Have you just finished setting up your personal computer and just need to choose a monitor? Your old model has just breathed its last and you want to replace it with something more modern and efficient? In short, if for some reason you need a computer monitor, you’ve come to the right place, because here we go to some criteria to consider when making your purchase. This will allow you to find the one that best suits your needs.
For example, do you already know the difference between IPS and TN monitors? And do you know how using one of the two types of monitors is more efficient than the other? Monitors can be divided into different categories, and some are more sophisticated at performing multimedia reproductions, such as movies or photographs, others faster with animation and which go well with the lightning-fast movements of video games.
As you’ve already guessed, there is no one perfect monitor for all needs, but if you already know what you’ll be using your new PC monitor with, then the choice will be much easier for you. We will therefore first present to you the best PC screens available on the market in 2020, then we will give you some tips to choose your monitor.
How to choose your PC screen?
To choose the best PC monitor for your personal needs, you should also know the definitions of the features that you will find mentioned among the prices of the different models. In addition, you need to know the size of the space you want to occupy on your desk and the diagonal of the image display surface.
Technologies: IPS, VA or TN?
Let’s immediately start to distinguish between the different types of screens currently available in stores and see what are the technical features to consider before buying one. The first choice you have to make is on the type of panel: all screens currently on the market are LCD (liquid crystal, with LED or fluorescent backlight) but be careful, not all LCD screens are the same. Depending on the type of panel used, they can be distinguished into TN, IPS and VA.
TN (Twisted Nematic abbreviation) monitors are known for their low response times (down to 1ms) and are often available at a good price. They are best suited for video games and viewing 3D content.
IPS (In Plane Switching) displays on the other hand, are geared more towards the world of productivity and multimedia, as they adjust colors better than TN and at much more viewing angles, but response times almost always raised.
VA monitors offer a good viewing angle and contrast, but don’t have very low response times, and color reproduction is not as perfect as on IPS panels. They can also suffer from the annoying ghost effect. They are divided into PVA (Patterned Vertical Alignment) and MVA (Multi-domain Vertical Alignment) having even more marked contrasts than the first ones. This type of sign must be taken into account in particular in the workplace.
Each monitor may support higher or lower resolutions, or technologies that may or may not be useful in certain areas. Below, we offer some definitions of the essential characteristics of monitors.
You should not only look at the size, which is the number of inches, but also the resolution, which is the maximum number of pixels that can make up the images on the screen. Display sizes typically range from 18.5 “to over 30”, while when it comes to resolutions we have several options available.
HD monitors: The cheapest monitors available on the market today are those with HD resolution, equal to 1280 × 720 pixels in 16: 9 aspect ratio. To date, they are a bit anachronistic and we do not recommend them, unless you are very demanding and want to spend the bare minimum.
Full HD monitors: They have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and are currently the best solution in terms of value for money. They are also ideal for games. The recommended dimensions for this type of screen range from 21 ″ to 27 ″, also because if you play too close on a large screen, you risk eye strain.
Other characteristics of the screen image
Response times – one of the main features to look at before buying a monitor is also response times, which is the number of milliseconds a pixel takes to change its state on the screen (this setting is fundamental for gaming, and it should be as low as possible if you need a monitor to play)
Frame rate: This metric is used to indicate the number of frames “rendered” per second by the computer graphics card (FPS) and establishes the smoothness of animations and any movement. It is mainly used in video games or multimedia content.
Refresh rate: represents the refresh rate of the image on the screen, that is, the number of times the image is redrawn on the display every second (measured in Hz). The last two settings are better when they are higher. In addition, NVidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync technologies have recently appeared among the most demanding gamers. They allow you to synchronize the frame rate to the screen refresh rate, in order to avoid the reproduction of annoying artifacts
HDR (High Dynamic Range): Indicates the ability of the monitor to reproduce a wider range of colors, including shadows and reflections that SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) monitors cannot display. It is an exceptional innovation, because this model offers very high quality static images. For example, an HDR monitor can reproduce very bright lights and dark shadows in the same frame, without burning the first or obscuring the details of the second.
Glossy or Matte Display: Displays can have a glossy or matte finish. Those with a matte surface avoid reflections, those with a glossy finish rather have more problems with reflections but ensure more vivid colors (so, in theory, they also tire the eyes more easily).
Each PC monitor is connected to the computer’s graphics card via a cable. However, there are different types of connectors offering different transfer speeds. Obviously, all the connections are not present on all screens and all graphics cards. Here are the main connectors:
VGA: An obsolete connector for modern video cards, compatible exclusively with samples from years past.
DVI: the successor to D-SUB, is included in almost all modern monitors. Qualitatively and quickly transmits a signal, thus offering an increase in maximum resolution.
HDMI: has more bandwidth than DVI. Supports all resolutions up to 4K. It can transmit both audio and video signals, thanks to which it can be used to connect not only to the central unit, but also to other multimedia equipment.
DisplayPort: One of the most used connectors on current graphics cards. It allows without problem to display an image in 4K resolution, even beyond.