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Within the gaming ecosystem , one of the trickiest issues is always the resolution of the monitors , since the visual experience of the user depends largely on this, but also the performance in games . In this article we are going to tell you what is the resolution most used in gaming monitors, both now and in past years, so that we are going to give a review of the history of gaming in a way.
All screens have a certain resolution, which is defined by two numbers that sound like a minimum to all of us and that really represent the number of pixels shown on the screen. Obviously, the greater the number of pixels displayed, the greater the load that the graphics card has to perform, and that is why we have said before that it has a lot to do with performance. But before looking at the most used resolutions, let’s start with the beginning, since without knowing the base, you will not know what exactly these numbers that define the resolution mean.
What is monitor resolution and what does it entail?
When we talk about the resolution of gaming monitors, we can do it by giving two numbers or with a name that defines it. For example, the Full HD resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels, and these two numbers mean that the screen is 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high. If we multiply one figure by the other, we have the total number of pixels that are being displayed on the screen, in this case 2,073,600 pixels. In the case of a 4K monitor, its resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels, 8,294,400 pixels displayed on the screen in total.
The more pixels the screen displays, the sharper the image will be. Continuing with the example of Full HD and 4K, you may have already noticed that 4K shows exactly four times more pixels than Full HD, which means that what in Full HD is shown with a single pixel in 4K is shown in 4, allowing for greater definition, better transition between colors and smoother edges; All in all, sharpness and visual experience are improved.
The trade-off of this is that the graphics card has to process four times the pixels in each frame, so the work it has to do is significantly increased and therefore performance can be reduced.
The resolution most used in gaming monitors
The history of monitors dates back to the late 1890s, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that the first CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors appeared, and if we want to go into the history of gaming monitors and their resolution, we must move on a couple more decades, until at least the 1980s which is when gaming began to establish itself in the market.
In those days the most common resolution on gaming PCs was 640 x 480 pixels (VGA) , although it was short-lived in favor of SVGA resolution (800 x 600 pixels) . Obviously in those days the monitors had a 4: 3 format (currently the most used is 16: 9) and we could not consider them gaming monitors as such, since monitors for this purpose did not begin to appear until well into the 1990s and early 1990s. 2000s, with the advent of the first commercial LCD monitors.
At the beginning of the 2000s, LCD monitors began to replace CRTs on the market, and by the end of the 2000s they did so almost completely (in 2005 LCDs already accounted for 75% of the market share) thanks to the fact that they were quite cheap, making them affordable for almost all users. In 2010 CRT monitors were officially considered “dead”. At that time the most common for gaming were monitors with 1366 x 768 resolution (the resolution of many laptops) with a size of 17 inches, although gaming monitors with 1680 x 1050 pixels resolution did not take long to appear .
Although the first Full HD monitors (1920 x 1080) were unveiled in 2006, it was not until well into the 2010s that we can say that they began to be the most used for gaming, and certainly today the most used resolution in gaming monitors. It is still Full HD even though there are much higher resolutions, and this is due to performance, as competitive professional gamers prefer higher refresh rates that allow more FPS than more resolution.
Obviously in this decade gaming monitors with different resolutions began to appear, and although Full HD resolution is the most frequent in gaming monitors, we also have 2K or 1440p resolution ( 2560 x 1440 pixels ) and of course 4K resolution, in addition to numerous variants. Among which, the ultra-wide monitors with a 21: 9 aspect ratio stand out (specifically, monitors with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 pixels are common among gamers).
Regarding 4K we have to say that, although manufacturers have been putting it through our eyes with marketing strategies for years, it was not until a few years ago (around 2018) that graphics cards have been able to decently move games to that resolution and, therefore, when these gaming monitors began to become popular. In addition, in recent years (2020) we have also seen 4K monitors with specific gaming technologies, such as G-Sync / FreeSync, high refresh rates, etc.
So, if we stick to history and taking into account not only the gaming monitors that manufacturers sell us as such but the resolutions most used by gamers, these would be the most frequent resolutions, being as we have already said Full HD the most used and taking into account that in this table we are not talking about the date of appearance but about popularization.
|Resolution||Name||Period in which it became popular|
|800 x 600||SVGA||1980s|
|1920 x 1080||Full HD||From the 2000s to the present|
|2560 x 1440||2K||2010 onwards|
|3440 x 1440||UWQHD||2016 onwards|
|3840 x 2160||4K||2018 onwards|
And you, what resolution do you have on your gaming monitor and what resolutions have you gone through until today?