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Default Is this a decent LCD?

August 8th, 2009, 04:16
After more than a Decade of faithful service, my 19" Viewsonic CRT is finally starting to go funky on me.

I was at a store today looking at some LCDs, and a 24" Samsung caught my eye. Since I'm not very familiar with LCD specifications, I thought I'd ask for an opinion on it. I wrote down these specs….

Viewable Size 24 in
1920x1200 max res
16:10 aspect ratio
5ms response time
1000:1 Image Contrast Ratio
20000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio
Brightness 300cd/m2

Does that seem like a good LCD for approx $300?
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August 8th, 2009, 06:40
There are some surveys of 23"-28" and 22" monitors. There's also a good thread here with lots of suggestions.

Those specs you gave usually don't tell anything about the quality of the LCD. The quality is usually more dependant upon the panel type used (like TN, PVA or IPS) which unfortunately is usually not included in the product description. Most people don't bother (or are unaware) about image quality on todays LCDs, so if that's something you're concerned about you should read up on LCDs before buying one.
Last edited by hishadow; August 8th, 2009 at 06:51.
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August 8th, 2009, 09:16
I just ordered this as my second monitor:

Samsung SM2233RZ 3D 120Hz Monitor + Nvidia 3D Glasses Bundle
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/s…tml?SAM-3DBUND

They say the tech is finally coming to an age. 60hz on CRTs was eye-straining but on LCD its okay. Som comments:

This Completely surpassed my expectations.
It is simply the best thing to happen to PC gaming.
This Kit can transform your games into 3D that can be seen in cinemas using iMax or RealD. The depth it delivers is just astounding.
Although designed for newer games, Tested Mirror's Edge, GRID and Left 4 Dead, it even worked with Freedom Force, a game from 7 years ago.
The monitor is brilliant, really sharp and vibrant with an excellent contrast ratio .
My only complaint is that this doesn't work on Windows 7 so you will need a Vista install. Drivers are currently only avaliable for Windows Vista, if you try to install these then it will BSOD constantly and not work.
NVIDIA has said that they are currently testing Windows 7 Drivers but haven't said a release date.
Apart from that one complaint, this is a kit definetly worth paying for and is completley future-proof.
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr…-000-NV&tool=3
The reviews ive read aint too bad either. The system is backwards compatible to like 360 games through nvidia drivers. Requires a really good gpu like gtx260 or gtx280 to work though (and 3d equipped 120hz monitor).

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Last edited by zakhal; August 8th, 2009 at 14:42.
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August 8th, 2009, 10:26
True, that. A few years ago, you really did have to do your homework if you wanted something suitable for anything more elaborate than web surfing and typing — otherwise you'd get stuck with dodgy color, poor viewing angles, and awfully mushy motion, with trails too.

Nowadays, as long as you stick to one of the major brands, you won't get anything that's actually bad. Of course, there are still differences, but they're way, way less than they used to be.

I have a rather nice Eizo I bought three years ago. Nowadays basic monitors from Samsung or Dell are at least as good.
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August 8th, 2009, 10:56
Forget about the technical data. It's not worth the paper it's printed on.

As for the panel type: The golden rule for PCs also applies for TFTs. What's not advertised is not in. If a manufacturer uses an expensive panel he will say so. All cheap TFTs use TN panels. So "no info" means TN panel. They are very fast. Great for gaming, okay for multimedia and barely tolerable for more than amateurish Photochopping because their colours are not realistic. Other panel types have better colours but are slower. The difference in visual quality is obvious. You get what you pay for. But: It's not one size fits all.

Even the cheapest new TFT will be far better than your old CRT though. Much higher resolution, way sharper picture.

