1920×1080 vs 2560×1440 – Which One Should I Choose?

2560x1440 has 78% more pixels than 1920x1080, but is it always better? This guide will help you pick the right display so you don't waste any money.

Answer:

The higher the resolution the better — granted that you can afford it and that you have a powerful enough PC.

In comparison to 1920×1080, 2560×1440 provides you with more vivid details and more screen real estate (just how much more depends on the screen size and pixel per inch ratio), but it’s also more power-hungry when it comes to gaming.

If your PC rig is too strong for 1080p, you should definitely invest in a 1440p display.

1920×1080 or Full HD is still considered as the standard resolution since most content out there is in 1080p. Moreover, it’s not very demanding on GPU — and nowadays, 1080p displays are quite affordable.

However, many users are not happy with the image quality.

So, what exactly will 1440p offer you as opposed to 1080p, at what cost, and is it worth it?

2560x1440 vs 1920x1080

1920×1080 vs 2560×1440 – Everyday Use

1920×1080 amounts to 2,073,600 pixels while 2560×1440 or WQHD has 3,686,400 — that’s 78% more pixels! Both resolutions have 16:9 aspect ratio.

The best way to illustrate the difference between the two resolutions is by comparing how they look on the same-sized display, let’s say a 27-inch monitor.

This is where pixel density plays a key role.

monitor resolution comparison

Pixel Density

On a 27-inch monitor, the 1080p resolution offers roughly 81 PPI (Pixels Per Inch), while 1440p provides around 108 PPI. Essentially, this means that the picture on a 27-inch 1080p monitor will be pixelated, have smudgy text and blurry details.

That’s why we don’t recommend getting a monitor larger than 25-inches for Full HD resolution.

With 108 PPI, on the other hand, you hit the pixel density sweet spot as you get plenty of screen space as well as sharp and vivid details without having to use scaling!

In contrast, 4K UHD resolution on a 27-inch monitor has ~163 PPI giving you even more details and space, but in this case, you’d need to scale your interface in order for text to be readable.

Professional and Everyday Use

For a practical example, the 2560×1440 resolution on a 27-inch monitor allows you to have two browsers open next to each other and comfortably view content from both without anything overlapping. This makes 1440p monitors ideal for multi-tasking and professional purposes, especially if you can get two for a dual setup.

Another thing that you should have in mind is the resolution of the content you’ll be watching.

When watching Full HD 1080p content on a 1440p monitor, a video player uses upscaling (or upconversion) process which matches the number of pixels in order to deliver the full-screen viewing experience.

In theory, this decreases the quality of the image, but the drop in quality is not really noticeable in comparison to 1080p content playing on a 1080p display. The bitrate of the video also plays a big role here.

For instance, 1080p Blu-ray movies look amazing on 1440p resolution displays, while some lesser quality videos won’t be as sharp — but still watchable.

While gaming is demanding at 1440p, everyday use is not. As long as you’re just doing basic stuff on your computer, such as web-surfing, you will be fine — even with a good integrated GPU or any new sub-$100 dedicated graphics card.

1920×1080 vs 2560×1440 – Gaming

The most important thing to consider when choosing between a 1080p or a 1440p monitor for gaming is the hardware requirements for a certain video game and the desired picture settings/FPS (Frames Per Second).

To maintain steady 60 FPS at WQHD resolution and high settings in the latest titles, you will need at least something equivalent to an NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti or an AMD RX 5600 XT.

Running video games at 1080p and 60 FPS with high settings is doable by more affordable graphics cards such as an AMD RX 570-4GB or an NVIDIA GTX 1060.

In the undemanding eSports titles, you’d get a notably higher FPS with these cards, allowing you to take advantage of a 1080p 144Hz monitor.

In the end, it all comes down to your personal preference, your PC gear, and the budget.

Ideally, you could get a 1440p 144Hz monitor, though you will need at least an RTX 3060 Ti or RX 5700 XT for that — depending on what games you play and at what graphics settings.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many facts to take into account when it comes to 1920×1080 vs 2560×1440. For everyday use, there aren’t as many factors to consider apart from the monitor price and size.

When it comes to gaming, you will have to choose between gameplay fluidity and better graphics unless you can afford a more expensive display/PC setup.

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Rob Shafer
Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.