If you haven’t bought a monitor in a while, the new features and specifications can be overwhelming. One of the most essential features of a monitor is its resolution.
Resolution is the total number of pixels on a display. The higher the resolution, the better the image quality. Today, there are many display resolutions, such as 1080p, 1440p, 4K, and even 8K. It’s not easy keeping up with all these specifications!
In this article, we will compare 1440p to 1080p so you can decide the monitor resolution that is right for you. Let’s get into it!
1440p vs. 1080p: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Resolution||2560 x 1440p||1920 x 1080p|
|Image Quality||Sharper and clearer than 1080p||Acceptable on 24-inch monitors|
|Performance||More taxing on hardware||Best performance with lower visuals|
|Price||More expensive than 1080p||Budget-friendly|
1440p vs. 1080p: What’s the Difference?
In order to pick the best resolution for your viewing preferences, you must know how they influence the display of your monitor. Follow along as we break down what you need to know.
Better Picture Quality
1440p is a resolution that supports 2560 x 1440 pixels. The extra pixels improve image quality, sharpness, and clarity.
To be specific, 1440p has 56% more pixels than 1080p. The colors will also be more accurate because there are more individual pixels that can support more shades of colors. The total number of individual pixels at 1440p is 3,686,400.
1080p is an older resolution that has been the standard for the past couple of decades. Most budget monitors and TVs use 1080p. It has a resolution of 1920 x 1080p and a total of 2,073,600 pixels. 1080p is also known as Full High Definition (FHD).
Follow along as we break down their differences in more detail.
More Pixels Per Inch (PPI)
Pixel per inch (PPI) is also called pixel density. PPI represents the number of pixels in an inch of screen. A 1440p display will always have a higher PPI than 1080p.
For example, a 1080p 24-inch monitor has a PPI of about 92. In comparison, a 1440p 27-inch monitor has a PPI of 108. In other words, at 1440p, you can get a larger display that also has better clarity than 1080p.
Of course, there are a couple of downsides to 1440p, which we will get to in a minute.
Extra Screen Real Estate
At 1440p, the user interface of Windows and other operating systems will shrink to match the pixels. In other words, there will be more space on your desktop for files and folders. Not to mention web browsers can show more content at 1440p, so you won’t have to scroll down as much.
You can also use Window’s built-in snapping tool to arrange sections of your desktop. It’s much easier to multitask on a single 1440p display than it is on a 1080p display.
1440p vs. 1080p for Work
Generally, if you spend long hours in front of a computer screen, it’s better to use a monitor that has good clarity. It’s not only easier on your eyes but also improves your work performance.
Reading text is much easier on a 1440p display because the text is clearer than in 1080p. 1440p is also useful for people who work with color-accurate projects, such as photo or video editors. The user interface of programs and graphics will also look much better at 1440p.
Overall, even if you don’t play games, it’s worth buying a 1440p monitor because you get access to a larger display with improved clarity. If you have your own office or work from home, upgrading your primary monitor to 1440p is worth it. 1440p is much better than 1080p for work and office-related tasks.
Most computers, even if they don’t have a dedicated graphics card, can output 1440p to a monitor without slowing down the system. The reason for that is the user interface of Windows (or other operating systems) is very lightweight and there aren’t many graphics to render.
1440p vs. 1080p for Gaming
When it comes to gaming, there are some key differences to keep in mind. For starters, playing games at 1440p is more demanding on your system, which means your frame rate in games will be lower than 1080p. The reason for that is your graphics card has to render more pixels at 1440p.
While 1440p taxes your system more than 1080p, it also makes your games look much clearer, with fewer jagged lines and rough edges.
On the other hand, if you want the highest frame rate possible for games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, playing at 1080p (or lower) is an option. Many professional gamers play at 720p because of the improved performance and they can max out their 240Hz monitors.
The performance you get at 1440p will vary depending on the game and how it’s optimized. Regardless, most modern graphics cards can run the majority of games at 1440p with above 60 frames per second. So, if you’re considering buying a 1440p for games, it’s a good idea to first check if your system can run games at 1440p without struggling too much.
You can take a look at our recommended 1440p 144Hz monitors here. Most gamers prefer 1440p over 4K because it’s a good middle ground between performance and visuals.
Best Monitor Size for 1440p
Generally, the best monitor size for 1440p is 27 inches. It’s also suitable at 32 inches.
The reason for that is the resolution can nicely fill out a 27-inch area and you’ll have to be particularly close to the screen to see individual pixels. At 27 inches, 1440p looks sharp and crisp and you have more screen real estate.
Best Monitor Size for 1080p
Since 1080p doesn’t have that many pixels, it’s best suited for smaller displays. 23 inches and 24 inches are suitable monitor sizes for 1080p because the PPI is acceptable.
We don’t recommend 1080p 27-inch monitors because the image quality will look a bit blurry. For more information on how to choose the best monitor size, read this article.
LCD Panel Types
If you’re considering buying a 1440p monitor, it’s important to be aware of the LCD panel types and the pros and cons of each.
There are three LCD panel types: VA (Vertical Alignment), TN (Twisted Nematic), and IPS (In-Plane Switching). Each type of LCD panel can support 1440p but the image quality won’t be the same across the board.
For example, VA panels are known for having bright colors but they suffer from low response times. When a monitor has a low response time, issues such as ghosting are very obvious and can be a distraction. Ghosting looks like a blurry trail behind a moving object. So, a 1440p VA panel might appear blurry when there’s a lot of motion on the screen.
TN panels have the best response times and therefore have little to no ghosting. However, the colors are not very vivid and can appear washed out. TN panels are ideal for competitive eSports gamers who want the highest refresh rates and fastest response times. 1440p on a TN panel won’t have any ghosting but the colors will be a little dull.
IPS monitors have good colors and response times but they suffer from an issue called IPS glow. It occurs as IPS monitors age and it can ruin the screen uniformity. 1440p IPS monitors have good, sharp colors with minimal ghosting. Generally, IPS monitors are preferred over the other types of LCD panels because they offer a good balance of features.
To learn more about how IPS compared with other panel types, read this article.
1440p vs. 1080p: 5 Must-Know Facts
- 1440p has 56% more pixels than 1080p.
- 1080p is best for 23-inch and 24-inch monitors.
- 1440p allows you to use a larger display without sacrificing picture quality.
- Running games at 1440p is more demanding than 1080p.
- 1440p improves the clarity of text and provides more screen real estate for productivity.
1440p vs. 1080p: Which One is Better? Which One Should You Use?
It depends on your personal preferences. The picture quality of 1440p is much better than 1080p, and you’ll have more screen real estate. Games will also look much better at 1440p. You can also upgrade to a larger display without losing image quality at 1440p. Generally, most people who upgrade from 1080p to 1440p are happy with their decision.
The only downside to 1440p is it’s demanding on your hardware and it’s a bit more expensive than 1080p. On the other hand, if you prefer performance over visuals, you can upgrade your 1080p monitor to one that has a higher refresh rate.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Ivan Acedo/Shutterstock.com.