Compared to older CRT displays, LCD monitors are far superior in all aspects – from picture quality, power consumption, and aesthetic appeal. But as with the older screens, it can also experience some annoying problems, such as screen flicker.
Flickering LCD can be quite annoying, but more than the annoyance, it can cause a lot of problems for the users in the long run, such as eye strain and headaches. This is especially true for people who regularly sit in front of their PC for hours. In this post, we will talk about the causes of this problem and their common solutions to fix them for good.
What Causes The LCD Screen To Flicker
Though computer monitor’s screen seems to be in still when no one is using it, it’s being updated constantly. It’s actually like a film strip of static images displayed extremely fast for human eye to notice; the monitor updates the image at fast rate making it look like things are moving smoothly on the screen.
The rate of updates is measured in Hertz (Hz); 1 Hz is one cycle per second. If your monitor has a 100Hz, that means it updates the screen 100 times per second. Hertz is then measured in refresh rates, which is similar to Gigahertz to measure the speed of the CPU. Gigahertz however, is measured in billions of cycles per second.
If the refresh rate of the monitor is set too low, then the screen will definitely look like it’s flickering, as the screen updates per second is much lower. While many users are comfortable with 30Hz, others can notice the flickering. This makes 60Hz the standard today.
Of course there are other factors that can cause screen flickering.
Setting Refresh Rate for Your LCD Monitor
Refresh rate of your LCD screen is largely determined by the monitor’s capabilities. While newer models now have wider range of selection, most are confined into two.
To change the refresh rate of your monitor, go to Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Display. For Windows 8 and 10, simply right-click the Start button and choose Control Panel. If you’re currently in icon view, click Display.
On the left side, click Change Display settings. Then proceed to Advanced Settings at the bottom right of the window.
Click the Monitor tab and you will see a few things. First, check the labeled Screen Refresh Rate. This is the current refresh rate of your monitor. Drop down on the menu to see other choices.
In many cases, monitors will have one or two refresh rate options. Some newer models now have wider range of choices, ranging from 30Hz all the way up to 200Hz. Those with higher refresh rates are high-end monitors, which comes with more expensive price; as they’re commonly used for gaming (such as 144Hz refresh rate).
Also, many monitors have 59Hz and 60Hz choices. There’s not a lot of difference between the two.
Other Causes of Flickering Screen
If changing the refresh rate doesn’t solve the problem, then it could be caused by other factors. Here are some common things you need to check to fix flickering issues with your monitor:
Cable – Defective cable can cause the signal to break while being transmitted through the wire. Thus, if you can, change the monitor cable that connects to your computer.
Input Port – When connecting using HDMI, try DVI, DisplayPort, or VGA instead. This could fix the problem.
Environment – Aside from possible hardware issues, electromagnetic fields can also disrupt the transmission of data through the monitor cable, causing the screen to flicker. Thus, if you have something else plugged in the same power outlet as your PC (heater, electric fan, etc.), then try unplugging them.
Video Card – Problems with the video card will definitely affect the screen output. Thus, make sure you update the drivers of your video card regularly and open your computer to ensure the video card is sitting properly on its slot.
Monitor – Last but not the least, check the monitor itself as it could be damaged. Try connecting the monitor to another computer to see if the problem remains.
These are the most common causes and fixes for LCD monitor flickering. For more about computer setup tips, monitor reviews, etc., check out Dual Monitors Guide.
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