Best Monitor for Graphic Design, Video Editing & 3D Animation (Updated)

Best Monitor for Graphic Design, Video Editing & 3D Animation (Updated)

CG Director Author Alex  by Alex   ⋮   ⋮   70 comments
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The great thing about buying a Monitor for Graphic Design, Video Editing, Photo Editing or 3D Animation and CAD, is that all of these tasks are visually demanding and therefore require very similar features from a Monitor.

You can get an excellent Monitor for editing your photos, and at the same time have great screen quality in Video Editing or when hopping into your 3D Modeling Software of choice.

Many creatives work in more than just one field of Digital Content Creation, and it helps a lot that you don’t necessarily need highly specialized Hardware for every single task, at least when looking for Monitors.

When buying PCs or Laptops, many of the abbreviations such as CPU, GPU, Cores or RAM, are mostly already well known.

Monitors, though, still have lots of features that sound gibberish and at times it is difficult to tell what features are important and what is just marketing speak.

We will go through all of the important features to look out for when comparing and buying Monitors for visually demanding work and finish the Article with some great Monitor suggestions, depending on your budget and requirements.

Let’s dive in!

What Medium will your work be shown on?

The first thing we should ask ourselves when looking for a new Monitor, is: what type of Media are we creating our work for?

For example:

When we work in Photoshop we might edit some photos, that will then be printed on an Inkjet Printer.

If we work in Graphic Design, we might be designing Logos that both will be shown on Websites and also be printed on Posters and Flyers.

When working in Motion Design, Video Editing or 3D Animation, we can usually say that our work stays mostly digital and will be shown on screens.

What kind of screens, though?

Are you animating for Film and your work is shown in Movie Theaters? Or are you editing some clips that will be shown on Twitter and will mostly be viewed on mobile devices?

Twitter vs. Movie Theater Display

Twitter vs. Movie Theater Display

Why am I asking all of this?

Because firstly, you should have a good grasp of how your target group will experience the work you are creating. This can be done through proofing devices, such as a proofing Monitor or Mobile Phones, or TVs, depending on what your target group is using.

And secondly, you can always overproduce your work and spend too much time on details, color accuracy or frames per second, that your target group might not even be able to appreciate, given their inferior devices.

Here are some examples of Monitor-features that might not be entirely necessary, depending on your work and target group:

  • getting a 4K Monitor when you usually output small-resolution gifs
  • buying a highly color-accurate Monitor when your target group only uses  low-quality Mobile screens
  • going for a 144Hz Display when your Animations run at 25FPS

You can easily save some money here, so it is good to know how accurate and high-quality your work has to be, to find the minimum feature requirements in a Monitor.

Of course, you might need the features elsewhere, 144Hz when you are gaming, for example, or the 4K display for having multiple applications open at once, but you get the gist.

Long story short:

Think about what the final Media output will be, that your work will ultimately be shown on (print, magazine, internet, mobile, TV, projector…) and keep that in mind when reading the rest of the article.

Let’s take a look at the most important features in a great Monitor for visually demanding tasks:

Panel Type

There are three main Panel Types in today’s modern Monitors.

  • The TN Panel (Twisted nematic)
  • The VA Panel (Vertical Alignment)
  • The IPS Panel (In-plane Switching)

Now, these three panel-types have some very specific characteristics, and it will become clear quite fast, what panel type we should pick for our kind of visually demanding work.

Take a look at the following table:

TN VA IPS
Performance Fastest: low response times, highest refresh rates, minimal motion blur; Low input lag Longest response times typically; Higher refresh rates possible Slower response times than TN, faster response times than VA; Gaming-quality refresh rates are rare
Display Worst viewing angles;
Worst color
Viewing angles typically better than TN, worse than IPS;
Good color;
Best contrast;
Best image depth
Best viewing angles;
Best color
Pricing Cheapest Pricier models can have performance comparable to TN Most expensive
Best Use Gaming General Use Professional

The IPS Panel is the best panel type for our kind of work. We need the best color display possible to be able to accurately design our project’s contents.

Having a high viewing angle lets us view the Monitor from different angles, so even a colleague or client standing or sitting next to you can take a look at what you are seeing, without obscuring the contrast and colors too much.

Top of the line Monitors with IPS Panels usually have at least a 178° Viewing angle vertically and horizontally, which is very helpful.

Monitor Viewing Angle

Image-Credit: benq

The two main downsides to an IPS Panel Monitor are the Price and the latency. The Latency doesn’t concern us as much, as we are buying the Monitor for professional use and not high-end gaming.

The Price, of course, is another matter, but given that we mostly earn our living with the work we do at the PC and in front of the Monitor, it should be worth spending a premium for the highest-possible quality-Display that will serve us well for a long time.

