Screen Resolution: The Best Guide in 2021

screen resolution guide

Are you someone who had been looking for a Screen Resolution Guide? Let us not waste more time.

I predict that the year 2021 will be the most important year in the history of screen resolutions. By then it’s guaranteed that 4K or equivalent technologies will be a standard on TVs and devices. That means all content you watch on your TV, phone, tablet, laptop, and anything else should have a 4K version.

But not only pixel count will matter but also color depth and refresh rate!

In this article, I try to explain how content is created from here onward and what technology we need to adopt to fully enjoy future content. Feel free to let me know what you think of it!

For designers, photographers, and artists screen resolution is crucial. A monitor is one of the most important tools you own because it shows what’s happening while working as well as a final product; but not just for work! 

When choosing an HDMI or DisplayPort capable device to connect with your computer make sure that they have at least 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD) so if possible match these specifications when upgrading from an old kit.

If this seems like overkill then consider downsizing down another couple hundred dollars until automatic window switching software can detect changes in size without any additional input needed on behalf of the user.

The resolution of your monitor is one determining factor in how well design projects go. It can make or break the quality and appearance of designers, so it’s important to keep an eye on this while you work!

This guide will help explain what affects screen resolutions- from hardware strain to image clarity -however, there are also other factors that should be considered before changing yours permanently (like buying new monitors).

What is Screen Resolution?

Screen resolution is the number of pixels -or dots- that fit on a computer monitor. As screens increase in the number of pixels, they become higher in detail and can display more items at once (closer to what humans see).  

If your screen resolution is too big or too small, text may be hard to read or files might not all fit on the screen. Sometimes you’ll even find most programs misaligning themselves because they don’t know how to handle such high resolutions.

Higher resolutions can also cause blurriness and pixelation, especially if you’re using simpler applications like web browsers or word processing software that doesn’t optimize for the larger size.

Why Should I Change My Screen Resolution?

You should change your screen resolution to your native screen resolution (the highest that your monitor and video card can support) if:

  • You like to watch movies or TV shows on your computer.
  • You play games.
  • You do any type of graphic work, such as Photoshop, drawing, etc.
  • Your display adapts poorly to high resolutions and looks blurry or pixelated.

When you change your screen resolution, it’s important for programs to fit the new size so they aren’t hard to read/see/use!

For example, if you’ve been using 1280 x 800 but decided to upgrade all the way up to 4096 x 2160 and there isn’t a category in between those two numbers then many programs will be too small or too big and they won’t look good.

If this happens to you, don’t fret! You can adjust your screen resolution using software on your computer or laptop.

Color Quality: Wide Gamut, IPS, and OLED

In the future, we will have more colorful displays with a wider color gamut. This means you need to take your camera RAW images in sRGB mode and not Adobe RGB mode because Adobe RGB doesn’t contain all colors so it’s wasted space on your hard drive if you upload them later.

Today, LCD or LED screens are limited to RGB color palettes at 8 bits per pixel (24-bits total), which is a modest improvement from older phones that use 5 bits per pixel (16-bit) screens. We still mostly deal in the realm of 8-bit because our current hardware can’t handle anything better yet.

In contrast, OLED panels are much more advanced since they only require each core panel to be created with an organic compound or carbon-based materials that emit their own light. Each pixel is independent so they can theoretically display billions of colors, but for now, we’re limited to around 16 million mostly because of cost restraints.

Low range displays such as smartphones often have the cheapest type of screen which is LCD (liquid crystal display).

LED screens are another form and more expensive than LCD; while OLED displays are currently reserved for higher-end mobile device devices like Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5.

When it comes to low end vs high end: lower-end devices tend to use cheaper versions of each technology while high-end devices will use better versions which makes them much higher quality in comparison! 

The resolution, PPI (Pixels Per Inch), and DPI (Dots Per Inch) of a monitor are often confused with its overall quality. A high-end monitor without high resolution means you’ll see an image that’s really blurry or pixelated, while a low-end monitor might have a great resolution but suffers from non-responsive touch screens and slow refresh rates. It’s the overall package that matters!

