LCD monitor resolution question

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

I am considering buying a new monitor, perhaps a 17" lcd, mostly for text
use, with some pictures, still and video; no games.

I note that most 17" LCD monitors have a native resolution of 1280x1024.
But Staples has a Norcent 17" lcd on sale that has a resolution of
1024x768, native resolution. This brings up two questions: 1) anybody
have an opinion of the Norcent LM-730?

And, perhaps more importantly, why are most 17" lcd monitors 1280x1024? I
would prefer 1024x768 at 17", it should be more readable I think, as long
as we're dealing with different *native* resolutions. Again, let me
emphasize I'm talking about the maximum, native resolution.

So why do most manufacturers market the higher resolution 1280x1024 17"
displays? Is there an inherent advantage to one resolution over the
other, and would the optimum for text be different for graphics or games?

Thanks for any helpful responses.

Andy
14 answers Last reply
More about monitor resolution question
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    "Andy Axnot" <Andy@mepis1.invalid> wrote in message
    news:pan.2004.07.22.22.51.58.203772@mepis1.invalid...
    > And, perhaps more importantly, why are most 17" lcd monitors 1280x1024? I
    > would prefer 1024x768 at 17", it should be more readable I think, as long
    > as we're dealing with different *native* resolutions. Again, let me
    > emphasize I'm talking about the maximum, native resolution.

    The answer to this question in large part has to do with the common
    confusion between "resolution" and "pixel format" (or "addressibility").
    A 17" diagonal panel providing 1280 x 1024 pixels has a RESOLUTION
    which is slightly higher than that of a 15", 1024 x 768 - the 15" XGA
    product has a resolution of 85 pixels/inch, while the 17" SXGA is about
    96 pixels/inch. A 17" XGA panel would provide about 75 PPI, a notably
    coarser image than either of the others. Most monitor customers
    expect more screen area to translate into more pixels (the ability to
    display more information on the screen), and an image quality (resolution,
    in the proper sense of the word) at least as good as the smaller, less
    expensive
    option. A good place for desktop displays to be in that regard is somewhere
    in the 85-110 pixels per inch range, a very usable and visually pleasing
    range
    of resolution without getting too expensive to manufacture at an acceptable
    cost.

    Bob M.
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 17:23:07 +0000, Bob Myers wrote:


    > "Andy Axnot" <Andy@mepis1.invalid> wrote in message
    > news:pan.2004.07.22.22.51.58.203772@mepis1.invalid...
    >> And, perhaps more importantly, why are most 17" lcd monitors 1280x1024?
    >> I would prefer 1024x768 at 17", it should be more readable I think, as
    >> long as we're dealing with different *native* resolutions. Again, let
    >> me emphasize I'm talking about the maximum, native resolution.
    >
    > The answer to this question in large part has to do with the common
    > confusion between "resolution" and "pixel format" (or "addressibility").
    > A 17" diagonal panel providing 1280 x 1024 pixels has a RESOLUTION which
    > is slightly higher than that of a 15", 1024 x 768 - the 15" XGA product
    > has a resolution of 85 pixels/inch, while the 17" SXGA is about 96
    > pixels/inch. A 17" XGA panel would provide about 75 PPI, a notably
    > coarser image than either of the others. Most monitor customers expect
    > more screen area to translate into more pixels (the ability to display
    > more information on the screen), and an image quality (resolution, in
    > the proper sense of the word) at least as good as the smaller, less
    > expensive option. A good place for desktop displays to be in that
    > regard is somewhere in the 85-110 pixels per inch range, a very usable
    > and visually pleasing range of resolution without getting too expensive
    > to manufacture at an acceptable cost.
    >
    > Bob M.

    Bob, thanks for your response.

    So the SXGA display is finer, less coarse. But aren't elements rendered
    smaller, too? I wonder how this affects readability, and if the ideal
    reading distance would be different for the two displays.

