I have been in the IT business for a long time and every day, I have to sit in front of multiple screens. Nowadays, we need at least two monitors to work efficiently.
Monitors are very important because you spend a lot of time in front of them. Choosing a monitor is not an easy task if you do it from scratch.
In this article, I will explain how to choose a monitor when you want to replace your old one or add an additional one at home.
First, please consider what kind of graphics card you have. If your PC does not support dual VGA/DVI/Display port output then you can’t use dual monitors unless your motherboard has enough PCIe slots and appropriate outputs.
Your graphics card has to support at least two outputs simultaneously.
Please check the graphics card’s maximum output port and make sure that your monitor supports the same type of ports.
For example, if you have a DVI-D and VGA port on your PC then please buy a monitor with either DVI-D or VGA only.
Do not buy a new monitor with both input types because it adds unneeded stress to the graphics card and does not produce any benefit in case you want to use dual monitors later.
You need at least two identical ports for dual head setup so do not cut corners here as it can lead to an upgrade headache later on.
If you buy a newer, more expensive model instead of an older and cheaper one then you may feel like an idiot if it does not support dual head setup.
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2. Dual Head:
If you want to buy a “dual head”, there are two types available (please see image below). You can choose either which suits your needs better. Both of them have pros and cons but there is no perfect solution for all people/type of work.
Please consider the price difference as well when you make a decision – a single monitor stand costs less than those that hold more than one monitor so obviously the latter will cost you more, especially if you plan on buying ultrawide or triple monitor setup at home office.
3: What ratio do you prefer – 21:9, 16:9 or 16:10?
All of them have pros and cons. Please check the image below to see what advantages/disadvantages they have. 21:9 has a nice benefit – you can watch widescreen movies on one monitor so it is good for home theater too but it may not be enough if you usually work with a lot of windows open simultaneously.
If you planning on editing videos, designing websites or 3D modeling then ultrawide will be your best choice as those require more screen space plus it feels great when working with 27″ or 34″ monitor that ratio almost matches movie screens in cinema
4: Resolution –
1920×1080 (Full HD) is still the standard nowadays – 2560×1440 (QHD) is the best option if your graphics card supports it.
If you are planning on buying an ultrawide or triple monitor setup then you should consider 3840×1080 (UHD) which is the same as taking 5 Full HD monitors and putting them side by side.
5: What about 4K?
Watching movies in 4K resolution is a great experience but working with such high resolution is very straining for eyes and there is no real need to buy/upgrade to 4K at home office until we start printing our documents in 8K.
Apple Retina has 2732×2048 pixels so most of people may wonder why not UHD too because it has over 8 million pixels while Retina only has over 3 million?
One reason – even though there are devices that support 4096×2160 @ 60Hz, Retina is the only one that supports 5120 x 2880 @ 60Hz! Therefore, if you want to use 3+4K monitors then please go with Apple Retina.
6: Do not forget about aspect ratio while choosing a WQHD or 4K monitor – it may be hard to get used to ultrawide resolution so please check this article to see what are the best resolutions for different ratios.
7 :Make Sure About Graphic Card
Make sure your graphics card can handle your new monitor’s resolution and refresh rate. If you bought your monitor secondhand, the seller might not have included the original box or instructions, so you’ll need to find new ones. You can buy special refresh rate-synchronized video cables , which are often more expensive than regular cables.
If you going to buy a 4K monitor with 60Hz refresh rate then please go with DisplayPort 1.4 or HDMI 2.0 only because those are the only connection types that can handle 4K @60Hz
9: Do they have built-in speakers?
Sometimes those are important if you are sitting on a small desk and do not want your headphones off from the table all the time – many monitors have good enough speakers nowadays but some of them sound really bad so turn them off and use headphones/speakers instead.
please consider that as well! You may need to adjust height, tilt or rotate your monitor so ergonomics are very important.
11: LED vs IPS vs TN
There is no perfect solution here but some of them have advantages over others depending on what type of work you plan on doing.
If you are watching movies, playing games or editing photos then LED would be the best choice. First of all they have lower response time, second of all colors are really accurate and last but not least – you can find high refresh rate LED monitors nowadays
12:WHat About IPS ?
If you working with photos then IPS would be a better option because it covers wider color gamut
13: TN for gamers! Of course if you want to max out every game in 1440p or 4K then look for a 144Hz monitor with a TN panel but beware that specific type of work may eventually cause headaches/eye strain.
WQHD is also good enough for most games so it’s up to you what resolution you want to play at.
14: What about HDR?
All new generations of 4K HDR TVs and monitors already have some kind of 10 bit color depth with 99% RGB spectrum that covers DCI-P3 color gamut.
Of course this is perfect for watching movies, playing games but do you really need all this for working at home on spreadsheets or writing an article?
Don’t get me wrong – it would be cool to have but there is more important stuff right now. In case you want to read more details about HDR technology then please check out these articles
15: High refresh rate is the key for gaming! There are currently two ways to game on big monitors – either you game on 1080p or 1440p at 144Hz or you game on 4K but only if your graphics card is new enough to handle over 60 FPS in some of the most demanding games.
If you want to play Overwatch, Battlefield 1 or GTA V on ultra settings then please go with a 1440p monitor with 144Hz refresh rate because higher resolution will not give you more than 10-20% performance boost so it’s not worth it. Higher resolution = bigger load for CPU and GPU so it does not matter which resolution you play on.
16: Do they have built in webcams?
If yes then please check if it’s a good one because some of them are really terrible and sometimes not suitable for skyping or streaming at all – people tend to move a lot so make sure your webcam can keep up!
Also those built in webcams usually record from the bottom part of the screen so be careful with that as well. There is also another option which is an external USB webcam but most of them are just average.
Some companies promise that they will fix issues for free within 3 years or something like that which is a great plus but some companies only offer 1 year of warranty and in this case you probably need to pay for shipping and handling fees when your monitor breaks down. Price may vary from $50 up to $200 so keep it in mind.
18: What about bugs?
All monitors have different amounts of bugs/issues, even brand new models can be faulty out of the box so make sure your return policy is clear enough if something goes wrong with your monitor.
In most cases easy exchange is possible without too many problems but sometimes you might end up with a new replacement monitor with different issues.
Also check for dead pixels – if your screen has even one pixel that stays black then its already considered faulty and you should return it right away
As you can see – there are a lot of things to consider when choosing the best resolution monitor for your office or home.
If I’m not wrong then I didn’t miss anything here but if you think that some other things should also be included in this list then please let me know in the comments section below!
Normal text mode on 4K resolution is nothing more than a huge mess, everything is either too small or too blurry for comfort so make sure your monitor supports one of these scaling modes.
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Unfortunately most displays only have two options available — Native and “Full 1:1” which makes all operating system fonts way too small to read properly unless you are sitting extremely close to the screen.