What is Screen Resolution? :720p vs 1080p vs 1440p vs 4K vs 8K

When looking out to buy a new computer, the first thing that comes to your mind is a CPU followed by the monitor. Now, when searching for a monitor, people usually think, a sleek and beautiful one that will look great on desks, grab the attention of your friends or guests, and every day you will wake up to your beautiful screen.

But have you thought, what is the most important factor that makes the display of your money awesome? We guess you didn’t. It is the resolution of your monitor screen that matters the most.

You may have monitors that suffix HD, FHD, or even UHD. All of these are nothing but different terms that correlate with the resolution of your monitors. If you are among the potential buyers of a new monitor and don’t know these technical terms, you are in the right place. Here we will breakdown every term associated with the resolution of a monitor and factors associated that you hear every day.

Table of Contents

What is the Screen Resolution?

Speaking of screen resolution of the monitor, in layman terms, it is the number of horizontal and vertical lines you see on the display screen. Interestingly, the more pixels, the more vibrant the display is, and you get more information or data on screen without much scrolling.

Screen Resolution
Screen Resolution

Screen resolutions have a pixel count of 1200×720, which means 1200 is the number of horizontal pixels, and similarly, 720 is vertical. Further, the resolution we just stated is known as HD, and it was the most popular resolution when LCD monitors came into the scene.

A monitor resolution defines clarity and quality. Whenever you search online for monitors, you might have surely noticed a suffix written as HD, FHD, or UHD. Considering FHD or Full High Definition, it consists of 1920 horizontal pixels and 1080 vertical pixels. Alternatively, the monitor would be of 16:9 aspect ratio, making it suitable for everyday tasks.

If we multiply 1920 x 1080, we get 2,073,600 pixels on the screen. Now, this where DPI and PPI come into play. Confused? Don’t be; we will cover everything. Nevertheless, the whole 1920 x 1080 is the resolution of the monitor screen. Additionally, 1920 x 1080 is full HD and is currently the industry standard for a monitor. However, that does not mean monitors with a resolution of 1080p are bad.

What is a Pixel?

Pixels are also known as picture elements. They are the smallest physical points on your monitor and any other display. Furthermore, they constitute the building block of any screen. Besides, pixels and resolution are interconnected. This means, higher the resolution, the higher the pixel count.

Nevertheless, in order to ease up things, you can think of pixels as pieces of puzzles. They are joined together to make up a bigger picture. Similarly, a lot of pixels are joined together to make an image that sums up the resolution of your monitor. When discussing pixels, it is essential to know about PPI and DPI; now, let’s see that.

What is DPI?

DPI or Dots Per Inch. As the name suggests, it is the number of dots or pixels your screen has. However, some people misunderstand DPI with PPI. But, keep in mind, both of these terms are similar in meaning but differ a lot when it comes down to usability and functionality.

While DPI is primarily used for printers or mouses, PPI is the actual classification used for monitor screens. Since the screen of a monitor does not have dots, instead, it has pixels. That’s why it is important to clear the concept to everyone reading this.

DPI is the number of Dots placed within an inch, and that makes it dots per inch. Further, it would be wise to note that image scanners and printers use this during their output procedure and monitors follow a different mechanism called PPI or Pixels Per Inch. Let’s look at this below.

What is PPI?

Also known as Pixels per Inch, PPI is the number of pixels in the span of 1 inch. In technical terms, PPI is also known as pixel density. As mentioned earlier in this article, the concept of 2,073,600 pixels in a 1080p screen, now if you want to calculate the PPI or pixel density of the monitor, first you need to calculate the diagonal length in pixels. 

Diagonal
Diagonal

To calculate the diagonal length in pixels , use the following formula:

dₒ = √(w² + h²)

dₒ= √(19202 + 10802)

dₒ= √(3686400 + 1166400)

dₒ= √4852800

dₒ= 2202.91 pixels

where

  • w is the number of pixels along the horizontal line
  • h is the number of pixels along the vertical line.

