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19" LCD Monitors: The Spring 2006 Collection

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March 28, 2006 5:11:41 AM

We rounded up the best LCD monitors available in retail channels this year - and let us just say we were not disappointed. But what ultimately determines whether a display stands out or not depends on whether you are an office user, gamer or graphic designer.
March 28, 2006 11:37:54 AM

I bought the Hyundai Q90U monitor for gaming. No matter what any reviewers say, if you want perfect visual fluidity, DO NOT BUY AN LCD MONITOR. Even the fastest gaming LCD monitors are appalling at displaying fluid and clear images in comparison to CRT monitors. With disgracefully slow response times of the order of milliseconds for a "fast" LCD monitor, a CRT's effective equivalent of the order of microseconds has a clearly noticeable difference. For example, I tested on Half Life 2 with both LCD and CRT monitors hooked up to a beast of a system. The system was massively powerful so that it could offer frame rates (with vertical synch on) that match the refresh rate of the monitor (so 60Hz for LCD, 85Hz for CRT) with no effort. This means that in each case the displayed image is as fluid as possible, with no visual tearing, or jerking from missed frames – i.e. visual speed perfection. The “fastest” gaming LCD monitors killed any sense of visual quality and immersivity because they generate a relatively enormous blurring. Spinning around, the scenery in the distance becomes all blurred until you stop rotating. However on the CRT, it’s crystal clear and totally changes the perception of the game – it’s like looking through a window into real life (as far as speed/image fluidity is concerned). CRT monitors may be bulky and heavy and “old” technology, but if you want visual perfection in a game, DO NOT BUY AN LCD MONITOR (well…until its response time is just a few microseconds). Do not listen to any reviewers either that claim LCD monitors are good for games. Relatively speaking, they are not. Wait for the magic response time of the order of microseconds before even looking at LCD monitors for gaming. (A microsecond is 0.001 of a millisecond). Have you ever wondered why reviewers never compare LCD monitors to CRT ones where response time (or equivalent) is concerned?
March 28, 2006 6:43:51 PM

i have always agreed with that. still, i really respect viewsonic for once again pushing the latency envelope here. it doesent look like any body else is (especially sony - omg what has happened to sony). they have my vote when i buy an lcd.

its funny how lcd manufacturers have painted themselves into a corner with bogus latency figures. if you can advertise a 45ms sony as 16ms how do you market a true <10ms panel like the vx922. i predict outrageous numbers from manufacturers in the future ....like negative latencies (yes these panels can go back in time). how about 260 degree viewing angles? (these panels "shoot out" the sides). care for 200,000,000:1 contrast ratios?
Related resources
March 28, 2006 8:29:28 PM

After reading the reveiw on the 930P, i was somewhat surprized.

Pleasently i was happy to find out that my current monitor, 193P plus, still compares very well with this.

193P+ Pro's
ergonomics/build (well constructed base and functionalty)
Connectivity (
smaller dimentions
Spatial Uniformity

930P Pro's
6ms Responce vs 8ms
energy consumption
Black Spot (but i'l bet not by much)

not sure about
Latency
Contrast stibilty


If you can find a 193P+ for less then the new 930P, i would seriosly concider it depending on your situtation.

couldn't find the toms review on the 193P+, so here is one here...

http://live.gadgetlife.org/reviews/displays/samsung/sam...
March 29, 2006 5:10:31 AM

Quote:
I bought the Hyundai Q90U monitor for gaming. No matter what any reviewers say, if you want perfect visual fluidity, DO NOT BUY AN LCD MONITOR. Even the fastest gaming LCD monitors are appalling at displaying fluid and clear images in comparison to CRT monitors. With disgracefully slow response times of the order of milliseconds for a "fast" LCD monitor, a CRT's effective equivalent of the order of microseconds has a clearly noticeable difference. For example, I tested on Half Life 2 with both LCD and CRT monitors hooked up to a beast of a system. The system was massively powerful so that it could offer frame rates (with vertical synch on) that match the refresh rate of the monitor (so 60Hz for LCD, 85Hz for CRT) with no effort. This means that in each case the displayed image is as fluid as possible, with no visual tearing, or jerking from missed frames – i.e. visual speed perfection. The “fastest” gaming LCD monitors killed any sense of visual quality and immersivity because they generate a relatively enormous blurring. Spinning around, the scenery in the distance becomes all blurred until you stop rotating. However on the CRT, it’s crystal clear and totally changes the perception of the game – it’s like looking through a window into real life (as far as speed/image fluidity is concerned). CRT monitors may be bulky and heavy and “old” technology, but if you want visual perfection in a game, DO NOT BUY AN LCD MONITOR (well…until its response time is just a few microseconds). Do not listen to any reviewers either that claim LCD monitors are good for games. Relatively speaking, they are not. Wait for the magic response time of the order of microseconds before even looking at LCD monitors for gaming. (A microsecond is 0.001 of a millisecond). Have you ever wondered why reviewers never compare LCD monitors to CRT ones where response time (or equivalent) is concerned?

That's your opinion and that's ok. Iv'e been playing on a Dell 2405FPW for months now. There is no way I am going back to a CRT and in any case, soon no one will even make them anymore...