And it is true, Monitors usually last a lot longer than, say, PC-Components, as the technology progression is much slower. You can easily use a good Monitor for 2 – 3 generations of PC Upgrades or more.

Glossy vs. Matte Reflection

Here is the thing about Display Surface finishes:

There are a lot of Tablets, iMacs, and Monitors out there that just look expensive and high quality, very much thanks to the polished and reflective finishing treatment they received.

But the thing is, we should stay clear of glossy/reflective Monitors because having bright Objects, such as lamps and windows or even other displays, reflect in your Monitor, distracts you from your work and can make it hard to see what is displayed.

Monitor Reflections Glossy vs Matte

Monitor Reflections: Matte vs. Glossy

Professional Monitors have Matte surfaces, meaning the reflections that bounce off of the surface of the display, are being scattered and at the same time dimmed, to make the picture quality as clear as possible.

Always go for a Matte Finish over a Glossy Finish for professional work.

Color accuracy & Gamut

The color gamut describes a range of colors within the spectrum of colors that are identifiable by the human eye (visible color spectrum).

Within this visible Color spectrum, there are areas that a monitor can be rated for. “sRGB” and “Adobe RGB” being the most popular.

Color Gamut - Best Monitor for Graphic Design

Image-Source: Viewsonic

As you can see in the Image above, Adobe RGB covers a larger color spectrum than sRGB, which is why you will find many monitors supporting a higher percentage of the sRGB spectrum more easily than the Adobe RGB spectrum.

Our goal, when buying a good monitor, is to maximize the percentage of both sRGB and Adobe RGB.

As discussed above, to get the best possible color ranges we will have to look at monitors with IPS panels, as TN panels lack accuracy in this area. But even within Monitors that have IPS panels, there are still great differences.

You will usually see most Monitors have at least 90% sRGB Spectrum coverage and above 70% Adobe RGB spectrum coverage. The higher the coverage percentage, the more expensive the Monitors get.

Monitors with 99% or even 100% of Adobe RGB coverage can cost a good premium, compared to monitors with around 70-80% of Adobe RGB Spectrum coverage.

This is an excellent time to think about how important color accuracy is to you and your work, as you pay a large premium for highly color-accurate monitors.

Color Bit depth

Monitors usually have one of two popular Color Bit depths. 8bit and 10bit.

These bit depths are understood as bits per channel, meaning with 8 bits you will have 256 color steps per channel (R, G and B). Together they make up the 24bits per color, or 16.7 Mio Colors-range, that we are mostly accustomed to.

10bit Monitors can output 10bits per channel, so 1024 color steps per channel. This makes 30bits per color and totals a 1 Billion Color-range.

Let’s go with the 1 billion colors, which should be much better than just measly 16.7 Mio colors, right?

The problem with this though is, yes more colors are better, but your other Hard- and Software (apart from your Monitor) has to support this too!

You will need a Graphics Card that supports 10bit output (usually just Quadro or Radeon Pro Workstation GPUs) and your work will have to be in at least 10 bits too.

If you are working on a JPG Image, or MP4 Movie, or Render your Animation to a png-sequence, all of these formats store color in 8bits per channel, meaning your 10bits per channel Monitor will not show any additional Bit depth in your work.

Then again, if you work on Canon RAW, RED 10bit, or EXR Sequences (and others), you might very well be able to see the higher color range, that a 10bit Monitor will grant you.

Especially in Gradients, or Vignetted uniform Backgrounds, you can quickly spot if a Monitor is making good use of its 10bit capability.

8bit 10bit difference gradient color bit detph

Visualization of the difference between 8bit and 10bit Color Output (Exaggerated)

FRC

Apart from the native 10bit capability, there is an interesting way for Monitors to achieve higher bit depth, called FRC (Frame Rate Control).

8Bit Monitors can increase their Bit depth by rapidly flashing pixels close to each other on and off, which gives the impression of higher Bit Depth, as multiple pixels and colors are blended this way.

If you truly want to make good use of a 10bit Monitor, go with a 10bit Monitor that achieves 10Bit color without FRC though, as FRC can produce flickering and will never be as accurate as true 10bit support.

So to summarize: 10bit is great, but only if it can be achieved without using FRC.

Monitor Size & Resolution

The Size and Resolution of Monitors is more deeply intertwined than one might think.

The Size of a Monitor is usually stated in Inches (“) of the Diagonal of the Screen Span. This makes it somewhat troublesome to discern the actual width and height of the Screen, as you additionally have to look up the Aspect Ratio to truly know how wide and tall a Monitor is.

So a 27” Monitor that has an Aspect Ratio of 4:3 would be much taller and less wide, than a 27″, 16:9 Monitor.

Take a look at the following two Monitors. They are both 25″! So be sure to also look up the Aspect Ratio.

