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What kind of monitor do I need?

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roxics    5
Posted (edited)

I'm looking at a new PC build. I'm currently a mac user. But before I go all the way with the PC build I figured I would first buy a new desk and monitor. Then, at the very least if I decide not to build the PC, or if I wait to build it, I can just hook up my 15" Macbook Pro and use it as a desktop system.  But I'm probably going to build the PC as well. Just haven't completely decided yet. It's more of a desire than a need so I'm still tossing it around.

The thing is, I can't decide what kind of monitor I should get. I would like a 27" monitor. And I want more resolution than 1080p. Especially coming from a 15" Macbook Pro that has a 2880x1800 display. So I'm thinking at least 2560x1440p, but maybe 4K is better for me. I don't know.
IPS also seems like a good choice for me since most of what I do on my computers is Photo/Video/Web viewing and editing. But part of the reason I want to build a PC is to do a little gaming. If I build it, I plan to put an nVidia GTX 1650 in it. Not just for gaming but also video editing.  

Being a mac user for the last 14 years or so, I'm not a PC gamer. In fact I barely gamed at all for 20 years. Now I have a PS4 for that. But I'm curious enough about PC gaming that I don't want to get a monitor that sucks at it. Yet it seems like anything with 60Hz is out of the question these days for gamers. All these reviews I've been watching keep pushing $400-600 144+hz displays. Do I need that? If I do game, I plan on playing Cities Skylines and maybe some Tomb Raider and possibly some FPS games I've never played (which is pretty much all of them). But in order to justify spending $1000 on a PC build when I have two perfectly good macs, I have to tell myself it's going to help me with my productivity. Specifically video editing. So that's most important, with gaming being second. So I need a monitor that is good for productivity and also decent for gaming, with a little room to grow should I decide I like PC gaming. 

I'd prefer to spend under $300 for a monitor, but at the same time I am a little flexible. Also some monitors (very few) have USB C connections which would be great for hooking my Macbook without an adapter. At least in the interim before I build the PC. 

Any recommendations? (preferably something in stock, that will ship soon)   



 

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Sulphy    1,467
Posted (edited)

The monitor market is pretty broad at the moment, so there are some really great options out there, without breaking the bank!

 

Suggest have a read of this, which could help guide you in a direction of make vs cost & features https://www.tomshardware.com/uk/reviews/best-gaming-monitors,4533.html

 

IMHO, while i do have a pair of "27 2K ROG monitors capable of 165Hz, i barely ever have them set that high. For general gaming, 60hz should be just fine. Hardcore gamers, with serious graphics cards, will be eyeing up the 144+ ranges. But need a decent bank account to back that up :)

Also, If you are building a PC rig on a budget, and you will probably go for a low/mid spec graphics card... then you wont notice much of a difference. 

4K, meh, i got a 4K monitor, not too long ago, and honestly, didnt really enjoy the experience that much. Granted, at the time, i didnt have a gfx card that was capable enough to deliver 4K games decently enough, and most 4K games wont hit 60+, without some serious graphics card (s) providing the grunt!

Again, best to spend some time on reviews (as you cannot really go out to a shop and weigh up the differences yourself on demo units at the moment really)

 

EDIT: Forgot about the USB-C thing - there are USB-C docks out there with HDMI or Display port output, that will be compatible with your macbook (iSheep device :):) ) as well as the PC... again, have a hunt around, but they also wont deliver more than 60hz... i got a fairly decent one off Amazon!

Check out Amazon daily deals / Warehouse deals, sometimes you can pick up a good deal there on kit. In the UK, we have dedicated gaming companies, that regularly have ex demo stock up for good prices, dont know what you guys in the US have as an equivalent to Overclockers... check out Ebuyer as well... :)

Edited by Sulphy
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roxics    5

Thanks. I'm over thinking this. I would probably be just fine with a 60hz display. Since I'm perfectly fine playing games on my PS4 at 30hz.  

At guess then it comes down to 1440p or 2160p (4K). 

