In general, the best resolution for a 24 inch monitor is 1080p (1920 x 1080), but this is dependent on factors discussed below.
Choosing the right screen size and resolution can make the difference between a comfortable set up and one you dread using.
A good general rule is whether you’re editing photos or videos, playing high-end games or just using productivity software you want as large a screen as you can fit on your desk, with resolution then determined primarily by the distance you sit from the screen.
The Effect of Pixel Pitch on Resolution
To state the obvious, screens with the highest resolution give you the sharpest images, but that is dependent on the size of the screen.
That’s because a smaller screen at the same resolution as a larger one will have a smaller pixel pitch, and a smaller pixel pitch equals a sharper image.
Larger screens tend to look sharper because the resolution has been upscaled proportionally more than the size of the screen.
This means that the pixel pitch will be smaller on the 27 inch monitor in this example, and it will therefore give much sharper images.
If the example 27-inch monitor is also at 1080p, then the individual pixels (or groups of aligned pixels) will have to be larger to accomodate the extra screen real-estate, potentially making the image fuzzier than if it was viewed at the same resolution on a smaller monitor.
So, a higher resolution ensures better details which in turn makes readability better. This is especially important if you are going to stare at the screen for hours at length, as most of us do these days.
Viewing Distance for a 24-Inch Monitor
How far you’re sitting from your monitor has a big impact on what the image looks like and how much detail you’re able to make out.
In general, the closer you are, the more detail you can see, with eye strain becoming a problem the further back you go, neeeding a decrease in resolution to compensate.
If you sit around 3.2 feet (96 cm) from the monitor, you’re best off going with a 1080p screen, offering a resolution of 1920×1080.
If you sit between 2.3 feet and 3.2 feet (70 cm to 96 cm) from the monitor, a QHD monitor, with a resolution of 2560×1440, is a good choice.
If you sit between 1.2 feet and 2.3 feet (37 cm to 70 cm) from the monitor, you’re probably safe with a UHD 4K screen that has a resolution of 3840×2160.
Although the way that you use a monitor is important, whether for gaming, word processing or photography, viewing distance is the most important characteristic when determining the ideal resolution.
The Best Gaming Resolution for a 24-Inch Monitor
Apart from the resolution of the screen, you want to make sure that the display is better than an average gaming experience on a PC.
This means getting a monitor with a higher resolution like 1440p. That way you will be able to have a cinematic experience and you will also be able to move a reasonable distance from the screen, so that field of view is not obstructed.
Increasing the distance will also give you a better view of the field which is crucial when playing FPS games and those where you need to be right in the heart of the action.
You want to make sure that the field of view is at least 30 degrees for a good experience, 40 degrees if you want to make it even better.
Another key metric is refresh rate. That’s the maximum number of images a display can show in a second, and is measured in hertz, written Hz.
If you try to play a game at a faster frame rate than your screen can handle, you might get tearing.
For gaming, look for a monitor with a refresh rate faster than 60hz. These refresh rates used to be more common on QHD monitors, but are now widely found on 24-inch monitors that also support 1080p resolution, meaning that even these are a good choice.
The Ideal Photo Editing Resolution
PPI, or pixels per inch is a more important characteristic that outright resolution for photo editing. This is the distance between two pixels and is also referred to as pixel density. When the pixel density is high, the details are fine and the image is sharp.
When you are looking at the resolution primarily for photo editing, you must also factor in the color gamut of the monitor.
You ideally want the monitor to display a high percentage sRGB gamut, so that your photos will accurately show the colors as they would if printed. But if you are looking to edit photos or videos professionally, you want to raise the bar and go for an Adobe RGB monitor, which contains a much wider gamut of colors than sRGB.
Office Work Resolution at 24-Inches
When you are doing office work on a regular PC, your biggest priority is going to be the legibility of the content on the screen. When you are using multiple programs, as is often the case, you don’t want to be limited to the size of a laptop.
A 24-inch monitor gives you a clearer view and you can also use multiple apps at the same time because the screen size accommodates it, with 24-inches making an excellent size for a secondary monitor, used in combination with a laptop screen.
This makes office work more comfortable and by extension more efficient. You will also have the added benefit of working in a healthier environment. That is because with the bigger screen size, the text becomes more clear.
And with a 4K display, the text and graphics are clearer and larger. This reduces the strain your eyes will experience, and is another benefit when working in front of a screen for hours at length.
In the past, high-res monitors were not favored as much because the user interfaces were not big enough even though the resolution had more detailing. It was specifically a problem with 4K monitors where icons and text was just too small to read.
But now, OS manufacturers have incorporated features that allow users to scale the menus and fonts to match the monitor size and resolution.
This gives you the full benefit of a high-resolution monitor while adjusting the size of the text to meet your needs, if not exceed them.