Image-Source: NEC

Image-Source: LG

Nowadays Monitors usually come in Aspect Ratios of 16:9 or 16:10, and Ultra-Wide Monitors are making appearances more and more, with Aspect Ratios of 21:9 or wider.

The most popular Monitors for professional work are sized 24” or 27” inches and up, with an aspect ratio of 16:9.

There are many reasons why wide-Screen Monitors have become so popular:

  • Looks more Cinematic
  • Better fits our eye’s Field of Vision
  • Lots of work being created is in a wide-screen format
  • In games, Objects of interest are usually placed on a landscape, which extends horizontally

Now, because the Pixel-distance in a Monitor depends on the size and Resolution of the Monitor’s Panel, one should keep in mind that buying larger Monitors should usually go hand in hand with higher Resolutions.

The reason is quite simple:

You sit at a more or less fixed distance of about 60cm from your Monitors and the larger the Monitors get, the easier you will be able to see individual Pixels in the Monitor’s panel if you don’t also either:

  • increase the Resolution or
  • increasing the sitting distance, when increasing the Monitor size.

As we want bigger Monitors that can fit more details, the only viable potion is to also increase the resolution. Sitting further away would not help us much and would only use up more room in our office space.

At standard sitting distances, we want to avoid seeing individual pixels as much as possible, for the best work experience possible.

Here are some pointers as to how high the resolution should be on your Monitor, so you see an even Image without any individual Pixels:

  • At 24” Monitor sizes you will need at least a Full HD (1920px x 1080px) Monitor
  • with 27” go with at least WQHD: 2560px x 1440px
  • at 32” and up you will need 4K displays (3840px x 2160px)

This is based on the assumption that your viewing distance stays the same.

If you sit far enough away, say your Desk is very deep and your Monitor sits a lot farther back than 60cm from your eyes, of course, you can get away with a lower resolution than recommended above.

4K and High-DPI Displays

When going with a smaller Monitor that has a high resolution, say a 23” Monitor that has a 4K Resolution, you should beware, that although you fit more on the screen, the text, icons, menus, GUI and other on-screen information will also become much smaller.

This can strain your eyes and might make you tired earlier, so don’t overdo the Resolution on smaller Monitors.

Microsoft Windows has a feature called Display Scaling, which can scale your User Interface Elements up, so they are easier to read on high DPI Monitors, but not all third Party Software supports this and it might make your Interface somewhat blurry when interpolation kicks in.

Contrast Ratio

When browsing for new Monitors you’ll most likely come across some Manufacturers advertising their Monitors as having 1,000,000,00,000,000,000 gazillion to 1 dynamic Contrast ratio.

This sounds great but is pure marketing speak and doesn’t help us in discerning if the particular Monitor is good or not.

Two things are usually stated in the spec sheet:

  • Dynamic Contrast Ratio and
  • Static Contrast Ratio

You can ignore the Dynamic Contrast pretty much, as this value is obtained by measuring the widest distance between dark and light a monitor can project at different brightness settings.

“Different” is the important word here, as you certainly won’t switch around your brightness or turn on and off the back-lighting all the time to get that great contrast the manufacturer is speaking of.

What we want is the widest distance between dark and light a monitor can project at the same brightness setting.

This is what Static Contrast Ratio states and what we should look out for when buying the best Monitor for Graphic Design, Video Editing, 3D Animation or many other visually demanding use cases out there.

Aim for an IPS Panel Monitor that has at least 500:1 static contrast ratio, better 1000:1.

Brightness

Brightness is an easy one. The higher the cd/m² (candela [light intensity] per meter squared) the brighter the Monitor will be.

Don’t make the mistake of getting a Monitor that is too bright though.

Think about where and when you work and what your environment looks like.

If you do lots of night shifts or work in dark rooms, a bright Monitor will be counter-productive, as your eyes can adapt to overall ambient light intensity.

This means, when it’s dark the pupils dilate, let more light onto your retina and you will need less brightness on your Monitor.

If you work outdoors or are in a very brightly lit environment, a Monitor with high cd/m² will do wonders for you.

Long story short:

Lean towards a slightly brighter Panel and look out for a Monitor with 300cd/m² – 350cd/m² Brightness, which is a good value for most environment settings.

In the end, you can always regulate the brightness down somewhat but never increase it over the value the underlying hardware is capable of.

Monitor Refresh Rate: 60hz, 120hz, 144hz +

This Image nicely shows what Refresh Rate is NOT about:

Monitor Refresh Rate

Image-Source: Asus

Asus had this Image floating around for a while, and I am taking they were exaggerating a bit to push the point they were trying to make:

The higher the refresh rate of a Monitor the more individual Images per second it can display.

