The great PPI/DPI debate:

In Windows: What is your preferred PPI?

  • 80 to 90

    Votes: 4 12.5%
  • 90 to 100

    Votes: 4 12.5%
  • 100 to 110

    Votes: 11 34.4%
  • 110+

    Votes: 13 40.6%

  • Total voters
    32
  • Poll closed .

Pastuch

Gawd
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PPI = Pixels Per Inch - Calculator here

I find debates on what PPI different people find comfortable to be endlessly facinating. (Total dork right! :p)

I like anything from 90 to 100 PPI because I prefer to sit at least 3 feet from my displays and I hate increasing font size in Windows. I would prefer higher PPI if Windows apps/games weren't so shitty for scaling. I have 20/20 vision in both eyes. If I go above 105 DPI and don't increase the font size I start to 'lean in' to my monitor. Bad posture/ergonomics will lead to carpal tunnel and I'd like to avoid that as long as possible. You start to think about this shit more in your 30s or even sooner if you know what's good for you!

With all the new displays/resolutions lately, I find myself constantly using this site to check PPI vs seating distance.

For fun I thought I would compare the PPI of all my monitors below and provide feedback on my experiences:

2001: Samsung 900NF- 19 inch CRT - BNC cables! - 1280x1024 @ 85hz - 86 PPI
My competitive CS monitor. Did a fantastic job and is still my favorite gaming monitor (Sad really)

2005: Dell 2005FPW - 20 inch IPS - DVI -1680x1050 - 99 PPI
Horrendous input lag that destroyed my CounterStrike scores. Lovely picture though.

2007: Westinghouse LVM-42w2 - 42 inch IPS - DVI - 1920x1080 - 52 PPI
This was my WoW monitor for years. One of the best value monitors I've ever had. No one knew what Input lag was back then but I think it was pretty poor. It was the first affordable 1080P TV/Monitor and it had DVI so a lot of us bought one.

2010: Benq W5000 Projector - 116 inch DLP - HDMI - 1920x1080 - 19 PPI
My favorite display ever. It sucks for games because it has 80+ms input lag but the picture quality still puts all my other displays to shame. DLP motion is so fluid and it has a real cinema 'natural 3D' look. The display scaler in this thing is magic I swear! Seating Distances - First Row: 9 feet - Second Row: 14 Feet

2011: Asus VW246H - 24 inch TN - DVI - 1920x1080 - 92 PPI
A decent TN with not bad input lag but my god were the colors awful compared to the projector. The Benq W5000 cost 10x as much so I guess that makes sense.

2012: Benq XL2410T - 24inch TN- 1920x1080 @120hz - 92 PPI
The 2410T looks like dog shit. Honestly the picture quality is as bad as TN gets but 120hz was nice for Battlefield BC2 and BF3.

2013: BenQ GW2750HM - 27 inch VA - 1920x1080 - DVI - 82 PPI
The contrast ratio is awesome but the PWM backlight is starting to drive me crazy. It's my secondary monitor so I don't care that much. The new GW2760HM is a MUCH MUCH better monitor.

QNIX QX2710 Evolution 2 - 27 inch PLS - 2560x1440 - DL-DVI - 109 PPI
Other than the backlight bleed, I think this is a stellar monitor. In my purchasing history, it's the value king. For $350 shipped, I love it for gaming. I'm not comfortable at stock font size though, I have it at 125% (large) in Windows 8. I think a 32inch 1440p display would be a better fit for me.

2014: The itch has got me bad, I really want 4k. The 50 Vizio P series looks the most interesting to me because it has full array local dimming (FALD).

Vizio P502ui-B1 - 50 inch VA - DP 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 Adapter (IF THEY EVER MAKE ONE! FUUUUCK!) - 88 PPI

Note: My room mate has the last generation of Pioneer Kuro Plasma TV and it's the nicest picture I've ever seen. If I was him I'd use it as a computer monitor immediately.
 
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Church

Limp Gawd
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4K indeed is biggest offender to ressurecting DPI debate, due more then doubling it on some newer small size 4K screens. It's way bigger jump then mere +/- 15% in poll, it's +100% or more. I wonder if maybe worth to add for such screens poll choice of 150-200 DPI.
 

