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16:9 versus 16:10 Aspect Ratio: Am I the only one…?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 15, 2013 6:09:49 PM

It seems like everyone is passively accepting the now-industry-standard 16:9 aspect ratio. Am I the only one who strongly prefers 16:10? I feel like puking every time I see “1080” or “1440.” Please, let’s go back to 1200 (or, better, 1600). Can someone explain to me why 16:9 has become the standard? or why it might be better for gaming (or for everyday, general computer use)?






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More about : versus aspect ratio

a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 6:17:42 PM

I barely see any difference, but have you seen those 21:9 ratio screens at CES? :D 
January 15, 2013 6:21:05 PM

I prefer 16:10 but I don't get too fussed about it - you do get a better FOV in games with 16:9 and you get to avoid black bars on your screen from 1080p content.
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a c 171 U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 6:40:36 PM

16:9 has become the standard because thats what most widescreen movies use. Stop having a whinge, they do this so you can get cheap monitors, so they dont have to make different panels for every occasion.
a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 6:46:08 PM

I don't mind paying more for quality 16:10 (or even 4:3) monitor. 160x1200 is much better for everyday work than this 16:9 non-sense, in every resolution (especially dreadful 1366x768).
January 15, 2013 6:48:03 PM

Alabalcho said:
I don't mind paying more for quality 16:10 (or even 4:3) monitor. 160x1200 is much better for everyday work than this 16:9 non-sense, in every resolution (especially dreadful 1366x768).


Gotta disagree with you there... I need 16:10 or 16:9 to work on two windows/documents comfortably side by side, which I do almost all the time.
a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 6:51:27 PM

Mathematically, 16:9 is a ratio that all common ratios could live in while causing the least amount of compromise (unused screen space).

Remember content is what drives the industry. HDTV channels are displayed in 16:9, some movies are shot in 16:9, most games have an FOV that is set for 16:9 (console ports). Most people won't even notice the difference between a 16:9 and a 16:10 screen unless they were side by side. 16:9 is going to be around for a while, you should get used to it.
a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 7:04:15 PM

16:9 is probably good for gaming, or movies. For business, most of document flow goes top-to-bottom, not left-to-right. When I open my browser to read an article, I want to fit most of that article on the screen top-down, and not to turn my head left-to-right in order to read it. This is where 4:3 (or 16:10, which goes closer) is better for.
January 15, 2013 7:08:45 PM

You have the same vertical screen real estate on 1920x1200 as you do on 1600x1200...

4:3 is a dinosaur aspect ratio that's only useful for people who never need to multitask or refer to multiple windows/documents at the same time for their work.
a c 133 U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 7:16:34 PM

The only real difference is that you have a taller monitor honestly. You have more vertical pixels. 16:10 has 1920x1200 and 2560x1600, 16:9 has 1920x1080 and 1920x1440p. I would judge the monitor on a individual level before going into these aspect ratios as others have pointed out that content is only really being produced in 1080p at CES they introduced really large 4k displays so if there was going to be a increase in resolution on the computer monitor side it would be from 1080 to whatever the new standard would be. If you prefer 16:10 you prefer 16:10 you aren't really gaining much with it or without it. It's just fitting more to what you fancy.
a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 10:58:10 PM

@Bigshoorr8, the "content" is not only Hollywood-made crap. Think about "content" as a web page being read, Word document being edited, or Java/C#/PHP source code. The more you see vertically, the better, and these wide monitors do no help in that.
January 15, 2013 11:02:21 PM

Alabalcho said:
The more you see vertically, the better, and these wide monitors do no help in that.

Sure they do. I can read TWO things vertically on my wide monitor while you're stuck reading one thing vertically (or two very tiny things...) on a 4:3 monitor.
a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 11:15:17 PM

Alabalcho said:
@Bigshoorr8, the "content" is not only Hollywood-made crap. Think about "content" as a web page being read, Word document being edited, or Java/C#/PHP source code. The more you see vertically, the better, and these wide monitors do no help in that.


Incase you didn't know, you can rotate most wide screen monitors vertically..

Also, human vision is nearly double horizontally what it is vertically.
a c 216 U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 11:15:53 PM

For 1st person games, I think 16:9 is better, in that it gives you more side to side viewing area. 1st person games typically aren't focused on looking up and down.