Now to calculate PPI use the following formula.

PPI = dₒ / dᵢ

PPI = 2202.91 / 27

PPI=81

where

  • dₒ is the diagonal length in pixels
  • dᵢ is the diagonal screen size in inches

For example, 27-inch 1080p monitor has a pixel density of about 81 ppi.

Most Common Monitor Resolutions

Here we will discuss the most common types of monitor resolutions and describe them briefly to make understanding easier.

720p or High Definition or HD Ready

720p is a progressive resolution for monitors. Furthermore, it is the most widely used HD format across all manufacturers and offers the most minimum quality. However, it still feels good to have instead of SVGA monitor [600p]

1080p or Full High Definition or FHD

1080p or Full HD is the industry standard resolution that is most widely used nowadays. Further, being non-interlaced, it is the first resolution that takes full advantage of the HD capabilities of a monitor. Watching TV shows, movies, and playing games is a breeze on 1080p monitors.

1440p or 2K or Quad HD or QHD or WQHD

1440p or 2K or quad high definition is greater than full HD. Moreover, it contains 2560×1440 pixels. As a result, as the name suggests, 1440p is four times full HD. However, 1440p is so popular; thus, you cannot find it everywhere. 2k monitors are expensive, and as a result, most of the users are unable to afford them. This resolution is ideal for gaming and TV viewing.

2160p or 4K or Ultra HD or UHD

4K, also known as Ultra HD. What an energizing word it is. Whenever people hear the word 4K, a sense of clarity pops in. Probably the highest quality a display can afford is being a 4K. A 4K monitor has a resolution of 3840 x 2160, and we know that it is massive. This resolution is four times more than the resolution of FHD or 1080p.

However, 4K monitors are far expensive than Full HD or 2K monitors, and they are a delight to watch. Further, their usage is limited to online video production and television commercials. 4k resolution is perfect for professionals like photo and video editors. Moreover, it would be wise to note that 4K is the best resolution known to date. But there is one more coming on the way, i.e., 8K. Let’s discuss it in detail.

4320p or 8K or 8k UHD

8K is 8680 x 4320 pixels and currently the highest resolution available. However, being a new technology, it isn’t available in huge quantities, but some 8k monitors and TVs are available in the market at a higher prices. Still, when it becomes popular, it would be the best resolution.

720p vs. 1080p vs. 1440p vs. 4K vs. 8K: Which is the Best?

Now, being rationale, each of the resolutions is good in its dimension. Different resolutions meant for different purposes. However, 720p being the basic of all, is no good if you wish to purchase a monitor for a long time. 

Further, 1080p is just the double of 720p, always renders clearer and sharper images on the monitor. Besides, if we talk of 2K, it is again the double of 1080p. If you notice, with each upgrade, you are simply going double the resolution of the older ones. 

As a result, 4K is double of 2K, and 8K is double of 4K. Now, if we talk about PPI, the higher the resolution, the higher the PPI. Further, the lower the screen size, the higher the PPI. Consequently, if you purchase a 24-inch monitor, a resolution of 1080p would be sufficient. However, when purchasing a monitor, you need to consider different factors like refresh rate, response time, and aspect ratio.  If you are playing fast-paced and competitive games, you need a higher refresh rate monitor rather than a higher resolution monitor.

Conclusion

Finally, we would like to say, 4K is currently the best resolution available for use in a monitor. However, being expensive, 4K might not be a viable option for every user. Further, if you want a great computing experience, you can also go for a 1080p monitor without spending a ton. However, while purchasing, you must keep other important factors like refresh rate and aspect ratio in mind. Nevertheless, as discussed, 8K is still in its preliminary stage, so going for an 8K monitor is not recommended. 

There you have it. That’s all you need to know about the screen resolution of a monitor. Further, we hope after reading this you got to know what is the best resolution. 

Ankit is a software engineer. A pro lover of Technology and tech gadgets. Our team is here to help you find the best monitor products to decide which one is best for you.

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