Two very important pieses of info are usually not included in the majority of the reviews:

1. Input lag. How much time in ms does the TFT need before it reacts to user input? This can be measured by a tool with a precise clock and an old CRT as comparison. CRTs have zero input lag. The technical response time on the data sheet comes on top of this. A disply with a lot of input lag seems unresponsive. The problem is getting better though. Generally every display marketed to gamers should be fine. LG is first choice.
2. Noise. At least 80% of the TFTs are not silent. They make a humming sound. On some TFT models you can only hear it only within 10 cm of the device, while others are so loud that it's completely unacceptable. That's a knockout criterion for me.
Almost all Samsungs hum, just a few models don't. Other manufacturers aren't much better. TFTs are sold on price nowadays. The manufacturers cannot afford to use silent high quality parts.

For these two reasons it's vitally important to buy the TFT at a place where it can be returned no questions asked!

Last point: Have a look at the warranty terms. There are huge differences even between TFTs of the same price category.
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August 8th, 2009, 17:18
@zakhal, Seems like a cool setup, but that's almost $600 US, and the 3D glasses don't really interest me quite that much.


@Gorath, It's pretty hard to find an TFT that doesn't use a TN panel over here. I also looked at some monitors by LG and Viewsonic, and they all use TN afaict. I don't use my computer for movies though, just internet and gaming. How important is that really?

About input lag - lower response time = better… right? There was also an LG monitor I was looking at that had a 2ms response time. That one had a smaller max res though (1920x1080). I would like to have 1920x1200 capability.

Noise isn't an issue to me, I highly doubt any monitor could possibly hum loud enough to be heard over my tower, which sits about 3 feet away.

That Samsung comes with a 3 year P&L warranty.
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August 9th, 2009, 04:51
You still didn't say which monitor. Samsung has approximately 10 different 24" TFTs.

Input lag is not the same as the response time. The input is the time the monitor needs to react to the user's action. A Samsung 2494HM for example has a peak input lag of 27 ms. That's ca. 1.5 frames (-> 1000 ms / 60 Hz, etc.) the device sits idle when you move the mouse. Only then it decides it has to do something. That's peak value for DVI input mind you. It's quite okay there and way better with HDMI.

2 ms is not necessarily better than 5 ms because it's an artificial value only reached with digital enhancements. Those enhancements ("overdrive" for example) can cause unwanted effects like a corona effect. The question is how big the effects are.
Really all you need is a 100% stable 16 ms. Just do the math. Is 2 ms plus overdrive better than 5 ms plus a different overdrive? Impossible to say without somparing both monitors.

TN panels are perfectly fine for gamers. This choice will not be the decisive factor in whether or not you'll like your new TFT.
Graphic artists need correct colours because they have to be sure that after calibration the red value ABCDE according to the standard definition looks exactly as it's supposed to look. Gamers can live with a 97% correct approximation by the TFT manufacturer.

Another important point is the interpolation of lower resolutions. There are huge differences from model to model. Ideally you want both interpolation and 1:1 (with a lot of black around it). Most TFTs can't do this though.

As I said, make sure you can return it. Another reason why this is important: The big manufacturers are selling their TFTs in large quantity. They manufacture it in several plants in different countries. You cannot be sure the Samsung display from Malaysia is as good or bad as the on first look identical one from Romania. Plus it's not unusual one TFT model is built with more than one sort of panel, depending on availability. TFTs are like a box of chocolates.

The choice between 16:10 (1920*1200) and 16:9 is not trivial. On the one hand the 16:10 monitor has more vertical space. Very useful for surfing and for games which support it directly. But on the other hand FullHD material has to be interpolated! The picture is either stretched or there's black space around it.
Generally speaking 16:10 monitors are replaced by 16:9 models with FullHD certification.
Which leads to another point. Don't buy a 23"+ TFT without FullHD logo and 1080p support. That's normal nowadays, but there are still older TFTs on the market without these features. Imagine you buy a PS3 in a year, try to watch a BluRay and suddenly find out you can't use it on your new TFT on full resolution. An unnecessary risk.
Last edited by Gorath; August 9th, 2009 at 05:19.
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August 9th, 2009, 05:28
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
I just ordered this as my second monitor:

