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720p vs 1080p vs 2k vs 4k vs 8k: Which display should you buy?

We live in a world with a digital consciousness and the media we consume comes from screens that we carry in our hands or mount on the walls Hence it is quintessential that the devices we use have the best displays in the market.

That said, finding the perfect display for your device is no easy task, and with terms like refresh rate, pixels per inch and aspect ratios being associated with displays, things have only gotten tougher over the years.

So, if you are a gamer or a person who wants to have the best entertainment experience and are looking to buy a TV, mobile phone or a gaming monitor you have come to the right place because, in this article, we will be talking about everything there is to a display and which one you should get.

Also read: 5 things you should know before buying a gaming monitor

Screen resolutions simplified

The resolution of your screen is the most important parameter to look at when you are buying anything with a display, but what do the numbers defining a screen resolution signify? To answer this question, one needs to understand how displays work.

720p vs 1080p vs 2k vs 4k vs 8k:  Which display should you buy?
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Any display you use is made up of tiny dots which are known as pixels or picture elements. Each pixel on your screen changes its colour and brightness to create an image on the screen. The screen resolution of a display is used to specify the number of pixels on your screen. So if your screen has a resolution of 1280×720, it signifies that your screen has a total of 9,21,600 pixels and these pixels create the image on your screen.

In the term mentioned above, the first number indicates the pixels in the horizontal direction, and the other represents the pixels in the vertical direction.

Now that we have a basic understanding of how displays work, we can take a look at all the resolutions which are available in the market and which one is best for you. 

Also read: LCD vs OLED displays: What’s the difference and which one is better

720p (HD resolution) 

The HD display has a resolution of 1280×720 pixels and is one of the most widely used resolutions in the market. With a high market share in the television domain, there is a lot the HD resolution gets right. That said, the HD display’s popularity is fading away, and newer display resolutions like full HD and 4K are taking its place. 

720p vs 1080p vs 2k vs 4k vs 8k:  Which display should you buy?

If you want a gaming monitor and are looking for high frame rates and don’t have a beefed-up GPU, then getting a monitor with an HD resolution is the best bet for you. Although the picture on your monitor might not be as crisp as a 4K display, the HD display has the capability of pushing high frame rates as it has a lower number of pixels, as your GPU has to do lesser calculations to display an image on the screen. 

Also read: How to check VRAM in Windows 10?

1080p  (Full HD) 

The full HD display is the current standard in the industry and everything from movies to internet content is created for this resolution. With a resolution of 1920×1080, the FHD display has more than double the number of pixels when compared to a traditional HD screen. Due to the higher number of pixels on the FHD screen, the image quality is much better when compared to an HD screen. 

720p vs 1080p vs 2k vs 4k vs 8k:  Which display should you buy?

Although the FHD screen offers a better picture quality, the higher number of pixels can degrade your gaming experience if you don’t have a powerful GPU

Also read: How to enable or disable auto-brightness in iOS 13?

1440p (2k,WQHD, QHD)

The 1440p display has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and is the middle ground between a FHD and a 4K display. Offering 4 times the pixels when compared to an HD screen the 2K display is capable of offering a great viewing experience. 

720p vs 1080p vs 2k vs 4k vs 8k:  Which display should you buy?

If you are looking for a gaming monitor then getting a 2K display is the best bet. Due to the high number of pixels, games look stunning on the 2K display.

Apart from this, a GPU like the GTX 1080 on a 2k display can easily push 60 FPS which is not possible on 4k displays. In addition to all this, a 2K display is cheaper when compared to a full-blown 4K and also consumes lesser power when compared to a 4K

Also read: What is anti-aliasing in gaming?

4k (UHD, ultra HD, 4k UHD)

If you are looking for the best viewing experience when you binge-watch your favourite shows then you should go for a 4K display. Offering a resolution of 3840 x 2160 the 4K display is the resolution the industry is moving towards and most of the media streaming platforms have a plethora of content for this resolution. 

720p vs 1080p vs 2k vs 4k vs 8k:  Which display should you buy?

With the advancement in technology, the cost of 4k displays has come down drastically, making it affordable for the general public. That said if you are looking to game on a 4k display things can get a little tedious. Due to a large number of pixels, it’s hard for a GPU to push 60fps on a 4k display and you need a very powerful GPU like the RTX 3080 to have a smooth gaming experience

If you are a console gamer and are planning to get a PS5 or an Xbox series X, then you should get a 4k display to enjoy the true power of these beasty consoles.

Also read: 7 best iOS 14 Home Screen widgets you should try out now

8k

When it comes to bleeding-edge technology in displays, 8k is something that tops the list. With a mind whopping resolution of 7680 x 4320, there is nothing that comes close to the pictures an 8k display can produce. Although the picture quality of an 8k display is phenomenal, it comes at a hefty price. 

720p vs 1080p vs 2k vs 4k vs 8k:  Which display should you buy?

In addition to the high price, 8K technology has not been accepted widely in the industry as it has just been introduced in the market. That said, 8k is the future of displays and if you are looking for the best in displays you should get an 8k screen.

If you are using a console like the Xbox series X which supports 8K you will need an HDMI 2.1 cable which is capable of pushing data at faster rates and deliver 8k at 60fps.

Also read: How to manage your Google Drive storage?

DPI and screen resolution

Another important parameter related to a display is its DPI or dots per inch. This term is used to define the number of pixels in one square inch of the display. A higher DPI signifies higher pixel density which offers better picture quality.

If you have two displays with the same resolution with different screen sizes they would have a different DPI. As an example, if you have a 25-inch monitor and a 32 inch monitor both having an FHD resolution, the 25 inches would have a DPI of 88 while the other would have 69 DPI.

Although its better to get a display with higher DPI anything above 400 DPI is overkill and the human eye cant differentiate between screens with a higher DPI.

Which display is right for you ?

If you are looking for a television set and have no budget constraints then getting a 4k set is the best option. If you are low on budget then you can go for a TV with an FHD or a 2k display. Getting an 8K display is probably overkill as there is not a lot of content which is shot in this resolution.

If you are looking for a gaming monitor then you should go for a 2K display as it offers a great picture quality along with good FPS.

Also read: How to create a Steam account?

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