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lots of questions about a (pontential) new 24" monitor

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March 12, 2008 7:11:05 PM

Alright guys, so I'm considering a 24" LCD for my new build. Here's the deal: I'm currently using a Viewsonic 19" flat-screened CRT (or was, before I sold my last comp). While it gives very good image quality it is not very large, and anything more than 1280 x 1024 resolution looks too small. It is very big and bulky too, weighs about 50 pounds or more (I know, how can something not be very large and yet be big and bulky?! ;)  ). So I've decided to get a good LCD for this next build.

Originally I was looking at an LG 20" with a 3000:1 contrast ratio, and a couple of 22 inchers as well. I liked a few of the Samsungs, and I knew Viewsonic was pretty good, but my experience with LCDs is somewhat limited.

Here's my number one choice right now: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I've found the BenQ at buy.com for a little less (with the free shipping): http://www.buy.com/prod/benq-g2400w-24-widescreen-lcd-m...

Another cheaper option I've been considering: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And finally, one that I found more recently: http://www.amazon.com/W2408-Vivid-Widescreen-Monitor-Br...

Now a couple of questions: The BenQ has 160 degree viewing angles, and I've seen many LCDs with up to 178 degree angles. I will be mostly sitting in front of the screen, but I may begin to watch movies on this since it'll be better than our TV right now (and have better sound than the TV because I'll be using my speakers). Is the lack of extreme viewing angles going to hurt the image quality that much when viewed from the side?

I've heard that 24 bit panels are the best. Does anyone know if the BenQ (or any of the others) use a 24 bit panel?

What are the benefits of 1:1 pixel mapping?

Would it be more worthwhile for me to go with a 20-22", with the possibility of upgrading later?

And finally, if you have another suggestion besides these, please, by all means post it.

Budget is most likely about $400 (depends on what kind of profit I make off this build I'll be selling soon; may be able to go higher if "necessary" :D )

Rig will consist of (this is current rough draft :p  ):

E2160
Most likely Corsair PSU (520/620HX or 550VX)
2 GB OCZ RAM
Gigabyte DS3L/R (or another inexpensive P35 board)
Some HDD (not really relevant :D )
CM 690 case
Video card will be something like the the MSI 8800GT OC, an 8800GTS 512, a 9600GT or a 3870 maybe. The idea here is to get me something that will perform well and still retail some resale value by June or so. I'd really like to get 1) a 4870X2 or 2) possibly a GT200 if the prices are at all reasonable for my budget (which I'm not expecting them to be, but hey, you can always dream right?).

Well there you have it! Sorry for long post but I wanted to make sure I posted all the information you guys need :ange:  :sol: 

Let the posts begin! :bounce:  :bounce:  :bounce: 
March 12, 2008 8:32:49 PM

24bit panels are more often refered to as 8bit panels (8bits per colour, 8*3=24bits total/pixel).

In 24" LCDS usually the price breakdown is approximately as follows:
TN (6bits/colour) $250-$450
(P/M)VA (8bits/colour) $400-$800
(S)-IPS (8bits/colour) $800-$1600

TN Panels have the worst viewing angles altho usually the best response times. Their contrast ratios are advertised fairly high but your mileage may vary. Usually 1000:1 or 3000:1 (dynamic) contrast ratios are advertised. They're what most LCDs are manufactured with today from 17"-24" widescreen and otherwise. Backlight bleeding is a bit more noticeable in these panels than others. Also while looking at an angle, the colours get distorted.

PVA and MVA panels are fading out lower sizes due to cost. Its hard to convince the consumer of colour depth compared to size, as "bigger is better" is much easier to sell. PVA and MVA panels do cost more yet their colour reproduction is usually much better. Some people do not notice the difference however. Over TN panels there is usually more "input lag", which is even greater if there is any artificial means of boosting response rate. This is incurred in the internal image processing. Its a trade off. Personally I think any artificial enhancements are best left disabled. At significant angles, the colours tend to "crush to black" but still remain fairly true.

S-IPS and IPS panels do cost a pretty penny. Many Apple Cinema displays have used these panels in the past, although I'm not sure about the current lineup. Otherwise, NEC makes some really nice displays with these panels. I do not know of any others. They're used more often in photography/autocad.

Usually:

Desktop - > TN
TV/Movies -> PVA
Image editting -> IPS

Gaming falls between TN/PVA depending on preference. IPS is nice as well but there are some trade offs and notably cost issues.

1:1 pixel mapping retains the image both proportionally to the aspect ratio as well as to the amount of pixels in the source image. It prevents stretching and "blurring" which would be the case if it were not possible. It does however mean that you will be displaying black borders around the image, either all sides or two sides.