I await the arrival of the 30 inch Dell3007WFP I just ordered. Gonna be fun...

:tongue:
March 29, 2006 9:30:36 AM

Quote:
I bought the Hyundai Q90U monitor for gaming. No matter what any reviewers say, if you want perfect visual fluidity, DO NOT BUY AN LCD MONITOR. Even the fastest gaming LCD monitors are appalling at displaying fluid and clear images in comparison to CRT monitors. With disgracefully slow response times of the order of milliseconds for a "fast" LCD monitor, a CRT's effective equivalent of the order of microseconds has a clearly noticeable difference. For example, I tested on Half Life 2 with both LCD and CRT monitors hooked up to a beast of a system. The system was massively powerful so that it could offer frame rates (with vertical synch on) that match the refresh rate of the monitor (so 60Hz for LCD, 85Hz for CRT) with no effort. This means that in each case the displayed image is as fluid as possible, with no visual tearing, or jerking from missed frames – i.e. visual speed perfection. The “fastest” gaming LCD monitors killed any sense of visual quality and immersivity because they generate a relatively enormous blurring. Spinning around, the scenery in the distance becomes all blurred until you stop rotating. However on the CRT, it’s crystal clear and totally changes the perception of the game – it’s like looking through a window into real life (as far as speed/image fluidity is concerned). CRT monitors may be bulky and heavy and “old” technology, but if you want visual perfection in a game, DO NOT BUY AN LCD MONITOR (well…until its response time is just a few microseconds). Do not listen to any reviewers either that claim LCD monitors are good for games. Relatively speaking, they are not. Wait for the magic response time of the order of microseconds before even looking at LCD monitors for gaming. (A microsecond is 0.001 of a millisecond). Have you ever wondered why reviewers never compare LCD monitors to CRT ones where response time (or equivalent) is concerned?

That's your opinion and that's ok. Iv'e been playing on a Dell 2405FPW for months now. There is no way I am going back to a CRT and in any case, soon no one will even make them anymore...

I await the arrival of the 30 inch Dell3007WFP I just ordered. Gonna be fun...

:tongue:

Hi. It's not really an opinion - more of a statement of fact based on direct observation. If you want response 'perfection', CRT is the only technology that can provide at the moment. Reviewers rarely compare the two, however, in this discipline...
March 29, 2006 1:22:37 PM

Quote:
Hi. It's not really an opinion - more of a statement of fact based on direct observation. If you want response 'perfection', CRT is the only technology that can provide at the moment. Reviewers rarely compare the two, however, in this discipline...


Of course a CRT is going to be better overall... especially a really well made large format professional CRT.

However, things are changing with the CRT market, and in the very near future we're going to start seeing CRTs go away.

For example: Sony has historically produced some of the BEST high resolution CRTs for TV sets, and they just stopped making them.

It's clear that a CRT based monitor or TV (especially when you are dealing with HD content) is going to be much more functionally (visually) useful than a flat panel screen... However, market conditions are killing off CRT production as falt panels become less expensive to make and the convience factor increases (I got rid of my Sony 21inch CRT that I'd had for 7 years because it weighed 71lbs and I've been on the hotel circuit for the last 3 months...) [PS The VP930b is a very good replacement...]

I myself am running out to get one of the last Sony XBR960 super fine pitch widescreen TV's because in the United States HDTV is not the primary broadcast signal... and LCD / Plasma units are fixed format and poor at signal upcoverstion compared to CRT based technology. The down side is that the unit is 200lbs, but the up side is that it reproduces the various broadcast transmission in a single package. ...and you don't get that with the LCD technologies.

A CRT is really the Rolls Royce solution, and the LCD's are finally coming up to the level of Benz (prior to their QC problems). -grin-
March 29, 2006 6:02:28 PM

Quote:
Hi. It's not really an opinion - more of a statement of fact based on direct observation. If you want response 'perfection', CRT is the only technology that can provide at the moment. Reviewers rarely compare the two, however, in this discipline...

Sorry buddy I guess I should expand a little. I agree you are correct that what you saw is based on direct observation. When I was talking about your opinion I was refering to the fact that you are saying no one should buy an LCD for gaming. I agree with you that the CRT is "better" for gaming from a response rate point of view. All I am saying is that IMHO the LCD's are not the horrible disaster you make them out to be. As I said, my 24 inch LCD is actually very nice for playing, I was blown away the first time I powered it up. My new 30 inch will run at 2560 x 1600 resolution on two 7900's in SLI mode. I expect it to look fantastic. Will their be some ghosting? I imagine so, but I really don't see it running now at 1920 x 1200, but keep in mind I am 48 years old. :tongue: I am sorry to say...
You stated "Spinning around, the scenery in the distance becomes all blurred until you stop rotating." Well I don't do that too often while gaming but I'll give it a try. I still have my 20 inch Sony monitor so I'll do a comparison to see.

But as my wife says, "size does matter"...

Take Care...

:mrgreen:
March 29, 2006 10:18:15 PM

What about the Samsung 940BF?

I'm about to buy myself a new screen (now have a NEC Multisync FE950+ CRT, hogging 1/3 of my desktop...)
and it has to be good for gaming, especially FPS and fast running games like GTA, and imo the Viewsonic
screens just looks terrible, but hey, that's just me.

