I'm in a real bind, I would like to get an LCD with my new system, but i'm baffled on which one to choose. I have narrowed it down to 3 models. The Eizo L461, the Compaq TFT7020 and the new Cornerstone F1200. Now I plan to get either a Ti200 or Radeon 8500 video card, both with DVI. Now i'm a big game player, especially games like UT and Q3, so a good response rate where I won't see any problems is a must. Now the cornerstone has a 25ms response time, and a very good return policy, 30 days no questions asked but it's analog only! The Eizo I don't know the response rate, and the Compaq is 25ms but I haven't seen any reviews. Also the Compaq is 17" compared to the Eizo 16". It also seems anywhere I would buy either the Compaq or Eizo would charge 15% restocking fee, which comes out to over $120 if I don't like it. It seems difference between dot pitch and contrast/brightness is negligible...unless you guys can see an advantage or disadvantage of one over the other. Also the resolution and the refresh rate are the same on all 3 models, 1280X1024@75hrz. So I guess the questions would be, which moniter would suit me best for overall use and gaming?
Compaq: 17", 25ms, Digital & Analog
Eizo: 16", ?ms, Digital
Cornerstone: 17.4", 25ms, Analog, No questions return policy
Any help you guys could give would be greatly appreciated, since I would like to order something within the next week. Seeing the moniters in person is out of the question, I have been to many stores locally, and nobody seems to carry any of the brands/models i'm looking for.
P.S. I forgot to mention, since the Cornerstone is analog only, will that decrease image quality? Atleast the other two have digital inputs. <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by NightWulf on 10/25/01 00:54 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
If you look at an LCD monitor with a 5X magnifying glass you may in some cases see a small amount of pixel jitter on an LCD with an analog interface. However I do not know of anyone who uses a magnifying glass when working with his or her monitor.
If you decide to go to a digital interface keep this in mind. Unlike analog VGA that is for the most part universal and typically does not require video card and driver updates, DVI comes in different flavors.
DVI-D designed for digital-only connections, where both the card and display can use the digital link.
DVI-I supports both digital and analog on a single connection.
To take full advantage of DVI bandwidth I recommend DVI-D, however the majority of cards and monitors are DVI-I. Make certain you match the monitor to the controller card.
On a analog system, the Ramdac (chip that generates the video signal on the VC) has been integrated into the graphics controller chip for years now. Adding DVI means adding a chip to the VC and the monitor this adds cost to both.
Even monitors with a DVI interface convert to analog at the LCD driver level. The digital signal must be converted to an analog in order to achieve the 16M colors. If LCD was pure digital only two colors, black and white would be achievable. In order to generate the 16M colors each red, green and blue cell must be capable of stepping through 256 shades this is an analog function. In fact, most LCDs maintain the video signal in analog form through to the pixel drivers (NEC was the most notable producer of these).
Most of today's version of DVI is rather limited. DVI driver chips have a maximum 1600 x 1200 at 60Hz resolution and refresh rate capability. Keep this in mind if you plan on upgrading. LCD's do not suffer from flicker so the 60Hz is not such a big deal unless you are playing games and want higher FPS. Faster DVI transmitter and receiver chips are being developed if you want to upgrade, however that means replacing both your video card and monitor. With an analog connection you can upgrade either one without the need to replace the other.
Chief Hardware Engineer
Cornerstone / Monitorsdirect.com
I ordered the Compaq TFT7020 a week and a half ago through a special local store, and should be getting it within the next two weeks (they are a bit back-ordered from Compaq). I got a great price on it (educational institution discounts rock!) and loved the specs. I am also relying pretty heavily on Flamethrower205's recommendation of the comparable 15" Compaq that the 17" will measure up. I'll let you know when I get it in and see how it really looks.
I appreciate all your responses, so i've eliminated the Eizo model because of the high response rate. The conflicting opinions between the digital and analog have me stumped though. What do I do!!??!!?!?!
Use the digital mode of an LCD. I have found it produces better image quality, even on the new models.
U got a problem?! Then dial 1800-328-7448!
I just got my Compaq TFT7020 a week ago and it is fantastic! I played Unreal Tournament at 12x10 with no shadowing problems! Color is great, and the setup is simple. We also got one to test at work, so I have seen two on three different cards (Radeon 8500, GeForce3, Matrox 450). I also used it with both DVI and analog, with a couple things I noticed:
No noticeable difference between the Radeon and the GF3 (analog and DVI). Matrox monitor (analog) had some problems (detailed below) that were successfully eliminated.
DVI -- perfect picture. Absolutely perfect!
analog -- great, with only slight deficiencies in the picture that are barely (if at all) noticeable. In analog, it took some playing with the monitor settings to eliminate a very noticeable and unpleasant blurring of text in some areas of the screen. The good thing is that the anomalities were *completely* eliminated with only minor adjustments. Analog picture is still great.
I also checked both monitors for bad pixels and have not found any. Granted, they may be there and I haven't found them, but if I can't see them I don't really care!
Ok, a few things. First, this is why I reccomend digital mode- less stuff to worry about. Also, don't try to find dead pixels- when, and if you notice it, you will keep on staring at the LCD, and hate it. So just don't look for them. Quite amazing actually if there are no dead pixels on the 17" LCD- the probability (well, at leats of older technology) was very high. Hmm, I see that IBM's new method for making LCD's is being incorporated. Good