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Ideal monitor size and resolution 2022

Discussion in 'Video Cards & Monitors' started by drunkntigr, Nov 30, 2021.

  1. drunkntigr

    drunkntigr Member

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    Monitor tech has come a long way. I've been interchanging between 27" 1080p 27" 2K, 32" 2K and 32" 4K monitors.

    I've noticed many brands doing AIOs like the imac prefer to use 27" - is this purely for space considerations?

    I know resolution why it's very subjective - there's only so much you can fit on 1080p and so small you can see with 4K on smaller screens.

    Just wondering if there was any set go to in the creative/arts/graphics industry that stimulate what size monitor and resolution you should be using as standard.

    Personally, I've found 27" 2K to be the best as 2K 32" the text is quite blurry. 4K 27" was impossible to use on a windows GUI.
     
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  2. The Beast

    The Beast Member

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    I'm a huge convert to 48" 4K (specifically LG OLED). It's like having an awesome 4 monitor array with no bezels.
    Great for productivity, working from home is a joy, I can literally have two VPN connections and my local work + a YouTube distraction all on one screen.
    Brilliant for media production (though I just dabble as an amateur), a massive workspace that is completely legible.
    Amazing for gaming, I mean, AMAZING. Up close and intense for FPS, kick back for slow paced adventure games, or be fully immersed with a massive screen for driving/flying/space sims.
     
  3. Wacko02

    Wacko02 Member

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    how far away from the screen do you typically sit mate?
    My conclusion when shopping for a single monitor last year was that the perfect one didn't exist just yet (right size, aspect ratio, 4k, contrast and brightness, refresh rate, etc)
     
  4. The Beast

    The Beast Member

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    Crazy close. Honestly as close as I would to a 27". My head is about 80-100cm away when watching something, and about 60cm when typing... like right now. The point is you are only focussing on one part of the screen when you're in desktop mode, so it's not overwhelming.

    It takes some time to get used to the idea that you don't have to process the whole screen at once, you look at sections of the screen, or the active window, which could be anywhere in a 48" diag area. You get used to just dragging, dropping and resizing windows into your preferred field of view. Also 120Hz is sooo smooth it feels very comfortable to be moving windows regularly.

    If I full screen something I just lean back in my chair, maybe roll it back a foot and enjoy. The screen clarity is so good that being "too close" doesn't feel weird.
     
  5. power

    power Member

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    I find 27" a bit too small now, I had roughly that size monitor almost 10 years ago (28") so it feels too small to me now. Also 27" 1440p while it looks nice the PPI is a bit higher than I like. I'm actually really happy with dual 32" 1440p for work. Home I just can't go past the 48" 4K now, the 40" 4K was nice but the extra 8 just feels a bit better. It's funny because my 28" display was 1080p (yes it was CHEEEAP - and at the time most monitors were much smaller - and I predominantly game on my PC) and while I really enjoyed the higher PPI of the 40" display but personally it was a little too much and the 48" brings me about where I want to be on a content consumption panel. To be clear I use no scaling options in the OS as I find them to be too inconsistent so I choose a panel that fits everything with no scaling. I've never gone in for ultrawide or curved, I do not like odd resolutions for the amount of fiddling i have to do to make stuff work - that's just me, and curved I've never really fancied.

    As for why 27" is so popular with manufacturers, I would say it's a combination of several things.

    Market segmentation (how they can price this size vs going up just a pinch to 30/32). Maximises profits from each segment. This I list as the number 1 reason because money trumps everything.

    Size of workspaces (yes physical desks need to cope with this change to a larger display). Workspace is a massive, massive part of how large and what PPI of a display should be for you.

    Some people just don't like big jumps in size and say "this is too big" when coming from 23"-24" . We had a guy in our org opt for returning to his smaller 24" 1080p display after we shipped him a 32" 1440p display which kind of blew my mind, he worked with CAD all day and I still can't comprehend how this user rejected the larger workspace. Some find a large display somewhat "excessive" or too much of a luxury for the amount of time they actually spend on the PC which goes back to point 1, market segmentation, the manufactuers nestle each product nicely in a price bracket they feel they can sell the most to.