Brightness: 250 Nits Is Best

When it comes to brightness, a high value of 300 nits or higher is preferred because it provides the best range of visibility.

A low brightness level will hurt the user experience because you can’t see anything when in a dark room, but too much brightness can also harm your eyes from working on screens all day long!

In the future, we might start seeing more HDR technology that allows for contrast ratios of up to 1 million:1 so content looks even better with a wider range of colors and deep blacks. Even today, OLED panels have a 100k:1 ratio which is pretty damn good!

( Low vs High PPI Displays ) Low-end LCD displays have about 164ppi while high-end ones go up to 550ppi to achieve a much better resolution and color range.

Screen Size: 4 Inches to 6 Inches Is Best

In the future, we will have even bigger screens so you can use your monitor as a replacement for a TV or a computer screen in a multi-monitor setup! There’s no recommended size because it all depends on your desk space and your personal preference for how big you want something to be.

For now, experts suggest a minimum of 4 inches while some would argue for 5 inches. The rest is up to you!

Refresh Rate: 60Hz is Best

Since most people use LCD screens, they’re limited to about 60hz when it comes down to the refresh rate (frames per second) that they can produce.

This means your screen refreshes 60 times per second which isn’t ideal because you’ll experience lag if you try to play video games at 30fps or less; but for regular browsing and media consumption, it’s no big deal.

( iPhone 6 Plus vs Moto X Pure Edition ) Higher-end devices like Android phones like the Moto X Pure Edition will be able to go up to 120hz in comparison to high-end devices like the iPhone 6 Plus which is limited to about 60hz.

Screen Response Rate: 1ms Is Best

Low response time doesn’t mean much because it’s such a low number that we’re starting to approach pixel persistence times (the length of time for pixels to physically change state).

When we go under 10ms, we’re getting into the range where your brain starts seeing light and objects as blurrier than they actually are!

However, there’s no denying that lower numbers do look smoother and higher tracking rates make for better gaming.

For now, experts recommend 1ms or less since 5ms is already considered excellent enough! We might see even faster speeds in the future but this remains an area where OLED screens seem to operate better than LCD panels.

( iPhone 6 vs Moto X Pure Edition ) OLED screens have faster response time rates since they’re not backlit the same way as LCD panels which suffer from slow pixel persistence times. This makes games look really smooth on all high-end smartphones!

Aspect Ratio: 16:9 is Best

When it comes down to aspect ratio, widescreen has become the standard for almost any use where you don’t need something ultra-portable or small for easy carrying purposes.

The old 4:3 model was limited because you could only view things in either landscape or portrait mode but with widescreen displays, you can see more content at once without having to scroll side to side!

Of course, you can always opt for a higher resolution to achieve more screen real estate anyway!

How to Check Screen Resolution on Windows 10

  • Right-click on your desktop and select ‘Display settings.
  • Your screen resolution will be listed with a recommended setting next to it. It might say ‘Best for now’ if your computer is detecting the correct size from your monitor.

If you’re not sure about changing your screen resolution, keep in mind that you can switch around as needed between different resolutions for specific tasks with ease.

That means if you want to play a video game at 1080p but then need Photoshop to be higher res so it displays properly, simply go into settings and drag the slider up or down so it fits whichever software or program you want to view at the highest quality possible!

How to Change Resolution on Windows 7 & 8

  • Click on ‘Start’ -or press the hotkey, depending on how you have it set up.-Select ‘Control Panel’.
  • From here, select ‘Appearance and Personalization’ then ‘Display Settings’. You should be able to see your current resolution now!
  • You can also change your screen resolution by right-clicking an empty area of your desktop and clicking on ‘Graphics Properties’.
  • You can fine-tune your screen resolution by using the dropdown menu that is accessible with this method, or if you want to go into further detail then right-click on your desktop and select ‘Graphics properties’ again, which will take you to the NVIDIA Control Panel.
  • The NVIDIA Control Panel also allows you to reduce your screen resolution in case it is set too high for whatever reason -although remember that running at a lower res than what video card/monitor support may cause pixelation/blurriness so be careful when adjusting!