The goal is to build the PC for video editing and some gaming here and there.  Right now I have two macs I use. My 2012 Mac Mini is both my video editing machine and my Plex server. My 2017 Macbook Pro is my daily everything else machine that mostly sits on the coffee table or in my lap. Although it's more powerful than the Mac Mini since it has a newer i7 in it and a dedicated GPU.  For example, I can run Da Vinci Resolve on my Macbook Pro but not my Mac Mini. 

The idea was that if I built a new PC, I would move my editing tasks over to that PC and just leave the Mac Mini as my Plex server and backup mac in case something happened to my Macbook Pro.
A PC with a GTX 1650 would be able to run Da Vinci Resolve and Premiere Pro and all my editing would happen there. Plus some gaming. 

So really, the main goal of the PC would be productivity. It would just moonlight as a gaming rig as well. And to be honest, probably not that often since I don't even play my PS4 that often. Maybe once every couple weeks.  

For gaming I can see the drawbacks to a 4K monitor. it concerns me I wouldn't have enough power to push 8.3MPs of resolution when I did decide to game. But if most of what I do is video editing and stuff, would I not be better off with a 4K monitor?   

Of course there is the potential that I don't build the PC. That I just buy a desk and a new monitor and then throw my Macbook Pro up there and that becomes my desktop. At which point again, a 4K IPS monitor would probably be my best bet.

I think.  
 

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roxics    5

I guess I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too. Since I'm looking for an inexpensive monitor I can edit with but also game on should I discover I love PC gaming or something. 

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Riva    1,338

Yeah 60Hz at 2160p is good enough. IPS will add a cost. You are looking at a 400-500 monitor I think.

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Mindovermaster    3,679

Go to Best Buy, or any computer store. You can look at several monitors, and see what you like :)

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roxics    5
7 hours ago, Mindovermaster said:

Go to Best Buy, or any computer store. You can look at several monitors, and see what you like :)

Unfortunately I can't make it to a local computer store or Best Buy so I have to buy online. 

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Mindovermaster    3,679
3 hours ago, roxics said:

Unfortunately I can't make it to a local computer store or Best Buy so I have to buy online. 

May I ask why?

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yuanyasmine    1

I can only submit that my Acer 28" 4k monitor is ideal for viewing/editing multiple documents. Naturally, the screen has to be quite close to see all the detail, but it's a dream compared to trying to use dual monitors.

It's not the latest technology, but is good enough for photo work, although we mostly use it for windowed Web, MS-Word, and sometimes MS-Excel, all at the same time.

If you do get a large monitor, look for one that has a readily adjustable pillar stand for adjusting the vertical height. Even better would be an add-on articulated support system, but that would be added expense.

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Mindovermaster    3,679

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cork1958    2,003
Posted (edited)
On 6/12/2020 at 6:21 PM, Mindovermaster said:

May I ask why?

Don't know if all Best Buys are the same, but local store here still isn't allowing customers inside store, so makes it hard to "window" shop. At least wasn't allowing as of last week.

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Mindovermaster    3,679
17 minutes ago, cork1958 said:

Don't know if all Best Buys are the same, but local store here still isn't allowing customers inside store, so makes it hard to "window" shop. At least wasn't allowing as of last week.

Most stores here are open to the public. Not sure about where you or he lives.

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zhangm    1,398

A large 4k display is great for workflows where you need to organize a lot of information on screen. With your budget, I think you'd get more for your money prioritizing a larger display with decent color accuracy and high resolution, rather than a smaller display with more game-centric features that might include higher refresh rate, higher response time, lower brightness, and a lower resolution better matched with your video card.

 

With a sub-300$ budget, you might consider brands such as AOC, which pitch a lot of the same features and capabilities of those 400+ displays. They get the core features: 4K resolution, decent colorspace coverage, decent brightness, the basic I/O. You're going to probably miss out on some nice but non-essential features like USB-C input, high brightness or any HDR, and the quality may vary more between individual units. 

 

Price history on this display seems to bounce between 250 and 370 fairly frequently (on the order of days), so you might be able to catch it when it dips.

 

https://www.amazon.com/AOC-U2790VQ-3840x2160-Frameless-DisplayPort/dp/B07LBM2DCC

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