Does 120hz mean 120fps?

Answered by James Kissner

120 Hz does not necessarily mean 120 fps. Let me explain.

First, let’s clarify what each term means. Hz stands for Hertz, which is a unit of frequency. In the context of displays, it refers to the number of times the screen refreshes or updates per second. On the other hand, fps stands for frames per second, which indicates the number of individual frames or images displayed in one second.

Now, while both Hz and fps relate to the frequency of something happening per second, they are not the same thing. The refresh rate of a display, measured in Hz, determines how many times the image on the screen is refreshed or updated in one second. A higher refresh rate, such as 120 Hz, means that the screen can refresh the image 120 times per second.

On the other hand, fps refers to the number of unique frames or images that are rendered and displayed in one second. It is often used to measure the performance of graphics in video games or videos. For example, if a game runs at 120 fps, it means that the graphics card is rendering and displaying 120 unique frames per second.

While there can be a correlation between the refresh rate (Hz) and the frame rate (fps), they are not directly equivalent. A display with a higher refresh rate, such as 120 Hz, can potentially display a higher frame rate, but it ultimately depends on the content being displayed and the capabilities of the device.

For instance, if you are watching a video that is recorded at 60 fps on a 120 Hz display, the display will still only show each frame once, resulting in a refresh rate of 60 Hz. In this case, the display is not taking advantage of its full potential refresh rate.

However, in certain scenarios, a higher refresh rate display can provide a smoother viewing experience, even if the content being displayed is not running at the same frame rate. This is because a higher refresh rate can reduce motion blur and make the overall experience feel more fluid.

120 Hz refers to the refresh rate of a display, while 120 fps refers to the frame rate of the content being displayed. While a higher refresh rate can potentially support a higher frame rate, they are not directly equivalent and can vary depending on the specific content and device capabilities.