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Monitor Size


Monitor size should be determined by your budget limits and how much desk space you have. All things being equal, you should purchase the largest monitor that you can afford. Having a large monitor allows you to set your screen resolution much higher, which enables you to view much more information on screen. While you can do this with smaller monitors, it also means that the information displayed is much smaller in size. This causes some difficulty in reading text.

One misleading issue that resellers fail to mention is that CRT screen sizes are measured diagonally. To further muddy the waters, that measurement is made on the actual glass tube before it is placed into the plastic casing. Between manufacturers of monitors I have seen as little as 1/4 inch on each side of the glass tube, and as much as 1/2 inch. Think about it. Let's say you buy a 17 inch monitor that has 1/4 inch of the tube covered by plastic. 1/4 inch times four sides is one inch. The effective viewable area on your monitor is now 16 inches (diagonally). In the 1/2 inch scenario, 1/2 inch times four sides is two inches. Your effective viewable area is now 15 inches! What I'm getting at is that you should ask what the actual viewable area measured diagonally is before purchasing any monitor. Below is a chart with recommended monitor sizes versus screen resolution. You can take these with a grain of salt depending on how good your eyes are and what you feel comfortable with. In my case, I have a 17" monitor (16" viewable) and I'm running 1600x1200 resolution. For the most part everything is great, but sometimes it's difficult to distinguish between a comma and a period with 10pt font. To correct for this, I usually zoom my text up to 120 percent.



Monitor Size

640x480 13"
800x600 15"
1024x768 17"
1280x1024 21"


Monitors are the most power consuming of all components on your desktop. If electric bills are high in your area and you plan on keeping your computer powered on all the time, then you need to look for a monitor with Display Power Management Signaling (DPMS).

Dot Pitch DPMS
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