2560 x 1440 vs 1920 x 1080: How Noticable Is The Difference?

2560 x 1440 vs 1920 x 1080 is a must to consider when buying a monitor. How big is the difference between a 1440p monitor and a 1080p monitor? Is the leap from 1920 x 1080 to 2560 x 1440 worth it? To answer this question a few monitor concepts, a bit of math, and other considerations need to be taken into account.

Two very important aspect to understand in monitors are resolution and pixel density.

The resolution of a monitor dictates how many pixels there are and at what ratio (width to height). Some simple math helps to understand how much of an improvement a jump from 1920 x 1080 to 2560 x 1440 would be. A 2560 x 1440 resolution, commonly referred to as 1440p or WQHD (Wide Quad HD), has 3,686,400 pixels whereas a 1920 x 1080 resolution, commonly referred to as 1080p or FHD (Full HD), has 2,073,600 pixels. That’s a difference of 1,612,800 pixels or a 77% increase in the amount of pixels available. As a result of this, the image will be much sharper and clearer. Logically an even bigger resolution would mean an even bigger difference.

Now let’s throw pixel density into the mix. A monitor’s pixel density tells us how many pixels there are in relation to the monitor’s screen size and it is measured in pixels per inch (PPI). Pixel density is calculated by using the formula:

\displaystyle{PPI = \sqrt{w^2 + h^2}/d}

Now lucky for us there is no need to sit and crunch the numbers yourself as calculators like DPI Love quickly and easily do the work for you. Below we’ve included the important figures and as you can see the smaller the monitor size and the larger the resolution then the bigger the pixel density will be.

Monitor resolutionPixel amountPPI on a 24 inch monitorPPI on a 27 inch monitor
1920 x 10802,073,6009282
2560 x 14403,686,400122109

This brings us to another important point: viewing distance. How far you actually sit from your monitor will also play a role in how large the difference between the resolutions are since it will determine how well you can actually see. Everybody’s table sizes and sitting preferences vary but generally if you’re sitting less than three feet away then the difference should be clear. If you’re playing a game like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and sit very close to monitor then the difference will become immediately clear.

Another important factor to take into consideration when choosing between a 1440p monitor and a 1080p monitor is your graphics card. An increase in resolution means more pixels will need to be rendered and means it will be more intense on your graphics card. You will take a hit in performance. No doubt about it. It’s a good idea to check online benchmarks of your graphics card’s performance at both of the resolutions in the games you commonly play to see the difference in average frame rate.

Pictures or Youtube videos of the monitor that you’re interested in won’t show their true image quality nor show the difference between 2560 x 1440 vs 1920 x 1080. Realistically the best thing to do is visit your local electronics store and see how they look in person.