Most 24" TN panels are decent these days. Samsung/BenQ are usually good bang/buck, while Acer is a hit/miss (quality control) and LG costs a bit more for what you get.


For the VA panels, either Benq's FP241V (may be hard to find) or some of the Dell ones are good. This may fall outside your budget.

Good luck.
March 12, 2008 9:08:34 PM

Yes you will notice the wide-angle viewing limitations of the BenQ 2400W. I have one, and there is very significant reduction in brightness and color accuracy when I move to about 45 deg from center. In particular, the white background of this forum turns a grayish yellow, and everything darkens.

To be fair, I really like the screen for my intended purpose: a big computer screen for work. I use a Sony KDL46XBR2 for movie watching, both for its decent video scaling (480i -> 1080p) and its good color reproduction. That screen has much better wide-angle viewing characteristics. And frankly it should; it costs several times the price.

You might be better off saving your money for a 37" or 42" 1080p. They're getting very inexpensive these days, and that trend should continue this year. Buy a 22" monitor (the price goes up a lot between 22" and 24"), and save the difference for a while until you're ready to plunk down for a 1080p TV or monitor.

How large of a viewing room are we talking? I wouldn't want to watch my BenQ from more than ~5 feet away.
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March 13, 2008 1:54:14 AM

praeses, thanks for clearing those things up.

TeraMedia, the distance I would most likely be watching from is about 8-10 feet IF I'm sitting on the couch (for full-length movies). If it's just recorded videos then I'll be just a couple feet back at the most.
Thanks for the 22"-then-upgrade-later idea :D . Any suggestions on one? Anyone used one that really stood out to them?

Thanks for the input guys....
March 13, 2008 2:16:46 AM

I have a Samsung 24" 245BW I got it from Costco for 399, It has a resolution of 1920x1200

I upgraded from a 20" 204b, amazing the difference 4 inches make. The only downfall is the very high native resolution, gaming without a very high end card is going to be an issue. This thing is extremely bright if you switch it to gaming or dynamic present for viewing settings. You have to squint and look away if your in a darker room.

I really like it a lot and for the price I would definetely recommend it.


http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/detail/detail.do?gro...
March 13, 2008 2:18:25 AM

Also keep in mind, you can always increase the text and icon size in the windows display setting if the resolution gets too high you can't read the text or see the icons very well. I know vista does this automatically for you, you really notice this if you ever switch from one to the other.
March 13, 2008 3:44:03 AM

OK thanks I'll see if I can find a good deal on that Samsung maybe! But now I'm off to bed, and I'm dreading waking up in the morning (chemistry exam!!!! :(  )
March 13, 2008 7:58:07 AM

Unless you buy an expensive LCD with a scaling chip I always assume I'll run everthing at max (native) res. Or else you might get blurred games etc.
Think about this and check if your other hardware can handle it.
March 13, 2008 8:27:12 AM

cranbers said:
The only downfall is the very high native resolution, gaming without a very high end card is going to be an issue. This thing is extremely bright if you switch it to gaming or dynamic present for viewing settings. You have to squint and look away if your in a darker room.



That's the issue with 24". They work good for Bluray but not as good for games, unless one has a high end card. If he's thinking of an 8800gt, a 9600gt or a 3870 with that CPU, then I don't think he should go 24" if he plays games.

Regarding brands, the panels all seem to be made by a very few factories, with differences mostly in the quality of the controls, stand, connectors etc. I take the Newegg reviews with a grain of salt, but do think they're a guide. As far as it goes, buy locally unless you want to ship one back if there are too many dead or stuck pixels. Seeing it in a store makes a difference.

Probably a 22" is the best all around choice. When I go to Fry's this Friday, I'll see whether 2" makes a difference. His second option is deactivated at Newegg (just like my MSI 3870x2) and that doesn't sound great. It sounds like they aren't carrying it anymore. MSI probably couldn't cherry pick any more 3870 GPU's that could be factory overclocked, but an LCD model deactivated leads me to think that there could be problems; so I'd advise caution if it can be found anywhere else.

CPU's, GPU's, hard drives, optical drives, RAM, cases, PSU's are all great at Newegg, but LCD's should be seen in person before buying. That's why I'm going to Fry's and I hardly buy hardware from them anymore. For buying online, Newegg does have good customer service, whereas I wouldn't trust an Amazon reseller or Ebay for hardware.
March 13, 2008 1:16:18 PM

The more I think about your situation, the more I believe you'd be better off going cheaper for monitor, and saving your bucks for a better, larger HDTV when you can swing it. At 8-10 feet, the 24" screen is diminutive. At that distance, I can barely see any white space inside a lower-case "o" on this screen. So the higher resolution will be wasted for HDTV / blu-ray viewing.

