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movax
Aug 30, 2008




Version 2013-03-22
Table of Contents
Post 1 - Overview of LCD Technology, Panel Types and other Technical Information
Post 2 - Narrowing down the field to determine your needs
Post 3 - Popular models sorted by size class
Post 4 - Quotes of Knowledge from the thread
Post 5 - <Reserved>
Post 6 - Free Internet Pornography



Welcome to the new and improved LCD megathread! (sweet images courtesy of RizieN)

So it's time to get that new monitor you've had your eye on. But what the poo poo is the difference between that 22" Acer that's on sale for $100 at OfficeMax or that 22" Dell UltraSharp that's $250? Or maybe you're ready to give up on your CRT and make the migration to those new-fangled LCDs.

First thing: Computer monitor/display is NOT a television. The line is blurring more everyday, but here is the delineation: computer displays DO NOT CONTAIN A TV TUNER. The only way you will watch TV on your display is if you plug-in a set-top box into it, or through your computer.

  • LCDs are fixed-resolution. Unlike your CRT, there is a 1:1 ratio between transistors and pixels. A 1920x1200 display will have transistors that represent 1920x1200 discrete pixels, no more, no less. LCDs have a "native-resolution", which is the number of pixels they are designed to display. Anything else will require scaling to fit onto the display. Common native-resolutions include 1440x900, 1680x1050 (WSXGA+), 1920x1080 , 1920x1200 (WUXGA), 2560x1600 (WQXGA). 4:3 LCDs can still be found if you really need 'em (2007FP, etc).

  • LCDs can be "slow", introducing blurring and other artifacts. CRTs have an electron gun that scans at a rapid rate to paint the picture on the tube for you. Upon being excited by an electron, that phospor rapidly fades back to darkness. LCDs have several thousand pixels that need to change, in addition to a backlight. This leads to the "response time" spec of LCD displays; with higher response time, you will notice ghosting/blurring in rapid motion (think shooters).

  • LCDs can have "input lag". Essentially there can be a delay between when you move your mouse and when you actually see the cursor move on the screen. CRTs are generally accepted to have an input lag of near 0 (most review sites compare input lag for LCDs relative to CRT, treating CRT as 0). Input scaling the image, applying noise reduction, interpolation and any other filtering tricks are not instanteous: they take time to perform. This can lead to a noticeable "input lag". For instance, a person will move their mouse and notice a "lag" before they see the cursor move on the screen. See additional info at end of this quote block.

  • LCDs need a backlight. This light shines through the TFT (thin-film transistor) array. These are usually provided by CCFL (cold-cathode fluoroscent lamps), but recent models now have LED backlighting as well. LED has the advantage of being solid-state and a longer life-span (the idea is that the LEDs will die long after other components of the monitor). LEDs do have a different color temperature, which may affect calibration. Some monitors also utilize "wide-gamut" CCFLs, increaseing the number of colors the display can represent.

  • LCDs come with two screen coating: glossy or matte (anti-glare). Glossy gives you a picture that "pops" with bitchin' contrast. It also glares like a motherfucker under light. Matte screens don't make the image "pop", and anti-glare coatings can sometimes give a "sparkle" effect when viewing light-colored material. On the bright side (har har), they will be usable under high-light ambient conditions.

More on input lag: This can be subjective. If you're a MLG gamer type guy who plays competitive CS, you may definitely notice it. If you're more of a casual gamer, the input lag may not even be noticeable to you. If you are unsure about input lag, try the display out in person! What one person considers input lag another may not! For what it's worth, the smaller Dell Ultrasharps (<24") exhibit less than one frame of lag, and the bigger guys like the 27"/30" exhibit perhaps one frame (~20ms) of input lag.


The core of a LCD monitor is its panel. This is the precious TFT array that will govern the performance of the monitor. Like most consumer electronics, there are only a few companies that produce the panels that other manufacturers then take and shove into their own enclosure. Panel makers include LG (H-IPS), Samsung (AFFS), Phillips, Chi Mei (S-MVA). Those acronyms in parentheses are some of the different species of panel, which include:

TN - Twisted Nematic
These are cheap, fast, and have terrible viewing angles. The cheapness comes from their ease of manufacture and relative age (these guys were everywhere in the 90s). Their viewing angles are rather poor though: sit too far to the side, or above/below the screen, and stuff will look washed out (see example below). Black levels and color reproduction are poor. Dead pixels will generally be white, and stuck pixels will be some RGB color. Most "budget" and "gaming" monitors are TN-based; current MacBook Pros also utilize TN panels.


Viewing Angles of a late 2008-TN Display. TN technology has improved, but this effect is still prevalent and very noticeable.

IPS/S-IPS/eIPS/H-IPS - (variant) In-Plane Switching.
These displays offer the best color reproduction LCDs have to offer. IPS is the granddaddy tech, most "IPS" panels these days are Super-IPS or some proprietary brew of it (eIPS, AS-IPS, P-IPS, etc). The viewing angles are amazing compared to TN; you could actually have people beside you see what's on the screen without it being washed out. Naturally, the catch is that response time can suck (and it really did on the early models), and it's pricier that TN-based panels. Response times have improved in recent models. Dead pixels are black for this tech.

"High-end" monitors are almost always some IPS variant, and graphics designers/gurus love these monitors because color is important to their work. Enthusiasts and programmers like these for viewing angles and rich color.


Viewing Angles of a late 2008-PVA Display. IPS Technology has improved since then, and will look even better than these images.

MVA/PVA/VA - Vertical Alignment Technology (multi-domain or patterned)
This is the compromise technology. These are basically in the middle of TN and IPS. They have good viewing angles (slightly under IPS), very good blacks (better than IPS and TN), slow pixel response (sometimes slower than IPS; this is mitigated with "overdrive"/"magic speed" tech, depending on brand). PVAs will offer the best black-depth; sony Bravia models utilize PVA panels. However, you may note the name of this technology, VERTICAL alignment. Tilting a *VA-based monitor into portrait mode, depending on panel, could be a terrible idea. (Anectodal: My P-MVA Gateway looked like rear end in portrait mode, but was just fine in landscape.)

A lot of LCD televisions are now shipping with MVA/PVA type panels, as well as mid-range monitors. This is a good all-around workhorse of a panel type.

Details on every single panel type


The two major LCD specifications are size (diagonal screen size) and resolution (native resolution of the panel). As you might have figured, LCD panels require pretty specialized equipment to produce, meaning that the actual variety of panels is fairly small. Market demand also drives production, which is why we're seeing 16:10 panels disappear, and why we don't see anyone making 24" 1280x800 panels; there is no demand for that size at that resolution (that I know of).

Some people really enjoy having really high resolution on smaller screens (think 1920x1200 laptop displays). Others prefer having large, easy to read characters on screen. It's up to personal preference and your particular use case for the display. This decision is all up to you. You choose the size, you choose the resolution. No one size fits all.

Go see a display in person to see if you can live with the native resolution at a given screen-size. Seeing a display in person is also an excellent way to figure out if you want glossy or matte. Matte displays generally have an anti-glare coating that can actually give some people severe headaches. Glossy displays have a rich and vibrant picture, but are easily washed out by ambient light.

If you're the kinda person who has a ton of windows open at any given time, maybe you want higher resolution over screen-size. If you know you're going to watch 1080p content from your PS3, don't pick a 1680x1050 monitor. Also keep in mind the size of your desk, and whether your workflow is better suited for fewer huge monitors, or more smaller monitors. Some people work well with a single 30". Others may prefer twin 24"s. Yet others may choose a 30" + a 24" in portrait mode for web browsing.

Use displaywars to help compare sizes!

1920x1200 vs 1920x1080
A few manufacturers offer both 1920x1200 and 1920x1080 models. The latter number is probably familiar to you: it's a standard HDTV resolution. why might you choose one over the other?

Q: Why should you buy a 1920x1200 monitor?
A: That extra 120px of vertical space allows you to edit/view a 1920x1080 frame 1:1, while still viewing your Photoshop menus / taskbar. This task would be somewhat trickier on a 1920x1080 display.

Q: Why should you get a 1920x1080 display?
A: If you don't give a poo poo about the above reason and really dislike black bars for some reason.
A: If you hook up a PS3/360/BR player to a 1920x1200 display, you're always going to have black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. If you hook up said source to a 1920x1080 display, you might not always have black bars. Just remember that some movies are 2.39:1 aspect ratio, which means you ALWAYS. HAVE. BARS.)

Extra: Why are 16:10 displays going poof?Many laptop models now ship with 16:9 screens, with marketing slogans like "1080p on the go!". The manufacturers see no sense in maintaining multiple lines when the majority of consumers couldn't care less about 120 pixels of resolution.

Common Sizes and Resolutions
22" - 1680x1050
23" - 1920x1080
24" - 1920x1080 / 1920x1200
27" - 1920x1080 / 2560-1440
30" - 2560x1600

Note on high resolution screens and GPUs
If you're gonna play with the big boys, you're going to need the hardware. Midrange cards are going to start suffering once you creep above 1920x1200. If you've got a 27" or 30" monitor, don't be a dumbass like me and buy a GTX 460 and spend hours getting a game playable at native-res. You will need the GPU horsepower to drive all those pixels (and the Video RAM, gently caress. One uncompressed 32-bit 2560x1600 frame is nearly 16MB. Don't go under 1GB.).

But what if you don't want to buy the high-end card? Well, remember earlier, about native resolutions and scaling and such? You can play at non-native resolutions, sure. It'll just be scaled (and suffer from input lag possibly), which can look blurry. Or, if you have 1:1 scaling on, it'll appear as a 1680x1050 frame in the middle of your pretty 2560x1600 screen. You don't want that, do you? GPU scaling tends to deliver pretty good results with little perceptible lag, but don't want you to enjoy your games at the highest resolution they can run at?



