If you’re thinking about buying a new monitor, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. There are so many different things to consider: size resolution panel type, refresh rates, g sync free sync ports, HDR, it’s a lot, but don’t worry.
I’m going to talk you through everything you need to know.
The right size is the first choice.
So monitors can be anything from 20 up to 49 inches in size, but the two most common sizes for new displays are 24 inches and 27 inches.
And they provide a good amount of screen space for productivity and gaming as a main or even a secondary monitor for your laptop.
And they also suit a variety of budgets you can find decent 24-inch monitors for around 100 pounds.
Twenty-seven-inch monitors offer an increase in screen space and are more popular with gamers and power users, and they start from a little over 200 pounds.
So that’s size, but then we have a resolution, which refers to the number of horizontal pixels and vertical pixels on a screen.
Resolution of Monitors
The higher the number, the sharper the image most 24 inch monitors have a resolution of 1920 horizontal pixels by 1080 vertical pixels.
That’s also known as full HD, some 27-inch monitors will have the same resolution, but because the screen is bigger, the number of pixels is spread out over a larger area, which means the image can appear softer and fuzzier.
The solution to this is to choose a higher resolution such as 2560 by 1440 or Quad HD, which is common on more expensive 27-inch models and gives a sharper overall image.
Next up are 4k screens. These have a 3840 by 2160 resolution. So the image is very sharp and detailed, and they’re particularly good for graphic designers or creative professionals.
They are, of course, more expensive than follow quality monitors, and are kind of overkill for most users.
I mean, gaming in 4k requires a seriously beefy PC. Unless you have a high-end graphics card like an Nvidia r tx 2080 or better, then you probably won’t be able to use high settings in games. And still get consistent 60 fps or above.
You’ll also need to have the right display ports on your computer. But we’ll come back to that in a minute.
For most gamers, I’d recommend a good Full HD or Quad HD panel unless you’re after the sharpest possible image.
You’ll have a 4k capable console you’re looking to use with the screen. And even then, I suggest getting a larger 32-inch model to get the most benefit out of 4k.
And it can be difficult to see all that fine detail on smaller 27-inch screens.
4K, 8K Sizes of Monitors
If you are looking to edit 4k content, I mean, I shoot these videos in 4k. You may want to consider a five K monitor.
That boosts the pixel count by about a third and allows you to display the full 4k content on the screen. And still have a few pixels left over for the editing software toolbars around the edge.
And if that’s not enough, we also have 8k TVs and monitors. which are on the way, but the cost and the lack of availability mean I’m going to leave them to one side for now.
And finally, in terms of screen sizes. we have ultra-wide or even super ultra-wide now most monitors mtbs have a 16 by nine aspect ratio.
In contrast, ultralights like this have a 21 nine aspect, which makes them around 30% wider, super ultra-wide.
Take this a step further with a 32 by nine aspect ratio. Both types are great if you need extra screen space for multiple programs or lose browser tabs open at the same time. Or if you want a wider, more immersive gaming experience.
These screens tend to be curved to wrap around a little bit and make sure that the corners of the screen aren’t too far away from your eyes.
Now I use an ultra-wide every day for working and gaming, and they are my favorite type of monitor to use.
But then super authorized have the advantage of being the equivalent of two full HD or two quality panels side by side with exactly double the number of horizontal pixels.
That is very useful if you want to display two programs or images or videos in a native resolution on each half of the screen.
And then the natural replacement for existing to screen setups but without that horrible bezel in the middle and awkward With fewer cables you can also get some great gaming-focused ultra wides, but these tend to be quite expensive.
With a high resolution, you need a pretty powerful PC to get decent frame rates in modern games for most people.
Monitors for Gamers
Gamers who want an ultra-wide I would go with either a 29 inch 2560 by 1080 or a 34 inch 3440 by 1440 model.
And if you are a professional who would benefit from that extra screen space, then a 43 or 49 inches super ultra-wide will be your best option.
Just a quick thought on the monitor’s actual design now most will be pretty boring to look at, but more expensive models can look pretty nice with brushed effect materials and metal stands like this one.
