gamers crave buttery smooth visuals, and a high refresh rate monitor is a key ingredient. But what happens when your gaming PC muscles its way to frame rates exceeding your monitor’s refresh rate, like hitting 200 FPS on a 165Hz monitor? Is it overkill, or can you exploit that extra horsepower? Dive in as we explore the fascinating world of frame rates and refresh rates, and whether you can truly unleash 200 FPS on your trusty 165Hz companion.

So, can you get 200 FPS on a 165Hz monitor?

Refresh Rates and FPS

Imagine your monitor as a flipbook. Each page represents a single image, and the speed at which these pages are flipped determines how smooth the animation appears. This flipping speed is called the refresh rate, measured in Hertz (Hz). A 165Hz monitor refreshes the image 165 times per second.

FPS, on the other hand, refers to the number of frames your graphics card renders every second. Think of it as the speed at which your computer generates those individual flipbook pages. Higher FPS translates to smoother, more responsive gameplay, especially in fast-paced titles.

So, Can You Get 200 FPS on a 165Hz Monitor?

Can You Get 200 FPS on a 165Hz Monitor

Technically, yes, you can absolutely achieve 200 FPS on a 165Hz monitor. Modern graphics cards are capable of churning out impressive frame rates, especially with powerful hardware and optimized game settings. There are potential advantages to exceeding your monitor’s refresh rate:

Smoother Gameplay (For Some)

In certain games, particularly those with very fast-paced action or competitive esports titles, having a buffer of extra frames can provide a slight edge in perceived smoothness. Imagine having more pages ready to flip in your flipbook – it might feel a tad smoother. However, this benefit depends on the individual and the specific game.

Reduced Input Lag (Potentially)

In theory, having more frames prepared can lead to a slight decrease in input lag, the time between your action (like a mouse click) and the response on screen. However, the actual impact is often negligible.

Here’s why exceeding 165 FPS on a 165Hz monitor might not be the most optimal approach:

Monitor Bottleneck

Your monitor can only display a maximum of 165 frames per second, regardless of how many frames your graphics card generates. Those extra 35 FPS (200 FPS – 165 FPS) are essentially wasted processing power.

Screen Tearing

Without proper synchronization enabled, exceeding the refresh rate can lead to a visual artifact called screen tearing. This occurs when the monitor tries to display two different frames simultaneously, resulting in a jarring horizontal tear across the screen.

Unnecessary Strain

Pushing your hardware to render frames beyond the monitor’s capability puts unnecessary strain on your graphics card and processor. This can lead to increased power consumption, heat generation, and potentially lower performance in other areas.

Synchronization to the Rescue (Optional)

Technologies like G-Sync from Nvidia and FreeSync from AMD address the screen tearing issue. These technologies dynamically adjust the monitor’s refresh rate to match the FPS your graphics card is outputting. This ensures a smooth and tear-free experience even if your FPS fluctuates above or below your monitor’s refresh rate. While G-Sync and FreeSync offer significant benefits, they require compatible graphics cards and monitors.

Final Thoughts

So, can you hit 200 FPS on a 165Hz monitor? Absolutely! But the benefits might be subtle. Here’s the key takeaway. Achieving 200 FPS is technically possible, but the visual improvement on a 165Hz monitor might be limited. In most cases, prioritizing frame rate stability near your refresh rate (around 165 FPS) delivers a more optimal experience. This ensures smooth gameplay without unnecessary strain on your hardware. Upgrading your monitor to a higher refresh rate (like 240Hz) might be a better long-term solution if you consistently achieve high FPS in your games.


Q. I see screen tearing even with 165 FPS on my 165Hz monitor. What’s wrong?
A. Screen tearing can occur even at your monitor’s native refresh rate if you don’t have G-Sync or FreeSync enabled. Check your graphics card’s control panel and monitor settings to ensure these technologies are activated for the specific game you’re playing.

Q. Is there a visual difference between 165 FPS and 200 FPS?
A. The perceived difference can be subjective and depends on the game and individual.

Q. Is it always better to have the highest possible FPS?
A. Not necessarily. While high FPS generally translates to smoother gameplay, there’s a point of diminishing returns. Once you reach a frame rate that exceeds your monitor’s refresh rate and surpasses your ability to perceive the difference, focusing on optimizing other graphical settings like textures or lighting effects might be more beneficial.

Q. How can I check my actual FPS in games?
A. Most modern games have built-in FPS counters you can enable in the graphics settings menu. Alternatively, software like MSI Afterburner or Nvidia GeForce Experience can overlay an FPS counter on your screen while you play.

Q. Should I upgrade my graphics card or monitor for a smoother gaming experience?
A. This depends on your current setup and budget. Upgrading your graphics card will directly impact the number of frames it can render, potentially allowing you to achieve higher FPS. Upgrading your monitor to a higher refresh rate will allow you to display those extra frames for potentially smoother visuals. Consider your current FPS in games you play and how much smoother you want the experience to be before deciding which upgrade path to take.