    End of the day - I say buy what you want and the price you feel comfortable at because like most things in life a monitor is very much a personal decision.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2021
  6. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

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    I don't like overly tall displays, I don't like having to look up. Same reason I don't use portrait orientation displays ever. Additional displays up high just for system monitoring/reference I'm ok with though.

    Resolution is very dependant on distance. I generally like the 27" 1440p and so also the 34" ultrawide equiv as it has the same PPI. They work nice side-by-side. Also good for content consumption as most TV shows fill a 16:9 and most movies a 21:9, so use the one that suits the material.

    Laptops anything beyond 1080p is stupid IMO. It doesn't hurt IQ of course, but it makes a system work harder, uses more power and the PPI is crazy high.
     
  7. alexc

    alexc Member

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    Not sure I can answer the question about what should be standard...

    However, I use 3x 4K 27" displays on my Mac. I set them to QHD resolution as I find FHD to be too big.

    I got a good deal on some Dell displays, so I went with 27". But I do reckon 24 or 25" would be a better pixel density for 4K. For me anyway!

    FWIW, I've also got a Windows 11 box sitting next to connected to another Dell 4K 27" display, and it's totally fine IMHO :)

    It used to be a nightmare with scaling on Windows I found, especially when going from a HiDPI laptop display to FHD external display!

    Menu bars would scale all weird, Adobe products were a nightmare in that regards IIRC.

    Anyway, for me, I'd go 24" 4K displays.

    If you can splurge, and are a Mac user, the 27" 5K Ultrafine display that LG sell is pretty good, now the bugs are ironed out!
     
  8. josh1990

    josh1990 Member

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    43" 4K was the sweet spot for me - real estate, pricing and fit the desk
     
  9. theSeekerr

    theSeekerr Member

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    Non-native display resolutions suck, and Windows display scaling still sucks, so you want a monitor you can comfortably run at native resolution and 100% scaling.

    Now, comfort is personal, but to the extent there's a de-facto standard it's 1920 x 1080 @ 21-23" diagonal, so about 95-105 ppi.

    2560 x 1440 @ 27" is a tiny bit more dense at around 109 ppi, but I reckon that's still comfortable. So let's say 95-110 ppi is "normal".

    On that basis, we can say that these bigger sizes make sense:
    • 25-29" ultrawide @ 2560 x 1080
    • 34-35" ultrawide @ 3440 x 1440 (same density as a 27" QHD)
    • 40-43" widescreen @ 3840 x 2160 (UHD / "4K") (similar density to a 21" 1080p panel, but at 4 times the size)
    • 49" 32:9 super-ultrawide @ 5120 x 1440 (just two 27" QHD screens side by side)
    • 38" ultrawide @ 3840 x 1600 (same density as 27" QHD and 34" ultrawides, but bigger)
    We can say that these somewhat common sizes arguably have too few pixels for their size:
    • >24" @ 1920 x 1080 (often seen at 27" and 32")
    • >29" @ 2560 x 1080 (often seen at 34")
    • >32" @ 2560 x 1440 (often seen at 32")
    • >38" @ 3440 x 1440 (honestly rare anyway)
    • >46" @ 3840 x 2160 (really just those couple of 48" OLEDs that might be worth it anyway)
    On the other hand are panels that may have too many pixels for their size, and in this category there's really only two entrants:
    • <40" @ UHD (28, 32" are common, and there are a couple of 24" models for the Mac users)
    • <27" @ QHD (25" is...semi-common. There's a Dell, and has been one in the lineup for years)
    Now, this last category is moot if you're OK with Windows Display Scaling. If it's not buggy as shit for your purposes, set it to be comfortable and enjoy the extra pixel density.

    Finally, if you're using a Mac you really want twice this density. So UHD @ 24", 5K (5120 x 2880) @ 27" and so on. Macs have had good 2x retina support for ages.
     
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  10. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

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    DO you run fps games in full screen? I hating my 32inch for fps games because theres so much real estate and I find it takes much longer to scan areas. I was talking to a mate and he said most pros play with a 27" and I have been considering downsizing but I do love the size for everything else.
     
