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720p vs 1080p for my PC gaming needs. Part III.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 11, 2008 4:07:40 AM

Yes, unbelievable isn't it? This is the third time I ask a round of questions regarding this hot topic (at least for me anyway), this time around I come around looking more for guidance rather than looking for answers to technical questions (Gotta thank Ape for help that time). So without further ado let me present you with the premise.

I consider myself a wanna-be PC enthusiast on a budget (i.e. student) that is looking to drop some money somewhere, and since I recently had my C2D/8800GTS system go through an 45nm C2D/HD 4850 overhaul, it's out of the question to get a new system. (For the time being anyway) I've been looking into getting an HDTV for some time now, for watching TV shows, movies, and PC gaming, but the thing is, I'm really really picky about my framerates in games, I am one of the "must have 60fps average" crowd, so for the time being 1080p gaming is out of the question with my current PC.

I will be watching mostly 480p/720p broadcasts, a lot of 480p movies and a few 720p, and gaming at 720p (1366x768). Basically no 1080p content will be played unless it's gaming, and that will only happen if Lucid's Hydra comes to fruition, otherwise I don't expect 1080p content outside of source games (TF2 and Left 4 Dead). After Ape explained me a lot of stuff, my brain reached the obvious conclusion that 720p content will look better on a native 720p display.

Despite the fact that I'm running on a limited budget, I will do whatever it takes to get the necessary cash if it's worth it, so that's not a deal-breaker for me. Basically the only thing that is driving to get a 1080p screen is if Hydra does work out, then I'll be gaming on 1080p, otherwise I'd be limited to 720p content on a 1080p for the foreseeable future (next 5 years). My feeling currently is that I shouldn't be banking everything on new, unproven technology such as Hydra to make my decision to get a 1080p, and I should get a set that fulfills my present needs and not "what if?" scenarios.

Sorry for the wall of text above, I am basically looking guidance to whether I should get a 720p or 1080p set taking into account the above, and what screen size I should get if I am to be seated approximately 6.5 feet away from the screen? (37" or 40/42")

I am considering the following sets (Samsung is my primary choice, LG is just a secondary option to fall back on in case of unavailability):

1.) Samsung:

LN37A550 or LN40A550 (1080p)
LN37A450 or LN40A450 (720p)

2.) LG:

37LG60 or 42LG60 (1080p)
37LG30 or 37LG60 (720p)

Current Stance: Leaning towards a 37" 720p set.
October 11, 2008 4:31:44 AM

"I will be watching mostly 480p/720p broadcasts, a lot of 480p movies "

Stopped there. you do realize 720p/1080p are TV resolutions, not monitor, right?

I'm not gonna read all that, but 1080p is obviously superior to 720p, even though I really have no idea what you're talking about.
October 11, 2008 5:03:03 AM

Ignoring Ultima's post, i'd go with the 720p setup if i were you.

If you're going to be primarily using a 720p resolution, there's no sense buying a 1080p screen. Besides it'll still look good years down the road, and your machine will need less upgrading to accomodate newer more intensive titles.
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October 11, 2008 5:27:03 AM

I would lean towards to 1080p HDTV. Most boardcast starting next year will be in 1080I if there not now. I'm pretty sure 720p tv's dont go up to 1080I so it would bump that Resolution down to 720p and you would be losing quality. Also If you go with a Blu-ray player it will display 1080p or upscale a DVD to 1080p. Another bonus is games look alot better at 1920x1080.
October 11, 2008 5:44:25 AM

That was my exact train of thought, Lucuis. Even though I plan on upgrading every year or two years (depending on development cycles), I am not planning on upgrading to a crossfire configuration unless Hydra does hit a homerun.

ghostmann, I forgot to mention that I don't live in the united states, I live in Central america where we started getting HD broadcasts not too long ago (maybe 2 years?), so I don't think we'll start getting 1080i content anytime soon, also I hardly ever buy movies (there I admitted it :p ) and downloading a 1080p movie is out of the question with my 1mbit connection. That's why I wasn't really planning on getting 1080p content at least until I can afford a 5mbit connection, I will definitely buy a blu-ray burner down the road like everyone else, but I'll probably use it more to backup data than anything else. Even though I know games will look better at 1920x1080, I just can't afford a crossfire setup to have them running at the kind of fps that I want.

