High monitor resolution: What Is Monitor Resolution? Resolutions and Aspect Ratios Explained

What Is Monitor Resolution? Resolutions and Aspect Ratios Explained

Finding the best monitor for you can be a struggle, especially when you’re new to the technical specs. For example, what is monitor resolution? The answer is surprisingly simple once you look at it. At its most basic, monitor resolution is how clearly a monitor can display visual content. The higher the resolution, the clearer the display.

With the helpful primer that follows, you’ll be able to get the monitor that best suits your needs. Or you can compare some monitors for yourself here. 

Monitor resolution? Aspect ratio? What does it all mean!?

If you’ve ever been shopping for a computer screen or TV you’ve undoubtedly come across one or both of these terms. Today we’ll be diving right in to give you all the info you need to know about monitor resolutions and aspect ratios so you can make the best decision when selecting the right monitor for you.

What is Monitor Resolution?

In addition to a monitor’s panel type, screen size, refresh rate, etc., monitor resolution is usually one of the first specifications considered when shopping for a new monitor. Monitor resolution describes the visual dimensions of any given display. Expressed in terms of width and height, monitor resolution is comprised of a specific number of pixels.

In the case of a monitor with an industry-standard Full HD 1080p resolution, this display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. This means that the screen will have a width of 1,920 pixels while the height of the screen will be 1,080 pixels. This results in a grand total of 2,073,600 pixels on-screen.

The higher a monitor’s resolution is, the more detailed an image can be because a higher resolution monitor will be made up of more pixels than a lower resolution monitor. This will, of course, depend on the resolution of the content you are viewing. Additionally, more viewable content can fit onto a higher resolution computer screen than on a lower resolution screen.

What Are Pixels?

Pixels, or picture elements, are the smallest physical points on a display, as well as the base components. Pixels are therefore the building blocks of any image you see on your screen. Pixels and resolution are directly correlated and a higher resolution equals a higher number of pixels on a monitor screen.

To visualize this, we can think of pixels as puzzle pieces; each one makes up a small piece of a bigger picture. Moreover, the more pixels a monitor has, the more detailed images can be. 

What Is DPI / PPI?

DPI (dots per inch) indicates the number of dots found within a one-inch line of a scan or print. For monitors and displays, DPI is scrapped in favor of PPI (pixels per inch). While PPI is the correct term when referencing monitors and other displays, both terms are often used interchangeably.

PPI or DPI is a description of a monitor screen’s pixel density. A higher pixel density will mean that there are more pixels packed into every square inch of your screen.

Pixel density is a significant factor because it determines the quality of your image in that a higher pixel density will generally give you better-looking images. That being said, pixel density also depends on screen size.

PPI and Screen Size

Picture this – you have two monitors side by side, both with a Full HD 1080p Full HD resolution. This means that both have 1,920 horizontal pixels and 1,080 vertical pixels. Now imagine that one screen is a 32-inch screen, while the other is a 25-inch screen. Now you can see how pixel density comes into play because you will have the same number of pixels spread across a larger screen with the 32-inch monitor. Thus, the smaller monitor will have a more densely packed pixel density, resulting in smoother lines and sharper images.

So the higher the pixel density the better right?

Well, the answer is yes and no. While, generally speaking, a higher pixel density is better, there is a point of diminishing returns. As pixel density becomes higher and higher, the noticeable benefits of that higher pixel density become lower and lower. This will eventually lead to a point where the benefits offered by a higher pixel density are undetectable by your eye.

In the example above, the 25-inch monitor would have a pixel density of about 88 ppi, while the 32-inch monitor would have a pixel density of about 69 ppi. In this situation, it’s safe to say that there would be some noticeable differences in image quality between the two, with the 25-inch display providing better-looking images. To take things even further, it is common for smartphones nowadays to have pixel densities ranging from 300 ppi all the way up to over 500 ppi.

The problem here is that the exact point where a higher PPI becomes undetectable is a matter of debate. Some say that the optimal pixel density is somewhere are around 400 ppi, while others say that the pixel density detectable by the eye is closer to 1000 ppi. Since this is a matter of personal preference, it’s always better to test a monitor out for yourself before deciding on which display to buy.

