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Definition: how to select a PC monitor

Your monitor can make a huge difference in your computing enjoyment. The factors to consider are connections and resolution.

Monitor Connections
The best monitor connection is all digital. New PC monitors come with digital DVI inputs, but some low-end PCs still use analog VGA outputs and require a VGA-to-DVI adapter unless the monitor also has a VGA port. If a PC uses VGA, the computer converts the digital signals to analog only to be converted back to digital again in the monitor. See flat panel connections, VGA and DVI.

Monitor Resolution
The average monitor has a maximum of 1,080 lines of resolution, which is the resolution of HD movies. Monitors jump in price significantly from 1,080 to 1,440 and 1,600 lines of resolution. However, the Web contains endless vertical pages, which means more lines of resolution make more of the page visible without scrolling. In addition, two monitors only begin to recreate the usefulness of a real desktop, and all major operating systems support them (see dual monitor). See flat panel display.

Screen Resolutions
These are the common wide screen resolutions. The higher the resolution, the more information (pixels) can be displayed on screen.