This doesn’t mean, Monitors with “just” 60Hz all of a sudden start showing Motion Blur in fast movements.

It means that when playing games that run at over 60fps or watching Movies that have higher frame rates than 60fps, or playing back anything on the Monitor such as a Video Editing timeline or a 3D Animation Viewport, your screen will also output more than 60 Images per second.

The human eye will see a difference in having a game run at 60fps compared to 144fps, that is undeniable. But do you need it for professional work?

Think about what your work entails:

Are you animating at 25fps, or Editing Videos at 60fps or higher? Are you designing static Brochures and Logos, which don’t really have all that much movement at all?

Or are you a game developer, who constantly has to test their Games and who optimizes for VR which should have extremely high refresh rates?

You probably get the gist. If you often work on projects where high refresh rates are important, you will need a high refresh rate Monitor. 🙂

Most of the time, though, apart from Gaming or high-fps Video editing, I’d say 90% of us Graphics Designers, Video Editors and 3D Artists will need no more than a 60Hz Monitor.

Curved, Flat or Ultra wide?

In addition to 16:9 standard Flat Monitors, I have worked on both Ultra-wide Curved and Ultra-wide Flat Monitors and I have to say that I personally still prefer standard-sized Monitors (or multiple standard-sized Monitors) over Ultra-wide Monitors.

I feel it is much easier to arrange and maximize windows across Multiple standard-sized Monitors than trying to place them precisely on an ultra-wide, which takes a bit more time than a simple double click.

There is some extra Software that usually comes with Ultra-wides which tries to simulate having multiple displays, but this just doesn’t feel like the real thing.

Another benefit of going with multiple normal-sized Monitors is that you can go with different types of monitors, one having a high resolution the other having good color quality, which just makes me able to work more flexibly.

curved monitor

Image-Source: Samsung

For Gaming, Ultra-Wides or curved Monitors are quite popular and the benefits for gaming are undoubted, but I wouldn’t yet recommend these for most kinds of professional work.

How many monitors?

As can be seen in the following survey, most people who work in 3D Animation, Graphic Design or Video Editing have at least two Monitors.

How many Monitors do you use?
  • Two Monitors 56%, 974 votes
    974 votes 56%
    974 votes - 56% of all votes
  • Just one Monitor 32%, 555 votes
    555 votes 32%
    555 votes - 32% of all votes
  • Three Monitors 10%, 181 vote
    181 vote 10%
    181 vote - 10% of all votes
  • More than 3 Monitors 2%, 41 vote
    41 vote 2%
    41 vote - 2% of all votes
Total Votes: 1751
10. Apr, 2019

You can have your Software palettes and Main GUI as well as your Timeline on one Monitor, and have a second Monitor for your Footage and Previews or Images you are working on.

A 24” lower quality Monitor for your Software Interface and a 27” Monitor with great color and contrast is a quite popular setup.

Almost all Monitors have VESA mounts which let you mount your Monitors on Monitor Arms. This frees up a lot of your desk space and can increase flexibility and ease of use especially with Monitors that Pivot or have to be tilted around a lot.

vivo monitor arm mount

Image-Source: VIVO

If you want to go with only a single Monitor you should consider a larger one, with a high resolution that will fit both your Software Interface and your Footage on the same screen, without having to switch between maximizing or expanding different areas of your Software all the time.

Going 27” or larger with a WQHD Resolution or even 4k Resolution would be recommended in this case.

Additional Features

Sun-Shade: If you find yourself in an Environment that often reflects bright lights off of your Monitor you might want to get a Sun-shade or Monitor Hood. This can greatly reduce environmental reflections and also helps with increasing privacy.

Pivot: Some Monitors have the ability to Pivot 90° or more which comes in handy when switching between 16:9 and 9:16 Editing, or reading long Websites and Documents that fit 9:16 much better than a 16:9 Monitor. Combine a Pivoting Monitor with a Monitor Arm Mount for maximum flexibility.

Additional Connectors: Nowadays, Monitors even offer Connectors such as USB and Headphone Jacks, where you can plug in your Devices without having to reach underneath your desk for the PC. This comes in Handy with devices that have short Cables or can act as a (USB) HUB if you are short on plugs.

Multiple Display Connectors: Many Monitors come with multiple Display Input Connectors, such as HDMI, Display Port, DVI, and VGA. Firstly this means you can use the cable you like and have handy, but secondly you can attach multiple PCs or Devices to your Monitor and use the On-Screen-Display Source Switcher to switch between the Source that should be displayed on the Monitor without having to unplug and rearrange cables constantly.

Warranty: Check the Warranty duration as this can be an area where Manufacturers like to save some Value on.

Audio / Speakers: Built-in Speakers can be a nice add-on too. They will never have great quality but can be quite practical when switching away from your headphones to show a client, boss or friend what you are working on.

