Anyone with an interest in technology is constantly being bombarded with news of the latest innovations. We are always hearing about processors becoming faster and smaller, video cards boosting frame rates to let us play the most demanding games, and the minimum expected amount of RAM has been trending steadily upward for years. Unlike these internal components, there is rarely much buzz about PC monitors and the advances that have been made in recent times. It just doesn’t seem as exciting to enthusiasts, despite the fact that our monitors are an extremely important determiner of the way in which we may use our machines, for obvious reasons. So, if you’ve gone looking for a new screen and don’t know your DVI from your IPS, read on for a helping hand.
On the surface, there’s not much to say about these two criteria. You want a screen which is big enough to comfortably perform all the tasks you will require of it, and you need enough pixels to fill the display. But there are a couple of points to bear in mind. The first is that any screen under 20” will seem very small these days, and as you can easily get a 21.5 – 23” model for a low price, it’s worth paying a little extra. Secondly, beware as you go up the sizing scale that the maximum resolution is usually 1080p, or 1920×1080. A 27” 1080p monitor will be fair clearer than a 30” 1080p monitor, so you’ll have to decide whether you want image quality or size.
Most monitors are constructed using Twisted Nematic (TN) panels. These are a perfectly acceptable option for most users, offering price effectiveness and a high power efficiency rating. True enthusiasts, though, will want to opt for In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels. This cutting-edge technology offers unbeatable color reproduction and projects a visibly improved image. It is hard to explain how IPS screens look better; you have to see one to understand. Once you’ve used one, you’ll find it hard to go back.
A refresh rate of 60hz is fine for the vast majority of consumers. In fact, there are some experts who maintain that there is no real-world difference between the two refresh rates on offer – at least, not one that justifies the increased costs. Nevertheless, many gamers swear that they can see a difference, even if it is a minor one. 120hz screens update twice as often as their 60hz alternatives, meaning that fast-moving images can appear smoother and more precise. It’s recommended that you visit a real-world shop yourself and compare the two options side-by-side, as some argue that the spare cash is better spent elsewhere.
Once you get past all the complicated internal specs, you still need to figure out what kind of computer cables you’ll be plugging into your new screen. One DVI input is all that’s required if you’re only going to be hooking the monitor up to your PC, but if you’ve got as many gadgets as I have, you might want to look for a model which has HDMI, too. This will allow you to connect your Blu-Ray player, games console or other HD output device.
This is a Guest Post Written By Thomas Jones.