What Are Some Common Monitor Resolutions? 

The following list ranks some of the more common monitor resolutions found on the market nowadays from lowest monitor resolution to highest.

720p Resolution

Other Names: HD, HD Ready, Standard HD

About 720p Resolution: 720p resolution, or 1280 x 720, is a progressive-style monitor resolution. Is it the lowest of the HD-capable resolutions, and is utilized by all widespread HDTV broadcasters.

1080p Resolution

Other Names: Full HD, FHD

About 1080p Resolution: 1080p, or 1920 x 1080, is a non-interlaced monitor resolution that is marketed as the first resolution to take full advantage of HD’s complete range of capabilities. 1080p is currently the standard resolution for television, internet streaming services, video games, and smartphones, to name a few.

1440p Resolution

Other Names: 2K, WQHD, QHD

About 1440p Resolution: 1440p is a progressive resolution containing 2560 x 1440 pixels. Known as ‘Quad HD’, 1440p is 4 times stronger than the base HD variant. 1440p is not fully widespread, but can be found largely within the realm of computing and smartphones, including from well-known companies such as HTC, Samsung, ViewSonic, and Apple.

4K Resolution

Other Names: UHD, Ultra HD, 4K UHD

About 4K Resolution: 4K resolution is so-named due to its horizontal pixel count, although for monitors, 4K resolution is equal to a pixel count of 3840 x 2160. 4K resolution also has 4 times more pixels than 1080p. Although the market share for 4K resolution has increased year-over-year since 2014, its adoption has thus far been limited to internet video streaming, video projection, and commercial televisions.

8K Resolution

Other Names: 8K UHD

About 8K Resolution: 8K resolution measures at 7680 x 4320 pixels and is currently the highest monitor resolution currently available. The technology is so new that commercially available 8K UHD televisions and broadcasts are just now becoming available. On the market, 8K is currently being integrated into TVs, computer monitors, and broadcast cameras.

Monitor Resolutions Compared

720p vs. 1080p

In total pixels, 1080p offers over twice that of 720p, therefore 1080p is sharper and clearer. Other factors aside, although both are considered to be a part of the HD standard, 1080p has been considered the industry standard for monitors for a while now. 720p resolution has already reached peak adoption and is declining in popularity.

PPI comparison for a 27-inch monitor:

27-inch 720p monitor has a pixel density of about 54 ppi

  • 27-inch 1080p monitor has a pixel density of about 81 ppi

1080p vs. 1440p

With just over 3.6 million pixels, 1440p is just about 1.77 times smoother than 1080p. However, 1080p is the most popular monitor resolution currently on the market, while 1440p is just beginning to gain a foothold.

PPI comparison for a 27-inch monitor:

  • 27-inch 1080p monitor has a pixel density of about 81 ppi
  • 27-inch 1440p monitor has a pixel density of about 108 ppi

1440p vs. 4K

Although 1440p, or WQHD, has 4 times more pixels than 720p. 4K, or Ultra HD, offers 4 times that of 1080p. 4K is undergoing a much faster adoption rate than that of 1440p, with a 50%+ US market share expected by the end of the decade. Conversely, 1440p has remained within the smartphone industry for over a decade.

PPI Comparison for a 27-inch monitor:

  • 27-inch 1440p monitor has a pixel density of about 108 ppi
  • 27-inch 4K monitor has a pixel density of about 163 ppi 

4K vs. 8K

In today’s market, 8K is top of the line. Four times stronger than 4K and 16 times 1080p, 8K is truly the bleeding edge. However, with 8K’s technological strengths comes a lack of commercial availability, given its ‘new’ status. Conversely, 4K is making great strides towards becoming the standard in several markets. 

PPI Comparison for a 27-inch monitor:

  • 27-inch 4K monitor has a pixel density of about 163 ppi
  • 27-inch 8K monitor has a pixel density of about 326 ppi

What Is Monitor Aspect Ratio?

