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Whether you’re shopping for a new computer monitor or a television, at some point you’ve probably run across the term “screen resolution”. And if you’re not a tech buff, this might seem like a foreign term. But knowing what screen resolutions are, why they matter, and which resolutions are best in certain scenarios makes it one of the important tech specifications you need to know. This also includes discovering which is the best gaming monitor resolution, especially if you’re a regular gamer. So, if you’ve always wondered how to pick a monitor or television based on resolutions, keep reading to understand more about this key indicator.
In short, monitor resolution refers to the display quality of a screen and is usually listed in width and height dimensions. Specifically, it references how many pixels are within that space.
For example, 1080p tends to be an industry standard for Full HD monitors. But the full resolution is usually 1920 by 1080 pixels. This means that the screen is 1,920 pixels wide and has a height of 1,080 pixels. As a general rule, the bigger the resolution, the better the display.
Tip: 1080p tends to be an industry standard for Full HD monitors
Tip: As a general rule, the bigger the resolution, the better the display
Not at all. While 1080p is a standard baseline if you’re targeting HD quality, you can find screens with resolutions as low as 720p and some that are significantly bigger at 8K. Although 2K, 4K, and 8K are still mostly limited to premium brands because many computers or visual output devices can’t handle the amount of data needed to properly render content shot in 8K. Check out our guide if you’re unfamiliar with what 2K resolution is.
Warning: Although 2K, 4K, and 8K are still mostly limited to premium brands because many computers or visual output devices can’t handle the amount of data needed to properly render content shot in 8K
Also, note that pixel count will vary based on screen size. 1080p is common in screens that are 21 to 24 inches wide. But you would expect more pixels in a screen larger than 24 inches.
Tip: pixel count will vary based on screen size
Along with the monitor’s pixel count, you’ll also want to consider refresh rates. Just like it sounds, this term refers to how frequently your monitor updates the display. And just like with general pixel count, the higher the refresh rate, the better the experience. The refresh rate is usually measured in hertz (Hz) and the target metric is going to depend on your usage plans. While general users are fine with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, gamers or designers should opt for monitors that are at least 75 Hz.
However, keep in mind that while 75Hz is the minimum refresh rate for most people, many of the 4K monitors tend to have a refresh rate of 144Hz. You can learn more in our resource article about what is a 4K monitor, and how it’s especially better for gamers and designers.
Tip: While general users are fine with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, gamers or designers should opt for monitors that are at least 75 Hz
Screen resolution or computer monitor resolution refers to how clearly content is displayed on the screen. Usually, a higher resolution means that the display will be sharper.
This is going to depend on the size of your screen. However, the most common size range is 21 to 24 inches which pair well with 1080p for a quality display.
If you have a Windows computer you can search for screen resolution from the start button. For Apple computers, that information is available from Apple in the header menu in “About This Mac”.