After reading this article the only 2 screens I'm really interested in is the
Viewsonic VX922 and the Samsung 940BF,
so I really hope you test this one to.



Hey, don't complain on my spelling, I'm Swedish :wink:
March 29, 2006 10:57:20 PM

Quote:
What about the Samsung 940BF?
Hey, don't complain on my spelling, I'm Swedish :wink:


Your spelling is fine.

I looked at a bunch of these better monitors several months ago. There are some tradeoffs that you run into.

One of the things that was important to me was the quality and ease of use of the monitor. The Viewsonic VP930b has a fantastic stand that moves up/down, swings left and right, tilts in and out, and rotates 90 from portrait to landscape. In addition, its got one DVI and two VGA connectors...

...al of this means that if you are a serious user of computer technology that wants the most versatility... then you really should consider the VP930b.

I like the Samsung 940...but I wasn't as impressed with VX922.
March 30, 2006 1:38:24 PM

So you would prefer the samsung 940BF to VX922?

I haven't really ever seen any of theese screens perform IRL
so maybe I'm just fine with a 8ms like the VP930b, I'll have to
check that out.

Thanks for the aswer :) 
March 30, 2006 1:46:04 PM

Quote:
...When I was talking about your opinion I was refering to the fact that you are saying no one should buy an LCD for gaming.
:mrgreen:


Hi again. No, I'm not saying noone should buy an LCD monitor for gaming...at all. I'm saying that LCD monitors are atrocious technology if you want perfect visual fluidity in games (mainly fast games). If that's not what you desire, i.e. if you're not a particular gamer, then LCD's are great.
March 30, 2006 5:17:41 PM

What video card does THG use to test the monitors with? I'm convinced that LCDs are more finicky to video cards than CRTs.

When I mated a Samsung 960BF with a 7800GT, I saw a lot of smearing and some image tearing while playing BF2 or FEAR, when I switched the card to an X1600XT these problems disappeared (in BF2 - haven't touched FEAR). The 7800GT was an excellent choice for my CRT and great for gaming, but somehow I found it didn't work so well with the LCD.

Has anyone else noticed something like this happening with their setups?
March 30, 2006 5:30:02 PM

Quote:
So you would prefer the samsung 940BF to VX922?

I haven't really ever seen any of theese screens perform IRL
so maybe I'm just fine with a 8ms like the VP930b, I'll have to
check that out.

Thanks for the aswer :) 


I think that unless you want a gamer only LCD screen, the VP930b or the 940BF might be better solutions.
March 30, 2006 6:59:37 PM

Quote:

I think that unless you want a gamer only LCD screen, the VP930b or the 940BF might be better solutions.


Isn't the 940BF also marketed as a "gamers screen"?
+ that it's also 2ms.

After have looked closer at the VP930b I must say I really love it, BUT..
what about smearing, I bet it'll look blurry in say GTA SA when you drive a car really fast, or NFS MW.

I find the TFT market to be a complete jungle, and at least where I live
you cannot return an used (opened box) screen, just because you didn't
like it.... and they will not display the screens with a proper game or
similar on them, even if you ask......... just their stupid demos (usally Intel commercials).

Please include the 940BF in the test as soon as possible som I can get a comparison. :?
March 30, 2006 7:55:28 PM

FTR - The best CRTs offer the best display quality, but I will probably never own another. And I don't believe, however, that CRTs are soon to be extinct.

I have two problems with today's crop of 19" LCD monitors - the bezel and speakers.

1. The bezel - I think I am among a growing number of users that use (and will never go back) a dual-monitor setup. I love it - never thought I would but once you get used to it, you wonder how you survived without it. But the border between the monitors is not seamless so the bezel width becomes important. You don't want a 4" gap between the displays.

2. Who really needs internal speakers? Some, maybe, but not many. The audio quality is just not there. And if you have a dual monitor setup, what are you going to do? Use the left speaker on the left monitor and the right speaker on the right monitor? :roll:

So my demands are rather simple ;) 

1. Superb display
2. Very thin bezel
3. DVI
4. Excellent response times
5. No speakers

and something, disappointingly, not mentioned in these reviews,

6. Zero, none, zip - as in "not even one" - blown pixels!
March 30, 2006 8:22:30 PM

Quote:

I think that unless you want a gamer only LCD screen, the VP930b or the 940BF might be better solutions.


Isn't the 940BF also marketed as a "gamers screen"?
+ that it's also 2ms.

After have looked closer at the VP930b I must say I really love it, BUT..
what about smearing, I bet it'll look blurry in say GTA SA when you drive a car really fast, or NFS MW.

I find the TFT market to be a complete jungle, and at least where I live
you cannot return an used (opened box) screen, just because you didn't
like it.... and they will not display the screens with a proper game or
similar on them, even if you ask......... just their stupid demos (usally Intel commercials).

Please include the 940BF in the test as soon as possible som I can get a comparison. :?

I'm not really having any smearing with the VP930b... and I play things like HL2, Quake 4, and so on.

I'm sure it you really try to find it, you'll see it... but honestly... I'm not.