    I guess I better get myself off to some place where I can compare some
    monitors side by side, and get some assistance from the friendly, patient,
    and knowledgeable sales staff. Oh, wait! That was just a dream...

    Andy
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    "Andy Axnot" <Andy@mepis1.invalid> wrote in message
    news:pan.2004.07.23.23.07.51.506207@mepis1.invalid...

    > So the SXGA display is finer, less coarse. But aren't elements rendered
    > smaller, too?

    Exactly - higher resolution, in the technically correct sense of the word,
    means finer picture elements ("pixels"), for more pixels per inch (or
    whatever unit you'd care to use).

    > I wonder how this affects readability, and if the ideal
    > reading distance would be different for the two displays.

    A lot of that depends on just what you're using the display for, and
    to some degree on how well the OS and/or application software
    handles displays of differing resolutions. Windows, for example, has
    pretty much always assumed that it will be dealing with a display of
    about 90-100 ppi, and so does not yet do all that well with higher
    resolution displays since it doesn't do that great a job of matching
    its text size to the display in use. (The extreme case of this is a
    system in which a given character is ALWAYS the same size
    in pixels, rather than being scaled so as to be the same physical size
    on the screen regardless of resolution.) Ergonomic standards typically
    say that you don't want to have to deal with characters shorter than
    about 2.6 mm (a bit more than 0.1"), assuming typical "desktop"
    viewing distances, and most people will be most comfortable with
    characters displayed such that they're a bit larger than that.

    As far as readibility, that's a question of both the character size and
    other factors - the font design, the spacing between characters
    and lines, the colors used, and so forth. And most people will
    generally want the image to be a little "visually sharper" for text
    work than they will for photgraphic images (where very sharp
    edges on the pixels, if the pixels are large enough to be visible,
    will be objectionable). So, as usual, everything's a tradeoff.

    Bob M.
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    Andy Axnot <Andy@mepis1.invalid> wrote:

    >So why do most manufacturers market the higher resolution 1280x1024 17"
    >displays?

    Because that's the "sweet spot", given the current manufacturing
    technology (read: cost) and customer expectations regarding
    resolution.

    Although many (including myself) agree with you that 1280x1024 is too
    many pixels for a 17" LCD monitor, the manufacturer has to shoot for
    the middle of the market to maximize profits. It would be nice if
    someone would produce, say, an 1152x864 17" monitor. This would be,
    IMO, a more comfortable resolution for this size, but then the poor
    manufacturer would then be seen as "inferior" to his competitors and
    their 1280x1024 displays. So, the poor manufacturer would be forced
    to sell at a lower price point, even though his manufacturing costs,
    heavily dependant on size, wouldn't be hardly any different.

    IMO, if you're commited to LCD, you should get a 15" 1024x768, or, if
    you need more resolution, step up to a 19" 1280x1024.

    >Is there an inherent advantage to one resolution over the
    >other, and would the optimum for text be different for graphics or games?

    That's a very personal question, depending on how you use your
    computer. Personally, I think most home users are well served by the
    venerable CRT monitor, which has no issues switching resolutions as
    needed. If I need 1600x1200 to see a speadsheet, no problem. If Doom
    III runs too slow at 1280x960, I'll drop to 1024x768.
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    I work 8 hours a day on a PC and want a LCD because all people say
    that will be easier for my eyes, and better for my health.
    Is It really better to use a LCD than CRT for long time works or those
    are only subjective opinions.
    Thanks.
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    "Ricardo" <x4vier@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:80362ef.0408101128.78312e0f@posting.google.com...
    > I work 8 hours a day on a PC and want a LCD because all people say
    > that will be easier for my eyes, and better for my health.
    > Is It really better to use a LCD than CRT for long time works or those
    > are only subjective opinions.

