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Best Monitor Resolution

Will Dixon
  Dec 2, 2022 2:03 AM

Designers, photographers, and painters all rely heavily on the quality of their monitor's display. If you're making anything digital, your monitor is essentially indispensable because it displays both your work in progress and the finished product.
 


OVERVIEW

It's vital to know what screen resolution your monitor has and what screen resolution to choose when updating your equipment because it can have a significant impact on how your work is shown and on how comfortably you can work without hurting your eyes.
Icons and text may not be legible, and your hardware may be stressed to the limit by a monitor that struggles to display at such a high resolution. However, if your screen resolution is too low, you may have poor image quality, excessive desktop clutter, and compromised productivity.


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BUYING GUIDE

How to check your current monitor's resolution and how to buy the best monitor for your needs are covered in this guide, as well as why monitor resolution is so crucial for designers and how it can affect your results.

If you want to get the most out of your display, read our guide to monitor calibration, and if you're in the market for a new display, peruse our recommendations for the finest ultrawide and 4K monitors. Instead of reading this, you can just check out our list of the top laptops for picture editing if you're ready to upgrade.

For the time being, though, here's a primer on the subject of monitor resolution that should help you out.
 

What is monitor resolution?
 

When we talk about the resolution of a screen, what exactly do we mean? Pixels, or little squares of light that change color, are used to display images on the monitor attached to your computer or built into your laptop. Displays on computers use thousands of individual pixels to create an image. Displays are able to show images, photos, text, and various graphics by altering the colors of those pixels in predetermined patterns.

The figures we refer to when discussing screen resolution are the horizontal and vertical pixel counts. 1920 x 1080, often known as 1080p or Full HD, is a common resolution that allows for 1,080 vertical pixels and 1,920 horizontal pixels to be displayed on a screen.

The more pixels a display can display, the more detailed and crisp the image will appear. However, the resolution of an electronic display depends on more than just the number of pixels it can display. Also, there's the issue of pixel density. Multiple sizes and resolutions are available for monitors. Different-sized monitors with the same pixel count are common; for instance, a 24-inch and a 32-inch monitor both sporting a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. Sometimes, the higher pixel density of a smaller screen makes images appear clearer and more vibrant than they actually are. To quantify this, we can use PPI (Pixels Per Inch). Pixel density (the number of pixels displayed in one square inch) will be greater on the smaller screen.

If you're seeking for the highest image quality, a smaller monitor with a higher resolution is preferable to a larger monitor with a lower resolution. This is because the greater the PPI, the better the image quality.

 

Native monitor resolution

 

It's worth bearing in mind that the screen resolution that your monitor advertises isn't the only resolution it can display. The published resolution is known as the native resolution of the screen and is the resolution that looks best on the display. You can change the resolution of the screen, although you can only change it to a lower resolution than the native resolution, not higher.

For example, if you buy a 4K (also known as an Ultra High Definition) screen, with a resolution of 3840 x 2160, and you find the resolution is too high, you can set your PC, Mac or laptop to display at a lower resolution, for example 1920 x 1080.

 

The Best Resolution for Gaming: Optimize your Gameplay

 

Is there a recommended screen resolution for PC gamers? The optimal PC gaming experience may be achieved with any one of a wide variety of high-quality monitors.

It's crucial to have a high quality computer monitor for gaming if you want crisp, detailed visuals. In order to have the finest gaming experience, consumers can pick from a variety of displays designed specifically for gamers. Find a display with a top-rated gaming refresh rate in addition to a high resolution if you're going to be playing competitively.

Is there a recommended screen resolution for PC gamers? If you want to play the best PC games possible, you need a high-quality display, and you have plenty of alternatives to choose from.

 

Full HD Gaming Resolution
 

The most common choice for gamers is a monitor with a resolution of full high definition (1080p), also known as FHD or simply Full HD. If you're curious about what constitutes a good pixel density for monitors, you can read up on the topic in our other guide, which boasts a resolution of 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels. In most cases, full HD displays are capable of a respectable 60 frames per second. These are the bare minimum system requirements, but they're more than enough to deliver an excellent gaming experience for the average gamer.

 

Quad HD Gaming Resolution

 

The resolution of a Quad HD monitor is 2560 by 1440 pixels. For a variety of different reasons, this particular resolution has been steadily gaining popularity among gamers. The majority of 27-inch monitors have a resolution of 1440p, giving you the benefit of a larger screen size in addition to a higher resolution. In addition to this, displays with quad HD resolution have higher frame rates and lower input lags. It is an upgrade from 1080p gaming monitors that is also affordable.

 

4K Gaming Resolution

 

When it comes to gaming monitors and other displays, 4K resolution is undeniably the most cutting-edge new resolution technology available. When compared to the resolution of full HD, which is 3840 by 2160, the resolution of ultra HD, which is 3840 by 2160, offers a pixel density that is four times higher. Even though it has an incredible sound, 4K resolution can only be supported by more recent and sophisticated computer hardware. For video games to look their best when played on a 4K monitor, the personal computer you use must have an excellent graphics card. If you are interested in purchasing a 4K gaming monitor, then it is in your best interest to research which brightness and contrast settings are optimal for your eyes.

