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LCD Monitor Questions

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November 20, 2006 6:15:05 AM

I have a 1280x1024 LCD monitor. The question is..

Why do many games seem to be not optimised for this resolution? I found that some games run TWICE as fast compared to when using my current resolution!

Also, by lowering the resolution of my monitor and in general in fact, people complain that doing so causes a huge down grade in picture quality instead of running at the native resolution. However I thought perhaps that if I lower or raise the resolution just a little this doesn't become such a major issue. Would I be right in assuming this?

I bought an apparantly 8ms response time monitor, but infact I can still see ghosting which bugs me somewhat. Also the screen seems to tear or lines are apparent during a game. Can I combat these issues?

Thanks in advance

More about : lcd monitor questions

November 20, 2006 6:54:37 AM

Having read around alot for monitors. Why do then people who review LCD monitors say that anything less than 12ms is good enough for gaming, when quite clearly the issue of ghosting is still evident!

I bought this monitor based an a few reviews saying that they had no problems playing fast paced games on it...

Fecking liars :twisted:
November 20, 2006 7:05:35 AM

I bought this Sony SDM-HS95P
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November 20, 2006 7:43:45 AM

When using LCD it's recommended to use it's native resolution and with gaming the V-Sync to be enabled. I have the same monitor as you do and I use it for gaming. I have 7800GTX SLi and at 1280x1024 @ 75hz. I don't experience any problem at all.
November 20, 2006 8:00:25 AM

It's a real shame that a good "neutral" review is hard to find but yep, I heard too that anything under 12ms was fine. Although I decided to go the extra mile and buy the Viewsonic VX922 with 2ms because I tested a few different monitors at my local pc shop before buying (I know that this isn't possible for all people). I even tried a 4ms monitor and still saw what I perceived as ghosting, although maybe I was mistaken. A friend of mine already had the Viewsonic and couldn't rate it highly enough, so my mind was made up easily.

Got to admit though this Viewsonic I now have is awesome, although it won't please all but for gaming it's as good as (if not better than) my old 19" CRT. I use the native resolution of 1280x1024 @ 60hz and haven't tried any other setting as yet, so to answer your question would be hard. I've read many reviews though that do say that quality is reduced when using anything other than native.

I too have found that a few games don't have this resolution as a choice but mainly they have been older games. The new stuff that I'm playing now all have this as an option.

What vid card do you have? Maybe there is something here that isn't quite right (driver issue). Also, do you use the dvi or analogue d-sub connection?
November 20, 2006 8:08:57 AM

Hmm, I see your points.

I have a x1950pro. Not a slow card at all by any means.

I have to say the ghosting is fairly bad on Pro evo soccer games, since it moves side to side quickly and alot.

I don't notice so much on games like FEAR.
November 20, 2006 8:23:28 AM

Quote:
Hmm, I see your points.

I have a x1950pro. Not a slow card at all by any means.

I have to say the ghosting is fairly bad on Pro evo soccer games, since it moves side to side quickly and alot.

I don't notice so much on games like FEAR.


Yeah, your card is plenty enough ;) 

I'll have to try out my pro evo games tonight (got 5 not 6 yet :(  ). Will do a test and let you know coz right at this minute I can't remember if I had any probs. Although I used to play the game online a bit against friends an to be honest if it was bad on my machine I think I would have remembered...........?

Really got me thinking now :) 

FEAR is a pretty fast paced game and if ghosting isn't evident there then maybe the ATi drivers have a problem with that particular game. Reading release notes of new NVidia drivers that come out, they are always updating stuff that caused problems with certain games, so maybe it's the same with ATi?!

Maybe somebody who has 2 pc's or recently swapped cards can answer that one.
November 20, 2006 10:10:31 AM

I look forward to hearing how it goes when you try out pro evo.

I think I must have super eyes or something :roll:
November 20, 2006 10:59:37 AM

Quote:
Check and see if those reviewers have the monitors they are reviewing as a sponcer. If so then they will find more good then bad about the product to keep the sposor happy. Honestly you need an LSD with under 8ms to be good for gaming. It's the 2ms monitors that come about as close as you can to matching a CRT monitor.

LSD eh? Man, he IS going to get some serious ghosting if he goes that route.
November 20, 2006 11:34:51 AM

lol
November 20, 2006 12:57:19 PM

This would probably be a good place to review what it means to compare LCDs and CRTs in ms vs Hz. Also, what the "2ms, 4ms, 8ms, 12ms" garbage is all about.

