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Build settled - Help me choose an LCD!

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January 8, 2010 8:36:49 PM

Okay, you guys helped me put together the rig itself, now I need to figure out what the last piece of the puzzle will be: my monitor.

I've done a lot of research into monitors so far, and I have a few ideas. However, I would really appreciate suggestions from you guys - for the last 4-5 years my only monitor has been the 15.4" LCD on my laptop, and LCDs have come a *long* way since the last time I paid them much attention.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within six weeks or so - whenever the right deal comes along.

BUDGET RANGE: $250-350, prefer to keep it on the low end if possible. I'll consider going to $350 if there's an extraordinarily compelling reason to do so, but for now, I would really like to keep the price down on this.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, image editing.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Everything but the monitor.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, tigerdirect, amazon, etc.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Must be 1920x1200. This is a deal-breaker. I would prefer not to go above 24", but would consider it if there were something magical out there.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This monitor will go with the i7 rig I'm building, which will eventually be home to 2x HD 5870s. I do not care about HDMI inputs, the quality of built-in speakers, or TV tuners. I don't need any of it. I need this monitor to hook up to my computer and look good while I play games and process images.

Here is what I need:
- Gaming: The lowest input lag and response time that my budget will allow. Ultimately, to the extent possible, it has to be able to keep up with the eventual 2x HD 5870 GPU configuration I plan to run. In other words, I don't want the monitor to be horribly outmatched by the CPU.

- Image Processing: I need fairly high contrast at mid-to-high brightness - obviously, I need to be able to balance this between both editing and gaming, and the most accurate color possible.

- General: low backlight bleed, most reputable manufacturer, etc.


At the end of the day, I know that my budget is low considering my needs for this monitor. That's why I need you guys: to help me find the best deal on the best monitor my dollars will snag me.

The monitors I'm considering currently are:
Current top choice: SAMSUNG 2433BW High Glossy Black 24" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 20000:1(1000:1) - $299.99 +S&H

SAMSUNG ToC T240HD Rose-Black 24" 5ms HDMI Widescreen HDTV Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 10000:1 Built in DTV Tuner - $249.99 +S&H. This one has a built-in TV tuner that I don't care about, but generally seems to get positive reviews.

HannsĀ·G HH-281HPB Black 28" 3ms HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 400 cd/m2 DC 15000:1(800:1) - $309.99 +S&H. I'm unsure about this one - first, because I'm not sure I need (or want) a 28" monitor, and second, because a lot of people seem to complain about backlight bleed/ghosting, which I would really like to avoid.

Do you guys have other recommendations for me, or experience with any of the monitors I'm currently considering? The only thing I'm set on right now is that it has to be 1920x1200. Other than that, I'll consider pretty much anything.

E: Maybe I should change my username to "IWriteObnoxiouslyLongPosts".

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January 8, 2010 8:51:58 PM

For gaming, I'd recommend the Asus 1920 x 1200 and TN panels are my recommendation.

Image editing requires accurate color and TN panels just don't cut it and you'll want S-PVA or IPS panels. The entry point for monitors that provide a decent balance between image editing and gaming is about $514 and that's only on one of the 'specials" that dell offers for the U2410 about every 2 or 3 weeks.
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January 8, 2010 8:59:32 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
For gaming, I'd recommend the Asus 1920 x 1200 and TN panels are my recommendation.

Image editing requires accurate color and TN panels just don't cut it and you'll want S-PVA or IPS panels. The entry point for monitors that provide a decent balance between image editing and gaming is about $514 and that's only on one of the 'specials" that dell offers for the U2410 about every 2 or 3 weeks.


Thanks very much!

The more I look, the more I'm realizing that your point on monitors suited for image editing is true. I think I'm going to have to settle, and perhaps look into a monitor dedicated to image processing somewhere down the line.

Regarding ASUS monitors - I'm not seeing much from them with 1920x1200 resolution. Lots of 1920x1080, but no 16:10 options. Am I just not looking hard enough?

