Is 1600x900 good enough for 20"?

The monitor I'm looking at (from Wal-mart) is a 20" 1600 x 900 resolution. It is also at the highest price point for me.

I will be running a Radeon HD 7850 1gb(possibly 2gb) with core i3-3220.

Is there any(worthwhile) benefit to getting a 1080p+ monitor at this rather small screen size? I am not interested at getting anything past 20"(desk space won't allow much larger and 20 inches offer a good price for me), so I'm wondering if 1080p is even worth getting at this screen size.

This monitor will be used mainly for gaming. The most demanding games I will play is something along the lines of Skyrim, GTA V, and future Valve titles.
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More about 1600x900 good
  1. High def is high def and if you want a crystal clear picture when gaming then you should get it but if you really don't care then go with the other monitor. This is really a personal choice for you and everybody is going to have a different view on this so you should decide your self what it is you want.
    One of the best things to do is to go to a store near you and look at them side by side so that you can see the difference and then decide what you like.
  2. Yeah, I guess I'll have to look in store at it, though the wal-mart I went to didn't seem to have any monitors on display, only TVs.

    Another thing, is the 1,000:1 contrast ratio bad or good? I see other tvs/monitors with much higher(Getting up to the millions). Is this just some marketing thing?
  3. 1000:1 contrast ratio seems to be the industry standard, make sure the monitor you are getting is bright (measured in cd/m²) 250+ is really quite bright.

    there is something called a dynamic contrast ratio, its complete bullshit. Companies can claim 50,000:1 ratio or even 500,000:1 ratio if they feel like it. don't take any notice of it if it gives you a dynamic contrast ratio.
  4. The contrast ratio is something I have been wondering about for some time and I try to go by a medium rating , nothing too high and nothing too low.
    It's mostly to do with the lighting when going fro darks to lights and how fast it does it and by what amount of brightness.
  5. A higher resolution monitor means the desktop will be large so that you can see more things on the screen at once. Of course this means that everything will look smaller too. If your vision is not very good, then maybe 1920x1080 resolution is not for you.

    If you are not sure about how well you can read things on a 1920x1080 on a 20" monitor, then just take a look at a laptop. If you can read text on a 15.6" laptop with 1600x900 resolution then you should not have any problems. If you can read text on a 17.3" laptop with a 1920x1080 resolution screen, then you definitely will not have any problems.

    On the gaming side of the equation... the higher the resolution, the lower your performance will be because the graphics card needs to push more pixels. A Radeon HD 7850 is fine for playing games at 1920x1080, but will give you better performance at 1600x900.

    Regarding the amount of VRAM on the graphics card... At 1920x1200 or below you will not receive any benefit from 2GB of VRAM. However, at 2560x1440 or higher then you need 2GB of VRAM or more if you go with 3 monitors. The higher the resolution you play at the more VRAM you need because the more textures will be loaded into the graphic card's VRAM.
  6. Regarding dynamic contrast ratio (DCR)... It is crap and really high numbers like 500,000 (or more) to 1 is basically BS.

    DCR basically adjusts the contrast and the brightness of the screen automatically based on how dark or bright the scene is. I find it extremely annoying an I disabled that feature on my HDTV and my Asus monitor.
  7. Well, the only monitor I have to compare to is my laptop. It's 15.6 with only 1366 x 768 and it seems to do well enough. I think I will go with the 1600 x 900 since it's what's in stores and seems to be good enough for me. Especially since it's already hard finding a 1080p at that size.

    The only thing I am worried about is if the card is overkill for a 1600 x 900 resolution; from what has been said it doesn't seem to be that way. I also want max settings(and an easier time playing future titles), which I'm guessing would be more difficult to pull off at a higher resolution with this card.

    But other than my concerns, thanks for the help. It helps, and clears up some things, especially on the contrast ratio confusion.
  8. The HD 7850 is a bit of an overkill for 1600x900, but at least you will not need to upgrade for a while. Click below link for benchmarks. The closest resolution to 1600x900 is 1680x1050 which has 22.5% more pixels; that means playing at 1600x900 you can expect to get about 15% to 20% higher frame rates because of the lower resolution.

    The test rig uses a Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.7 GHz so your i3-3220 will naturally mean lower performance. For games that do not really care how fast how fast the CPU as long as it does not bottleneck the graphics card, the difference in performance should be relatively small; Crysis 2 is such an example. For games that are CPU dependent like Skyrim (only uses 2 cores), then you should see a decent difference in performance.
  9. Yeah, I guess not having to upgrade as soon is a big plus; at least for me it is. If I can find a 1680x1050 I might consider, but I think I'll be good with a 1600 x 900. I'll probably try make a trip to Best Buy and see if I can see any difference at all.

    Thanks for all the help.
  10. The thing about having that card and worrying about it being overkill ios that when you have a game with a lot of action , large outdoors setting and as in FPS explosions and gunfire you won't have a video card that will struggle with the display and it will just plow right through it and maintain a good high frame rate.
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