LCDs are by their nature, digital devices. Computer, last I looked, were digital. Keep it real brother, keep that link between computer and LCD digital. DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort are the way to go. Let's talk about each:
  • DVI - Digital Video Interface. This is the O.G. digital connector, and I feel safe saying that at least one (if not two) DVI port(s) is available on every videocard today (well, at least any videocard worth buying). The DVI connector is pretty big, so DVI ports never really took off on laptops. Early Intel Macbooks sported a mini-DVI variant, while I believe most PC laptops took the approach of tossing a HDMI port onboard. Check out post #3 for an overview of all the DVI flavors

  • Dual-Link DVI - This is required for high-resolution displays (2560x1600). Your video card almost certainly has a dual-link DVI-I port on it if it's from the past two years or so. More critical is the need for a dual-link DVI cable. Simplest way to check? If every pin possible (excluding the analog pins by the "cross") is present, it's a dual-link DVI cable.


    Live from Wikipedia, it's the flavors of DVI!

    DVI-I: Carries either a digital (DVI) signal or an analog RGB signal. Using a pin adapter or a VGA to DVI-I cable, you can plug a VGA monitor into a DVI-I port and it will work. This type of connector is the most common DVI connector on video cards made in the past few years.

    DVI-D: Carries only a digital (DVI) signal. Cannot carry an analog signal.

    DVI-A: DVI-shaped repin of a VGA connector.

  • HDMI - High Definition Multimedia Interface. Omni-present on consumer electronics, it is electrically compatible with DVI (a $5 adapter can convert HDMI<->DVI). HDMI can also carry audio (and in the most recent revisions, even Ethernet!)! The connector is much smaller than DVI, meaning that it is a popular choice for motherboards with onboard video, especially home-theater PC gear. Also a popular connector on PC laptops.
    Caveat: HDMI also carries audio, meaning that you will need a source device that has the ability to also transmit audio over another interface.
    Note: Some graphics cards are capable of routing audio through their HDMI ports, may be applicable to you. AMD/ATI comes to mind.
    Note: On nVIDIA GTX 4xx cards, it's either DVI + HDMI, or DVI + DVI. You can't use all 3 outputs simultaneously.


    HDMI Type-A port

  • DisplayPort - new kid on the block. DisplayPort is not intended for, and is not present in consumer electronics. It supports insane bandwidths (so, future-ready) and has in my opinion, a much smaller and sleeker connector than DVI. Dell has shipped several monitors with DisplayPort connectors. Treat this as "super-DVI", use if available, don't sweat it if it isn't. Some models of Optiplex ship with these connectors, and I suspect we will see more and more motherboards begin sporting these, especially with the launch of Sandy Bridge and the 6-series chipset. Dual-mode DisplayPort outputs can output HDMI without an active adapter.


    DisplayPort cable and port

  • Mini DisplayPort - all new Macs have this, as do some PC laptops, since Apple made the spec freely available. DVI, HDMI and VGA adapters are available, with the first two being cheap and simple. The VGA adapter is somewhat pricier due to the need for digital-to-analog transcoding circuitry. Mini-DP has since been added to the DisplayPort specification. Note that with the release of ThunderBolt, the physical form-factor is now pulling double-duty as MiniDP and Thunderbolt, at least for Apple.


    Mini-DisplayPort jack on a MacBook Pro

  • VGA - the analog video connector. 15-pins, usually blue. High-end cards will not have a VGA connector, but VGA signals are still available from the DVI connector, if it is a DVI-I connector. Cable quality can matter. Still frequently present on laptops due to the ubiquitousness of business projectors that are VGA only.
    Note: VGA is analog. Anytime you wish to go from DVI/HDMI/DisplayPort to VGA or vice-versa, there will be some transcoding required. The sole exception is a DVI connector that has the analog pins present on its connector. This requirement for transcoding will increase the price of a converter.


    Look at this lovable blue bastard.

  • Conclusion: Use DVI, HDMI or (Mini)DisplayPort whenever possible. They are essentially equivalent, so assign the inputs as you see fit (or based on what monitors need dual-link/high-bandwidth connections).

  • Errata 1: Last I looked, SLI'ing nVIDIA cards limits you to one display. Not sure about CrossFire. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  • Errata 2: HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) may concern you, if you're legitimately trying to playback a Blu-Ray or similar protected content from your PC. Basically, HDCP ensures a secure link from source to display, so us evil pirating bastards can't copy/clone the content. HDCP support requires a digital connection. (VGA need not apply). Furthermore, what digital interfaces are supported depends on the HDCP version in use. 1.0 was DVI only, 1.1 and 1.2 are HDMI + DVI, 1.3 is HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort and some Sony gigabit protocol. Adapters can and will gently caress up HDCP handshakes. Even 100% legitimate links between a source and a display can fail if you turn them on the wrong order.

  • tl;dr - if HDCP is a concern for you, make sure your display supports it, and then use a straight-through connection with no adapters/conversion to minimize headaches. Even then, functionality is not guaranteed. Thank the MPAA.

Digital signalling also means cable length/quality is less of an issue than with VGA. A cheap cable will do you just fine from Monoprice, but at high-resolutions or cable lengths, artifacts (often appearing as "sparkles") will indicate that your cable isn't up to snuff. Ferrite beads are a must on long (>20ft) runs. I'm going to out a limb here and state that all consumer LCDs available today have at the very least, a DVI or HDMI port. There's very little reason not to use DVI or HDMI.

Some monitors will also have VGA, Component, S-Video or Composite inputs. I loved this feature on my Gateway because I was in a tiny dorm room, and I could play my PS2 on the same display as my PC. It's up to you to decide if you need these extra inputs or not. The quality was tolerable over Component video, and my N64 over composite was certainly "playable", but it's not going to win any awards anytime soon. Input lag will also rear its ugly head here, as your monitor is scaling some 480i/p junk up to its native resolution, so Guitar Hero/Rock Band folks, you have been warned.

It's up to you to decide if you need or want those extra inputs. Personally, I wouldn't treat this as a major selling point unless you don't have room for a TV, and must have your analog device connected (so, a studio apartment or dorm room).

Factory Factory posted:

How you can connect these crazy things:

(e: to fix tables, I converted Factory Factory's table into an image real quick)


on formatting.



LCD specs have been repeatedly violated by marketing departments to the point where you cannot trust them at all. Here are the most common specs you'll see, and why you should (or should not) pay attention to them:

Response Time

DrDork posted:

Response times are basically made up numbers that have no actual impact on anything at all. You can have a "2ms" monitor that ghosts and lags noticeably and have a "10ms" monitor that's virtually as fast and lag/ghost-free as a CRT--it depends a lot more on the internal processing and circuitry these days than it does on the response time of the panel itself. There is no single number anywhere on a monitor's stats page that will tell you a damned thing about if it lags/ghosts. The only way to find out is to find a review that actually checks for that sort of thing, or to try it out in person.

The reason you might find your monitor listed as 2ms in one place and 5ms somewhere else is that different companies use different methods for determining response time, most of which are not directly comparable with each other. Companies also tend to use testing metrics that highlight the best possible sub-cases for their particular monitor, further diminishing the usefulness of the number.

That should probably be bolded somewhere near the top of the OP, really, since it gets asked almost every single page.
Ideally, response time used to measure the time it took for a pixel to go from being OFF to ON to OFF again. As stated above, marketing quickly massacred this number by using differing measuring methodologies.

Contrast Ratio
This is defined as the difference between the darkest black and the brightest, eye-searing white a panel can display. Again, this measurement has fallen victim to marketing and dynamic contrast technologies that can put out 1,000,000:1 contrast. I think the "average" contrast ratio is ~1000:1 these days, but I honestly cannot remember the last time I even cared what this ratio was. This was important on early LCD displays, but even the $100 TN Newegg specials will sear your eyes out if you want them too.

Color Depth
This refers to how many colors the panel is capable of displaying. You'll see terms like 6-bit, 8-bit and 10-bit bandied about. Insufficient color depth can give rise to banding and other nasty artifacts on your screen. 10-bit is pretty much reserved for ultra-professional monitors, 8-bit is common in the high-end IPS monitors, but there has been a growing trend towards using 6-bit FRC (Frame Rate Control / Temporal Dithering) panels instead. The acclaimed Dell U2311H sported a 6-bit FRC panel that reviewers had to a double-take to notice. I would say a 6-bit FRC or better panel is something to look for.

You can visualize this yourself very quickly: in the Windows display options, drop your color depth to 8-bit color. Look at how awful everything looks. Now go up to 16-bit color. Still a little bit "off", right? Some banding, dithering, just doesn't look right. Now go up to 32-bit color (aka 24-bit "True Color"). Why does this look so good?

Simple: 24-bit "True Color", 8-bits each for Red, Green and Blue (sometimes +8-bits for an alpha transparency layer) is the minimum needed for decent looking images. 16.7 million colors or thereabout.

Deeper depths, like 30-bit (10-bits per color) and higher allow for wider gamuts, easy usage of HDR and also lend themselves well to scRGB/xvYCC. They also generally need workstation cards, and all your software had better be color-managed. I don't think the majority of goons need to worry about this. I believe Photoshop (among others) has been 10-bit color-aware for awhile now, so this may be of interest if you do a lot of HDR photography.

Backlights
There are two major types, LED and CCFL. LEDs have the possibility to draw less power, but this is not always the case. LEDs however are solid state and will not burn-out like CCFLs will. CCFLs are cold-cathode fluoroscent lamps, and were the dominant backlight tech for quite awhile. LEDs can be separated into W-LED (white LEDs) that have a rather narrow gamut, and RGB LEDs that easily exceed the standard NTSC colorspace.

The backlight can have a large effect on the LCD gamut (discussed below), and it can be very difficult to color-match a LED and CCFL display side-by-side. You can still get a LED-backlit monitor calibrated for your working colorspace, so this comes down to your personal situation. Do you need to color-match another monitor, do you even care about color-correction, etc.

Color Gamuts and Colorspaces
Do not read past this line if all you do is play games and surf the web occasionally, and don't give a poo poo about color calibration or color accuracy or color profiles. This is where we out and reduce colors to emotion-less numbers.

