The fastest gaming monitors you can buy right now with sports panels with 360 Hz refresh rates, and you need a fast graphics card to get the most out of this speed. Either way, there are even faster models on the horizon, up to 480Hz. This is a serious speed.
Ultra fast monitors will take a while to get to market, but people will TFT Central let’s say both LG Display (the division that really makes display screens) and AU Optronics have 480Hz panels on their respective roadmaps.
As for LG Display, it plans to develop 480Hz (1080p) panels before the end of 2021 and then start producing them at the end of next year. So in reality, monitors equipped with 480Hz panels will probably not come out until 2023.
AU Optronics is also a major supplier of display panels and, according to TFT Central, now lists several faster screens on its product roadmap, including those that will drive 480Hz to 1080p, 360Hz to 1440p, and 240Hz to 4K. Of those three, 1440p screens up to 360Hz will go into production later this year, followed by the other two sometime next year.
When 480 Hz gaming monitors hit the market, we should have access to even faster GPUs that, in fact, could drive 480 frames per second in less demanding games. It is rumored that AMD, for example, will work on a new RDNA 3-based GPU with three times the number of cores as its current flagship, the Radeon RX 6900 XT.
Meanwhile, there are already talks about the new generation of Nvidia's GeForce RTX 40 series, which could include GPUs manufactured in a 5-nanometer process, with a flagship offering that promotes almost twice as many CUDA cores as the GeForce RTX 3090.
And let's not forget Intel, which plans to launch its first discrete GPU from Larrabee this year. Assuming it’s not a monumental failure (and there’s no reason to believe it), Intel will also have faster GPU hardware next year.
However, the prospect of a refresh rate of 480Hz is quite niche. Even 360Hz monitors are relatively uncommon, in part because high-end hardware is needed to get close to their capabilities. They are advantageous mainly for less demanding sports titles, where faster frames take precedence over everything else.
That said, I’m pretty pleased to see higher refresh rates at higher resolutions. The same principle applies: it takes a bit of corpulent hardware to increase the frame rate to 1440p and especially to 4K, but if you left 1080p in the rearview mirror as I have (my daily driver is a 1440p screen), still have access to faster monitors in the not too distant future.