As computer workstations get larger, faster, and more expensive, it can be hard to make a confident buying decision. No matter what component you are considering, you can always upgrade to a faster and “better” option – but this always comes with a bigger price tag.
One component where this is especially true is the computer monitor. Between screen size, resolution, and refresh rate, there are unlimited options for you to consider.
If you want to spend thousands of dollars on an 8K monitor, there is nothing stopping you. But before swiping your credit card, spend some time to make sure you are purchasing the right monitor for you. The “right monitor” means it has the size and performance that you need, without unnecessary features, size, or expense.
Here, we will take a look at 31.5” and 32” monitors. More importantly, we will answer a few questions, such as whether or not the 32” monitor size is too big for gaming and office work. We will also discuss the necessary resolution for these oversized monitors, and whether you need a 1080p, 1440p, or full 4K.
Quick Answer: Is a 31.5 inch (or 32 inch) Monitor Too Big?
As a computer workstation, most users tolerate a 32” monitor as long as they make some adjustments.
- First, you need to increase the distance between yourself and your monitor. If you sit with your eyes only two feet from the monitor, a 32” screen will be excessively large and unpleasant to look at.
- Second, you will need to make some size adjustments and also use multiple windows and panes if your monitor is this big. A 32” monitor should allow for multitasking in the same way that a dual or triple monitor setup would. If you only plan to have one window open at a time, 32” is much too large.
- Lastly, text will not be incredibly sharp with resolutions less than 4K. If you aren’t especially picky, text at 1440p resolution will look just fine, but not as crisp as some other monitors.
For gaming, there is nothing “wrong” with a 32” monitor – but most of the pros use ~24” monitors for a reason.
- On a 32” screen, your head and eyes will have to do a lot of tracking to the periphery. This can slow down processing and reaction times.
- It will be necessary to increase the distance between your eyes and your monitor. For some setups, this isn’t ideal.
For anybody that demands crystal clear text, purchase a 32” monitor with 4K resolution. On a 1440p monitor (or especially a 1080p), text will be slightly blurred or pixelated.
1440p, 1080p, or 4K: What Resolution Does a 31.5”/32” Monitor Need?
The answer to this question is dependent on who you ask.
Computer workstations often bring out the elitists, which makes sense because some of the workstations you see pictured online are pretty dang impressive.
An elitist (or “purist,” if we want to use a more polite word) will tell you that a 32” monitor needs to be 4K. He/she will say that 1440p image quality is unacceptable due to the relatively low pixel density.
On the other hand, some people are perfectly content with a 32” monitor with 1080p resolution.
Generally speaking, you should choose a 32” monitor with a minimum of 1440p resolution. This pixel density is roughly equivalent to a 24” monitor with 1080p, which is a fairly common and universally-accepted setup.
If you demand crystal clear text, you may want to consider a 4K monitor (or decreasing the size of your 1440p to 27” or less). On the other hand, gamers and office workers should be just fine with a 1440p resolution.
More Detail & Items to Consider
As mentioned previously, a 32” 1440p monitor has roughly the same pixel density as a 24” 1080p monitor. So, if you can find a 24” 1080p monitor (or similar), you can use this as a baseline to determine whether or not a 32” 1440p setup will provide you with the clarity you need.
For anyone that is very particular with image quality, a solid rule of thumb is that a 1080p monitor shouldn’t exceed 21”, a 1440p monitor shouldn’t exceed 27”, and a 32”+ monitor needs to be 4K.
Adjustment to a larger screen
Even if you aren’t especially demanding when it comes to picture quality, you should still prepare for an adjustment period.
If you have spent years staring at a laptop screen or a basic 15” computer monitor, making the jump to a 31.5” display will be jarring at first.
Additionally, you will need to spend some time tweaking the display. It takes some trial and error to find the ideal layout of pages and windows. Additionally, you may need to increase the text size in order to be viewable.
Ideal Gaming Setup
For gaming, a good rule of thumb is to limit your monitor size to 27″.
As monitor size increases to 32″ or beyond, a lot of the visuals move to the periphery of the screen. When this happens, it is more work for your eyes (and brain) to process this info.
When you work harder to process the visual cues, your reaction time inevitably slows. As mentioned above, pro gamers tend to use 24″ screens for a reason. If a 32″+ screen provided a competitive advantage, the pros would be using them.
If you want to improve your gaming experience, it would be better to increase your monitor’s refresh rate (Hz) rather than size.
Ideal Office Setup
For an office setup, it is still usually best not to exceed a 27″ monitor.
However, this varies significantly from one person to the next.
We have all seen those awesome setups where a programmer or designer manages to use two, or even three, 32″ screens simultaneously. And for some people, it really is beneficial to have this oversized setup.
But for the majority of users, a monitor of 32″ may be more work than it is worth. First, you will need to rearrange your workstation configuration.
The average monitor sits about 2 feet in front of the user’s eyes, which is just too close for an oversized monitor. So, you will need to either mount your monitor to the wall, or at the very least move it to the very back of your desk.
Next, many people find that the 32″ size is awkwardly large. Generally, a 27″ monitor is plenty of size to work with two windows open. When the size exceeds 27″, you find yourself looking left and right to see the screen, which leads many users to consider a curved monitor, which is more ideal for this situation.
However, there is a great deal of personal preference involved — so if you are sure you want a 31.5″ or 32″ monitor, we won’t be the ones to try stopping you!
Single vs. Dual Monitor Setup
There is no shortage of information available regarding dual, triple, and vertical monitor setups. So just like everything else, it comes down to whatever works best for you.
The advantage of a single oversized monitor is simple — fewer cords, fewer devices to buy, and less mess to manage.
Plus, with a single monitor you will never have to worry about the “disappearing cursor” which always plagues a dual monitor setup (anybody that has used a dual setup will understand what I am talking about).
Frankly, if you can find a single oversized monitor, rather than 2 standard monitors, it is usually easier to deal with the single oversized.
Personal preference will determine whether or not a 32″ monitor is “too big.”
For gaming, most of the pros use a 24″ monitor rather than 31.5″ or larger.
For office setups, a 27″ monitor tends to be more convenient than a monitor of 31.5″ or larger.
However, the choice is entirely up to you. If you choose to purchase a 32″ monitor, opt for a 1440p or 4K screen resolution to ensure a clear image. If a 4K monitor is above your price range, you can also choose a 1440p monitor in a smaller size, such as 24″ or 27″.
And having said all of the above, there are people with 40″+ monitors that love their setup. So rather than looking for a rule on monitor sizing, try out an oversized monitor and see if you like it.