    First, ANY display (or for that matter, any visual task at all) viewed
    for an extended period of time will result in tired eyes, etc.. So
    my first word of advice here is that you shouldn't do any work
    involving close-up, fine-detail work (whether it's working with a
    computer display, tying flies, or whatever!) for a long time without
    taking a break. Get up from the desk. Focus on something in the
    distance for a while. Hey, get out and take a walk already, it's a
    nice day out...:-)

    Having said THAT...LCDs are easier on the eyes than CRTs
    primarily in two areas. First, and most obvious, they do not
    suffer from the "flicker" problem usually associated with the
    CRT. The other primary advantage is that an LCD (or really,
    any fixed-format display type, which would include plasma
    panels, OLEDs, etc.) will not, when operated at its native
    format, suffer from "focus" problems, nor any of the CRT
    behaviors that can appear as "poor focus" (e.g., misconvergence).
    This is a benefit, since your eyes won't be constantly trying to
    correct what it sees as a problem in what THEY are doing.

    Bob M.
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    On Tue, 10 Aug 2004 21:38:39 GMT, "Bob Myers"
    <nospamplease@address.invalid> wrote:

    >
    >"Ricardo" <x4vier@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    >news:80362ef.0408101128.78312e0f@posting.google.com...
    >> I work 8 hours a day on a PC and want a LCD because all people say
    >> that will be easier for my eyes, and better for my health.
    >> Is It really better to use a LCD than CRT for long time works or those
    >> are only subjective opinions.
    >
    >First, ANY display (or for that matter, any visual task at all) viewed
    >for an extended period of time will result in tired eyes, etc.. So
    >my first word of advice here is that you shouldn't do any work
    >involving close-up, fine-detail work (whether it's working with a
    >computer display, tying flies, or whatever!) for a long time without
    >taking a break. Get up from the desk. Focus on something in the
    >distance for a while. Hey, get out and take a walk already, it's a
    >nice day out...:-)
    >
    >Having said THAT...LCDs are easier on the eyes than CRTs
    >primarily in two areas. First, and most obvious, they do not
    >suffer from the "flicker" problem usually associated with the
    >CRT. The other primary advantage is that an LCD (or really,
    >any fixed-format display type, which would include plasma
    >panels, OLEDs, etc.) will not, when operated at its native
    >format, suffer from "focus" problems, nor any of the CRT
    >behaviors that can appear as "poor focus" (e.g., misconvergence).
    >This is a benefit, since your eyes won't be constantly trying to
    >correct what it sees as a problem in what THEY are doing.
    >
    >Bob M.
    >

    As a PC user who has had some extensive eye surgeries (my vision is
    fine now), I find that my new LCD display *is* easier on the eyes. And
    I think you're right, Bob -- the great geometry and focus on my
    monitor keep my eyes from having to work too hard.

    Kevin Miller

    "Either way, it is bad for Zathras."
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    In article <zfbSc.7659$mL2.5270@news.cpqcorp.net>,
    nospamplease@address.invalid says...
    >
    > "Ricardo" <x4vier@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    > news:80362ef.0408101128.78312e0f@posting.google.com...
    > > I work 8 hours a day on a PC and want a LCD because all people say
    > > that will be easier for my eyes, and better for my health.
    > > Is It really better to use a LCD than CRT for long time works or those
    > > are only subjective opinions.
    >
    > First, ANY display (or for that matter, any visual task at all) viewed
    > for an extended period of time will result in tired eyes, etc.. So
    > my first word of advice here is that you shouldn't do any work
    > involving close-up, fine-detail work (whether it's working with a
    > computer display, tying flies, or whatever!) for a long time without
    > taking a break. Get up from the desk. Focus on something in the
    > distance for a while. Hey, get out and take a walk already, it's a
    > nice day out...:-)
    >
    > Having said THAT...LCDs are easier on the eyes than CRTs
    > primarily in two areas. First, and most obvious, they do not
    > suffer from the "flicker" problem usually associated with the
    > CRT. The other primary advantage is that an LCD (or really,
    > any fixed-format display type, which would include plasma
    > panels, OLEDs, etc.) will not, when operated at its native
    > format, suffer from "focus" problems, nor any of the CRT
    > behaviors that can appear as "poor focus" (e.g., misconvergence).
    > This is a benefit, since your eyes won't be constantly trying to
    > correct what it sees as a problem in what THEY are doing.
    >
    > Bob M.
    >
    >
    >
    Adding a slightly OT comment to this:

