Monitor choice is a big point of contention in the gaming community. We’ve been seeing a lot of rapid improvements when it comes to monitor improvements and offerings, like the first 480hz screen laptop, offered by Alienware.
Monitors have also been getting bigger—and over time, most gamers have narrowed things down to three different sizes: 24”, 27”, and 32” models. Putting aside other factors, which size is best for gaming?
Since the question at hand is which is better for gaming, there’s a few other things you want out of your monitor. You want a high refresh rate (120hz or more), and a low response time (1ms or less). But there’s a few other things to consider, as well.
Format and Size
Aside from the obvious difference in physical size, resolutions between different size monitors tend to differ as well. For example, most 24” monitors are capped at 1080p because it’s difficult to fit more pixels into a physically smaller space. Meanwhile, 27” and 32” monitors generally don’t support 1080p because it would lead to bad pixel density—which might negatively affect picture quality. These bigger monitors tend to range from 1440p all the way up to 4K resolution.
When it comes to a monitor’s physical size, people tend to think of bigger as being better. There’s some truth to that—watching a movie or a different piece of media is a much more enjoyable experience on a bigger monitor, for example.
But if you’re looking for a monitor specifically for games, there’s an argument to be made for smaller sizes, especially for competitive, PvP-based games.
For example, I am (unfortunately) an avid player of League of Legends. Not too long ago, I tried to upgrade my 24-inch monitor to a 32-inch one. The extra real estate was nice, but also meant that I either had to sit back further in my chair to see everything, or keep looking around. Not a great idea in a game that requires you to take everything in all at once.
The same thing happened a lot in VALORANT and CS:GO, as well. Having to look from side-to-side made holding multiple angles noticeably more difficult, and having to look in a lot of different places on the monitor itself ended up really hurting my neck.
The experience was bad enough that I returned the 32-inch monitor and replaced it with a 27-inch monitor. Not everyone will have these issues, but it’s something worth considering.
24-Inch is Tournament Standard
24-inch monitors are also the standard size for most tournaments. They allow competitors to take in everything at once without having to move their head, and their smaller size means that they can sit closer to the monitor, as well—especially important if you’re trying to make long-range shots.
They also tend to be cheaper and take up much less desk space than their larger counterparts. If you’re a tournament-goer, or hope to attend in the near future, stick to 24-inches. Having to adjust between different sizes for practice and tournaments is almost guaranteed to throw you off.
Single Player Games are Still a Thing
But not every game is competitive by nature. Some games, like the recently released Stray, focus on giving its players a more cinematic, story-driven experience.
For these games, bigger really is better. Bigger monitors are more immersive, and tend to offer higher resolutions. If your system can handle it, and you play a lot of single player games, pick up a bigger monitor with a higher resolution. You won’t regret it.
Which is Best?
The different monitor sizes all cater to a different audience. 24-inch monitors cater to the more hardcore audiences who want to take every single advantage they can get, both in-game, and in the real world.
While they look nice, 32-inch monitors definitely cater to a more single player focused experience. They really allow players to get immersed in the world that they’re playing through, and having a higher resolution just makes everything look better in general.
27-inch panels are a bit of a middle ground. They’re noticeably bigger than 24-inch panels, but they’re not so large that you need to look around all the time. At the same time, the extra screen space and higher resolution make single player games a MUCH more enjoyable experience.