1080p vs 1440p Comparison

Screen resolution is an essential determinant of a display’s image quality, but it’s not the only determinant. Other things such as screen size and panel type are just as important and can even help determine what resolution is ideal for you.

While 4K resolution displays get a lot of attention, many displays are still rocking 1080p and 1440p resolutions. While the lower resolutions may lack the appeal, they still have many perks and unique qualities that the average 4K lacks.

We previously highlighted the difference between 2K and 4K TVs in an earlier article. Today, we’re going a bit lower and comparing 1440p displays with 1080p displays. We’ll tell you everything you need to know and help you determine which one is best for you.

Resolution

Images on a screen are pixels; resolution refers to the number of pixels a screen has to build images. The more pixels a screen has, the more vivid its display will be. However, this doesn’t mean that more is always better. Learn more about resolution

1080p Resolution

1080p is also often referred to as full HD. The resolution consists of 1920 horizontal pixels and 1080 vertical pixels, for 2,073,600 pixels spread across the screen.

1080p is in many ways the most used resolution type. It’s common among most monitors, televisions, laptops, and monitors.

1440p Resolution

1440p is also referred to as Quad HD. The resolution consists of 2560 horizontal pixels and 1440p vertical pixels, for a total of 3,686,400 pixels spread across the screen.

1440p offers significantly more pixels than 1080p. If all other specs are the same, then a 1440p monitor will blow a 1080p monitor out of the water any day.

However, specs and user needs are rarely uniform across the board, so we have to determine which resolution is ideal for different combinations.

We’ve compiled various factors and scenarios that show which screen resolution is perfect for each situation.

1080p vs 1440p – Things to Consider

Screen Size

The screen size of a monitor plays a vital role in determining the quality of the image. While high resolutions are great, pixel density is more important. Pixel density refers to how closely packed together the pixels are on display.

Imagine taking a screenshot on your 720p phone; the image is a perfect replica of your screen and looks great. Now imagine you transfer that 720p screenshot to a much larger screen with the exact 720p resolution; the image may end up looking stretched out or hollow.

Because the phone screen is smaller, it’s better suited to manage low resolution as the pixels are closer together. The same image on a screen with significantly more space will not look as good because the pixels have more room to cover. Smaller resolutions are better suited to small screens.

The key thing to note about screen size is that it’s hard to notice the difference between 1080p and 1440p resolution on a small screen.

On a smartphone, you would probably struggle to tell the difference between them. The small screen offers such high pixel density for both resolutions that the extra pixels don’t make that much of an impact.

Before choosing a resolution, consider the screen size you wish to purchase. 1080p is ideal for smaller screens of up to 27 inches; the quality noticeably dips at larger sizes.

1440p is perfect for screens between 28 to 32 inches. Both 1080p and 1440p are used in larger screen sizes, but they offer the best value at smaller sizes.

Distance

Distance is another factor that works hand in hand with screen size, and it refers to the distance from which the display is viewed.

The bigger the screen size, the further away you’ll have to sit from the screen to enjoy comfortable viewing. The difference between resolutions is difficult to detect from a far distance.

The ideal distance to view a 1080p screen is 3.2ft, while the perfect distance for a 1440p screen is 2.6ft. Ultimately, the distance you will sit from the display depends more on your eyesight and screen size and less on the resolution.

Hardware

Resolutions are run and maintained by the hardware on the system. The higher the resolution, the more energy, and processing power are required to run it smoothly. This refers to RAMs, graphics cards, CPUs, etc.

We earlier stated that 1080p was the industry standard; this is still true. Most displays are capable of comfortably running 1080p resolution. This means that 1080p isn’t heavily taxing your system and doesn’t require any special hardware to run smoothly. 

1440p requires more energy and processing power to run and maintain. This may be beyond the scope of some standard hardware.

Before getting a 1440p display, perform a system check to ensure you have the proper hardware. A 1440p display without appropriate equipment would be a waste of resources.

