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Daily Authority: 👀 500Hz refresh

BOE's 500Hz panel for buttery-smooth-everything, Google tablets, and more tech news you need to know today!

Published onJanuary 31, 2022

OnePlus 8 Pro 120Hz display refresh rate setting

🔫 Good morning! My very lovely friends got me Deathloop on PS5 and wow, what a strange interesting game.


boe 500hz

It’s a fairly quiet day in tech, as we ramp towards Samsung Unpacked next week and whatever comes of MWC 2022 later in the month in Barcelona, Spain. (I’m hoping to go, but it looks dicey).

  • Anyway, something interesting is that news outlets in China published that display manufacturer BOE has made the world’s first 500Hz monitor.

Seemingly for gaming purposes, and somehow tied in with the Winter Olympics happening in a few days, the new panel is wild:

  • It’s a 27-inch, Full HD panel with a “high-mobility oxide backplane” and response time of 1ms.
  • It’s a demonstrator, and in fact, you can watch the prototype in a video, here, but remember a) you absolutely can’t appreciate it on your measly monitor and its 60Hz refresh rate or whatever it is you’re watching on, and b) maybe this is vaguely propaganda, just in time for the Olympics.
  • Other attributes of the panel include “accurate 8-bit output” and “support for an 8-lane Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) signal”.
  • Anyway, right now, monitors from ASUS, Acer, Alienware, and the like top out at 360Hz.
  • And the problem is to get anything out of this display, you’ll need at least 500 FPS coming out of your computer, which would likely not be possible even with the most overpowered, expensive rig possible, except if you’re playing Minecraft and only looking at the sky, or something.

What matters:

  • Probably the detail that matters isn’t the refresh rate but the new semiconductor material used here.
  • The Droid Verse points out that this is an “important breakthrough on the way to new semiconductor materials for thin-film transistors (TFTs) in displays.”
  • Quote: “While most liquid crystal displays (LCDs) use amorphous silicon (a-Si) as the material for the TFT backplane, there are newer materials that offer distinct advantages in certain respects. Ten years ago, for example, Sharp began mass production of IGZO displays based on indium gallium zinc oxide. An IGZO TFT is said to have 20 to 50 times higher electron mobility than a-Si TFTs, which is the basis for faster displays.”
  • It’s likely that this won’t be coming to your smartphone for some years. The problem really is diminishing returns from higher refresh rates: jumping from 60Hz to 120Hz makes a nice, noticeable, buttery-smooth difference on your smartphone when scrolling and in games. But further increases in refresh rates mean fewer milliseconds between the last frame and the next.


Monday Meme

I love Google’s AI-generated suggested text that pops up in all kinds of useful/absurd ways and this is just perfect:



Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor