When we talk about a 16: 9 widescreen display, we are talking precisely about the aspect ratio of the screen, and as we said before, this is something that often goes unnoticed because we take it for granted. In this article, we are going to tell you what aspect ratio is, what it influences and what aspect ratios we can find in modern PC monitors.
What is the aspect ratio on a monitor?
This parameter is, as its name suggests, a relation, and a relation must necessarily have two different values linked to each other. When we talk about monitors, the aspect ratio is related to the number of pixels of the horizontal resolution compared to the vertical, the horizontal being the first and the vertical the second.
This way, if we say that a monitor has an aspect ratio of 16: 9, that means that for 16 pixels in its horizontal resolution, we will find 9 pixels in its vertical resolution. There is a very simple math operation to figure this out: if you take a monitor’s resolution, say Full HD as an example, which is 1920 x 1080 pixels, and you divide each of those values by the aspect ratio, it must necessarily give the same number.
With the example, if we take the horizontal resolution (1920) and divide it by the first value of the aspect ratio (16), that gives us 120. If we do the same with the vertical resolution (1080) and divide it by the second value (9), that also gives us 120. If we move this example to a monitor with a resolution of 1440p (2560 x 1440) and do the same, that gives us the same value on both sides of the operation. , only in this case it gives us 160 because the resolution is higher.
The aspect ratio and resolution of the monitor
Considering what we explained in the previous section, it will surely be very easy for you to understand why the screen resolution depends on the aspect ratio and vice versa. We will explain it again with a clear example, using the most common resolution today, Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels): a Full HD monitor will always necessarily be 16: 9 and cannot have an aspect ratio. / different width because then it could not have such a resolution.
Therefore, taking another example, imagine an ultra-wide monitor that has a resolution of 3440 x 1440 pixels. This monitor has an aspect ratio of 21: 9 as we explained before (in this case it should literally be 21.5: 9, but it is limited to 21: 9), and there is no way that ‘it has 16: 9, because if so, its horizontal resolution would have to be 2560 for the mathematical operation to give us the same integer.
Therefore, since the aspect ratio is precisely a relationship between the horizontal and vertical pixels of the screen, these are two values that are related and one necessarily depends on the other.
Most commonly used aspect ratios on a modern PC
As we said at the beginning, today the panoramic aspect ratio of 16: 9 is considered the norm, although it is true that in the past the most used was 4: 3. However , today many other aspect ratios are used, and without going any further, we can take as an example ultra-wide monitors or those of professional design. In any case, we will tell you below what are the most used aspect ratios, what each of them is used for and examples of resolution with them.
- 1: 1 means that for every horizontal pixel we have one vertical, which means the screen is completely square. This type of aspect ratio is used a lot in the field of design because it allows to have real images. An example resolution is 1920 x 1920 pixels.
- 4: 3 It was then the most widely used ratio anywhere, although today it is hardly used except in environments where old monitors are kept. Typical resolutions are 640 x 480, 800 x 600, or 1024 x 768 pixels.
- 3: 2 Oddly, it’s an aspect ratio that’s still used a lot, and although we’ve seen it especially in already outdated laptops, it’s still used in devices like the Microsoft Surface. It has also been used extensively in smartphones and DSLR cameras, and its most common resolution is 2160 x 1440 pixels.
- 16: 9 It is the most used format and considered today as the standard. Typical resolutions are 1920 x 1080, 2560 x 1440, and 3840 x 2160 pixels.
- 16:10 It is also widely used, although more in the US market than in the European market. The most typical resolution is 1920 x 1200, which as you can see applies a handful of pixels more vertically, i.e. the screen is slightly higher than in the 16: 9 ratio. .
- 21: 9 it is the most common format used in ultra-wide monitors, with the most common resolutions being 2560 x 1080 and 3440 x 1440 pixels. As we said before, this ratio would actually have to be called 21.5: 9 to be true. By the way, movies in the American format have this native aspect ratio, that is, if an American movie is viewed on a 21: 9 screen, there will be no horizontal black bands.
- 32: 9 This is a new format of the so-called Super Ultra Wide monitors, which is literally equivalent to two 16: 9 monitors placed side by side. Its most common resolution is 3840 x 1080 and 5120 x 1440 pixels.
- There are other less common resolutions such as 1.85: 1 (Cinema Film US) y 2.35: 1 (Cinemascope) that are not visible on commercial monitors.
What is the most recommended aspect ratio for gaming?
As always, the answer to this question depends on your needs and preferences, but we’ll give you a clear answer that has to do with the market trend: currently the 16: 9 widescreen format is the standard, and the most. It is advisable to opt for a wide screen (or at most 21: 9 ultra wide) for compatibility, clear and simple.
This way, with the vast majority of AV content designed precisely for these proportions, you’ll avoid problems and maximize both your performance and productivity.