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17" or 19"?

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February 5, 2006 4:50:18 AM

Hello all,

I currently have an old Dell P911 19" crt, and I want to upgrade to a LCD screen asap for space saving reasons. I use my pc for a mixture of games, dvds, internet browsing, work etc. basically a good mix of everything in fairly equal proportions.

Funds are only really allowing me to choose either a good quality 17" or a budget 19" lcd, so my question is will I notice a considerable difference in day to day viewing (size wise) between what I have now and a 17" LCD (taking into account the larger actual viewable area)? I.e. will text be noticably smaller etc.

Thanks guys and gals,

Scott

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February 5, 2006 6:12:40 PM

I replaced a 19" CRT monitor with a 17" LCD several months ago. The viewing area is roughly the same. Native resolution on it is 1280 x 1024. (Native resolution: The resolution LCD's look best at due to how they work)

After getting bitten by the Linux bug, I purchased a 19" LCD so I could use the 17" LCD on the computer I set up for Linux. The native resolution of the 19" LCD is also 1280 x 1024, the biggest difference is that everything is a bit larger.

The biggest size differences will be determined by the resolution you run your current CRT monitor vs. the native resolution of the LCD. If you run the resolution of your current monitor at less than 1280 x 1024, then, yes the text will be smaller on the LCD. If you run your current resolution at close to 1280 x 1024, you most likely will not notice much difference (or any difference will be quickly forgotten).

Naturally the biggest advantage is that everything is proportionally larger on the 19" (at the same 1280 x 1024 native resolution), which is a big help to these eyes that are not getting younger.

A disadvantage I've noticed is some games (mostly board type) don't look as good as some want to run at a non-native resolution so the 'jaggies' are enlarged on the 19" LCD.

I don't play fast action FPS or RPG type games, so one of the (mostly older) disadvantages of LCD's don't apply - smearing on fast moving scenes. THG has some pretty good reviews and enlightenment on this. You have to set your priorities with what you want in relation to your budget. Keep in mind, too, that not all monitors have the same 'viewability' from looking from the sides. This could be important if you need to see what's going on from off center.

Price-wise, I went to one of our local US emporiums (Best Buy) prepared to buy another 17" monitor until I saw the 19" one for $30 more ($279 vs. $249). Both monitors are Westinghouse & both satisfy my needs. I had perused New Egg, but at that time, did not find anything I thought I could get past my wife that I thought I would be happy with. . .

If you go shopping at your local emporium, don't base your decisions soley on what you see on the "wall of monitors" running the same "programming". They use distribution systems that I've found to be inconsistant from monitor to monitor. My way around this is purely bogus: I pull up the OSD & look at it!! As I said, it's a bogus test, but if I have problems with reading the OSD menu, I know the cruddy picture may be more than a flakey input signal.

As an aside: If you use Windows, download the Clear Type power toy to tweak how Windows handles your text fonts.

I hope your eyes have not glazed over with this!! It's just my 2 cents.
March 28, 2006 1:14:22 AM

What is the quality like on a 17" vs. a 19" LCD? I mean, both are native 1280x1024. In theory the 19" wouldn't look as good because it's stretching the same amount of data over a larger area. Is this really noticeable? Also, does a 19" 1600x1200 LCD monitor exist? the 20.1" ones are quite a jump up in price; especially if you want a decent performing model.

I play games, and do web/graphic design and 3d animation, but I want one that's best for games. Slight colour inaccuracies don't bother me. I found the most recent LCD roundup on THG quite informing and may go with one of the recommended models even though they are all 1280x1024. I currently have a 10-year old 17" 1280x1024 CRT.
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March 30, 2006 1:00:12 AM

Sorry I'm late responding!

I've noticed that in some instances the 17" looks better. In others, I like the larger text on the 19" unit - I know I'm telling on myself...

I have a game called Bejeweled that looks better on the 17" monitor, the jewels are not as ragged looking. Flight Simulator 2004 looks fine either way (not changing anything).

I don't know about a 1600x1200 19" LCD, however. I do remember hearing that some LCD's above a certain size work best (maybe not at all without) with cards capable of driving two monitors.

You will notice a large improvement over the older CRT in simple display quality. It would certainly not hurt to go with the THG recommendations. I guess the reviewers (all sources I've seen) think the Westinghouse LCD monitors are beneath notice, but I have no gripes so far. They like their TV's but haven't paid the monitors much attention. I don't know really why, but I think I would go with one of the recommended ones myself if the budget allowed, but, again, no regrets so far.
April 4, 2006 7:43:22 PM

Buy the 17" monitor and move it 6.4cm or 2.5in closer to you than you would have placed the 19" monitor. Unless you need reading glasses, the larger monitor is purely for hubris.
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