Samsung SM2233RZ 3D 120Hz Monitor + Nvidia 3D Glasses Bundle
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/s…tml?SAM-3DBUND
Would you mind posting some impressions in a new thread after you get to test it?
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August 9th, 2009, 09:20
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
You still didn't say which monitor. Samsung has approximately 10 different 24" TFTs.
When did you ask? It was the Samsung SyncMaster 2433BW that I was considering. I say "was" because I've decided to take my time and look around now…


Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Input lag is not the same as the response time. The input is the time the monitor needs to react to the user's action. A Samsung 2494HM for example has a peak input lag of 27 ms. That's ca. 1.5 frames (-> 1000 ms / 60 Hz, etc.) the device sits idle when you move the mouse. Only then it decides it has to do something. That's peak value for DVI input mind you. It's quite okay there and way better with HDMI.
So is there a way to discover the input lag *prior* to buying it?


Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
The choice between 16:10 (1920*1200) and 16:9 is not trivial. On the one hand the 16:10 monitor has more vertical space. Very useful for surfing and for games which support it directly. But on the other hand FullHD material has to be interpolated! The picture is either stretched or there's black space around it.
Generally speaking 16:10 monitors are replaced by 16:9 models with FullHD certification.
Which leads to another point. Don't buy a 23"+ TFT without FullHD logo and 1080p support. That's normal nowadays, but there are still older TFTs on the market without these features. Imagine you buy a PS3 in a year, try to watch a BluRay and suddenly find out you can't use it on your new TFT on full resolution. An unnecessary risk.
So as long as I don't care about watching movies on my PC, then I'm better off going with 16:10 right? Imho 1020 is too low to be the maximum verticle resolution on a modern gamer's PC.
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August 9th, 2009, 13:24
What I always consider when buying a new monitor is that the monitor outlasts all other computer components, it's the main bottleneck for what kind of experience you will get, and finally it's the one that have impact on your health (your eyes). For those reasons I rather save for a monitor than save on a monitor. I currently use a 22" CRT, but I have been looking at a flat screen for awhile. I haven't found one capable of running the resolutions I want though. I am a resolution junkie and I believe I will eventually buy a 30", although they are a bit pricy.

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August 9th, 2009, 16:53
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
When did you ask? It was the Samsung SyncMaster 2433BW that I was considering. I say "was" because I've decided to take my time and look around now…
I found something about it. Absolutely average. Okay for gaming. The foot is total crap. Clearly hearable humming when brightness (or was it contrast?) is set to below 100%. The monitor is okay if it's cheap enough.



So is there a way to discover the input lag *prior* to buying it?
Only if you find somebody who has already measured it. I think the best you can do is read a lot of user reviews on Amazon and browse specialized forums.



So as long as I don't care about watching movies on my PC, then I'm better off going with 16:10 right? Imho 1020 is too low to be the maximum verticle resolution on a modern gamer's PC.
Consoles also need FullHD.
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August 9th, 2009, 20:35
Thanks Gorath, I'm going to have to think about this for awhile. That SyncMaster is attractive for the price (I can actually get it for around $250), but quality means more to me than saving a few dollars.
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August 9th, 2009, 20:51
Hello,

I have a Samsung Syncmaster 226bw which has worked flawlessly for the past year.
I used to be a fan of Viewsonic but after a year the DVI connection on the Ve924 stopped working and had to switch to standard VGA, Viewsonic was no help thus ends my 15 year support Viewsonic Equipment.

Working with lots of computer equipment at *** Labs, I'd also avoid LG and BenQ.

For the Larger Samsung LCD's I'd suggest going with the better models say the T240 or T260 models.

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August 9th, 2009, 23:59
Yes, Viewsonic is no longer a premium brand. It's low end nowadays.

Samsung is first choice, but the problem is that you cannot say where your unit was built and which parts they used. My examples in the last post were taken from reports about the 226bw.

I like LG, but it seems shaf doesn't.

BenQ builds solid TFTs for small money, but if you need the warranty you're fucked.

