Before buying a monitor let me remind you few things to consider. As we know the monitor soul of your PC or any system. Without a proper display, anything the system performs, whether viewing or editing photos and videos, reading text from your favorite websites, or playing games, will look not perfect, if the monitor is not compatible.
Hardware vendors have filled the market with different options, understanding how the experience changes with different display specifications and features. But what are the most important features and specifications for how to use the monitor? Should I choose 4K, 1440p, 1080p, or regular HD resolution?
What is the difference? How important are refresh rates and response times? Do flicker-free blue light mode, G-Sync, and FreeSync matter? If you focus on gaming, professional applications, general use, how should you change your priorities?
If you’re looking for recommendations before you start, see our Best Computer Monitors page or our list of Best Gaming Monitors under 500. We also categorize HDR displays in our Best 4K Gaming Monitors and Best Budget 4K Monitors pages to select high resolutions and How to choose the best HDR monitor articles.
Quick Monitor Shopping Tips 2021
Determines the primary purpose of the monitor (gaming, professional, or general use). In general, gamers prioritize fast refresh rates and low response times, professionals should prioritize color accuracy, and average users have less specific requirements, but often choose monitors with high-contrast VA panels.
The higher the resolution, the better the picture. A monitor’s resolution refers to the number of pixels it contains in a horizontal x vertical format. 1920 x 1080 (also known as 1080p, Full HD (FHD), and HD) is the minimum required. However, you can get sharper images with QHD and sharper images with 4K.
Size is also important. Pixel density has a huge impact on monitor quality, with an optimal point of 109 pixels per inch (PPI). Larger monitors have lower pixel density at lower resolutions. From a typical desktop distance, 32 inches is ‘big’ enough. It’s not hard to find a 32-inch gaming or general-purpose monitor at 4K resolution for under $1,000.
Refresh Rate: The bigger the better. It tells you how many times the monitor updates with new information per second, and is measured in hertz (Hz). The higher the number, the better, the smoother and uneven the image will be. The refresh rate is especially important for gamers who want a monitor with at least 75Hz (most monitors designed for gaming offer at least 120Hz) and the lowest response times they can find. If you’re not gaming, a 60Hz refresh rate is fine.
Response time: Shorter is better, but unless you’re gaming, it’s not a big priority. Response time tells you how long it takes for a monitor to change an individual pixel from black to white, or from one shade to another if it’s GTG response time. Long response times can cause motion blur when playing games or watching fast-paced videos. For gaming monitors, the highest response time is 5 ms, and for the fastest gaming monitor, the response time is 0.5 ms.
Panel technology: TN? IPS? & VA for image quality?. TN monitors are the fastest but cheapest because of the poor image quality when viewed from a side angle. IPS monitors have slightly faster response times and display colors better than VA panels, but VA monitors offer the best contrast across all three-panel types. See the dedicated section below for more information on the differences between the panel types.
Consider a curved monitor. Curved monitors provide a more immersive experience with a wide viewing angle and reduce eye strain. However, glare can occur when viewed from certain angles (the light source comes from various angles rather than just one). Effective curved monitors are usually ultra-wide and at least 30 inches, both of which represent a higher cost.
When buying a curved monitor, understand the curvature specifications. The 1800R curvature has a radius of curvature of 1800mm and the recommended maximum viewing distance is 1.8m. The lower the curvature (up to 1000R), the more curved the display.
General Use Monitors: What Features Are Important?
Check out out Guide to buy a Best Monitor under 300, gaming and professional monitors are eligible for use as general-purpose displays. But if you don’t want to spend extra money on a specialized monitor, you need a product that’s well-suited for all kinds of computing, entertainment, and productivity. Here’s how to decide what’s best for you:
Contrast is king, so are VA panels. Consider contrast as the first measure of image quality, followed by saturation, accuracy, and resolution. The larger the dynamic range of the display, the more realistic the picture and the more 3D-like. VA panels typically offer 3-5 times the contrast of IPS or TN screens. Placing VA and IPS monitors side-by-side with matching brightness levels and calibration standards makes the VA screen an easy win in terms of image quality.
If you stare at the screen for more than 8 hours, consider flickering. It doesn’t flicker at any brightness level, so even flicker-sensitive people will be delighted. Low blue light is not a buying point. Most operating systems, including Windows 10, have a mode that reduces blue light according to the theory that blue light interferes with sleep.