  11. cbwolf

    cbwolf Member

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    As some others have said - there are several considerations:

    • Size of screen
    • Resolution
    • Resulting PPI of the above 2 factors combined
    • Distance you sit from the monitor
    Generally, people seem to consider around the 110PPI mark the 'sweet spot', where things appear sharp enough, but you don't need scaling and run Windows at 100%. This would be:
    • 1920x1080 at 24"
    • 2560x1440 at 27"
    • 3840x2160 at 40"
    My personal preference, sitting around 80cm from the screen is an absolute minimum of around 110PPI, with a preference for 130 - 140PPI with 125% scaling (i.e. 4k at 32").

    Anything below 110PPI starts looking blurry, and anything around 90PPI or lower is a god awful blurry mess that makes me want to stab myself in the eye.

    For example, I don't understand how a number of forum members here are happy with their 48" 4k OLEDS (which results in 92 PPI) unless they sit like 100 - 110cm or further away from the screen. At a "normal" distance of 70 - 80cm, you'd get a massive, 92PPI blurry mess.
     
  12. .Radiant

    .Radiant Member

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    Power Toys / Fancy Zones makes things like this so much nicer. Been using it on my 43" and it is an absolute game changer, just setup my layouts and can drag and drop windows into your specified layouts. when it's time to change things up another layout is win+ctrl+alt+layout # away.
     
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  13. The Beast

    The Beast Member

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    Not all displays are created equally so it's a bit too sweeping to conclude that low PPI = blurry. Retina (Apple term) is considered the point at which the human eye is unable to distinguish between pixels at typical viewing distances, however any display becomes "retina" at a given distance.

    At 48" 4K becomes "retina" at 94cm. (Calculate it here) I typically sit 80-100cm and don't need to use any display scaling. Reducing your display size in order to boost PPI but then losing screen real estate by having to use 125% display scaling seems incredibly counter-productive. Scaling can also be such an inconsistent shit-show in windows, some apps don't scale properly, or just look like absolute turd, I'm much happier not having to use it.

    As above display quality matters, an LG OLED running in 4:4:4 10-bit is most definitely not a blurry mess even at distances under the magic 94cm, but without seeing it for yourself you'll just have to take our word.

    Yes I do, but I'm not "pro" lol. Sounds like you just need a deeper desk to achieve the same thing as running on a 27". The other alternative is to run an ultra-widescreen resolution in a window with a black background - it'll feel just like using an ultrawide because the rest of the display is genuinely "off". I've not done this myself, but I'm keen to try it for racing sims too.

    EDIT: So I just tried this, it's brilliant. Using this simple trick from Reddit I quickly made my resolution 3840 x 1620 - and boom 21:9 ultrawide. Can't set 4:4:4 or 10 bit... but honestly not a huge issue if you're gaming.

    Tried with Guardians of the Galaxy, worked great. Tried with F1 2021, works but only in windowed mode, so a bit more tweaking is required here. Overall this is a great option!

    It's true, I did have fancy zones setup for a while but haven't since the last rebuild.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2021
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  14. theSeekerr

    theSeekerr Member

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    This is true, but I don't think sitting 100cm from your display is at all typical - mine are a little beyond arms length, and most users I see could comfortably touch their screen from where they sit.

    EDIT: At any rate, this is a reasonable approach to having a good experience with a monitor of that size and resolution, as long as your eyes can focus at that distance. One of my eyes is too myopic for that, so that factors into my setup.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2021
  15. The Beast

    The Beast Member

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    It is when you have a 48" display, just look at how people have set them up (not my photos):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    I have a 3' arm span and I can't touch my monitor in my normal typing position. I mean "typical" becomes the distance that a user will setup a monitor in order to become comfortable. For phones "typical" is more like 30cm, that's where you naturally hold it in your hand - which is why you need 300ppi or more for it to become "retina".
     
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  16. cbwolf

    cbwolf Member

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    Display type (as long as it uses pixels to create an image) makes no difference to the level of pixelation of a screen. Pixel density is pixel density period.

    As for the whole Apple 'retina' thing - it's a load of marketing guff. Visual acuity doesn't work that way. But yes - as I already stated above, sufficient distance from the screen will compensate for lack of pixel density.