It is worth considering how it will look on your desk. I mean, gaming monitors ranged from subtle to not so subtle, and if you want a curved ultra-wide that bear in mind, it won’t sit flush against a wall.
More important though is the stand some monitors have a height and tilt and rotational adjustments, whereas others offer only limited movement.
So if you do think about making some adjustments to make sure you check the monitor’s specs and if you’re playing to wall mount it to make sure that it is VESA mount compatible.
Types of panels in Monitors
Okay, so the next most important thing to consider is the screen panel type. This is pretty important as it’ll determine how good the image looks.
There are four main types of IPS, VA, and OLED. However, this is still very rare, with the first two being the most common.
Now TN panels tend to be the most affordable but at the expense of image quality. Teams offer fast response times, high refresh rates up to 240 hertz although IPS monitors are catching up, and minimal input lag, don’t worry, I’ll explain those terms in a minute.
But that means it’s great for fast-paced gaming.
Now on the downside, they do have the poorest contrast lowest color accuracy, and the viewing angles aren’t very good.
So if you’re not sitting directly in front of your screen, the color shifts, and the contrast suffers.
Then we have IPS screens which are the next most popular after in and they provide the best overall quality with an Improve brightness, contrast more accurate colors. And far better viewing angles than TN panels.
Some manufacturers have their version of IPS. Samsung calls them pls, which they claim has some advantages, but I’m going to bring them all into the same IPS category for our purposes.
So IPS screens are best for design photo and video professionals who need image accuracy and quality.
However, IPS panels tend to be a little more expensive and generally, but not always, higher input lag, but they can also suffer from something called IPS glow where the back light of the actual screen bleeds into the edges.
Now moving on to VA panels, and these are quite good compromises between TN and IPS. But there are few models available.
Now, these tend to have better colors, contrast, and viewing angles than TN, but not quite as good as IPS.
Although they do offer higher possible refresh rates, improved contrast, and potentially much higher brightness than IPS, which is why most HDR monitors do us Va panels. We’ll get into that in a second.
However, they can suffer from color distortion and contrast loss when viewed from an angle. And also, the response time can be a bit higher.
So with fast motion competitive games, you can see some slight blurring or ghosting.
Newly Technology in Monitors – OLED
The last type is OLED, which is a great analogy with the best contrast ratios, great response times, and higher color accuracy.
But that said, they can suffer from temporary or even permanent image retention if the pictures are left on like this for an extended period.
And also they’re extremely expensive and also very rare right now. So I wouldn’t recommend one for the time being. Okay, that is quite a lot to take in.
So which one should you buy? Well, TN is a good option if you’re on a strict budget, and it’s fine. But if you want an all-purpose monitor for work for watching videos, or even a little gaming, I would recommend spending a bit more on an IPS or a VA panel as you’re getting a much better image.
But if you are a gamer, then a good IPS preferably with a high refresh rate would be best
have nearly as low input lag in response times as a TN and avoid the blown you can get with VA.
If you are a serious competitive gamer, then you should choose a model with a very high refresh rate and probably a TN to get the lowest possible response times.
But if you’re a professional that deals in graphical work, you should go for a good quality IPS for the best image quality and highest color accuracy.
So we’ve already kind of touched on refresh rates, but what does it mean? The refresh rate of a monitor is how many times the screen image is updated every second, the higher the number, the smoother the onscreen motion looks.
Refresh rates are measured in hertz, and most monitors, including this one here, will refresh 60 times per second, so it’s 60 hertz, and that’s fine.
But if you’re a gamer, you’ll prefer 101 20 134 even 240-hertz refresh rate monitors for a much smoother and faster gaming experience.
But of course, a higher refresh rate usually also means higher costs. And also remember that you’ll only see the benefit of If your PC has enough grunt to render all those frames every second if you’ve only got a fairly average PC.
You’re getting like 80 or 90 frames per second. Then you’re not going to fully take advantage of that high refresh, unless, of course, you’re willing to drop your graphics settings.