However, although many monitors provide this feature, it is not required. Low blue light puts less strain on the eyes of computer images but allows for accurate corrections. Reducing the blue brightness also affects all other colors, which can make graphics and photos look unnatural. This is especially distracting in games and videos. You don’t have to prioritize low blue light, but without blue light, it’s getting harder and harder to find a monitor.
Professional monitors: what features are important?
To Buy a PC Monitor Professional users have special needs. Whether you are a photographer, print proofreader, web designer, special effects artist, game designer, or anyone who needs precise color control, this section is for you. Here’s what you need to know:
Monitors certified as color-accurate will cost more but are worth it. If you want an accurate out-of-the-box monitor, this is your best bet. This is especially important for monitors without calibration. A professional monitor should be ready to work with no adjustments required. A DeltaE (dE) value of 2 or less is a good sign. A dE of less than 3 is generally considered invisible to the human eye.
A calibration option is required. There are two ways to do this: On-Screen Display (OSD) and software. Check out our review of our monitor-specific calibration recommendations.
Calibration options should include choices for different color gamuts, color temperatures, and gamma curves. You should have at least sRGB and Adobe RGB standards, a color temperature ranging from 5,000 to 7,500K, and a gamma preset from 1.8 to 2.4. Monitors used for TV or film production must also support the BT.1886 gamma standard.
Flickr-free is a huge help if you spend more than 8 hours in front of a computer screen. Many pro monitors today offer this.
Should I buy a second monitor?
Many designers, illustrators, and photographers use dual monitors to increase their daily productivity, especially if they work on a laptop. Over time, the extra work you do by increasing your productivity will cover the extra hardware costs and some costs.
Benefits include the ability to run multiple applications simultaneously without constantly minimizing files. For example, a dual monitor setup might consist of an HTML editor on one screen and an internet browser on the other.
If you have space (and budget) to accommodate, you can also use the aforementioned ultra-wide monitors for the same purpose.
How do I save to a new monitor?
Find the monitor you need, search for deals in progress and you can get a discount. Major shopping holidays like Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day offer major discounts on all types of displays. But if you need something on time, you can always find a solid deal. Scroll down to see the best monitor deals currently ongoing.
What bit depth do you need?
Higher is better, experts need at least 10 bits. 8-bit panels are not suitable for most professional graphics work. Choose 12 bits if possible. See our article on the difference between 10-bit and 12-bit for more details.
A deep color monitor is of no use if your graphics card can’t output a 10-bit or 12-bit signal. Yes, the monitor only enters additional information via interpolation. As with pixel resizing, the display can’t add information it doesn’t have in the first place. Only approximations are possible. Many consumer-grade graphics cards are limited to 8-bit output.
What resolution do you need for the game?
For the best picture, more pixels are better. However, these pixels can also slow you down if you don’t have enough graphics cards when playing games. Most video interfaces do not support refresh rates faster than 60Hz for 4K/UHD or 5K signals. It’s starting to change (for premium), but you still need a very expensive graphics card to play in 4K and get past 60 frames per second (fps). The GeForce RTX 3080 can usually go there just like the GeForce RTX 3090, but good luck!
The sweet spot right now seems to be the QHD (2560 x 1440) resolution. With monitors up to 32 inches, you can see detailed images with excellent pixel density and not difficult to process with mid-range graphics cards.
If you want the highest speed without straining your GPU, FHD (1920 x 1080) offers the highest frame rates (you can’t find a gaming monitor with a lower resolution today). However, do not increase this resolution beyond 27 inches, as it can degrade the image quality with the annoying individual pixels visible.
Minimum graphics card requirements vary by game, but if you plan on buying a gaming monitor with QHD resolution (no need to lower your in-game settings), consider a GeForce RTX 3060 Ti or Radeon RX 6800.
4K gamers need to find the fastest card they can afford. A GeForce RTX 3070 may be sufficient for light gaming or with some settings turned off, but a GeForce RTX 3080/3090 or Radeon RX 6800 XT or Radeon RX 6900 XT is better. For detailed tips on choosing a graphics card, see our Graphics Card Buying Guide, Best Graphics Cards, and GPU Benchmark Tiers page. For help choosing a 4K gaming display, visit our Best 4K Gaming Monitors page.
What kind of panel do you need? TN vs VA vs IPS
The three main LCD technologies used in PC monitors today are Twisted Nematic (TN), Vertical Alignment (VA), and In-Plane Switching (IPS). There are several variants, each offering different advantages. We won’t go into detail about how these various panels work. Instead, the charts below illustrate the impact of each on image quality and the best use cases for each panel.
TN VA IPS?
