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3 monitor gaming, recommend cheap monitors?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 4, 2011 6:48:35 PM

Hi there!

I am building a gaming rig, with 3 monitors.

I am looking for cheap, half-decent monitors.

Any suggestions?

***

Long version:

I live in Sweden and am using http://www.edbpriser.dk/ as a baseline for my search (this website is a meta-searchengine for IT retailers in Denmark; prices rarely vary between Denmark and Sweden). I might be able to buy the monitor from Germany or the UK, though (no import tax, since Sweden is in the EU).

I believe 22'' or 24'' (inches), for all 3 monitors, would give a suitable immersion for my escapism needs. I also suspect this is the monitor size many of those neat rigs on YouTube have (example).

Some further basic requirements:
  • Small borders, since I will be putting them side-by-side.
  • No speakers. I won't use them. I find having them stupid, since the monitor is standing on a desk which can easily accommodate speakers. I can live with the monitor speakers, as long as they don't make the monitor look stupid.
  • Silent monitor.
  • Colour correctness / adjustability.
  • Good horizontal viewing angles (two displays will be at a slight angle).

    Of course, my initial thought was "the bigger, the better". So I initially set my eyes on the Samsung SyncMaster 2443BW (shop). With 1920x1200 resolution per display, this would give me a massive 5760x1200 resolution.

    However, the price from 22'' to 24'' leaps substantially. Furthermore, this SyncMaster is dated, has poor vertical viewing angles, and makes a buzz if you reduce brightness below 97%
    (random people on the internet complaining about these issue).

    Seeing that you are apparently sacrificing a lot when you go for a cheap 24'', I started looking at 22'' monitors. I came across the Asus VW224T (shop). WSXGA+ panel, new display, and getting good reviews. With 1680x1050 resolution per display, this would give me a decent 5040x1050. It is sold out in Sweden though (minor detail).

    Then I came upon these HDTV displays, 24'' with a 1920x1080 resolution. Like the BenQ G2420HDBE (shop). I have read good things about BenQ displays, and people seem to like this one.

    I am hoping you can help me find the right display for me. Guideline questions:

  • Q1: In your experience, do the extra 2'' from 22'' to 24'' substantially help immersion, mandating its added cost?
  • Q2: Are the extra 120 pixels in height from 24'' 16:9 aspect ratio displays to the 24'' 16:10 aspect ratio displays sorely missed?
  • Q3: Assuming 120 pixels in height are not sorely missed, 150 pixels in height must not be sorely missed either. Then going from the 24'' HDTV displays to a 22'' is an option. But you lose width per display, accumulating to ~1000 pixels. Is this sorely missed?

    Finally,
  • Q4: Know of a cheap, decent display in the realm I outlined above? :) 

    Thanks,
    Willard.
    a c 214 U Graphics card
    a b C Monitor
    July 4, 2011 7:25:34 PM

    When it comes to regular TV's the extra 2 inches doesn't really matter but when it comes to monitors it does because it will make the display area much larger.Think about it your adding an extra 6 inches.Since your the one thats buying it it's really up to you and how much you want to spend and if it will make a difference for you.For me I would go with whatever is cheaper because i'd be happy with just about anything in eyefinity.

    What are your full system specs?(GPU,CPU,Mobo,etc.)
    July 4, 2011 11:18:24 PM

    purple stank said:
    When it comes to regular TV's the extra 2 inches doesn't really matter but when it comes to monitors it does because it will make the display area much larger.Think about it your adding an extra 6 inches.Since your the one thats buying it it's really up to you and how much you want to spend and if it will make a difference for you.For me I would go with whatever is cheaper because i'd be happy with just about anything in eyefinity.

    I'm not going for Eyefinity. Just plain 2D. No stereoscopic 3D.

    I would have added this detail, but for some reason, I was not allowed to edit my message, and bumping messages is discouraged on the forums.

    purple stank said:
    What are your full system specs?(GPU,CPU,Mobo,etc.)

    Graphics:
    XFX Radeon HD 6950 XXX (1GB) HD-695X-ZDDC
    Note: This card is temporary; will upgrade when AMD 7xxx series comes, and will then have two good cards in CrossFire.

    CPU:
    Intel® Core™ i5-2500K

    CPU cooling:
    CoolIT ECO C240 A.L.C. Liquid

    RAM:
    2x2x2GB-Kit G.Skill RipJaws-X PC3-10667U CL7

    MOBO:
    Asus Maximus IV GENE-Z

    HDD:
    Crucial RealSSD C300 128 GB

    PSU:
    Corsair AX750

    Casing:
    SilverStone SG04-FH
    I don't have all the parts yet, but this is what my build will be like.
    Related resources
    a c 214 U Graphics card
    a b C Monitor
    July 4, 2011 11:37:53 PM

    If this is a gaming rig then why would you need 3 monitors if your not going to use eyefinity?

    Usually it's buisness people who need more than 1 monitor for multitasking.
    a b U Graphics card
    July 5, 2011 12:02:44 AM

    purple stank said:
    If this is a gaming rig then why would you need 3 monitors if your not going to use eyefinity?

