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30 Hz vs. 60 Hz (How Big is the Difference in 4k?)

30 Hz vs. 60 Hz (How Big is the Difference in 4k?)

The difference between 4K at 30 Hz and 4K at 60 Hz is really big! 60 Hz is the standard refresh rate these days. Whereas, you might find the 30hz refresh rate a bit slower than others.

Both 30 Hz and 60 Hz are refresh rates of a monitor or a video. Over the last few years, the resolution and frequency of television as well as monitors have greatly evolved. Watching films, videos, or clips from your phone on a 4K TV has become the new normal.

However, it’s not so easy trying to keep up with all the different resolutions, frame rates, or refresh rates. This is why I’m here to help! In this article, I’ll be discussing all the differences between 4K at 30 Hz and 4K at 60 Hz.

So let’s dive right in!

Is 30hz Enough for 4k?

This depends on the HDMI you’re using. If you connect your computer to an HDMI 1.4 TV, then you’re only limited to a resolution of 4K at 30 Hz.

On the other hand, if you want to get 4K at 60 Hz, then you’ll need to have a video card and HDMI 2.0.

Additionally, today televisions with 4K resolution have a refresh rate of a minimum of 30 Hz. Now when you play a movie on your 4K TV at this refresh rate, it might cause juddering.

This is because the display device will have a faster refresh rate than the frames of the movie being played. The images might lag and the transition between scenes may also glitch.

Therefore, you might not enjoy watching a movie on 4K TV with a 30 Hz refresh rate. From this perspective, 30 Hz might not be enough for 4K as the high definition quality will be lost at this refresh rate.

However, TVs that are released today have a feature that allows them to match the movie 24p playback. This is great news because it would greatly reduce the juddering.

Moreover, 30 Hz is a good enough refresh rate for a desktop setting. It’s not as debilitating to use as you may think it is.

You can easily use it for work without any interruption. However, anything outside of this can become a hindrance.

What is the Difference Between 4K at 30Hz and 60Hz?

As you know, 30 Hz and 60 Hz are refresh rates of a monitor or a video. Refresh rates are actually the number of frames per second. A common rule of thumb is that the higher the refresh rate is, the smoother the video stream will be.

Consequently, a video with 60 Hz will have a smoother stream as compared to a video with only 30 Hz. Although, your monitor should also be able to work at the refresh rate that your video is streaming at.

So basically, 4K is a resolution that portrays the number of pixels and aspect ratio of a video or a monitor. If you want to experience good quality, then a monitor should be capable of streaming in 4K.

A 4K resolution means that a monitor has 4,096 pixels horizontally. The refresh rates, expressed as Hz, or frames per second are two additional aspects of a video quality that need to be taken into consideration.

Generally, a video is a series of still images which are shown in rapid succession. So, a higher quality video will have more frames per second. Frame rate is just the number of still images a device captures every second.

On the other hand, a refresh rate refers to the quality of the display and the number of times it’s “refreshed” to receive data. A refresh rate of 30 Hz and 60 Hz means that the screen can be redrawn 30 or 60 times every second. A more powerful display would have higher refresh rates.

Let’s take a look at how FPS and a refresh rate all come together. The FPS of a computer doesn’t affect the refresh rate of the display.

However, a monitor will not be able to display all frames if the FPS of your computer is higher than the refresh rate of the monitor. The refresh rate tends to limit the quality of the picture.

A notable difference is that 30 Hz is said to have a very slow response time and lags more as compared to 60 Hz. In today’s world, 60 Hz is becoming more common and a minimum requirement for monitors.

60 Hz is more than satisfactory for everything, even work. Whereas, 30 Hz has a flickering effect due to its slow response time.

Which is Better 4K 30Hz or 4K 60Hz?

If you’re looking for a new TV with a 4K resolution, then a 60 Hz refresh rate definitely has to be a better choice as compared to a 30 Hz refresh rate.

The reason for this is that the 60 Hz TV will be able to play ultra high definition movies at a better quality and will make your experience more worth it. 60 Hz has a smoother video stream as compared to that of 30 Hz.

Furthermore, the 60 Hz refresh rate is definitely better than 30 Hz in terms of flicker rate. On CRT screens, 30 Hz has a much lower standard. LCD and LED can disguise this flicker but the effect is still there.

A higher refresh rate also means that there will be less flicker screen and a better picture. This is why 60 Hz is so much better than 30 Hz.

Not only can 60 Hz play UHD movies, but most video games on PC and game consoles also have a minimum requirement of 60 Hz. This refresh rate also has a better response time, unlike 30 Hz with a slow response.

