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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Monitors | CRT Characteristics ]

Dot Pitch

Most monitors are advertised with a dot pitch specification, usually from 0.25 to 0.40. Oddly enough, they often don't indicate what the unit is for this measurement; it's mm (millimeters). The CRT's screen is made up of small elements of red, green and blue phosphorous material, called dots. The dot pitch is the distance between adjacent sets of red, green and blue dots.

The dot pitch of the monitor indicates how fine the dots are that make up the picture. The smaller the dot pitch, the more sharp and detailed the image, all else being equal. Of course, all else is rarely equal, but the dot pitch is still one useful metric of the quality of a monitor. If you run across two 15" monitors where one uses a .26 mm dot pitch and the other a .31 mm dot pitch, you can usually feel pretty comfortable that the first one is going to give you a better quality image.

Generally speaking, larger monitors are more often seen with larger dot pitches; however, I have actually seen "discount" 14" monitors with a .39 mm dot pitch. Not surprisingly, these have horrendous image quality. Remember, TANSTAAFL.

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