The aspect ratio of a monitor, like any ratio, is a proportional representation expressed as two distinct numbers separated by a colon. In the case of monitors and displays, the aspect ratio describes the correlation between width and height. Frequently encountered monitor aspect ratios include 4:3, 16:9, and 21:9.

4:3 Aspect Ratio

Otherwise known as ‘fullscreen’, the four-by-three aspect ratio was once the standard for films, broadcasts, and computer monitors in the 20th century. With the advent of HD resolutions, 4:3 is no longer quite as common.

16:9 Aspect Ratio 

The sixteen-by-nine aspect ratio, also known as ‘widescreen’ has been the international standard for all things related to high definition. Since it overtook 4:3 in popularity, 16:9 can now be found in DVDs, televisions, cinemas, and video games. 

21:9 Aspect Ratio

The twenty-one-by-nine aspect ratio is a marketing term used to describe 64:27. As the logical next step from 16:9, the current international standard, 21:9 has yet to fully penetrate the market. Thus far, its use has been limited to ultrawide computer monitors and televisions, as well as cinematic widescreen projectors. 

Monitor Aspect Ratios Compared

4:3 vs. 16:9

When viewing content, 4:3’s fullscreen experience yields a more ‘box-like’ display, while 16:9’s widescreen results in a letter-shaped appearance. In total, 4:3 gives newer media a feeling of being cropped, while 16:9 results in black bars manifesting on the top and bottom of the screen.

16:9 vs. 21:9

Considering its current novelty, 21:9 lacks broad utility, with compatible products limited to those that are ultrawide. Compared to 16:9, 21:9 touts the lack of black on-screen bars when viewing content. You can read our ultrawide vs. dual monitor comparison to learn more about the differences between ultrawide and standard aspect ratio monitors.

Resolution for Content

While having a monitor with a high resolution is a good start, it doesn’t mean that you can start enjoying all of your content in that resolution. This is because the resolution of an image you see on your screen also depends on the resolution the content you are viewing was recorded in.

Therefore, if a video was recorded in 1080p but you have a 4K monitor, the highest resolution you could watch that video in would be 1080p. Conversely, if you had a 1080p monitor and your video content was shot in 4K, you would still be able to watch the video but the resolution of the video would be limited to 1080p. 

Luckily though, more and more content is being shot in higher resolution and video streaming services such as Netflix offer a plethora of 4K content to choose from.

You can find links to some 1080p, 1440p, 4K, and ultrawide professional, gaming, and general entertainment monitors below to give you a better idea of some of the different monitors out there. 


VP2468 Professional https://www. viewsonicglobal.com/q/VP2468

VX2758-C-mh Entertainment https://www.viewsonicglobal.com/q/vx2758-c-mh

XG2402 Gaming https://www.viewsonicglobal.com/q/XG2402


VP2771 Professional https://www.viewsonicglobal.com/q/VP2771

VX3276-2K-mhd Entertainment https://www.viewsonicglobal.com/q/vx3276-2k-mhd

XG2703-GS Gaming https://www.viewsonicglobal.com/q/XG2703-gs


VP2785-4K Professional https://www.viewsonicglobal.com/q/VP2785-4K

VX3211-4K-mhd Entertainment https://www.viewsonicglobal.com/q/vx3211-4k-mhd

XG3220 Gaming https://www.viewsonicglobal.com/q/XG3220


VP3881 Professional https://www.viewsonicglobal.com/q/VP3881

Besides the resolution and aspect ratios, the curvature of the monitor also affects your viewing experience. Learn about the differences between a flat-screen or curved panel here. Or discover a variety of monitors for different needs from ViewSonic here.


gaming monitormonitor aspect ratiomonitor resolutionoffice monitorhow to pick a monitorDPIhome entertainmentPPI

Screen resolution: The ultimate guide

(Image credit: Pexels)

Screen resolution is crucial for designers, photographers and artists. When you’re working on digital creations, your monitor is one of the most important tools you own since it shows you what’s happening while you work as well as the final result.

The screen resolution of your monitor can have a huge impact on how your work is displayed, and on how comfortably you can work without straining your eyes, so it’s important to know what screen resolution your monitor has, and what screen resolution to choose when you’re upgrading your kit.