First off, I imagine most people here started their gaming lives off on CRTs and good ol' fashioned TV with Nintendos, the Sega Genesis, or maybe for the younger crowd the PlayStations, N64s, or maybe even the original XBox. Regular TV, and most CRTs had refresh speeds of 60Hz, and from my perspective, that was plenty (though granted, games have changed a LOT since then)

Some people (see: mpilchfamily or Siggsy) still swear by the old CRTs. But here's some evidence that seems to support tossing pretty much any CRT into the trash:

Equivalence
60Hz = 17ms (actually just a hair under 17)
75Hz = 13ms (actually just a hair over 13)

Um, what? So, really, a 75Hz monitor is only as good as a 13ms refresh speed LCD? Answer: Yes. Sort of.

Understanding the difference between the two types is important for understanding why faster LCDs (read: lower ms) aren't always better and CRT has still managed to hold its own as far as gamer following even though LCDs are obviously listing speeds far exceeding the capabilities of CRT (see Viewsonic's VX922 or whatever has the 2ms response time, which is the equivalent of 500Hz)

First off, CRT. CRTs refresh by generating lines on a screen. If you've ever seen a video of a regular TV on broadcast TV, it looks funny, like there's a big bar of image slowly travelling down the screen. This has to do with the frequency of the recording and frequency of the TV being out of synch. If you have really fast-registering vision and stand back a bit, if you look at a CRT monitor, you can actually see the screen being refreshed, line by line, top to bottom. This is why CRTs are measured in Hz, not ms. Every individual screen is refreshed, so you actually see 60 images per second or 75 images per second (TV is 30 frames/sec and DVDs are really only 24, even though sometimes you'll see 48 frames per second listed. This is because every frame is displayed twice, so even though there are 48 images being shown, half of them are duplicates - this is why moving camera angles look so crappy on detailed images). The nice thing about this is that every time you see a pixel, it's a fresh one.

Now for LCDs. The image is generated in a much different fashion. Whereas CRTs refresh every pixel at once (well, almost at once - line by line, filling the screen on each shot), LCDs refresh an image one pixel at a time. Each pixel is generated with a set of little lights that the monitor changes when necessary. So, for a completely white screen, a CRT would keep generating a white screen over and over again, while an LCD monitor would just turn all pixels on white and leave them alone until they needed to be different. And in contrast to CRT which measures screen refreshes, since LCDs don't ever do a screen refresh unless all pixels change at once, it uses miliseconds to measure how long it takes an individual pixel to change. And this is where the confusion begins.

Pixel swapping in LCDs isn't quite as simple as on/off. Each time the light changes, the pixel needs to "warm up" to the new color. To explain, I'll analogize it to running a shuttle run (think high school gym class - you started on the middle line, ran 10 yards one way, picked up the eraser or touched the line, ran 10 yards the other way, dropped off the eraser or touched the other line, and then ran back to cross the line in the middle to finish). LCDs make colors by mixing options of blue, red, and green light. White is a mix of all 3, black is all off. But let's say there's a dark color in a game: you don't want to turn the lights on too high, because your color will be wrong. For instance, if you're displaying an image that has to go from purple to green, your monitor has to take that poor pixel that has its red and blue lights on, turn them off, and fire up the green light. It takes time, both for the blue and red to turn off, and for the green to turn on. Say the purple is like running for the one line, and the green is the complete opposite direction. You have to slow down going the one way, change directions, and accelerate over to the other line in your shuttle run.

This is how LCDs manufacturers measure their response time and you end up with absolute trash readings like 2ms. The response time listed for LCDs is only for the black-to-white (0 to 255) transition. This is the same as going from being still at the starting point in your shuttle run and accelerating as fast as you can for the one line, without worrying about having to stop or slow down. We're talking full stop to full throttle. To make matters worse, the posted monitor speed isn't even the value to get all the way to the 255 display. Just 80% brightness or so. And to compound the matter, Overdrive has increased in popularity (not a bad thing in the long run, mind you), which is basically a way to get that 0-255 time down farther by trying to WAY overshoot the desired color and then when you get close, stop trying to produce such brightness. This would be the same as putting the pedal to the metal in your car to get up to speed as fast as possible in a 25mph (about 40km/hr) speed zone. There's no reason for that. Pedal to metal is like shooting for 100mph (160kph) but then pulling up short. This wouldn't be a bad thing if it were accurate, but what ends up happening is that your monitor (only if it has Overshoot technology) displays the wrong color for a while before it eventually balances out and gives you the right one.

