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Dual Dell 2005FPW Monitors - one is dimmer than the other, how to fix?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 14, 2011 1:39:59 AM

Hi,

I've been using a Dell 2005FPW for years (Revision 1) and absolutely love the quality, brightness, color reproduction, etc. - I recently purchased a new (used) Dell 2005FPW (Revision 3) that is in excellent quality and the Revision 1 is clearly brighter.

I've tried factory resetting both monitors, swapping cables, using only one monitor at a time, used DVI and/or D-SUB, etc. - but no matter what the Rev 1 is still a better picture.

I'm just wondering if there's any way to fix this? I purposely went after a 2005FPW thinking the picture would be identical, but I suppose there are differences between revisions. I thought it may be my video card, but when I power each one up independently I can still see a difference.

Any ideas? I see no way w/ my current driver software to manually adjust the brightness for this "new" monitor. Is this a common problem?

Thanks!
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
January 14, 2011 1:45:28 AM

The monitors use CCFL backlighting which degrade in brightness over time. The only way to fix it is to change the backlight. It should cost around $50 to replace if you find the monitor unacceptably dim even at 100% brightness.
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January 14, 2011 1:50:46 AM

Wow, thanks for the quick (and knowledgeable) response. It would be pretty funny if I swapped the backlight on the new monitor only to have it make my "working one" dim. If I made such a change is there any other component that could also break costing me more money to fix? Also, is this the only explanation for the brightness?
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January 16, 2011 4:54:51 PM

Thanks for replying. I was always under the impression when using dual monitors its best to use the same model. Seeing as they no longer make the 2005FPW I purchased a used one. In your experience, wont using two different models (from possibly two different manufactures) yield mixed results as well?
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January 16, 2011 5:02:36 PM

I have. My original 2005FPW had been running at 100 brightness and is older than the one I just bought, yet much brighter. Even when I drop it to 0 brightness, it's brighter than the "new one" at 100 bright. At work, I asked around and noticed most people run at 75 brightness on their dell displays. SO, not really sure what is the optimal setting. In any case, using the gfx card software I can manually adjust the brightness of the "new" screen, but it kind of washes the picture out. I think I'll just use the "new" screen for auxiliary work and some day down the road upgrade to two new/larger displays. For now, I dropped the brightness of the old/bright display to 0 to make the two screens similar in lighting.
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January 16, 2011 5:38:42 PM

Can you explain what you did in layman's terms? ;) 
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January 16, 2011 5:58:21 PM

Oh, okay. Not sure if I'm brave enough to start taking the lcd a part and swapping backlights... Then again, may need a project to do after building my new system.
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!