E: Nevermind - finding some digging through Asus's website, just wasn't seeing them on newegg or tigerdirect.
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January 8, 2010 9:11:42 PM

i would say LED. LEDS have higher contrast ratio, less power consuption, they are thinner, less or no backlight bleed, and typically good response time. i know of several amazing 1920x1080 ones, but if you really need 1200p, then i know BenQ and acer are releasing some new 1920x1200 LED monitors. they look AMAZING.
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January 9, 2010 1:36:27 AM

I'm gonna be one of *those* people and point you to a link rather than any specific recommendation. These people are much better informed than I but there's a very well put-together, consolidated, and organized list over an anandtech that breaks down the best monitors for a given function (be it gaming, edited, or office work). Check it out.

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=39226
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January 9, 2010 7:51:16 PM

andune said:
I'm gonna be one of *those* people and point you to a link rather than any specific recommendation. These people are much better informed than I but there's a very well put-together, consolidated, and organized list over an anandtech that breaks down the best monitors for a given function (be it gaming, edited, or office work). Check it out.

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=39226


Thanks very much - I've actually seen the anandtech list, which is quite comprehensive. It's been the basis for most of my research so far. At this point, I was really hoping for suggestions from users of various monitors.

Thanks again!
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January 9, 2010 8:15:23 PM

Maybe this is a totally misguided post, but since I just finished a new build and I am in love with my configuration I just want to share some of the joy and a simple piece of advice.

Joy: I went with the BenQ G2220 HD for my i5 build. I am stunned by the quality out of the box, and the auto adjust performs surprisingly well. The refresh rate for gaming has been great. I only have 1 GPU right now, a GT240 and I have not tested color clarity and accuracy too much yet.

Advice: For the $$$ you are spending, you will get a GREAT monitor. You almost can't go wrong in that price range. I would unhesitatingly recommend BenQ and Samsung. If you know you want top-end, look for manufacturers who actually produce the LCD/LED panel themselves, not just companies that repack other companies' products. The fact that the same engineers develop all of the components does tend to make some difference in performance and longevity.

Last word: Don't get so sold on a white paper that you spend an extra $100 on performance you won't see. Best of luck on your decision!
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January 11, 2010 5:04:12 PM

srones said:
Maybe this is a totally misguided post, but since I just finished a new build and I am in love with my configuration I just want to share some of the joy and a simple piece of advice.

Joy: I went with the BenQ G2220 HD for my i5 build. I am stunned by the quality out of the box, and the auto adjust performs surprisingly well. The refresh rate for gaming has been great. I only have 1 GPU right now, a GT240 and I have not tested color clarity and accuracy too much yet.

Advice: For the $$$ you are spending, you will get a GREAT monitor. You almost can't go wrong in that price range. I would unhesitatingly recommend BenQ and Samsung. If you know you want top-end, look for manufacturers who actually produce the LCD/LED panel themselves, not just companies that repack other companies' products. The fact that the same engineers develop all of the components does tend to make some difference in performance and longevity.

Last word: Don't get so sold on a white paper that you spend an extra $100 on performance you won't see. Best of luck on your decision!


srones: No, your post is not at all misguided. Reviews and advice based on experience are exactly what I'm looking for, to avoid getting bogged down with white papers and specs. Thanks!

Everyone: The Samsung monitors I noted above are still looking really appealing - right in my price range, good size, good response times, and decent color reproduction. For $250, it really looks like it would be tough to compete with the SAMSUNG ToC T240HD Rose-Black 24" 5ms. The 25.5" version does get great reviews, but I'm not sure that I need the extra real estate badly enough to justify spending an additional $80.

Does anyone have thoughts about matte vs. glossy for LCDs? I had not really thought too much about this until now - I've always used standard matte LCDs and never really had much issue with them. As I will just be using this monitor in my home office, where I can drop the blinds if it is too bright out, I don't think a glossy finish is necessary (though it might be nice). Anyone feel strongly one way or the other?

One last specific monitor I'm considering:

ASUS VW266H Black 25.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 - approximately $260. My concern with this monitor is that while it gets good reviews overall, a LOT of people have complaints about the brightness and that the color tends to require a lot of fiddling with to get right - many complaints about a "blue-ish" tint to the screen, and whites in particular. Does anyone have experience with this? ASUS LCDs come highly recommended, but I want to be able to do at least some image processing, even if balancing gaming and editing isn't really possible from a practical standpoint.

At the moment, the 24" Samsung LCD is my top choice at $250, but as always, I'm interested in other opinions!
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