    I found that getting eyeglasses specically prescribed for the distance
    between me and my monitor, and have the glasses anti-glare coated,
    reduced my eyestrain a lot.

    Louise
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    LCD's are NOT FLICKER FREE.

    I actually am sensitive to LCD's and have always thought I perceived
    some type of flickering or shimmering. Perhaps not for the reasons I
    will enumerate, for I don't have all the answers. But I recently came
    across the following site which I found quite enlightening:

    http://www.techmind.org/lcd/

    It has information on:
    Clock/phasing for Analog inputs
    Pixel Inversion
    Cross-talk
    Color, contrast and viewing angle

    These can all cause flickering and other visual noise which can be
    distracting to sensitive individuals.

    Pixel-inversion flicker is particularly nasty because it operates at a
    lower frequency, about 30-40Hz on most displays. Compared with over
    100Hz on a quality CRT. I've seen these effects and thought I was
    just crazy. In many cases, "insanity" is an explanation of things we
    cannot directly observe or fall outside of the scope of our
    understanding. Just because something is difficult to notice or
    explain, doesn't mean it isn't real.

    LCD's also require greater brightness to produce a high-contrast
    image. This can mean more direct glare issues, especially for
    spectacle wearers.

    I appreciate the many advantages of LCD's, but I have used many
    high-rated displays and they haven't been the panacea that many people
    claim. In ways I prefer a quality CRT, and I'm know I'm not alone.
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    LCD's are NOT FLICKER FREE.

    I actually am sensitive to LCD's and have always thought I perceived
    some type of flickering or shimmering. Perhaps not for the reasons I
    will enumerate, for I don't have all the answers. But I recently came
    across the following site which I found quite enlightening:

    http://www.techmind.org/lcd/

    It has information on:
    Clock/phasing for Analog inputs
    Pixel Inversion
    Cross-talk
    Color, contrast and viewing angle

    These can all cause flickering and other visual noise which can be
    distracting to sensitive individuals.

    Pixel-inversion flicker is particularly nasty because it operates at a
    lower frequency, about 30-40Hz on most displays. Compared with over
    100Hz on a quality CRT. I've seen these effects and thought I was
    just crazy. In many cases, "insanity" is an explanation of things we
    cannot directly observe or fall outside of the scope of our
    understanding. Just because something is difficult to notice or
    explain, doesn't mean it isn't real.

    LCD's also require greater brightness to produce a high-contrast
    image. This can mean more direct glare issues, especially for
    spectacle wearers.

    I appreciate the many advantages of LCD's, but I have used many
    high-rated displays and they haven't been the panacea that many people
    claim. In ways I prefer a quality CRT, and I'm know I'm not alone.
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    Jonathan Westbay wrote:

    > LCD's are NOT FLICKER FREE.
    >
    > I actually am sensitive to LCD's and have always thought I perceived
    > some type of flickering or shimmering. Perhaps not for the reasons I
    > will enumerate, for I don't have all the answers. But I recently came
    > across the following site which I found quite enlightening:
    >
    > http://www.techmind.org/lcd/
    >
    > It has information on:
    > Clock/phasing for Analog inputs
    > Pixel Inversion
    > Cross-talk
    > Color, contrast and viewing angle
    >
    > These can all cause flickering and other visual noise which can be
    > distracting to sensitive individuals.
    >
    > Pixel-inversion flicker is particularly nasty because it operates at a
    > lower frequency, about 30-40Hz on most displays. Compared with over
    > 100Hz on a quality CRT. I've seen these effects and thought I was
    > just crazy. In many cases, "insanity" is an explanation of things we
    > cannot directly observe or fall outside of the scope of our
    > understanding. Just because something is difficult to notice or
    > explain, doesn't mean it isn't real.
    >
    > LCD's also require greater brightness to produce a high-contrast
    > image. This can mean more direct glare issues, especially for
    > spectacle wearers.
    >
    > I appreciate the many advantages of LCD's, but I have used many
    > high-rated displays and they haven't been the panacea that many people
    > claim. In ways I prefer a quality CRT, and I'm know I'm not alone.