    Usually it's buisness people who need more than 1 monitor for multitasking.


    I think the OP was confused and thought that Eyefinity meant stereo 3d, like 3d vision surround.

    @Willard, assuming you do mean Eyefinity (which is 2d gaming across 3 screens) of course 3 24" monitors would be better, but 3 22" 1080p monitors are still absolutely awesome. Don't sweat it so much.
    a c 214 U Graphics card
    a b C Monitor
    July 5, 2011 12:09:51 AM

    Whats the prices difference between 24" and 22"?
    a b U Graphics card
    July 5, 2011 12:19:25 AM

    Here in the UK, it's about ~£30 (~$50, ~300 Swedish Kronor). I really can't recommend a monitor to the OP though, as I'm useless with comparing them. The average 24" monitor is ~£150.
    a c 214 U Graphics card
    a b C Monitor
    July 5, 2011 12:49:44 AM

    $150 for 6 inches aint that bad.Although when you have all 3 monitors on a desk it takes up A LOT of space.When you think about it with a TV 6 inches makes a huge difference and cost much more than $150.

    But either way it's still 1080p.
    July 5, 2011 8:26:21 AM

    bluesc said:
    I think the OP was confused and thought that Eyefinity meant stereo 3d, like 3d vision surround.

    Ah, my bad. I somehow equated AMD Eyefinity and NVidia 3D Vision. Which is an utterly senseless thing to do.

    To be clear: I am interested in 2D gaming across 3 screens, that is, AMD Eyefinity.

    bluesc said:
    @Willard, assuming you do mean Eyefinity (which is 2d gaming across 3 screens) of course 3 24" monitors would be better, but 3 22" 1080p monitors are still absolutely awesome. Don't sweat it so much.

    The 1080p displays are actually 24'', only slightly taller than the 22'', but wider (unless the manufacturer has played with pixel size/spacing...).

    The 24'' 1080p displays are actually the cheapest amongst the displays I discussed in my original post (although the panels might not be anything special).

    So I take it you are saying that I will be fine with 3 24'' 1080p displays?


    purple stank said:
    $150 for 6 inches aint that bad.Although when you have all 3 monitors on a desk it takes up A LOT of space.When you think about it with a TV 6 inches makes a huge difference and cost much more than $150.

    But either way it's still 1080p.

    Here are the prices for the displays I mentioned above. Of the three kind of displays discussed, these represent the cheapest, not-complete-garbage displays I could find.
  • 24'' 1920x1200: 1.865,00 DKK (~£215, ~$347)
  • 24'' 1920x1080: 1.051,00 DKK (~£121, ~$195)
  • 22'' 1680x1050: 1.137,00 DKK (~£131, ~$211)
    At least in the north, the price difference is substantially more than just $100 when you step up to three 24'' 1920x1200.
    a b U Graphics card
    a b C Monitor
    July 5, 2011 8:47:59 AM

    Based on value, I would recommend to go with this one:
    24'' 1920x1080: 1.051,00 DKK (~£121, ~$195)
    But another thing to consider is what is the bezel width for this one?
    If its the BenQ, the bezel is quite thin and with 2ms response time it is much better than what I found when I was searching for same.


    If you have the LG E2241T over there, it could also be an option. It have very nice thin bezels but its 21.5". Here is the picture of what I build for a friend:




    July 5, 2011 9:16:53 AM

    randomkid said:
    ^I would recommend to go with this one:
    24'' 1920x1080: 1.051,00 DKK (~£121, ~$195)
    What is the bezel width for this one? What is the brand/model?

    It's the BenQ G2420HDBE (picture) from my original post.

    It's a bit hard to say, since the display size and monitor size in the specification seems to indicate that the bezel width is asymmetric. But if at least the width is right in both places, the bezel should be ~1.9cm.

    Which is not very thin, I know. I would probably have to let the side-monitors go a bit behind the centre monitor.

    Acer and Philips have cheap 24'' 1080p displays as well, but I have heard bad things about their products (a friend of mine has a disaster story spanning many years with Acer, and Philips are apparently not great at LCD displays). Plus the bezel width looks similar.
    a b U Graphics card
    a b C Monitor
    July 5, 2011 9:39:42 AM

    willardthor said:
    It's the BenQ G2420HDBE (picture) from my original post.

    It's a bit hard to say, since the display size and monitor size in the specification seems to indicate that the bezel width is asymmetric. But if at least the width is right in both places, the bezel should be ~1.9cm.

    Which is not very thin, I know. I would probably have to let the side-monitors go a bit behind the centre monitor.

    I did my own calculation and you are right on the dot with ~1.9cm bezel. Yes, its wider than it looks like in the picture.

