You have made your mind to buy a monitor now. That’s Awesome. You must be willing to buy the best monitor but you don’t have enough bucks to afford that monitor. Now the battle starts hear. The head and heart don’t agree on one point here. Your heart says to buy the best one like everyone want to have the best available product but the head says that oh no, we can’t afford it. This is where CartCashCarry has to play its role. To bring your head and heart to a decision that both agree. That’s what we are here.
WELCOME TO OUR MONITOR BUYER’S GUIDE – CHOOSING THE BEST MONITOR FOR YOURSELF
Table of Contents
- WELCOME TO OUR MONITOR BUYER’S GUIDE – CHOOSING THE BEST MONITOR FOR YOURSELF
- Our Recommendations according to your Choices:
- MuSt FoLloW PrinciPles wHile taking a buying decision of Monitor.
- Pre-Purchase Phases and Vibes
- Which Monitor Size are you looking for yourself:
- Which Shape would better serve your purpose – Curve Monitor or Flat Screen Monitor?
- The Most Important Tools that Trigger to take a buying decision
- WHICH RESOLUTION MONITOR DO YOU WANT TO HAVE?
- Factors to Consider while buying a Monitor
- Screen size
- Refresh rate
- Response time
- Panel type
- What Makes a Good Console Gaming Monitor?
Our Recommendations according to your Choices:
If your search regarding monitor or a best monitor is about a generic display for work, school or surfing, and don’t want to hurt your brain thinking about it too much, we would suggest you to go for 27-inch flat-screen display with 4K resolution, that uses an IPS panel. The very next question that strikes your mind is that, how much this monitor would cost me. You are thinking about that, don’t worry, why we are here for? This would cost you apporx. $500 or so.
People looking for a bit inexpensive models.
If you need to go cheaper, drop to a 24-inch model with 1,920 x 1,080 (FHD) resolution, which you can get for less than $150.
MuSt FoLloW PrinciPles wHile taking a buying decision of Monitor.
- Within the constraints of your budget and desk space, get the largest monitor you can. You’ll rarely regret buying a monitor that’s too big, but you’ll always regret buying one that’s too small. There are also super-widescreen monitors with 21:9 aspect ratio (2.35:1). Many of these models are curved, and most of them are 34-inch displays with lower-than-4K resolution.
- If you can afford it, go 4K; if not, choose one with a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is most commonly 1,920×1,080 (FHD, or “full HD”). You can find the aspect ratio by dividing the horizontal resolution by the vertical resolution, and the the result for 16:9 should be 1.77:1.
- If you run Windows 10 and sit arms-length or closer to your display, get a touchscreen. If you sit farther back, it’s too awkward to use on a regular basis.
- Make sure the stand can adjust to the appropriate height for you to use comfortably as well as tilt to a usable angle.
- Go with one that you find attractive, which for many people is synonymous with “thin bezels.” You’ll be staring at it a lot.
- If you’re a gamer, you’re going to want a monitor that uses the image-enhancement platform that matches your graphics card — — and that has a latency (also referred to as response time) of 5 milliseconds or less.
- If you need accurate color, it needs to have a color gamut larger than sRGB, the ability to set color temperature either in the onscreen menu or in software. Optimally, you also want to be able to store color profiles in the display as well, but this is an expensive feature.
- Make sure that the input connections on the display match the output connections on your computer. Or remember to buy an adapter if they don’t.
- You’ll have to pay around $150 or more for anything other than a “dumb” display — just a connected screen and nothing else. Even built-in speakers are a step-up feature that you’ll need to seek out.
Need more detailed guidance? Here we go!
Pre-Purchase Phases and Vibes
How to shop for one:
If possible, you really have to see them in person; I’ve headed out to buy a specific display based on the specs and ended up changing my mind when I got up-close and personal with it. For example, displays with similar screen sizes can look or feel smaller or bigger than you thought, be more reflective or dull than you like, or it could be impossible to reach the connectors. However, as with TVs, keep in mind that there are a few things that you can’t judge in a store. The biggest is, sadly, image quality, which includes color rendering, brightness and black level. But you can tell if you find the screen readable and if you think it’s ugly.
