Refresh Rate v. Resolution

I shall be forward, here. Until a couple months ago, I had no idea why refresh rates were important. A kind soul educated me, however, and now I don't how I lived with my old settings. LCD owners can stop reading here, unless you want to learn it for kicks anyway. Why? Click here. For those of you who are left, here is the scoop. Practically every CRT has multiple resolution settings, but there are reasons to not just pick the highest available res. As you increase the resolution of your monitor, you generally decrease the number of times your image (or game, or whatever) redraws per second. Without going into technical details, this is bad. If the picture is not being drawn fast enough, it can cause headaches, it is harder on your eyes, and it might just annoy you by appearing to flicker.

These settings, both resolution and refresh, can be found by right clicking your desktop, then going to the settings tab of "Display Properties". The resolution is a simple slider, usually with a number of choices. For example, I have 13 choices, from 800x600 to 1920x1440. Pick a resolution you feel comfortable with, then click on the advanced tab. Another dialog box should pop up. The info we want is under the "Monitor" tab. There should be a drop-down menu (entitled screen refresh rate or something similar), with one to ten or more options. Pick the highest one that is available (making sure that the box below it is checked "Hide modes that this monitor cannot display"). If the highest one isn't 72 Hertz or better, I suggest you lower the resolution a bit. 85 Hertz or higher is optimum, so try to find a good balance between the two settings.

I only mention this because a lot of users have never been told this before. You can bet that a salesperson wouldn't have the time or inclination to tell you about this, and if you bought it online or built your PC, chances are you never were presented with that information. If you set it up right, LCD owners will have a lot less to say about it. A flickering CRT can be bad, but one with a decent refresh rate selected is a lot better.