Advice for purchasing a new PC monitor


I’m enjoying The Division so much that I think it’s a shame to play it in my super cheapo old TN 21” Dell such that I’m thinking of upgrading. Everything about my PC is new except the monitor, so it’s time for it to go. But I have a GTX 1060, I’m not looking at 4K. I’m totally happy with 1080p. And so, with all things considered, I’m seriously thinking of that Ultrawide Dell 29”, mainly because I think aside from gaming, I will benefit from a wider monitor in terms of productivity. So, my question is, playing 1080p in that wide monitor will surely yield ugly black bars on both sides but how bad is the visual impact? I suppose if I played borderless windows mode, I can mask the sides with chat windows or some dashboard widgets like CPU usage, RAM, etc. Anyone tried this type of setting or should I forget Ultrawide totally?


Do you currently have a second display?


Why wouldn’t you just play in native 2560x1080? Dial back a couple of settings to account for the extra pixels rendered.


Not all games actually support Ultrawide, so in that case you can select it but the game just puts black boxes on the sides.


Yeah but I assumed The Division would.

*checked - it does, but cutscenes are pillar-boxed which I’d guess is pretty common.


I think he’s talking about generally speaking with regards to Ultrawide gaming, not The Division specifically.


Right. I’ve not used one, but in those cases I’d think having black bars on the sides of a 16:9 image is not much worse than having air to the sides of a 16:9 screen? :)

I guess it’s annoying that your screen is not getting used, I know I do feel that way when playing games locked to 4:3…


Well… maybe. “Air” is working as intended, as there isn’t anything there, of course. But if you had a really big, wide monitor …oh you just edited your post, haha, with what I was going to say. :)

EDIT - Honestly it’s the reason I decided to stick with 16:9 for now. I think playing on a nice Ultrawide would be very cool, but the moments when it’s a PITA is why I’m not willing to bite.


Lol yeah sorry! :D


I had asked a few hours ago about a second display, and before I forget where I was going with that let me throw some thoughts out there for you, as I’m gearing up to be away from my desk for a bit now.

So if you do NOT have a second display, what you need isn’t necessarily an ultrawide display but rather a very nice display, in the 24 or 27" range, to get the most out of your gaming. If you get a 27" display, I recommend 1440p. If space/budget is more of an issue, stick with 24" at 1080p. I don’t think 1080 looks great at 27" or above, but that’s just my opinion.

And to go a step further, since you have an Nvidia card, you will want something with Gsync and a really nice IPS panel to really blow your socks off. The nice thing about a great monitor, is it’s one of those upgrades that can last years and years so it’s a great investment.

If you want to stick with 1080p, which your 1060 can drive very well indeed of course, I would look at this one instead of an ultrawide, and keep the 21" as a secondary display - something you can browse the web, have netflix open, steam chat, or etc. while you game on your primary display.

I don’t see any 24" 1080p displays with Gync that feature IPS, which is a shame, but I believe this will be a fantastic display all the same.

If you want to try your hand at 27", I believe strongly that 1440p is the ideal PC use resolution - none of the 4K jank some applications/games like to have, works great for everything from watchying videos/movies to browsing the web, and 27" is a near perfect size.

The 27" display I’m looking to buy is right here:

So maybe ask yourself what you are really looking to get out of your gaming/PC time and go from there?


With a 1060, I’d go with 1080p, not 1440, personally.


This is the one I have. It’s pretty awesome. But you do need a good GPU to drive high refresh at 1440p.


For sure, but I have a 1080GTX FTW so I should be all set. When I turn v-sync off I can benchmark some games on Ultra at over 90fps even (hell Bioshock Infinite I scored over 140) so I should definitely get mileage out of the upgrade.

Some games still run (on Ultra, I refuse to go down on quality) fairly okay, but not as amazing as I’d assume. I attribute some of this to sub-optimal game engine design though. Total War Warhammer II on Ultra/1440p I dip below 60fps some times, but again here I’m assuming having g-sync will make that feel nicer when it happens.


1060 is essentially a 970, which smokes 1080p and is very competent at 1440p. Just don’t expect all high settings and 60fps.


I’ll sometimes go down on quality to get closer to a solid 90. Depends on the game; sometimes those ultra settings are kind of pointless overkill. Agents of Mayhem for example, getting a beautifully smooth 120hz on that for me beats the visual upgrade of enabling the screen-space reflections and what have you, which drag it back closer to 60. :)

TW: Warhammer loves a good CPU too though so that may not just be a GPU bottleneck. I think Gsync frame drops feel mostly like they do with vsync off, except you don’t get any screen tearing.


I’ll drop settings to get to locked 60fps, but once past that threshold I prioritize image quality. Not that it’s been much of a concern with my 1080 at 1440p.


Thanks to all the great reply especially @Scott_Lufkin for taking the time. The problem of different timezone is that I was asleep when you had all these great discussions going on.

I don’t have a secondary display. I could use my current pathetic screen as a secondary display but I rather not. It will be a poor man’s monitor compare to the new one side by side.

And yes, I don’t want to play at native 2560x1080, which I think the 1060 will struggle. I mean, I just bought this card and I don’t want to dial back the settings :) :)
In fact, if I have to, I’d rather go for the Dell Ultrasharp 27" rather that the Ultrawide. I am exploring Ultrawide to see if it is viable or not.

yeah, maybe I should too… But I am of the mind that I will be changing my GFX in the next 2 years, so it is better to get a monitor that could last a bit longer. 4K is too expensive for me now and at 4K, my current GFX would be obsolete.


My advice is to go with a 24" Dell Ultrasharp. I have this one and I love it - As a 1200p display, it’s got a lot going for it. It’s taller and wider than you are used to by far, has amazing color, and an IPS screen. It’s a great height/shape for 1080p (well, 1200p but it’s just a little taller). Content that runs only at 1080p just puts borders along the top, which is subtle and welcome when they are needed.

The reason for this suggestion is, based on what you just wrote back, I think it will be a very nice upgrade for you and then in a few years when you get a new display and a new video card, this will be an outstanding secondary display (it’s what I am using now for my secondary display).

I’d still try to use the 21" as a secondary - sure it won’t look nearly as nice when put side by side with a new monitor, but on the other hand the utility of a second monitor is well worth it. It’s a huge game changer. Give it a try, if you really feel like the differences between the new and old are distracting, then take it out of the mix, but I think you’ll find it’s just too useful to give up.


Yeah, I’m inclined towards the 2417 though - does the last two number indicates year as in 17 is 2017? Not sure. Definitely will want to go with IPS. But yeah, the current 21” can be a secondary monitor, although I wish mine could be made to stand on portrait mode. That will be really useful for forum browsing :)

I will miss the built in speaker - I know, it sucks, but I really like the minimalist desktop of a built in speaker. And I don’t really want my games to be blasting out loud and if I really want it loud, there’s always the wireless headphones.


The 2417 is not “newer” per se, it’s a 1080p model. Well, I’m sure it’s newer in the sense it was manufactured this year, but it’s not a direct replacement for the 2415, which is the 1200p display, and it has more height to it. I’m sure both are fine options for you, though, it just depends on what you are looking for. I don’t see Dell made a newer variant on the 1200p, but I suspect 1200p displays are going the way of the dodo in favor of 16:9 1440p, which is a shame. 1600p isn’t a resolution one sees very often, whicih would be 16:10 aspect ratio, and I think that’s a bummer, too, but what can you do?