 

Full Ultra HD Gaming Resolution

 

Monitors with a resolution of 8K do exist, but at this time they are not a viable or easily accessible option for consumers. There aren't many options for full ultra HD monitors, and the ones that are available are very expensive. The hardware of your personal computer needs to be able to support such a high resolution, which is the other primary consideration. Even some of the most powerful GPUs currently on the market would have trouble supporting 8K gaming resolution.

 

Which features matter for gaming monitors?

 

Resolution is an important feature for a gaming display, as it affects the quality and clarity of images displayed on the screen. Other important features include refresh rate and input lag.

 

Which monitor resolution is best?

 

Full HD resolution monitors are the most widespread. 1440p resolution monitors are gaining popularity among gainers due to improved performance at a reasonable cost. It is generally understood that 4K monitors are going to become standard in the near future.

 

Should I get a 4K monitor?

 

4K monitors can be fantastic for gaming, though require more advanced system components to support that high of a resolution. If you have an advanced GPU in your PC that supports 4K displays, you can consider getting a 4K monitor.

 

How to check monitor resolution

 

If you want to check the native resolution of your monitor or laptop screen, the process is pretty easy, although it differs depending on whether you use a Windows machine or a Mac or MacBook.

 

How to check your monitor resolution (Windows)

 

  • Open the display settings

If you use Windows on your PC or laptop, you can check the screen resolution (and change it) by right-clicking on an empty space on the desktop and clicking 'Display settings'.

In the window that opens, you'll see 'Display resolution' with the current resolution listed underneath. If it says '(Recommended)' next to the resolution, that means it's the native resolution for your display and the one that will probably look the best.

 

  • Change the monitor resolution

 

Select the resolution you want to use by clicking the down arrow next to it. If you click this, your screen's supported resolutions will be displayed. If you choose one, the solution will take effect immediately, at least in the short term.

Windows will display a preview of your screen in the new resolution before asking if you want to keep it, preventing you from accidentally switching to a resolution that your monitor can't handle. Select "Keep changes" if this is the case. If you don't want to use the new resolution, click "Revert." If you do nothing and wait 15 seconds, your device will restore to its former resolution. This is helpful if you select a resolution that your monitor cannot handle, which would otherwise result in a black screen. If you wait around for 15 seconds, the previous resolution will be restored.

 

How to check your monitor resolution (Mac)

 

  • Find your monitor resolution

The easiest way to find the display resolution on your Mac or MacBook is to click the Apple icon in the top left-hand corner of the screen. On the menu that appears, select 'About This Mac'. A window will pop up, and at the top you'll see 'Displays.' Click there, and you'll see the size and resolution of your screen.

 

  • Change the display resolution

To change the display resolution on your Mac's screen, click on 'Displays Preferences' in the bottom right-hand corner of the open window. In the new window that pops up, select 'Scaled' next to where it says 'Resolution'. Choose the resolution based on whether you want larger text or more space.

 

What monitor resolution should I use?

 

Which resolution should your screen have then? The answer to that question is conditional on the nature of the work and the tools at your disposal.

To begin, we will discuss the nature of the assignment. The recommended minimum resolution for graphic designers and 3D modelers is 1360 x 768. On the other hand, 1920 x 1080 is the recommended resolution if at all possible. You'll have more room to work with thanks to the higher resolution, and the resulting image will be of higher quality.

If you're an architect, animator, or game developer working with complex 3D models, you may find that resolutions higher than 1920 x 1080 start to put a strain on your GPU. Make sure your computer can render at the desired resolution before opting for a higher resolution.

The lowest resolution we'd suggest for video editors is 1920 by 1080. Because 1080p is the de facto HD video standard, a screen with native support for that resolution is essential for anyone working with 1080p video. A screen resolution of 3840 x 2160 is recommended for those working with 4K video, as this is the highest that will support native playback of 4K video.

One piece of advice we have for photographers is to invest in the best resolution you can. Most photographs are taken at resolutions higher than 1080p, so they do not require as much graphical muscle to display on high-resolution screens. For instance, the actual resolution of a 21-megapixel camera is 5,104 by 4,092. The higher the screen resolution, the better (and more accurately) your photos will appear; however, even a 4K monitor cannot display that natively.

 

The best laptop monitor resolution
 

All the aforementioned specifications are for 16:9 aspect ratio widescreen displays. Aspect ratio determines the display resolution, and some devices have different ratios than others.

It's worth noting that the screen resolution of the Apple MacBook Pro 15" (2019) is 2,880 by 1,800. It's much more crisp than a regular 1080p screen. Surface Laptop 3 has a 15-inch screen with a 3:2 aspect ratio and a 2,496 x 1,664 resolution. A better display than a regular 1080p screen, albeit not nearly as sharp as the screen of a MacBook Pro.

The Surface Book 2 (3,240 x 2,160), the Huawei MateBook X Pro (3,080 x 2,160), and the stunning Dell XPS 15 (2,560 x 1,080 or 3,840 x 2,160) are also fantastic laptops with high screen resolutions that we highly recommend for digital artists and designers.


 

IN CONCLUSION

 

Although different users prefer different game resolutions, a large number of players prefer 1440p or 2K. That's a great standard to work with.

If you're a moderately serious gamer, the main decision you'll face is 1080p versus 1440p gaming. 1080p is great, but 1440p gaming paves the way for some newer, more impressive resolutions like 4K.

If you want to get technical about it, 8K is the undisputed king of game resolution. 8K gaming brings the game world to life, presenting breathtaking visuals.

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