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New 19" LCD Monitor - 4:3 or Widescreen ?

Last response: in Components
July 3, 2006 10:30:16 PM

I'm after getting a new monitor, i use it for just general browsing of the internet and games.

Theres a lot of debate with regards widesceen monitors and i'm unsure to which way to turn ??

Would like it to last me a few years so want to get best for my money.

Which would you people see as best ?

More about : lcd monitor widescreen

July 4, 2006 8:31:55 AM

Widescreen gaming is not widely nor well supported yet but given the choice, I'd take it over the 4:3 any day.
July 4, 2006 10:17:26 AM

If your a gamer then widescreen is a big no no but if you want a good monitor for movies then yeh sure...
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July 5, 2006 9:27:43 PM

I own two LCD monitors, both with similar contrast ratios, and both have an 8ms response time, but I can honestly say playing games on my widescreen monitor (1680x1050) is much nicer than playing on my standard 4:3 (1280x1024).
July 7, 2006 8:09:26 AM

Please do tell why is playing games on a widescreen monitor much better than on a normal 4:3 monitor I am interested please also tell what it is like playing games that dont support widescreen...?

EDIT: you have to remember widescreens are cheap for a reason and I would if I where you fully understand this reason before buying. As I my self am looking at monitors and have come to the conclusion in mid proccess that widescreens would not do at all for gaming and design work!
July 7, 2006 10:13:05 AM

People who buy WS say they will never go back to normal format ! And the one thing thats swaying me towards WS is that i'm presuming newer games are now adapting to WS, and in 2 yrs maybe everyone will be using WS.

I rather be one step ahead rather than one step behind !
July 7, 2006 11:01:15 AM

That's a very good point, only time will tell but at the moment I am still seeing a lot of games coming out that only support 4:3...

Was doing a bit of maths though and it seems that the only true 4:3 monitors now are the 19" TFT's things like 20" TFT 1600X1200 monitors are actually 3:2 ratio which is almost widescreen anyway which indicates the picture will be stretched as well since 1600X1200 looks perfect on a 4:3 CRT...

I seem to be getting more confused the more I find out about monitors...

What seems to be the best option just now actually is a 19" TFT with 1280X1024 which is true 4:3 size but then there is the point about what is happening in the future but that is not in concrete nor is the actual resolution that games will use in widescreen mode...

I don't know any more I might just buy another CRT this is starting to piss me off TFTs suck!
July 7, 2006 12:10:56 PM

Was doing a bit of maths...


...though and it seems that the only true 4:3 monitors now are the 19" TFT's...

That's wrong. Your common 17/19" TFT (1280x1024) has a 5:4 aspect ratio.

...things like 20" TFT 1600X1200 monitors are actually 3:2 ratio...

Nope. Those would be 4:3 actually.

<snip> What seems to be the best option just now actually is a 19" TFT with 1280X1024 which is true 4:3 <snip>

Beside the point that a "19" TFT with 1280X1024" is 5:4.. aren't CRTs still regarded as the best option if your main interest is gaming? Most of them are "true 4:3" and scale perfectly well to all kinds of resolutions (+no ghosting etc.).

for some info on widescreen gaming check out ;) 
July 7, 2006 12:29:05 PM

Yup just figured out my maths suck almost as much as Paris Hilton on spring break...

Ok I now see that I have been stupid in all the work I have been doing on monitor buying research. With that in mind seems to me that the best option is actually CRT.

Thanks for proving me wrong lol
July 7, 2006 12:50:51 PM

Console gaming on a HDTV really spoiled me to gaming in widescreen. Right now widescreen gaming on the PC is a bit hit and miss with support in some games but to be honest when it works its great.
July 7, 2006 1:01:29 PM

Just had a read of that widescreen forum that actually has a very good "Master List" that tells you everything about compatibility with games and widescreen monitors. It seems that about 30% of the time it just stretches the view to an un-native resolution which is what I though. But what can happen in games like Counter Strike: Source is actually add viewable area to the game. But what it also does to some games like Battle Field 2 is take away the viewable area away from the top and bottom of the screen.