Acer also delivers very solid quality in almost everything they build. I can't say anything about their warranty though.
Last edited by Gorath; August 10th, 2009 at 00:11.
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August 10th, 2009, 00:49
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
When did you ask? It was the Samsung SyncMaster 2433BW that I was considering. I say "was" because I've decided to take my time and look around now…
If you look around a little more you might want to take a closer look at the Samsung T240. I just quite recently (finally) got rid of my rather dated BenQ 19" display and replaced it with the Samsung T240 which cost me ~EUR 238 (just checked… the price of this display has come down to an even more attractive ~EUR 219 in the meantime).

It is an awesome display in my opinion and gaming is tons more fun at the high resolutions, size and image quality that this display provides.
It is hard to think of any real cons. Like with most (TN panel based) LCDs the lighting isn't totally even and equal. Some parts of the screen are brighter than others but, honestly, it is barely noticeable in everyday use. You'll typically only notice it if you look for it.
Depending on how sensitive you are to this type of stuff it might also take a little time to get used to the reflective (high gloss) material of the frame around the display. It can be slightly irritating at times depending on the lighting in your room.

Other than that I can't really think of any cons but only pros.
The size, the image quality, the integrated USB hub, the touch-sensitive power button, the lack of ghosting (response time is awesome for a display this size), the compatibility with the center speaker of my X-540 speaker system (put the center speaker on top of the display), the relatively fair price… it's a really good package in my personal opinion.

Sure, there might be SIPS or SPVA panels that provide even better image quality (beware of input lag/ghosting with that type of display though… TN displays like the T240 might not be the kings of quality but they are still the fastest type of display you can get) but I would not really recommend spending tons of cash on a über super HQ display.
LCD/LED tech in general is still in its infant shoes and technical advances/milestones still occur quite frequently. It will be much easier (for me at least) to justify dumping my ~EUR 238 display in three years to replace it with a much better display than spending ~EUR 600+ today and being seriously pissed off about much better products being released every few months.

Anyway, image quality is always a very subjective matter so it would definitely be best if you took a look around for yourself at a local dealer where you can compare a lot of displays directly, side by side. I ended up with the T240 but YMMV so have fun shopping for your own personal perfect display .
Last edited by Moriendor; August 10th, 2009 at 01:00.
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August 10th, 2009, 01:22
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Nowadays basic monitors from Samsung or Dell are at least as good.
And they use Corning glass … which helps put food on our table, so that is an added benefit

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August 10th, 2009, 01:31
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Yes, Viewsonic is no longer a premium brand. It's low end nowadays.
That's very surprising to me… they were top-notch quality in the CRT days.

Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Acer also delivers very solid quality in almost everything they build. I can't say anything about their warranty though.
Also kind of surprising imo, as Acer has always made cheaper low end systems and peripherals over here.
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August 10th, 2009, 01:33
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
If you look around a little more you might want to take a closer look at the Samsung T240. I just quite recently (finally) got rid of my rather dated BenQ 19" display and replaced it with the Samsung T240 which cost me ~EUR 238 (just checked… the price of this display has come down to an even more attractive ~EUR 219 in the meantime)..

Thank you Moriender, I've heard of the T240. I will definitely make it a point to take a good look at it.
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August 10th, 2009, 06:43
You also got dead pixel policy. I have a semi-dead pixel in the middle of my screen which means it'll be at full brightness or blocked for either R/G/B or some combination of these. If you can inspect the LCD before you buy it I recommend checking it for dead pixels, but it might not be a problem for you since your aiming for a very high resolution monitor.
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August 18th, 2009, 15:51
I bought an Acer 24" for $299.00 a year and a half ago, and it's been nice, and has been put through very heavy use. I'm not saying it's the best monitor on the market, but so far I have no complaints, it does what I want, and the display is pretty good. A friend of mine recommended it, and I balked at it since Acer does/did have kind of a crappy reputation, but this has been a pretty good product.

http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/produ…w/al2416w.html
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