Pastuch

Gawd
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Messages
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4K indeed is biggest offender to ressurecting DPI debate, due more then doubling it on some newer small size 4K screens. It's way bigger jump then mere +/- 15% in poll, it's +100% or more. I wonder if maybe worth to add for such screens poll choice of 150-200 DPI.

Good point but I don't think anyone can really use a 28 inch 4k monitor at default windows font sizes without a magnifying glass. 200% font scaling is pretty awful in a LOT of games/apps.
 

Church

Limp Gawd
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Just 28"? You can buy & here are few related threads for 24" 4K displays :D (and probably there will be few victims of their seemingly low price). While no more purchaseable, few years ago there were 22" 3840×2400 displays by ibm/viewsonic/iiyama with 205 PPI :)
 

elvn

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
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108.8 ppi at 2560x1440 is great at desktop distances with default font sizes. I use a 17" 1080p laptop which is around 130ppi easily too, even when I use it on a latop cooler as a secondary monitor/system on a desk further away than you would typically use a laptop. Look at the default text size of a newspaper and of most paperback novels at arms length, or sheet music notations and lyrics. They are around the same size and in some cases smaller. Unless you have slightly weak eyesight and need to hold those types of media up closer to your chest/face to see them (outside of arm/posture comfort considerations of course), you shouldn't have a problem with 108.8 to even 130 ppi at normal desktop distances. Three feet is pushing it. 2 to 2.5' is more common. With a good ero monitor arm you can adjust your view distances more, and even vary the distance depending on what you are doing (desktop/apps vs gaming for example).

There is a difference between high ppi which this thread focuses on, and increased resolution although they usually go hand in hand. You could have a 34" 4k panel that is 130ppi (like my 17" laptop's ppi), which would be readable without using undependable scaling in windows/apps.

For gaming, ppi is a completely different matter since there are huge tradeoffs on motion definition(action slices/second, amount of motion articulation) and motion clarity("focus"/blur-reduction/blur-elimination) as well as frame rate limitations due to gpu power/budgets vs resolution(even robust enthusiast budgets).
Unfortunately there are huge tradeoffs between a better desktop/app monitor and a superior gaming monitor.
For gaming.. it's not the size (of the pixels, within reason), it's the motion in the ocean. You don't play a screenshot.

These polls tend to pigeon hole people. You might prefer a very high ppi for desktop/apps and not for gaming at the moment. You might prefer 110+ ppi if but only if windows and apps would dependably scale properly. The results therefore will be statistics of omission unfortunately.
 
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bexamous

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Messages
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80 is low as I'd ever want to use.
90-100 is pretty okay
110 still pushing limit but still usable without needing to scale ever
120 still usable but wanting to increase font size just a tad maybe
130+ is a pain
150 is just stupid... nothing was designed to handled this, scaling is always a hacked on option and it becomes very obvious at this dpi.

Now all this is my opinion sitting properly at 24-30". If screen is closer for some reason maybe go up 10dpi, or further away go down 10dpi or something, or if you want to be able to lean back in chair a lot maybe go down 10dpi for that.
 

dmonkey

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Input lag on the 2005FPW? I never noticed it. Then again, I wasn't competitive, but I had no problems beating the pubs. :)

4K is great because now you can have larger displays with about the same PPI. On the Seiki 39" the PPI is right around 110. Very useable at monitor rather than TV viewing distance.
 

hajalie24

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I'm on a 1440p 27 monitor and from 3-4 feet away everything looks huge and it bothers me. My laptop is 15.6 1080p which is around 140 PPI I believe and its great at pretty much all distances. When I tried a 4k monitor which is 158 PPI it was a bit harder to read at my typical range, but became very pleasant when I got a little closer (very close to 3 feet I believe). This is all at 100% scaling.

