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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 DisplayPort and HDMI inputs, but earlier PCs may output only analog VGA. Unless the monitor also has a VGA port, a VGA-to-DisplayPort or VGA-to-HDMI adapter is required. 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, HDMI and DisplayPort.

Monitor Resolution
Entry-level monitors have a maximum of 1,080 lines of resolution, which is the same as HD movies (see HDTV). 4K and 5K monitors jump in resolution to 2,160 and 2,880 lines respectively. However, the Web contains many long 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 4K monitor, 5K monitor and 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.