The use of a monitor is obvious – to display information that is fed by the computer’s CPU and video card. But monitors are not equally created, which is why it is important to find different types for different uses before picking the right monitor for you.
This mini-guide talks about the common uses of monitors and the functions you’d need to consider when buying the perfect monitor.
Computer Monitor Uses
Monitors are used almost day-to-day in most professions. Here are the most common uses of a monitor categorized by:
- General Computing – People usually just need a monitor for a wide range of tasks, such as data entry, sending and receiving emails, Word processing, web browsing, video conference, and other similar tasks. Any standard 22-inch to 40-inch monitors with HD to 4k resolutions would work, but if you have the money, invest in something newer for future-proofing.
- Gaming – Anyone who plays offline and online games on the computer would need a monitor to display the game and see what’s happening, where their characters are going, and direct them to the goal of the game.
The specification of gaming monitors are often higher than those for general computing and would require:
- Faster refresh rates: Refresh rates reflect the number of times a monitor will refresh the screen every second, so the faster this rate, the better. General computer monitors have 30 Hz refresh rates, but gaming monitors require at least 120Hz with esports professionals aiming for 360Hz.
- Good response time: The response time is the time it takes a monitor to shift from one color to another. Measured in ms (referring to milliseconds), this can be shown by how quickly or slowly it takes a monitor to go from black to white and back to black again. Gaming monitors require 5ms or below with esports professionals picking monitors with 1ms response time. If the response time is too high, it could lead to ghosting or blurred images.
- Creative Sector – When it comes to graphic designers and other creative professionals, the monitor of choice would have to be an IPS panel monitor, designed with in-plane switching technology that delivers accurate colors, wide viewing angles, and highly-detailed and smooth images even if they’re fast-moving.
Aside from panel type, most creatives would also have to focus their options on monitors with the highest resolutions. The standard of designers is 4k (or 3840 x 2160 pixels) or 6k (6016×3384) if you prefer an Apple Pro Display XDR.
Your goal is to find a monitor that has a fast response time with the ability to render colors accurately.
- IT & Architecture – Programming monitors are similar to gaming monitors because if you are involved in web development, app development, and other advanced computing tasks, you’d want your monitor to perform as efficiently as your high-end CPU and other PC parts.
Architects and those who use the CAD software would need a monitor with at least 5ms response time. You’ll need images to be crystal-clear, so many professionals recommend UHD-1 (3840×2160) monitors since these provide 4 times the pixels in every square inch.
- Business – The monitors used for businesses vary largely depending on the industry the business is in. For example, if the company is a web design company, then the monitors a business owner should invest in should focus on resolution and panel type.
If the company is a creative firm (animation, architecture, advertising, and so on), then the better option is to find monitors with color accuracy and high resolutions.
For ecommerce and businesses that do not require heavy graphics or tasks, a standard-sized, full HD monitor will be enough. The best recommendation here is to pick a branded monitor since most of the renowned monitor manufacturers have good warranties and a wide selection of monitor brands to choose from.
- Entertainment – For monitors that will be used solely for watching movies, streaming your TV shows, publishing online videos, and other entertainment tasks, the monitor of your choice would probably depend on your budget, space availability, and personal preference.
Do you want a curved monitor for a spectacularly immense experience every time you watch an episode of The Witcher? Or do you prefer spending on two identical monitors with advanced specifications, then set-up as a multi-screen entertainment hub? Every choice you make would definitely affect the price tag and how you enjoy your media, so weigh your options carefully.
If you’re in search of a monitor that could fall under all these categories, your best bet is to go with a monitor with the best specifications and the most up-to-date technology. You’d likely have to spend a fortune if you go this route, but it is guaranteed to be future-proofed and won’t disappoint you regardless if you’re playing a game, streaming movies, or using it as your main monitor for work.