My venue 11 pro is 1080p at 10.6 inches which is like 208 PPI I think. I can see things just fine at 1-2 feet away and I love it. Its great having all that real estate on a tablet (again this is at 100% scaling)
 
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Ppi/dpi is a load of crap. If you want higher ppi, go sit further away from your monitor. I guarantee you the ppi will magically increase without you spending a dime or buying a new monitor. You can also get one of those QHD phones that have over 500 ppi and use it like a high end monitor. Some people swear by them and have abandoned bulky computers and monitors altogether.
 

bexamous

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I've said this before but this is a computer forum and people sit at desks, there is not a huge variation in monitor or seating position. If you know your setup is abnormal you label it as such, otherwise it'll be assumed to be typical. See the 'Show Your LCD(s) setups!!!' thread for a bajillion pages of people's desks, they are all very similar. It is something to keep in mind but it doesn't make DPI meaningless.
 

Pastuch

Gawd
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108.8 ppi at 2560x1440 is great at desktop distances with default font sizes. I use a 17" 1080p laptop which is around 130ppi easily too, even when I use it on a latop cooler as a secondary monitor/system on a desk further away than you would typically use a laptop. Look at the default text size of a newspaper and of most paperback novels at arms length, or sheet music notations and lyrics. They are around the same size and in some cases smaller. Unless you have slightly weak eyesight and need to hold those types of media up closer to your chest/face to see them (outside of arm/posture comfort considerations of course), you shouldn't have a problem with 108.8 to even 130 ppi at normal desktop distances. Three feet is pushing it. 2 to 2.5' is more common. With a good ero monitor arm you can adjust your view distances more, and even vary the distance depending on what you are doing (desktop/apps vs gaming for example).

Three feet isn't pushing anything, it's my preferred seating distance and there is nothing wrong with it from an ergonomics perspective. I don't WANT the screen close to my face. Like I said, I have 20/20 vision (just had it checked), I just prefer to sit further from my displays.

These polls tend to pigeon hole people. You might prefer a very high ppi for desktop/apps and not for gaming at the moment. You might prefer 110+ ppi if but only if windows and apps would dependably scale properly. The results therefore will be statistics of omission unfortunately.

I agree with you here, I would prefer 110+ on a Mac but they can't play video games.
 

Pastuch

Gawd
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I'm on a 1440p 27 monitor and from 3-4 feet away everything looks huge and it bothers me. My laptop is 15.6 1080p which is around 140 PPI I believe and its great at pretty much all distances. When I tried a 4k monitor which is 158 PPI it was a bit harder to read at my typical range, but became very pleasant when I got a little closer (very close to 3 feet I believe). This is all at 100% scaling.

My venue 11 pro is 1080p at 10.6 inches which is like 208 PPI I think. I can see things just fine at 1-2 feet away and I love it. Its great having all that real estate on a tablet (again this is at 100% scaling)

I guess you have 20/15 vision in both eyes because my posture goes to shit if I try to use a 15.6 inch 1080p screen. 110+ PPI and I'm uncomfortable at more than 2 feet.
 

hajalie24

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My vision must be extremely good if you say you have 20/20 vision and have trouble with 110+ ppi from 2 feet away. I'm typing this from my laptop/tablet at 204 ppi from 2 feet away comfortably. That means my vision must be 20/10 or your vision is worse than 20/20.

I find it a bit hard to believe the average person would have trouble viewing a 27 inch 1440p monitor.
 

Mr.Pixel

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OP: You may want to make the distinction between preferred PPI and preferred interface size. The OS PPI should always be set to that of the display if possible, as this allows documents (like images in Photoshop and pages in Word) to be shown at their real size. The size of interface elements can then be changed without affecting the PPI.

For example, I'm using a 27" 109 PPI display and have Win7 set to 109 PPI. That means any program smart enough to read this info from the OS can easily show the real size of documents on the screen. However, this increases the size of window title bars too much in my opinion, so I manually adjust them to be smaller. What OS makers need to realize is that interface size needs to be independent of PPI setting, because all the latter should be doing is informing the OS about a property of the display.
 

Mr.Pixel

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I find it a bit hard to believe the average person would have trouble viewing a 27 inch 1440p monitor.

Agreed. I have 20/25 vision (as of last check), and I can read this 12 pt font in the browser from 6 feet away. Aliasing is even visible on objects on my 250PPI phone from ~3 feet away, and I sit about 18-20 inches from my desktop display. My vision has worsened somewhat over the past few years, so it was definitely better than this for the majority of my life.
 

suiken_2mieu

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I run 30" 2560x1600 displays. I use %100 scaling in windows, but I do tend to scale up on firefox. I also sit like 3 feet away from my displays.

