How to Choose a Monitor?

by Arslan Ashraf

How to Choose a Monitor?

The monitor, also known as the video display unit, is an output device that displays computer work pictorially. In other words, it’s the window to see the soul of your computer. The right monitor lets you view a lackluster gaming experience, impressive video editing, and enjoyable web browsing. Whenever you want to set up the computer system, choosing the right type of monitor is essential. Some monitors might seem like they have similar things, but they offer different characteristics that may or may not fulfill your needs. 

In addition, when you go to the market to buy a monitor, you encounter various products. So, it becomes difficult for an ordinary user to choose the best monitor. Some monitors are seen as outstanding quality or may inspire you by their fancy shape and shiny look, but their functions may not be that satisfying. Therefore, I’ll guide you through the process of how to choose a monitor that can not only perform smoothly but also have a high-quality build. Without wasting any time, let’s jump straight into the topic! 

What are the types of monitors?

To identify a good monitor, you must first know about the different types of monitors. There are several types of monitors, so let’s explore them!

Liquid Crystal Display or LCD

LCD is a flat display whose resolution power varies with its size. So when the size of the display increases, its resolution power also increases. LCD monitors consume less energy and are very light in weight. These have a wide range of refresh rates. LCD monitors are best for gaming because they have good RAM and ROM frequency. Other types of LCD monitors include:

In-Plane Switching or IPS: IPS displays are pretty famous among enthusiasts who use computers and laptops. They work on the same phenomenon as LCDs but offer better visuals, bright and crisp graphics, outstanding sharpness, improved viewing angles, higher refresh rate, and faster pixel response. In contrast, it lags in terms of the contrasty dark images and black levels.

Twisted Nematic or TN: Twisted Nematic or TN panels fall into the category of LCD-based panels but with few improvements. First, they are inexpensive to make, so they are cost-effective if we compare them with other displays. These have a speedy response time which is suitable for gaming but lacks in terms of contrast and color performance than other types.

Light Emitting Diode or LED

LED is also a flat-screen type but is considered better than LCD for several reasons. It uses light-emitting diodes for backlights rather than the fluorescent backlights in LCD screens. In this way, you get better contrast, clear images while rendering, and several other benefits. But at the same time, it’s more expensive than LCD screens.

Vertical Alignment or VA: These displays are more extended vertically, providing better image depth than the other types of displays. It’s a type of LED display but with better contrast, impressive motion clarity, and crisp quality, so you can enjoy looking at appealing visuals. However, these displays also have some downsides, like limited viewing angles and higher prices most of the time. 

Organic Light Emitting Diode or OLED: As the name showcases, the OLED panels are based on LED technology but use organic pixel elements to emit their own light. They are perfect for top-quality contrast and impressive black levels, so they beat the other [anesl in terms of color performance and motion clarity. But these aren’t as bright as the competition, plus they are pretty expensive for PCs and laptops.

What’s the best monitor type?

All the display types that we have discussed earlier have their own advantages and downsides. But if I suggest, as per my experience, the OLED displays win in terms of all performance-based aspects but are expensive simultaneously. Therefore, the next candidate on the list is the IPS which isn’t that loose in terms of performance but offers way better value for the money—this wears the winner’s crown. In addition, if viewing angles aren’t an issue for you, you can also utilize the VA panels for improved image quality and video editing. 

Consider these Monitor Connectors

Computer monitors require different kinds of connectors to connect with computers. We are discussing all the important ones, so make sure to check whether these are present on the monitor you’re purchasing or not. Go for one that has all these connectivity options. 

VGA: It is a popular display stand for a Video Graphic adapter that connects a monitor to a computer. It offers a 650×480 resolution display, including 16 colors with a refresh rate of 60Hz at a time. It can only show lower quality and lower resolution display on the screen.

Thunderbolt: Thunderbolt: It is a hardware interface marketed under the name Light Peak and developed by Intel in collaboration with Apple. It connects several devices such as a mouse, keyboard, printer, scanner, and many others to a computer. 

The first two versions of Thunderbolt can transfer data at a rate of up to 20 Gb in a second. The 3rd iteration can use a USB Type-C connector and can transfer data at a rate of up to 40 Gb per second. You must consider Thunderbolt while buying a display.

DVI: It is a video display interface, which stands for Digital Visual Interface. It transmits Digital Visual interfaces and displays devices at high 2560 x 1600 resolutions. Computer monitors and projectors are the standard devices that use the DVI connection. Make sure to have at least one on your monitor.

Few quick shopping tips

When there are several main factors to consider, there are a few simple but often neglected aspects that every user must consider to make a precise decision. Those include:

Usage or Purpose: One of the most important factors to consider before purchasing a motherboard is how you want to use your monitor. Do you want to play games on it, create content, or just for normal internet surfing? Most of the time, a gamer needs a top-tier display to run its three-digit refresh rate and high-resolution graphics—more on it in the next section.

Consider your expected resolution: The resolution capability of the monitor is another essential factor to consider while purchasing it. Generally, you can’t go for a display with any resolution lesser than 1080p or HD, dispensing upon your usage and requirements. But I suggest you go for a display with FHD resolution capability since it’s a perfect mid-ground for you.

Refresh rate: When I’m telling you about the display resolution, how can I forget to mention the refresh rate? The screen resolution or quality is undoubtedly incomplete without a three-digit refresh rate. You must go for a gaming monitor with at least a 75Hz – 120Hz display. At the same time, a 60Hz display would be more than enough if you use your system for general purposes. 

