With larger monitors and televisions steadily falling in price, gamers can often afford larger displays. One thing that is often overlooked regarding panel size is the debate of physical size versus resolution.
HD is a common term floating around, and comes in two flavours: 720p, which is a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels on the screen; and 1080p, or “Full HD”, which offers a resolution of 1920 x 1080.
While this is fairly important in the quality of media playback such as sport and movies, it is extremely important for PC users. In the PC world, 720p resolution is on the small side, with limited space for working in multiple windows, and reduced legibility of text in word documents or on the web.
Resolution plays an important part in a PC user’s overall experience in two ways. The first being more screen “real estate,” allowing you to fit more stuff on a single screen, the second being quality. Gamers in particular are affected by this, especially those in the first person shooter and real time strategy genres.
The second is a point many gamers often neglect; the hardware required to power games at a 1080p resolution. With modern games requiring a fairly expensive, powerful system to run at 1080p with all settings on high, it’s worth noting whether your hardware is able to handle games at this resolution.
Whatever the case, resolution is quite important, and ties into usability regarding the size of the monitor; but more on this below.
More inches aren’t always better
“What I’d give for another 2 inches” is a common phrase, and in this context it refers to the size of the panel in your TV/monitor. Larger panels are great for watching movies and gaming on, however they need to follow certain rules to be used effectively.
Too close/too far – this is often the problem many have with their panels. Sit too far away and the image appears small. Sit too close, and besides tilting your head this way and that to see what’s going on, more often than not you can see the pixels.
This ties into what was discussed above, because ‘pixels per inch’ are important. If the resolution is too low and the screen size is too big, you tend to notice the pixels, which detracts from the viewing experience.
Bear this in mind when considering a 720p capable 50″+ monitor.
Having the right size panel (in terms of both physical size and resolution) for your application is even more important than the technology used in the panel, as it can have a greater effect on your viewing experience.