    Those tests were purposely created to produce the appearance of
    flicker--it's not the same phenomenon that CRTs exhibit, which is constant
    and not an artifact of particular data patterns. If you're experiencing
    flicker routinely with LCDs the most likely explanation is that you're
    picking up the frequency of the backlight.

    --
    --John
    Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  12. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    "J. Clarke" <jclarke@nospam.invalid> wrote in message
    news:ckb2vs01puj@news4.newsguy.com...

    > > These can all cause flickering and other visual noise which can be
    > > distracting to sensitive individuals.

    > Those tests were purposely created to produce the appearance of
    > flicker--it's not the same phenomenon that CRTs exhibit, which is constant
    > and not an artifact of particular data patterns. If you're experiencing
    > flicker routinely with LCDs the most likely explanation is that you're
    > picking up the frequency of the backlight.

    Very unlikely, as the backlight isn't operated at a frequency even
    remotely likely of being perceived as flickering.

    The site referenced does give some valid information, but unfortunately
    not the whole story - and it's mixed in with some claims that are
    basically wrong. The drive inversion mentioned, for instance, does
    occur, but unless it's being done completely wrong is very unlikely to
    result in perceivable flicker.

    Bob M.
  13. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    Whether flicker is conciously perceivable, does not affect its
    potential to cause eyestrain in sensitive individuals.

    The tests were designed to purposely excite the whole screen, but I
    see no reason why it wouldn't cause the same type of flicker in
    certain isolated areas of the screen.

    At any rate, if there is any type of inversion scheme going on, then
    the pixels are not in fact static. I had always been led to believe
    that the pixels were completely static until their value is updated by
    the graphics card. There IS flicker. It is simply different in
    nature.
  14. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

    "Jonathan Westbay" <JonathanWestbay@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:f809b1c3.0410200115.21295ea9@posting.google.com...
    > Whether flicker is conciously perceivable, does not affect its
    > potential to cause eyestrain in sensitive individuals.

    More accurately, there are sources of eyestrain when using
    any display (or, broadly, when doing any sort of visual
    work) which have nothing to do with flicker. In other words,
    simply suffering from "eyestrain" is no indication that the display
    in use is flickering.


    > At any rate, if there is any type of inversion scheme going on, then
    > the pixels are not in fact static.

    This is actually incorrect. A pixel which is set to a given state
    is in fact static in terms of its light output, a fact which can be
    verified with any sufficiently fast-responding photometer. The
    drive inversion places a net zero DC voltage across the LC
    cell (which is the intention, to prevent "image sticking" and other
    long-term problems with the LC), but conventional TN mode
    LCDs (and others using basically similar schemes, including
    IPS and VA) are not senstive to the polarity of the field across
    the material, only to its intensity. The molecules, in other words,
    do NOT change state on successive frames of the image, even
    though the polarity of the drive is changing.

    > I had always been led to believe
    > that the pixels were completely static until their value is updated by
    > the graphics card. There IS flicker. It is simply different in
    > nature.

    The pixels, at least in an active-matrix LCD, ARE stable. There
    is no significant flicker. What's being ignored here is that there
    are other sources of eyestrain - such as simply doing ANY sort
    of detailed, close-up work for an extended period of time -
    besides display flicker.

    Bob M.
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