So I think refresh rates are fairly straightforward. But then we move on to adaptive sync. And this gets a little tricky.
So for the smoothest possible gaming experience trying to get a monitor that supports variable refresh rates or adaptive sync, because this eliminates what’s known as screen tearing.
So this has the effect of where part of the screen displays one frame. And another part that’s slightly offset, and is especially obvious at lower frame rates below 60 FPS, and it can be pretty distracting.
So an adaptive sync screen can synchronize its refresh rate to the exact number of frames coming from your graphics card, which means a cleaner, smoother motion.
It also avoids the compromises of older workarounds, like v sync, which would usually increase input lag and sometimes result in stuttering.
G sync and AMD freesync Tech
There are three main types of videos: g sync, AMD free sync one, and fleecing two, similar to the third type visas open adaptive sync standard.
Now g sync monitors can cost several hundred pounds more, and they have a custom controller chip built-in and requires an Nvidia graphics card for that variable refresh rate.
In contrast, free sync one or two or adaptive sync monitors don’t have a chip to use any compatible AMD or Nvidia graphics card.
So in videos, Jason comes in a few different flavors. We have regular g sync, which guarantees a certain level of performance.
Then we have G sync ultimate, which adds HDR an extra brightness and allows for variable refresh very high refresh rates.
And finally, we have G sync compatible with our AMD freesync two monitors, which meets certain performance criteria.
Most other freesync one and two monitors that are listed as compatible will likely work with G sync but just how well they work will have to be assessed on a case by case basis.
Although freesync two monitors will probably work better and have features like HDR, lower latency, and remove the lower frame limit for which it works.
So my advice would be to choose a free thing to monitor as it’s cheaper. It works well with AMD graphics cards, and will likely be nearly as good as a regular g sync panel, but not cost anything extra.
Still, with me, that was quite a lot to take in. But we’ve got a few more topics that I do want to cover. So next up, we have response times and input lag.
Now sometimes, these are confused as the same thing, but they are both important in their way.
Response Time of Monitors
Now response time is how quickly a pixel can change what is usually displaying from one shade of gray to another or greater gray response and as measured in milliseconds.
Higher response time can result in more motion blur, which can be seen as ghosting those trails that follow fast-moving objects in games and videos and can give you a bit of a smeary image.
So TN panels offer the fastest response time sometimes as low as one millisecond and are ideal for competitors.
Gaming fast pace gaming IPS pals are a bit slower, usually around five milliseconds.
But that’s fine for most people. And you probably wouldn’t notice the difference. And then we have the VA.
Some premium VA panels can have very fast response times, but generally, these are the slowest and the most likely to suffer from blurring.
Now input lag, on the other hand, is not usually advertised by the manufacturer. But it is also worth checking, especially if you’re a gamer.
And it refers to the time between when the graphics card outputs an image signal, and then when it’s displayed on the screen.
For example, the time between clicking the mouse button and the gun firing in your game. So again, like response times, the less time This takes, the better response time and input is often measured as a combined value.
And so anything under around 50 milliseconds combined is pretty reasonable, although under 11 is ideal.
HDR – High Dynamic Range
Next up, we have a high dynamic range or HDR-enabled monitors, and these can look awesome.
They have a greater contrast between the brightest and the darkest parts of an image and a wider color range.
Games and programs optimized for HDR can look impressive, but unfortunately, not all HDR is made equal. And an important measurement is the maximum brightness level of the monitor.
We measured them in nits, and a higher score is better. So we have the display HDR standard, which lists monitors and the three tiers we have HDR 400, which gives you 400 nits of brightness, and this is kind of considered to be the baseline.
Then you have HDR 600 and premium HDR 1000 4000 minutes, but you can also find panels that are just listed as HDR 10, which refers to the 10-bit color depth, but they can have varying degrees of brightness is difficult.
Many people maintain that you don’t get true HDR unless you have 1000 nits and 10-bit color depth, and anything less is fake.
