[SOLVED] Computer Monitor Recommendation - Big as Possible for Under $600

Jan 9, 2021
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I'm looking for a new computer monitor with a screen as large as possible for between $300 and $600.

Things I want (ranked in order of preference):
  1. bigger screen size
  2. higher resolution (4K if possible)
  3. curved for immersion
  4. color quality
The thought crossed my mind of getting a 4K HDTV instead, because I saw some in my price range that looked pretty amazing with large screen sizes.... but I think someone told me once that people using HDTVs as computer monitors have problems with doing work on a word processor even if the resolution of the screen is really high (which I absolutely need to do with this setup). Is that true?

I want to add that I don't care what the refresh rate is. Screen size & resolution are way more important. Also color quality somewhat.

I did some searching myself before posting, and this is what I found so far:
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-34-led-curved-wqhd-freesync-monitor-silver-black/6385092.p?skuId=6385092

One other consideration: if I try and go 4K, isn't the aspect ratio the same as my old monitor (1920x1200), so that should prevent my old games lacking ultrawidescreen support from looking distorted if I replay them, right?

I wish there was something big like 40" and 4K that would meet this price criteria, as a computer monitor, but I'm not seeing anything.

Looks like all the curved ones are limited to 1440p and are ultrawide, which seems like it would probably distort my older games in ways the non-curved 4K displays probably wouldn't have problems with.

What computer monitors (or HDTVs) do you guys suggest?
 

tennis2

Distinguished
Ultrawide = 3440 x 1440 resolution. This is going to be the height of a 27" monitor, and not quite twice the width. Pixel density of 109ppi is the same as a WQHD 27" monitor, so good there (>92dpi is a good/acceptable target).

Games that don't support 21:9 will [should] be letterboxed so they're not distorted.

What GPU do you have?
 
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Reactions: MarsColonist
Jan 9, 2021
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What GPU do you have?
EVGA RTX 3070.

Would it be better to get something at best buy so I can return it if it has dead pixels or something?

It looks like the overwhelming majority of the 4K monitors top off at 32" , but there are lots of 1440p that top off at 34".

Wonder why people stop at 32"? Why not 36" 4K monitors? Or 34" 4K monitors? 38"? etc...
 
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Jan 9, 2021
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This is a hard decision: ultrawide vs 4K

I guess the ultrawide has a bigger screen? Seems 34" and 35" screens are common in ultrawide, but 4K biggest screens are 32" (for my price range anyway).

Anyone know best options for me in ultrawide? Looks like 34" or 35" are the biggest I've found. Since I can't get more screen-size in my price range, should I look for more color quality (OLED maybe)? But the search you guys showed me on PC parts picker isn't showing any OLED in my price range either. All seem to be IPS or VA panels.
 
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tennis2

Distinguished
3440 x 1440 = 5M pixels

3840 x 2160 = 8.3M pixels

The resolution is only 1 of 3 parts in the equation. Viewing distance and panel size are the other two.

I get the feeling that you're approaching this from the wrong angle. Moar pixels isn't necessarily better.
  • Consider your viewing distance
    • Have you sat 24-30" away from a 32"-36" TV and seen how much of your view that occupies? I was fortunate enough to have a 27" monitor (from work that I brought home) and a 32" TV (at home) to test at my viewing distance, and I selected 27" for my gaming monitor for that sole reason. 32" was too much eye/head movement for my liking. Could I have gotten used to a 32" monitor? Sure. Also, if my viewing distance was greater, 32" may have been preferred.
    • Pixels per inch at a given viewing distance is what you're after. (Apple's coined term "Retina"). A 32" 1080p monitor may look like hot dog water from 24" away. But if you're sitting 48" away from the same monitor, it looks good.
    • At a fixed viewing distance (your desk for example), you're going to hit a point of diminishing return as you continue to increase pixel density (ie, 4K 24" monitor at 24" viewing distance).
    • It's this viewing distance vs panel size that explains why there aren't more >36" monitors on the market. Getting much past that point, and the comfortable viewing distance for most people exceeds the typical size of a desk, so you're pushing into "couch viewing" distance, controller instead of M&K, a price tag that exceeds most TVs without the multi-use benefit of a TV. Choose the right TV these days and you can get 90% of what a "monitor" delivers at less cost in the >36" sizes.
  • Refresh rate
    • I know you said you don't care, but a 120+Hz monitor is going to feel better in games than a 75Hz one. Especially once you factor in variable refresh rate, and the fact that a 120+Hz VRR monitor will also have Low Framerate Compensation
    • There aren't many 4K monitors available yet with >75Hz refresh rate and a reasonable price tag.
  • Stress on the GPU
    • Not saying you can't play games at 4k on a RTX3070, but I can guarantee your FPS will be better at 3440x1440 or 2560x1440 due to the fewer number of pixels that need to be rendered.
    • More pixels = more $$ for an appropriate GPU
    • Here's Tom's review of the RTX3070 9 game average (Ray tracing off). Keep in mind, they're using ULTRA settings, which is widely considered wasteful from the perspective of relative visual improvement vs FPS hit compared to High settings.

  • Aspect ratio
    • 21:9 isn't as widely supported (especially in older games) as 16:9
    • Keep in mind the height of an ultrawide monitor. As I said previously, a 34" 21:9 monitor is the same height as a 27" 16:9, so you should be good in this regard. My brother bought a 29" 21:9 monitor and it looks a bit...squatty since it's the height of a 23"(?) 16:9 monitor.
    • The premise of the 21:9 aspect ratio for (first person) gaming is to provide additional peripheral view. It can feel more immersive.
 
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Jan 9, 2021
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The reason I don't really care much about refresh rate is because I tend to prefer immersive experiences in single player story-oriented games (something like Mass Effect 2 ideally), not competitive multiplayer games where refresh rate probably matters more.

So to my way of thinking, if the screen fills more of my field of view because it is physically larger -- that will be more immersive. More like a movie theater experience.
 
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You will find a 43" 4k monitor to be very immersive, and have a good image.
I used a Philips 40" BDM4065UC for a while and was very pleased. My son wanted it so I replaced it with a 48" LG OLED TV which still works sitting some 2 feet in front. Expensive though.
 
Jan 9, 2021
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You will find a 43" 4k monitor to be very immersive, and have a good image.
I used a Philips 40" BDM4065UC for a while and was very pleased. My son wanted it so I replaced it with a 48" LG OLED TV which still works sitting some 2 feet in front. Expensive though.
Your 43" was an outstanding suggestion that lines up nicely with what I was looking for, but the product was only available from a third party seller with approximately 88% positive reviews. 88% might be a decent % of positive reviews (I'd feel satisfied with an 88% on say, a math test), but I think I want a higher satisfaction rating for a relatively expensive, fragile, and prone-to-problems like "dead pixels" purchase like this that is likely to require customer service, particularly considering this potential purchase is from a third-party seller.

I took the model number down and searched on various other websites like amazon, newegg, etc, and didn't find a more reputable seller -- so while it was an outstanding suggestion it didn't solve my issue. (otherwise I would have given you best answer, if that's what you are wanting)
 
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