I know th VX922 has good on that front... but had other issues.
March 30, 2006 8:42:24 PM

*sigh*

the BenQ FP91V+ / 71V+ are old monitors.

a review of the 93GX would have been a little more current.
you stated that the Viewsonic VX022 is the fastest monitor in the world.. well..

BenQ FP93GX
# LCD Screen Size: 19.0"
# "A" Grade Quality
# 2ms GTG Response Time
# Contrast: 700:1
# Brightness: 300 cd/m2
# Dot pitch: 0.294
# Display colors: 16.2 million with dithering
# i Key Auto Adjustment

higher contrast ratio, higher brightness rating.

of course the older monitors arent going to stack up.

-nix
March 30, 2006 10:15:58 PM

Quote:

BenQ FP93GX
# LCD Screen Size: 19.0"
# "A" Grade Quality
# 2ms GTG Response Time
# Contrast: 700:1
# Brightness: 300 cd/m2
# Dot pitch: 0.294
# Display colors: 16.2 million with dithering
# i Key Auto Adjustment


Well, there's yet another monitor to take a closer look at.
Hope you'll review this one to.
March 31, 2006 1:30:24 PM

Quote:
if you can advertise a 45ms sony as 16ms how do you market a true <10ms panel like the vx922. i predict outrageous numbers from manufacturers in the future ....like negative latencies (yes these panels can go back in time). how about 260 degree viewing angles? (these panels "shoot out" the sides). care for 200,000,000:1 contrast ratios?


the real scam with latency is the GTG (gray to gray) rating. your panel can be 2ms GTG - but the actual rating is 6ms, which never stacks up, and always ends up being like.. 10ms-12ms in actuality.

-nix
March 31, 2006 6:08:39 PM

Which translates to near perfect results, no?
Mine are excellent at 20+ms response times... 2405FPW
April 2, 2006 5:53:12 AM

yep 10 to 12ms if your lucky.

Quote:
*sigh*

the BenQ FP91V+ / 71V+ are old monitors.

a review of the 93GX would have been a little more current.
you stated that the Viewsonic VX022 is the fastest monitor

BenQ FP93GX
# LCD Screen Size: 19.0"
# "A" Grade Quality
# 2ms GTG Response Time
# Contrast: 700:1
# Brightness: 300 cd/m2
# Dot pitch: 0.294
# Display colors: 16.2 million with dithering
# i Key Auto Adjustment

higher contrast ratio, higher brightness rating.

of course the older monitors arent going to stack up.

-nix


im gonna point out something:
the fact that lcds average around 300 cd/m2 is not a good thing (for tv's its ok since you sit farther away). if you read article(s) here, crt-like numbers around 180 are preferred. lcds are made brighter than this in order to hide their poor contrast ratios.
this may be partly justified since in reflective light conditions, lcds may have superior contrast ratios; c/r measurements dont take this into account. nevertheless, most people dont compute with direct sunlight reflecting off their screen and in normal conditions they are too bright.
April 5, 2006 6:39:18 PM

Ok here is the question, I have narrowed my search to these two.....

I do gaming and video editing and other business tasks but the two mentioned are the primary.........

What does the crew think????? I have never had an LCD so I know crap about them other than what I have read!

Thanks for all your help!!!
April 5, 2006 7:02:45 PM

Quote:
Ok here is the question, I have narrowed my search to these two.....

I do gaming and video editing and other business tasks but the two mentioned are the primary.........

What does the crew think????? I have never had an LCD so I know crap about them other than what I have read!

Thanks for all your help!!!

I don't know those two monitors specifically but IMHO Wide Screen at 16:9 or 16:10 is the best. I don't like 4:3 anymore at all...

April 5, 2006 8:35:17 PM

Not all video cards support true widescreen. Make sure yours does. That may be the determining factor to which monitor you get.
April 6, 2006 7:50:45 PM

I agree fully. I bought a VX924 (4ms) or something after reading reviews here for months, and maybe over a year. I was replacing my Viewsonic 19" CRT.

I returned the LCD within one day. the picture richness was no where near as nice as my CRT. And I had the exact same blurring. Look at a wall with a painting for example, when in a Counterstrike game. I then strafed left to right back and forth. Until I was dead stopped, the painting was a total blur. Sure it quickly recovers when you stop, but its 100% noticable. I decided I needed flawless reproduction rather than 1/4 the weight.
April 8, 2006 3:56:38 PM

This growth in popularity of LCD's over CRT's is something I've seen before with other technologies, and it's always surprised me that so many people are willing to give up quality for convenience. Same thing happened with digital stereo after decades of engineering technology had made analog stereo so sweet, people took the hit in quality to switch to digital. VHS won out over BETA, but you still won't find many VHS vcrs in any television production studio; they stayed with quality.

Sure, I understand that there are pluses to LCDs, but this is something that some of us look at for hours at a time, day after day, year after year. I'm amazed that quality is not only not the primary factor, but less of a factor than deskspace. I mean really, just how often do you move your monitor anyway?

So I'm off to pick out a beautiful, cost effective CRT before visual quality becomes a historical footnote...

