If you are planning to buy a new monitor or upgrade your old monitor, then one of the important specifications that you have to look for is the Resolution. In this article, we are going to understand the two most popular monitor resolutions available today: 1080p and 1440p. We will learn the advantages and disadvantages of both 1080p and 1440p resolutions, draw up a 1080p vs 1440p comparison chart, list out the differences between them and also try to figure out which is useful for daily use and gaming. So, let’s get started.
- What is Monitor Resolution?
- What is Pixel Density?
- 1080p or Full HD (FHD)
- 1440p or Quad HD (QHD)
- Comparison Chart: 1080p Vs 1440p
- Difference between 1080P and 1440P
- 1080p Vs 1440p For Professional and Everyday Use
- 1080p Vs 1440p For Gaming
What is Monitor Resolution?
Resolution of a display refers to the number of pixels that are packed in it in each dimension. For example, a 1080p display with a 16:9 aspect ratio has 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels vertically. Irrespective of the size of the display i.e., 24”, 27” or a 40”, if the display is said to be 1080p, then these are the number of pixels in that display.
Some of the common Monitor Resolutions are:
- 1280 x 720 – HD – 720p – Not a common display resolution
- 1366 x 768 – HD – 768p – Frequently found in low-end laptops
- 1920 x 1080 – Full HD (FHD) – 1080p – Very popular resolution in most modern monitors
- 2560 x 1440 – Quad HD (QHD) – 1440p or 2K – Increasingly popular resolution in gaming laptops and monitors
- 3840 x 2160 – 4K Ultra HD (4K UHD) – 2160p or 4K – Popular resolution in TVs and some gaming monitors
- 7680 x 4320 – 8K Ultra HD (8K UHD) – 4320p or 8K – Slowly gaining popularity in high-end TVs
What is Pixel Density?
Another important factor to consider when looking for a monitor is its Pixel Density. It is measured in Pixels Per Inch or PPI and indicates the number of pixels in an inch. For example, consider 100 x 100p image. If it is printed on a 2 square inch size, then it is said to have a 50PPI. And if it printed on a 4 square inch size, then it is said to have 25PPI.
The 25PPI image looks pixelated when compared to 50PPI image, even though both are having 100 x 100p resolution.
Coming to monitors, you can calculate the PPI using the horizontal resolution in pixels, vertical resolution in pixels and diagonal size in inches with the help of Pythagorean Theorem.
1080p or Full HD (FHD)
A monitor with a 1080p resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio will have 1920 horizontal pixels and 1080 vertical pixels. 1080p resolution is also known as Full HD or FHD. It is one of the most popular screen resolutions in HDTVs, laptops and monitors.
In gaming, 1080p is considered the entry-level resolution. So, most popular gaming monitors have a 1080p resolution. Also, driving a 1080p monitor doesn’t put a lot of stress on the hardware (CPU and GPU). So, if you are on a strict budget and your rig is not an extremely high-end CPU / GPU combo, then a 1080p monitor is a great option.
Also, most gamers prefer 1080p monitors with refresh rate as you can easily achieve higher frame rate. 1080p monitor with 240Hz refresh rate is one of the most popular choice of gaming monitors.
Coming to the screen size, 1080p resolution is a very option for monitor sizes up to 27”. Anything above 27” will have a poor pixel density and the image looks pixelated. So, we recommend you to buy 1080p monitors up to 27” size.
Advantages of 1080p
- Budget friendly option
- Puts less load on CPU and GPU
- Good resolution for monitors up to 27”
- Has option for high refresh rate, 240Hz or more
- Very good option for competitive gamers
Disadvantages of 1080p
- Insufficient resolution for content creators
- If you want a large size monitor, then 1080p resolution has poor PPI
- Viewing distance is high, when compared to higher resolution monitors
1440p or Quad HD (QHD)
A 1440p monitor with a 16:9 aspect ratio has 2560 horizontal pixels and 1440 vertical pixels. It is also called as 2K resolution (often incorrectly) or Quad HD (QHD). It is becoming a popular choice among gamers and some high-end laptops are also equipped with 1440p displays. It is very rare to find a TV with 1440p resolution.
The reason 1440p is called as Quad HD is because it has four times the resolution of 720p. When you go from 1080p to 1440p, you might not find a significant improvement in terms image quality, but the amount of information it can display is significantly more.
This is clearly visible when you open a website on both 1080p resolution monitor and 1440p resolution monitor. The 1440p monitor will display significantly more data when compared to 1080p monitor. So, you don’t have to scroll much in case of 1440p. This is very useful in content creating applications such as video editing.
Coming to the screen sizes, 1440p monitors are available from 27” and higher. To get the best out of a 1440p resolution, you should choose a monitor which is 27” or more. For 1080p resolution 24” and 27” are the best choice.
Quad HD is slowly gaining popularity among gamers due to the availability of high refresh monitors. Monitors with 1440p resolution and 144Hz refresh rate are slowly becoming the main choice among gamers.
