You don't need to use the speakers on the Monitor. If your GPU supports HDMI then it may well have a sound chip that will try and play to the monitor speakers. This is fixed by selecting the sound card you normally use as the default one in Control Panel Sound options.
As far as monitors go all of those are probably ok for the price. However I have recently scored a Samsung 27 inch P2770. The awesome thing about this monitor is when I play older games like Warcraft 3 I can run the games in the 4:3 format at practically any resolution and the screen presents the game without stretching it across the monitor killing the aspect ratio and making the game look stupid. If you can, make sure that whatever monitor you buy can do this. Check out Samsung's 23 inch offerings to see if it has this built in technology. Not been stuck with one native resolution and possessing the ability to use the 4:3 as well as the 16:9 ratio has been a huge bonus.
The maintain aspect ratio option is a gpu option not the monitor and can be set in the gpu control panel.
The asus is the best because of response time (completely different than refresh rate, I'm sure that was a typo) size, and the mazimum brightness but of course costs the most. However 5ms for games is just fine as well and you probably won't even notice a difference. GTG stands for grey to grey, pretty much every company will give gtg for response time.
Sure you can force a display ratio with the GPU but if the monitor is married to one native resolution (as most cheap ones are) then you are going to run into issues. I can set Warcraft 3 to 1280 x 1024 and the monitor displays it perfectly at 4:3 aspect ratio at the correct resolution.
While monitors can have their own scaling options the gpu overrides it. Gpu control panel should have 3 scaling options and I've never seen one that didn't. 1, maintain aspect ratio which will scale the image (making it blurry) til it hits the edge of the screen and then put black bars on either the top and bottom or the sides to preserve the ratio, 2, fullscreen or fixed ratio which will stretch the image to fill the whole screen causing distortion and 3, center or no scaling which does not scale it at all and can put a black square around it.
What you say is true. I have seen the GPU settings myself. However I am in a position to try out different types of monitor and what I found was this.
The GPU is set to the monitors native resolution. On the ASUS when I configured Warcraft to run at 1280 x 1024 it stretched the image at the lower resolution to fill the screen. Warcraft is definitely a 4:3 focused game and just doesn't cut it in wide screen like many older games. When I used the Samsung based on the Warcraft settings alone the Samsung presented an exact 1280 x 1024 resolution at 4:3 and upon exit immediately returns to the screens native resolution. Of course there are black bars on either side but that is not an unacceptable experience for certain games.
Now I could use the GPU to force the ASUS into line but in doing so I am forcing the screen to play ball where as the Samsung takes it all on itself and presents me with what I want when I want it. This makes it a much smarter screen and it has a technology inbuilt which IMHO is extremely worth while to have.
Ok I have looked further into my configuration. The scaling is occurring on the GPU. The Override games and programs is off. So essentially the game is telling the GPU what it expects in terms of scale and resolution. Warcraft is set to 1280 x 1024. This is resolution I played on my previous Sony 4:3 Monitor. If I put on the ASUS 24 " LED screen I have it stretches the game which does not work well. Therefore it is the ASUS itself that is not responding to the GPU when the GPU tries to obey the games settings. The Samsung P2770 I now use does respond and uses its own inbuilt capability to present exactly what the GPU / Game is demanding.
To my mind this makes the Samsung a Gamer's Screen while many other offerings are more pedestrian and are more for standard users and business applications.
The ASUS is recognized as what it is not a Generic so that is not the issue. I had the same issue on an LG as well. I think the issue is whether the monitors in question are fixed frequency or multi frequency.