So it’s getting to be the time I need to buy a new monitor.

I’ve been using a 20 inch 1600 x 1200 Dell for the last several years, after it was brought up to the majors, so to speak, from backup status as the-monitor-in-the-closet that I connected directly to the Raspberry Pi, back when my main 30 inch 2560 x 1600 Yamakasi went out.

It’s been a bit cramped, to be frank. To be.. Frank Drebbin. But, as I was saying, my 4:3 time might be coming to an end. I’m a bit disappointed there aren’t more 16:10 monitors, but I guess I should just shut up before the now-dominant 16:9 roasts me in the town square. I swear, 1:1 or something is going to make a comeback. Circular screens or something. One of these days.

So, what’s a man to do? I could buy..

  1. a cheap 1080p60 panel - why even? proceed to page whatever
  2. a 1080p144 or 1080p240 panel - great for fast games, but terrible otherwise
  3. a 1440p60 panel - a worthy Yamakasi replacement
  4. a 1440p144 panel - shee-it, boy-ee!
  5. a 2160p60 panel - halfway to an iMac Retina screen..
  6. a 2160p120+ panel - not happening on my budget..

144 Hz seems to be quite expensive, although some people seem to really like it. I have a laptop which is in fact 120 Hz with G sync, which is kind of a older but slightly better variable rate refresh technology. While I think it is quite good, I’m not sure what premium I would assign it: maybe $100, 150, $200, but I will not pay for $500 to just get 120 Hz for games. I’m not super sensitive to v-sync lag or whatever. Freesync seems to help most just below refresh rate.

I want something at least 1440p and I don’t want to spend more than $500, therefore 144 Hz is just out of the question. I might be able to settle for 120 Hz.

It’s kinda surprising that there isn’t really a clear best monitor out there; so many monitors, but it doesn’t really help.

One thing I do find weird is how far people like to place their monitor from their face. I don’t like when the monitor is out of reach: if you can’t touch it with your knuckle, like with your palm of your hand, I don’t like how far that is. And given that no one is forcing you to keep it so far away (they don’t design our uniforms..) perhaps people prefer seeing many screens, from far away.

There is also a side issue of how long I should expect this monitor to last. 3-5 years?

One thing I do know from years of experience is that my preference lies as a one monitor man. Ok, I don’t got time to be wasting my eyeballs looking at two different screens all day. Today, I need one screen right in front of me.

Another subject which I have just recently cleared up is the matter of Ultra Wide monitors and curved monitors, thankfully it’s a short summary: I don’t like them.

So to recap, I have not yet bought a monitor, but I am very close. I have narrowed it down to a 1440p60-144? or 2160p60 ideally with freesync.

I am slightly disappointed that my Yamakasi only lasted three years, maybe two, before the power brick went out. I would like, in reaction to that, to stick to a namebrand (this is also why I consider the warranty question). I want something to last long enough to get my money’s worth. I only paid $270 for that 30 inch, so I ended up basically expensing $100 a year on monitors; for a five year monitor at that rate, I might as well pay $500.

$500 seems a lot, sure. You spend so much, but I remember the 90s and I’m pretty sure they were a lot more expensive for 15 inch 1024 x 768 CRTs. Like maybe $300 for the 15, $500 for the 17. Though, to be fair, many CRTs were 85+ Hz. Not all bad..

Contenders

  1. BenQ PD2700U, $499: 2160p60, freesync 40-60 Hz

  2. BenQ PD2500U, $299: 1440p60, no freesync?

  3. Some Acer Predator..

  4. Dell S2721DGF, $449: 1440p165, g+freesync

The Dell looks like the winner over both BenQs. All it lacks is color accuracy, in comparison. As someone who wants more than 60 Hz for my next screen, the decision seems easy at this point..

What a relief! Lol. My analysis worked out, I suppose. I might get the “shee-it boy-ee” option listed above, with a little bit of room in the budget, from the brand I’m already relying on with no complaints.

My old NEC has bad contrast above #eee or so, whereas the Dell just looks right, all for maybe $40 shipped on eBay. That is the tell of a good monitor brand, IMO.