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I'm a software developer looking for more real estate on my desktop. I play occasional games, but not as much as I'd like. My budget is at or around 1k. I'm worried that if I get one that's too small, I'll end up having to zoom the text to even be able to read my source code. If I get one that's too big, I'll end up with neck issues.

28 inches? 30 inches? 32 inches? Something else? I've got a GTX 1080, does it matter if it's a G-Sync monitor or V-Sync?

I found this list of G-Sync 4k monitors, but the reviews are pretty sparse.

enter image description here Any suggestions?

  • Screen size, to a certain extent, is opinion based. But it also depends on how far you plan on being from the screen when you use it. How far from your screen do you plan on working? – 0-60FPS Feb 14 '17 at 6:58
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    Sorry, how is this question off-topic on Hardware.SE? – Dan Dascalescu Jun 8 at 3:30
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According to my sources (and I have a detailed answer on SU on the subject, including a handy graph and links to a spreadsheet) - 27" is *pretty" darned close to the sweetspot for PC use.

I game on a 980TI at that resolution (which is fine) but I've driven 4k60 off much older/less high end video cards. I don't use gsync (which is mainly for gaming) and vsync is unrelated. Personally I don't think g-sync would be that useful here.

Personally I'd suggest the dell P2715Q. I have one and its glorious. Its the "sweet spot" 27" which is just right for the distance I sit at - roughly 1.25m. Its IPS (and this matters in terms of colour quality), and comes calibrated out of the box.

The wirecutter considers it the best 4k monitor of any size - and its reasonably priced compared to most options.

It has the essentials - pair of DP 1.2 ports (one micro and one standard) and one more to let you daisy chain (Don't daisy chain) , HDMI/MHL (4k30 only tho) in case you need to plug in a non PC device.

It also has a few nice things like an onboard USB 3.0 hub and the ability to turn off the powerlight when its in use. This sounds like a minor thing but its awesome.

It also comes with the dell stands - which are pretty much the best in the industry and let tilt, pivot and adjust heights to your preferences. You can trivially swap these out for standard VESA mounts for wall or multi monitor mounts, or a dell 2 monitor stand.

Fonts are readable (at 150% UI scaling on windows 10) and seriously crisp. What 4K content I've tested so far looks great too. I've basically ploughed through several novels and a few hundred stackexchange answers on this and its not fatiguing at all. I've gamed on it (though my 980TI sometimes wheezes during particularly demanding scenes)

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  • I use dual P2415Qs and love them. Cheap and great monitors; the P2*15Q monitors are awesome! – NoahL Mar 1 '17 at 0:52
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I use two Samsung UE590Ds, and would recommend 4k for both programming and games. I run Visual Studio and a large array of steam games.

Recommendations

  • Use 30" or 27" /w a close desk setup. I do end up zooming from time to time, however even with zoom I do save screen real-state (with all the other menus in Visual Studio).
    • If you go with 32" and plan on multiple screens make sure you have the desk restate to support it.
  • Use a beefy GPU, you look to have this covered with the gtx 1080.
    • I am running a 980-ti and on heavy action sequences my frame-rate drops. I am thinking that G-Sync would help but a better GPU would help more.
  • Do not use windows scaling, things that are not 100% windows scale look smeared. Also if you are using multiple screens and one is not the same resolution it causes havoc when you move windows across the screens.
    • Most programs (Chrome, Visual Studio, etc.) can scale on there own with Alt + scroll anyways, the apps do a better job scaling then windows does.
  • Use Display Port instead of HDMI, some screens support HDMI 2.0 spec (4k-60fps) however many do not.
  • Check for VESA support, if you want to customize you desk layout VESA allows many 3rd party stand options for you. This help if you want a multiple screen setup.
  • Demo the screen if you can first, try both TN and IPS panels.
    • My screen is TN, IPS screens do look a lot better (for example blacks look darker), I would have liked to view the monitor first to test this out before I purchased mine.
  • Make sure your screen has a good ms response time, screens that take a long time to respond do not render action (games) well and case many to feel sick after long viewing hours.

You may already know these things but they may be helpful if you did not. Good luck with your 4k plans.

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In my opinion, to view code/text on a 4K screen without zoom (hence the "more real estate"), you cannot settle for a smaller screen size but go all the way up to a 32"

But you don't need to spend $1300 (which is out of your budget) for that Acer 32". Check out the BenQ BL3201PH which is a great 32" 4K at a bit more of a reasonable price point, but still a very good piece.

It was the only 32" on The best 4K monitors list from Engadget. And here is how they describe it:

The BenQ BL3201PH is a beast. It's the best 4K monitor you can buy if you have room on your desk for its 32-inch screen. The biggest benefit of a giant 4K monitor is that you might not need to scale your display when running the monitor at its native resolution. That way, you'll avoid one of the main issues plaguing 4K—third-party apps that look ugly, blurry, or too tiny to use when Windows embiggens your on-screen items.

Of all the large 4K monitors we looked at, the BL3201PH offers the best combination of price and performance, plenty of connectivity, all the right ergonomic adjustments, and a good assortment of features in an easy-to-navigate configuration screen.

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