How to Choose the Perfect Monitor

There are lots of things you need to consider when choosing a monitor. One of the most important things you need to decide is what the monitor will be used for. Are you mainly just web browsing and checking your emails? Do you want to be able to game on your monitor? Would you need to edit photos or videos? These are our picks on the most important attributes for your monitor.

Resolution

This is typically the first spec you will see listed for a monitor. The resolution is how many pixels that are on the screen. Resolutions are usually listed as width x height. For example, a 1920 x 1080p monitor has 2,073,600 pixels on the display. The higher the resolution is, the more detail that monitor can display. A low-resolution monitor can result in seeing jagged edges. Whereas a high-resolution monitor, you can’t see the pixels unless you’revery close to the screen. Resolution can be a big factor in how clear the display image looks to the user.

Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio determines the actual dimensions of your monitor and your resolution. The aspect ratio is the ratio between the width and height in pixels of your monitor. So, a 1920 x 1080p monitor has an aspect ratio of 16:9, this is the most used aspect ratio for desktop monitors. However, there are several different aspect ratios that a monitor may have. One big new thing is called UltraWide monitors. This uses the aspect ratio of 21:9. This means the screen will be wider, but not taller, hence the name UltraWide. The aspect ratio is an important spec to keep in mind, but typically only needed if looking for an UltraWide.

Screen Size

When it comes to the screen size of your monitor, this determines how large the screen is in real life. The biggest thing to keep in mind for screen size is how it is measured. Manufacturers measure screen size diagonally, meaning from one corner to the opposite corner. When looking at the screen size, it is essential to also look at the aspect ratio and resolution. The larger the screen, the higher the screen resolution needs to be in order to maintain a high pixel density. The pixel density is how many pixels per square inch there are on your monitor. Screen size is a big factor to consider.

Panel Type

The type of panel your monitor has is an essential part of the image quality for your display. There are several types of panels the most common are IPS, VA, AHVA, and TN. IPS (In-Plane Switching) is the best overall for image quality and viewing angles but usually comes at a higher cost. VA (Verticle Alightment)is typically best for higher contrast but is known for bad color shifting. Color Shifting is when the color of the image changes based upon the viewing angle. AHVA has very comparable properties to IPS along with similar performance, but less common. TN (Twisted Nematic) is a very popular panel type. TN panels are typically cheaper to produce but offer higher refresh rates. TN panels are usually favored by Gamers, while IPS panels are preferred more in photo and video editing.

Refresh Rate

The refresh rate, measured in Hertz, is how many times your monitor updates the display per second. A typical monitor will run at 60Hz, which means 60 times a second the displayed image will be updated. When it comes to simple such as, browsing the internet or checking your emails, refresh rate won’t make much of a difference. Gaming, on the other hand, can benefit greatly from a higher refresh rate. A higher refresh rate can help eliminate motion blur, which lowers image quality and smooth out your gaming experience.

Response Time

The response time, measured in milliseconds, of a monitor, is how long it takes for the monitor to update the display. Manufacturers measure response time by timing how long it for a white pixel to turn black, then back to white. Higher response times will help eliminate what is called ghosting, which will ultimately improve the image quality. If you notice that the response time has GTG after it, this means Gray to Gray. GTG means the manufacturer measured the response time by timing how long it takes for a gray pixel to turn black, and back to gray. When it comes to gaming, typically a response time anywhere from one to five milliseconds is sufficient.

FreeSync

FreeSync is a technology developed by AMD to help eliminate screen tearing in games. Screen tearing is when your graphics card and monitor refresh rates get out of sync. Meaning when your graphics card is in the middle of rendering a frame and your monitor request the next frame, this causes only part of the frame to be updated. In short, it combines multiple frames into one giving it a tearing effect. FreeSync times these frames with the monitor refresh rate to help eliminate this effect. You will need an AMD graphics card and a monitor that supports FreeSync in order to use this technology.

GSync

GSync is similar to FreeSync but designed by Nvidia. In order to use GSync, you need a Nvidia graphics card and a monitor that supports GSync. Both FreeSync and GSync are designed to help eliminate screen tearing.

Color Accuracy

Color accuracy is a measure of how well a monitor can reproduce a true to life color. A monitor with a low color accuracy will cause an image to look different from a monitor with a high color accuracy. When dealing with photo and video editing, high color accuracy is essential to help ensure everyone can see the best possible image.

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