And at close range, as others have stated you would need to worry about the rest of your hardware being able to generate 19x12, or else either upscale your video when gaming or live with black borders around the screen and get only 20-22" of image anyway. I like 19x12 on 24" at 3' because I can put two full Word pages next to each other and read them both. That's very useful. But I don't use this screen for gaming or video. For either, it just falls short in various areas.

The new "standard" for screen size vs. distance for HDTV is something like 1.5x to 3x, which is very different from SDTV (which starts at 3.5x) because of the finer resolution. Based on that, a 24" monitor isn't good for more than 3-6 feet viewing distance. For 8-10 feet, you'd want between 36" and 72", leaning towards the lower-middle.

If you're in a dorm (chem class, huh?), then I'd say save your $$ until you can move into an apartment or fraternity, and then spring for the HDTV. And in the meantime, dodge the premium for 24" that you won't need.
March 13, 2008 2:19:50 PM

yipsl said:
That's the issue with 24". They work good for Bluray but not as good for games, unless one has a high end card. If he's thinking of an 8800gt, a 9600gt or a 3870 with that CPU, then I don't think he should go 24" if he plays games.


Look in my sig you will see I have a Benq 24" screen with a 8800gt 512mb video card and gaming is great, like COD4 @ 35 to 60 fps, HL2 ep2 about the same. I play all games @ 1920*1200 all settings on high and vsync ON. Only game that dips below 30fps is Crysis but who doesn't have problems with Crysis anyways!!
March 13, 2008 2:49:11 PM

All good comments, everyone. Wow--there is so much more to this that I didn't know...

I am looking at 22 and 24 and the decision seems clear due to the big jump in price between the 2, and additional demands on videocards for the 24.

Now the only caveat is, most of my videogaming is BF2 and 2142, which are not in widescreen format. Assuming the left and right sides are black-barred, wouldn't the resulting image of a 22" be the equivalent of a 17-19" monitor?
March 13, 2008 3:13:34 PM

I picked up a Westinghouse L2140NM 24". The thing is sweet as can be, tons of connections (I have PS2,Xbox,PC, all connected with an extra VGA port available.) The color is amazing, no dead pixels, and I believe BestBuy is having a sale for it around $330ish...amazing monitor for the price, I use mine for gaming/school programming and its great. It's not perfect however, I had to return my first one from newegg because of a strange screen door effect that was on the upper right portion of the monitor. Also the monitor hums if the brightness is lowered, but its perfect at full brightness for me.
March 13, 2008 3:38:34 PM

TeraMedia said:

You might be better off saving your money for a 37" or 42" 1080p. They're getting very inexpensive these days, and that trend should continue this year. Buy a 22" monitor (the price goes up a lot between 22" and 24"), and save the difference for a while until you're ready to plunk down for a 1080p TV or monitor.



I agree. If a 24 inch monitor is better than your tv, you should save the extra dough and get a large 1080p tv (and the p part is important). Make sure it has either a VGA or DVI input (an HDMI might work to if your video card has an HDMI output).
March 13, 2008 4:06:07 PM

Wow, thanks for all the replies guys. Perhaps I should have made something clear. I'm a home schooled high school student; the chemistry class is one that I'm taking out of the home. The room I was referring to is the floor of my house just above the basement (I live on a split level so it's not really considered the "first floor"). I don't make a whole ton of cash (and I have to save a decent amount of what I make), but I'm hoping to make a fair amount on this build I'm going to try and sell soon. Hopefully around $400-450, but maybe more if the bidding goes high enough :D  (but maybe less too :( ). Now, there's some other stuff I might be selling, and if I make enough off that then I might be able to go higher.

And again, let me say that I am planning to upgrade to most likely a 4870X2 around my birthday in June. I can live with a bit less performance/lower settings for now if it means I can fully utilize my new card later on. Also I really don't have the need (or space; or funds for that matter) for a second 1080p TV for movie watching. Especially since my dad is starting to consider getting a 32" LCD TV soon.

But thanks for all your input. I'm really looking forward to getting this new comp up and running.
March 13, 2008 4:14:08 PM

Maybe I should mention that I will be playing BF2 (and maybe 3; just mentioning these two because of the lack of widescreen resolution support), COD4 once I get it, Crysis, Far Cry 2, and a few other less demanding games like Deus Ex :wahoo:  on this thing.
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