Hello! We recently have run over some articles focused on building a computer and today I wanted to touch base on choosing a monitor. There are so many options out there, different sizes, types, it can really be overwhelming so hopefully, this computer monitor buying guide will give some guidance.
So Much to See!
There are so many variables to look at when purchasing a new monitor. In this computer buying guide, I primarily want to focus on quality because there is a huge difference in 1080, 1440, and 4k.
First of all, let’s break down some variables to better understand what all these numbers mean.
The term Resolution refers to the number of pixels a screen has, horizontal x vertical. The resolution lets us know how far the screen deviates from a 1:1 aspect. The more pixels you put into a screen size, the sharper. If I had 4K resolution on a 24-inch monitor compared to a 48-inch, the 24 would probably look better.
Some standard resolutions you’ll hear about are:
COMMON RESOLUTIONS FOR MONITORS
|Full HD (FHD)||1,920×1,080||16:9|
|Wide Quad HD (WQHD)||2,560×1440||16:9|
|Wide quad XGA||2,560×1,600||16:10|
|Ultra-wide quad HD||3,440×1,440||21:9|
|Ultra HD 4K (UHD)||3,840×2,160||16:9|
|Digital Cinema Initiatives 4K (DCI 4K)||4,096×2,160||Between 16:8 and 16:9|
Refresh Rate and Frame Rate
Secondly, in our computer monitor buying guide, we have a few refresh rates here expressed in Hertz.
- 60 Hz
- 75 Hz
- 120 Hz
- 144 Hz
- 240 Hz
60 Hz is common among most monitors that run 1920×1080 and the number means how many times the screen refreshes a second. 60 Hz = 60 times per second. When you start getting into bigger resolution monitors like the 2560×1440, you begin to enter 120 Hz refresh. Basically, what this means is sharpness is increased, decreasing the blur seen and you have a quicker refresh on your images.
Now let’s look at the frame rate because these two do come hand in hand. This portion is mostly for gamers. The frame rate is the number of frames your video card is producing. If you play a game at 120 FPS (Frames Per Second/Frame rate) and your monitor is 60 Hz, you might start screen tearing because your graphics card is putting out more than your monitor can handle. V-Sync is a common solution to 60 Hz tearing as it caps the games FPS to 60 but this can cause performance issues.
I honestly only recommend gamers worry about anything higher than 60 Hz and spending money on image quality is more important for the casual user.
Do You Like Them Curvy or Flat?
Curved monitors can make a big difference compared to flat ones. Sometimes light reflection can be a huge problem but with a curve in your monitor, the reflection doesn’t get to you as easily. However, if you do get in a bad position, the light reflection will magnify since it is a curvy monitor. Curved monitors are also way more expensive than flat as well.
TV vs Computer Monitor
A big difference here to note is that TVs are not meant to be seen close. Also, they generally have a 60 Hz refresh rate and spending extra for 120 Hz is not ideal. So some people try to use a tv as a computer monitor and this is generally not a great idea. Another point is a 32-inch tv will look super fuzzy because you are spreading out the pixels and using 60 Hz refresh rate. Anything below 32 inches of a tv is generally 720p and even worse quality, so using a tv is not a good choice. Trust me, I’ve tried.
Computer Monitor Buying Guide
So now let’s figure out how to weed out monitors and make an educated selection! Because everyone loves reading and learning, right? My favorite way to make a choice is to just have two options and run down a tree since there are tons of monitors out there. It’s a solid process of elimination and you don’t get stuck in the paradox of choice. Just roll down these bullet points and by the end, you will just have to go find the monitor that fits what you want. An educated buy.
- 60/75 Hz or 120/144/240 Hz
- How many inches, 24 inches, 27?
- What monitor resolution?
- Price range
- Curvy or Flat
Also, you can use this website I found to help make a decision. It provides every monitor out there and has all the stats lined up for it.
Now using these parameters, I chose a 144 Hz, 24 inches, 1920×1080, flat gaming monitor for $264. There you go, it’s that simple. You know what you are looking for and you now have it.
I hope this helps and you learned something today, now head on over and find a nice, new keyboard to go with that monitor! Please comment below if you have any questions, I’d love to hear them.