If your screen resolution is too high, icons and texts may appear too small and your hardware may be put under additional strain as the monitor struggles to hit the high resolutions. But if your screen resolution is set too low, it can result in poor image quality that takes up too much workspace and can also harm the results of your work.

In this guide, we’ll explain why screen resolution is so important for designers and how it can affect your results, how to check the screen resolution of your current monitor, and how to buy the best monitor for your needs

See our guide to monitor calibration if you want to optimise your monitor’s performance, and if you’re thinking of upgrading your monitor, check out our guides to the best ultrawide monitor and the best 4k monitors. If you want to skip to purchasing a better computer, see our guide to the best laptops for photo editing. 

In the meantime, read on to learn everything you need to know about screen resolution.

What is screen resolution?

(Image credit: Future)

What do we mean when we talk about screen resolution? The monitor that’s connected to your PC – or built into your laptop – displays images using pixels, which are essentially small squares of light that change colour. Computer screens are made up of thousands of pixels. By changing the colours of those pixels in certain patterns, screens can show images, photos, text and all kinds of graphics.

The numbers that we use when we talk about screen resolution are the number of pixels a screen can show horizontally and vertically. A screen that has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (a popular resolution often known as 1080p or Full HD), can display 1,080 pixels vertically, and 1,920 pixels horizontally.

The higher the number of pixels a screen can show, the sharper and more detailed the image quality. But, the number of pixels that a screen can show isn’t the only factor involved when it comes to image quality. There’s also pixel density. Monitors come in all kinds of sizes, as well as resolutions. You’ll often find monitors of different sizes that have the same number of pixels, for example a 24-inch monitor and a 32-inch monitor both with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. The image quality on the smaller monitor can often look sharper and more vivid because of its pixel density. This is measured in PPI (Pixels Per Inch). The smaller screen will have a higher number of pixels per inch than the larger screen. 

The higher the PPI, the better the image quality, so while it might be tempting to choose the largest screen possible, if you’re looking for the best image quality, consider getting a smaller monitor with a higher resolution rather than a larger monitor with a lower resolution.

Native screen resolution

It’s worth bearing in mind that the screen resolution that your monitor advertises isn’t the only resolution it can display. The published resolution is known as the native resolution of the screen and is the resolution that looks best on the display. You can change the resolution of the screen, although you can only change it to a lower resolution than the native resolution, not higher.

For example, if you buy a 4K (also known as an Ultra High Definition) screen, with a resolution of 3840 x 2160, and you find the resolution is too high, you can set your PC, Mac or laptop to display at a lower resolution, for example 1920 x 1080.

How to check screen resolution

If you want to check the native resolution of your monitor or laptop screen, the process is pretty easy, although it differs depending on whether you use a Windows machine or a Mac or MacBook.

How to check your screen resolution (Windows)

You can view and change the screen resolution in Windows  (Image credit: Future)

01. Open the display settings

If you use Windows on your PC or laptop, you can check the screen resolution (and change it) by right-clicking on an empty space on the desktop and clicking ‘Display settings’.

In the window that opens, you’ll see ‘Display resolution’ with the current resolution listed underneath. If it says ‘(Recommended)’ next to the resolution, that means it’s the native resolution for your display and the one that will probably look the best.

02. Change the screen resolution

If you want to change the screen resolution, click the down arrow next to the resolution. This will show a list of all the other display resolutions your screen can handle. Click one, and the resolution will be applied – temporarily at least.

Because changing the resolution to something that your screen doesn’t support can cause problems, Windows will show you what the resolution looks like and ask you if you want to keep it. If you do, click ‘Keep changes’. Otherwise, click ‘Revert’ to change the resolution back to what it was before. You can also choose to do nothing, and after 15 seconds your device will revert to the previous resolution. This is useful if you accidentally choose a resolution that your display can’t handle, leading to it displaying a blank screen. Simply wait 15 seconds, and the old resolution will come back.

