Choos­ing a... Dis­play

Computer Shopper - - RANTS & RAVES -

01

A ba­sic 24in LCD mon­i­tor costs around £100. It will be fine for typ­i­cal Win­dows work but is likely to have poor view­ing an­gles, so you’ll need to sit straight on for the best pic­ture qual­ity. Its colour ac­cu­racy may not be very good, ei­ther.

02

A VGA in­put lets you use the mon­i­tor with any PC, but the qual­ity may not be as good as it is over DVI or HDMI. Both are dig­i­tal con­nec­tions and re­quire a com­pat­i­ble graph­ics card but they avoid the need for dig­i­tal-to-ana­logue or ana­logue-todig­i­tal con­ver­sions, which can re­duce im­age qual­ity. A dig­i­tal con­nec­tion achieves the best pic­ture au­to­mat­i­cally, so you won’t have to ad­just clock or phase set­tings as you do with ana­logue con­nec­tions. Many DVI and all HDMI con­nec­tions sup­port HDCP, which lets you watch pro­tected video con­tent, such as Blu-ray movies. Dis­playPort is be­com­ing more pop­u­lar, but you’ll need a graph­ics card with a Dis­playPort out­put (mini or full-size) to use this in­put on your mon­i­tor.

03

A larger mon­i­tor will be eas­ier on the eye and may have a higher res­o­lu­tion. Most mon­i­tors have a res­o­lu­tion of at least 1,920x1,080 (1080p), which pro­vides lots of room for work­ing with mul­ti­ple win­dows at the same time. For even higher res­o­lu­tions, you’ll need a larger dis­play. Some 27in and 30in screens have 2,560x1,600 or even 4K res­o­lu­tions. You’ll need a graph­ics card with a dual-link DVI out­put and a dual-link DVI ca­ble or ei­ther HDMI or Dis­playPort to use a mon­i­tor at th­ese res­o­lu­tions.

04

If you want bet­ter pic­ture qual­ity, look for a mon­i­tor with a high con­trast ra­tio. The higher the ra­tio, the whiter the whites and the blacker the blacks. You’ll also be able to see more fine de­tail in im­ages with high con­trast lev­els. View­ing an­gles are im­por­tant, as wider an­gles mean you don’t have to sit di­rectly in front of the mon­i­tor to get the best pic­ture. Wider view­ing an­gles also al­low more peo­ple to view the screen at the same time.

Fast re­sponse times re­duce ghost­ing, but don’t be daz­zled by the num­bers. A re­sponse time of 25ms or quicker is fine for all ap­pli­ca­tions.

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