Fastest performance: low response time, highest refresh rate, minimal motion blur; Low input latency, usually the longest response time; Higher refresh rate possible Slower response time than TN, faster response time than VA; The game quality refresh rate is negligible.
Display worst viewing angle, worst color viewing angle is generally better than TN and worse than IPS. nice color; best contrast; Best image depth Best viewing angle; best color
Pricing The most affordable price models can have performance comparable to TN.
Top Use Games General Use Professionals
This graph should be enough to make a quick decision about your panel type, but if you want to learn more, consider:
Contrast is the most important factor in image quality and reliability (5,000:1 is better than 1,000:1). Therefore, we believe that VA panels offer the best picture quality among VA, IPS, and TN.
We looked at a lot of TN screens that the color department could have on their own with more expensive IPS and VA displays. There is a common perception that TN provides less accurate color and contrast than VA and IPS panels, but chances are you won’t notice the difference. Many gaming monitors use TN panels for speed. I found that the color quality depends more on price than on panel technology.
Gaming monitors: what features are important?
There are confusing choices and even more confusing marketing terminology to look at when buying a new gaming monitor. Let’s break down the features that benefit gamers. Some factors depend on the skill level of the player.
1Check out our Best Gaming Monitors page for best gaming monitor recommendations. For 4K stuns, see our Best 4K Gaming Monitors page.
Competitive gamers should prioritize speeds that demand fast refresh rates (144Hz and above) and the lowest response times and input lag (see gaming monitor reviews). This will have a lower pixel density and can be limited to 25 or 27 inches without expanded color or HDR.
But maybe you’re a casual gamer who doesn’t notice the difference between 60fps and 144fps. You can set either 75Hz or 60Hz combined with FreeSync or G-Sync (more on that below) and prioritize things like strong image quality, pixel density, and over 30 inches. More saturated colors or HDR can also be acceptable if your budget allows it.
What are the refresh rates and response times of gaming monitors?
How to Buy a PC Monitor with Low resolution + good graphics card = faster refresh rate. Take a look at the ultra-wide curved screen display (OSD) on the Acer Predator Z35. The resolution is low enough that fast graphics cards can reach 200Hz refresh rates with G-Sync enabled.
Best computer monitors for work
To get the best computer monitors for working from home, one question must be rise to your mind that Should I get two screens or one ultra-wide? This depends on what you do. For example, if you want a really fast gaming monitor and a high-resolution display for work, it’s a lot cheaper to buy two than one monitor that does both.
if you need a monitor with accurate colors for your design but want a high-brightness monitor for gaming, it’s much cheaper to buy two smaller monitors. However, if you need too much screen space, a single ultrawide might be simpler.
Screen technology important, such as IPS, TN?
You don’t need to know about panel technology to buy a universal display, except that the cheapest option, twisted nematic (TN) is not good, VA (vertical alignment) is somewhat better, and IPS and PLS (in-plane) are better. . switching and plane switching) are the same and are currently the best option. It is different when it comes to specific needs, such as games or color-critical tasks. Almost all use LCD technology. You will often see backlit LCDs called LED lights. This has nothing to do with OLED displays, which are not implemented for desktop use due to various technical issues. Laptops are a different story.
The reason you don’t have to think about technology, in general, is because it tends to be expressed through specs and features, and it tends to be expressed through things to see. Here are some related things.
The total number of colors that the monitor can display. Often expressed as a percentage of a color space, it is an artificial composition that contains all the colors that a device should be able to generate for a given purpose. The color space is meant to be used for color matching on devices with different reproduction characteristics. For example, the Adobe RGB color space is designed to contain real colors in displays for reproduction in print. sRGB is designed to be the lowest common denominator standard for colors used by typical consumer monitors that view the web. Displays with sRGB above 100% are invariably TN, not IPS.
Screen refresh rate
This is the number of times per second (in hertz or Hz) the screen can be updated, and it affects artifacts such as motion blur and tearing that occurs when the refresh rate of the display differs significantly from the rate at which the graphics card feeds it. . For tasks where frame rate (frames per second) is important, refresh rate can be an issue. (This mainly means gaming, but editing or viewing high frame rate video may also be affected.) 60Hz is the desired minimum for comfort, most monitors support it, and 75Hz is comfortable for most non-gaming use. TN remains the best technique for achieving stratospheric regeneration rates. 300Hz or 360Hz is TN. However, IPS panels can now reach 240Hz. This means there are far fewer trade-offs in gaming than ever before. You can find everything you wanted to know about refresh rates and more on Blur Busters.