Let's tackle gamut first. Simply put, if all the colors in the universe are in set Y, the gamut of your monitor is a subset of Y, where that subset is made up of all the colors your monitor can display. In a chromaticity diagram, which is a roughly horseshoe shaped curve of colors, the gamut is the subset of that horseshoe that your display can recreate. CRTs had a roughly triangular gamut, limited by their phosphors.


CIE 1931 Chromaticity Diagram with sRGB highlighted

What about the sRGB colorspace? sRGB is the standard RGB space. Some dudes (Microsoft, HP, others) sat down, looked at all the available colors, and drew a triangle in that poo poo. Whatever ended up in the triangle was part of the sRGB colorspace, a loving, caring colorspace that provided colors that devices would support. It attempts to solve the problem of making the end-user see the exact color that the content producer wanted. Scanners, cameras, even printers attempt to conform to this colorspace. If they didn't, you might end up with a camera that that takes pictures containing color values that no display can actually, well, display. sRGB has defined luminance levels and such as well (to match the "average home/office"). The idea in the end is for an image to look identical on two calibrated sRGB displays. This is a good thing(TM) if your livelihood/activities depend on this color-managed workflow.


CIE 1931 Chromaticity Diagram with Adobe Wide-Gamut RGB highlighted. Look at how much bigger that triangle is.

Some displays will have a preset mode from the manufacturer specifically for sRGB (or Adobe RGB), which somewhat tells you, "hey, most of the time, putting the monitor in this mode and setting brightness contrast is all you have to do to be calibrated!" In an ideal world, this means you can unbox your monitor, set it to sRGB, and be looking at a precise, accurate image with no extra effort.


Various gamuts indicated, including CMYK for print.

Other manufacturers (looking at you Mitsubishi) are like, "gently caress this poo poo, we'll give our TVs colors outside the HDTV colorspace (BT. 709) and sRGB colorspace! That way, people will see super vivid colors no one else has! ". So those pretty wide-gamut monitors you buy? Well, if you need all your work to be in the sRGB colorspace...those extra colors it can display are pretty useless now. If you're not concerned about color management though, yes, those extra colors will make your monitor look pretty (though a colorimeter may disagree). The Mitsubishi LaserVue TVs deliver a pretty intense color gamut.


Obnoxious color gamut of a Laser display

Colorspace summary: CIE 1931 is the granddaddy (from 1931) and represents a mathematical model of colors. Of all these colors, sRGB covers approximately 35%, Adobe RGB covers 50.6% and "Wide Gamut" covers 77.6%. If you do all your work in a Wide Gamut color environment, the vast majority of people are not going to see the image you intended.


LCD vs. CRT* Abridged
LCDs are:
  • fixed-resolution displays
  • lightweight and eat up far less desk real estate
  • produce uniform, crisp text
  • not susceptible to damaging screen-burn/image retention
  • do not require upkeep in the way of degaussing, convergence adjustments
  • do not contain high-voltage circuitry like flyback transformers (they do have a high-voltage, low-current inverter usually)
  • digital devices

LCDs lose to CRTs in:
  • black levels
  • resolution scaling (this is discussed below)
  • input lag (also below)

* - Computer CRT displays only. Not CRT Rear projection, not CRT Front projection, not CRT Direct-view television, but a purpose-built CRT computer display.

Other Things
  • A lot of "nicer" monitors will come with integrated USB 2.0 hubs, and perhaps a memory card reader. I don't think this is a huge selling point, unless you absolutely must have a USB hub in your monitor.
  • Dell is really nice about giving you cables.
  • This isn't 1998. Monitor power supplies are integrated into the display and use a standard IEC power cord.
  • Most displays will have a standard VESA backplate for you to attach to monitor arms or wall-mounts. Monoprice sells decent monitor arms, as does Ergotron.

    quote:

    The monoprice ones aren't bad, but they're pretty wobbly and it bends down but not bad for $20 either.
    (don't use these arms for 27"+ monitors)
  • Some displays have polarized coatings that render them nauseating when used in portrait orientation. Check in person first, or read some reviews.
  • Big glossy bezels are gross.
  • Height adjustable, spring-loaded stands are the poo poo. Super easy to adjust your displays at eye level for ergonomic and stress-free viewing.

movax fucked around with this message at 03:27 on Mar 23, 2013

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movax
Aug 30, 2008






If you're a super gamer, go for a TN panel, possibly one of the new 120Hz models. Otherwise, I know plenty of "hardcore" gamers who are also happy with PVA and IPS-based displays. I personally cannot stand 120Hz, because it makes TV and film look way off to me (I also spent years encoding video and anime instead of talking to girls, so I'm biased). The response time should be more than enough to keep you happy, and input lag should be minimal. Viewing angles will be fine for you, the gamer, but spectators may have a hard time seeing what you are up too.

Also, keep in mind the native resolution of the LCD you choose, and the capabilities of your graphics card. Don't accidentally buy a display that your GPU can't keep up with, or plan your display and GPU purchase together.

Wait, what's this 120Hz stuff?
Almost all current computer LCDs "refresh" at 60Hz. The word refresh is a carryover from CRT days where the screen would literally be re-drawn, or "refreshed" 60, 75, 85, sometimes 100 times a second (depending on your monitor and resolution). With 60Hz LCDs, most games are effectively capped at 60FPS to avoid "tearing" effects (here's a post I wrote about 120Hz, applicable to HDTVs, ignore motion interpolation, that is not the case here.) With a 120Hz LCD, it's capable of updating 120 times per second, so motion appears fluid and "life-like" to your fleshy meatbag eyes. More importantly, games can now run up to 120FPS before tearing rears its ugly head. If you're a competitive gamer who loved playing at 120Hz or higher on your CRT, this is the way to go.

That's stupid, I'm going back to my CRT with no input lag and 240Hz refresh at 1024x768 to play Counter-Strike 1.5


I'm a gamer and want to do this Eyefinity poo poo
Answer courtesy of DrDork: Eyefinity is a sweet-rear end option built into virtually all newer ("decent" 5xxx and all 6xxx) ATI video cards. AMD/ATI cards incorporate a pair of physical chips that handle the digital output: this is what allows you to use two DVI ports simultaneously (or HDMI, or one of each). ATI takes this setup and tosses another bunch of circuitry in there to handle DisplayPort. The practical upshot is that an Eyefinity card can output at least 3 displays: 2x DVI/HDMI/VGA/whatever, and 1x DisplayPort. Things work best when you conform to that setup. It is possible to get an active (passive won't work) DisplayPort -> DVI/HDMI adapter if you care to do so, but they're not particularly cheap. There are also some crazy Eyefinity cards with 6x DisplayPorts and nothing else, which can drive 6 monitors at the same time if you really want to get insane (or want to set up a monitoring station).

Some people report curious problems using a triple-monitor setup, such as flickers, monitors losing signal, etc. These issues are, however, in the minority and shouldn't be considered as an inevitable trade-off, and may be more of a sign of poor interaction between particular pieces of hardware (or software) than anything else. In particular it seems some cards will cause flickering at certain GPU/RAM frequencies, and/or when transitioning between the idle and full-power states. These cases can generally be fixed by tinkering around with frequencies a bit. On the other hand, I've been using a chimera setup (5850 pushing a 2007WFP via DVI, U2410 via DP, and a L921G no-name monitor via DVI) for months now, both gaming and not, and have had zero problems whatsoever.

In short, Eyefinity is the easiest option to getting a triple-monitor setup working, so long as you have at least one DisplayPort compatible monitor (or buy an active adapter). If you have 3 or more non-DP monitors and are ok with using all but two of them as desktop/2D-only monitors, it may be cheaper for you to just buy a second $30 ATI card than gently caress around with adapters.


Go for some flavor of IPS. The color reproduction will warm your loins. Finding a monitor that allows you to go in and calibrate properly as well (exposes R, G and B bias options) may be of interest to you. If you're a professional and doing prints, publishing, etc, you need a professional display, which by definition will be based on an IPS panel. The panel will likely be 10-bit color aware, and you will need the accompanying video display hardware, drivers and software to completely and correctly color-manage your workflow. Quite possibly, a colorimeter will be required for ultra-accurate calibration. UltraSharps are very nice displays, but you can actually go a step higher to NEC panels that are amazing for serious color-sensitive work.

What about color-correction and calibration?
You may also be wondering about calibration. Say you're working in the graphics industry. Let's say you create some artwork that is a certain of shade of red. Now you forward your work off to the Singapore office for some final touch-up work and peer review. Then your artwork goes off to the printers in China. How do you make sure that what comes out of the printer in China is still the same shade of red you wanted? Calibration; every display that's part of a color-managed workflow is precisely calibrated to make sure colors match. This is where color profiles come in, giving your OS a "map" that can be used to generate delicious calibrated color.

Enthusiast - calibration will help you fight saturation issues with colors. An inexpensive colorimeter or some good test patterns can help you here.

Basic - "calibration" in the basic sense is setting your brightness, contrast and color temperature to values that give you a nice picture without black crush or blooming. This can be done without any extra hardware (all that is needed are some test patterns!)

Basic Q/A from DrDork:
Q: Why should I calibrate?
A: If you're only interested in games, and you're happy with the way things look as-is, it may not be worth it for you to gently caress around with things. However, it's almost always possible to make things look closer to the way the designers/artists/etc intended it to look with a bit of calibration. It also allows you to better match what you see on your monitor to other things, such as what you print out, or what other people see on their monitors (assuming they are also properly calibrated).

Q: Ok, so how do I calibrate?
A: First you decide how much money you want to spend. Basic options are $0, <$100, and >$100. Online-only methods will rely on you to eyeball things, and consequently tend to have poor results: you're probably already used to "wrong" colors of one sort or another, to the point where "correct" colors may look off and tempt you to set things a bit incorrectly. Hardware kits are pretty much all plug-and-play these days, with step-by-step software that'll do all the hard stuff for you.

Q: I want to spend $0! How do I do this?
A: Best way is to borrow a calibration tool from someone who took one of the more expensive options. Barring that, there are some basic online tutorials you can use to improve your picture a bit. http://tft.vanity.dk/ has a very nice set of tools that you can use to get a better idea of what tweaks to make to your monitor look better. If nothing else, most monitors are more "correct" when set to brightness and contrast settings of about 50%, vice whatever they came set at.