I should also try to detail my usage to give you an idea of what my priorities are: Around 60% of the time I play games, 25-30% of the time I download or stream TV shows @ 720p (I am really impatient :D ), and the remaining 10-15% of my time I watch cable (pretty much an hour or two before I go to bed).

By the way, Ultima, if you read the two paragraphs written before you stopped reading, then you'd know I am planning on buying and using an HDTV as a monitor, if it's easier for you I can detail the resolution instead of using the more common denomination, I just didn't think it was necessary.
October 11, 2008 5:56:47 AM

Unless it is 56" or larger, most humans cannot discern between 720p and 1080i or p from more than 6'.

Check the AVS forums, the proof is there.

I currently use a Hanns G 28" monitor, at 1920x1200, it is 1080p, to watch some tv and game on, and a 42" Pioneer plasma for movies. My Pioneer looks better than my monitor for movies, etc, but much worse in the gaming environ. It is native at 1366x x, so you see the dilema.

October 11, 2008 6:06:35 AM

Granite3 said:
Unless it is 56" or larger, most humans cannot discern between 720p and 1080i or p from more than 6'.

Check the AVS forums, the proof is there.

I currently use a Hanns G 28" monitor, at 1920x1200, it is 1080p, to watch some tv and game on, and a 42" Pioneer plasma for movies. My Pioneer looks better than my monitor for movies, etc, but much worse in the gaming environ. It is native at 1366x x, so you see the dilema.



It really depends on what you are doing with it. Movies and Television, it's barely dicernable. If you're using your PC or playing games (not scaled, but full 1920x1080) there's a definitely a big difference.
October 11, 2008 6:24:16 AM

I see... I was planning on basically setting up a new desk in my room at about 6 - 6.5 feet away from the screen for all-purpose use (TV shows, movies, and PC gaming). The bed will be roughly at the same distance when watching Movies and TV, so that's a moot point. Even if reading is slightly more difficult on a 720p set at that distance, I'd be willing to set up my current LCD monitor for my THG forum and MSN messenger usage :) 

Sure, it may not be aesthetically pleasing to most people who are into nice decorations, but hey :D  I'm just trying to make a nice room for myself. Last time I was discussing this topic, Ape had almost seduced me into getting a 720p, but I almost bought a 1080p instead. I thought I'd open a nice discussion about it to dispel any doubts.
October 11, 2008 6:34:56 AM

Well i have a blu-ray drive and i watch alot of 1080p movies. Right now i have a 24" monitor for my 360 and PC(Phenom 9950 and a 4870) But in a week im getting a 42" LCD 1080P HDTV. To use for my PC and 360. And yes things do look better at the right res.
I game at 1920x1200 and max effects. (But only high in Warhead :D  )

I try to always play at max res. But some games dont have it. Like the sims 2 (Only 1600x1200) which is not 16x10 its 4x3 so the game could look better. But if I play at 1440x900(Which is 16x10) The game looks like crap. Because there is no sharpness to the picture.

So because you like to have 60+fps I think with a 4850 1080p is a no go.

I think that 1080p looks SOOOOO much better than 720p but its a lot more pixels to handle.

I would say go for the 720p for your needs. It will look good and as long as you use dvds or 480p content the 720p will work great... Also the 720ps are a little cheaper than 1080p.


Good luck
October 11, 2008 5:27:56 PM

Trust Me buy the 1080p.

I alredy have a 32 sony bravia that is 720 and defintly you can notice the diference betwen 720p and 1080p and more
in games.

Im going to buy a sony bravia KDL-32XBR6 you should cosider that its at 960$in amazon a very good one and is 1080p

Estrech your budget a little more and buy a 4870 is you can its only a suggestion.
October 11, 2008 5:54:33 PM

Thing is I already have an HD 4850 and a single HD 4870 is nowhere near what I'd need to play games like I want them to run. I'll need at least crossfire HD 4850.

Thanks for the opinion, don't take this the wrong way, but I'm not considering Sony at all for my TV needs, I've read a lot and they seem to have slipped a lot in quality in recent years, they are supposedly making a comeback with the XBR8, but that TV is in the $5000-7000 range. I'm pretty much considering Samsung, LG, and maybe Sharp in that order.
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