1080p vs 1440p vs 4K vs 8K: which should you get?
If you’re reading this then chances are that you are likely on a 1080p monitor (1920 x 1080) as it has become the new standard in monitors.
You might be looking into a new monitor and haven’t been able to decide whether the leap to a 1440p (2560 x 1440) monitor or a 4k (3840 x 2160) monitor is worth it.
In order to find out, a bit of number crunching and two very important monitor aspects need to be known.
Let's talk about resolution
The resolution of a monitor is simply how many pixels there are and at what ratio.
A 1920 x 1080 resolution, for example, has a width of 1920 pixels and height of 1080 pixels.
Multiplying the two gives the total pixel count which in this case is 2,073,600 pixels.
The greater the resolution then the greater the number of pixels and as a result the greater the detail and image quality.
The drawback to this, for gamers at least, is the hit in frame rate performance because of the extra pixels that need to be rendered by their graphics card.
The most common resolutions out there are:
- 1920 × 1080 (1080p, FHD)
- 2560 × 1440 (2K, WQHD)
- 3840 × 2160 (4K UHD)
- 7680 × 4320 (8K UHD)
Note that all these resolutions have a 16:9 aspect ratio.
There are of course other resolutions like the 2560 x 1080 resolution which is commonly used in wide screen monitors and has a 21:9 aspect ratio.
Pixel density too
Pixel density tells us how many pixels there are in relation to a certain screen size and is measured in pixels per inch (PPI).
A smaller screen size and larger resolution will give us a bigger pixel density.
Below you can see the total pixels for the most common resolutions and what their PPI is for 24-inch, 27-inch, and 31.5-inch monitors, the most common sizes.
|Monitor resolution||Pixel amount||24″ monitor||27″ monitor||31.5″ monitor|
|1920 × 1080 (1080p, FHD)||2,073,600||92 PPI||82 PPI||70 PPI|
|2560 × 1440 (2K, WQHD)||3,686,400||122 PPI||109 PPI||93 PPI|
|3840 × 2160 (4K UHD)||8,294,400||184 PPI||163 PPI||140 PPI|
|7680 × 4320 (8K UHD)||33,177,600||367 PPI||326 PPI||280 PPI|
720p monitors have become a thing of the past and 1080p monitors will surely follow as time goes on.
Economically speaking, the current sweet spot for monitors is a 24-inch monitor with a 1080p resolution and a 27-inch monitor with a 1440p resolution.
As technology continues to progress a new category of 4K and even 8K monitors is becoming increasingly common.