If you're looking at buying or building a desktop computer, you're going to need an appropriate monitor to go along with the purchase.
While many may be content to simply choose the cheapest option, there are many considerations that need to made in areas such as screen size, the type of display and even what ports it includes.
This should be the primary decision, and it is one that is likely going to come down to preference. The older, TV-shaped 4:3 aspect ratio monitors are now a distant memory, and 16:9 and the lesser-used 16:10 are the main market options. The sizes scale up from 19" to 30", though there are odd sizes in between.
The 16:9 monitors are best suited for games and movies, as it's the aspect ratio commonly used by this type of content. As such, games are more commonly going to fill the screen.
On the other hand, 16:10 monitors are better for video editing and applications like Photoshop, as they include more vertical space. Certain games and movies on this size of monitor will receive small black bars on the top and bottom of the screen.
LED, LCD or IPS, the terminology in the monitor market seems crazy, but thankfully these acronyms are all pretty easy to understand.
- LED - These are some of the thinnest monitors available, and have higher colour intensity and lower power consumption than their LCD counterparts.
- LCD - LCD monitors are one of the most common monitor types, and these are usually cheap, energy efficient and produce sharp images.
- IPS - These monitors are commonly used by video editors, as they produce rich colours and have superior viewing angles. They're also able to recreate images from a camera with a high degree of accuracy.
Features and ports
Ports are a key consideration, as certain devices and computers will only have HDMI out, and not the common DVI found on many monitors. Newer models often include DisplayPort, a new standard which is becoming increasingly popular.
The above listed points are the key considerations when buying a monitor, but many users will also want to consider the aesthetics and further functionality.
Buying a monitor, like many other pieces of PC hardware, is something that requires a fair amount of thought and consideration.