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What Is Computer Monitor Resolution?



Screen resolution denotes the number of pixels on the screen.

It may seem be hard to believe, but in today’s world of varied creative professionals and personal computer configurations, there are well over 100 possible different settings for a computer monitor or LCD screen’s visual image resolution. However, only about ten or so are in wide use, led by the setting of 1024 pixels wide X 768 pixels high.

What Is a Pixel?

A pixel, or picture element, is the tiny building block of each and every image display shown on a computer monitor. Each one of these tiny elements changes at nanosecond speed to convey its portion of an image’s overall command. However, a computer monitor resolution does not in any way affect the visual quality of an image. It simply tells a computer the size of the image or text to display.

Default Screen Resolution

Generally speaking, the default setting for a computer monitor’s resolution is related to the physical size of the monitor screen. Smaller screens have less pixels to play with, while larger screens offer more pixels. A computer or laptop screen with a 15-inch diagonal measurement corresponds to a recommended setting of 800 X 600 pixels. Seventeen inches equals the aforementioned 1024 X 768; 19 inches corresponds to the setting of 1280 X 1024; and a 21-inch computer monitor can tap into the maximum screen setting of 1600 X 1200.

In the early days of the Internet, websites would sometimes prompt users to adjust the resolution of their computer monitors for optimized viewing of content. But today’s sophisticated web hosting environments are able to detect what size computer monitor is being used and adjust the site display as needed to suit user specifications.

Computer Display Standards

Looking up a computer monitor’s display setting will often bring up not just a numbered width and height equation but also some sort of lettered abbreviation as well. This is a reflection of one of the many different computer display standards, which go by acronyms such as WVGA, SXGA and so on. Each one corresponds to a specific aspect display ratio and total number of available pixels on a computer.


Resources – Screen Resolution Tester, Retrieved September 26, 2010 from

Computer Resolution for Dummies – Retrieved September 26, 2010 from – Computer or Monitor, Retrieved September 26, 2010 from

Miller Technologies – Computer Display Standards, Retrieved September 26, 2010 from

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