This is the rate at which an individual pixel can transition state from black to white or (more commonly) from gray to gray, measured in milliseconds. Only gamers tend to care, but usually, you want at least 5ms or less GtG for your games, but the faster the better. IPS and VA are currently between 3 and 5 ms, and it is TN that is asking for about 1 ms. Fast action esports typically still use TN due to the combination of high refresh rates and fast pixel response times.
This is a measure of the ratio between 100% and 0% brightness values. The higher the contrast, the more everything stands out. You’ll probably want to ignore the “dynamic contrast” type of specification and focus more on what’s listed in general. Anything over 1,000:1 is fine, but around 1,400:1 is most comfortable.
This is the amount of light a screen can emit, usually expressed in nits (candela per square meter). Most desktop monitors typically run between 250 and 350 nits. Screens that support HDR tend to start at 400 nits and run up to 1,600. Laptop screens are different because they need to be visible in different types of lighting, such as direct sunlight, so they should be able to benefit from higher brightness levels without HDR support.
This is the extent to which the screen can be viewed from an off-center distance optimally without significant changes in contrast or color. This is one of the biggest weaknesses of TN compared to other technologies.
All screen technologies produce images except for OLED by shining light through liquid crystals and various layers of color filters. OLEDs use organic materials that emit light directly in the color frequency spectrum, so they can produce very thin and wide color gamuts. Most panels with a backlight can show some artifacts, especially the appearance of light around the edges of a dark screen known as backlight bleed. A new backlight technology, Mini LED, enables local dimming on the monitor.
How much should I spend to get the best monitor?
Other things being equal, displays tend to become more expensive as the number and type of features increase in resolution, screen size, refresh rate, brightness, and features. A wider color spectrum and niche features for gaming or graphics will also drive up the price. However, you can get a powerful general-purpose monitor for less than $300.
Currently, we are in a lull before products that incorporate new standards like HDMI 2.1 are ready. So don’t worry if you don’t mind falling behind until you can afford something new. If you’re thinking of beating yourself up in 2021 because you didn’t wait for HDMI 2.1 or cheap 8K, wait or get the cheapest model that fits your needs.
Can I use my old TV instead?
You can certainly drive the TV from your computer, but the TV is meant to be viewed from a distance, and the computer display is designed to work closer together. But as TVs get smarter and higher resolutions, the gap between the two is narrowing. Also, for gamers, a primary computer display for work and a TV connection for gaming may make sense. will you? Here’s how to use a 4K TV as a monitor.
A trendy monitor feature from a few years ago was the integration of a Qi wireless charging pad into the base. Some manufacturers are still doing it, but it was never launched for the mainstream.
Ability to think matter when it’s come to choose the best monitor
A plain monitor can include speakers, USB hubs, slots for memory cards, etc., as well as support features such as picture-in-picture (PIP) when connected to up to two systems. If you’re short on desk space, you might consider a display with this type of integration. It also has all the rated important features for gaming or color-critical tasks.
What else should I consider when it’s come to get the best monitor?
How to shop for one. If possible, you should see it in real life. I went out to buy a specific display based on the specs and personally changed my mind as I got closer. For example, displays with similar screen sizes may look or feel smaller or larger than expected, maybe more reflective or blurry than desired, or may not reach the connector. However, keep in mind that there are a few things the store can’t judge, just like TVs.
Sadly the biggest is image quality, including color rendering, brightness, and black levels. But you can tell if the screen is readable and if you think it’s ugly. However, it is not always practical to see the product in person, so read user reviews carefully. It’s hard to categorize meaningful complaints from not very meaningful complaints, but look for comments on build quality and bad pixels.
Unfortunately, everyone’s eyes are different, so it’s harder to measure screen qualities like brightness, contrast, and color in reviews. Make sure you are aware of our return policy (including bad pixel allowance), take it out of the packaging as cleanly as possible, and make a note of how to repack it just in case.
I admit it. I’m a bit of a fatalist when it comes to supporting. The possibility of getting good support experience from manufacturers tomorrow seems completely independent of the experience you have with them today, and good support in one department doesn’t necessarily mean good support in another.
What will be in Box
At the very least, you should expect an HDMI cable and a basic stand, even with a cheap monitor. As the price increases, so does the variety of bundled cables. A stand may not be an issue if you plan to use the VESA mount to place it on a wall or arm.
However, in this case, you need to make sure that the mount screws on the back of the monitor match yours. Most of the cheap monitors have 100x100mm mounts, but in some cases, they don’t support VESA mounts at all.