PS. I'm not being critical towards those of you who do buy LCDs. I have one myself for word processing. I just don't understand why the demand is SO biased towards lower quality...
April 10, 2006 9:40:04 PM

well my 22" crt died over the weekend from old age & abuse.

based on the above article and what was available at my local Fry's, I got a samsung 970P.

1st off the software only screen adjustments are a royal PITA. I run xp64 and the stuff just does not work.

games ran flawlessly.. ZERO blur or other artifacts. I put in a DVD to watch and was waiting for the worst. The review says:
Quote:
Forget video. DVDs we screened were plagued by noise for color masses and gradients and with images of smoke and fog. We also noted a slight amount of ringing on moving objects, but it was less noticeable compared to the 960BF.
.

Here I call BS. The DVD was flawless - and in some casees better looking than my CRT. screen noise? the only noise was from my speakers. smoke and fog looked just fine.

like johnnyH24 asked.. what video card is used to test these monitors with? my 6800GT with DVI cable works very nicely.
April 17, 2006 2:03:26 PM

After some research, including Tom's Hardware site, I bought a Viewsonic VP930B (a month ago). It is my first flat screen, but I'm fairly familiar with the them. I'll take the opportunity to thank Tom's Hardware for all the hard investigative work put into this, only to help me make a better decision. And I'm very happy with my new monitor.

Sure is far from my 21" CRT as technical characteristics, but then, are you really use/need all that. That is a decision everyone had to make. Depends on your applications, type of games (engine used), and convenience, to consider if LCD is a good replacement for a CRT.

Personally I'm happy. I needed a good monitor all around, with a decent capability to play Direct X games. I'm past the fast paces FPS games, so Latency was important but not crucial. The most demanding application I use is my favorite game, Morrowind, which at 1028X780, non native resolution, plays acceptable to me. I don't watch DVDs on my monitor, but my TV set , but still plays them acceptable for me. During some house remodeling my workspace got hatched and relocated, and is no way to fit my old and faithful CRT on my new space. From a choice of 17" CRT or 19" LCD, I chose the latest. And works as intended so far.

The only complains that I have are the base support, it is very economical and tilts on all directions, but it takes a lot of space on the desk, 11.5", and the model shipped to me, lacks some uniformity of lighting in the corners but visible only when the screen is completely dark(windows loads).

In conclusion, there is no single criteria to weight a monitor. It's all about usage and taste. But I give it a try and I can live with it as is.
April 18, 2006 4:05:42 PM

I just received the 930, I ordered it and am pleased with it. The base is not that big of aproblem for me as its footprint is twice as less as my 21"crt. Best move I have made in a long time.
April 19, 2006 10:25:13 AM

After reading this and many other forums, I went to a computer supermarket and looked att some display.
After careful consideration I bought myself a Samsung 940BF (eventhough noone apparently wants to review this one) and.... WOW!

This is just unbelievable, what a screen.
The colors are amazing and with the 2ms responsetime there is absolutely no blur or anything in BF2 or GTA.
Movies look absolutely amazing, nothing to complain on here!

The ONLY bad things I have to say is that when the screen is totally black (which really is black btw, no grey here) you can see som light leaking at the top of the picture, but I only notice this when I reboot and see the black bootup screen outside of windows.

Other than that, the build quality feels great and the design is just the nicest out there imo. The stand is small but sturdy enough.

However, the brighness is really excessive.
I run my screen at 40 (of 100) brightness and 60 contrast and I still had to drop the gamma in ATI's controlcenter from 1.0 to 0.8 both in windows and in games.
This however is not a bad thing, but the way it comes "out of the box" is just to damn bright.

If anyone have any questions abut the Samsung 940bf, feel free to ask here in the forum.

// Pred
April 28, 2006 8:36:29 PM

These monitors all sound pretty cool. However for my needs - mostly retouching images and a bit of web surfing why do I want an LCD? (BTW this is for my home use - I already have two LCD's at the office.)

For example the Viewsonic GF90-b sells for ~240 vs the Samsung 970P at 600. For price difference I could buy a 21" - so whats the LCD advantage?

I expect to sit in front of this monitor 10-15 hrs/week (I work from home 1 day a week).

Thanks for any feedback.
May 5, 2006 4:36:53 PM

I agree wholeheartedly. I've had so many friends so eager to buy flat panel monitors, it sickened me.

This just goes to show how we sometimes just lose our minds and go with the hype. I mean, I still have never seen a LCD monitor that can outperform a decent CRT. And people have been paying upwards of three times as much money for the LCDs that underperformed when compared to CRTs. The only upside is that the demand has allowed the price to come down so we have a nicer selection of LCDs coupled with affordability.

I still worry about puncturing the screen on one of those things. What a sissy way to ruin a monitor.

Oh, don't miss the odd similarity of an LCD monitor's blurry performance and the effect and closeness of its name to LSD, the drug. Get me? Alright, cheesy joke, but I thought it was funny.

There are obviously nice characteristics to LCDs that make it a viable option over CRTs, but there is still a great deal of performance improvement needed to make it truly dominant. The only reason CRTs are really losing out is because they're way heavier(along the lines of five times, in some cases) larger, and consume more power. But even the power argument is not really as viable as it could be. I would point you in the direction of the power study done between CRTs and LCDs, but I can't remember where it was. It had to do with initial buying price vs power consumption cost over time.

