These are our top 8 factors when choosing a PC monitor.
- Usage – What are you going to be viewing on the monitor? Is it for gaming, office, or professional uses? A gamer for example would typically require a low refresh rate and high resolution, professional who are using Photoshop will use colour calibration to ensure their colours match the output designs.
- Resolution – A monitor’s resolution tells you how many pixels a monitor has in width by height. 1920 x 1080 (also known as 1080p or Full FD) is the minimum you will need. The higher the resolution the better the picture.
- Physical Size – When the monitor is on your desk then consider how much space it will take up. We have used a widescreen format (16×9) for a few years, the screen size is measured diagonally, corner to corner. A 21.5” screen may also be listed as a 22” as some marketing may round up or include the bezel.
- Bezel thickness – If you are planning on having two (or more) screens next to each other, some monitors will have a thin bezel that allows the image to almost be seamless.
- Refresh Rate – This is then number of times the screen will update per second and is measured in hertz (Hz). The refresh rate should be at least 60hz for an office PC and gamers would want at least 75hz. Professional Gamers will use 120hz or even 240hz. The human eye sees around 60 Frames Per Second (FPS) but some people will see a difference between the rates, depending upon their age and the number of differences between frames on a screen.
- Response Time – The time in seconds that an individual pixel will change from black or white to another. Typically monitors will 5ms for office use and gamers will want 1ms or below.
- Connectors – Most monitors will allow you to connect via one or more types of connectors. The older VGA analogue connector should be avoided to get the best image quality so you will want to connect your device to your PC via a Digital connection: DisplayPort, HDMI or DVI-D. See our article on display connector types.
- Stand or Mount – Most monitors will have a basic stand that supports the screen on the desk and allows a small amount of movement. Some stands have height adjustment that allows the user to raise or lower the screen to meet their viewing needs. If you plan to use a monitor mount that will allow you to connect one or more screens to a desk or wall, then check that your monitor supports the VESA 100 x 100 or 75 x 75 standard. The VESA mount is a standard provides 4 mounting holes on the back of the monitor used with mounting brackets.
Other factors when choosing a PC monitor?
You may also need to consider these factors when choosing a PC monitor:
- Budget – If you have a small budget, you may not be able to get every factor you need. Monitors last longer than PCs so you may reuse the monitor a couple of times or find a second-hand bargain if someone has a monitor they are replacing.
- Eyecare – If you are staring at your screen for much of your day, some monitors will have eye-care features to reduce blue light or reduce brightness and some have reminders to take a break.
- Speakers – Some monitors will include basic speakers to output the PCs sound, these may use the HDMI/DisplayPort cable for the signals or may have a separate 2.5 jack that needs to be connected to your soundcard.
- USB Hub – The USB connectors can help with cable clutter on your desk or allow you to plug in a flash drive quickly. USB standards are updating so may be the older type of connectors. We have seen some monitors that will provide power via USB-C to an ultra-small pc mounted in the stand or on the back on the monitor.
- Controls – The monitor functions will have some type of control, these maybe buttons on the bottom, side or on the back of the screen. These may allow some screen adjustment, such as colour, brightness, and display position or input selection.
- Lighting – If you are a gamer or have limited light on your desk, some monitor manufactures include RGB lighting in the stand or on the rear of the monitors. This is mainly aimed at Gamers however screen bars provide additional source of light for your desk & monitor. Reducing screen reflections and glare from traditional light sources.
We may not have covered every factor when you choose a monitor, but we hope that this allows you to think about some that are listed.
We sell most brands monitors including: Dell, BenQ, iiyama, HP, ViewSonic. If you would like some assistance, then contact us with your requirements.