PC monitors are not the most important part of your computer. However, they’re the part you stare at all day, so they are pretty important.
In spite of that, many people continue to believe startling PC monitor myths. Today, I’m going to highlight some of those myths and explain exactly why you’re wrong:
Myth: 120 Hz monitors are better than 60 Hz monitors
Monitor manufacturers love to upsell you on 120 Hz monitors. After all, just look at the comparison picture here. Doesn’t the motorcycle on the 120 Hz side look way better? Of course it does! Now just sign this $300 credit card bill and you can be on your way out of the store.
The truth is: the human eye is biologically unable to notice the difference between 60 Hz and 120 Hz. Yes, that’s the truth. And if you don’t believe me, then you can test it out for yourself at any Best Buy or computer hardware store.
Go up to the 120 Hz monitor running a video clip and then check out the 60 Hz monitor running that same video clip. Try to compare two monitors from the same manufacturer and of the same size.
If you do notice any differences, it could be because of better processing software that is installed on the 120Hz monitor’s computer. This can remove motion blur effects from images.
120Hz monitors aren’t totally a scam. Back in the days of CRT monitors, the human eye could easily notice a difference between un-touched 60 Hz monitors and 120 Hz monitors. The 60 Hz monitors flickered noticeably at lower frequencies. Fortunately, technology has improved to a point where LCD/LED monitors do not suffer from this flickering.
Myth: Contrast ratio is extremely important on LCD monitors
Contrast ratio is close to 120Hz for being an over-inflated scam. Contrast ratios are advertised as being anywhere from 1000:1 to 5,000,000:1. As with most things in technology, you’re inclined to think that higher numbers are always better.
Unfortunately, contrast ratio isn’t as important as you might think. In fact, the vast majority of LCD monitors produce a contrast ratio of between 1000:1 to 1500:1
Contrast ratio is the difference between the blackest of blacks and the whitest of whites on your monitor. However, there’s a difference between effective contrast ratios and dynamic contrast ratios.
Monitors with dynamic contrast effectively fake themselves into displaying darker blacks. They produce low-quality results. Monitor companies advertise dynamic contrast ratios on the box and hope you never read articles like this one.
If you buy a monitor with a high dynamic contrast ratio and a poor real contrast ratio, then dark scenes in movies are bound to be messed up. Monitors with dynamic contrast often misinterpret color effects and force some objects to be bright while others stay dark. That’s bad for your movie viewing or game playing experience.
Instead of comparing contrast ratios purely on a numbers basis for LCD monitors, measure the monitors in person whenever possible.
Oh, and since LED monitors display colors differently, contrast ratio is a more effective way when comparison shopping LED monitors.
Bigger HD monitors mean better monitor viewing
Lots of things in the tech community operate on the principle that bigger is better. Bigger numbers are always better, right?
As is the case with a lot of these myths, that’s simply not true. Today, some people buy 30 inch HD monitors thinking they’ll look noticeably better than a 24 inch monitor or a 27 inch monitor.
The truth is: after 27 inches, your HD screen will actually look worse. At that point, you’ll notice pixels – especially when viewing the screen on your computer desk. There simply aren’t enough pixels to spread across that vast of a distance.
If you do want to buy a 30 inch computer monitor, then be smart and get a computer with a larger resolution. 2560×1440 resolutions are popular, for example, and allow for more pixels to fill up your screen space.
Myth: Lower response times are always better
Monitor response times are another feature that many people use to distinguish good monitors from bad ones.
Response time refers to the amount of time it takes a monitor to process each signal. Response time on most monitors is ranked between 2 milliseconds and 10 milliseconds.
But once again, your eyes are preventing you from enjoying the latest and greatest technology. The human eye is unable to really detect response times shorter than 10ms. In other words, if your mouse cursor moves in 2ms, your eyes won’t pick up that change until between 8ms and 10ms.
Shorter response times are good if you have superhuman eyes. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter a whole lot if you have a 8ms response time or a 2ms response time.
Honestly, one of the best ways to compare computer monitors is to look at brands. Monitors from the following companies tend to perform very well:
Dell tends to be the most expensive of the bunch but is particularly good at the 30” or higher range at larger resolutions.