Q: I want to spend <$100. What do I get?
A: The HueyPro is an ok colorometer, and is cheap. It's pretty fast, and it'll do a better job than the online setups will. It also supports multiple monitors and doesn't require any software registration, allowing you to use it on multiple computers without issue. Note that this will not work well with wide-gamut monitors, such as the U2410. You need to bump up to something better.

Q: I want to spend >$100. What do I get?
A: If you don't want to spend too much, the Spyder3 Pro goes for around $130. It's better than the HueyPro, also supports multiple monitors, and does a decent job with wide-gamut displays like the U2410. It, however, requires software registration, limiting its use in multi-computer setups. If you're willing to drop even more cash, the X-Rite Eye One Display 2 runs about $200, and is where "professional" grade calibration really starts to pick up. If your livelihood depends on proper colors, this is probably the cheapest one you should be considering. And you should probably investigate this sort of poo poo yourself, anyhow. If you absolutely HAVE to have the best, the X-Rite i1 Pro is probably the best one before things get really silly--and it's still about $900 or so.


You do a little of everything. Edit photos for mom and dad, poopsock in WoW, write some papers, sling Python around and relax in the evenings with the depraved Internet pornography of your choice. You're the power user goon that needs a display that is at least good at everything.

I'd suggest MVA/PVA or IPS. These will deliver great all-around performance and cover 99% of your use-cases. I've noticed that 23"-24" is a sweet spot here, great resolution, not a terribly huge monitor. Get an UltraSharp on sale or something, or look at the nicer Asus / Viewsonic models. You may find an Asus model at such a nice price point, you'll want two!

I'm a student, when I'm back at my room I kinda use my desktop, but also play PS3/X360/watch movies with my brahs, brah
Find a monitor with the input options you need. The fact that this display will have a myriad of input options usually leaves you with PVA/MVA or IPS displays. I'd find something with one DVI and one HDMI port, so you can use the DVI for your PC, and then HDMI to your console (or cheap HDMI switch if you've got more than one).

If you're on a budget, the 1920x1080 models tend to be cheaper, and your gaming will fill the whole screen on these models.



Assuming your productivity isn't art/video/photo-related, perhaps you want to look at the number and size of monitors before the panel type. Dual monitors are incredibly easy to setup and can rapidly increase your productivity. I'm hesitant to recommend IPS over MVA/PVA or TN in this case, because 2 TN monitors will benefit you more than 1 IPS monitor if you spend most of your day slinging code in Visual Studio or emacs or something. You can even rotate a display into portrait mode for super flexibility, but some people get violently sick when certain IPS monitors are in portrait mode (because the AG coating and polarizer are now 90 degrees from their spec, I think). Others hate the banding/rainbowing effects from turning a *VA monitor on its side.

You may also want to look into dual-monitor arms from Ergotron or similar. Very sleek looking, and very ergonomic for you to boot.

What about twin CRTs? I used to program/do all my work on multiple GDM-FW900 (CRTs). My eyes sent me a letter of thanks for switching to the text sharpness of LCDs. I'd suggest going no lower than 1680x1050 for resolution...you know how IDEs can litter your desktop with windows and messages.


I want to use a TV as my computer monitor
Don't do this you silly bastard. There are many reasons you shouldn't, here are some:
  • HDTVs are designed for a specific colorspace (the word gamut AGAIN!), specifically: BT.709. This is what HDTV broadcasters are supposed to use for the TV shows they broadcast. The colorspace has different endpoints for its chromaticities, among other differences.
  • pixel density. There is a reason cramming 1920x1200 pixels into a 24" screen looks so sharp. There is a reason that video looks good at 1920x1200 pixels on a 47" screen, but text and UI elements begin to fuzz out a bit.
  • you might get stuck with motion interpolation you can't turn off/turn down. 120Hz is not for everyone
By all means feel free to hook up a HDTV via HDMI to your computer for use as a secondary monitor to watch media on or something. Just do yourself a favor and don't make it your primary display. The only exceptions I can think of are if you're really using the PC primarily as a gaming or media system, and don't need razor sharp text rendering for work. In this case, by all means use a HDTV as your monitor.

I want a monitor for my laptop!
Any display with the appropriate connectors for your laptop should work! One thing to keep in mind though, some laptops are simply incapable of outputting greater than 1920x1080 because they only have a single-link connection available. So you might just be out of luck connecting your laptop to your 27" or 30" display.

I want a monitor for my Mac!
With the newer Macs and their Mini-DP outputs, a digital input like DVI is a good choice. I've had great success with my Mini-DP->DVI adapter from Monoprice for my portables.

Looks like there are still a few kinks if it's DisplayPort involved though:

SeventySeven posted:

Basically if I turn the monitor off while my MBP is still connected via DisplayPort it won't turn back on again without disconnecting the DP cable AND the power, waiting a little while, plugging in the power, switching it on then plugging the DP cable back in again.

I linked to a Dell support thread which seemed, after a few posts, to point the blame at Apple, however I can't follow this up now as the support site is currently throwing errors. As far as I know neither party has issued a fix yet. Just though I'd bring this up since MBP+U2410 could be a pretty popular combo. Should be fine if avoid DP or (like me) remember which order to plug things in and power on/off.

Star Wars Sex Parrot posted:

For the record, I had no issue with a Mac Mini over DisplayPort to my U2410.

But yeah I've read of a lot of issues with MBPs and secondary monitors.

Regarding the 27" Apple display: it's tough to recommend, especially when you can get a refurb 27" iMac with the same display for little more.

I really love CRTs. Why shouldn't I get a CRT?
Ok. I'm a CRT lover. I love the FW900s. But I got sick and loving tired of them. Here are some of the undeniable advantages of CRTs:
  • Black levels - simply put, black on a CRT is *black*. The phospor is excited and then it fades to...black.
  • No fixed resolution - CRTs might have recommended resolution/refresh rate combos, but they aren't fixed pixel. You won't see any blurring/scaling effects from displaying 1280x800 vs 1680x1050 vs 1920x1200
  • Essentially no input lag - you move mouse. OS does its thing. Videocard RAMDAC does its thing. Signal propagates at c to monitor. Electron gun moves. The end.
"But movax, these are so awesome!" you might say. Why do CRTs suck?
  • they're loving huge. There are Brazilian supermodels who weigh less than some CRT models.
  • they have relatively finite lifespans and are susceptible to burn-in/image retention/screenburn. As a CRT tube ages, its brightness goes down. No way around it. Also, uneven aging of the phospors results in screen-burn. Using a CRT as a status display 24/7/365? Hope you don't want to use it for anything else, ever.
  • they require upkeep. The FW900 is a high-end CRT monitor. I've spent hours adjusting dynamic convergence, adjusting the loving deflection yokes inside of it and generally loving with the thing. Even after all that, a LCD will still handily kick its rear end because it can maintain uniform sharpness of text throughout the whole screen, unlike a CRT where you've got to set focus so either the center-area looks decent and edges fuzz out, or the whole thing looks like rear end.
  • they are analog. VGA is slowly going poof. this means cable quality can actually matter. And that you need something like a HDFury I/II/III to hook up a digital-only device.

What about this really cheap monitor on Newegg? (Acer/Asus/etc)
Chances are it's a TN-based panel with whatever industrial design is in vogue in China that month. So, assuming you have read the 1st posts and understand the limitations of TN technology my advice to you is purchase to a display from a reputable manufacturer (so you get warranty support) like Asus, or the major OEMs (HP, Dell, LG, Samsung, Acer, etc). First look at the brand, then decide if you like the industrial styling of the display, and then buy it. Not much variety among TNs, they all have the same flaws.

I'm buying a monitor as a gift!
Seriously? This is dangerous territory. You'd better know the person real well, or look at a really obvious search history that has entires like "U2410 reviews", "dell U2410 coupons", "would suck dick for a U2410".

Seriously though, don't do this unless you're sure that's what they want. Maybe they are a display geek and will disown if you buy them some TN panel when they wanted S-IPS goodness. Maybe they are your parents and find the DPI (dots per inch) of the monitor you bought prohibitively high. There's no sense in buying your folks a 27" 2560x1600 monitor when the font is too goddamned small to comfortably read. DPI scaling can mitigate this, but more often that not, you're going to come home to visit and see that glorious display plodding along at 1680x1050 or something.

movax fucked around with this message at 00:07 on May 22, 2012

movax
Aug 30, 2008



It's all out of date below -- will be updated...soon.



Inputs, resolution, general pros/cons and recommendations listed here so you don't have to search.

Gamers / Budget Users Read Here
There are a lot of posts from people that just want a barebones LCD for cheap that can do games / basic text editing. You don't need a premium monitor like an UltraSharp in this case. There are so many LCD manufacturers out there that it becomes difficult to list all the options, and I feel uncomfortable recommending a display based solely on a Google review.

So, assuming you have read the 1st and 2nd posts and understand the limitations of TN technology my advice to you is purchase to a display from a reputable manufacturer (so you get warranty support) like Asus, or the major OEMs (HP, Dell, LG, Samsung, Acer, etc). First look at the brand, then decide if you like the industrial styling of the display, and then buy it. Not much variety among TNs, they all have the same flaws.

If you've had a particularly good experience with a certain brand / model, PM me.


