Monitors come in a variety of sizes with varying resolution outputs. But what is the best size of a monitor for gaming? When you are looking for the ideal size for gaming there are two primary factors you have to worry about. First, the physical size of the monitor. This is typically the diagonal measurement across the screen displayed in inches. And second, the resolution of the display which will relate to its pixel density. For gamers, I believe those are the two most important factors to look at when you are debating between sizes.
Whether or not you play video games competitively or just for fun, we are all looking for the best experience. Purchasing a monitor that is too large can result in many problems. This can lead you to potentially having an unenjoyable experience. In this article, I will cover the most ideal size to maximize your overall gaming experience.
The Resolution and Size
Before we get into the best sizes, it is important to understand the relationship between resolution and size. A 1920x1080p monitor is stating that it is 1920 pixels wide, by 1080 pixels high. This would translate into 2,073,600 total pixels for the display. We get this by multiplying the width by the height to get the total pixel count. The higher the resolution is, the more pixels it will have.
Now, how does this relate to the physical size of the monitor?
Well, every monitor has a pixel per inch (PPI) value associated with it. This refers to the number of pixels that are displayed within a 1×1 inch. If we use a 24” 1080p monitor, for example, that would have a pixel density around 91. You can find this simply with a pixel density calculator. The higher the PPI is the crisper and clearer the image is on the monitor.
How Does This Affect Me When Gaming?
The PPI value of a display can significantly impact your overall visual experience. If the resolution of the monitor does not increase as the size does, the PPI will drop. Having a pixel density that is too low can make things seem blurry or grainy. For example, if you take a 27” 1080p monitor, that would have a PPI of approximately 81. This can have a big impact on your gaming experience. This is partly why I believe that 4K monitors have been picking up in popularity in the gaming community. Most 4K resolutions have a PPI of 110+ depending on the size you go with. Hence the visual details appear a lot crisper and clearer.
24 Inch Gaming Monitors
I find that 24-inch monitors are the perfect size for gaming if you are sitting relatively close. If you primarily game on a desk this makes a suitable option for you. However, I would not recommend going any smaller than this. If you get a monitor that is too small it can hinder your overall performance and experience in-game.
They are also one of the more budget-friendly options as well depending on what features you get. You can often find them on sale at very reasonable prices as well.
With a 24″ monitor, you can most definitely get away with a 1080p resolution. As mentioned before, this would result in a pixel density of about 91. While this is not the best, it is certainly still is great. I have gamed on numerous 24” 1080p monitors and can say that the visuals can be amazing. But if you are looking for a little bit more you may want to consider a higher resolution like 2560×1440. While this resolution will offer you improved visuals it is generally not recommended. This resolution is typically is mostly used for a larger display. You may run into scaling issues with some games and applications if the resolution is too great for the size. Fortunately if you are gaming on a PC this can be solved easily with GPU scaling.
With all that being said, 24” monitors do also make for a nice addition as a second monitor as well.
27 Inch Gaming Displays
A 27” monitor is perfect if you have a little bit more room on your desk to work with. Generally speaking, you will want to be sitting at least 2-3 feet away. Sitting too close can create a potentially difficult time actually viewing the monitor. You definitely want to avoid problems like this while playing video games. With that being said, a 27-inch display is a perfect size when you are looking to increase your resolution.
However, I would not recommend getting a 27” 1080p display if you plan on playing video games. The pixel density at this size and resolution is not great. You would be looking at about 81 PPI. Again, this would make the game potentially look grainy and blurry.
On the other hand, they are the perfect candidate for increased resolutions such as 1440p. This would provide you a pixel density of around 110 which is great. At this resolution, the game would look much crisper and clearer when compared to a 24” 1080p display. You can also find quite a few 4K monitors at this size as well if you are looking for the ultimate visual experience.
It is also worth mentioning that they tend to be slightly more expensive than their 24” counterpart. Although, if budget and space restrictions are not a problem I highly advise this option.
Ultrawide Monitors for Gaming
Ultrawide monitors will definitely offer you a more immersive experience if you are a more casual gamer. They can provide you some multi-functional benefits outside of gaming as well. However, if you play video games more competitively, I advise against ultra-wide monitors. The most frequent size for ultrawide monitors tends to be 34” at an aspect ratio of 21:9. It is also worth mentioning that some games do not support ultrawide capabilities. I advise doing some prior research into what games will support the extended display.
With ultra-wide monitors, I typically advise sticking to 3440×1440 resolutions. This will offer you a high enough pixel density where you won’t have to worry about the visuals too much. Some 34” ultrawide options do have 2560×1080 resolutions as well. But I would stay away from this option. This would offer you essentially the same pixel density as a 1080p 24” option of 81PPI.
So, What Is the Best Size for Gaming?
Overall this is a difficult question to answer as it depends. Most gamers have specific preferences on what they are looking for from their display. If you are a competitive gamer you may want to stick to a 24” or 27” option. These tend to be the most popular sizes within the competitive community. Again, you just have to pick a resolution that suits your needs. For this, it is important to consider the pixel density to ensure that it is not too low.
However, if you are just a casual gamer looking for the most immersive experience. 27” and ultrawide monitors will provide you just that. They will make the game feel more alive and real offering you the maximum levels of enjoyment. I have personally games on all three options mentioned and can say they all offer unique benefits. All in all, I recommend the following options.
- 24” at 1920x1080p
- 27” at 2560x1440p or 4K
- 34” ultrawide at 3440x1440p
I believe choosing one of these options will provide you the best experience without sacrificing any in-game visuals.