PC | Ahmad Humeid’s has a tip for a more stable image on your computer screen

If using your computer is giving you’re a headache, there’s a good chance you’re simply a victim of a flickering monitor. The problem of screen flicker is yet another proof that PC technology is simply mediocre. Technically, there is absolutely no reason for your screen to flicker. It’s just a matter of configuring your Display Control Panel correctly and the problem will be gone. Yes, it’s as simple as that.

If you’re a laptop or LCD flat screen user, you shouldn’t have this problem in the first place, although I recently saw a different kind of flicker on a 17” laptop (which in the end turned out to have a faulty screen). With the proliferation of flat screen LCDs, less people are suffering from the annoying flickering. Yet a majority of computer users still use Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors (meaning: normal monitors), which are prone to the ridiculous flicker problem.

Here’s the secret behind the flicker: similar to a TV your monitor displays images by means of an electron ray that is shot from the back of the monitor onto the inner surface of the screen. This ray ‘scans’ your entire monitor, line by line anywhere between 60 and 100 times a second. The slower the scanning is the more evident is the scanning process, hence the flickering (imagine a light being turned on and off 60 times a second). On the other hand, if the rate of scanning goes up, the flickering becomes less noticeable or disappears altogether as far as the human eye is concerned.

The funny thing is that most monitors (even those 4 and 5 years old) are capable of scanning rates (sometimes called refresh rates) of 85hz or more, which means that their images are very stable. But for some reason, the default setting on many Windows machines is 60 hz, which usually result in an annoying flicker.

Amazingly, many users don’t even notice this because they’ve gotten used to it. Once they are made aware of the difference in image stability between 60 and 80 hz (or more) they wonder how they endured this agony for all this time.

You can notice the difference more clearly when you turn your gaze away from the monitor, yet still keeping the monitor in the corner of your eye.

I have made it a habit when I use anyone’s computer to immediately go to the Display Control Panel, look under the ‘adapter’ and change the refresh rate up to at least 80 hz. This sometimes results in a slightly smaller image in the monitor. Using the monitor’s front panel button I can easily adjust the image’s width and height to fit the screen.

Your eyes don’t deserve the flicker and your head can do without the extra stress. Lean how to control you display now.

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5 responses to “Got headache? Maybe it’s that flickering screen!”

  1. david doryon Avatar
    david doryon

    I am only getting an headache when using the browser (Explorer). Could it be because of different colours of the html?

  2. Stan Pilofono Avatar
    Stan Pilofono

    Thanks for the great info! Saved my eyes!

  3. riaz khatri Avatar
    riaz khatri

    i have ( 9 ) years expierince in main bords laptop & l c d monitor

  4. wisdom Avatar

    For some people it could cause a headache. For others I doubt it. Try taking breaks and exercising.

  5. Rick Avatar

    I’ve tried changing the refresh rate on my Dell Vista laptop and it won’t let me change it from 63 Hz!

    Sore heads all round :(