The monitor is one of the most important parts of your PC. After all, it’s the part you stare at during the hours you spend on your PC. Buying a monitor isn’t as complicated as buying a motherboard or video card, although there are some tips and tricks you can use to get the best possible deal on your next monitor purchase.
Today, we’re going to highlight some of those tips and tricks and show you exactly how to buy the right PC monitor:
Check which connector you need
Most PCs today come with HDMI ports. You’ll see HDMI ports on laptops, for example, and on most modern video cards. However, if you have an older PC, you may be stuck with a DVI-D connector or even a VGA connector. There’s nothing wrong with these connectors, but you’ll have to make sure the monitor you choose is compatible with those connectors and that you have the right cables.
To find out which connectors your PC uses, look on the back of your desktop or on the sides of your laptop and find the following ports:
If you have an HDMI port, then that’s great. Today, most monitors come with HDMI connectors. If you don’t see an HDMI port and you see a VGA port or DVI-D port instead, then you’ll need to shop for monitors with DVI-D or VGA connections, which can be tougher to find but are still relatively common.
Screen size – how big do you want your monitor to be?
Some people prefer working on TV-sized PC monitors. Others like smaller, crisp and clear displays. This decision comes down to personal preference, personal eyesight, and the distance you sit away from your PC. I
f you’re sitting a few feet away from your PC on some sort of massive desk, then you’ll want to buy a larger PC monitor – say, 30 inches. If you’re using a normal desk and don’t have major vision problems, then any monitor 23 inches or below should do the trick.
There’s no excuse not to buy a full HD monitor (resolution of 1920x1080p) in this day and age. In fact, there are plenty of higher resolution monitors available at an affordable price, although you may have to splurge for a larger screen. Some of today’s best 30 inch monitors, for example, come with a resolution of 2560×1600, which can look fantastic when paired with the right video card.
You’ll also want to look at the native resolution of the screen. Ideally, you’ll always run the monitor at its native resolution, or else you’re going to suffer from a noticeable lack of graphics quality.
Contrast ratio is one of the most frequently searched terms for those who are buying a monitor. Why? Well, contrast ratio is not only hard to judge, but it’s also measured in really high numbers that can make it confusing to compare multiple monitors.
Contrast ratio refers to the difference between the darkest dark and the whitest white that a monitor can display. A really good monitor will have a contrast ratio of 10,000,000:1, while a really bad monitor may have a ratio less than 1,000:1.
You can find plenty of reasonably priced monitors with a contrast ratio above 1,000:1, which really should be your lower limit. If you don’t mind spending a few extra dollars, look for a monitor with a contrast ratio of 10,000:1 or higher.
Choosing the right viewing angle comes down to personal preferences and your use for the monitor. If you expect multiple people to be looking over your shoulder at your monitor, then you will need a monitor with a higher viewing angle. If it’s just going to be you looking at the monitor from your comfy office chair, then viewing angle doesn’t really matter.
The best viewing angle you can have is 180 degrees, which means that the monitor can easily be viewed from any angle facing it. Today, you can find monitors with viewing angles as high as 170 degrees, although the average monitor has a viewing angle of 140 degrees (which tends to be good enough for the average user).
Response time is one of the most underrated aspects of buying a monitor. In fact, out of all the qualities listed here, response time is one of the most noticeable. Response time is measured in milliseconds and refers to the length of time it takes for the monitor to display a change in pixels.
Good monitors have response times of 2ms, which tends to be the lower limit for today’s monitors. If you plan on using your monitor for PC gaming and other high performance activities, you’ll want to find a monitor with a 2ms response time. In fact, even if you’re just using your PC to watch movies or perform basic tasks, a 2ms response time will make a noticeable difference.
You see, when you’re following the action in a PC game or an HD movie, you want the pixels on your screen to change as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you get motion blurring and other poor-quality effects. 2ms response times are ideal, and try to steer clear of monitors with 8ms response times or longer.
Picture quality and brand loyalty
Even after taking all of the above factors into account, there are small differences between each brand that can make a significant difference in monitor quality. The best way to judge this is to rely on your own experience with a brand while also reading reviews online. Today, top recognized PC monitor brands include:
-Samsung, Acer, and ASUS
-All the others
Dell and LG both make fantastic monitors and, although they’re priced higher than the competition, provide a noticeably better level of quality.
There you have it! If you’re buying a PC monitor in the near future, this guide will help you find the highest quality monitor at the best possible price. And don’t be afraid to visit your local tech store to check out monitor quality in-person.