Monitor Choice: Larger Screen or UHD/4k?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by TwoWheels, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    My daughter is running off to university this fall with the 27" iMac we've been sharing the last couple years. After endless debate, I decided to have my son build a Windows machine for me instead of paying $$$$ for a new Apple of some variety. This new machine will be used primarily for photo editing using Lightroom, but it will also be in a living area and be used at times as a digital photo display screen.

    I have a finite amount of money I'm willing to commit to this so I have a dilemma. For the amount of money I'm willing to spend, I could get a 32" screen (which I would like) in a 1080 resolution or I could get a 27-28" UHD/4k monitor. I don't want to have less clarity/resolution than I've had on the iMac (2560 x 1440) but I would like a larger screen. If I get a 32" with 1080 resolution, am I likely to notice the difference? Any input on size vs. resolution?
  2. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 10, 2016
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Rob Campbell
    The difference between 28 and 32" from monitor distance is noticeable, for sure, but I think 1080p on the larger screen is going to look noticeably chunky. If you can swing it, my recommendation would be to go for the 28" UHD/4K screen. It'll absolutely be preferable for photo work.
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  3. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    I don't know your budget but I recently bought a Benq bl3201ph 4K 32" monitor refurbished for $500. The monitor is the best I've ever owned and I've always splurged on monitors.
    4K needs a large screen or things get too small. Too small for me at least.

    There's one available now at reasonable price.
    BenQ BL3201PH, 32" IPS LED 4K Monitor with 32-Inch LED-Lit Screen
  4. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    For photo display from across the room 4K isn't necessary. Also plan on spending more on a video card to drive the 4K monitor. It all comes down to your budget.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
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  5. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 10, 2016
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Rob Campbell
    I think just about any graphics card will be able to drive UHD pixels with relative ease these days. Since it's not for gaming, $150-200 should do it. Maybe even integrated graphics.
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  6. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 10, 2016
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Rob Campbell
    no, but it will definitely come in handy during editing.
  7. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Going from the iMac (27" @ 2560 x 1440) to a 32" @ 1920 x 1080 will be a step up in size but a step down in resolution. You'll see less of your photograph, will need to do more scrolling, and your tools and palettes will take up a greater % of the display. Up close, you might even seen the pixels (Screen Door Effect). I wouldn't do it.
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  8. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2016
    Try this:
    Samsung 32" WQHD LED Monitor (S32D850T)

    its 2560x1440 @32" that gives an effective DP of ~91dpi which I've found to be very usable at a normal desktop sitting distance. It might be even easier to use than the same resolution @27 which might have been a tad small at natural resolution. At that size it gives the same dot pitch as a 1080p 24" monitor and therefore u won't have to do any funky font scaling in windows for text to be readable.

    4K at anything less than 39" gives a much higher DPI (99+) which makes the text much smaller. So you'll have to scale fonts bigger in windows which sorta negates the advantage of all that desktop space int he first place. Pics will look nice though.

    PX CALC: DPI Calculator with Dot Pitch, Size, Aspect Ratio, Pixels, and Megapixels

    Used for DPI calculations
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
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  9. bjurasz

    bjurasz Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 10, 2014
    Cedar Park
    What John says. You're looking at going up in screen size with less vertical resolution. You will NOT enjoy that. Go 4K.
  10. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
  11. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    I have this monitor and love it. I use it day in, day out for editing photos, viewing huge pdf floor plans and writing reports. I had to get a new video card for it, then ended up getting a new PC to speed up the photo editing process.