Things to Look Out for When Shopping for a PC Monitor
Here are a few things you have to consider when buying a PC monitor.
One of the first things people naturally consider when buying a monitor is the screen size. It’s a fairly subjective factor because how big you want your monitor relies heavily on your preference and on the size of your desk. While there are a variety of sizes to choose from, it’s best to go with monitors from 24 inches and above for widescreens and 34 inches for ultrawides. Anything lower and you may just as well have gotten a portable computer because you’d be wasting all the desktop-grade internals on what’s basically laptop-level screen size. One of the reasons you’re letting yourself get tethered to wall is because of the power and extra screen real estate
The main internal debate that you’re going to have with yourself when it comes to the physical dimensions of your monitor is the aspect ratio. The most common of which are widescreen 16:9 and ultrawide 21:9 monitors.
For most people, widescreens should work perfectly. It’s the most common currently sold in shops across the world. Because of its prominence, current games and computer programs are designed specifically for this aspect ratio. In this format, most movies wouldn’t suffer from letterboxing, full-screen programs would be optimized, and multitasking with multiple programs open side by side would be acceptable too. On the gaming side of the equation, modern games should also have no problems with this aspect ratio as they ’re designed for it.
On the other hand, ultrawide monitors are starting to carve a niche market of its own. It’s perfect for people who want more data and information available at the ready. Having multiple windows side-by-side with all the necessary information displayed would look absolutely perfect because of the extra horizontal space. This makes it an excellent workstation monitor.
As for games and entertainment purposes, on the other hand, the ultrawide may not be the best choice if the games and movies that you play are not compatible with the aspect ratio. Letterboxing on the sides can be distracting which is a huge thing when it comes to high stakes video games. However, if your games do support 21:9 gameplay it’s one of the most immersive experiences. In games FPS games, this can give you the ultimate advantage. It can show you more of the field so you can act and react accordingly.
They’re often bigger in terms of screen size too so make sure you opt for 27 inches and above otherwise, the vertical space is going to be too small to compensate for the length of the sides.
The resolution is probably one of the most important factors in a PC. It basically dictates how much pixelation there ’s going to be in the images from your computer. Most high definition laptops have a 1366 x 768 resolution but the small screen sizes make that fit just right in a smaller screen. For 24-inch monitors, that same resolution would not be optimal as it’ll have obvious pixelation in an effort to cover the whole screen with images.
For computer monitors larger than 17-inches, the best screen resolution would be at least Full HD at 1080p. This ensures that you’re going to have decent image quality for viewing photos, a nice detailed gaming experience, and a pleasant time reading text without being able to discern individual pixels on the screen.
So far, things to look out for in a computer monitor have been fairly similar across all demographics. It’s in panel technology that is going to make gamers and artists separate. The most common panels in the market are TN and IPS panels. Gamers usually go for TN panels while artists go for IPS ones.
Gamers prefer their monitors to have high refresh rates and quick response times to enable them to act and react quickly in fast-paced games. TN panels offer both of these features as a standard. However, they tend to have terrible viewing angles and a not so stellar color accuracy.
These factors are observable in interactive moving images such as gaming so non-gamers don’t have to worry themselves with refresh rates and response times.
On the other hand, IPS panels offer color accuracy and better viewing angles. Image quality, therefore, is its main feature. This makes IPS panels perfect for digital artists who require a spot on color accuracy and overall image quality.
However, some expensive IPS screens also offer high refresh rates and quick response times. Those screen panels offer the best of both worlds albeit at a premium price point.
There are various types of PC to monitor connectors. The most common of which are display ports, HDMI, DVI, and VGA.
Display ports are the most modern PC to monitor connection solutions. They transfer the most amount of data in the shortest amount of time so you can make the most of your monitor’s in-built technology and your card’s graphics crunching capabilities. It can support 144Hz refresh rates in 1080p monitors and has data transfer speeds of up to 26Gbps. It also supports 4k, Nvidia’s G-sync and HDR. It also allows for daisy chaining if you intend to use multiple monitors.
Monitors with the capacity to live up to the capabilities of this connection standard are still quite rare and expensive. This means that this connection standard still hasn’t lived up to its full potential.
The connector type also works well for the display port as the current generation supports a tiny USB Type C connector to accomplish all of these features. Other connector types are clunky and can be cumbersome. However, mainstream monitors haven’t adapted to these standards yet so finding one that has a USB Type C port is still a bit difficult.
HDMI is the next best thing as it’s present in most modern monitors and televisions. It’s just starting to gain a wide adoption with some gaming monitors only offering just this connection standard. Some gaming monitors, for example, are so confident in HDMI that it’s the only port they have.
It largely matches the capabilities of the display port minus the G-Sync support. Its wide adoption in the PC market works well for it.
DVI and VGA are dying technologies in the monitor connection world. They’ve served their purpose in last year’s high-end PCs but their capabilities have peaked and have been eclipsed by newer better technologies. They still experience high adoption numbers but it’s expected to drop with each passing year.