Cost

On average, a 1080p monitor will cost less than a 1440p monitor with the same specs.

Availability

1080p is the most widely available screen resolution you can find anywhere. Even in professional gaming tournaments where all gamers have to use the same equipment to create a level field, the go-to screen resolution is 1080p in those situations. 1080p is more common than 1440p.

Additional Features

The features and specs of monitors with 1080p and 1440p are typically different. Because 1080p is much more standardized and offers a lower pixel count, it creates room for displays with much more exciting features and specs.

We’ll give an overview of the general differences you can expect between specs for these two resolutions below.

Refresh Rate

On average, higher resolutions have lower refresh rates. Most 4k monitors max out at 60hz. Thus, 1440p monitors tend to have lower refresh rates than 1080p monitors. The extra pixels represent extra information the monitor needs to refresh and tends to slow it down.

1080p monitors have the best blend of visuals and speed. Many competitive gamers prefer 1080p because it’s much easier to reach and sustain high refresh rates such as 165hz, 240hz, and even 360hz.

This enables them to play at peak performance levels. 1440p monitors do still reach those high refresh rates; it’s just more common in 1080p.

Frame rate

The higher the frame rates, the more fluid movement on the screen will look. Lower resolutions tend to have higher frame rates due to the lower amount of data, energy, and processing power required to produce low-res images at high speeds.

If your system comfortably reaches 120FPS on 1080p, it might only get 75FPS on 1440p because of the increased workload.

Again, many competitive gamers favor 1080p because it’s easier to reach and maintain high frame rates that ensure they can play at top speeds.

Response time

Lower resolution monitors tend to have shorter response times than higher resolution monitors. A lot of 1080p monitors have one millisecond response times. Higher resolution monitors also have quick response times, and it’s just more common in low-res screens.

A quick response time means that when professional gamers perform lightning-quick actions like firing a shot, they’ll see the results immediately on the screen.

Players are effectively watching and reacting to events that are already happened milliseconds ago. These same actions with a slower response time will cause a lag which hinders the player’s ability to perform a string of quick actions.

1080p vs 1440p – Best Recommendations

Below are our recommendations for the best 1080p and 1440p displays.

1080p Resolution Monitor

ASUS VG279QM

The ASUS VG279QM has an ultra-refresh rate of 280hz and a 1ms response time.

This monitor is capable of reaching high speeds to ensure quality usage in any condition. The ASUS also has variable sync technology, eliminating screen tearing and motion blur to ensure smooth viewing.

It also has HDR, which enables it to produce a wide range of colors accurately. The monitor also has good ergonomics with multiple adjustment options.

Specs;

  • Size: 27 inches
  • Panel: IPS
  • Refresh rate: 280hz
  • Adaptive-Sync: G-Sync
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Weight: 12.35 pounds

1440p Resolution Monitor

Samsung Odyssey G7 LCG75T

The Samsung Odyssey G7 is a curved monitor. It has a refresh rate of 240hz, a 1ms response time, and adaptive-sync technology (both G-Sync and FreeSync). The monitor is ideal for gaming or other fast-paced activities as it eliminates motion blur and input lag.

The curved screen enhances immersion, and HDR600 ensures that the image output is always superb.

Specs;

  • Size: 27-34 inches
  • Panel: VA
  • Refresh rate: 240hz
  • Adaptive-Sync: G-Sync, FreeSync Premium Pro
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Weight: 15.87 pounds

Conclusion

With a significantly higher pixel count, 1440p tends to provide much clearer images. However, the difference in quality is only noticeable in the right conditions.

Additionally, 1080p tends to have better performance specs and image-enhancing features like HDR to smooth out the difference.

Our comparison used the average characteristics of both resolutions. You can find a high-quality 1440p monitor with all the best specs, and if you do, it’ll be better than a 1080p. However, it’ll cost a lot more too.

In the end, it depends on how much you’re willing to spend. 1080p offers better performance at lower prices, and that’s the key difference between them.

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