How Do I Change Screen Resolution: Windows 10 & Mac OS X

You can change your screen resolution on both Windows 10 and Mac OS X by doing the following:

  • Right-click on your desktop and select ‘Display settings.
  • In Windows 10, you’ll be able to change from a drop-down menu while in Mac OS X you’ll have a couple more options.
  • Select the size that fits what you’re using for this specific session -or if needed set it to automatic so it changes with each step required of what you need to do next or at least frequently throughout your day.

What Screen Resolution Should I Use?

Resolution is generally measured in vertical pixels. The minimum recommended resolution for Windows 10 is 1024 x 768, but the best option to use would be your native screen resolution-the highest that your monitor and video card can support.

Your graphics driver should display this information somewhere in the control panel.

You should also consider what you need to do with your computer before adjusting your screen resolution permanently -if you use it mostly for word processing and movie watching, a lower-res will likely suffice, while if you’re working with photoshop or playing games at 1920x1080p then you’ll want it to be as high as possible so there isn’t any blurriness or pixelation on images or words on-.

Another factor to consider is whether or not your display adapts poorly to high resolutions and looks blurry or pixelated.

If this is the case, then there are free fixes available online that you can download which will help scale up to higher resolutions so they fit better on your particular monitor via software/applications.

The Best Screen Resolution for Laptop/Desktop:

The best option is whatever your display can support -either natively (if adjustable) or by getting a compatible graphics driver that enables you to upgrade it so it has full functionality with the highest possible quality!

If you do go for a graphics driver, be sure to get one that not only works with your desktop or laptop but also the version of Mac OS X you’re running so compatibility is guaranteed.

Frequently Asked Question(FAQs)

Which resolution is better 1920×1080 or 3840×2160?

It depends on what you’re going to be using your computer for specifically. If you have a 4K display and want the highest resolution, then go for 3840×2160 or thereabouts.
If on the other hand, you have a 1920x1080p monitor/display and aren’t sure if it displays images well at those settings, then just stick with that as your native screen resolution to ensure maximum quality!

Which is better 720p or 1080p?

This again depends on what you’re using your desktop or laptop for specifically -if gaming or web browsing, then it’s likely 720P will display things fine enough.
However, if this is your main workstation and photoshop is your preferred software/application of choice, then you’ll want 1080p to ensure every pixel is displayed with the highest possible quality!

Is 1920×1080 resolution 4K?

No, it’s not -4K (aka 4K UHD) is 3840×2160 pixels.

Does this mean 1080p is better than 720p?

As we mentioned earlier, this depends on what you’re using your computer for and what you’ll be doing with it specifically.
If playing games or browsing the web and nothing else and you need to save some money when purchasing a new graphics card/monitor upgrade then sure, go ahead and get a screen at 720P.
However, if photoshop is one of the main/favorite applications that you use regularly then 1920 x 1080 will just display things at a lower quality than what they were meant to look like!

What is 1080p or 4K?

Both are screen resolutions that measure the number of pixels on a display. 1080P resolution is 1920 x 1080 and 4K resolution is 3840 x 2160.

What is better 1440p or 4K?

This also depends on what you’re going to use your computer for specifically-if gaming or web browsing then 1440p will likely have all the quality you need!
However, if this is your main workstation and photoshop is one of your favorite application suites to use regularly, then 4K would be best as it’ll ensure every pixel displays with the highest possible quality!

Wrapping Up

There are a lot of other factors to consider -such as what kind of graphics card your computer has, but this should give you an idea of how it all works and whether or not your monitor will do well at certain screen resolutions.

Remember that any images or text may appear blurry or pixilated if set too high for the display -and keep in mind that most laptops don’t have screens that go higher than 1920×1080- so they won’t be able to support anything above that!

The best option here is whatever your video card supports through its drivers/software along with ensuring compatibility with your laptop’s OS X version (if applicable) so that it can read the screen resolution being used properly.

We hope this guide helped you understand some basics about screen resolutions! If you found any issues with our advice or would like to add something we missed, let us know in the comments below!

Leave a Comment