As part of a new system I am getting I have had difficulty deciding on a monitor. I will be both gaming and trading/programming on this system. I'll go through my considerations with regards to the Alienware OptX and the Dell U2312 but feel free to suggest anything else. They are listed roughly in order of importance:
1. I will be gaming and trading/programming. It seems to me there probably isn't a major difference in quality between the two, with perhaps the OptX slightly better, but the refresh rates and response times on the OptX are a lot better, and is a serious draw for me, considering the games like I to play. 2ms to 8ms response time is probably not too noticeable, but is 60hz to 120hz a big deal?
2. I will probably get at least two of whatever I get, though if it is the Dell I will almost certainly get 3 given how much cheaper it is, so that is a relatively important factor.
3. I'm not a fan of the way most monitors look, I prefer plain and minimalist looks (which is one reason I like Dell), most "gaming" monitors look tacky, but I'm willing to look at any other monitor provided it is better than the two above.
4. 3D is only a minor draw for me, unless you can persuade me that it brings a big improvement in gaming experience.
5. Connectivity is not a big deal, I won't be using it with anything other than my desktop and a current graphics card.
Price is not a huge deal, I have no fixed budget, but I would like to spend wisely and not throw money far past the point of diminishing returns. Thanks all in advance.
@ OP, the Alienware one is better than the UltraSharp because:-
1- It has 3ms response time (lower is better specially for gaming) and the recommended usually in monitors are 5ms but 8ms i see it too far.
2- 3D capable and 120 Hz refresh rate.
3- It has more brightness and better colors.
Can you (if possible) put a percentage towards the tasks? Like 75% gaming / 25% other or 50% / 50%, and what type of gaming (RTS/MMO/FPS). That alone would have a huge impact on a decision towards 120Hz/TN/60Hz/IPS. Also the kind of rig you have/will be getting; if it can push a minimum of 80+FPS at the resolution you want with the graphic settings you want, then 120Hz becomes a factor, if not, it sorta loses its utility. I've played BF3/Dirt3 on my brother's brand new rig (4.5GHz i5, 6950 2GB CF) and the difference between the 27" Samsung 120Hz & his older BenQ 24" 60Hz is... there's no word for it. I wasn't 100% convinced until I tried it, 120Hz, even on a TN panel, in a game where he can push almost always 95+FPS is mind boggling, even considering the massive dot pitch the 27" Samsung has (its max is 1920x1080... bandwidth limitations going over that it seems) I'll be getting the 23" variant is they ever cross over to Canada (and they BETTER DAMNIT!) BUT, if you trade/code more than you game, then go IPS, your eyes will thank you for it, especially in multiple monitor configurations where angles of viewing can really make a TN panel suck.
I've tried 3D on his rig, and wasn't impressed, but apparently nVidia has much better support than AMD, but it was sorta cool, but seeing as I wear glasses... not that fun. At least for a movie it isn't bad as you don't "move" so much, but in a fast paced action game, the hands/arms/head move a good bit and big 3D glasses are meh.
Besides, why don't you look at Samsung or Asus monitors if you not concerned too much on those specific models. My monitor in my signature has 2ms response time and full HD 1080P and some Samsung monitors has the same specs.
Samsung syncmaster seems to be the reference as far as fast motion gameplay goes. If you don't play twitchy FPS games (i.e. quake, etc.) an IPS monitor is fine. I choose an IPS monitor for the superior image. TFT is better at viewing angle, usually black levels, and fast motion in gaming.
I would contend ilysaml saying the Alienware has better color or brighness. The 2312 is led backlit so they're going to get as bright as the LED allows, and IPS monitors are always the better for color accuracy. I own the 2311H which is CFL backlit, some prefer the CFL for the neutral shade of white over LED (can tinge blue) but this is really more important for tasks outside of gaming.
IPS monitors are expensive, since he's not working with animations and graphics application i guess the LCD/LED is the better solutions.
But he's already looking at an IPS, the 2312 is an IPS monitor. I agree however that LED/LCD is the way to go if you're only looking for a gamingor 80% gaming monitor. Again depends on the games he plays. I play mostly slower games, or FPS that aren't twitch so my IPS works fine.
Yes i know it's IPS, but i didn't see the OP in the first post indicating he's looking forward an IPS monitor specifically, and i guess it doesn't offer much viewing angle benefits and the Alienware would be similar in colors accuracy.
Go with the Dell U2312, it's the fastest IPS monitor there is.
I own the Alienware, it's on a shelf in my closet now. 3d gets old fast, and it's colors look muted. Not only that, but 3d tech is changing, it will be obsolete in a year (if not already because of 3d vision 2.0)
120hz is nice, but it's not worth the $200 premium you pay for it.
Thanks for all your replies, I'll pursue the directions you've raised (Samsung monitors it seems) in the morning. In case it helps, I do like twitch FPSes (though they hardly make any these days) though I will be playing BF3 and Skyrim and whatnot. My rig will probably involve 580GTX SLI.
I'll mostly be gaming on this rig, I'd say 70%/30% trading, since most of the trading will be done at work, so I don't think eyestrain will be too big a deal. From what you guys are saying, quality-wise it's up in the air and 120hz is a good feature but maybe not $200 good. I'll look at Samsung's offerings and the reviews Pure_McNasty linked tomorrow. Thanks!