Understanding Computer Monitor Ratings 2015

Computer Monitor Ratings 2015

Monitors are rated by their screen size, refresh rate, interlace features, dot pitch, and resolution.

Screen Size

A monitor’s screen size has a direct relation to its price. The larger a monitor, the more expensive it tends to be. Common monitor sizes include 15 inches, 21 inches, and 24 inches.

Refresh Rate

The refresh rate, or vertical scan rate, is the number of times that an electronic beam can fill the screen with lines from top to bottom in one second. Refresh rates differ among monitors. The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has set a minimum refresh rate of 70 Hz, or 70 complete vertical refreshes per second, as one requirement of Super VGA monitors. Slow refresh rates make the image appear to flicker, while faster refresh rates make the image appear solid and stable. The refresh rate can be adjusted using the Display icon in the Control Panel.

Interlace Features

Interlaced monitors draw a screen by making two passes. On the first pass, the electronic beam strikes only the even lines, and on the second pass the beam strikes only the odd lines. Interlace monitors are for the most part not available. If you do discover a monitor is interlaced, avoid purchasing it. Staring at an interlaced screen for a long period of time can damage your ees.

Dot Pitch

The dot pitch is the distance between the spots, or dots, on the screen that the electronic beam hits. Three beams build the screen, one for each of the three primary colors red, green, and blue. Each composite location on the screen is really made up of three dots and is called a triad. The distance between a color dot in one triad and the same color dot in the next triad is the dot pitch. The smaller the dot pitch is, the sharper images will be on the screen.


Resolution is a measure of how many spots on the screen are accessible by software. Each accessible location is called a pixel, a combination of several triads. Because resolution depends on software, the graphics card must not only support the resolution, but the operating system must support it as well. The default standard for most operating systems is 800 x 600 pixels. However, modern operating systems can and are oftentimes extended to 1024 x 768 so that more images can fit the screen at once.

Ideally, you want to have a large monitor with a high refresh rate, no interlacing, small dog pitch, and high resolution capability.