Calibrating your Monitor

The best Monitors are only truly great when they are calibrated correctly. You want to make sure the colors and brightness are set to calibrated values, as this makes sure the projects you are working on will look the same on your Monitor as they will later on in the Movies, in Print Products, on TVs or on Mobile Phones.

Many Monitors come with calibrated presets, but not all Monitors are manufactured exactly the same and can differ from time to time.

A great way to calibrate your Monitor is to use a Monitor Calibration Tool such as the Datacolor SpyderX Pro. You hook it up to your PC and attach it to your Monitor for a short time and let it do its calibration.

DataColor SpyderX Pro Monitor Calibration

Image-Source: Datacolor

This is especially helpful when you have more than one Monitor, and both don’t seem to be displaying colors in the same way, which can be a nuisance.

Summary

Now that we have had quite an in-depth look at the most important features a great Monitor for Graphic Design, Video Editing, 3D Animation and other creative tasks should have, let’s do a quick summary.

The best Monitor for creative and graphical work should have of the following features:

  • Panel Type: IPS Panel
  • Surface Finish: Matte Reflection
  • Color Accuracy: Adobe RGB and sRGB should be as high as possible percentage-wise
  • Color depth: 8bit for most, go 10bit Color Depth if you know you can make use of it
  • Size: at least 24” at Full-HD Resolution, the larger the Monitor the higher the Resolution should be
  • Contrast: static contrast ratio of at least 500:1, better 1000:1 (not dynamic contrast!)
  • Brightness: Depends on the brightness of your work environment, but good specs are between 300 – 350 cd/m²
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz Refresh Rate for most. If your Work entails high-speed footage or game-design, go 100Hz, 120Hz or 144Hz
  • Multiple Monitors & Type: I recommend at least two Flat, Standard-sized Monitors over Ultra-Wides or Curved Monitors for professional work
  • Additional Features: If you need them: Pivot, USB / Audio Connectors, Multiple Display Connectors such as HDMI, DVI, VGA, Display Port, VESA Monitor Arm Mount Capability, Speakers

Considering all the above must-haves, here they are, the best Monitors for Graphic Design, Video Editing, and 3D Animation work:

Best Monitors for Graphic Design, Video Editing, 3D Animation & other visually demanding work

Best 27″ All-Rounder: Motion Design, Video Editing, 3D

Dell UltraSharp UP2716D, 27″

SIZE PANEL Color Accuracy Bit Depth Resolution Brightness Contrast
27″ / 16:9 IPS 100% Adobe RGB 10bit WQHD 2560×1440 300cd/m² 1000:1
Best Monitor for Graphic Design, Video Editing, 3D Animation: Dell

Image-Source: Dell

The extremely popular Dell UltraSharp UP2716D is a 27″ IPS Monitor comes at a very reasonable price, given its high quality. It has a WQHD Resolution which is good for a 27″  Monitor when you plan on displaying lots of Software GUI from Premiere Pro, After Effects, 3D Animation Software or other DCC Software on it.

Given its 16:9 IPS Panel has 300 cd/m² Brightness and 1000:1 static contrast ratio, it is astonishing that it reaches 100% coverage of both the sRGB and Adobe RGB spectrum.

Highly recommended!

Serious Print Work, Graphic Design

Eizo ColorEdge CG2420, 24″

SIZE PANEL Color Accuracy Bit Depth Resolution Brightness Contrast
24″ / 16:10 IPS 99% Adobe RGB 10bit FullHD 1920×1200 400cd/m² 1500:1
Best Monitor for Graphic Design, Video Editing, 3D Animation: Eizo

Image-Source: Eizo

The Eizo ColorEdge CG2420 is a 24″ Monitor of the finest Quality. It has in-built Color Calibration Hardware, that makes sure everything is set correctly, without having to use external color calibration devices. It comes with a Sun-Shade that minimizes bright reflections on the screen’s surface.

The aspect ratio of 16:10 gives you those additional extra pixels vertically, that let you work more easily on Projects that have brochure- or other print-product-dimensions. With 99% Adobe RGB Color Accuracy, 400cd/m² and a 1500:1 (!) static contrast, this Monitor has you all set for some serious high-quality design work.

4K: Best 27″ extreme Budget Monitor

Philips 276E8VJSB

SIZE PANEL Color Accuracy Bit Depth Resolution Brightness Contrast
27″ / 16:9 IPS 70% Adobe RGB 10bit 4K 3840×2160 350cd/m² 1000:1
Best Monitor for Graphic Design, Video Editing, 3D Animation: Philips

Image-Source: Philips

You absolutely wouldn’t expect these kinds of features at the price point the Philips 276E8VJSB comes in at. It, too, sports a 1000:1 contrast ratio and 350cd/m² brightness with a 27″ IPS Panel and a 4K Resolution of 3840×2160. The Adobe Color Spectrum Coverage isn’t as high as some of the more expensive Monitors, but 70% Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB are not too shabby for this price.

