What Is Display Resolution And Why Does It Matter? [Guide 2024]


Display resolution is the number of horizontal and vertical pixels that a screen exhibits in displaying an image. 

The screen resolution of your monitor can have a big effect on how your work looks and how easily you can work without common eye-related problems

It’s essential to know what screen resolution your display has and what screen resolution you should choose according to your style of work. Let’s look at the topic from a more in-depth point of view.

What Is Display Resolution?

screen resolution

The number of pixels a screen can display both horizontally and vertically is the figure we use to describe screen resolution. 1,080 pixels can be displayed vertically and 1,920 pixels can be displayed horizontally on a screen with a resolution of 1920×1080

Screens may display images, photos, text, and a variety of graphics by altering the colors of those pixels in specific patterns. The image quality is crisper and more detailed the more pixels a screen can display. 

But when it comes to image quality, there are other considerations besides the maximum number of pixels that a screen can display. Then there is the pixel density. There are many different sizes and resolutions for monitors. 

It’s common to find monitors of various sizes with the same number of pixels, such as a 24-inch monitor and a 32-inch monitor both with a 1920 x 1080 screen resolution. Because of the smaller monitor’s higher pixel density, the image quality might frequently appear crisper and more vibrant. 

This is quantified by PPI (Pixels Per Inch). In comparison to the larger screen, the smaller screen will have more pixels per inch. If you’re looking for the best image quality, you should instead consider getting a smaller monitor with a higher resolution rather than a larger monitor with a lower resolution. This is because the higher the PPI, the better the image quality.

What Is Native Display Resolution? Can You Change It?

The published resolution of a display is known as the native resolution, and it is the resolution that appears best on the display. The resolution of the screen can be changed, but only to a lower resolution than the native resolution, not greater.

For example, if you purchase a 4K Ultra High Definition screen with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 and discover that the resolution is too high, you can configure your PC, Mac, or laptop to show at a lower resolution, such as FHD (1920 x 1080). It is best not to try to go around the screen’s native resolution and make it bigger. 

Most of the time, your system will just automatically scale down the resolution, which can make the image blurry or grainy. Even if you try to scale the image by hand, the quality won’t be as good as it would be at your native resolution. 

The hardware of your system determines this resolution, and you can’t change it without changing the hardware. At that point, you should just buy a device with a higher resolution.

What Is Pixel Density? How Does It Affect Display Resolution?

Pixel Density
Source: Eizo

Pixel density is the ratio between a screen’s size and resolution. As monitors of different sizes can have the same resolution, the picture won’t look the same. On a 24-inch panel, 1920×1080 has 91 PPI (Pixels Per Inch), whereas, on a 27-inch monitor, it has 81 PPI.

The 1080p image on a 24-inch display will be more detailed and expansive due to the higher pixel density.

In addition, displays with above 90 PPI provide decent image quality, while anything fewer results in pixel details and minimal, which is fine for gaming and multimedia use but not for business or if you want sharp details and text.

Many feel 110 PPI to be the sweet spot for monitors since it gives clear details and lots of screen space without scaling. On devices with a higher pixel density than 110 PPI, you gain more screen area but may need to scale small text and icons.

Can Display Sizes Affect Display Resolutions?

Can Display Sizes Affect Display Resolutions

There is no direct link between screen size and screen resolution. For example, you can have a 10.6″ tablet with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a 24″ desktop monitor with the same resolution.

Since both devices have the same resolution, they will both be able to show the same image (in terms of the number of pixels). However, the image on the computer screen will look much bigger because the monitor is bigger.

But the larger image will look blurrier because there are more spaces between the dots. In the same way, two monitors with the same size but different resolutions are possible. In this case, the higher-resolution monitor will be able to show more at once.

Because there will be less space between the pixels, the images will be smaller, but they will be clearer.

Which Is Best For Display Resolution? LED vs. OLED

With an LED display, all of your screen’s pixels are always on. Pixels can be made brighter or darker by a light shutter behind the screen. Only the pixels that need to be lit up are lit up with OLED. They work the same way as plasma screens. When electricity hits the screen, a carbon film behind the screen lights up.

Since OLEDs only light up pixels when they need to, blacks tend to be much more clear. With LEDs, blacks might look grayer. Because of this, OLED screens often look like they have a higher screen resolution.

But OLED screens can have problems with burn-in, just like plasma screens. If you tend to leave your screen on the same screen for a long time, LED is a better choice.

Also Read:

How To Check & Change Display Resolutions?

You can easily check your display resolution in windows, and on Mac as well. If you want to change the resolution of your display, the procedures for both windows and mac, are as follows.

