It isn’t always easy finding the right computer monitor for your own needs. Especially if you don’t know what the meaning is of response time, resolution, refresh rate, and so on. This is a very basic walkthrough and you will learn everything the average Joe might need to know.
First off – choosing the right resolution. There is no reason to ever hold back on the resolution. For any type of use I would recommend 1920×1080. At least at this resolution, you will get Full HD quality (1080p), which – in my opinion – is mandatory.
If you want to choose a monitor for any graphic content usage, you could go higher than 1920×1080, but bare in mind that those monitors tend to cost a bit more.
Now, what is response time? Response time is probably the most important thing when playing games. The lower the response time, the better. The term itself is quite self explanatory. The time it takes from that the computer sends something to the screen and it actually appears so you can see it with your own eyes is the response time. For gaming, I would typically recommend 2 ms at most. More than so would actually not make too big of a difference but it could just save you in the gaming world if your monitor is faster than your opponents. For any other use, refresh rate is not as important as other things.
Refresh rate is almost explained by the term itself. The higher the refresh rate, the better. In short, if your monitor has a refresh rate of 60 Hz, it can display up to 60 pictures/second on your screen. Now, having 120 Hz is even better as the flow in the screen is better and the experience is a lot smoother. Refresh rate is also important if you choose to play fast-action games, as the overall experience is a lot better. Obviously, another field it is very important in is video editing or simply watching movies. For image editing, this really doesn’t matter.
There are a lot of other things that are important when choosing the right monitor. Such as contrast. Do not be fooled, though. It is normal to think that the higher the contrast ratio, the better. This is not correct, however. It all depends on where you are going to keep your computer. What the environment looks like. Is it dark? bright? For this, you would probably be better off searching the internet for people’s opinions. I have never paid any attention to this, and had none problems with a too bright screen or too dark.
So, in conclusion:
For gaming, I would at least go with 1920×1080/2ms/60Hz. There are, however, monitors I would choose over that. For example the 2560×1440/6ms/144Hz ones. The refresh rate loss is not important to me in this case. The picture quality would be superb in any game instead. It is very important that you make sure that your computer hardware can run games at these settings, though.
For watching movies and editing clips, the resolution would be the most important part. For the optimal experience, make sure that the movie clip is the same quality as your monitor. At least 1920×1080 for Full HD 1080p clips and you would be fine at 60 Hz. If you want to watch 4K movies, you will need to upgrade to a 4096×2160 monitor.
For picture editing, the higher the resolution, the better. The rest is not as important.
For everyday use, I would just purchase any 1920×1080 monitor.