Dell U2211H (21.5", IPS)
Inputs: DVI, DisplayPort, VGA
Resolution: 1920x1080
Recommended: Good monitor, terrible value
+/- Anti-Glare Coating
+ standard Dell height-adjustable/swivel stand
+ USB Hub
- really expensive for 22"

Dell U2311H (IPS) U2312HM is the new refresh of this. Look for closeouts on the 2311H!
Inputs: DVI, DisplayPort, VGA
Resolution: 1920x1080
Recommended: If it's cheap, the U2312HM replaces this in every way.
Tags: Premium, Dell, UltraSharp, 23", 16:9
+/- Anti-Glare Coating
+ affordable IPS monitor (if you want bang for your IPS-desiring bucks look here)
+ very low input lag for an IPS screen (<3ms)
+ standard Dell height-adjustable/swivel stand
+ USB Hub

Dell U2312HM (IPS)
Inputs: 1x DVI, 1x VGA, 1x DisplayPort
Resolution: 1920x1080
Recommended: YES
Tags: Premium, Dell, UltraSharp, 23", 16:9
+/- Anti-Glare Coating
+ affordable IPS monitor (if you want bang for your IPS-desiring bucks look here)
+ LED backlit (compared to its CCFL predecessor)
+ even lower input lag (source)
+ standard Dell height-adjustable/swivel stand
+ USB Hub

Basically a 1:1 replacement for the U2311H with a sleeker bezel, lower input lag, and a LED backlight.

Asus VG236H (TN, 120Hz, 3D Ready)
Inputs: 1x DVI-D (120Hz 3D), 1x HDMI, 1x Component
Resolution: 1920x1080
Recommended: AnandTech liked it, no goon reports
Tags: 3D, 120Hz, 23", 16:9
+/- 120Hz
+/- glossy
+ height and tilting stand
+ 3D Ready
+ absolutely awesome at games, VSync at 120FPS


Dell U2410 (IPS) "old" now, look for sales / buy now!
Inputs: HDMI, 2xDVI, DisplayPort, VGA, Component, Composite
Resolution: 1920x1200
Recommended: If you specifically need the inputs or color space this offers.
Tags: Premium, Dell, UltraSharp, 24", 16:10, Input Variety
+/- Anti-Glare Coating
+/- Wide-gamut
+ standard Dell height-adjustable/swivel stand
+ USB Hub and Media Card Reader
+ 12b processing
+ Audio-out/HDMI audio pass-through
+ input lag comparable to U2311H in Game Mode (sacrifice colors though), else just a little more
+ Factory calibrated (not a replacement for real calibration, though)
+ Picture-in-Picture
+ can do 1:1 mapping (i.e. won't stretch 1080p input like from a console)
- Somewhat pricey compared to the U2311H

Dell U2412M (IPS) NEW
Inputs: DVI, DP, VGA lost 1x DVI, HDMI, Component and Composite compared to the U2410
Resolution: 1920x1200
Recommended: Probably, look for goon testimonials in this thread
Tags: Premium, Dell, UltraSharp, 24", 16:10
+/- Anti-Glare Coating
+ LED backlit (compared to its CCFL predecessor)
+ USB Hub (lost media reader compared to U2410)
+ Factory calibrated (not a replacement for real calibration, though)
+/- lost wide gamut support compared to the U2410
- 6-bit panel. Technically "worse", but a lot of reviewers praised the 2311H without even realizing it was 6-bit. If you do color-sensitive work / are a professional, you may want to find an alternative.
- will stretch 1080p vertically The Xbox 360 has settings to compensate for this, but a PS3 will have its image stretched vertically to fit the screen.

HP ZR24W (IPS)
Inputs: DisplayPort, DVI, VGA
Tags: Premium, 24", 16:10, Low Input Lag
+/- SRGB standard gamut
+/- 1920x1200
+ ~$100 cheaper than the Dell U2410
- Reviews suggest slightly poor black depth
-

Manny posted:

Something to add to the ZR24W which I forgot: The scaler is broken so if you use it for 1920x1080 content, it will stretch it vertically rather than adding black bars top and bottom. (cannot be fixed with a firmware update).

HP ZR2440W (IPS)
Inputs: DisplayPort, DVI-D, HDMI
Tags: Premium, 24"
Not many reviews yet, but this has switched to LED backlighting and sports a 6-bit FRC panel like the U2412HM.


2010 Apple LED Cinema Display (IPS)
Inputs: 1x Mini-DisplayPort
Resolution: 2560x1440
Recommended: Sure, if you like Apple.
Tags: Premium, Apple, 27", LED
+/- Glossy
+ Integrated magsafe connector
+ Integrated USB Hub
+ Integrated speakers and Integrated iSight Webcam
+ LED backlit!
- Has a pretty short cable that's moulded into the screen
- no height adjustment

2010 iMac 27" (IPS)
Inputs: 1x Mini-DisplayPort
Resolution: 2560x1440
Recommended: N/A
Tags: Premium, Apple, 27", LED
+/- it's also a computer!
+ can do Target Display Mode with old and new Macs alike!
* identical to the LED Cinema Display otherwise

2011 Apple Thunderbolt Display (IPS)
Inputs: 1x Thunderbolt
Ports: 3x USB 2.0, 1x FW800, 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x Kensington
Resolution: 2560x1440
Recommended: Yes, if you have a Thunderbolt Mac.
Tags: Premium, Apple, 27", LED, Thunderbolt
+/- Glossy
+ Integrated magsafe connector
+ Integrated USB Hub
+ Integrated speakers and Integrated Facetime HD Webcam
+ Integrated GigE + FW800
+ LED backlit!
- Has a pretty short cable that's moulded into the screen
- Thunderbolt Only
- no height adjustment

2011 iMac 27" (IPS)
Inputs: 1x Thunderbolt
Resolution: 2560x1440
Recommended: Yes, if you have a Thunderbolt Mac.
Tags: Premium, Apple, 27", LED, Thunderbolt
* Same as the 2011 Thunderbolt display, but with a computer!
- Only does Target Display Mode with Thunderbolt Macs (old Kanex adapters will not work!)

Dell U2711 (IPS)
Inputs: 1x HDMI, 2x DVI-D, 1x DisplayPort, VGA, Component, Composite
Resolution: 2560x1440
Recommended: YES
Tags: Premium, Dell, UltraSharp, 27", Input Variety
+/- Anti-glare coating
+ USB Hub and media card reader
+ standard Dell height-adjustable stand

HP ZR2740W (IPS)
Inputs: 1x Dual-Link DVI, 1x DisplayPort
Resolution: 2560x1440
+/- 8-bit panel, 10-bit w/ AFRC
+/- no OSD, no scaling (probably not the best option if you have consoles, TV set-top-boxes, etc)

Catleap Q270 / Shimian QH270 / Korean IPS Monitor (IPS)
This is a Korean 27" IPS monitor that has become very popular lately for its incredibly low price of entry. The trade off is that you must import it via eBay sellers, and the warranty may not be the best. That said...
Inputs: 1x Dual-Link DVI
Resolution: 2560x1440

Things you should know:
- There are a few variants. ToastyX explains:

ToastyX posted:

The main difference between the three is the stand.

Catleap - This monitor has the worst stand, and you have to take the monitor apart to remove the neck of the stand and the useless plastic arch that covers the VESA holes. It wobbles, and some of them lean. It also sits higher than most monitors, like around iMac level, and there's no height adjustment.

Achieva - This monitor sits lower, and there's still no height adjustment. You can easily remove the stand without taking the monitor apart, and the VESA holes are easily accessible.

Crossover - The LED-P version has the best stand with all the adjustments: height, tilt, swivel, and rotate (pivot).

In terms of performance, they're all the same except the earlier Catleaps made in February can do 85-100 Hz while the current ones can't.

"All" of the monitors are glossy. The Achieva and Catleap both come in glass and non-glass versions, but several people have reported getting dust behind the glass on the glass models. There's really no point in getting the glass versions since both versions are glossy. That's just one more layer for them to screw up.
- Some models can surpass 60Hz refresh rates, hitting anywhere from 85Hz to 100Hz.
- It has an external DC power brick that comes with a Korean cable. You just need a standard IEC cable for the brick (i.e. another one of the cables you already use for your computer PSU, monitors, etc).
- The stock stand can be kinda crappy. See below for alternates (monitor does have a standard VESA mount plate)
- Apparently there are glossy and matte variants of the screen. When I say matte, it's matte WITHOUT anti-glare coating...so it'd be in-between say an Apple Cinema Display and a Dell UltraSharp. Here is Animal's picture of his "matte" display.
- Has no OSD! So you have to calibrate via your videocard driver and/or Windows.
- Some dead/damaged pixels could be expected, but apparently you can get a "perfect" one for an extra fee. THIS IS WHAT PERFECT MEANS. Not the same as Dell's guarantee!

The_Franz posted:

It looks like the company that makes the Catleap monitors is offering a factory-guaranteed "perfect pixel" version for an extra fee. The Green-Sum seller on ebay is offering this version for an extra $60. It might be worth it if you are on the fence but don't want to chance getting a flawed screen.

More info:

BrettRobb posted:

This goes pretty far in depth as to what the different trims offer.
http://www.swiftworld.net/2012/04/1...ands-and-models

Reviews:
Goon Shadowhand00 bought one. Here are his initial impressions. And information from him regarding specs, etc.
Animal also bought one.
spanko spanks it to his new monitor
thewittyname checks in with seller updates and model updates

Sellers:
Dream-Seller (eBay)
RedCap (eBay)
dcsamsungmall (eBay)
accessorieswhole (eBay)
green-sum (eBay)

Increased demand seems to be causing some issues, research carefully!


HP ZR30w (IPS)
Inputs: 1x DisplayPort, 1x DVI-D
Resolution: 2560x1600
Tags: Premium, HP, 30", 16:10, Low Input Lag, No Scaler
+/- no scaler, no OSD
+ low input lag compared to the U3011
+ USB Hub

Dell U3011 (IPS)
Inputs: 2x HDMI, 2x DVI, 1x DisplayPort, 1x Component, 1x VGA
Resolution: 2560x1600
Recommended: YES
Tags: Premium, Dell, UltraSharp, 30", 16:10, Input Variety
+/- has scaler/OSD
+ many, many inputs
+ USB Hub and Media Card Reader
+ standard Dell height-adjustable stand
- statistically significant number of reports of input lag

NEC PA301W (IPS)
Inputs: 2x DVI-D, 2x DisplayPort
Resolution: 2560x1600
Tags: Premium, Professional, 30", 16:10
Recommended: If you're a pro who needs the best.
+ very high-end professional display
+ excellent signal-processing ability
+ very flexible color-space juggling


Dell
+ 3 year warranty default on UltraSharps
+ Lots of coupons!
+ Premium Panel Guarantee. If you get a single bright stuck pixel, you can return it for a new screen, and thats for the life of the warranty.
- often have to play the panel lottery (but you get above-mentioned Premium Panel guarantee)
- UltraSharps: pricey, but amazing.

