While we weren’t able to make it to NVIDIA’s keynote presentation, word quickly spread to us that they had announced a few new displays with insanely fast refresh rates. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long to see and experience these for ourselves, and the amount of gaming improvement these types of monitors can provide is pretty amazing.
As we have seen with previous high-end G-SYNC displays, ASUS was the first out of the gate with the ROG Swift 360Hz, which we got to see and use in NVIDIA’s suite during CES 2020. This monitor is a 1080p, 24.5″ model with a hardware design similar to previous versions, but we don’t have any word on pricing or availability just yet.
In our time with the ROG Swift 360Hz, NVIDIA led us through three demonstrations that showed the real benefits of a 360Hz monitor when compared to 60Hz, as well as the common 144Hz and 240Hz.
The first demo utilized CS:GO to demonstrate how much better you can perform when using a 360Hz monitor compared to a 60Hz monitor. In this demo, an enemy character would jump across the small opening in a doorway, and using the famous AWP, we would attempt to snipe them before they disappeared in the gap. Out of 10 attempts at 60Hz, we were feeling pretty bad about our two lone hits. However, running the same test on the 360Hz monitor, we were able to hit our target on eight out of our 10 attempts. The increased information fed to our brain thanks to the improved framerate allowed us to adjust our actions just enough to make great improvements in our performance just minutes after failing on a 60Hz screen.
Next up was a timed test to see how many headshots you could get on moving targets. On the 60Hz monitor, aiming was quite tough, and tracking the target was quite difficult. Of course, once we shifted over to the 360Hz monitor, our score improved, but not as significantly as we had expected. In the 45 seconds allotted for the test, on the 60Hz system we scored 14 headshots, while we were able to hit 17 on the 360Hz screen. And while that isn’t a huge improvement, we definitely preferred the experience of the ROG Swift 360Hz.
The final demo showed off just how much extra information you can gain from a fast refresh rate monitor, versus slower rates. On the left monitor was a scrolling scene from DOTA 2 with multiple on-screen characters and units. At 240Hz we were able to see names move across the screen, but they were not very legible at the speed the scene was moving. However, looking over to the 360Hz monitor on the right allowed us to easily read the same names, which gave us extra information to use in our strategy. This was a very cool demonstration that really emphasized the improvements that can be had moving from even 240Hz to 360Hz. As expected, when the left screen was running at 60Hz, 120Hz, and 144Hz, the information available to process was even less.
Well, there you have it. Our hands-on testing via multiple demonstration tasks was tangible proof of the instant improvements that can be had by using a monitor with a higher framerate. Of course, you need to have the associated hardware to provide that type of content, so that is definitely something to keep in mind when considering moving to one of these new monitors.