Seeking recommendations for a new PC monitor

Discussion in 'Talk' started by Heather Kay, 30 July 2019.

  1. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    While I don’t spend all day glued to my desk and computer any more, it’s become apparent that my current screen is getting a bit tight for space. The problem is a lot of new software, such as the Affinity suite, likes lots of toolbars and palettes - and my present poor old monitor leaves me a small area in which to work in amongst the clutter. It’s a bit like my workbench, actually, where my working area is proportionally smaller according to how many tools I’m using at any one time!

    So, I’m on the lookout for something of higher resolution, but I find the intervening few years since I last looked have thrown up all kinds of new technologies and standards and I’m, frankly, a bit out of my depth. (If only my 35-year-old self could hear me say that!)

    I am quite content with my late-2012 Apple Mac mini. In fact, I find the graphics card ought to be able to support up to 2560 x 1600 pixels, which I believe is 4K in telly terms. Currently, I’m using the HDMI output, but the box is also blessed with a DisplayPort, so I’m after suitable screen hardware that supports that connectivity - preferably natively without needing USB-C adaptors or similar. The current monitor is a Samsung thing that works at 1080p and is a 21in diagonal. I’m looking to increase the size by up to 32in if the budget allows.

    I’ve checked the usual South American river site, and the retail park outlet de jour, and I haven’t been convinced of either. Where else can one purchase PC hardware these days? Any ideas? In fact, any recommendations about monitor hardware in general?

  2. TheSnapper

    TheSnapper Western Thunderer

    Hi Heather

    I don't have any particular recommendations, although I have used Dell Ultrasharp monitors for the last few years and have been very pleased with them. If you need RGB accuracy for photography, then I think you need to be looking at the likes of Eizo, BenQ etc (expensive!)

    One important thing though - IMHO I don't know how people cope with just ONE monitor. You need TWO at least!

  3. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Ha! Yeah, I agree. When I ran laptops as my main work machines, I’d use the lappy screen for s7ndry activities like email and instant messaging, while the big screen was work. I’m not sure the poor old mini would cope with two monitors!

    I’m not hypercritical for colour, to be honest, at least not these days. If I was, then the top end monitors you mention would be on my list.
  4. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    We use Ilyama's at work, either in the workshop or on the crane remote control desks and they all seem fine, the wife has a Ilyama and it's fine for everyday use.

    Personally as I do photography I went up market and just bought a Viewsonic VP2768 after a lot of research, cheap it is not! But it is blindingly sharp, clear and vibrant colours. This came from Curry business outlet, doesn't need to be a business, just create an account that's all.

    As for places to purchase, I've used Novatech for many years for parts and pieces such as monitors (wifes) MoBo, hard drives, towers, etc. There's also Argos, PC world and many more.
  5. Wagonman

    Wagonman Western Thunderer

    I use an Eizo Colour Edge and am very happy with it – not sure my bank manager was quite so chuffed though. I can't remember what connections it uses as they round the back of my Mac Pro and buried under the desk. 4K on a 31inch display is 4096 x 2160 which might give a Mini a touch if indigestion!

    mickoo likes this.
  6. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    If I was really very serious about my photography, I’d be looking to do the same. As a hobbyist snapper, I’m really not in the market, so "the best performance at a price I can afford" seems to fit the bill. These days, almost all the monitors on the market use the same LCD panel so it comes down to price, connections, and possibly whether or not I can live with the stand and bezel!

    Quite. I was actually surprised the DisplayPort output could go as high as was quoted. Up until now, 1080p HD has been adequate. It just seems I need more pixel real estate to make room enough that I can actually see most of what I happen to be working on! I’m fed up with an area like a postage stamp surrounded with buttons and palettes.
    Wagonman likes this.
  7. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Nice! :thumbs:
  8. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Ooh! I just found a Viewsonic 32in at not bad prices. One to ponder. :thumbs:
  9. Brian McKenzie

    Brian McKenzie Western Thunderer

    Heather, if you are wanting to use any older or specialist software programs on a high res or 4K screen, do check if toolbars, icons, dialogue boxes etc will be upscaleable in size - otherwise they may appear too small to be legible. :'(
  10. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Thanks Brian. Good point. Happily, most of the software I use is fairly recent.
  11. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

  12. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Thanks Simon. I’ll check that out, too.

    It’s funny how you quickly get out of touch with where to buy kit when it’s not an important part of your job. Back in the last century, the boss of the small printers I worked at agreed we could upgrade all the studio kit. I checked out what we needed, with basic and best alternatives for all the hardware. For the monitors, this was before LCD got good, the best available for colour fidelity were made by LaCie, with eye-watering prices. When I looked into it, it was clear LaCie were using Mitsubishi's equivalent to Sony's Trinitron, just adding a dark blue case and a fancy hood to keep the light out. The Mitsubishi monitors were about a quarter the price. Guess which ones we bought.
    Wagonman and simond like this.
  13. paulc

    paulc Western Thunderer

    Personally I have used Samsung for years .
    Cheers Paul
  14. Wagonman

    Wagonman Western Thunderer

    I had a Samsung screen. I have to say it was rubbish at least for small type etc which was why I replaced it with the Eizo. Orders of magnitude better for DTP work and photo editing.
  15. BrushType4

    BrushType4 Western Thunderer

    cheap one the size you want off eBay.
  16. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer



  17. parky

    parky Western Thunderer

    Another vote for Iiyama.
    I see you have 2560 x 1440, which is what my iiyama ProLite XB3270QS 31.5 works on and now costs £251.99 iiyama ProLite XB3270QS 31.5

    I get my kit from that CCL Online as it is on the edge of Leeds so I am able to collect , but they do mail order

    I am currently looking at getting another one of those XB3270QS or the alternative is to look at a 43" 4K TV as they are about £300 for all that real estate, though you might find that your video card won't drive a 4K screen
    Heather Kay likes this.
  18. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Just to conclude this, by various means a mildly used Dell Ultrasharp 27in has found its way to my desk. Now I have the right cable, the sheer size and space available to work in is staggering. I don’t know how I managed with the tiny screen I had before!

    So, thank you to the WT member who offered the screen, and to everyone else that has made suggestions in the thread.