24 inches tends to be the most comfortable size for regular desktops, although 27 inches is widely used for high resolution monitors. Pretty much anything above 27 inches is too large for viewing up close at a desk.
Let’s set aside all the talk about refresh rates and response times and focus on one specific and basic aspect of a gaming monitor: the size!
Just how important is sheer size in a monitor? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a smaller or a larger monitor? And most importantly, which sizes go best with which resolutions?
Let’s find out!
When it comes to today’s desktop monitors, most of them are in the 21 to 27-inch range. Anything smaller is now usually reserved for laptops or for monitors which trade size for other features such as touchscreens, while monitors bigger than 27 inches mostly target resolutions higher than 1080p.
For the most part, 21-24 inch diagonals are reserved for 1080p monitors. This is also the best size range for 1080p, as anything larger will lead to easily-distinguishable pixels when the monitor is viewed up close. On top of that, there is also the inevitable aliasing.
Diagonals between 24 and 27 inches shine in 2K and 4K, or rather, QHD and UHD resolutions. Both of these look incredibly sharp on these larger screens which allow for some remarkable levels of detail. Needless to say, cramming all those pixels into anything smaller would be a waste.
Obviously, the larger the monitor is, the further away from it you will need to be in order to have an optimal viewing experience and to avoid eye fatigue.
For the majority of people, the most comfortable viewing distance tends to be roughly proportionate to their monitor’s diagonal i.e. if you have a 24-inch monitor, your eyes should be about 24-48 inches away from the screen. Still, you may want to sit farther away if you experience any problems such as the aforementioned eye fatigue.
Best Monitor Size For Gaming
So, having said all that, what size is the best when it comes specifically to gaming?
Well, it depends both on the resolution or the viewing distance.
First and foremost, the manufacturers know what they’re doing. We advise sticking with 24 inches for Full HD, and anything in between 24 and 27 inches for QHD and UHD for the most ideal image quality.
However, if you will be sitting in front of a desk, 24-inch monitor just seems to be the most comfortable for the majority of people. Of course, larger monitors will allow you to take full advantage of higher resolutions, but they may end up being uncomfortable for people used to sitting up close to their monitors or those who simply have smaller desks.
And finally, if you’re planning on anything larger than 30 inches, we advise considering a TV instead of a monitor. Needless to say, you won’t be viewing such a large screen up close and TVs will offer better image quality for multimedia, but make sure to get a TV which has a decent response time and a “game mode” that reduces input lag.