    The bezel in the LG E2241 that I posted is really 1cm. I saw it and we have it... so its not too big on size but really minimized the bezels between.
    And overlapping them is what I would also do. In my case, But I put the center monitor behind instead of in the front. Like this:

    The TV's are 42" with 1" bezel but by overlapping, I managed to have only 1" in between instead of 2". Plus, there is no light seeping between the TV gaps that would otherwise appear if they are put side by side.
    July 5, 2011 12:57:00 PM

    Are LED-backlit displays generally better than non-LED backlit displays, in the price range I am operating in?
    randomkid said:
    I did my own calculation and you are right on the dot with ~1.9cm bezel. Yes, its wider than it looks like in the picture.

    The bezel in the LG E2241 that I posted is really 1cm. I saw it and we have it... so its not too big on size but really minimized the bezels between.
    And overlapping them is what I would also do. In my case, But I put the center monitor behind instead of in the front. Like this:
    http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/2963/3x42inches.jpg
    The TV's are 42" with 1" bezel but by overlapping, I managed to have only 1" in between instead of 2". Plus, there is no light seeping between the TV gaps that would otherwise appear if they are put side by side.

    Are these not the LG displays in this image? Which 42'' TVs with a 1'' bezel are these?
    July 5, 2011 1:14:35 PM

    If u haven't already bought ur GPU I recommend getting the 2GB version of the 6950 for ur high resolutions.
    2X 6950 2GBs in CF and u shouldn't need to upgrade for atleast another 3 years.

    Good Luck.
    a b U Graphics card
    a b C Monitor
    July 5, 2011 4:48:32 PM

    willardthor said:
    Are LED-backlit displays generally better than non-LED backlit displays, in the price range I am operating in?

    Are these not the LG displays in this image? Which 42'' TVs with a 1'' bezel are these?

    The two images are different. The first one in my earlier post are the LG E2241T's 21.5" monitors. They are for my friends. These monitors have 1cm bezels.

    The TV's are mine. :)  They are LG 42LV3500's. A more expensive model, the SmartTV LG 42LV3730 also have the same 1"bezel. They look exactly the same. Only the features differ with the 42LV3730 having a LAN port & Smartremote ( like WII ) for easy use of internet TV feature.
    The 42LV3500 does not have LAN port.


    a b U Graphics card
    a b C Monitor
    July 5, 2011 4:54:00 PM

    gametstr said:
    If u haven't already bought ur GPU I recommend getting the 2GB version of the 6950 for ur high resolutions.
    2X 6950 2GBs in CF and u shouldn't need to upgrade for atleast another 3 years.

    Good Luck.

    ^+1.
    To OP: I also got the 2GB version, the Sapphire 6950 2GB Flex. You can connect all 3 monitors out of the box ( no need for dp to dvi adaptor). Please consider it.

    Note: When you already have Eyefinity enabled, make sure to disable "Morphological Filtering" in CCC. It cause severe performance penalty of up to 66% reduction in fps in all games.
    July 6, 2011 10:21:48 AM

    randomkid said:
    ^+1.
    To OP: I also got the 2GB version, the Sapphire 6950 2GB Flex. You can connect all 3 monitors out of the box ( no need for dp to dvi adaptor). Please consider it.

    Note: When you already have Eyefinity enabled, make sure to disable "Morphological Filtering" in CCC. It cause severe performance penalty of up to 66% reduction in fps in all games.

    I'll keep this in mind. Thanks.

    So far, I have only got 1 monitor suggestion. Are you running an Eyefinity setup? What monitor are you using? Why did you pick this monitor?
    a b U Graphics card
    a b C Monitor
    July 6, 2011 10:44:45 AM

    Yes. I am running on Eyefinity using 3x42" LG LED TV. I pick them up primarily because of the relatively thinner bezel compared to other TV's. The bezel is around 1".

    July 6, 2011 11:41:56 AM

    randomkid said:
    Yes. I am running on Eyefinity using 3x42" LG LED TV. I pick them up primarily because of the relatively thinner bezel compared to other TV's. The bezel is around 1".

    Didn't that setup cost an arm and a leg?
    a c 214 U Graphics card
    a b C Monitor
    July 6, 2011 12:51:07 PM

    I would rather go with x3 monitors than TV's.Having 3 tv's for eyefinity really does look good but when your up close you can see how large the pixels are on TV's.To me,it just looks way sharper on monitors.
    a b U Graphics card
    a b C Monitor
    July 6, 2011 2:21:32 PM

    willardthor said:
    Didn't that setup cost an arm and a leg?

    Not at all. Saved a lot by cutting on Starbucks. :) 
    a b U Graphics card
    a b C Monitor
    July 6, 2011 2:26:38 PM

    purple stank said:
    I would rather go with x3 monitors than TV's.Having 3 tv's for eyefinity really does look good but when your up close you can see how large the pixels are on TV's.To me,it just looks way sharper on monitors.

    You do not sit up close. You sit far back as if you are watching TV so you don't see the pixel at all. It is totally difference experience than sitting 2 feet away from monitors.
    a c 214 U Graphics card
    a b C Monitor
    July 6, 2011 3:18:31 PM

    I still can see pixels on TV's.I find the image quality to look much better on monitors.Just my personal preference I guess.
    !