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refresh rates, I know nothing about them


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#1
lschultz76

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Hello!

My apologies if this topic has been covered already. I am a new member.

In the years I have had computers, I have learned many things, except for a couple I know absolutely nothing about. My question regards refresh rates. This is something I have never modified from its default; in part, all I had ever known about refresh rates was that setting it too high could damage your monitor.

I have always run them at 60 (I'm sure some of you will tell me I'm crazy for that, lol). Now the other day I decided to try something else on a whim, so right now it is set at 75. For the record, I have a CRT monitor, in particular a Gateway VX920. I immediately noticed it looked better in the middle... but at times, I swear I am seeing the edges or corners shaking; where before at 60 I never noticed that.

So I suppose I have two questions; one, why would I notice screen shaking (however slight) at a higher refresh rate? My second question is, if I have the box checked (windows vista) saying "hide modes that this monitor can't display," does this mean I can set it to 85 (which is the highest available in the drop down list) without fear of damaging the monitor? I apologize if my questions are novice; this is one of those things I just left alone and never learned about. :)

If it matters, I have my resolution set at 1280x1024.
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#2
Neil Jones

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Refresh rates for monitors work in the same way as they do for television sets - the number of times the laser redraws the screen.
The standard refresh rate for monitors is 60 hertz - though some monitors can go higher and may even work better at the higher resolutions. Older ones can't.
Just like CRT televisions, CRT monitors can display weird tube related issues such as warped sides, vibrating picture edges and what not.

1) You notice screen shaking more because the monitor's being updated more often, though the human eye can't spot it. It may be an impending sign the tube can't cope at the said refresh rate at that screen resolution.

2) The "hide modes" option is based entirely on what Windows knows about the monitor, or what the monitor is telling Windows it can support. It doesn't mean you can crank it up to 85 and expect it to work, it may be it can work at 85, not that it's going to work at 85 for whatever reason. Any setting can potentially damage a monitor, akin to saying any type of water (bath, sink, toilet) can kill the monitor if it gets leaked into.
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#3
lschultz76

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Thank you much for the info. :)
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#4
makai

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Normally I tend to agree with Neil on a number of topics, however this is one I have to disagree with. Since you are using a CRT monitor, you should be running it at 85hz refresh rate. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the picture will be. 60hz is for smaller monitors... 14 - 15" and normally default for LCD monitors. If you are running at 60hz on a 17 or even a 19" monitor, you will probably be seeing waviness or flickering due to too slow a refresh rate. The flickering is seen because 60hz is a harmonic of the line voltage (120hz). Having a larger monitor running at 60hz should be very tiring for your eyes.

Your monitor is spec'd for Horizontal: 30.0 to 96 KHz; Vertical: 50 Hz to 130 Hz. You should be fine running at 85hz without worrying about damaging your monitor. Better yet, go LCD and things will even look better!
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#5
lschultz76

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Indeed! I eventually intend to..

The only reason I do not have one yet, is because I had a set budget to build a computer a few weeks ago, and being as anal about hardware as I tend to be.. I wanted to spend every penny on the tower and had nothing left for a new monitor. LOL
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