Which Monitor Size are you looking for yourself:
Everything being equal, and if you’ve got the space and budget, bigger is better. Screen size labeling is based on the length of its diagonal. If you remember your geometry and algebra, you can calculate the width and height of the display if you also know the aspect ratio. (Because width/height = aspect ratio and width² + height² = diagonal²!) The closer to 1:1 the aspect ratio is, the more of the display is directly in your line of vision; the further away it is, the wider the screen and more of it will be out to the sides.
Which Shape would better serve your purpose – Curve Monitor or Flat Screen Monitor?
So much hype. To me, curved monitors are the best way to make a single display wider without forcing you to sit too far back. Optimally, you should be able to see the entire screen without moving your head too much, and once you get beyond roughly 27 inches, that requires a curve. At 27 inches and below, not so much. The big “but” here is that curved displays can look so much more attractive. The 34-inch models tend to have a 21:9 aspect ratio, which means they’re wider and shorter than other displays and full-screen video will pillar boxed.
But larger monitors without a curve at a more common 16:9 aspect ratio would require you to be bobble headed because they’d be quite tall.) The amount of curve is expressed in “R”, the radius of its arc in millimeters. For a given display size, bigger numbers are tighter arcs, so 1800R (the radius of many 27-inch curve displays) is shallower than 2000R. Too much of a curve can be distracting, while too little may as well be flat.
However, ignore all the talk of how “immersive” they are. They really aren’t yet. On the other hand, unlike curved TVs, you’ll always be sitting in the sweet spot, so glare shouldn’t be an issue. Price: Other things being equal, a display tends to get more expensive as resolution, screen size and the number and type of features increases. A smaller pixel pitch (the distance between the pixels), broader color spectrum and higher contrast, as well as niche capabilities for gaming or graphics will also boost the price.
The Most Important Tools that Trigger to take a buying decision
Let me share these Tools with you as you must be looking for these desperately 🙂
- MONITOR SIZE
- MONITOR RESOLUTION
- MONITOR PANEL TECHNOLOGY
- MONITOR COLOR GAMUT
- MONITOR CORRECTIONS
- MONITOR ADD ONS
|Under $150||$150-$250||$250-$500||$500-$1,000||Over $1,000|
|Size (inches)||Up to 24||Up to 32||Up to 32||Up to 34||Big|
|Resolution||Up to 1,920 x 1,080||Up to 1,920 x 1,080||Up to UHD 4K (3,840 x 2,160)||Up to Cinema 4K (4,096 x 2,160)||Up to UHD 4K (3,840 x 2,160)|
|Panel technology||TN||IPS, VA, curved; touchscreen||IPS/PLS, curved||IPS/PLS, curved||IPS/PLS, curved|
|Color gamut||Smaller than sRGB||Smaller than sRGB||99-100 percent sRGB||99-100 percent sRGB||100 percent Adobe RGB/90 percent DCI-P3|
|Connections||1 x DVI, VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort||1 x DVI, VGA, DisplayPort; 2x HDMI||1 x DVI, VGA, DisplayPort, DVI; 2x HDMI||1 x Thunderbolt 2, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort; 2x HDMI; additional output ports||1 x Thunderbolt 2, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort; 2x HDMI; additional output ports|
|Additional features (the previous price class plus the new ones)||Nvidia G-sync or AMD FreeSync support, adjustable stand||USB Hub, Picture-in-picture||Speakers, heaphone jack, simultaneous dual inputs, SD card slot, wireless charging platform, color space presets, fast refresh rates for gaming||Pixel pitch below 0.2|
At the moment we’re in a lull before products incorporating new standards are ready, such asand DisplayPort 1.4, so if you’re OK being behind the curve until you can afford something new, then don’t worry. If you’re going to beat yourself up in 2018 because you didn’t wait for HDMI 2.1 compatibility or affordable 5K or 8K, then either wait or buy the cheapest model that will meet your needs to tide you over.
Contrast ratio, the range between white and black that the display can produce, is important. But theare meaningless; if you care about it, look for contrast test results from independent sites. Plus, contrast is only one aspect of a display’s quality, and manufacturers hawking monitors with one of the cheaper, lower-quality panel technologies (TN, or twisted nematic) scream some really high contrast ratios — 12 million to 1!.
You’ll also see manufacturers boast about their amazing branded display-optimization technology, flicker reduction, eye-saving modes and so on. The display-optimization technology claims are meaningless — every display uses some and none has been proven better than another — flicker isn’t even an issue anymore and eye-saving modes (usually a blue-light mode) will soon be baked into both Mac and Windows operating systems.