So it really does seem like widescreen monitors are a bit of a double edged sward while making some games even better it also makes a lot of games look worse. I really don't want to be swapping from screen to screen on what game I am playing and having to mess about with a CRT monitor to get the aspect ratio right is hardly handy... Now I am back in the same place I was yesterday not knowing what to go for :cry: 

GAHH I don't know this is giving me a sore head!
July 7, 2006 1:53:05 PM

I personally don't have a WS monitor, but I'm in the same boat as you trying to decide which should be my next monitor. It seems like it definitely looks better and sometimes even gives advantage as long as games natively support it (i.e. CS:source, WOW, etc). But, it seems like not enough games support it at this point, and I don't think anyone wants to see stretched images while they are playing. My 2 cents is go with 4:3 until most games support it.
July 7, 2006 2:36:17 PM

My Dell 20" monitor has a function to play in 4:3 aspect ratio rather than fill mode which would stretch the image which isnt in WS resolution.

Just an "FYI".
July 7, 2006 2:43:14 PM

It seems there are many of us out there thinking the same thing ?

I'm just thinking now though that the new realeses support WS or will be doing in the next 6 months. I just don't want to pay £240 for a VX922 which is a cracking monitor and in 6 months time everybody is going towards WS. When i can get a good WS now for the same price.

I also have an Xbox 360 which would also look good on WS. Wish i could test drive a WS for a week and see.

I'm 70/30 in favour of WS at the moment, i may hang on a month and so and see how the new games figure.
July 7, 2006 3:14:02 PM

That's a good point though you will not be able to play your 360 on our widescreen or should I say not very well since the 360 will use 720p which is not the resolution of a widescreen PC monitor. Which means that it will have to be either stretched on your monitor making it look all smudged and unclear or will just be a very small picture in the middle of your monitor. I did have the 360 Running on a CRT monitor and it worked rather well when you resized the screen.

As for games I have to admit after looking at some of the pictures it had on that "Master Games List" I am impressed at Half Life 2 and do agree that it would be far better than 4:3. But at the same time having a reduced picture on Battle Field 2 would almost ruin the game for me more so since I enjoy going in the chopper and you need all the viewable area you can get.

Also Battle Field 2 is hardly and old game so how many more games are going to come out that are not compatible with wide screen monitors?
July 10, 2006 8:02:11 PM

I have had a widescreen monitor on my desktop for nearly a year and a half. First I had an Apply 20" Cinema and now have a Dell 24". As long as I have a breath in my body, I will fight to keep widescreen in my life ;) 

It is true that there are few games that use widescreen. Mostly RTS's and some FPS's dont use Widescreen but many RPG's (Oblivion is one) and some FPS's (Far Cry and Half Life 2 is two of them) use it. If you want a good list of what games are available in Widescreen, check out Widescreen Gaming Forum.

And as far as widescreen monitors scretching non-widescreen games, that is actually not the monitor's fault, its the gfx card, atleast from what i have seen. I am not sure about ATI cards but Nvidia, since the 5?.?? version of drivers, has had an option to scretch or keep aspect ratio in the setup of the monitor.
July 10, 2006 8:39:30 PM

Please do tell why is playing games on a widescreen monitor much better than on a normal 4:3 monitor I am interested please also tell what it is like playing games that dont support widescreen...?

EDIT: you have to remember widescreens are cheap for a reason and I would if I where you fully understand this reason before buying. As I my self am looking at monitors and have come to the conclusion in mid proccess that widescreens would not do at all for gaming and design work!
If a game does not support widescreen, there are multiple settings with Nvidia's drivers (I'm sure ATI's are similar) that you can use to help maintain an enjoyable viewing experience.

July 10, 2006 10:08:17 PM

Games work fine on widescreen... and Vista recommends widescreen monitors... so it seems widescreen is the way of the future, why resist fate?
July 11, 2006 10:38:23 AM

Almost I can almost see my self clicking that buy button for a wide screen.

A few things though, what is best 1680X1050 or 1400X1050 and what are they like for the desktop for work. I design maps for games and right now I am doing alot of work in Hammer, what is it like for doing this kind of work in full screen?
July 11, 2006 11:15:21 AM

I've gone out and ordered a Samsung 19" WS SM940BW form Komplett, should be delivered in the next few days.

19" is big enough for me and i didn't want to push my XFX6800GS GC to much which it would of done with the 20". I found the 20" approximately £80-£100 more expensive and couldn't justify to myself in paying that for an extra inch. I'm happy playing games in 1440x900 mode, if i wanted more than i would have the latest GC and setup.

