Computer Monitor Buying Guide: Understanding Specs is the Key

Monitor is not the main component of a computer system, but without it you won’t be able to use your computer. Therefore, if your computer monitor get broken, you need to buy a new one immediately. But, how to choose the right monitor for your computer? Do you have to choose a computer with the highest resolution?

Resolution is matter, but it is not the only aspect to consider when choosing a computer monitor. There are many other specifications you need to notice, and understanding each meaning of specification is more crucial.

Just like other products, the very basic thing you need to know before buying a new computer monitor is understanding how you will use your computer. Do you want to use it for gaming? Do you just want to use it for basic tasks like browsing the web or working on documents?

In case you want to buy a new monitor for your computer, I have put together the key specs of monitor that you need to understand.

1. Resolution

Resolution is the most mentioned word when it comes to computer monitor. Is a bigger resolution always means better?. Not necessarily. You should also see the size of the concerned monitor. If a small monitor has too big resolution, it can be annoying when in use.

What happen when a small monitor comes with too much resolution?.

Big chances are you will enlarge the working window of the applications too often since it can shrink images down. It should be balance between monitor size and the resolution. Ideally, the bigger the size of a monitor, the bigger resolution it supposed to has.

If you want to buy a monitor measuring 21 to 24 inches, the ideal resolution is 1080p. If you want to buy a larger than 24-inch monitor, you should consider a model that has at least 2,560 x 1,440 in resolution. 4K monitor is also a nice option for a monitor larger than 24 inches.

The very basic thing before you make a purchase of a certain monitor model, make sure you have read the specification of the graphic card on your computer. A graphic card has a maximum resolution. So, make sure to choose monitor model with a resolution no larger than your graphic card can serve.

2. Aspect ratio

Another specification that is important enough to notice is aspect ratio, or often shortened AR. Aspect ration describes the proportional relationship between monitor width and height. The common standard of current monitors is 16:9. A monitor with this aspect ratio is ideal for all sorts of use like watching movie, playing games, browse the web and so on. Another common aspect ratio you will find is 16:10. A computer with this aspect ration provides slightly more vertical space for viewing multiple open documents or images.

3. Response time

In most cases, people tend to love using a computer with a high response time. A monitor with high response time has a smoother image transition. Response times are measured in milliseconds. A monitor with higher response time is better in some ways, but not everyone needs this sort of monitor. For such cases as fast-paced action video and twitchy gameplay, you better choose a monitor with a lower response time.

4. Ports

You will be using the monitor ports to connect to your graphic card. So, the very first thing you need to do is checking the available ports on your graphic card. Today, HDMI port is becoming a standard of display port. However, keep in mind that different HDMI versions have different resolutions as well. HDMI 1.2 can only support up to 1080p, while HDMI 1.3 can support up to 1600p. For 4K resolution, you will need HDMI 2.0.

Once again, never forget to check the available ports on your graphic card. If your graphic card has no HDMI 2.0 ports, you should not buy a monitor with a 4K resolution. Some graphic models also feature DisplayPort. It is a sort of open source version of HDMI that costs less for manufacturers to use. DisplayPort is also evolving so it has different versions as well. If you want to buy a 4K monitor, ensure you have at least DisplayPort 1.2 port on your graphic card.

5. Viewing angle

You are not going to use your monitor for TV, so viewing angle is not too matter. However, if you often use your computer to watch movies or shows, you may need to a monitor with an adjustable viewing angle. Anything above 170 degrees is good news here.

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Written by Al Putra

An open source user, Manchester United fan and CC0-licensed stuffs lover



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