Nine common mistakes when using a monitor

A monitor , like any technical device, can be associated with many problems initiated by inactivity or, on the contrary, by overly active actions of the user.

We’ve already covered how to test a monitor before buying , why you don’t need HDR, and what tricks marketers use when advertising their products. Today we’ll talk about what mistakes an inexperienced user can make when working with a monitor.

Cable selection

Many years ago, it was a typical situation when the happy owner of a new monitor was faced with poor image quality (ripples and stripes) due to the use of an adapter or an analog VGA cable. Fortunately, we got rid of these anachronisms long ago, and today VGA can be found only in the cheapest office solutions, where a good picture is in last place.It is best to connect the display to a PC with the most modern ports available. The most hassle-free solution is DisplayPort , which allows you to get the most out of your monitor. For example, only it supports NVIDIA’s G-Sync adaptive sync technology.

Another hot option is HDMI . Of the minuses – constant dances with changing standards and cables.

The second cable issue concerns gaming monitors. Sometimes they do not deliver the stated maximum refresh rate. There are two reasons: an old video card that does not hold that frequency, and a cheap Chinese cable that a budget user bought, since the greedy manufacturer did not put a good DisplayPort or HDMI in the box.

If 144 Hz does not turn on in the video card driver, the first step is to check the monitor settings, the second is to change the cable, preferably to DisplayPort.

Monitor connection

If HDMI was chosen to connect the monitor, it is worth remembering that it is absolutely NOT possible to plug it “hot”! Of course, there will always be a friend who “does this all the time” … However, one fine (and not far off) day the port will simply burn out. Moreover, it will burn beautifully and with a smoke.The golden rule: when connecting the monitor to a PC or laptop, both devices must be turned off, or better off, de-energized.

Installing the monitor

The instructions for many monitors clearly state that the device must be at least 10 cm away from the wall. Most monitors are passively cooled, and therefore a small flow of fresh air from the back is simply necessary. Moreover, the higher the brightness, the more space you need. In the case of a wall mount , the requirements are the same.

The second mistake is to put the monitor in front of the window. This will cause glare and flare on the screen. It is also not worth placing the monitor with its back to the window, since the sunlight will hit the user’s eyes directly. Ideally, use curtains or find a place out of direct sunlight and light it up at night.

How and what to clean the monitor

Remember how we all laughed at Apple, which sold its nano-coated XDR monitor with a special cloth? By the way, in vain. Screen care is not as easy as it might seem.

Most modern monitors have matte antiglare film on them. Under no circumstances should such displays be wiped with window and mirror cleaners, or any alcohol-containing liquids. In addition, do not use ordinary rags, cotton pads and paper towels, which can leave behind fine threads and lint.

For screen care, it is better to buy non-woven wipes and special sprays. However, untested products can lead to streaks and stains that can be extremely difficult to remove later. It is better to brush off ordinary dust with a feather or brush. And don’t forget three rules:

  • the monitor must be turned off during cleaning;
  • we sprinkle liquid products on a rag, and not on a screen;
  • movements should be delicate so as not to damage the matrix.

Try to touch the monitor matrix as little as possible, do not sneeze or spit on the screen. It is also worth getting rid of the bad habit of eating and drinking at the computer.

Setting up the monitor

A typical user mistake is the fear of adjusting the monitor for themselves. As they brought from the store, it works. But it has at least a choice of image mode and brightness adjustment. The other extreme is thoughtless adjustment of parameters, which can lead to a loss of correct color rendition or negatively affect the eyes.

Without proper experience, it is better not to touch settings such as contrast, black stabilizer, gamma, sharpness, color temperature, etc. Modern monitors have good factory settings for these parameters, which should be sufficient for most home use scenarios.

However, if the user boldly twisted the sliders, climbed into the deepest settings and suffered a fiasco, you can always roll back to the factory settings.


Probably every second user considers it his duty to keep this parameter at the maximum. The coolest monitors on the market peaked at 2,000 nits. In fact, the normal operating brightness of a monitor is 100-150 nits and is typically in the 25-40 range of dimming. With a high level of ambient light, it can be raised to 50-60 units.

Monitor brightness is affected by lighting. Its incorrect setting can adversely affect vision, cause fatigue and pain in the eyes. The most negative option is to work at a monitor with 100% brightness at night

Today, HDR has been added to the increased brightness. To categorically reject the extended dynamic range and everything that it gives, of course, is not worth it. This mode is very good on TVs, however, when it comes to monitors that are located at arm’s length from us, it should be activated only during the corresponding games and watching movies.

Color Adjustment

In some monitors, manufacturers have already built in a six-axis color adjustment, but they forgot to put the calibrator in the box. It’s definitely not worth touching these parameters without a colorimeter.

Secondly, it is not recommended to use other people’s color profiles taken from the Internet, since the settings for each matrix are individual. Nothing bad will happen, but to get perfect color reproduction it is better to call a specialist with a calibrator.

Thirdly, it makes no sense to calibrate your monitor on someone else’s PC, since all the changes made are recorded in the LUT of the video card. The exception is professional monitors with built-in 3D-LUT.


Scaling issues still remain in modern Windows 10. In some unadapted applications, zooming in will result in slight blur. However, this does not mean that on monitors with high resolution or ultra-wide screens, you need to sit at the usual 100%, reading the small print and trying to make out the small icons.

It is worth experimenting and choosing the scale that will make working in front of the monitor most comfortable.

Matrix overclocking and other gaming problems

So we bought a gaming monitor with a refresh rate of 500 Hz (OC) and a response rate of 0.001 ms. We run home, turn it on, set everything to the maximum, but with the picture, it’s a disaster. And all because the often modest “OC” postscript means that the maximum declared refresh rate is achieved in overclocking mode, in which stable operation is not always possible, and the color depth also drops. For example, the inscription “up to 160 Hz” most likely indicates good performance at 144 Hz and lottery at 160 Hz. Therefore, do not be surprised at possible flickering, ghosting and other artifacts.

Some manufacturers expressly state: “We do not guarantee the functionality of the Overclock function and are not responsible for any side effects that may appear as a result of its activation.”

Now let’s move on to the response time . Were you promised 1ms? Maybe they didn’t even lie, but is the user ready to look at halos and trails around any picture or text? Overdrive requires sacrifices, which is honestly warned about in the function description.