I plan on buying the 40" 4k monitor from seiki when they come out.
 

Sancus

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If you have 20/20 vision and start to lean in at 3ft from your display, you either don't have 20/20 vision or you've trained yourself to prefer font sizes significantly larger than the actual limit of your eyesight.

With 20/20 vision, you should be able to read 2mm high text from 4 feet away according to standard eye charts, and that's a pretty common text size at 110dpi. 3 feet would allow even smaller! The text on this forum is larger than 2mm for example at default zoom and 140dpi, and I can read it at 3 feet away with 20/30 vision. Having genuine difficulty reading at 20/20 from 3ft is pretty much physically impossible without extremely high dpis(like 200+) or unusually small text.
 

elvn

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...<snip>...
Look at the default text size of a newspaper and of most paperback novels at arms length, or sheet music notations and lyrics. They are around the same size and in some cases smaller. Unless you have slightly weak eyesight and need to hold those types of media up closer to your chest/face to see them (outside of arm/posture comfort considerations of course), you shouldn't have a problem with 108.8 to even 130 ppi at normal desktop distances.
..<snip>.

I run 30" 2560x1600 displays. I use %100 scaling in windows, but I do tend to scale up on firefox. I also sit like 3 feet away from my displays.

I plan on buying the 40" 4k monitor from seiki when they come out.

I don't scale up my browser but I do have the option up/down depending on what page I'm viewing. The nosquint addon for firefox allows you to change the background and text colors as well as the page zoom level (independently of images or not) on a per page basis and/or globally and remembers the pages.
https://addons.cdn.mozilla.net/img/uploads/previews/full/32/32013.png?modified=1331247702

The apples to apples resolution graphic I made shows a bunch of different displays all at the same 108.8 ppi. The 4k one would be around 40.8". (Nice for desktop/apps real estate but imo not good for games for various reasons).

4k_21x9_2560x-27in-and-30in_1080p_same-ppi.jpg
 
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Church

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Imho 40" 4K would be wonderful for games. Same DPI, yet wider POV = not worsened image due bigger screen because of resolution increase, yet more immersion from covering more of sight due wider view angle.
 

elvn

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It depends how you look at it and how far away you set the monitor. A 4k panel is a block of four 1080p resolutions basically. 4K HD: 3840x2160 (a.k.a. Quad HD) Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (1.78:1). If at normal desk distances, in 1st/3rd person games you would have the same exact viewport just JUMBO in front of your face on a larger (~40") screen - pushing the extents into your periphery. This is eye bending and micro neck bending to the periphery band/zones. You wouldn't gain any game world real estate/FoV, just higher pixel count.

It would be nice if it were standard for games to allow you to define a virtual primary monitor space in the middle of a screen(incl the whole primary scene element sizes, HUDs, notifications, pointers, chat).. with all extents being additional FoV, or have FoV sliders/controls that provide a similar result. This is not the case unfortunately. In order to increase your FoV considerably (in 1st/3rd person games) you usually have to use a different aspect ratio via LLL triple monitor or a a 21:9 monitor. I wonder if you could run a 4k at 3840x1600 (x1613 I think to get 21:9 but close enough) with black bars on top and bottom 280px high each, and if the majority games would be able to support it similar to a 3440x1440 21:9 monitor. Reference the +280 top and bottom on the graphic I made but across the whole monitor web-cyb.org 4k_21x9_2560x-27in-and-30in_1080p_same-ppi.jpg

I'd never go back to playing 60hz on 1st/3rd person games personally. There are no 120hz-144hz 1ms nor g-sync/ulmb 21:9's yet (dynamic hz/backlight strobing). Displayport 1.3 does allow for 120hz (*input*) at 4k if someone ever decides to make one. There will be a few gsync 4k panels at 60hz soon (you might be able to run them at 120hz input at 1920x1080 though). Either way 1ms at 120hz+ (TN)would have the least FoV movement blur, and ips with slower response time would be better for desktop/apps so there are huge tradeoffs all around atm... not to mention the gpu demands for gaming at 3840x2160 being stupid vs gpu power/cost currently.
 
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