PC and laptop displays operate towards 480 Hz

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If you’ve ever looked at a 360Hz monitor and thought, “That’s not fast enough,” here’s what you can look forward to. While we’ve seen prototype monitors exceed 360Hz, the highest native refresh rate you’ll find on a PC display these days, AU Optronics (AUO) appears to be working on panels that will be available with an even faster 480Hz refresh rate.

Of course, not many would consider a screen that updates 360 times a second with new information to be laggy. But for very fast-paced action—like in a competitive game, where words and objects whiz by in the blink of an eye, or where a delay of a few milliseconds can make the difference between victory and defeat—more speed can be essential.

AUO highlighted a 480Hz panel when promoting its presence at SID Display Week.
Enlarge / AUO highlighted a 480Hz panel when promoting its presence at SID Display Week.

As TFT Central spotted this week, AUO announced via a YouTube video that it’s working on a 24-inch PC monitor panel with a 480Hz refresh rate and sub-1ms response time (the mark didn’t get more specific there). . And it’s aimed at gamers.

AUO, which sells panels to monitor suppliers including Acer, Asus and MSI, also highlighted a 16-inch 480Hz screen designed for laptops. According to the video, the response time seems to be a little higher here with “1.xms”.

AUO is also working on more portable 480Hz displays.
Enlarge / AUO is also working on more portable 480Hz displays.

Unsurprisingly, both displays operate at 1920×1080 pixels, sacrificing sharper image quality for speed. For comparison, a 24-inch 4K resolution monitor has a pixel density of 183.58 pixels per inch (ppi) versus the 91.79 ppi offered by a 1080p alternative.

But 1080p is a significant improvement over the 480Hz refresh rate back in 2017. As ComputerBase recalled, ZisWorks shared a 480Hz prototype back then, but the resolution was a measly 960×540. For what it’s worth, pointed out BlurBusters pointed to visible improvements in image quality at the time, including reduced motion blur, even compared to 240Hz. Since it’s a shorter jump from 360Hz to 480Hz, it would be interesting to see if we could tell the difference .

AUO’s 480Hz panels are being developed with a more common resolution but also with a decreasing LCD-LED panel type, TN (twisted nematic). Known for their speed, TN monitors are usually cheaper than alternatives, but often have lower contrast than VA (vertical orientation) panels and poorer colors and viewing angles than IPS (in-plane switching).

480 Hz on the horizon

AUO released the above video to promote its presence at this week’s Society for Information Display Display Week conference in San Jose, California. In an announcement, AUO announced that it would present “the next-generation application scenarios” of gaming displays at the show.

Since AUO is a panel supplier, there were no release dates for monitors. AUO also appeared to be more focused on promoting some of its panel technologies at SID Week, based on its announcement of other innovations it would be showcasing at the conference.

Last summer, TFT Central also hinted at plans by AUO and LG to release 480Hz monitors. And considering we recently saw a 500Hz PC monitor prototype, 480Hz doesn’t sound too far-fetched.

Of course, should a 480Hz monitor come out anytime soon, this would be a niche application that would require a pretty darn good system, including a top-end graphics card, the right content, and some pretty keen eyes to take full advantage.


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