Advantages of 1440p
- 1440p resolution will offer more workspace when compared to 1080p
- Suitable for multitasking and content development
- It is better for screens sizes of 27” and more
Disadvantages of 1440p
- Needs a powerful GPU to drive 1440p monitor
- Refresh rate is often less when compared to 1080p
Comparison Chart: 1080p Vs 1440p
Let us now build a 1080p vs 1440p comparison table.
|1920 x 1080
|2560 x 1440
|Min. Viewing Distance
|3 – 4 ft.
|2 – 3 ft.
|Common Refresh Rate
|120Hz and 240Hz
|Optimal Screen Size
|24” and 27”
|27” and more
|CPU and GPU Requirement
|Low to Medium end
|Medium to High end
Difference between 1080P and 1440P
A monitor’s resolution is an important specification to consider when buying a new one for your gaming setup or productivity. While 1080p has been the go-to resolutions for ‘High Definition’ displays, 1440p and 4K are gradually becoming increasing popular.
The main advantage of 1080p monitors is they became very affordable and come with ridiculously high refresh rates of up to 240Hz (or more).
At the same time, there are 1440p monitors with high refresh rates, usually in the ball park of 144Hz and offer a sweet combo of good resolution and higher refresh rates. They are a tad bit expensive than 1080p monitors but are definitely less expensive than 4K monitors.
So, for the time being, it seems that the choice of monitors stands out as 1080p vs 1440p. To understand about these resolutions a little bit better, let us now take a look at the differences between these two with respect some of the key parameters associated with a display.
An image’s Aspect Ratio is the ratio of the width to the height. It is usually expressed as ratio of two number that are separated by a colon. The most popular and widely used aspect ratio in TVs and Monitors is 16:9 while 2.39:1 and 1.85:1 is used in movies.
Coming to 1080p and 1440p monitors, both these monitors are usually available in 16:9 aspect ratio. At this aspect ratio, a 1440p monitor will have 78% more pixels than a 1080p monitor of the same size. What this means is that for the same screen size, a 1440p resolution will pack more information than a 1080p resolution.
It is a measure of number of times an image is displayed in a second. It is measured in Hertz (Hz). For example, a monitor with a 60Hz refresh rate can display 60 images in a second.
A high refresh rate monitor can definitely impact your gaming experience. 144Hz and 240Hz monitors are becoming the norm in the gaming industry.
1080p monitors can have significantly higher refresh rates, usually up to 240Hz. 1440p monitors on the other hand can go up to 144Hz. If you have a 1440p monitor with a refresh rate of 144Hz, then you also must have a powerful CPU and GPU that are capable of producing that many frames at that resolution.
The Frame Rate, which is often measured in Frames per Second or FPS is the number of frames outputted by your CPU and GPU. It is similar to the monitor’s refresh rate but this is the actual frames that will be displayed by your monitor in a second, provided it can actually display them.
For example, if your CPU and GPU can output 1080p image at 120FPS but your monitor has a refresh rate of only 60Hz, then the final image will be 60FPS. So, a perfect combination of CPU, GPU and Monitor is needed for optimum performance.
But high frame rates require more processing power. Hence, we often see competitive gamers lowering the resolution to 720p or 1080p to achieve higher frame rate without stressing the hardware.
Size and Screen Distance
Monitors sizes of up to 27” are good for 1080p resolution. Anything bigger than that will have a low picture quality. For 1440p resolution, screen sizes between 27” and 32” are good.
Another important factor is the distance between you and the monitor and this depends on the resolution of the monitor. For 1080p monitors, the minimum viewing distance should be between 3 – 4 ft. This comes down to 2 – 3 ft. in case of 1440p resolution monitors due to increase in pixel count.
1080p Vs 1440p For Professional and Everyday Use
For productivity, content creation (video and image editing) and everyday use, a 1440p monitor will offer more real estate, especially if the screen size is 27” or more. The increased pixel count will allow you to open two applications side by side for an efficient use of the workspace.
As far as media consumption is concerned, playing a Full HD video on a 1440p monitor might reduce the quality a little bit (due to media player’s up conversion). But YouTube and other media streaming services now offer 4K videos. So, if possible, you can set the resolution to 1440p to get the best quality.
1080p Vs 1440p For Gaming
Most competitive gamers tend to use a low resolution such as 720p or 1080p to play games to achieve high frame rate without stressing out CPU and GPU. 1440p resolution needs a powerful graphics card to drives those extra pixels and as a result, the frame rate could be lower.
A 1080p monitor with high refresh rates such as 240Hz is one of the best combinations for gamers as most modern graphics cards can easily drive the resolution and push higher frame rates as well. As the latest graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD are quite powerful, driving 1440p is not at all a problem and as a result, 1440p resolution monitors with 144Hz refresh rates are becoming very popular among gamers.
Bigger resolution is always good but higher refresh rate is also important especially if you are a gamer. For gaming needs, we recommend a 1080p monitor with a 240Hz refresh rate. For productivity and content creation jobs, a 1440p monitor with 144Hz refresh rate is a good choice. This option is also good for gamers but make sure you have a decent CPU and GPU to drive the monitor. Coming to the screen size, 24” and 27” are good for 1080p resolution while 27” monitor is good for 1440p resolution.