Buying New Monitor - Optimal Aspect Ratio

Shopping monitors I notice there is no real standard for height to width, or aspect ratio. Some stretching the picture horizontally, the wider ones that is.

Has anyone arrived at ‘a best’ or most commonly viewer-used, aspect ratio for site layout/design?

This question has been asked on the forum many times before as you would have easily found if you had done a search.

The answer is still the same as it has always been - 100% for the width and let the height look after itself.

You should also specify a max-width on columns of somewhere arround 30em to 35em as that’s about as long a line of text as can easily be read.

Of course the actual screen size is irrelevant with regard to monitors as you can easily fit at least two applications side by side on the screens available now. Windows 7 even made doing so easy by having the window key + left or right arrow key resize a window to fill exactly half the screen.

I’ve not seen a responsive monitor like that. My Mac just has a fixed width monitor—about 65cm. I wouldn’t really want it to stretch to 100% width of the room anyway. It would be a strain on my neck.

It seems that monitors these days are heading more for the 16:9 aspect ratios (just an idea I have—sans evidence!), but I don’t see that it matters much. I’d be looking more at a retina screen myself, whatever width and height, as the picture quality on those is amazing. (Not sure if anything but mobile Macs use them yet, though.)

Off Topic:

@datadriven: The start of your question makes it sound like you are talking about buying a screen, while the end of your question makes it sound like you are asking about optimum website widths—hence the confusion, I think. :slight_smile:

This is a post that confuses me. Do a search on ‘monitors’ and there are threads having to do with website widths and designing on certain size monitors, but where is a recent post, given the changing dimensions of monitors, on a best aspect ratio for website design? [I]It seems as though you really wanted to tell me this.


Sorry for the confusion, ralph.m - I’m just looking for a new monitor that will help optimize my designs, as it they are being presented on the various monitors. And BTW, I’ve found setting widths by pixels (actual size) rather than by % to be more effectively resized by browsers/OS’s, screens, etc. But that’s just me. And just as important - let’s try and keep those neck braces off!

[I]Personally, I like the ips monitors, some of the AOC though not sure about this brand.


When it comes to monitors never buy the cheap brand. Never do it. You might save a few hundred bucks but in the long run it will bite you in the…If you are going to buy a monitor for professional work, get a professional level monitor. I can recommend the Dell UltraSharp series monitors like the U2410. They all have premium top bin panels and warranty (good for dead pixels). Look at other manufactures for the same type of deal, you want those premium grade panels. The cheaper monitors use lower grade panels.

Then again I might just be bias and looking to justify my reason for buying the Dell UltraSharp U3011 (30" monitor), but it is an awesome display.

Logic, what kinds of video cards will drive a high density monitor like that? (I’m shopping in my dreams, too :slight_smile: )

Anything with a dual-link DVI or Displayport. And at least 512 MBs of dedicated video memory. These days even Intel’s line of graphics processors can handle a 30" monitor relatively well. As long as you don’t plan to play any games.

I’m with logic, good monitors will outlast multiple PC upgrades so it’s worth spending money on. And, yes definitely IPS, there’s nothing more irritating than doing the ‘TN-screen head-bob’ (up and down) when working on colour critical material to e.g see whether that subtle gradient is really blending in or not.