A surprising number of computer users can go for years without knowing anything about monitor refresh rates or how to set them.

The monitor refresh rate refers to the speed at which a CRT monitor refreshes its screen images or “redraws” itself. This rate is measured in cycles per second, or hertz (Hz). The refresh rate impacts a monitor’s perceived image quality. If a CRT monitor is refreshing at a slow rate, the picture will appear to pulsate or flicker – a situation that is uncomfortable for users, and which can lead to eye fatigue or even headaches.

For comfortable viewing, use a refresh rate of 70Hz or higher. To change this setting in Windows XP, right-click on the desktop, and then choose Properties. Click the “Settings” tab, and then click “Advanced”. Under the “Monitor” tab, lies the screen refresh rate options.