(Correction, I found it. Sorry for the linkage, but it's a cool article. Page 2 is the power consumption. http://www.behardware.com/articles/511-2/screen-compara... )

Actually, I just remembered another reason CRTs have an advantage over LCDs: resolution. Good Lord, the resolution on LCDs is atrocious. I actually had a chance to tinker with resolution settings on LCDs and the appearance hit is tremendous. Higher res means an image that appears way smaller than it should be(which equates to having a really small CRT, with all the bad aspects of an LCD, which means buying an LCD and expecting small resolutions for older games to be horrid and hard to see) and when the resolution is lower, it "fuzzes" the image. I hated that and it immediately made me do a double-take. The clarity, detail, and general visual appeal of the LCD falls tenfold when you decide to change res. Period. And it's not something I like, because CRTs offer you the ability to change res without all of those drawbacks.

Not everyone can afford it, myself included, but I will be getting a new computer in the future(gonna save my ass off to afford something mid-range). I have to start thinking ahead to get the best bang for my buck. If I really want to get that, I need a monitor that will be compatible with my new computer. New computers have changed -so- much since I got my old one, that pretty well nothing but the hard drive of my computer would be compatible with today's newest and brightest.

For future purposes and the fact that my current CRT is 7 years old and 16"... I didn't want it, my other 19" CRT was killed by my stupidity. I threw it away like an idiot. The good news is it only cost $70 five years ago, but it got some flicker which I think was caused by my roomate's computer and monitor being just on the other side of the wall. The reason I think this is because it happened only after I moved into the new apartment as well as it didn't happen until after I put the monitor on the desk, before that it ran perfectly well on the floor. There's probably some interference from same hz refresh rate or something and such close proximity to each other.(I say this because we had our hz pumped up, our resolutions pumped up, too.) Well, it could have just been age and my running it at 1024x768 with the hz at 85 for those five years, too.

Either way, it was dumb of me to throw it away, now I have to buy a price-jacked one to get similar, if not the same, performance. I hope better performance, because the original was an Envision. Not the high-end model, if I understand the market.

Another important note, I'm a gamer, big time, so game performance, video, and things like that are important. My solution? I'm buying a new CRT(having a hard time finding a flat screen without Viewsonic's dumb idea of round screen behind flat screen, as I've heard it gives a double reflection), now, while the CRT prices haven't gone back up too much, due to lack of demand, and making sure it's a nice one. Then, I will save my pennies and buy an LCD. I'm looking at cost vs performance, therefore 19" CRT is my target and an LCD of 17" is my other target. I need something large enough to hang back from the desk, but something small enough to -fit- on my desk. This offers the best of both worlds, despite the cost, it's worth it to me, the more-than-casual gamer and college student. Use the CRT for games and video, use the LCD for net surfing, writing papers, etc.

By the way, killer post up there, tigershark. Once again, I agree.

Next huge buy: Tablet PC. Waiting for prices to fall a bit(read: a lot!).
May 8, 2006 4:09:54 PM

Tom's Hardware,

I would appreciate if you could also review Samsung SM940BF, SM930BF and SM940B displays.

I would like to now how those compare to ViewSonic VP930 display? And to ViewSonic VX922 display?


Yours sincerely,
Jari Kulmala (from Finland)
May 8, 2006 4:16:59 PM

What is the best 19" LCD all-around/gaming display that you would recommend?

(This question is to all Tom's Hardware readers.)
May 8, 2006 8:58:22 PM

Well, I would recommend two monitors, but only because of the amount of personal research I've done on them as far as price/performance goes, and keep in mind that this is because I am a gamer that I recommend these. If you're not a gamer, you could opt for a cheaper solution that will satisfy your needs just as well.

A 19" LCD monitor I'd recommend would be the ViewSonic VX922, as this thing has a great review on Tom's Hardware, is relatively new, and can be readily found at several online stores.

It will be available at my local CompUSA within the week, but I won't be buying it there. Too costly. They're charging $400 for it when I can get it online for $350. Shipping might be an issue and warranty/return policy may make me change my mind. I'd hate to get an LCD for $350 online and have even one or two dead pixels. If I pay for it, it should not be screwed up when I get it. That's just poor customer service. If it's so costly to make sure all LCDs don't have dead pixels, then look for a better solution to making them. You're in the industry to provide a high quality item, not build something that works for the most part for which I pay a definite premium.

For a CRT, I'd recommend the Samsung SyncMaster 997MB 19". I've heard nearly nothing but good reviews from this product, most reviews on supplier sites say it's a damn good monitor, too.

Personally, I'm torn. I want the LCD, because it would be nice to have some more desk space, but I can live without it.

The CRT would be nice because it's got higher performance than most LCDs as far as refresh rate and (insert all the old arguments here)... but I've heard lots of good things about both monitors.

The new LCD with a reported 2ms latency is, personally, the most influential benefit of this LCD, basically removing the oldest and most painful part of getting an LCD.

It comes down to whether or not you can connect the monitor(digital or analog), whether or not you want to adjust screen resolution, desk space, power usage, eye strain, cost to ship, warranty, reliability, gaming rig or work rig, etc.

