What Makes a Good PC Monitor?

What Makes a Good PC Monitor?

To say that there are a lot of options out there when you want a PC monitor is an understatement. However, not every PC monitor comes with the same quality as others on the market. This can make the process of choosing a PC monitor rather overwhelming.

To help you out, in the heart of this article, we have highlighted some features you need to look out for in a great monitor.

What Are You Going to Use It For?

The first question you need to answer is, why are you buying a PC monitor? Are you looking for something to do office spreadsheets on? Are you a video editor that needs the best quality? Are you a casual/hardcore gamer?

The point behind this introspection is to make sure you are getting the features you need. For instance, a monitor intended for gaming is going to need a lot of high-tech features, such as faster refresh rates, faster response times, adaptive sync support, and relatively higher resolutions. If you opt for a monitor with all those features for your office computer, you’ll definitely have a good PC monitor, but odds are you won’t use the features to their full potential.

Of course, a PC monitor equipped with greater resolution, more response time, and more refresh rate will put a dent in your pocket more significantly than the one with less quality. After all, the more features and capabilities a monitor has, the more expensive it is likely to be. When trying to find the balance between quality and budget, it’s important to know what you need so you don’t buy extras you won’t use.


When you are looking at monitors, the first thing that you’ll notice is the size of the monitor. Once again, the size you want depends on what you are looking for. For purposes like gaming, many users find that bigger is better.

On the other hand, if you work in a small office, you might find that a large monitor is too bulky.

The good news is that monitors come in almost any size you might want. You can choose something as small as the size of a tablet or as large as 49 inches.

Though you know your PC monitor needs clearer than we do, we have offered a few suggestions to help you reach an informed buying decision:

  • Larger monitors are ideal if you will be making use of them for graphics-related purposes, such as editing or watching videos, photography, graphics-intensive video games, and the likes.
  • If you do numerous work on the computer, you should opt for larger and multiple displays to make you more productive.
  • If your PC isn’t used for these kinds of intense activities, a large display might not be the best for you.
  • Bear in mind that some PC monitors could simply be too big to use on your desk comfortably. For standard (or normal) PC viewing distances, anything that is more than 34 inches is generally too big.

Armed with these tips, go for a screen size, expressed in diagonal inches, that is well suited to your needs and style.

Curved or Straight?

One of the latest innovations when it comes to monitors is that some of them are being released with curved screens. These are usually larger monitors. The choice of curved or straight really comes down to preference, though. Usually, this is a feature that individuals choose when they want an extremely spacious display.

Type of Screen

There is more than just one type of screen to choose from. These include cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors, liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors, and light-emitting diode (LED) monitors.

The most modern choice is LED monitors. These are a great choice because they offer higher contrast images and use less energy to do so. This environmentally friendly option does come at a higher price, so lower-priced monitors tend to use LCD displays.

CRT monitors aren’t often used anymore. These are the monitors that were bulky and heavy rather than flat like their modern counterparts.


The size of the monitor is measured in inches. However, the resolution tells you the length and width of the monitor measured in pixels. This is the specification you see in measurements such as 1920 x 1080p. There are recommended resolutions for the size and type of monitor that you are using, but generally, users look for the highest resolutions possible.

The resolution of any monitor shows the number of pixels it is able to accommodate. Owing to the fact that higher pixel counts means better image quality, if you are purchasing a monitor for gaming, higher is better concerning the native resolution of a monitor.

The 3 most commonly used monitor resolutions in this day and age include the following:

  • 1080p (commonly referred to as Full HD)
  • 1440p (commonly referred to as QHD)
  • 2160p (commonly referred to as 4K/UHD)

While it is true that a higher resolution brings better detail and clarity, you need to note that the higher the resolution, the more powerful the capabilities of your hardware should be. The majority of gaming enthusiasts seem to agree 1440p displays do strike a balance.

Contrast Ratio

The contrast of a display tells you the difference between the purest white and deepest black. The higher the contrast, the more vivid the images on the display. Unfortunately, unlike measurements such as resolution, there can be differences from manufacturer to manufacturer on how contrast ratios are measured. They are all, however, formatted into a ratio.

Response Time

The response time of a monitor tells you how often your monitor refreshes the information on it per second. It is measured in milliseconds (ms), and the higher the response time (or the smaller the number), the smoother your monitor will show images.

Though a fast response time offers enhanced video quality, for most people (including graphic professionals), it is not an important specification.

But faster response times are critical to PC games’ performance because slower response times can bring about motion blur. Gamers need to demand a quick response time, which lies below 8ms (and the smaller, the better) to make sure their monitor is not having a subtle impact on their performance in games that are fast-paced.

Refresh Rate

Expressed in hertz, the refresh rate of a PC monitor depicts how often it refreshes the image on its screen. 60 hertz, ideal for regular office use, is the standard refresh rate for LCDs, and the majority of users do not need a PC monitor that has more than this value.

For a gaming monitor, though, this number is extremely important to prevent lagging images during gameplay. Hence, gaming-branded displays can have as much as 120Hz, 144Hz, or even 240 hertz.

Connections and Extras

Another aspect that you will want to look at when you are choosing your monitor has nothing to do with the display at all. It’s important to consider what ports you want in your monitor. While it might seem like a given, some monitors don’t include USB ports, HDMI ports, and other ports. There is also the consideration of extras such as integrated speakers. If you want these features, make sure to check that the monitors you are looking into have them. Another extra you might want to consider is if you want a touchscreen monitor. This isn’t a feature limited to tablet-style monitors, either. Full-size monitors also often have a touchscreen option. For instance, this is a feature useful for graphic designers.

In a Nutshell

While monitors will not make your PC faster, the best among them enhance your computing experience, as they make everything look much better and boost your productivity. When looking to buy a quality monitor, you need to consider the purpose you’re getting it for, as this will determine the resolution, screen size, refresh rate, and other features to focus on. By taking note of the suggestions offered in this article, you will be able to purchase a monitor that strikes a balance between quality and cost-effectiveness.

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