A great pick for beginners who need 4k and more color accuracy than you can get from a TN Panel Monitor.

Check out our specific 4K Monitor Guide for more Recommendations.

4K: Best 32″ Monitor with great Color Accuracy

ASUS ProArt PA329Q

SIZE PANEL Color Accuracy Bit Depth Resolution Brightness Contrast
32″ / 16:9 IPS 99.5% Adobe RGB 10bit 4K 3840×2160 350cd/m² 1000:1
Best Monitor for Graphic Design, Video Editing, 3D Animation: Asus

Image-Source: Asus

The Asus ProArt PA329Q is a monster of a Monitor. It has a 32″ IPS Panel Display with a resolution of 3840×2160. 350cd/m² brightness and 1000:1 contrast are solid and it reaches 99.5% of Adobe RGB Color Spectrum Coverage.

It, too, has 10bit capability that lets you drive the Monitor at higher bit depths, given your other Hard- and Software supports this. Because of its size, you can easily get away with just one of these for your work-place, and can even sit further away from it.

That’s about it! What Monitor are you buying?

Alex from CGDirector - post author

Hi, I'm Alex, a Freelance 3D Generalist, Motion Designer and Compositor.

I've built a multitude of Computers, Workstations and Renderfarms and love to optimize them as much as possible.

Feel free to comment and ask for suggestions on your PC-Build or 3D-related Problem, I'll do my best to help out!

70
Comments

Stuart

Hi Alex, great article. Thank you for you detailed explanation. You’ve made the process of buying a new monitor setup make sense!

I am a web designer with the odd bit of graphic design. For gaming I like to play flight simulators but not very often.

The Philips 276E8VJSB you recommend is very competitively priced at the moment at only £216 which I was going to buy but I wondered what you thought of the https://www.philips.co.uk/c-p/BDM4350UC_00/brilliance-4k-ultra-hd-lcd-display ? I have the desk space. It does have 10bit FRC but I only need 8bit. I’m moving from a 2K Thunderbolt Display and after seeing 4K monitors in shops I’m concerned everything will be to small. It’s got a Anti-Glare slightly shiny screen but again moving from a Thunderbolt Display I’m used to it and like the pop it gives colours.

In addition to the Thunderbolt Display I have two smaller screens each side for documents, text messages, emails etc. I would like to also upgrade these to full HD. What would you recommend?

Thank you for your help.
Stuart

Hey Stuart,

Thank you for the kind words!

The Philips Brilliance BDM4350UC is a good buy if you need 4K resolution and are not too picky when it comes to colour accuracy. It may have an IPS panel and 100% sRGB coverage but tests show that it only has 75% Adobe RGB coverage. While these are not bad numbers, if colour accuracy is very important in the type of work you do, you might not want the BDM4350UC to be your monitor of choice.

No worries though about things getting too small. This may be true with smaller 24-inch or 27-inch 4K displays but since the BDM4350UC measures 42.5 inches, this will not be an issue despite its 4K resolution. My suggestion is for you to visit a shop where a BDM4350UC is available for testing so you can see for yourself just how this monitor fares.

As for the two smaller displays you want to upgrade to Full HD, you don’t have to dent your budget too much with these since you mentioned you will only be using these for documents, emails, etc. Any 24-incher or 27-incher Full HD budget options from Asus, Acer, BenQ, LG, Viewsonic, or Samsung will do in this case.

Cheers,
Alex

Stuart

Thank you Alex. Really appreciate your advice.

Is there a 4K 42 inch or 32 inch monitor you would recommend with better color accuracy?

Hi Stuart,

There are not a lot of 42-inch monitors with 4K resolution currently available in the market. Aside from the Philips Brilliance BDM4350UC, another 42-incher with 4K resolution I can think of is the 42.5-inch ViewSonic VX4380 though it’s a bit lacking in terms of colour accuracy with 95% sRGB coverage and only 70% Adobe RGB coverage.

You have more options in the 32-inch space but in this display size, the best 4K monitor you can get your hands on is the Asus ProArt PA329Q. The PA329Q utilizes an IPS panel display with 4K resolution but in terms of colour accuracy, it can’t be beat with its 100% sRGB coverage and 99.5% Adobe RGB coverage. If you have to have a 32-inch display with 4K resolution that ticks all the boxes in terms of colour accuracy, the Asus ProArt PA329Q is your best bet.

