A New Monitor

29 June 2021

My employer recently subsidized a new monitor purchase for my work from home computer setup. Initially I was unsure about what specs to look for in a new monitor. Now, I know most of the technical terms, I’ve seen friends’ 240Hz IPS panels, 32” VA panels and all sorts of monitors in between, however up until this point I’ve used a variety of hand-me-down monitors from friends and relatives. The only new monitors I’ve purchased have been a Dell P2419H, which was also subsidised by my employer in 2020, and a 21” Samsung SyncMaster in ~2011.

Use Case

After reading Tonksy’s post about 4K monitors, and realising I had a similar use case, I decided to shop around for a panel with the following specs:

Resolution: 4K
Display Technology: VA panel 
Price: <$400

This monitor also had to work with my existing hardware, which is a Dell OptiPlex 3070 SFF which I purchased earlier last year for the sole use of connecting to my work’s LDI.

Graphics specs on my work from home PC:

- Intel 630 Graphics (9th Gen I5-9500) 
- 1 DisplayPort 1.2 connector 
- 1 HDMI 1.4 connector

HDMI can’t do 4K at 60Hz, which was (is) rather annoying considering I want 4K output at 60Hz. I planned to use 200% scaling to achieve a 1080p useable display area with a much greater pixel density (closer to Retina display pixel density). This lead me to lookup DisplayPort’s capabilities - it turns out that DisplayPort 1.2 can output 4K at 60Hz so I added a DisplayPort to the list of “must have” features for my new monitor.

In the end, one monitor stood out, the Samsung UJ59 32” 4K monitor. Samsung markets this panel as a sort of TV replacement with gaming capabilities, but I don’t really care about any of that.