Links
TFT Central - A site that's building up a good collection of reviews
HardForum Displays sub-forum - Usually has lots of detailed threads on the popular screens but beware these guys can be pretty picky.
AnandTech - low on quantity of reviews, high on quality.

Warranties
Brand New Dell UltraSharps - 3 years
Refurbs - read the fine print, or call and ask!
Note that UltraSharps have an amazing Premium Panel policy that is totally worth taking advantage of. Apparently Asus has begun a similar policy as well.

movax fucked around with this message at 18:56 on Dec 27, 2016

movax
Aug 30, 2008




OP is full of Why do I care about IPS again?

Factory Factory posted:

The primary benefit of IPS panels are wider viewing angles. A TN panel can color- or contrast-shift even with just your movement in your chair, which might not bother you, but it's noticeable. IPS panels also tend to have better color saturation and more accurate color reproduction, whereas TN panels tend to oversaturate or otherwise fake up fewer colors to approximate a full range they're supposed to display. Technically, the U2311H does this, too, with a common method called temporal dithering; but it does it so well that it has fooled every reviewer who didn't know this fact beforehand.

IPS panels also tend to have better contrast than your average TN panel, including deeper blacks (though that varies based on backlighting tech) and whiter whites. That said, a few high-end TNs can be just as good (and in color accuracy/reproduction, too). Those are very rare, however, and not really cheaper except when looking at laptop displays.

The big downside of IPS panels is that they tend to respond a bit slower than a TN panel. Whether this will bother you depends highly on your sensitivity to such things. If you're hypersensitive about ghosting, an IPS panel will appear to ghost slightly unless you enable its overdrive (i.e. gaming) mode. If you're extremely sensitive to input lag, an IPS will often average about 10 ms more delay than a standard TN panel, or ~13 more than a 120 Hz or other high-speed TN (like the one you linked claims to be).

A lot of people are fine with this, some people don't mind it but prefer Overdrive mode for twitch FPS play (like me), and some people can't stand it. Unfortunately, the only way to really test whether an IPS screen's drawbacks are tolerable is to try one. Similarly, once you're used to IPS panels, TN screens tend to look a bit dull and washed-out. Except the high end ones like RGBLED laptop screens and Macbook screens and suchlike. That said, except for going to an Apple Store and playing with an iMac, iPad or an Apple Cinema Display (which use IPS panels), it's REALLY hard to find display models of IPS screens to check out.

Also, never trust a manufacturer's advertised contrast ratio. There are no standards by which they are measured, and you frequently get manufacturers offering the difference between "black with the backlight completely off" and "white with the backlight at a blinding 100%" - a range you could see over the space of a second with Dynamic Contrast (i.e. auto-changing backlight brightness) and Overdrive settings enabled, but not within a single image in a single moment. This method usually gives an unfair advantage to LED-backlit monitors, as well, which can completely shut off their backlighting as well as turn it up to eyeball-searing levels.

Monitor Care and Feeding - Cleaning

Stop. Put away your Windex or other household cleaner. Pull up the documentation for your monitor. See what the manufacturer recommends. Use what they recommend. Pure isopropyl/rubbing alcohol will quickly destroy any AG or other coating on the screen. Windex is usually almost always fatal to CRT screens and some LCD AG coatings. A diluted mix of isopropyl alcohol and water is recommended by Dell and Apple. (50/50 I think)

Microfiber clothes (like those for lenses) work fine, but I actually prefer plain paper towels (not shop towels, not towels with any special poo poo in them, but pure, plain paper towel). It's what I use to clean projection CRT optics that are waaay more sensitive. Don't use them dry though - use the appropriate liquid cleaner and then be liberal in your usage of cloths. You're here to clean your monitor, not to conserve cleaning cloths. Never double-back (or you'll just wipe grime over what you just cleaned), don't clean in concentric circles either (more applicable to CRT optics).

Don't forget to dust the back of your monitor as well, especially near any ventilation grates. Dusty electronics are bad!

Links within Thread

ToastyX explains input lag and testing methods very well
Use the correct color profile for Windows when attempting to use sRGB, Adobe RGB or a similar colorspace
2010 iMacs can be used as Target Displays from 2011 Macs, Apple thread link.
Talking about differences between H-IPS/S-IPS and 6/8 bit panels
Input Lag on the UltraSharps
Dell U2311H pinstriping issue on Macs (and likely any other 6-bit panel)
DrDork explains EyeFinity, and ATI drivers exploding with many monitors
Getting EyeFinity playing nice with Linux, sample xorg.conf

Dell Customer Service Stories
sethsez
Bobulot
HalloKitty

PVA vs. TN.jpg

Gwaihir posted:

Anand has an article from way back in 2008 that actually has the best kind of pictures to show the difference between the various screen types:

Dell 2408:
http://images.anandtech.com/reviews...8wfp-angles.jpg

Asus TN based screen:
http://images.anandtech.com/reviews...241h-angles.jpg

That is a PVA screen vs. a TN screen; IPS will be equal too or better than the PVA.

Calibration
Yes it was mentioned above, but bears repeating and could use some expansion I think.

You may also be wondering about calibration. Say you're working in the graphics industry. Let's say you create some artwork that is a certain of shade of red. Now you forward your work off to the Singapore office for some final touch-up work and peer review. Then your artwork goes off to the printers in China. How do you make sure that what comes out of the printer in China is still the same shade of red you wanted? Calibration; every display that's part of a color-managed workflow is precisely calibrated to make sure colors match. This is where color profiles come in, giving your OS a "map" that can be used to generate delicious calibrated color.

Enthusiast - calibration will help you fight saturation issues with colors. An inexpensive colorimeter or some good test patterns can help you here.

Basic - "calibration" in the basic sense is setting your brightness, contrast and color temperature to values that give you a nice picture without black crush or blooming. This can be done without any extra hardware (all that is needed are some test patterns!)

Basic Q/A from DrDork:
Q: Why should I calibrate?
A: If you're only interested in games, and you're happy with the way things look as-is, it may not be worth it for you to gently caress around with things. However, it's almost always possible to make things look closer to the way the designers/artists/etc intended it to look with a bit of calibration. It also allows you to better match what you see on your monitor to other things, such as what you print out, or what other people see on their monitors (assuming they are also properly calibrated).

Q: Ok, so how do I calibrate?
A: First you decide how much money you want to spend. Basic options are $0, <$100, and >$100. Online-only methods will rely on you to eyeball things, and consequently tend to have poor results: you're probably already used to "wrong" colors of one sort or another, to the point where "correct" colors may look off and tempt you to set things a bit incorrectly. Hardware kits are pretty much all plug-and-play these days, with step-by-step software that'll do all the hard stuff for you.

Q: I want to spend $0! How do I do this?
A: Best way is to borrow a calibration tool from someone who took one of the more expensive options. Barring that, there are some basic online tutorials you can use to improve your picture a bit. http://tft.vanity.dk/ has a very nice set of tools that you can use to get a better idea of what tweaks to make to your monitor look better. If nothing else, most monitors are more "correct" when set to brightness and contrast settings of about 50%, vice whatever they came set at.

Q: I want to spend <$100. What do I get?
A: The HueyPro is an ok colorometer, and is cheap. It's pretty fast, and it'll do a better job than the online setups will. It also supports multiple monitors and doesn't require any software registration, allowing you to use it on multiple computers without issue. Note that this will not work well with wide-gamut monitors, such as the U2410. You need to bump up to something better.

Q: I want to spend >$100. What do I get?
A: If you don't want to spend too much, the Spyder3 Pro goes for around $130. It's better than the HueyPro, also supports multiple monitors, and does a decent job with wide-gamut displays like the U2410. It, however, requires software registration, limiting its use in multi-computer setups. If you're willing to drop even more cash, the X-Rite Eye One Display 2 runs about $200, and is where "professional" grade calibration really starts to pick up. If your livelihood depends on proper colors, this is probably the cheapest one you should be considering. And you should probably investigate this sort of poo poo yourself, anyhow. If you absolutely HAVE to have the best, the X-Rite i1 Pro is probably the best one before things get really silly--and it's still about $900 or so.

ClearType

ClearType is Microsoft's sub-pixel rendering technology. You should definitely run the ClearType tuner in Windows to optimize the display of fonts on your LCD display. If you have multiple monitors, move the wizard to the monitor you want to tweak, and start running it. This can make the difference night and day between fuzzy fonts and razor-sharp text. Details

movax fucked around with this message at 16:19 on Dec 8, 2011

movax
Aug 30, 2008



<reserved>

movax fucked around with this message at 06:09 on Dec 2, 2011

movax
Aug 30, 2008



<boy I really did some spring cleaning, I'll find something to put here!>

movax fucked around with this message at 06:09 on Dec 2, 2011

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Star War Sex Parrot posted:

No.

Yeah, these don't get stickied. Thanks for closing the old one up.

Also do you know if the panels in the 27" ACD and 27" iMac are identical? I don't see why they wouldn't be. Just want to make sure when I say 27" iMac literally == 27" Apple display + a Mac that I'm being accurate.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Super Mario Shoeshine posted:

I am getting a new monitor and i could need some recommendations on which to use it also as TV, considering that i only want something like 23' or a bit more big. Do i need some special video card or receptor?

You will need multiple inputs on the monitor. I don't know who your TV provider is, but you need a tuner (set-top-box or otherwise) in order to watch it on your monitor. If your STB has HDMI out, get a 23" that has some combination of DVI and HDMI ports. (1 of each or 2 of the same, doesn't matter).

