There is a difference in manufacturers, Dell and Apple flatscreen displays are highly regarded for sharpness and quality. Where colour accuracy is extremely important Lacie and Eizo monitors are used by many professional photographers and designers.  Korean manufacturers such as LG and Samsung lead the world in LCD technology and a lot of their panels are used in the displays of other leading brands.

What screen size / resolution should I use for my monitor?

To find out how to change your monitor settings see further down the page

The higher your screen resolution, the sharper images will be, and the more you can see at once

When you increase the screen size, things will look slightly smaller, but you can see more of them;
as a result you have to scroll much less

Recommended Settings For CRT Monitors
Laptop / Flatscreen / Plasma /TFT /LCD see below

Screen Size (measured diagonally)
Standard Monitor
High Quality Monitor
Ultra Quality Monitor
15 inch screen
800 x 600 SVGA
1024 x 768 XGA
1152 x 768
17 inch screen
1024 x 768 SVGA
1280 x 960
1280 x 1024 SXGA
19 inch screen
1280 x 960
1280 x 1024 SXGA
1600 x 1200 UXGA
21 inch screen
1600 x 1200 UXGA
1920 x 1200 WUXGA
2048 x 1536 QXGA
The above settings apply mainly to (CRT) computer monitors, the traditional kind.
Flat screen / LCD / TFT / Plasma / laptop displays aren't as flexible as they are designed with a "native resolution" in mind.  For example many 17 inch TFT displays run happiest at 1280 x 1024.  If the computer is set to less, they will still run at 1280 x 1024 but instead of displaying one monitor pixel for one computer pixel (1:1) they will show two or three monitor pixels for one computer pixel.  This results in less sharpness and tends to look really ugly.  Alternatively they may display the smaller screen size one pixel for one pixel but in the centre of the screen with a black or white border around.

Getting the best out of LCD / plasma / TFT / laptop / flat screen displays often means a quick look in the manual or on the web to find out your model's Native Resolution and setting the computer's graphics to match.  You also need to take into account the aspect ratio of the monitor, if your monitor has a widescreen aspect such as 16:9 or 16:10 then configure your display adaptor to a widescreen aspect resolution eg HD720 or HD1080 like those on the chart below:-

screen resolutions


Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 Monitor Resolution Settings

How do I change my screen size / resolution?
The easiest way (in versions of Windows other than Vista) is to RIGHT CLICK on an EMPTY area of your desktop and choose Properties from the menu that appears
adjust screensize

To change screen resolution settings in Vista, Win7 and Win8, RIGHT CLICK on an EMPTY area of your desktop and choose Personalize from the menu that appears


change vista screen sizechaging vista display settings

In the next Window look near the bottom for the caption Display Settings

In the display properties window go along to the right-hand tab marked "Settings" adjust display properties    
There you will see a slider that lets you increase or decrease the resolution. screen res slider control    

After choosing a new resolution click OK, Windows may now ask you if you wish to restart your computer before applying the new settings; click NO.  If you've chosen a setting that's incompatible with your graphics card and you get a blank screen, don't panic, don't start clicking you might accidentally confirm the new blank settings.  Do absolutely nothing - after 15 seconds your original settings are restored.


Improve the picture further by altering refresh rates

To access the refresh rate settings first click on Advanced
display properties advanced    

In the next window click on Adapter, then click on List All Modes.

You will see a new window with a list of refresh rates, screen resolutions and colour settings.

Always try to use True Color, 32 bit if available

On a traditional monitor, the higher the refresh rate (say 120hz) the steadier and sharper the picture becomes. This isn't always the case with flatscreen monitors and laptops; often 60hz will look better than 80hz

refresh rates advanced    
VGA connectors are being replaced by DVI and HDMI connectors. One benefit of this is that more and more graphics card and monitor combinations have autoadjust features and the end user doesn't have to bother adjusting screen resolution manually.

Click Here for more pages about changing screenres and refresh rates in Windows®
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Click Here For A Wikipedia guide to different resolutions

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