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I am planning to invest in an external 144 Hz display for smooth game developments, now as far as I know macOS outputs video at 60 Hz so if I buy an 144 Hz external display will my MacBook be able to output video/operate at 144 Hz screen refresh rate?

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  • It depends what you're doing. It's not going to output a standard movie at anything other than 24 fps, or television at 25 or 30. Screen refresh rate has absolutely nothing to do with output fps. [Only teen gamers with nothing better to brag about would ever be (unduly & for all the wrong reasons) concerned about it]
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 4 '17 at 20:12
  • I currently develop games using Unity on an iMac and sometimes while creating landscapes and creating/adding new objects to the game causes screen tearing so I thought it might be because of the screen refresh rate so will macOS be able to output at 100/120 Hz?
    – Sayan
    Dec 4 '17 at 20:15
  • @Tetsujin For gaming it really can be quite nice–even in everyday use, it can feel more fluid (though you do get diminishing returns the faster you go.)
    – JMY1000
    Dec 4 '17 at 20:19
  • @JMY1000 You mean Game Development right :-)
    – Sayan
    Dec 4 '17 at 20:21
  • @Sayan See my answer.
    – JMY1000
    Dec 4 '17 at 20:26
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Yes, it should work out of the box given the right cable and a new enough MacBook (some MacBooks will need a 3rd party patch.) If you're still having issues (which you shouldn't), you can try using SwitchResX to force the monitor to work at the correct settings.

However, you indicated that screen tearing was the issue you wanted to solve. Faster refresh rates won't solve screen tearing, only Vsync (which hurts performance), FreeSync (which requires an AMD card, specialized monitor, and Linux/Windows) or Gsync (which requires an Nvidia card, and more expensive specialized monitors.)

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  • I am buying the Acer Predator Z35 which is a G - Sync enabled monitor. I have consulted with various tech reviewers and YouTubers and most of them said that the difference was minimal in terms of performance (Screen Tearing) when G - Sync was on/off so I guess your 3rd party patch will be enough to solve my issue. BTW I totally forgot about eGPU, T think eGPU will be be capable of solving the G-Sync Issue!
    – Sayan
    Dec 4 '17 at 20:49
  • @Sayan While Gsync won't improve your performance, assuming your framerate is within the range specified by the monitor, it will fix screen tearing. That's what it does.
    – JMY1000
    Dec 4 '17 at 22:32
  • Earlier I was considering a 32 inch 144 Hz display which I coudn't find anywhere so I am thinking of buying an Asus Pro Art 32 inch 75 Hz Display, so now my concern is will your third party option allow me to force macOS output anything on the screen at 75 Hz plus you said as an answer to my question that (Yes it should) so are you trying to say that connecting a macbook or MacPro to an extrenal display of any refresh rate forces macOS to output video and everything (from 3D modules/Animations and Graphics at the default refresh rate of the monitor-which can be anything from 75 Hz to 144 Hz)
    – Sayan
    Dec 6 '17 at 8:23
  • @Sayan SwitchResX should allow any arbitrary resolution and refresh rate. As for individual applications, most things should work with the faster refresh, but there's no guarantee. Note that the PA329Q does not have FreeSync or Gsync, and tearing will be as bad as before.
    – JMY1000
    Dec 6 '17 at 9:13
  • So do you have any suggestions on a 32 inch monitor with G-Sync? I mean I couldn't find a single monitor with all these features!
    – Sayan
    Dec 6 '17 at 9:17
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In my case i only get 120hz, i'm using a Macbook pro 2017, a Samsung Odyssey monitor with hdmi 2.0, but MacOSX only shows 120hz in screen options. enter image description here

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