@Manny, thanks, will update recommendation post.

edit: Your question made me realize just how useless the 2nd post was. Just updated it, and now I feel comfortable pointing at the U2311 or U2410. The former will be cheaper, 23" and perfect if your TV set-top-box has digital outputs (and if you have a videocard with DisplayPort output). The latter will be pricier, 24", and will be more flexible for you thanks to its component video inputs, in case you have an older set-top-box. Might want to see if the component input supports 1080i/720p though (and if it does, let me know!)

movax fucked around with this message at 19:24 on Dec 10, 2010

movax
Aug 30, 2008



shaitan posted:

With a coupon I can get the Dell ST2320L for $135. This seems like a fairly good deal, I mostly just do email, write documentation and a little bit of programming on the side so I don't really need anything fancy and I'll probably be picking up 2 for the extra space.

Anything I should be wary of? I had no idea monitors were getting that low in price, especially with an LED backlight.

It's a TN panel, that's about it. If you read my description in the OP, viewing angles will suck. But it'll do just fine for email, text editing and programming. I have no idea how "bad" the viewing angles on these are, but it shouldn't be bad enough to preclude a dual-monitor setup.

Updated top posts with informations from thread (I'll probably do this once or twice a week or so). Question: Dell Uxxx = UltraSharp, IPS, Dell STxxx = Budget TN, Dell Pxxx = ? Are these blanket assignments accurate?

Also I feel like our recommendations are being a tad elitist; info on the various Acer, Asus, Samsung, etc displays would be cool. I think Samsung makes a lot of S-PVA-based monitors, which tend to get glossed over. A PVA/MVA would work great for shaitan too.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



AlmightyPants posted:

After seeing a 120hz monitor in action I'm thinking about ditching my old CRT. Any recommendations on the 120hz LCD front?

I haven't personally used one, but Anandtech seems to like (and has a very detailed review) of this Asus model.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Tab8715 posted:

tl;dr - don't worry about what you use to clean a monitor.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Windex will rape some AG coatings in seconds! It's almost always immediately fatal to CRT coatings (and you get hilariously fun chemical reactions if you clean the internal mirror with Windex + Ammonia D).

Simplest way to make sure you don't own the AG coating: RTFM. Never use pure rubbing/isopropyl alcohol either, unless you enjoy streak-shaped portions of your screen that have had their AG coating eaten away.

Added a section in one of the OP posts on monitor care and feeding.

quote:

I'm a student and I don't play any bleeding edge FPS games, the extent of my gaming is WoW and other MMOs. Is there anything more affordable in the 20" range? I'll be running a GTX 460 1

Look at the Gateway LED-backlit models perhaps, or Dell's budget 20/21" area. You don't need IPS, a PVA or TN panel should do you just fine.

movax fucked around with this message at 15:42 on Dec 16, 2010

movax
Aug 30, 2008



angrytaxman posted:

Yeah I decided to google it after posting this, and it seems to be a very polarizing issue. Personally it's straining my eyes a whole lot right now and is making me very uncomfortable. This sucks I debated for weeks about what monitor to get and never really thought twice about the anti-glare coating being an issue for me.

Your other option in the 27" class is the Apple LED display (along with necessary converters) but that comes with its drawbacks as well. I think most of the pro models in this size range are all matte w/ AG coatings. NEC might make a model that's glossy, but it'll be big bucks.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Fishmasher posted:

My Samsung BX2440 has presets for Warm, Cool, and Normal. I wish they'd use the actual number like 6500k, or at least explain it in the manual. Does anyone know what the presets really are?

Cool is usually 9300K (everything blues up), Warm I think drops to 6500K, Normal is in the middle. Pretty sure about that.

Also, had no idea the 2209WAs were that special. Got 2 for $220 ea. a few years ago, have to RMA one soon though.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



kimcicle posted:

So I got a U2410 to be my second monitor in my setup, and I have it connected via DisplayPort. I've noticed that when I turn off just the monitor (leave my computer up and running) that my computer will change everything to just one of my monitors and makes the Windows noise like a USB device has been disconnected. Is this expected behavior?

Yes - assuming you have the USB hub plugged in. Turning off the monitor also kills power to the integrated USB hub, disconnecting it and all devices connected to it. Letting the display go into standby leaves USB hub and all connected peripherals on.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Pr0phecy posted:

What would you say about this monitor? They give it great reviews but you seem to be extremely knowledgeable about this.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...N82E16824236052

I'd use it mostly for gaming/movies, maybe hooking up my PS3 to it.

I think it'll be just fine for your described usage scenario. It's TN, and will excel at gaming. I wouldn't expect much input lag from that Asus either.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



advion posted:

I would say that's about as good as you're going to get the cheaper display to match up to the better quality IPS in the iMac.

That's just the nature of the beast.

That and you've got two different backlights with vastly different emissions; ideally if sRGB mode was supported on the other panel, you'd have a shot at getting 'em to match up, but I doubt the Asus exposes the large number of settings you'd have to tweak. The graphics card might though.

Keep the second monitor doing video/not displaying white Finder windows, you'll notice the difference less

movax
Aug 30, 2008



gnrk posted:

The U2211H is 1920x1080 native, I picked one up a week ago.

Oops, fixed.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Hibame posted:

So now I am looking to upgrade to possibly a U3011. With that I have a few questions:
Is the dell site still the best place to order from?
How often does dell put the monitors on sale?
Should I wait for a sale?
Or should I really just save my money and get something else?

I have a U3011. It was an upgrade from a 24" CRT. I am very, very happy with it. That being said:

1. Yes, it gives you the least warranty headaches that way. It is not guaranteed when you buy from someone else that the warranty will transfer to you. I got lucky and found a nice Dell rep who happily took care of that for me because I bought mine brand new, just not from Dell. Also, you can exchange the panel for even one dead pixel. Premium Panel guarantee, bitches.
2. Compared to other retailers, fairly often, though the 27" and 30" sales are just a little bit rarer.
3. Yes.
4. It depends. Do you want 30"? Would you be happy with a 24"? Are you ok with keeping the U3011 box around to transport the monitor from dorm->home? I recommend that your purchase have the ability to take component + HDMI inputs, so you can chill in your dorm with a console or two (assuming you guys don't already have a TV).

movax
Aug 30, 2008



SALE!

U3011 - $1050
U2711 - $769
U2211H - $195

Don't forget, you do have to pay sales tax on these, but prices are still pretty damned awesome.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



HE ON THE TOILET posted:

I read in the OP that the U3011 has "significant reports of input lag". Can anyone expound on this? Has anyone here experienced it? Any information is much appreciated, as I know I'll go with a Dell IPS panel, and while I'd love a 30" one, that's the only thing holding me back right now.

People on [H] were bitching about it, but I've playing FPSes just fine on it (TF2, L4D2, whatever). Using GPU scaling (but trying to run native-res when able), it doesn't bug me, and I came from a CRT.

Haven't tried a console hooked up to HDMI yet though, so can't comment on lag there, unfortunately.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



kuddles posted:

The response to the Asus one I linked to either had people being perfectly fine with it or absolutely hating the angle you had to use with it and never getting over it. My advice is not to buy it unless you can see in in real life first.

IMHO these are better suited for a kitchen or other workspace where you will be standing around it and working, not sitting.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



DrDork posted:

So yes, as long as the male/female bits match up.

*snicker*

Someone should setup a referral link from SA to Dell, so many U2311Hs have been goon-purchased. We'll be rich I tell you, rich!

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Nigel Tufnel posted:

I need to know if my graphics card will run two 24" monitors. I've got a 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4670 (with dual DVI outputs) in my current build. I already run a 24" over DVI but I'm thinking about getting another one with HDMI support so I can run an xbox 360 into it and game at my desk. Am I gonna run into problems with two 24"s? I'll only PC game on one screen so I won't need extra graphical oomph for that.

2 DVI outputs means you'll be fine with two 1920x1200/1080 monitors, no sweat.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Paino posted:

The color black will be there, waiting for me. Last time I saw it at home was on a pricy 1998 Sony CRT, now all I see is different shades of gray with lovely lighting behind it. And they called it HDTV? gently caress you.

I had FW900s as my monitors for the longest time, the blacks and refresh rate were sol incredibly glorious.

Then I got tired of upkeep on them, shielded 'em in garbage bags, and put them into storage. Loving my U3011 + 2x 2209WAs now (no room for my old Gateway, so gave that to my little brother).

Off-topic question though, that I just realized...does running multiple monitors off one graphics card kill 3D game performance? I had 4 monitors for the longest time, so both cards would have two monitors, but now that I'm down to 3, I can put the 2209s on the little GT210, and leave the GTX460 doing its thang.

I mean, it's just rendering a 2D windows desktop, which I imagine wouldn't be terribly difficult, but maybe it's costing me precious FPS

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Druuge Fuel posted:

My pops is buying a new computer and asked me for help finding the best price/performance sweet spot for the 27" range. I know the the Dell UH*** is recommended for the most part but I'm not sure if there's a hot IPS (or other) deal for the size he's looking for.

For reference; his email to me:

...will need to get a new monitor, keyboard and mouse. Got any suggestions for those? Was not overly impressed at all by the monitor choices at BB. Looked at Newegg and Amazon and found some that looked ok based on reviews but without seeing them, who knows? LCD vs LED? The apple monitors do look way better than any of the others and I found a really good deal on a 22" on Amazon but would like to get a 27" if possible. The intention is to use the monitor as a tv if possible.

As long as he has a set-top box, he can always feed the monitor with the HDMI or Component output from it. That should be relatively painless (you will have to feed a receiver/amplifier with an audio signal from the STB separately, I don't recall off-hand if Dell does speakerbars for their monitors that will handle audio over HDMI) If not, what Factory Factory said is absolutely correct and it'll just be easier for you to buy a TV.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



If you're looking for a decent display and don't care about color accuracy/just want a 23" flat screen to game on, Buy.com has the VH236H on sale for ~$132.00 after $20 MIR.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Belligerent Monk posted:

okay thanks - I know this is the wrong thread but what's a good wireless keyboard to along with the laptop and monitor? Something from Logitech I assume?

You can try the keyboard megathread but yes, Logitech tends to make pretty decent wireless mouse/KB combos. Their wireless mice can be very good (G7).