    The actual measure is ability to resolve details in degrees of arcminutes and varies based on your personal level of visual acuity. You can sort of convert this into a pixel density measure using 'pixels per degree of arc'.

    For the average visual acuity of 20/15 - you're able to resolve about 80 pixels per degree of arc. If you have really good vision of say 20/10, then it's more like 120 pixels per degree of arc.

    Using a 48" 4k screen, this would require your eyes to be 120cm and 185cm from the screen respectively to be 'retina'.

    At 94cm, you'd see about 65 pixels per degree of arc, which would be 'retina' if you have relatively poor 20/20 vision - but will look pixelated for the majority of people.


    As above - the whole 'retina' thing is crap.

    As for scaling - it's a personal preference thing I guess. I've encountered zero issues with 125% scaling on 32" 4k monitors, and while it magnifies screen elements, it doesn't decrease the amount of 'room' on the screen (i.e. the screen is the same size and you can choose to display things at whatever size you like), and it still keeps all of the image quality because of the high pixel density.

    Displays running at 4:4:4 10bit aren't exactly uncommon.

    As for being a blurry mess under 94cm - I'll disagree. I don't need to see that particular 90PPI monitor to understand what the pixel density will look like at a certain distance. I've used dozens of different monitor formats, including 90PPI monitors, and several 43" 4k monitors over the years which are 102PPI, and at my normal eye distance of 80cm - sharpness wasn't great and pixels were clearly visible.

    Being OLED doesn't have some kind of magical property which makes the screen appear more pixel dense.

    In the end it's down to your eyesight, distance from screen and personal preference. I'm accustomed to 130 - 140PPI at 80cm, and find 110PPI acceptable (but clearly a visual downgrade in pixel density). I find anything under 100PPI crap, and 90PPI vile IMO.

    Just because you happen to like your monitor and find it great - doesn't mean it's not objectively a low pixel density screen which most people will see as pixelated.
     
  17. jjjc_93

    jjjc_93 Member

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    At 100cm eye distance I can legitimately not see the individual pixels on my 48" monitor. I used a 27" 1440p curved monitor before that at a distance of 70-80cm and honestly I think the clarity is about the same, but the sheer size of a 48" screen filling your vision has much more of a wow factor than a 27" monitor up closer. It is improved over my last monitor in every other way but that is not the point of discussion here.

    Using this calculator to calculate visual density at a given viewing distance backs up my experience and has the 48" 4k screen @100cm being similar to the 27" 1440p screen @ 80cm. 68.6ppd vs 62.5ppd. It's all relative to the viewing distances you are used to and the kind of space you have to accommodate a setup imo. Maybe it is purchaser bias but I haven't seen any complaints on the pixel density with the cx/c1 for desktop usage. I think people just make their setups work around the screen as it is worth it in every other way. I go to work and use a 27" monitor and it feels like I'm working on a postage stamp but I adjust both ways quickly enough.

    I guess my eyesight just isn't that great to not be able to pixel count with a ppd in the 60s and a screen 100cm away from my face.

    Ideally I actually think these sizes are ideal without using window's broken scaling:
    1080p - 24"
    1440p - 27-32"
    2160p - 42"+
     
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  18. th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    I've been thinking about something like this recently.

    A 48" monitor is approximately 110cm wide.
    A 27" monitor is approximately 63cm wide.

    Two 27" monitors are therefore WIDER than single 48" so looking left to right takes more effort.

    Currently, I have a 34" ultrawide and a 27" monitor side by side (both 1440). The Ultrawide is my main monitor and is directly in front of me with the 27" off the side and I find that it's great for distraction or reference material but it's getting a bit far away to actually work on.

    Previously I had 2 x 25" monitors offset to the left and the right with the bezels right in front of me and that was easier to work worth since everything was only *slightly* offset (and slightly smaller monitors at a lower 1080 res).

    For me I don't want to go back to 1080 monitors, the extra resolution of 1440 is a must have.
    The ultra wide is excellent for gaming (which is why I bought it) and working on wide spreadsheets or two documents side by side with markup turned on is excellent. The second 27" off to the side matches the height and DPI perfectly and while it's a little far away, it's worth it for my gaming/working rig. Gaming off to one side on the old setup was fine, but I'm now setup right in front which is better.