Well, be prepared to pay a lot of money. If you want both of those
In a PC monitor. Now genuinely VA panels offer the best HDR, and some of the higher-end models will use quantum dot filters like Samsung’s TVs to increase the brightness.
Further. OLED monitors are also great for HDR, but given their cost and the scarcity, I can’t recommend them right now.
So getting a good HDR panel will make the most sense if you’re planning on watching loads of HDR content on amazon prime or Netflix, or maybe you’re going to plug in your Xbox or Playstation your HDR-enabled console, or even if you’re going to play some PC games.
Still, the problem with PC games is HDR support is patchy.
At best, even if it is getting better. Some games have implemented what is known as fake HDR, where the dynamic range isn’t improved at all.
But a filter is added to give that impression to accentuate the brightest areas on the screen. And of course, also increase color saturation, but the type and the quality of HDR will depend on how the game has been developed.
So throughout this video, I’ve been saying how to IPS and VA offers In different color accuracies, and this can be measured against a range of color gamuts such as sRGB, Adobe RGB.
And also DCI p3 and the closer the monitor is to match 100% of that color gamut, the more color accurate it is and what can influence.
That is the type of panel used and also the color depth is it six bits eight bits or 10 bits pretty much everyone should avoid six-bit a bit is fine for almost everyone.
But suppose you are a professional color calibrator or photo editor. In that case, you may want to look for a 10-bit panel.
However, you will pay more for that, but also be careful because many technical specs will suggest a Malta is 10 bit. Still, it’s an eight-bit and uses a technology called FRC to simulate that extra color artificially.
So it’s not true native 10 bit, although it will be a bit of an improvement, and that bit color depth indicates how many shades of color a monitor can display.
But then how accurate that is. As I say we test against the Like sRGB and Adobe RGB and genuinely for the average user, I would look for anything that’s over 90% sRGB and over 70% Adobe RGB although the higher the percentage, the more accurate it will be.
The vast majority of new monitors will use an HDMI 2.0 DisplayPort 1.2 or 1.4 or USB type C as their main connector.
How many will have both HDMI and DisplayPort connections with more expensive and newer models also offering type C in some cases you will find mini HDMI and Mini DisplayPort which each obviously as it doesn’t tend to use a smaller connector but otherwise they are the same.
You will need to check your graphics card or your laptop ports to see which connection type to use. If, like me, you’re outputting from your graphics card, then generally, I would recommend using DisplayPort 1.2 supports high refresh rates and 4k at 60 hertz.
DisplayPort 1.4 supports up to 8k, and also we do have to consider HDMI 2.1, which is coming soon and is going to offer even more bandwidth and higher resolutions and higher frame rates.
But right now that is very, very rare so I’ll probably cover that in my next video. But then we also do have USB C ports, which you’ll find on newer graphics cards and laptops.
Some type C ports are also Thunderbolt three enabled, which is an even higher bandwidth technology means you can output to multiple high-resolution displays.
Okay, that was a lot to take in and Fairplay if you’ve managed to stick with me this long.
Still, the big question is, what should you buy if you want a decent home and office monitor that doesn’t break the bank, go for 22 or 24 inches 1080 p IPS or VA panel and if you can stretch your budget a little bit, go for a 27 inch 1440 P.
Now if you’re a creative professional working with photos, video design work, then a good quality 27 inches 1440 p IPS or if your budget allows maybe even a 32 inch 4k IPS will be your best bet and aim for ones with the highest color accuracy.
The best reviewers will include that in their review. But if you need a highly productive focus monitor with loads of screen space, consider a 29 or 34-inch ultra-wide, or maybe even a larger 43 or 49 inch super ultra-wide.
But if gaming is a priority for you then do try to get a model with a higher refresh rate of anything above 60 hertz and also if you can try to get one with an adaptive sync technology such as free sync, two or G sync if it’s not too much more money.
And that’s it. Congratulations, you now know more about monitors than any normal person should. As you can probably tell, I’m starting to lose my voice as this was quite a long video, and don’t forget to check my recommended monitors in the description below.
So I hope you found this video useful if you hit that like and subscribe button down there somewhere.