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FPS vs Resolution | Faster Responsiveness Coupled With Crispier Images

FPS stands for frames per second, while the resolution is the number of pixels displayed on a screen. FPS vs. resolution is a topic that has been debated for years and is still not agreed upon. So which one should you be focusing on?

Key Takeaways

  • Frame Rate dictates how smooth a game runs, improving playability and frame speed
  • Resolution determines the number of pixels on screen, making a visual experience more appealing.
  • High FPS is better for competitive multiplayer games as they require faster reactions
  • Which is better comes down to what you need out of your computing experience.

This post will break down the differences between resolution and frame rate, with some helpful tips to help you decide which is best for your needs, such as gaming, video editing, watching movies, or film.

Is Frame Rate and Resolution the Same Thing?

What Is a Frame Rate?

Frame rate is a measure of how many images are displayed per second on a monitor or display. The higher the frame rate, the smoother motion will appear onscreen. Frame rate is measured in frames-per-second (fps).

It is also often expressed as “frames-per-second” or “fps,” which may lead to confusion with image resolution, so it's important to include "frame rate" when discussing video performance.

Frame rate is one of the most important factors in any videogame. Refresh rate (see 144 Hz monitors and 240 Hz monitors), input lag, and resolution are also important when it comes to playing games or computer performance.

Too low frame rate such as 15 fps, and the game gets choppy and unplayable. Too high such as 120 fps, and you are wasting processing power that could be better used elsewhere in the graphics card.

nice room for a gamer

What is Resolution?

Resolution is the clarity or sharpness of an image. The higher the resolution, the more detail in an image will be visible and also less distortion from enlargement or reduction. The term applies to all types of imaging, including computer displays, televisions, and printed graphics. It is measured in pixels.

We want our machine to have the best possible resolution, so we get the best image and fine clarity while performing anything on our computer like design work, drawing, or simply just watch some image file.

good setup

Resolution Vs. Frame Per Second; Which Is Better Frame Rate or Resolution?

Many people are constantly wondering which is more important: frames per second (FPS) or resolution? It's a tough question to answer because each has its benefits. 

For example, high FPS such as 60fps and above means smoother gameplay and faster responsiveness, while higher resolutions mean crisper images without the motion blur that can happen at lower resolutions. Which is better comes down to what you need out of your game experience.

Higher Frame Rates Are Always Better

I’ve been playing games for almost as long as I can remember. From Spyro to Final Fantasy, from Pokemon to Halo 4, gaming has been a huge part of my life for the past 20+ years.

Since that time, I’ve always believed a higher frame rate such as 60 fps is always better in games. How often your screen produces or refreshes new images per second impacts overall smoothness of motion or watching games.

A higher frame rate of 60 fps and above is crucial for gameplay and productivity, and general computer usage. So if you want the best experience possible from your computer as well as any other device (smartphone or tablet), then it's important to make sure they have maximum frame rates.

girl gamer

Importance of High Frame Rates

A good gaming experience starts with visuals. The frame rate of every game is a crucial factor in how immersive it feels, and high frame rates are important for more than just graphics.

A higher frame rate of 60fps and 120 fps means that you can play games at a faster speed without feeling like you're playing slow motion. This is critical for competitive console or PC gamers who need to react quickly to their surroundings or spot an enemy on the screen before they take them out.

To enjoy first-person shooting like it was meant to be enjoyed, gamers should look out for games with a high frame rate.

High FPS Means Reduced Tearing

Tearing occurs when the output rate of the GPU (FPS) does not match the display’s Hz. In order to avoid tearing, we can turn on V-SYNC. V-SYNC effectively locks the output rate of the GPU to the Hz of the display. When V-SYNC is on, the GPU is only allowed to render one frame per display refresh cycle.

Although this removes tearing, it can add input delay, and make the game feel less responsive as the GPU often has to wait to show you the results of your actions. Because of the added delay, many gamers decide to play with V-SYNC off and put up with the tearing.

Impact of Low Frame Rates

If you've ever played a video game where your character moves super slowly, then you know what we mean.

Have you ever played a game that just didn't look as smooth or fluid as it should? It was probably running at a low frame rate. Frame rates are the number of frames, or snapshots, per second in an animation sequence.

A low frame rate can make animations appear choppy and jumpy. They also add to input lag time between input and action on screen, resulting in errors and inconsistencies with timing during gameplay.

headset and monitor

Higher Resolutions Are Also Important

All monitors need to have a high resolution such as 720p, 1080p, 1440p, pixels, gameplay, or higher. This is because a higher resolution allows you to see more on your screen at once and with greater detail. It also makes it easier to read text on the monitor, which in turn does any work that has been completed much clearer and has better image quality.

When you use a higher resolution on a monitor, you will notice an improvement in image quality, making it easier for those who have eye problems or need glasses to see better.