    If I was 100% work I'd probably aim at 2 x 27" 1440 monitors as the sweet spot... but.

    But I do question at a given size , say 27", does a 4K monitor really provide any benefits over a 27" 1440 monitor?
    I looked this up rather than doing the math, but 1440 is 108ppi vs 4K is 163ppi. Does that extra resolution help in a meaningful way??

    Also, as size goes up that PPI drops so you need higher resolution to maintain the same PPI. If you look at the 48" LG OLED and its PPI is only 92.56 meaning 2 x 1440 are higher ppi and offer nearly as many pixels to play with. And in my workflow at least works in a way that better suits me.

    2K Resolution: 2560 x 1440 (3,686,400 pixels) (2x = 7,372,800)
    4K Resolution: 3840 x 2160 (8,294,400 pixels)

    48" 4K would provide more overall resolution, although my only concern is how you can snap windows to different quadrants. I know there are tools to make this work, but that would be a change to my mental model on how I arrange stuff on my multiple screen and snapped to edges or full screen depending on what I am doing. For example, I probably don't want to run a full-screen Excel window on 48" but I absolutely do on a 34" widescreen. I've still got my second window available for my email (or video) or something off to the side.
     
  19. The Beast

    The Beast Member

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    You raise some interesting points, but boy what a way to conflate the discussion with unnecessary metrics.

    What? Pixels ain't pixels, are you seriously suggesting that every pixel tech (LED, LCD, OLED, QLED etc) are the same, and are perceived identically? You've already arbitrally decided everything under 110ppi is "blurry" and now you want to suggest that display design has nothing to do with perceived clarity? Just spend some time in different VR headsets and you'll quickly realise that resolution (PPI) is not the holy grail, screen door effect has as much to do with the construction of the display and lenses as it does the density of pixels (although of course there is a point where density brute forces a clear display)

    Yes it is, but the concept is still useful.

    Who said anything about an individual's visual acuity? It's distracting to start referencing different degrees of human vision, surely the assumption is a 'normal' level of visual acuity (corrected or otherwise) when discussing these things.

    And proximity to the screen will reveal the pixels in even the highest pixel density displays - which is why 'retina' reference distance from the screen in it's definition. Your position seems to be that <110 PPI is blurry, which is meanless without talking about viewing distance. My contention is that the pixel and sub-pixel construction is relevant to the perceived clarity of a display, and that at least in the case of LG 48" OLED the average person with average (or better) vision cannot perceive individual pixels at typical viewing distances even for desktop use (80-100cm), jjjc_93 confirms as much in the post right after this one. I've had significantly better than 6/6 vision my entire life and never needed correction so I'm not willing to entertain any allowance for "visual acuity" in this particular debate.

    Wait what? 80 pixels of what display, of what density and at what range? I think you're clutching at straws here, this is some lose maths.

    No. Just no. There is no contemporary science that concurs with your math, and the majority of people who look at an LG 48" 4K screen from 94cm do NOT consider it pixelated - no matter how much you wish it to be true.

    It's no less crap than your 80 pixels per degree of arc malarky. At least retina makes sense.

    When you scale an app up 125%, you need to make the display container typically 25% bigger than it was before in order to display the same information. Therefore it takes up more of your available screen real estate, leaving you less room for other things. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    Well you seem determined so I'm not going to change your mind, but perhaps one day you'll get to see an LG OLED setup in desktop mode and realise you can't clearly see the pixels, at all. Until then I guess stick to buying tiny monitors and scaling everything up so you can read it.

    That would explain all those thousands of CX and C1 customer complaints of pixelated blurry messes... oh wait, there aren't any. I think you're confusing objectivity with hyperbole.
     
  20. randomman

    randomman Member

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    35" 1800R UW for me. I find it is perfect for maximising my vision without wasting space like a 40+" 4k would, also lower resolution for games to drive. The center of the screen is for my primary work and left/right sides are for reference stuff (usually Outlook + Teams). When I need two full screens I split it down the center and it works great.
     

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