Change Resolution In Windows

Change Resolution In Windows
  • You can change the screen resolution by right-clicking on an empty place on the desktop and clicking “Display settings.
  • Under Display resolution,” you’ll see the current resolution. If it says “(Recommended)” next to the resolution, that means it’s the native resolution for your screen and the one that will probably look the best.
  • Now, if you want to change the resolution, click the down arrow next to the resolution.
  • This will show you a list of all the other ways your screen can display images. If you click one, the resolution will be put into place, at least temporarily.
  • Because changing the resolution to something that your screen can’t handle can cause problems.
  • Windows will show you what the resolution looks like and ask if you want to keep it.
  • If that’s the case, click “Keep changes.” 
  • If you want to change the resolution back to what it was before, click “Revert.

You can also do nothing, and your device will go back to the old resolution after 15 seconds. This method is helpful if you choose a resolution that your screen can’t handle by accident and your screen goes blank. Just wait 15 seconds, and the old resolution will be back.

Change Resolution In Mac

Change Resolution In MAC
  • Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen to find the display resolution on your Mac or MacBook.
  • When the menu comes up, choose “About This Mac” from the list. 
  • You’ll get a window that says “Displays” at the top. 
  • When you click there, your modeler is big and clear.
  • Now, click on “Displays Preferences” at the bottom right of the window that opens to change the screen resolution on your Mac. 
  • In the new window that appears, choose “Scaled” where it says “Resolution.” 
  • Choose the resolution based on whether you want the text to be bigger or if you want more room.

How To Pick The Right Display Resolution?

The solution to this issue varies based on the type of job you’ll be performing and the type of display you’ll be working on. Let’s begin with the type of task you do often.

If you are a graphic designer or 3D modeler, the least resolution you should use is 1360 x 768. However, if you have the option, we recommend going with 1920 x 1080. That higher resolution gives you a larger canvas to work with and improves image quality. 

Going above 1920 x 1080 can begin to place a serious load on your machine’s GPU for anyone working with complicated 3D models, such as architects, animators, or game developers (Graphics Processing Unit).

If you wish to go for a higher resolution, make sure your hardware can support it; otherwise, your PC may operate very slowly when rendering at those high resolutions.

We recommend a minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080 for video editors. This is because 1080p is the standard high-definition video resolution, thus if you’re working with 1080p video, you’ll need a screen that can display it natively.

If you work with 4K video, choose a screen resolution of 3840 x 2160 so that you can play back 4K material natively.

We recommend that photographers choose the greatest resolution they can afford. Still, images don’t require as much graphics horsepower to display on high-resolution screens, yet most shots are produced at resolutions well above 1080p.

A camera that takes 21-megapixel shots, for example, really captures images at 5,104 by 4,092 resolution. Even a 4K monitor will not display that natively, but the higher the screen resolution, the better (and more precisely) your images will seem.

Common FAQs:

Here are some common FAQs and their answers to help you get the best display resolution for your next display.

Q.1 What Are Some Of The Best Display Resolutions?

Various devices have different aspect ratios, and thus varying display resolutions. The Apple MacBook Pro 15″ (2019), for example, offers a screen resolution of 2,880 x 1,800. This makes it far sharper than a regular 1080p display.

Meanwhile, the Surface Laptop 3 features a 15-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2,496 x 1,664. Again, this makes it a better display than a conventional 1080p screen. 

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 stunning Dell XPS 15, which comes with either a 2560 x 1080 or a 3840 x 2160 display.

Q.2 How Can a Screen Resolution Affect You?

If you have two screens that are the same size, the one with the higher resolution shows more and you have to scroll less. In addition, the picture is clearer. But the image will be smaller as a result. This makes your eyes work harder, and in the worst cases, you may need to zoom in to see the picture. 

Money is the first. No matter what size screen you have, screens with very high resolution cost more. The second is about how things work. High resolutions require more resources.

If you set your screen’s refresh rate to 60Hz, your video card will update the frame 60 times per second. Most people think that 60Hz is low and would prefer 120Hz or 144Hz if they could. The video card is put under more stress as the resolution goes up. 

Q.3 What Is HD, 4K, And UHD? Do You Need It?

HD display resolution is a better resolution for most people, and it is now the standard for all screens, from small phones to big TVs. A 1080p HD screen has great clarity and quality for a price that isn’t too high.

You can also find 4K TVs at lower prices, but anything that isn’t in 4K will still only show in HD. The 8K has become the new best resolution. The resolution of 8K is 7680 x 4320, which is double the resolution of 4K. The 8K TVs are more expensive and have a few options.

UHD is another option that you might see. In terms of tech, this is just 4K. At 3840 x 2160, Ultra HD (UHD) is at the lower end of the 4K resolution range. Since the screen on phones and other small devices is small, you don’t need the best quality. But if you want to feel like you’re in a movie theater, you should get a larger monitor or TV with a higher resolution.

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