Cheers,
Alex

Andrea

Hey Alex,
I’m currently looking for a monitor that I can use for 3d animation and composting. I’m currently in school for animation and would like to do homework from home but there are so many monitors out there and I’m not sure which one to choose. I’ve set my budget from 300-500$ but if there is one that goes over that you would like to include as well please do, maybe for future reference.
Thanks a bunch
ps. currently I have a i9, 1660 graphics card, 16gb ram.

Vicente Martínez Sánchez

Hi Alex,

in Spain, a store has just launched an offer for this monitor: LG 27UK670-B – 4K UHD Monitor 349 €

What do you think of this monitor?

https://www.lg.com/global/business/monitor/monitor-products/lg-27UK670

Isabella

Hi Alex,
thank you soooo much for this article! It helped me alot.
But know i’m indecisive between the Dell UltraSharp U2719D and the BenQ PD2700Q and also there is the PD2700U but I really dont know if I need an 4K monitor. I am a DTP Designer but now i want to learn Motion Design, videoediting and CGI. So i wont need a monitor for print work.
My main programs will be:
-Cinema 4D
-After Effects
-Premiere
-Illustrator
And also i wanted to ask if the monitor choice has something to do with the personal pc build up or are they completly independent from eachother and i can purchase any monitor i want

My build up is:
-MSI Z370-A PRO
-Asus ROG strix GeForce GTX 1060-6G
-CPU intel core i7-8700K
-be quiet! SHADOW ROCK SLIM CPU aircooler
-RAM 16GB (2x8GB)
-SSD 970 EVO Plus 500GB and SSD 860 EVO 500GB

Thank you very much.
Keep going with your work!

Isabella

Tiago

Hello Alex,

First of all, congratulations on your work and on this article, it’s been really helpfull.

I am an architect and a graphic design enthusiastic (also photography lover).

I am currently using a macbookpro (2,6GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3, Radeon Pro 460 4GB) wich i want to connect to a external monitor.

I work mostly with with CAD, Sketchup, 3dsMax (through Bootcamp), Photoshop and Lightroom.

Sorry for bothering you with this, but i really liked your article and it would be very important for me to have your opinion.

The monitors i’ve been looking are:

– LG 27UK850

– Dell UltraThin S2719DC (I didn’t found much information about color accuracy on this, besides this review at monitornerds.com: “The display easily exceeds 100% sRGB and can reach 85% Adobe RGB for rich and vibrant colors”)

– BenQ PD2700Q

– Apple Thunderbolt Display (a bit old but still nice, i still have one at the office)

– HP Envy 27s

Or do you think i should pay a bit more and get Dell UP2716D?

Thank you very much for your help.

Tiago

P.S. Just to clarify: I’m from Portugal and here I can only get Dell UP2716D at around 600€ on regular stores and I don’t find it on European Amazon (ordering from outside Europe is always a risk since fees and taxes can make the monitor even more expensive). The other models I mentioned I can find them on Amazon in Europe and, so, get better prices. That’s why I asked If it would worth to pay a bit more for that monitor.

Thank you,
Tiago

Tiago

P.S. II – By BenQ 2700Q i meant BenQ 2700U, sorry. Meanwhile I also looked at BenQ2710QC because I’m concerned about possible problems with scaling down to 4k according to your comments bellow.

Also, maybe it’s important that the only with USB-C connectivity (to connect directly to MBP) are LG27UK850; BenQ2710QC; and Dell S2719DC…

Thank you,
Tiago

Hey Tiago,

Thanks for asking!

Among the monitors you’ve mentioned, I suggest that you go for the Dell UP2716D if colour accuracy is important in the work you do. By the way, a couple of your choices such as the LG 27UK850, BenQ PD2700U, and HP Envy 27s are all 27-inch monitors but come with a 4K resolution. Personally, I don’t recommend going for 4K resolution on a 27-inch display because it has a very high DPI (or PPI) that make the ext and GUI/Software Palettes quite small and a little tough to read. In that case, the UP2716D hits the sweet spot in terms of size and resolution at 27 inches and 2560 x 1440 pixels.

You may pay a little bit more for the Dell UP2716D but in exchange, you get a higher degree of colour accuracy thanks to its 100% Adobe RGB AND sRGB coverage. In terms of connectivity, I don’t think you’d have a problem with the Dell UP2716D although you may need to purchase a USB C to DisplayPort Cable so you can plug in the monitor into the USB C port of your MacBook Pro.

Cheers,
Alex

Tiago

Hey Alex,

Thank you for your answer!

I understand what you’re saying and I’ll go for 2k instead of 4k!

I am trying to get Dell UP2716D, i can see now that this monitor really has better specs than its contestants.