Therefore, getting a 60 Hz monitor or display can work in your favor as you’ll be able to enjoy your video games without having to compromise on load time.

modern flat screen with 4k content
A modern flat screen that supports 4K content.

Is 4k 30 Fps or 60 Fps Better?

Now you know that 60 Hz is better than 30 Hz in terms of refresh rates. However, let’s take a look at which is better in terms of frames per second. A higher frame rate doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality of the video will be higher as well.

If the quality output produced is the same, then it doesn’t matter whether your video is 30 FPS or 60 FPS. Smoother video playback is possible when there are more frames per second.

30 FPS is the most popular frame rate. Videos on TV, news, and apps like Instagram uses this frame rate. Even though this frame rate is more commonly used, a smoother motion is only possible with 60 FPS.

From a video or gaming perspective, a difference is that 4K at 60 FPS is much smoother than 4K at 30 FPS. Lower frame rates can be choppy and higher frame rates look smoother.

This is why a frame rate of 60 FPS is far better because it has the ability to capture twice the amount of underlying data than a 30 FPS video. It removes unwanted blurring and can capture slow-motion shots.

Another advantage of using 60 FPS is that it can slow down a video while also maintaining a high quality of slow motion. A 60 FPS video is usually slowed down to 24 or 30 FPS after production. This helps achieve a smoother slow motion.

Moreover, cameras now offer a wide range of frame rates. Here’s a table explaining what effect can be achieved by using a specific frame rate:

Frame RateEffect
1-15 FPSCommonly used for time-lapse.
24 FPSKnown as the cinematic option, used by filmmakers.
30 FPSA format that is popular for live TV broadcasts.
60 FPSA popular choice for sports footage and live TV.
120 FPSUsed for very slow-motion shots.
Hope this helps!

Is 4K Worth It at 60Hz?

In terms of a gaming perspective, a higher refresh rate is much more important than a higher resolution. This is because it makes fast-paced aiming and firing much more manageable. 60 Hz is able to provide tangible performance improvements.

The eye has a flicker fusion frequency at around 72 Hz at normal brightness. Therefore, all content will look better at 60 Hz.
Flicker effects and low refresh rates can be really irritating. Therefore, using a higher refresh rate would help avoid this problem.

A standard HDMI connection can support 4K 60 Hz. However, you’ll need at least the 2.0 version of HDMI. Most new laptops, TVs, and other digital devices are equipped with HDMI 2.0 or 2.1.

If you want to watch a movie, you can keep the refresh rate set to 60 Hz. You’ll be able to watch good quality content without any stuttering or lagging.

It’s much beneficial for watching sports and games. 60 Hz is more than satisfactory for 4K.

However, it should be noted that people are slowly shifting towards 120 Hz now. A higher refresh rate is definitely much better.

While 60 Hz is able to provide a minimum refresh rate, 120 Hz is the best and most appropriate for users who are more demanding.

high refresh rate while gaming
A higher refresh rate will provide one with a good gaming experience.

What is a Good Refresh Rate on a 4K TV?

The best refresh rate for a TV is 120 Hz. The TV’s refresh rate tells how many images it’s able to show per second.

The standard refresh rate of a TV is either 50 Hz or 60 Hz. However, one should understand that the maximum native refresh rate of a flat screen today is 120 Hz. This basically means that it can display 120 images every second.

Which one is better for you, 120 Hz or 60 Hz, depends on the type of content you’re watching. TVs that are 120 Hz are better for playing video games and watching 24 FPS content.

Although, a higher refresh rate shouldn’t be considered a good enough reason to spend more on an HDTV. This is because, for most movie content, you’ll probably want to keep the refresh rate at 60 Hz.

Take a quick look at this video comparing different refresh rates:

Are you able to see the difference in refresh rates?

The Bottom Line

It’s no wonder that 4K at 60 Hz will be much smoother than 4K at 30 Hz. 60 Hz and 30 Hz are the refresh rates for a monitor or a display. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother a video will stream.

4K at 60 Hz can be a better choice due to its faster response time. 30 Hz has a slow response time and may cause lagging and juddering when watching videos. 60 Hz is also better from a gaming point of view.

Along with refresh rates, frame rates should also be taken into consideration. A higher frame rate doesn’t equal higher quality videos. The most common frame rate used in most types of content is 30 FPS.

However, 60 FPS can capture twice more underlying data as 30 FPS.

Lastly, if you’re looking for a 4k TV, then the best refresh rate would be 120 Hz. It’s increasingly becoming more common nowadays. I hope this article helped clarify the differences between various refresh rates and frames per second!

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