So why bother with this garbage if it gives you the wrong color? Well, in the end, when the manufacturers finally get a handle on Overshoot (read: accelerate fast, but don't actually overshoot the desired color), it will be a means of showing colors faster. But there's still a major advantage for right now. By enabling this mechanism, manufacturers can put a label on their box with a super-low timing, even though that's not really the case. Remember, you only need to achieve 80% of desired brightness on a 0-255 pixel transition for your monitor's official timing. Back to your shuttle run: if you only cared about getting from the start line to one side, and didn't really care about the time of your full shuttle run, you could just run pell-mell for the one line, similar to the way a baseball player will run out first base and run through the bag, since he can turn around and still be safe, whereas going from first to second, you can't overshoot the bag and you have to be under control. So many times what you'll see is that a manufacturer using Overdrive has a great response time listed, but the actual quality of each generated pixel is somewhat lesser. For example, the 0-200 response time might be 25ms, even though the response time for 0-255 (what they put on the box) is 4ms.

Tom's Hardware has some wonderful reviews on monitors, including data on the grey-to-grey transitions. Definitely worth a look. The graphs give a nice visual to explain what is really going on with monitor timings.

This is why people still like CRTs, even though 8ms monitors are commonplace (and the equivalent refresh rate for an 8ms monitor is technically 125Hz, which would be far, far more than enough for gaming since most video cards can't handle that kind of frame rate for rich textured games). The times listed on the box don't accurately describe the time it takes for one color to change to another color; especially at less-than-full brightness, which requires a bit of restraint.

Even the VX922 (a fine monitor, and generally considered the benchmark for quick response time monitors) is really nowhere close to the fabled 2ms response time listed on the box. While faster by far than most competitors, the VX922 still has a response time of about 10ms for a 0-150 transition (black to a mid-grey). Link to the Tom's review = http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/03/27/the_spring_2006_...
You'll also note that ViewSonic sacraficed some display uniformity for that fast timing.

The bottom line is that yes, the faster the timing, the faster the monitor refresh (except when Overdrive is used poorly: http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/03/27/the_spring_2006_... and that's supposed to be a 6ms monitor - Overdrive is responsible for that big hump). But you also want to be cognizent of color balance, uniformity of display (think: halos), and ergonomics and other considerations before you go out and pick up that 1337 h4x 2ms monitor. And keep in mind, if you're getting transitions under 8ms, you won't notice unless that 8ms is a lie. Which it probably is.

I hope this helps y'all. I strongly recommend checking out Tom's "Graphics and Displays" section to understand a little more about what to look for in a monitor. The Spring 2006 Collection article on 19" monitors is a good place to start, and there's plenty more if you're in the market for something else (20", wide panel, etc).
November 20, 2006 1:41:50 PM

Quote:
And to compound the matter, Overdrive has increased in popularity (not a bad thing in the long run, mind you), which is basically a way to get that 0-255 time down farther by trying to WAY overshoot the desired color and then when you get close, stop trying to produce such brightness. This would be the same as putting the pedal to the metal in your car to get up to speed as fast as possible in a 25mph (about 40km/hr) speed zone. There's no reason for that. Pedal to metal is like shooting for 100mph (160kph) but then pulling up short. This wouldn't be a bad thing if it were accurate, but what ends up happening is that your monitor (only if it has Overshoot technology) displays the wrong color for a while before it eventually balances out and gives you the right one.


Ah, so that's how Overdrive works. Thanks. I've been looking at 8-bit LCDs that have optional Overdrive mode to decrease response times while game, and normal mode when not gaming. I know 6-bit LCDs are general faster, but I dislike them because they are inherently less color accruate than 8-bit LCDs. Images and text on on 6-bit monitors don't seem to be as sharp as thier 8-bit counterparts.
November 20, 2006 2:06:15 PM

Some (most?) LCD monitors automatically scale whatever resolution you are using to the native resolution by default (using the full screen). This is what causes the loss of image quality if you do not use the native resolution.

One other main consideration is that you have a video card that supports digital output to your LCD screen. Digital to digital is an AMAZING improvement over analog/digital to analog for the CRT monitors.

I have a 4ms display and I have no issues whatsoever, but the ms rating really isn't the main cause of ghosting. Different screen technologies have different contrast ratios and pixel refresh times. Basically, just because the screen refreshes at 8ms doesn't mean the pixels can keep up and that is when you will see the ghosting effect. As long as the pixel refresh can keep up with the screen refresh then you should see little to no ghosting, even with a 16ms screen. It is especially useful to set games to use vertical syncronization where possible. This ensures that the game will not attempt to refresh the screen more times per second than the monitor can refresh it.
November 20, 2006 7:40:06 PM

I've got the VX922 also and it's awesome. I switched from a 19" ViewSonic CRT monitor and really never noticed much if any drop off.