If you like to play isometric games, like Starcraft 2, then 16:10 would normally be better. Unfortunately for 16:10 users, Starcraft 2 gives the advantage to 16:9. Rather than giving you more up and down view with 16:10, they chose to take away side to side view area.
a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 11:25:59 PM

to me 16:10 is too skinny. Web pages look like crap no matter which way you orient the monitor. My preference for web pages is usually 4:3.
For Documents or coding I like 16:9 in vertical (i guess that makes it 9:16 LoL); its really nice to see a whole page all at once.
Gaming is decent at 16:9 too but I'd really like 3 vertical 16:9 monitors. Too bad I dont have the desk space for it. I keep thinkiing about cutting that hutch off my desk and mounting it to the wall like a cabinet just for surround gaming. Hahaha.
a c 133 U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 11:38:32 PM

I have a monitor that rotates around. If I wanted more up and down screen situation I could do that. And I was just stating my opinion monitors resolutions and ratios at this point are all a matter of taste and what one prefers I'm plenty happy with my monitor now and If I wanted a more height oriented situation I would add 2 more of my monitors and rotate them into portrait.
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January 16, 2013 10:39:04 AM

All good comments. Thanks.

After reading everything here, I find that Alabalcho and I share the same frustrations with the 16:9 ratio. Besides gaming and consuming Hollywood content crap, I also do everyday work on my computer, including editing Word documents. The additional vertical space is definitely noticeable and helpful for “normal” usage, and, in my opinion, gaming too. Also, 16:10 does not diminish horizontal space: you will have the same horizontal space for multiple windows regardless of whether it 16:9 or 16:10. And the side-to-side viewing should be exactly the same, whether playing Crysis or editing Word documents. It still fundamentally boils down to the industry taking away viewing space, and Hollywood and TV manufactures are the likely culprits. (And I’m sure there are good economics behind this, to touch on iam2thecrow’s comments; but that’s another discussion).

It is true that left-right peripheral vision is much greater than up-down peripheral vision, which, interestingly, is especially important in a movie theater. But it is not especially significant with a 27-inch monitor three or four feet away.

I agree with Alabalcho: “the more you see vertically, the better.” But I’d change it a little: the more you see vertically and horizontally, the better.

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a c 133 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 10:54:24 AM

I guess it really comes down to what you do with your monitor. I can understand wanting more vertical space in a work environment but I feel with larger displays you are splitting hairs with 16:9 and 16:10. If you have a 27 inch screen you aren't really going to be worried about the ratio how tall it is versus how wide. 27 inches for a standard computer monitor is quite large and for gaming anyway at least on a competitive level most monitors will be in the 23-24 inch range as really your eyes can only perceive so much space at a given time. If you look at a monitor like this which is 1440p and 27 inches I would think for most this is overkill even size wise. I have a feeling as well that it isn't nessarily hollywood I just feel its more of the standard 16:10 is more of a niche thing right now it hasn't really caught on as that standard. In the end I feel that if you had a smaller screen like a 24 inch pro art screen from asus you get both worlds the 16:10 the higher then 1080p resolution with 1200 and a more work oriented display that can play games as well. The larger the display I fear the less the ratio matters.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
January 16, 2013 2:41:36 PM

ZippyPeanut said:
All good comments. Thanks.

After reading everything here, I find that Alabalcho and I share the same frustrations with the 16:9 ratio. Besides gaming and consuming Hollywood content crap, I also do everyday work on my computer, including editing Word documents. The additional vertical space is definitely noticeable and helpful for “normal” usage, and, in my opinion, gaming too. Also, 16:10 does not diminish horizontal space: you will have the same horizontal space for multiple windows regardless of whether it 16:9 or 16:10. And the side-to-side viewing should be exactly the same, whether playing Crysis or editing Word documents. It still fundamentally boils down to the industry taking away viewing space, and Hollywood and TV manufactures are the likely culprits. (And I’m sure there are good economics behind this, to touch on iam2thecrow’s comments; but that’s another discussion).

It is true that left-right peripheral vision is much greater than up-down peripheral vision, which, interestingly, is especially important in a movie theater. But it is not especially significant with a 27-inch monitor three or four feet away.

I agree with Alabalcho: “the more you see vertically, the better.” But I’d change it a little: the more you see vertically and horizontally, the better.

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i7 3770K OC @4.2 / ASRock Extreme 4 Z77 / evga FTW 670 / 32 GB Corsair Vengeance 1600 / 128 GB OCZ Vertex 4 / 2 TB WD Caviar Black / 2 TB Seagate Barracuda / LG 14X Blu-ray R/W / Corsair 1000w PS / AzzA Genesis 9000 full tower


A 24" 16:9 monitor is wider than a 24" 16:10 monitor and at least for gaming, most games will zoom you in with a 16:10 monitor so that the top and down view you see is the same on both, even if there are more pixels on the 16:10 monitor, which results in cutting down the side to side view.

For the size, a 16:9 monitor does have more side to side viewing.
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