When I started looking into getting a new monitor/computer/etc, I had -no- idea how complicated things were. But I've learned a LOT and I'm personally excited to get either the LCD or the CRT, new computer aside.

Good luck with your buy! Be sure to check around for prices, too.
May 18, 2006 9:22:32 AM

I bought ViewSonic VP930 a few days ago, after reading Tom Hardware's review(s)

http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/11/17/viewsonic_vp930_...
"Even if it's not significantly better than the 191b, the VP930 is an excellent monitor, at home in just about any application, that trades a slight gain in black level against a slight loss of latency."

http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/03/27/the_spring_2006_...
"The last 100%-all-around monitor we've seen is the ViewSonic VP930, which we tested in previously. The others are either good at color rendering or are excessively fast.

Our preference still goes to the VP930, for its flexibility of use and advanced ergonomics, especially since the price has come down slightly since the model was introduced."


But after the purchase, when I now have read other reviews, it's seems that ViewSonic VP191(b/s) would have been a lot better, especially in image quality, color accuracy. So I'm a little disappointed that I did not bought the older ViewSonic VP191b model that would have been 20 euros cheaper than VP930. Samsung 940B would have been 99 euros cheaper than VP930. Unfortunately both of those offers are now gone.

Trusted Reviews only give 7 points out of 10 points for VP930's image quality.
http://www.trustedreviews.com/article.aspx?art=2244

"Now, image quality can be a subjective thing, and what one person deems to be good, isn’t necessarily going to please someone else. This is why we use DisplayMate to highlight strengths and weaknesses in monitors. Unfortunately DisplayMate did manage to highlight some shortcomings in the VP930. The Dark Greyscale test proved to be an issue for the VP930 where it failed to bring out the low intensity greys no matter how much adjustment I tried."

"The problems with greyscales became more apparent as I pushed through the tests, with tinges of green and pink clearly visible on the 64 step greyscale test. The 256 level intensity colour ramp test also showed signs of compression at the low intensity end of the scale. The VP930 also struggled on the colour scales test where the drop off at the low intensity end was uneven – if I tried to bring out some extra detail at the low end, the result was compression at the high end."

"VP930 is more expensive than the outgoing VP191s that it replaces, while not exhibiting the same level of image quality. There’s no doubt that the VP930 retains the design, features and build quality of the previous VP series screens, but it’s just a shame that it stumbled in the DisplayMate tests."

"The VP930 is a beautifully designed 19in monitor with more features than you could shake a stick at. The price is high, but you’ll soon forgive that when you see the connection and adjustment options. Unfortunately the image quality is just not up to the high level that ViewSonic set with previous VP displays."


VP191s's image quality on the contrary was very good, 9 points out of 10 points
http://www.trustedreviews.com/article.aspx?art=1501
"Subjectively the VP191s produces a fine image, and I’ve used it both for standard desktop duties and for editing digital images. The viewing angle is also superb, with no colour shift or wash out in both the horizontal and vertical planes. That said, firing up DisplayMate did highlight a few problems, the most obvious being significant compression at the high intensity end of both the 64 step greyscale test and the colour scales test. However, after a bit of fiddling with the brightness and contrast levels, I managed to completely eradicate this problem and the VP191s sailed through the DisplayMate tests with aplomb."

"The ViewSonic VP191s is a well featured 19in TFT monitor with a response time low enough to keep most gamers happy. Image quality is impressive, once the display is set up correctly, allowing this screen to excel in pretty much all areas. The market is hotting up in this arena, but it’s clear that the VP range can still hold its own against the ever improving competition."


Behardware's only give only 2 points out of 5 for VP930b's color quality.
http://www.behardware.com/articles/602-...lcd-survey-2-...
"If the VP191b release was a great event, the VP930´s was more discreet. Of course it replaces the 191b star monitor but it is expensive, too expensive compared to the Belinea 10 19 20. Color quality also needs to be reviewed."


CNET AU did not praise VP930b's Color quality
http://www.cnet.com.au/desktops/monitors/0,39029422,400...
"Performance
With all these great features, we hoped for great image quality. Unfortunately, this display delivered merely acceptable performance. Its performance on DVDs and games was average, as was its image quality when displaying basic Web and productivity-application material, but it really stumbled on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based greyscale and colour tests. Greyscale screens showed so much colour that we could clearly see blocks of bluish grey, blocks of greenish grey, and a distinct swath of pink right before the display dropped off to peak white. Colours took on unusual, unnatural-looking tints. The display's uniformity wasn't great either: fans of light were visible in all four corners of the screen."


"- Poor greyscale and colour performance"


What are your thoughts? Are there big difference between VP930(b)'s and VP191(b/s)'s image quality, color accuracy?

Why Tom's Hardware give praise to VP930, when other reviews did not?
May 20, 2006 5:56:50 AM

Alright, that's it. I'm using this monitor now and I'm renewing my personal tastes in monitors. I just bought the Samsung 997MB, at around $250(shipping included).