Size of the monitor: The overall size or dimensions of the monitor plays an essential role in the user experience. For your information, I’m taking the monitor size as the distance from one corner to the other screen’s corner in the opposite direction. As per the limits matters, a 24-inch display with 109 pixels per inch (PPI) is considered a sweet spot for various uses and users.

Screen response times: The response time is the time a screen takes to transform an individual pixel from black to white or a single gray shade to another for GTG response time. As per the limits matters, you can purchase a display with a 0.5ms – 5ms response time. But a screen with 1ms – 2ms response time is considered quite excellent for top-tier uses like gaming. 

Type of panel: As I discussed and mentioned earlier, the panel type is the foremost vital factor to consider. If I summarize the whole explanation given at the beginning of this post, the panels are like TN < IPS < VA < OLED in terms of image quality. I suggest you go for the OLED if the price isn’t an issue for you. If it’s, go for the VA or IPS panels as per your usage. 

Curved monitors are better: The curved monitors are way better than the plain ones since these provide a better field of view and eye-friendly visuals. At the same time, these displays are pricey plus may not be that effective to view at certain angles. Other than that, these boost your gaming, content creation, development, and more with ultrawide sizes and better visual appearance.

What resolution do I need for gaming?

Another query that often hits enthusiasts’ minds is what gaming resolution they really need. Well, the answer to this question varies from user to user and what resolution they want while playing games. Most of the users are satisfied with FHD resolution with 70+Hz refresh rate and 60+ fps depending upon the game. If you’re curious about finding a suitable card to support your dreams, you can check out these articles on the best gaming GPUs or top-tier cards for other uses. In addition, you need a suitable monitor to showcase the graphics output of these cards.

As far as the monitor matters, a monitor with FHD (1920 x 1080) pixels or QHD (2560 x 1440) resolution is considered a sweet spot for gaming. In addition, if it has 70+ Hz and 109 pixels per inch (PPI), it would be like the cherry on top. Size-wise, a display with a 24-inch – 32-inch size is preferred by gamers most of the time. In short, consider all the factors I mentioned above to support your good-quality graphics card so you can play games at maximum resolution. If you want to upgrade your card in the future, make sure to buy a future-proof monitor.

Different monitors for different usage

Editing videos or photos

LCD monitors are commonly used for editing because they offer a high-quality contract ratio, higher brightness levels, and good color compatibility. For editing purposes, monitor brightness level expressed in cd/m2, choose 1000 cd/m2 or higher optimal HDR editing—HDR10 with FHD, or QHD resolution is suitable for editing and readily available. In addition, if you want to take everything up to the next level, you can even go for up to 4k monitors. But make sure to save your pocket from breaking while purchasing one. 

Development and programming

The resolution power of the monitor is necessary for programming since high resolution provides better readability to read the code easily. The three common resolutions, 1080, 1440, and 4k, are best for this purpose—4k resolutions are superb because they reduce eye strain. If you think it is expensive, choose the 1080p resolution monitor for the programming. In contrast, the screen size is more like a personal preference, so it may not affect your programming. 

Some people choose a smaller screen size because of their desk space, and others prefer larger screens that let them watch movies or play games. The screen’s power must be your first preference whenever you select the monitor’s resolution size. We can’t forget about the refresh rate for development. The best refresh time of a monitor for programming is 5ms or 60HZ. The IPS panel is best for programming because it has vibrant colors, good contrast, and the best viewing angle.

Home-based or office usage

For home-based or office work, a 27-inches screen is perfect since it takes less space and looks impressive for typical productive work. For viewing movies and data storage, the 1080p resolution power of the monitor is enough. In contrast, if you’re a professional who just loves top-tier tech products, you can even go for a monitor with up to QHD resolution. In addition, don’t forget to check the display’s refresh rate and fps capabilities. These shouldn’t be less than 60Hz and 60fps as per your needs. 

Graphic designing or 3D rendering

If you’re a graphic designer, you would need a good-quality LCD panel with high resolution. A resolution of 1440p or above is the best for graphic design. Color and greyscale accuracy are also necessary, so consider this as well. Graphic designers require colors that look the same on screen as in print, which means the monitor should be able to display all the colors accurately. IPS panel types give solid color. So consider this with a 27-inch size to 32 inches for the best graphic design experience.

Conclusion

A monitor is an essential part of your PC since it displays everything you are performing or happening on the backend. It’s like the soul of the computer that allows us to see what is inside. The right type of display is the only way to enjoy the authentic gaming experience or do your productive tasks like graphics design or content creation. But it’s pretty tricky to uncover a suitable monitor since there are so many in the market that you will get confused while selecting one. You must know how to choose a monitor to make the right decision. 

Well, this post is all about this topic. First, you must decide what type of panel you need. For this, you have to determine your usage and then explore the different types given at the beginning of the post. In addition, we should also focus on our primary purpose of the monitor so that it may be helpful to you to buy a handsome monitor, and you’ll always enjoy having this. After that, you have to ensure your expected resolution, refresh rate, and monitor size as per your requirement. In this way, you can find a suitable display for your computer. 

Arslan Ashraf

Arslan Ashraf is a tech enthusiast and an experienced technical writer at GamingDairy. He has been writing all types of guides, tutorials, and tips for gamers, developers, and other people who use computers. His way of writing is quite unique: he starts with testing every single piece of Hardware and does a long list of experiments before writing the actual masterpiece. Well, if you have any queries, ensure to connect with him!