How to check your screen resolution (Mac)

It’s easy to check the screen resolution on your Mac (Image credit: Future)

01. Find your screen resolution

The easiest way to find the display resolution on your Mac or MacBook is to click the Apple icon in the top left-hand corner of the screen. On the menu that appears, select ‘About This Mac’. A window will pop up, and at the top you’ll see ‘Displays.’ Click there, and you’ll see the size and resolution of your screen.

02. Change the display resolution

To change the display resolution on your Mac’s screen, click on ‘Displays Preferences’ in the bottom right-hand corner of the open window. In the new window that pops up, select ‘Scaled’ next to where it says ‘Resolution’. Choose the resolution based on whether you want larger text or more space.

What screen resolution should I use?

So, what screen resolution should you go for? The answer to that question varies depending on the sort of work you’ll be doing and what kind of machine you’ll be working on.

Let’s start with the kind of work. If you’re a graphic artist or 3D modeller, then the minimum resolution you should opt for is 1360 x 768. However, if you can, we recommend going for 1920 x 1080. That extra resolution will give you a bigger canvas to work on, and it will improve the image quality.

For people working with complex 3D models, such as architects, animators or game developers, going above 1920 x 1080 can begin to put a real strain on your machine’s GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). If you want to go for a higher resolution, make sure your hardware can handle it, otherwise you may find your PC performs very slowly when trying to render at those high resolutions.

For video editors, we recommend 1920 x 1080 as a minimum. This is because 1080p is the standard high-definition resolution for videos, so if you’re working with 1080p video, you’ll want a screen that can display that natively. If you work with 4K video, then go for a screen resolution of 3840 x 2160 since this will allow you to play back 4K footage natively.

For photographers, we’d recommend going for the highest resolution you can afford. Still images don’t require as much graphical grunt to display on high-resolution screens, and most photographs are taken at well above 1080p resolutions. For example, a camera that takes 21-megapixel photos is actually capturing images at 5,104 x 4,092 resolution. Even a 4K monitor won’t display that natively, but the higher the resolution of the screen, the better (and more accurately) your photos will appear.

The best laptop screen resolution

The resolutions we mention above apply to standard widescreen monitors with a 16:9 aspect ratio. However, some devices have different aspect ratios – and therefore different display resolutions. 

For example, the 15-inch MacBook Pro has a 2,880 x 1,800 resolution screen. That makes it a lot sharper than a standard 1080p display. Meanwhile, the Surface Laptop 3 has a 15-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and 2,496 x 1,664 resolution. Again, that makes it a better display than a standard 1080p screen, though not quite as sharp as the screen on the MacBook Pro.

Other excellent laptops with high screen resolutions recommended for digital creatives include the Surface Book 2 (with a 3,240 x 2,160 resolution), the Huawei MateBook X Pro (with a 3,000 x 2,080 resolution) and the beautiful Dell XPS 15, which comes with either a 2,560 x 1,080 screen, or a 3,840 x 2,160 display.

Check out our pick of the best laptops for graphic design for more great laptops with high-resolution screens.

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Read more:

  • The best monitors for photo editing in 2020
  • Image formats in CGI: Everything you need to know
  • The best digital art software for creatives in 2020 

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Matt has been a technology journalist for well over a decade, writing for publications such as T3, MacFormat and Creative Bloq. He’s a senior editor of TechRadar, Creative Bloq’s sister site, where he can be found writing about and reviewing laptops, computers, monitors and more. He often writes for Creative Bloq, helping creatives find their perfect laptop or PC.

How to choose the right monitor with the ideal resolution?

At the moment, products are not available for ordering on samsung.com/ru

At the moment, products are not available for ordering on samsung.com/ru

Select your location and language.

What is the screen resolution?

Resolution is the number of pixels that can be displayed on a monitor screen. The greater the number of pixels on the monitor screen, the higher the image quality. FHD monitor displays 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p) and higher resolution standards are available including QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) and 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels).

The larger the screen, the higher the resolution

When it comes to image quality, pixel density is another important factor. Larger screens require a higher resolution to maintain the same pixel density as smaller, lower resolution screens. Higher resolution monitors display more detail on a larger screen area.

