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The next PC display refresh rate milestone could be 480Hz

One display maker is setting its sights on raising the PC and laptop refresh rate standard to 480Hz.

The component brand, AUO, showcased two prototypes of 480Hz gaming monitors in a YouTube video to coincide with its presence at the Society for Information Display’s Display Week (SID Week) conference, which took place in San Jose, California this week.

AUO AmLED | Premium LCD Display

One of the proposed displays is a 24-inch FHD PC monitor with a 480Hz refresh rate and a less than 1ms response time. The second is a 16-inch FHD laptop display with a 480Hz refresh rate and a response time of “slightly higher than 1ms.”

Ars Technica correctly notes that this is a TN 1080p panel, meaning the proposed display has traded some image quality to prove that the 480Hz refresh rate can be achieved. However, for showcasing at conferences such as SID Week, perfection is not quite necessary.

Refresh rates common on the market today for PCs and laptops are most commonly anywhere between 60Hz and 240Hz. Many gaming-focused monitors or laptops often vary between 165Hz and 240Hz, even in higher resolutions. There are even a few 360Hz displays on the market, such as the Alienware 25 AW2521H; so it does make sense that the industry is looking to experiment beyond that rate.

The display panel supplier AUO 480 Hz prototype.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

However, it might take some time for this technology to get to store shelves. At this point, it is still being showcased to manufacturers who would then have to create products to sell to customers.

Ars Technica noted that AUO works with brands, including Acer, Asus, and MSI, providing them panels for monitors and laptops. These brands could be among those that might experiment first with 480Hz refresh rates in the future.

Industry players must first decide if a 480Hz refresh rate is actually useful. Well, you might expect that e-sports professionals could actually be able to make use of refresh rates that high, but the average PC gamer won’t come anywhere close to producing frame rates that high — nor would they be able to tell the difference.

Gaming PC brands in particular use variable refresh rate technology as a way to maximize system processes while still having a lower base refresh rate. Perhaps brands can implement a variable-refresh rate with a maximum of 480Hz before introducing a PC or laptop with a standard refresh rate that high.

Fionna Agomuoh
Fionna Agomuoh is a technology journalist with over a decade of experience writing about various consumer electronics topics…
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