And don’t get me started on the “immersive experiences,” of curved screens, because unless that display wraps all the way around me, it’s not immersive. A slight curve on a small monitor doesn’t even rate. And finally, every consumer display is both Mac and Windows compatible; it’s the connectors that make it so.
Naturally the outputs from your computer need to match the inputs of the display so that you connect them. If you have multiple displays, you may also have to connect each to a different input type — such as one HDMI and one— and that may affect the capabilities on each display.
This refers to how readable the screen is when you look at it from the side and how consistent the colors remain. Almost all monitors have a 178-degree VA; the cheapest ones tend to be lower. But if you’re the only one looking at it, it may not matter.
You don’t really need to know anything about these for buying a general-purpose display except TN (twisted nematic) is the cheapest and not great, VA (vertical alignment) is somewhat better and IPS/PLS (in-plane switching and plane-line switching) are the same thing and currently the best options. They do differ when it comes to specific needs, such as gaming or color-critical work. Almost all of them use LCD technology; you’ll frequently see backlit LCDs referred to as LED-lit. These are not related to OLED displays, which haven’t really materialized for the desktop due to various technical issues.
“Resolution” refers to the number of pixels the screen has, horizontal x vertical. On its own, resolution doesn’t really mean anything, except that it determines the aspect ratio (how much the screen deviates from square, which is a 1:1 aspect). It only matters when you combine it with the physical display size, because the more pixels you pack in to a given screen size, usually the sharper it looks.
The number of horizontal pixels divided by the horizontal dimension of the screen gives you the number of pixels per inch (PPI), which is related to the distance between pixels, called pixel pitch. In general, higher PPI is better, as is smaller pixel pitch. But the trade-off is that everything on the screen gets smaller, and changing the scaling in Windows doesn’t always do the job, so if you have vision issues you need to take resolution relative to screen size into consideration. Some standard resolutions you’ll hear about are:
WHICH RESOLUTION MONITOR DO YOU WANT TO HAVE?
|Full HD (FHD)||1,920×1,080||16:9|
|Wide quad HD (WQHD)||2,560×1440||16:9|
|Wide quad XGA||2,560×1,600||16:10|
|Ultra wide quad HD||3,440×1,440||21:9|
|Ultra HD 4K (UHD)||3,840×2,160||16:9|
|Digital Cinema Initiatives 4K (DCI 4K)||4,096×2,160||Between 16:8 and 16:9|
The first and most obvious specification is the resolution. So, which ones are currently available?
- HD Ready/720p – Largely outdated and only still found in low-end office monitors and laptop screens. There are no gaming monitors still using this resolution.
- Full HD/1080p – The current standard which provides the best balance of image quality and performance, as most modern GPUs can run it with the highest possible framerate.
- 2K/Quad HD/1440p – The current middle-ground between the slowly-fading 1080p and the 2160p now looming on the horizon, QHD resolutions are commonly found in high-end monitors today, and it takes a more powerful GPU to run it.
- 4K/Ultra HD/2160p – The future of gaming that is yet to enter the mainstream, native UHD monitors still remain on the fringes since only the most powerful GPUs can support this extreme resolution.
With all that said, which should you pick?
- Pick Ultra HD if:
- You have a GPU that can run games in it with acceptable framerates, including everything from GTX 1070 (30+ FPS) to GTX 1080 Ti (60+ FPS).
- Of course, framerates will vary based on the game in question and the FPS values listed above are mere approximations.
- You want a future-proof solution. This is hardly cost-efficient, since 4K monitors are quite expensive today and more affordable ones are bound to come out. However, if you plan on upgrading to a 4K-capable gaming configuration in the near future and need to change the monitor as well, then there is no reason not to plan ahead.
- Pick Quad HD if:
- You want a balance between quality and performance. High-end graphics cards can easily run games in QHD with an optimal 60+ frames per second, while mid-range ones such as the Radeon RX 480 or GTX 1060 and above can generally manage anywhere from 30 to 60 FPS based on the game in question.
- Pick Full HD if:
- You want the best possible performance. If you are a competitive gamer and want every possible advantage that you can get, such as a three-digit framerate on a monitor with a three-digit refresh rate.
