The ideal size for a monitor mainly depends on its resolution and how far you’re sitting from the screen.
Overall, most people find that 1920×1080 shouldn’t be used on anything larger than 25-inch; 1440p is ideal for 27-inch, and 4K is great for 27-inch to 43-inch, depending on preference.
Wondering what the perfect monitor size is for gaming?
Well, it all boils down to the relation between screen resolution and size – or more precisely, pixel density, which is measured in pixels per inch (PPI).
While some find 24-inch monitors to be the ideal size, others may think that even a 27-inch display is too small. For most people, monitors larger than 32 inches are too big for gaming.
Whatever display size you prefer, you should always keep the screen resolution in mind as well.
Best Monitor Size For 1080p gaming
Nowadays, you shouldn’t get anything smaller than a 24-inch monitor with 1920×1080 resolution; luckily, such monitors are rather affordable.
The Full HD resolution on a 24-inch monitor results in a pixel density of roughly 91 PPI, which is decent when it comes to the image details and screen real estate.
You may be tempted to purchase a 27-inch 1080p monitor since it’s considerably larger and usually only a little bit more expensive than the 24-inch version.
However, a 27-inch monitor is simply too big for 1920×1080 (at least to most users), as you get roughly 81 PPI, which makes the picture somewhat pixelated — text will be smudgy and details blurry.
If you were to sit a bit further away from the monitor, the pixels wouldn’t be as noticeable, which may be acceptable for gaming.
For competitive FPS gaming, most users prefer 24″ monitors as they allow them to see all the action happening at once without having to move their eyes/neck as much as they’d need on larger monitors.
Best Monitor Size for 1440p
The WQHD (2560×1440) resolution is ideal for 27-inch monitors.
You get 108 PPI, which is the sweet spot between picture detail clarity and the available screen real estate as most users won’t find scaling to be necessary.
Additionally, 1440p allows for higher refresh rates than 4K — if your PC system can handle it.
There are plenty of 32-inch 1440p monitors available as well. In this case, you get the same picture clarity you would get with 24-inch 1080p monitors, but many find 32-inch monitors too big for competitive FPS gaming as you have to move your head around a lot. For graphically-oriented games, 32″ displays are great.
The ASUS PG27AQN is an interesting 27″ 1440p 360Hz IPS display that has the 25″ Mode feature, which allows it to display the image as a 25″ screen with a 2368×1332 resolution surrounded by black borders.
This allows you to maintain a high pixel density (108 PPI) on a smaller 25″ area and take advantage of the monitor’s other native capabilities, which are in this case a high 360Hz refresh rate, a rapid pixel response time speed and wide color gamut.
Due to the black bars surrounding the 25″ area, it’s not ideal, but if you want a 25″ monitor for competitive gaming with a wide color gamut and a high resolution, the ASUS PG27AQN is the closest it gets to that at the moment.
Best Monitor Size for 4K
When it comes to 4K Ultra HD resolution, many will argue that a 27-inch or 28-inch monitor is large enough. Since the resolution is so high, everything on the monitor will be small, which means you’ll have to scale the interface for text to be readable.
Unfortunately, not all applications scale well, and some don’t scale at all. This affects gaming, as well. If a game doesn’t offer custom scaling, some UI elements may appear tiny.
On 32″ and larger 4K displays, scaling is not necessary.
So, if you’re looking for a 4K monitor for gaming, make sure your favorite games and applications handle scaling well.
Ultrawide monitors feature a 21:9 or 32:9 aspect ratio as opposed to the standard 16:9. The extra horizontal space, along with the usually curved screen, wraps your peripheral vision for a wider field of view and a more immersive gaming experience.
The most common screen size of ultra-wide displays is 34-inch, and they can usually be found with either 3440×1440 or 2560×1080 resolution.
The 2560×1080 resolution on a 34-inch monitor offers the same pixel density as 1080p on a 27-inch monitor, so we don’t recommend it unless you will be using the monitor solely for gaming and you sit further away from the screen.
The 3440×1440 resolution on a 34-inch monitor, on the other hand, results in a similar pixel density to that of a 27″ 1440p display, so you’ll get plenty of screen space and sharp details without having to use scaling.
Overall, we recommend the following monitor size/resolution combinations for gaming:
- 23-inch to 25-inch: 1080p
- 27-inch: 1440p or 4K
- 28-inch to 32-inch and over: 4K
- 25-inch to 29-inch ultrawide: 2560×1080
- 34-inch ultrawide: 3440×1440, 5120×2160
- 38-inch ultrawide: 3840×1600
- 40-inch ultrawide: 5120×2160
- 43-inch super-ultrawide: 3840×1080, 3840×1200
- 49-inch super-ultrawide: 5120×1440
- 57-inch super-ultrawide: 7680×2160
When purchasing a new monitor, you should also ensure you choose the best panel type for you.