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Jihad posted:

Goons, I need your expertise.

I was looking at picking up a 27" IPS panel in about a month once I get back to the states from the Middle East.

I've been comparing and stuff and the Dell U2711 looks great, but I was also wondering, can you use an Apple 27" Cinema Display with a Windows based PC? I tried some googling but I could only find references to bootcamp (where it obviously would work). I much prefer the glossy coating of Mac screens over the anti-glare coating on most monitors, and I can get it for about 900$ with a military discount through the Apple store.

I already have an early 2009 Macbook that is currently my primary computer and I know I can use it with this since I have the built in Mini DisplayPort adapter. The computer I'll be building will be using a single Radeon 6950, which also has 2 Mini DP's on it, so theoretically it should work just fine if I use those (or are they only intended for Eyefinity use?) I know the cinema display only has DP and no DVI, so I'm well aware of what I'd be getting into.

Thanks in advance!

I need to update the OP with a confirmed accurate answer, but I believe the answer is yes, as long as you can feed it DisplayPort. Also, one of the iMac guys can correct me if I'm wrong, but the price difference between the 27" ACD and 27" iMac almost makes the iMac a better bang for your buck (and you can still use the screen as an independent display!)

That being said, if you look in 2nd post of the OP, you'll see that the ACD lacks a height adjustable stand as well, while the U2711 gets the usual Dell UltraSharp goodies (premium guarantee, adjust-o-stand, hub, etc)

movax
Aug 30, 2008



TheStampede posted:

Huh, I'll admit I'm pretty ignorant about monitors, but it says my max resolution is 2560x1600. I'm not saying I plan on running everything at max settings at that resolution, but is there any reason I can't use one of those monitors? And if not, then what should I be getting?

EDIT: Woops, it's a HD 6870. And since it's a new page, which is better for gaming and with that card, the Dell 3007WFP 30", or the Dell U3011 30"?

The U3011 has a plethora of inputs (2x DVI, 2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 1x VGA and 1x Component Video). I think the 3007WFP only has DVI input(s).

Gaming at max res with full details is going to be painful with a midrange card (I don't follow ATI graphics at all, but I think the 6870 is midrange?). I bought my GTX460 before I got my 30", and while I can play current games at 2550x1600, that's with no AA (2x at most) and a nice overclock on the GPU. Personally, I'm going to probably upgrade GPU when Mass Effect 3 comes out, and the 460 chokes playing it at maxed out detail. I love my Mass Effect.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Shumagorath posted:

I've noticed something annoying about the ZR24w units. Whenever I turn one off using the soft switch on the front, the USB hub turns off. Windows also assumes that there is no display there any more and relocates any open windows.

Is there firmware or something that corrects this issue?

I don't think so, because that switch is probably wired to act as a physical shutdown switch; cut all power to display, hubs, peripherals and only leave a few mA to power a standby LED and handle powering back up.

I do like that 'Turn off LCD' program, that'll be super handy for me. The way my monitors are orientated, I'll sometimes get a bit of glare on my main display from the side displays when I'm gaming or something. Thanks Factory Factory!

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Factory Factory posted:

I'm not sure it'll do what you're thinking. All it does is initiate a "Screen turns off" event exactly as if the power management timer had done so. All it takes to turn the screen(s) back on is moving the mouse.

Oops. Yeah, I didn't think that through. Ideally, I just need something that'll throw up full-screen black on monitors 2 and 3 (and not get hosed up/shifted around as multi mon setups are wont to do when you go fullscreen on the primary).

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Droid Washington posted:

e: eh gently caress it. My credit card has been paid off for a long time, let's put it to use. Other than risking ebay, is Dell the cheapest place to buy it right now?

Don't buy from eBay. Check Slickdeals or similar to see if Dell is doing any coupon deals. I think right now there's a coupon (or discount) on the U3011, not sure about the U2410. If-you-can-wait(tm), a coupon may show up for the 2410, but it's mostly the U2311H that goes on sale.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Revelation 2-13 posted:

Hi guys,

I have a serious hard-on for some eyefinity stuff and now that I finally have a machine which (in theory anyway) should be able to pull 3 monitors, I want to try it out.

So, the problem is that I already have a 24 inch (asus vw246h) screen and I cant see how it could possibly fit 3 of those fuckers on my desk. Meanwhile eyefinity needs everything to run at the same resolution, so I was thinking of buying a pair of 21.5 inch monitors (that runs at the same native 1920x1080 resolution as my 24 inch), but will look completely retarded? Is it even possible?

I also considered springing for two extra 24 inch monitors and placing them all vertically instead, but the 24 inch widescreen monitors seem a bit too narrow for this to to me, as I'm using the pc for both writing, photo-editing and gaming.

Another option is buy three smaller (I guess non-widescreen) monitors and dumping the 24 incher on a family member or something.

Final option I think, is buying a bigger desk and buying two 24 inch monitors like the one I already have. I love my desk though, so that's probably my least favorite option.

I'm mainly interested to hear if anyone know about the 2x21.5 inch flanking a 24 inch wide? Looks like I about 9 inches of desk space.. Which while not a whole lot, probably makes enough of difference.

Any other suggestions?

Ah, the old build around your desk situation. 21.5"s aren't the best value in the world, firstly--I want to say your best bang/buck will likely come from 3 U2311Hs or similar. Consider the costs of monitors + arms vs. a desk as well. I have 2 22" (2209WAs) flanking a 30", and it doesn't look terribly silly. One is in portrait mode, the other is landscape, and they look ok.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



peepsalot posted:

So what's the deal with LED backlit displays. I thought these would be more popular, but all anyone talks about is the U2311H. Is the picture for LED backlights just flat out inferior to CCFL? I was under the impression that provided higher contrast ratios, and that some are capable of having a wider color gamut.

And what makes U2311H so pants-shittingly awesome that gives it such a reputation?

Dell makes G2410 and G2210 LED backlit monitors which are LED backlit, are these somehow inferior to their CCFL brethren? Any other(non Apple) brands that have offer a good LED backlit monitor?

The U2311H is popular because it's a great IPS-based panel for a good price. It may be CCFL-backlit, but the IPS panel lends it great color accuracy and viewing angles.

LED backlights can give you a different gamut (Different spectra of emitted light), but for accuracies sake, any LED backlit display will have the appropriate filters in place--the point of sRGB after all is for the image to look the same on any sRGB-calibrated equipment.

The G2xxx monitors are LED backlit, but they're probably *VA or TN panel types.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



atastypie posted:

Is there such thing as a budget 27" that is still pretty good? I have a MBP. I could care less about gaming, but I code and email for 8-10 hours a day.

I think Planar or similar make 26"/27" screens that are decently "budget".

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Avalanche posted:

I need to RMA my U2311H

Turned on the monitor, and had a small clump of stuck blue pixels that appeared in the top center of the screen. I had a few dead pixels, and backlight bleed as well, but didnt want to send this thing back just for that. It is still the best monitor ive ever owned, but not worth $290 to deal with this kind of poo poo.

What is the easiest way to do this? When calling them, is it ok if I just have a customer number and the serial number for the monitor? I never created a dell premier account or anything like that when buying the thing.

My invoice says I have the "3 Year limited warranty advanced exchange" so I hope im good to go.

You should be fine, call them up and give them the serial number and order # (if you have it). They'll overnight or 2-day you a new monitor, put old one in that box, attach shipping label and back home it goes. Just RMA'd my 2 year old 2209WA with only the serial number, it is pretty painless.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



ToastyX posted:

Recently though, LG has started releasing 6-bit e-IPS panels with temporal dithering, which includes the Dell U2311H.

did not know this. Worthy of mention in the OP, I think?

movax
Aug 30, 2008



DrDork posted:

The U2410 is still an excellent choice for color quality at a reasonable price, however you should be aware that it's a wide-gamut monitor, which may be a good or a bad thing depending on what you're doing (if you don't know what this means, go research it, as it may seriously impact your usage). If you don't want/need a wide-gamut monitor, and/or don't have the need for the plethora of inputs and options that the U2410 brings to the table, you may want to consider looking at the ZR24W, which is the same panel, but drops the wide-gamut, a bunch of the inputs, some of the custom-color options, and close to $200 off the price tag.

Think it drops the scaler as well, which isn't a huge deal when it's just being used for PC usage (obviously what the ZR24W is intended for as it doesn't have the many inputs like you said).

movax
Aug 30, 2008



fyallm posted:

I am building my own pc and will be using: MSI N460GTX Hawk GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card to run the graphics.

I will mostly be gaming on this monitor (Drage Age 2, BF3, WoW, Skryim). My budget is pretty much anything below 300/350.

I was thinking about getting the U2311H but then I heard it wasn't best for gaming? What should I be getting, and from where?

For the games you listed the U2311H will be fine. Have you already bought that GTX460? If not, you should get the 560 Ti, the refresh of that chip.

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movax
Aug 30, 2008



fyallm posted:

I have not gotten the card yet. I posted in the build your own computer thread and was going to get the 560 but was told it would prolly be overkill. Also if I got the 560ti I wouldn't be able to run 1900 x 1200 on the U2311H correct?

I am currently waiting for my tax refund to come next week, and hopefully more 1155 motherboards to come in stock at newegg. If I was to bump up to the 560ti would the U2311H still be the go to monitor?.

This is the review you should check out about the GTX 560 Ti. As you can see, it delivers somewhat playable framerates at 2560x1600, but does great at 1920x1080, the resolution of your U2311H. I have a 460, and it can play all current games at 2560x1600 on my U3011, but only well-optimized/older titles allow me to turn on all the eye candy at that resolution. (For instance, I can play Mass Effect 2 with everything cranked up, but in Black Ops, I can only do 2x AA).

If you bump up to the 560Ti, you should be golden for most of the titles released this year (the developers are probably doing QA testing on Nehalem + nvidia GTX 4xx/ AMD HD6xxx at the oldest).

e: I slipped up as pointed out below, U2311H is 1920x1080, my bad!

movax fucked around with this message at 17:13 on Mar 9, 2011

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