- You have a dated GPU. Usually, it can take around 5 years for a graphics card to become obsolete. By obsolete, we mean that it is unable to achieve playable framerates in newer games. However, if we take the new QHD and UHD resolutions into account, most GPUs from merely 2 years ago will not make the cut.
There are two aspects of color to consider: how many colors the screen can display and how accurately it can display those colors. The spectrum of colors a screen can display is called its gamut, colors within the boundaries of a gamut is called a color space, and for monitors the gamut is frequently expressed as a percentage of a particular color space. These typically range from 72 percent of NTSC (the old US TV standard) to the suddenly popular and much larger DCI-P3 space. But watch out for math tricks. For instance, sRGB is the most common and the smallest of the color spaces, while the NTSC space (from standard-definition video days) is much larger. But manufacturers frequently specify “72 percent of NTSC” for cheap monitors, which is actually smaller than 100 percent of the sRGB space — sRGB is about 90 percent of NTSC. You’ll also see the color gamut specified as 16.7 million or 1 billion colors; those are just another shorthand for sRGB and Adobe RGB (a larger color space commonly important for image editing) or DCI P3 (which is about the same size as Adobe RGB, but comes from digital cinema). Unless you’re doing color-critical work or want to watch HDR movies, a display that can cover 99 to 100 percent of sRGB is sufficient. If you do have those needs, it gets way more complicated.
Run-of-the-mill monitors may include speakers, USB hubs, slots for memory cards and more, as well as support features like picture-in-picture when hooked up to two systems. If you’re short on desk space, you might want to consider a display with these types of integrated features. There are also whole classes of important features for gaming or color-critical work.
TVs vs. computer displays:
You can certainly drive a TV from your computer, but TVs are meant to be viewed from a distance, while computer displays are designed for closer work. As TVs get smarter and higher-resolution, though, the gap between the two is narrowing. Plus, for gamers, having a primary computer display for working and a TV hooked up for gaming may make sense. Want to do that? Here’s how.
Warranty and support:
I admit, I’m a bit of a fatalist when it comes to support. Sadly, the probability of having a good support experience from a manufacturer tomorrow seems to be completely independent of the experience you had with them today, and even good support from one division doesn’t necessarily mean good support from another. All I can suggest is make sure you vet the company’s dead-pixel policy, who pays for return shipping and the return policies for displays of the place you buy from (such as restocking fees or no-monitor-return policies).
Factors to Consider while buying a Monitor
- Screen Size
- Refresh Rate
- Response time
Now that we are done listing the very best of the best monitors currently or soon-to-be on the market, we will address some important features, explain what they do, how important they are, and ultimately, help you pick the gaming monitor that makes the best fit for you.
This is a stat that those who are not quite tech-savvy prize above all else. To such people, bigger is better. A gamer, on the other hand, knows that that is not the case.
When you’re picking a TV set, you would want to find a good correlation between the size of the room and the size of the TV screen. In the case of computer monitors, the correlation between the screen size and resolution is the most important.
Usually, the best combinations are:
- 24 inches with 1080p
- 27 inches with 1440p
- 32 inches with 2160p
These are the numbers that manufacturers mostly stick to, but you can always find monitors that deviate slightly from those numbers.
Why is this important?
Because the greater the difference between the screen size and resolution, the lower the pixel density will be. In turn, this means that the image will be blurrier and less defined. You don’t need to worry about separate pixels being visible with the naked eye though, as that only becomes the case when viewing TVs up close.
A refresh rate constitutes how many times per second the monitor can refresh the displayed image, and it is measured in Hertz.
Why is it important to keep refresh rates in mind?
The monitor’s refresh rate governs how many frames per second it can display, and the more frames you have, the smoother and sharper the image will be, and with minimal blurring.
Before making your pick, consider how compatible the monitor will be with your GPU in this regard. That is, if the GPU will be able to produce framerates that will do the high refresh rate justice, or if a 60Hz monitor would limit your GPU’s capabilities.
Response time governs how quickly a single pixel can change from black to white or from one shade of grey to another. It is measured in milliseconds, and in practice, it signifies how blurry fast-moving images will be.
In modern monitors, response times are usually either 1ms for monitors with TN panels or 4ms for monitors with IPS panels, which will be discussed in greater detail below.
