Monitors measure brightness in nits or candles per square meter. 250 cd/m2 is the average, and there’s no reason to change your monitor, unless you’re looking to manipulate contrast, color, or if you have an HDR capable monitor and want to fully utilize that feature.

HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is an improvement upon a monitor’s visuals and is worth the expense if graphics are a user’s main concern. However HDR comes at a loss of frames and is not supported by TN panels, a primary tool of online gamers. Gamers, 350-400 cd/m2 would be a good level of a high-end monitor that does not support HDR, whereas non-gamers, an HDR compatible monitor could hit anywhere from 400 cd/m2 to over 1500 cd/m2. Again, no rush to upgrade because a brightness level of 250 nits will perform well.

Contrast is a measure of the white and black levels. A higher contrast ratio allows for an increased depth of range between colors. Measured ratios are up for debate and therefore not dependable. One such measure is the 1,000,000:1 “mega infinity contrast ratio,” offered by Samsung’s 200 Series. 1000:1 is the standard, and 1000:1 to 1600:1 seems to be reasonable for contrast.

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-Joshua Lepard, Author

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