4:3 Monitors: Are They Still Worth It?

In today’s monitor market, the dominant aspect ratio is undeniably 16:9, and even wider with 21:9 or beyond. However, not too long ago, square-shaped screens with a 4:3 aspect ratio were the norm. The question that arises is whether these older 4:3 monitors still hold value in today’s tech landscape. What led to the near-discontinuation of this format, and under what circumstances might a 4:3 monitor be the right choice?

The Suitability of 4:3 Monitors:

The answer to the question of whether a 4:3 monitor is a good option depends largely on your intended use. Each program and application today is tailored to a specific format, and using the wrong monitor can result in a less than optimal experience.

For example, if your computer usage centers around watching movies or playing video games, modern content is designed for widescreen displays, typically with a 16:9 aspect ratio or wider. Using a 4:3 monitor in such cases will result in black bars appearing above and below the image, as the content is wider than the screen. This results in wasted screen real estate, reducing the immersive experience.

Additionally, modern monitors designed for gaming and multimedia offer features like 1ms response times and refresh rates exceeding 60Hz, which are essential for smooth gameplay and video playback. 4:3 monitors, typically designed for different use cases, may lack these gaming-specific attributes.

Work-Centric Usage:

However, if your computer activities primarily involve work, such as web browsing or office applications like Word and Excel, then a 4:3 monitor can be highly suitable. These programs benefit from a more square aspect ratio since they involve reading and editing documents, and extra width isn’t always necessary. In such cases, a 4:3 monitor can provide a more comfortable and productive viewing experience.

Price Considerations:

4:3 monitors tend to be more budget-friendly due to their limited demand and specialized usage. If your requirements align with their capabilities, you may find attractive deals on such monitors, making them a cost-effective choice for certain tasks.


In the end, the choice between a 4:3 monitor and a widescreen one depends on your specific needs and usage patterns. If you prioritize gaming, multimedia, or watching movies, a widescreen monitor with a 16:9 or wider aspect ratio is the better choice. However, for work-centric tasks where vertical screen real estate is more critical, a 4:3 monitor can offer an efficient and budget-friendly solution. Ultimately, it’s about selecting the monitor that aligns with your intended use, whether it’s old-fashioned or modern.