Want a bigger screen?

Most monitors have a 16:9 aspect ratio and provide the most comfortable viewing and productive environment. However, newer standards, including 21:9 or even 32:9, provide users with greater multitasking and improved visual performance.

Choose the monitor that’s right for you

Choose the monitor that will give you the best performance for your daily tasks.

Do you work in graphic design or video editing?

Choose a large, high-resolution screen if you work in video editing or graphic design. Ultra-high resolution monitors provide you with a high degree of detail.

QHD monitors

4K UHD monitors

Want to replace two monitors with one?

If you currently use multiple monitors but want to enhance your workspace, consider getting an ultra-wide monitor that allows you to multitask efficiently and keep your desk organized.

Ultra wide monitors


Do you like to play and have fun?

Get the most out of your entertainment experience with an ultra-wide, high-resolution monitor for cinematic viewing. The curved screen will allow you to fully immerse yourself in what is happening on the screen.


Find your perfect monitor

Whether you’re looking to improve your productivity or enjoy new content, Samsung’s wide range of monitors let you choose the right monitor with the right resolution and aspect ratio.

  • Permission

  • Aspect Ratio

  • Resolution :
    5120 X 1440

  • aspect ratio :

  • Resolution :
    3440 X 1440

  • aspect ratio :

  • Resolution :
    3840 X 2160

  • aspect ratio :

  • Resolution :
    2560 X 1440

  • aspect ratio :

  • Resolution :
    1920 X 1080

  • aspect ratio :


High Definition Monitors | Samsung for business RUSSIA

At the moment, products are not available for ordering on samsung. com/ru

At the moment, products are not available for ordering on samsung.com/ru

Innovative displays for efficient work

Samsung High Definition Monitors

Create a productive professional environment with high resolution monitors to unlock your potential.
Samsung’s high-resolution monitors are packed with inspiring innovations to help you achieve your goals with the flexibility and versatility to get the most out of your work.

Choose your model

With a wide variety of models, you can choose the one that suits your use cases and needs.
Find a high-definition monitor with features and specifications that enhance your interaction.

Choose yours

The following features may vary by model. For specific information, visit the individual product pages linked above.

Expand Your Efficiency

Experience the perfect research environment with Samsung’s high-resolution monitors for optimal creativity and flexibility.

Perfect image quality for maximum productivity

Realistic colors with incredible accuracy

Enjoy details with vivid colors and amazing accuracy thanks to innovative color technology that realistically recreates every scene, no matter the screen size.

HDR 10
Extended dynamic range

sRGB coverage

1.07 billion
Color reproduction

Clarity from any angle.

High quality panel

Wide viewing angle

More usable space,
fine detail

Maximum efficiency with limitless working space

More possibilities

screen space

An expansive workspace opens up more possibilities, and a variety of screen display options increase productivity for effective idea generation and creativity.


More pixels,
than in FHD

Dual picture function
Data entry to the
display from two PCs at the same time

Picture-in-picture function
Quick and easy
split screen

Speed ​​and power

at a new level

90 W

1 GB
Data transfer
over LAN port

Connect anything and create without limits

Complete docking station

offloads workspace

Acting as a docking station, the monitor supports direct connection of cables and peripherals, creating a clutter-free workspace that caters to all your connectivity needs, from power to multi-screen scenarios.

Multiple ports,

more options

Charging 90W

Data transfer 1 GB

Display Port
Serial connection

Maximum comfort,

minimum interference

Flexibility for maximum efficiency

every day

With an adjustable stand and certified Intelligent Eye Comfort System, you can focus on your work, while the 3-sided bezel-less slim display keeps your eyes on the screen.

Height adjustable stand (HAS)
Height adjustable stand

Rotate and tilt


VESA mount:

2.5 mm
Narrow metal stand

Protect your eyes and empower yourself

Adaptive Image

Automatic brightness and color temperature adjustment

Eye Care Mode
Reduced blue light emission

Flicker free
Remove screen flicker

It’s not enough to create a better world – you have to live in it

Know that the products you use are designed in an efficient way and based on sustainable resources for a more sustainable future.