The three main types of resolutions are standard, high definition (HD), and ultra-high definition (UHD). Standard resolutions are anywhere from 1024x768 pixels to 1920x1080 pixels, HD ranges between 1280x720pixels and 1920x1080pixels, while UHD has a resolution larger than 2160pixels (see FHD vs HD). 

Higher Resolution for Working

The higher the value of resolutions such as 720p, 1080p, 1440p, the sharper and clearer text, and images will be on your screen.

More expensive monitors have better resolution than cheaper ones so if you're looking to invest in a display, make sure you find one with high resolution for optimal viewing and working.

two women

Higher Resolution for Gaming

High resolution is important when playing a game because it can make it more lifelike and immersive than ever before.  The graphics settings from games that have HD resolutions look so realistic that sometimes you forget they aren't real-life images at all.

On the other hand, when you play a game with low resolution, everything looks pixelated and blurry, which takes away some of the fun experience when playing video games. It's no surprise then that high-resolution monitors are becoming more popular as time goes on since they offer such an amazing visual experience for gamers who want to enjoy their gameplays.

Effects of a Low Resolution

A lower resolution means fewer pixels, which in turn affects the quality and clarity of images on a screen.

It also makes it difficult for people to read text or see images clearly without using some form of magnification such as reading glasses or zooming in on a monitor with their mouse.

gamer girl

Should you Sacrifice Resolution or Frame Rate?

Resolution and Frame rate are 2 important settings that can affect your gameplay. So, which setting is more important than the other; frame per second or image quality?

There are two sides to this argument. The first side says that the higher the resolution, the better your experience will be and, therefore, should be prioritized over FPS (frame per second). The other side argues that it doesn't matter as long as you have enough frames per second to provide smooth gameplay. To find out which is correct, we need to look at how each affects your gameplay experience.

We all know that games are getting more realistic and complex, but the question is, how much can we sacrifice to get there? What's more important: frame rate or resolution? Let's take a look at both sides of this argument.

Resolution and Frame Rate

On the one hand, high resolutions mean that you will see details in the game that you might not otherwise notice on a lower screen. On the other hand, if you play games like Assassin’s Creed, it would be nice to have everything sharp and crisp so your blade slices through an enemy with precision.

The downside is that higher resolutions will make your graphics card work harder with higher resolutions since there are more pixels being rendered per second.

gaming setup

Frame rates are important when playing games to ensure a smooth gameplay experience. The smoother the game runs, the better. This is especially true for 3D and first-person shooter games, which require quick reflexes.

 If your frame rate drops below 60fps, you'll notice choppy movements in your game and lag time between pressing buttons on your controller or keyboard and seeing results on a screen.  

If you prefer higher resolution, such as 1080p and 1440p for your games or movies, try to pair with high FPS and refresh rates for a great viewing and gaming experience. Anything above 30 frames per second and a 60 Hz refresh rate will make images appear nicer on your display.

Refresh Rate

The refresh rate of a monitor is the number of times per second that the display refreshes an image. An acceptable refresh rate will create a smoother, less distorted image on your screen and prevent eyestrain.

 As technology advances, it's important to find high refresh rate monitors for you to enjoy what you are looking at without any distractions or discomfort.

A person playing a game


1. Does lower resolution increase FPS on PS4?

Yes, lowering your resolution will increase your FPS. When you reduce the resolution of the game you're playing, the graphics processor has less information to process and can process more frame data simultaneously.

2. Will I get more fps on 720p?

Yes, you should, even though 720P isn't exactly 2 times smaller than 1080P, it will yield a lot more fps.

3. Does Hard Drive affect FPS?

A healthy hard drive, HDD, or SSD won't affect FPS on its own. Typically a slow hard drive and inadequate RAM can slow down the loading of the game elements and files but the FPS is determined by other PC components.

4. Is 720p better than 1080p for gaming?

Yes, it is. Because there are more pixels in 1080p, less anti-aliasing is required for a smooth visual experience. This means that 1080p will not only likely look better than 720p, but will lead to a better gaming experience overall, as anti-aliasing can slow down a console or computer.

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

2 thoughts on “FPS vs Resolution | Faster Responsiveness Coupled With Crispier Images”

  1. I’m curious why you have to sacrifice one over the other. Why not combine the highest frames per second, the highest pixels, and the best resolution? I get that it takes more power, but that can’t be the only reason.

  2. If the refresh rate of the monitor is 60 hertz then 60 FPS is the highest frame rate that can be displayed, right?. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong. My card can produce around 300FPS in my game. If I allow the GPU to produce maximum frames with v-sync off will this enhance anything (input response?) at all or am I just wasting GPU power? Maybe setting FPS target at around 80-100 would be best. I don’t know.


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