The resolution of a monitor is defined by the maximum amount of detail the monitor can render. The dot pitch of the monitor ultimately limits this resolution. The dot pitch defines the diagonal distance between phosphorous dots of the same color and is measured in millimeters. Because a lower dot pitch means more dots on the screen, it usually produces a sharper, more defined image. Dot pitch works in tandem with the maximum number of lines the monitor can support, to determine the greatest working resolution of the monitor. It might be possible to place an image at 1600 x 1200 on a 15-inch monitor with a dot pitch of .31 mm, but it wouldn't be readable.

The dot pitch can range from as high as .39 mm to as low as .18 mm. For most Windows-based applications on a 17-inch monitor, most folks find that .28 mm is the maximum usable dot pitch that still produces a clear picture.