Btw, if for some reason I cannot get it, you think Dell S2719DC ir really weaker, right? (I only ask because it’s easier to get it). I only found that information on the monitornerds.com (“The display easily exceeds 100% sRGB and can reach 85% Adobe RGB for rich and vibrant colors”) but I’m afraid this monitor doesn’t have so good specs for professional work…
S2719DC has much more brightness and has HDR10 (and USB-C connectivity) but on the other hand UP2716D has 100% Adobe RGB and is 10bits (8+FRC) and around 1B color against 1.6M of S2719DC.. this makes a great difference, right?

Once again, thank you so much for your help.

Cheers,
Tiago

Tiago

P.S. Dell S2719DC and BenQ PD2710QC (both easier to get for now)

Still, UP2716D is much better, right?

Thanks

Tiago

Hi Alex,
Once again, thank you very much for your help.
I think I’ll go with Dell UP2716D 😉
My only concern about the brightness was because my home office is set up in a balcony/sunroom with big windows (wich I cover with curtains when the sun hits straight, but still is a space with much light during the day).

I know Apple Thunderbolt works well because I already tried it out there, but it has 375cd/m2. On the other hand, Dell UP2716D seems to have better specs, so I guess I will take the risk 😉

Thank you,
Tiago Salvador

Mustafa S

Hey Alex
thanx a lot for your helpful article ,
I need a little help here , i want to buy new PC for cad work and 3d work and Photoshop , and i need a monitor not more than 350 $ , and i find these monitors in local markets because it cost a lot to buy from global markets , and i am confuse cues i can’t compare all these many different inputs , all i need is sharp and clear colors and vary good contrast ,
1- lg 24mk430 24″ 125$
2-samsung cfg73 27″ Qled 350$ srgb 125%
3- lg 29wk600-w 29″ 21:9 250$
4-BenQ EL2870U 4K HDR 375$
5-LG 24UD58-B 300$

Hi Mustafa,

Thanks for asking!

On paper, the Samsung C27FG73, BenQ EL2870U, and LG 24UD58 all look good. The LG model comes with 99% sRGB coverage while the BenQ monitor features 97% sRGB. The Samsung C27FG73 on the other hand features 125% sRGB and 92% Adobe sRGB coverage. However, sharp and clear colours and very good contrast are very relative. If possible, I suggest that you check all three monitors out and compare each in terms of colour accuracy. But all in all, you can’t go wrong whichever you choose among these three.

Cheers,
Alex

Andrea D

Another helpful article, THANK YOU!

598JJ

Hey ,
thanks a lot of the artical you helped me a lot! i was thinking to buy the wide 32″ or 29 monitor but i already have the 24″ so why not combine with 27″ like you write…so i figure it’s better.
i’m working with premier++AF Photoshop and I’m looking for the best monitor. but already the card gtx 1660ti i want to add a monitor.
i have already U2412M 24′ couple of years and I’m not so sure about it, the black are not so black …and even small light reflection disturb it. but yet i think to combine it with 27″…thinking about the u2718q dell .i read not so good review about it, that the price is high for what you get, what do you think ? Dell Ultra Sharp UP2716D, 27″ is better? what is the best choice in this price range of them? i am willing to add budget for the sake of the quality. thank you.

Hey 598JJ,

Thanks for dropping a line!

I agree with what you said about the price of the Dell UltraSharp U2718Q being high and not giving you your money’s worth. Currently going for around $425.00, the U2718Q boasts of having 4K resolution but only has 99.9% sRGB and 75% Adobe RGB.

The Dell UP2716D on the other hand is available for around $379.99. It’s a bit cheaper because this is only a 2K display. However, the UP2716D boasts of having 100% sRGB and 100% Adobe RGB. If color accuracy is important to the type of work you do, the Dell UP2716D should be your top choice. It ticks all the boxes in terms of color accuracy and won’t put too much of a dent on your budget as well.

The u2719d only has a PS display panel, that supports 8bit. If that is ok by you, it’s a good choice too and a bit cheaper.

Cheers,
Alex

598jj

i want to add thinking about the u2719d or u2719dc instead . my computer not support 4k (not enough power)

seemu

Hi Alex,
I’m very lucky when I got this treasure I was looking for a while. I really appreciate your efforts
My question is:
“Refresh Rate” and “Response Time” have the same meaning?
And what does this mean:
1ms (GTG) AND 4ms (GTG)

How Liu

Hi Alex,
Im impressed by all the details you write in our articles. thank you! it’s truly spot on for me. the 6K$ PC build is perfect for my needs.
I do wonder why 8K monitors where not considered. As a professional timelapse video editor I know 8K is still in innovator/early adaptor phase but but high end camera specs like the sony 61mp sony a7r iv can easy produce 8K timelapse video (after editing ofcourse). Im really looking for a 8K monitor which should be 42inch at least.
whats your take on this? do you have any insights/ advice on which monitor would fit the request?