Heres a review Cafuddled:
July 11, 2006 11:48:04 PM

After over a year of complaints, DICE/EA have not added widescreen support.
July 12, 2006 2:21:45 PM

Right I have just done it, that’s a View Sonic VX2025wm 20.1" widescreen on it's way to me, should be at my house tomorrow. The main reason I went for a widescreen is because that if the games are not compatible, the resolution of 1680X1050 will accommodate 1280X1024 fairly well.

Besides it seems I have a 7 day cooling off period with CCL if I dont like it, as long as I leave it in an unused condition (basically make sure I have all the bags and wrappers).
July 13, 2006 10:13:19 AM

dang im ni the same situation.

wide screen of 4:3 ( aka FS)

im going to be playing games on it, watching tv, playing movies, basically everything. could someone take a picture of how a wide screen monitor looks and how it looks when you play games, and movies and surf the web? i would greatly appricate those images because this will be the turning point to widescreen for me.

also could you play oblivion on a wide screen lcd monitor?
July 13, 2006 1:36:51 PM

The problem with widescreen monitors is getting one that is big enough for your needs, with a resolution high enough for the desktop but one that can handle playing games with your graphics card. The problem with TFT's is there not flexible, once you buy one with a resolution of say 1280X1024 you have to use the resolution in everything from gaming to movies.

I finally chose widescreen as I felt that it would give me a better gaming experience in games that supported 16:10 while being big enough and of a high enough resolution that if worst came to the worst that the resolution of 1680X1050 would cope with 1400X1050 well enough to not hinder the experience, even if at a 4:3 size of a 17” monitor.

I will post on this forum how I got on, as well as a few pictures if you wish. I will even go through a bit of Hammer editing to see how I cope with the desktop being slightly shorter and more squashed than I am used to (1600X1200).
July 14, 2006 10:21:05 AM

Well after 8 hours with my new View Sonic 20” widescreen monitor, I must say I’m rather impressed. The widescreen desktop size is not anywhere near as annoying as I have first thought it would be. Being good for viewing web pages and even doing work on Hammer or any other kind of graphics work. Movies are also very good to watch, although I did notice no movies actually fit the aspect ratio of the monitor perfectly. But with a little adjustment to any decent multi media viewing software and you can make it fill your screen completely, which makes it a very good monitor for watching movies at a distance.


Gaming on this monitor is actually better than I thought. Being the first TFT I have used for gaming, I was rather surprised with its performance. The quality and smoothness off play was just as good as it was on my CRT. Even games like Counter Strike Source played very well and smooth.

Other games like Rome: Total War did stretch the HUD at the bottom of the screen when playing in widescreen mode but this was not too much of a problem and was only noticeable when concentrated on. But that was a price well worth paying for the extra view it gave in the strategy map and battle map.

But unfortunately I could not test Battle Field 2 as the game would not run after I changed my monitor… but I do know that the aspect does need changed using the .ini file and the way it does it is by cropping the top and bottom off the 4:3 aspect ratio.

I also connected my Xbox 360 to the monitor using the VGA adaptor. Now this was a problem the resolution of the monitor is 1680X1050 and the resolution the 360 plays games in is 1280X720. While I was playing Oblivion using all the screen area the picture just did not look right, all blurred.

Note – My Radeon X800XT PE played CS: Source very well at 2X AA all settings up max and HDR turned off at 1680X1050. So as far as the resolution effecting game play it should not be different from playing at 1280X1024 (oh and the |NERV| clan are all a bunch of w*****s…)

Final Thought:

A can honestly say I am a convert in the way I think of monitors. I believe that gaming truly can be much better when played in widescreen. It just needs more support, and when it was that you will never see me going back.
July 14, 2006 11:27:52 AM

I have a 16:10 20" display, at 1680 x 1050. Windows and most Linux distributions (Ubuntu and Fedora I've tested) support the ratio and the resolution, assuming your video card supports the resolution. I believe that anything above a GeForce FX-series will support at least up to 1680 x 1050.

If games do stretch, I don't notice it. I play Unreal Tournament, BF2, FEAR, Halo, Guild Wars, starting this evening WoW, and even if the game doesn't support widescreen resolutions natively, you can still get them running as such. Check out Widescreen Gaming Forum for tips on getting your games in ratios of 16:10 and 16:9.