I play games that are a little older like FarCry and the whole COD, MOH series and haven't seen any ghosting at all using the Sapphire x1800GTO2, so I'd think the x1900 series would kick @ss.

I had a 17" Samsung that I bought to replace the CRT originally, but it sucked so bad I gave it to my daughter.
November 20, 2006 10:45:43 PM

Excellent help and great explanation!

Shame that I already bought my monitor..
I don't know really, it's not that bad, just during those pacy games that I get annoyed with this hazy blur that seems to gloss the screen.

Also, my monitor can do DVI, would it be best to use that socket rather than the standard blue VGA socket? I tried both sockets and DVI only gave me up to 60hz, while using VGA game me the choice of up to 75hz.

So what's the point of DVI?
November 20, 2006 10:53:19 PM

Quote:
Excellent help and great explanation!

Shame that I already bought my monitor..
I don't know really, it's not that bad, just during those pacy games that I get annoyed with this hazy blur that seems to gloss the screen.

Also, my monitor can do DVI, would it be best to use that socket rather than the standard blue VGA socket? I tried both sockets and DVI only gave me up to 60hz, while using VGA game me the choice of up to 75hz.

So what's the point of DVI?


DVI is for digital output. Most LCD displays are natively digital and must convert standard VGA input before displaying. Net result? Digital to digital will give you a FAR better picture quality at 60Hz than any sort of conversion will at 75Hz. Go digital if you have that option and you won't regret it.
November 20, 2006 11:06:25 PM

Yep, I'm currently using the DVI cable.

So you're saying that even at 60hz DVI it is better than 75hz VGA?
November 20, 2006 11:23:31 PM

Quote:
Yep, I'm currently using the DVI cable.

So you're saying that even at 60hz DVI it is better than 75hz VGA?


For image quality, you betcha. You'd have to have very good eyesight to notice any difference between 60Hz and 75Hz in any case.
November 21, 2006 12:37:43 AM

Quote:
And to compound the matter, Overdrive has increased in popularity (not a bad thing in the long run, mind you), which is basically a way to get that 0-255 time down farther by trying to WAY overshoot the desired color and then when you get close, stop trying to produce such brightness. This would be the same as putting the pedal to the metal in your car to get up to speed as fast as possible in a 25mph (about 40km/hr) speed zone. There's no reason for that. Pedal to metal is like shooting for 100mph (160kph) but then pulling up short. This wouldn't be a bad thing if it were accurate, but what ends up happening is that your monitor (only if it has Overshoot technology) displays the wrong color for a while before it eventually balances out and gives you the right one.


Ah, so that's how Overdrive works. Thanks. I've been looking at 8-bit LCDs that have optional Overdrive mode to decrease response times while game, and normal mode when not gaming. I know 6-bit LCDs are general faster, but I dislike them because they are inherently less color accruate than 8-bit LCDs. Images and text on on 6-bit monitors don't seem to be as sharp as thier 8-bit counterparts.
One thing...

Here's information from Philips on Overdrive:
Quote:
Another well-known problem even with active-matrix LCDs is the poor response time of their LCD pixels, which can amount to several tens of milliseconds. This is made worse by the fact that small changes in grey-scale actually take longer than black-to-white or white-to-black transitions. The result is a smearing of picture motion, because the pixels cannot keep up with the changing grey-scales caused by moving objects in the image.

To overcome this problem, Philips Research has developed a technique for momentarily 'over-driving' each pixel with a voltage higher than is needed to achieve the required static grey-scale change. Establishing the correct amount of overdrive requires measurement of the response times for all possible grey-scale transitions, but this only needs to be done once for a particular type of LCD and is then built into pixel processing algorithms in the display driver electronics.

http://www.research.philips.com/newscenter/archive/2004...

Pretty easy to understand explanation in technical terms.
November 21, 2006 8:03:15 AM

Well,just to let you know that I tried my Pro Evo last night and didn't see any probs at all but as I said previously, it maybe due to driver issues.

Have you tried the dvi connection yet? Let us know how it goes.
November 21, 2006 8:05:48 AM

Maybe I could take a picture of the blur with a digital camera...
November 21, 2006 8:09:05 AM

Worth a go but it will be difficult to time it unless this blur occurs for more than a few seconds.

Also it's been mentioned to turn on the vsync for gaming but to be honest this makes my games run worse with my lcd, so use it only if you see a positive outcome.

I've read threads about turning on vsync and using triple bufferring but again, playing games, especially Call of Duty 2, makes it frustrating gameplay.
!