A Guide to Choosing A Monitor for Your Needs

Buying a brand new monitor may be very stressful, you probably find yourself asking questions like: “which brand should I buy? what should I look for? which one has the best resolution? which panel should I consider? This is a comprehensive guide to choosing a monitor for your needs.

Monitors can have three different panel types: TN, VA, and IPS. Each with its advantages and disadvantages. Below we’ll go through each panel type.

TN (Twisted Nematic) panel

The most commonly used panel is the TN panel, with its main advantages being low manufacturing cost, a high refresh rate, and low response times. This makes it a popular choice for games with many fast movements. However, there are disadvantages. The contrast and image quality is relatively poor compared to the other panel types—especially when viewing it from an angle. The image and color quality will go down when looking at your monitor from the side, higher, or lower position.

VA (Vertical Alignment) panel

VA panels have a much better contrast when compared to TN panels. They are also less likely to have ‘bleeding’ or ‘clouding’ issues. The most important advantage is the improved viewing angles and color reproduction compared to TN. The downside is the response time. This is high by default and can easily lead to ‘motion blur’. The refresh rate will also be low. Hence, this panel type is not the best when displaying fast-paced movements.

IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel

IPS panels are characterized as having the best color and viewing angles among the other main types of display panels. However, IPS panels are also the most expensive of the three.

When buying a monitor you may opt for an IPS panel because of its great image quality. Their best use case is in professional work.  On the other hand, gaming monitor manufacturers tend to opt for TN panels because they’re the fastest of the three main LED panel types and are speedy.


Resolution is a measurement of the number of pixels – picture elements or individual points of color that can be contained on a display screen. It is expressed in terms of the number of pixels that can be displayed both horizontally and vertically. Monitor size is another factor in image quality. An image displayed on a smaller monitor will appear sharper compared to the identical image on larger monitors with the same resolution. This happens because the pixels are spread over a larger number of inches, leading to a loss of clarity and sharpness. A smaller screen will have a higher number of pixels per inch (PPI) than a larger screen, so its image will be sharper and more vivid. Due to this phenomenon, larger screens need higher resolutions to preserve image quality.

The common types of resolution include: 

High Definition (HD)1280 x 720
Full HD, FHD1920 x 1080
2K, Quad HD, QHD2560 x 1440
4K, Ultra HD3840 x 2160

3.Refresh Rate

Depending on your business needs, you may want to consider a less flashy feature: the monitor’s refresh rate.The refresh rate of your display refers to how many times per second the display is able to draw a new image. This is measured in Hertz (Hz). For example, if your display has a refresh rate of 144Hz, it is refreshing the image 144 times per second. When paired with the high frame rates produced by a GPU and CPU working together, this can result in a smoother experience and potentially higher FPS

The refresh rate of your display refers to how many times per second the display is able to draw a new image. This is measured in Hertz (Hz). For example, if your display has a refresh rate of 144Hz, it is refreshing the image 144 times per second. When paired with the high frame rates produced by a GPU and CPU working together, this can result in a smoother experience and potentially higher FPS.

In order to take advantage of higher refresh rates, three of the most important components to consider are:

  • A monitor with the ability to refresh quickly.
  • A CPU that’s fast enough to provide critical game instructions
  • A GPU that’s fast enough to execute these instructions quickly and create the graphics you see on the screen.

Super high monitor refresh rates aren’t all that important for office workers focused on lighter computing like word processing, spreadsheets and emails. But in more visual professions like creative production and game development, a high refresh rate for monitors is invaluable.

  1. Color Gamut

Color Gamut of a screen is basically the range of colors that a particular display can reproduce. Every screen has a range of colors it can display but the human eyes can see billions of colors, which is way more than what any available display can reproduce. This means the color gamut of every screen is limited as they can’t produce all the colors.

Different displays reproduce colors differently as they come with various color gamut ranges. Make sure the display you are buying covers the sRGB color gamut or goes close as to the 100% mark as possible.

It’s worth noting that the source gamut and the display gamut should match for optimal results. The color spaces can be “translated”, but sometimes, especially when transforming from a larger to smaller color gamut (e.g. Adobe RGB to sRGB), some “out of gamut” values can return inaccurate results. When capturing or creating content, it’s best to keep in mind where it will be displayed from the start and adjust the source color gamut accordingly.

The popular ones include: 

Different Types of Colour Standards

The most common color standards include sRGB, Adobe RGB and DCI-P3.


sRGB is the most common color standard that is used in almost all digital devices. From cameras to monitors and televisions, it is guaranteed that at some point in the past you must have encountered sRGB. This color standard is popular for a reason. The input and output for sRGB experiences very little lag time and the least amount of discrepancies. These benefits make sRGB to become as extensively used as it is currently.

Adobe RGB

Adobe RGB is just a color standard that was simply designed to compete with sRGB. It was meant to offer a broader color gamut when implemented properly. This was to depict colors and blends in a more realistic fusion. When Adobe RGB was introduced, it was too ambitious and advanced for the technology it was meant to be used with. Thanks to its attention to detailing, it soon had to become a color standard for advanced devices. And as LCD monitors and photography technology evolved, Adobe RGB is being used widely.


In a basket of popular color standards, The Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers planned to introduce their own color standard which was called DCI-P3. With an emphasis and focus on digital videography and projection, DCI-P3 chooses a color gamut that is comparatively wider than its counterpart sRGB. Given that sRGB was its original roots, the DCI-P3 is a color standard that is easily compatible with all digital projection devices on a cinematic level. On a consumer level, DCI-P3 can be found within the internal camera of the iPhone X.

5.Display Ports and HDMI Versions:

Both HDMI and DisplayPort have unique advantages and a few limitations—choosing the right video interface depends on the specific use case, as well as the technical specifications of the display and video card included in the setup.

The newest version of DisplayPort (version 2.0) offers an extremely high resolution and refresh rate but may not be easily found in some markets due to ongoing post-pandemic supply chain issues.

For devices that offer a choice between DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0, the latter may be preferred for HDR support. However, even in the case of HDMI, it is necessary for all devices in the setup to support the latest HDMI version. For instance, if a user wishes to enjoy the features of HDMI 2.0, the monitor and video card must both support HDMI 2.0 and not an earlier version.

Regardless of the standard, one must check the compatibility of every link in the device chain before choosing a cable. This will offer an optimum combination for the best possible performance

In conclusion, selecting the right monitor involves considering various factors such as panel type, resolution, refresh rate, color gamut, and display port/HDMI versions. By understanding these factors and your specific requirements, you can make an informed decision and choose a monitor that enhances your computing experience. Remember to prioritize features that align with your usage scenarios, whether it’s gaming, content creation, or everyday productivity.

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