Many more games support widescreen natively. Guild Wars does, as does WoW. Having the extra real estate makes things much easier. Shooters feel much more immersive - Battlefield 2 looks incredible once you get it running at full resolution in widescreen. It doesn't support 16:10 natively, but check out WSGF...that's where I found out how to get it running non-stretched at 1680 x 1050.

Widescreen FTW!
July 14, 2006 11:42:57 AM

It crops the top and bottom of the screen off of Battle Field 2, even says it in the widescreen gaming forum... All I’m doing is letting people how I got on going from CRT to widescreen TFT, completely un-bias opinion.
July 14, 2006 1:17:32 PM

I don't notice the top-cutting. I use more peripheral vision when I play on a widescreen display - much more natural-feeling.
July 14, 2006 2:22:09 PM

Guess it's not that bad, your only loosing 16.666666666666666666666666666667% of your height.
July 14, 2006 5:10:11 PM

I don't suppose that was sarcasm? :roll:

Well, it doesn't sound like it's any better, but it is. Widescreen gaming is just something you have to try before you can appreciate it.

If you can, I would suggest trying out a non-widescreen game on a widescreen monitor just to see if you like it. Do any of your friends own a widescreen display you can try out? Or see if a local (probably not a chain like Best Buy or Circuit City, more like a mom-and-pop shop) computer store will let you try out a widescreen display in the store. Make friends with the owner(s) and they'll let you do almost anything.
July 14, 2006 6:22:23 PM

I Myself Own A 16:10 Ratio Wide-Screen But It Scales 4:3 Images To 16:10 So Well That Its Nearly Perfect Look Around Im Sure Other Monitors Are Just As Good, My Current Screen Is A SiliconGraphics 1600SW 17.3" WithA 2002 Manufacturing Date
July 14, 2006 6:24:13 PM

Can you please stop capitalizing every word? It's very irritating.

Nice screen, but it seems a little small and the response time looks like it sucks.
July 14, 2006 6:57:16 PM

Yeah, now you don't capitalize at all...ya just can't find a happy medium, can you?
July 14, 2006 7:21:34 PM

If it makes you happy i'll type properly with capitals at the start and everything. Is that better :lol: 

Yes. Now we'll work on your punctuation :D .
July 14, 2006 9:25:31 PM

I'm happy with my 19" Samsung so far, it is a little bit smaller than my 21" CRT, but i'm getting used to it.

The only game i have a problem with is PES5(Winning Eleven), i have a 1440x900 ratio, but the game should run at 1280x800, but it doesnt.

Apart from that , i'm happy with WS so far.
July 14, 2006 10:35:02 PM

thats a tv which generally don't work with a pc as well as a monitor. if your using it for both then fine but usually a monitor works best.

True to days prior, but these days a lot of high end TVs are called HDTV monitors.

Also, previously, you were lucky to get 400 lines on your TV, now you can get a lot more, and with a digital DVI signal, or direct VGA signal.

Somehow, I'm guessing it'll look as good as a regular monitor.

And yes, I plan to set it up for both computer, and video use for her.

If you have more input let me know.

July 15, 2006 5:42:00 AM

Sorry, No I Will Not Thats Just The Way I Type (In-Fact I Type About 50WPM With The Three Fingers That I Use When Im Typing In That Style/Form, And When Im Writing By Hand I Capitalize EVERY Letter), And No That 40ms Is Misleading It Behaves Alot Like A 16ms PVA Screen, There Is Trailing But Its Extremely Short and Only Occurs With Black On White And It Unoticable Unless Your 3" From The Screen Watching A Black Box Bounce Across A White Background (And That 40ms Is It Worst Possible Responce Time Not Its Best, Therfore It Reatches 40ms Only Rarely Its Actual Average Is Around 18ms), Plus The 97% Color Accuracy, The Accurate Greyscale, The Nearly Perfect Rendering Of The Darkest And Lightest Colors And The .23mm Dot Pitch (Id Like To See Any, Even The High-End Dell, Sony And Viewsonic TFT-LCDs Make That Claim Truly) Make Up The Differance. And Since I Find Games More Involving If The Colors Are Accurate And I Can Easly Differintiate Subtle Tones In Dark Scenes.