As for response times, you should only prioritize 1ms monitors if you:
- Play a lot of fast-paced games
- Have gotten used to 1ms monitors
The difference between 4ms and 1ms response times is minimal, only likely to be noticed by those who have had experience with 1ms monitors before. If you don’t count among those people and you don’t need the slight edge that fast response times offer in fast-paced games, then you don’t need to worry about your monitor’s response time.
As mentioned above, the two panels used in gaming monitors today are TN (Twisted Nematic) and IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels.
Without getting too technical:
- TN panels have better overall performance, which includes higher refresh rates and faster response times
- IPS panels offer better image quality, especially when it comes to colors, but lag behind TN panels in the performance department
When choosing between these two for gaming, it simply comes down to whether you want the most responsive monitor possible that will give you an edge in games, or if you want a better visual experience. All in all, it is a completely subjective choice.
There are several means of connection used by monitors today:
The most popular is the High-Definition Multimedia Interface, commonly abbreviated and known as HDMI. The versions of this connector used today are HDMI 1.4 and HDMI 2.0, which differ in terms of performance, with the latter being superior in every regard. In practice, however, you only really need HDMI 2.0 if you want to run 2K+ resolutions with high refresh rates. And lastly, HDMI is the only one of these technologies that can transfer audio.
DisplayPort is the most popular among gamers, and for a good reason. The latest DisplayPort 1.4 supports the highest possible resolution/refresh rate ratio, including 4K 120Hz support. It is very rarely included in TVs, which is why consoles don’t include it either. However, nearly every monitor and graphics card today have at least one DisplayPort.
DVI comes in a number of variants, with the latest and most common one today being Dual Link DVI-D. In terms of performance, it is generally on par with HDMI. Granted, there are minor differences but none that the human eye is capable of perceiving. And, unlike HDMI, DVI cannot transfer audio.
VGA represents an analogue means of connection that is on the border of becoming obsolete. Needless to say, it is a last resort solution that few still use today. Its maximum supported resolution is 1080p, which is already pushing its technical capabilities.
So, which one to go with?
We suggest the following:
- Use DisplayPort for your PC, especially if it is a monitor with a high refresh rate.
- Use HDMI on PC only with 60Hz monitors and with consoles. One obvious advantage of HDMI when it comes to consoles is that it can transfer audio.
- Use DVI as an alternative to HDMI if your GPU/monitor does not have enough ports for all your devices
- Use VGA only if you have no other choice
If you follow the professional eSports gaming circuit, you’ll notice a significant number of players use gaming monitors for their video game consoles rather than televisions. Not only is this because a console gaming monitor is more portable than an HDTV, but because it also offers a faster response time.
While most gamers won’t notice the slight delay that occurs from the time you press a controller button to when the action appears on the screen, that slight delay is everything in the world of professional gaming. Many gaming monitors take great strides to make the time between pressing a button and displaying the action instantaneous, which can easily give you the edge in first-person shooters such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Lastly, console gaming monitors are cheaper than an HDTV and take up far less space. Often, to get the best picture on an HDTV requires you to spend upwards of $600 to $700 on the device, with a monitor providing a better picture at half the cost.
If you’re a college student with limited living space or simply don’t have the room for an entertainment center and television, a console gaming monitor is an ideal choice due to its smaller size. Wherever there is a space, whether it’s on a desk or a kitchen counter, you can set up a console gaming monitor.
What Makes a Good Console Gaming Monitor?
When choosing a console gaming monitor, you’ll want to look for three things: a fast response time, the proprietary features it offers and how many HDMI slots it has.
The faster the response time, the less input lag there is, as described earlier in this guide. The general rule is that the lower the number, the faster the response time is. You’ll want to look for monitors with a 1ms response time, with even 2ms still being acceptable; however, anything over 2ms and the monitor just isn’t a decent console gaming monitor.
Many console gaming monitors offer the same assortment options to tweak your display, such as letting you customize the brightness or the gamma. What you want to keep an eye out for are any proprietary features a console gaming monitor has.
For example, BenQ offers the Black eQualizer proprietary technology on the majority of their gaming monitors, which lightens your screen without washing out the black and gray colors. If you can’t choose between two console gaming monitors, the proprietary features of a particular monitor may tip the scales in its favor.
If you’re a multi-console gamer, you know how much of a hassle it is to switch video cables each time you want to use a different system. By getting a console gaming monitor with multiple HDMI slots, you can eliminate this hassle altogether. While this isn’t an essential feature, it’s one that will make your gaming life a lot easier.