Picking a monitor to use for gaming can be a difficult task. Viewing distance, games being played, and resolution are also important factors to consider.
The Best Screen Sizes for Gaming
In general, gaming is a centered experience and what one person may like, the other may not. With that said, Gamers do tend to lean towards 24″ and 27″ monitors.
These sizes provide enough screen real estate for productivity related tasks as well as gaming. These sizes are also affordable while still offering higher resolutions and refresh rates.
The 24″ monitor is one of the most popular for gaming. This is due to the size itself, it’s inherently easier to track more information on a smaller display; Mini-maps, health, abilities, etc.
24 inch monitors work well with 1920×1080 (Full HD) or 1920×1200 resolutions. Attempting to push a higher resolution like 2K and 4K will have diminishing returns as their is no perceivable gain for the extra stress on the GPU.
At 1920×1080 the pixel density or pixels per inch (PPI) is calculated as follows:
The PPI is ~92. This value is decent in terms of image quality and screen real estate and will satisfy most users.
However, keep in mind, a 27-inch monitor with a resolution of 1920×180 will be too pixelated. PPI drops to ~81 which results in a pixelated image. Granted, if you game from a distance, the pixels won’t be as noticeable. However, once you get closer to read or type, it will be.
27 inch monitors work best with a 2560 x 1440 resolution. The pixels per inch is 108 which is 78% more pixels than 1920×1080. This resolution is ideal in terms of image detail and screen real estate (scaling isn’t necessary).
27-inch monitors can still minimize head movement and will allow you track information. The greater pixel density means better images, smoother lines, and easier to read text.
A 27-inch monitor with a 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) has ~163 PPI. While there is a definite uptick in the number of pixels, you would still need to scale the interface in order for the text to be readable.
Monitor Refresh Rates
Monitor refresh rate isn’t governed by screen size. Meaning, both 24 and 27-inch monitors can have the same refresh rates.
Refresh rate is expressed in Hertz or “Hz.” It is a metric that describes how many times something occurs in a second. Standard monitor refresh rates are as follows: 60, 120, 144, and 240 Hz.
Meaning, a 60Hz monitor would update the information on the screen 60 times in a second. A 240Hz monitor would update the information 240 times in a second.
Meaning, the higher the refresh rate, the smoother the image.