NVIDIA Is Right: Higher Hz Rates Help With Battle Royale Games

By Patrick Moorhead - March 7, 2019

There has been some discussion in the gaming and financial community if it makes sense for hugely popular Battle Royale games like PUBG, Fortnite and the recently released Apex Legends, to benefit from a high-end GPU. When I saw NVIDIA’s headline on its analysis, I thought, “duh” everybody knows this. Apparently, everyone doesn’t know this as NVIDIA poured an incredible of time and money into the analysis showing what I thought was obvious.

I could see how this misunderstanding happened as Battle Royales aren’t necessarily as graphics-rich as another kind of AAA games and gamers might run them at a lower resolution on lower-end graphics solutions. However, what some are missing is that playing at higher refresh rates on higher frequency displays with higher DPI mice helps gaming performance. NVIDIA showed that when using a higher-performance graphics card like the RTX 2080 versus a lower end one, gamers can get between 5-6X lower latency.

This makes sense to me as operating at higher refresh rates between cards and displays gamers can see the next frame quicker and will likely be smoother and sharper. This combines into better accuracy and faster gameplay.

NVIDIA also researched how kill-to-death are impacted by higher refresh rates, and it was what you would expect. NVIDIA shows how the newer RTX 20-Series graphics cards saw a 53% increase in kill-to-death ratio compared to a player using the older 600-series cards. One of the more interesting cuts of the data indicates that this is independent of skill level. Even gamers who don’t play a lot saw higher kill-to-death ratios.

Patrick "Pico" Moorhead playing Battle Royale games at highest refresh rates

All this data from NVIDIA makes sense to me personally in my gameplay but more so with my son’s gameplay. My 16-year-old son, who is Twitch verified and plays games all the time, swears by this. He plays at between 144 and 240Hz at 1080P resolution, even though his display and card (1080 Ti hoping to get an RTX 2080 Ti) can display an even higher resolution. He swears by it, and his performance proves it.

I’m now wondering now if 144Hz is the new 60Hz. You can see all the gory details from NVIDIA Research here.

Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.  

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Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.