Yes, a monitor can bottleneck a PC. If you have a new PC, your older or cheaper monitor could be the bottleneck of your setup. For example, your monitor might only show 60 Hz while your computer is capable of displaying 144 Hz.

This article looks at different ways that your monitor might bottleneck your gaming experience. For each bottleneck reason, you are provided with a viable solution to resolve the particular bottleneck. By reading the following article, you will learn how a monitor can bottleneck a PC and the various visible methods of addressing monitor-induced bottlenecks. Buying a new monitor is not always necessary.

Why Your LCD Monitor Is a Bottleneck

Since your PC monitor most likely is of LCD type, I will focus on addressing the common bottlenecks of LCD monitors. Below, I will share some of the most common LCD monitor bottlenecks.

Low Native Resolution

Your LCD monitor screen consists of a multitude of pin-point sections, commonly known as pixels. Pixels are capable of precisely displaying three colors: red, blue, and green. The total number of pixels on your LCD monitor depends on the native resolution of your screen.

If your monitor has a low native resolution, that becomes a bottleneck. Imagine that your graphics card can display the newest games with high quality, but that your monitor can not display that for you.

A typical small-sized 15-inch LCD monitor usually has a resolution of about 1024x768 pixels. A monitor like this will lack the ability to display detailed photos, videos, and other graphic content.

The density of the pixels impacts the quality of the monitor. Large monitors that have low resolutions will offer lower pixel density.

Slow Screen Refresh Rate

The screen refresh rate of your LCD monitor refers to how quickly the screen changes from one image frame to the next. Computer monitors typically have a screen refresh rate of 60 Hz, which means that the screen can transition through 60 different frames per second. In most cases, a 60 Hz screen refresh rate is sufficient for everyday use.

However, when you perform graphics-intensive tasks on your PC while using a 60 Hz-rated LCD monitor, the lack of a higher refresh rate becomes a bottleneck. Gaming and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) are both suitable examples of graphic intensive tasks that can benefit from a monitor with a 144 Hz refresh rate. The only way to resolve a screen refresh rate bottleneck by replacing your current LCD monitor with a new one featuring a 144 Hz refresh rate, or at least 120 Hz.

If you are unsure regarding the refresh rate of your screen, you could use a free online service such as UFO Test. It does some testing from your web browser, as in, no need to download anything, and shows you what refresh rate your screen is displaying.

High Monitor Latency

Your LCD monitor has dedicated visual processing components tasked with breaking down visual input from the graphics card into individual pixel control signals. Your monitor latency refers to the speed at which the screen processes visual data from your graphics card. The general rule is; the lower the latency of your LCD monitor, the closer what you see on your monitor will be a reflection on what is happening in real-time.

Experiencing latency issues is not usual on modern monitors, as long as you are not doing something where a couple of milliseconds can determine an outcome. CS:GO is the type of game where investing in a monitor with lower latency makes sense.

Low Brightness

The pixels of your LCD monitor receives white light from the back of the screen. Low brightness on your monitor may occur due to one of the following reasons:

  • Your LCD PC monitor was manufactured for cheap and is set to offer low brightness by default.
  • The backlighting component of your LCD monitor has malfunctioned or is defective, causing it to lose its ability to light up the screen sufficiently.

If you have a feeling that your monitor was brighter a while back, the cause might be a malfunctioning backlight. In such a case, having your LCD monitor repaired by a professional can resolve this issue. If the monitor always has been a little bit on the darker side, you can replace it with a new model featuring a higher brightness.

Low Color Clarity

As with screen resolution, the ability of your monitor to display great color depends on the total number of pixels making up the screen area. As a general rule, the higher the native screen resolution of your LCD monitor, the greater its ability to render true-to-life colors while displaying visual media.

Should you notice that some images and videos lack proper color intensity in comparison to other screens, you will have to replace the monitor in question. The ideal solution to this monitor-related scenario would be replacing your current LCD monitor with a model featuring a higher color clarity rating.

Monitors That Will Eliminate the Bottleneck

Whether you are using your PC for photo/video editing, web browsing, or gaming purposes, it is vital to have a great display. Therefore, I have listed my favorite monitors on the market right now. But first, determine the monitor's purpose.

For professional use, you need a monitor that has better color accuracy and screen resolution, such as the Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX.

If you are an aspiring gamer, you need a monitor with a higher screen refresh rate and a lower latency, such as the Asus TUF Gaming VG249Q.

Final Thoughts

I have done a great job mentioning several reasons as to why your LCD monitor might be the bottleneck of your current setup, however, I have not listed every single one.

Therefore, if you hesitate to upgrade the monitor that you feel is a bottleneck because I failed to mention the specific reason, do not. There are thousands of reasons as to why your monitor might be a bottleneck. The only one that truly knows if it is a bottleneck for you is you.

Make sure that the reason that your computer monitor is displaying in the way it is is because of limitations on the monitor itself, and not because of a bad cable. If you are unsure, always try out your current monitor's performance using a different monitor cable.