Before it was delivered I was nervous, should I go wait in the apartment office to pick it up or should I just wait until they notify me it's there? Should I check every ten minutes to make sure nothing's wrong with my order? Should I be worried someone might steal it, since they have it CLEARLY MARKED that it's a big expensive monitor? Basically, because I haven't done much online shopping, I was terrified at the prospects, especially after reading some horror stories from others.

Well, all to no avail. I got it and there were no problems(originally). Now I'm sitting in front of a $250 CRT 19" monitor and wondering where my $250 went.

I mean, it can't display higher resolutions than my girlfriend's seven year old 16" monitor at a decent refresh rate, so I see, not a flicker, but an intense shimmer on the monitor at all times. Sometimes I see text flickering between the highest and lowest pixels on its fringes, making it blur from top to bottom. It's very distracting and extremely ugly. And for the first time since I've owned a computer, my eyes hurt.

I've tried high resolutions with low refresh rates, low resolutions with high refresh rates, etc. Nothing much changes in the pixel jumping of text and borders of things.

I want to send this back, but, in total, this will have cost me $100+ to decide I did NOT like this monitor. I hope they give me free shipping back to them, because I'm not accepting this thing. I've had it a week or two and have come to despise it. I wouldn't mind playing games at a fixed resolution, I have for the better part of my gaming on computers, so why would it bother me now? (That is, originally, I couldn't cope with having a fixed resolution, because I loved the CRT flexibility.) However, I've discovered, or to be more precise, realized that I hadn't changed my monitor's resolution in the near four years I owned it. I kept my resolution at 1024x768 @ 100hz and NEVER had a problem with it. I admit, I have an outdated system, but who doesn't?

I will be building a new computer in the near future, so I think it wise to, if I have to, waste the $100 on sending the CRT back and getting an LCD of an inch larger size for the same price.(My, how things have changed since LCDs came out.) I want the Viewsonic VX922, I believe it was. It's an inch larger, plus it'll afford me RGB/DVI input. I can use my new LCD for this computer(which has no DVI, yeah, it's that old) and my new computer, when I get it.

I should have gone with the smarter of the two options, not the gut instinct. My gut has never helped me out much in the computer field, anyway.

That's just my 25,000 cents' worth.

P.S.- Keep in mind, this isn't a post to bash CRTs, just bashing how low quality this seemingly high-end monitor is! My first monitor(lasted me four years) cost me a total of $70, was a $17" flat screen CRT from Envision and it NEVER had a problem like this. It displayed my resolutions and refresh rates, almost all of the options, very nicely. Now, I buy a $250 19" flat screen CRT and I get this garbage. Oh, and it's got a defect. The top is rounded on the left and right side and it's obvious and ugly as hell and there is no way to adjust the top and bottom of the screen's borders. Feh.

Gaming-ish LCD, here I come.
May 29, 2006 8:52:51 PM

Hi, after long consideration i narrowed my list to SM940B. SM940BF, and philips 190X6FB.
But my real question is: What is the difference betwean B and BF ? I know it says 2ms, and i cant find tests so if u maybe know?

and is SM970P worth extra 150$ :roll:
May 31, 2006 1:31:24 PM

hi. First, sorry for my english :) .

What i would like to see in your reviews is more information about the panel technology and also it's influence on latency.

For example, in this review, the most apreciated LCDs are VP930 (MVA panel) SM970P (PVA panel), but i don't see the words PVA/MVA or IPS in your review. All u say is that they have higher viewing angles and stuff, but i think your readears should know that this is due to the technology and not to some other misterious factor (can the color degradation be measured while you change angle? i think i saw a contrast/angle graph somewhere ..., would be a nice addition to your tests, or maybe just a more updated technology presentation, coz we all know you can't really look at a TN from a 80º angle!).

From my understanding TN panels have 262K colors and use dithering to display 16.2mil colors, while PVA/MVA/IPS panels are 16.7mil colors native.
So, the display of a color that is not betweeen the 262K colors is done by succesively switching between the closest upper/lower colors in 4 frames (= dithering, or maybe i'm confusing it with FRC, frame rate control. Maybe you should elaborate here so we all have a better ideea of the process, and maybe different dithering/FRC technologies!).

Now, a MVA/PVA usually displays the wanted color corectly in 1st frame (or with a <10% error ...), while most or all TN panels with RTC (response time compensation or overdrive) do not manage to do that (and so they received a C classification in your reviews).

Back to the influence of panel technology on latency: on TN after 1st frame, the color is NOT the desired one, even more, on TN it takes 4 frame to dither a color. So if it does not display the color right in 1st frame, and it takes 4 frames to dither a color ... do i need 8 frames do display it? or just 4 frames to get a really bad aproximated color? (this part i would like you to elaborate on, coz i don't know much. and maybe add a test wich will show exactly the precision in displaying a color!, or let's say RTC error). From what i've read, samsung 930BF has up to 40% rtc error, 960BF up to 140% !!, 970P (PVA panel) up to 17% peak.

Which is better? (from a quality point of view) a 6ms PVA/MVA or a 2ms TN, coz in your classification i can have 2 displays, one with 25ms and one with 6ms, both having a A classification, right?.

Note: VP930 and SM970P also have overdrive but it's less aggresive, while TNs have very aggressive overdrive (fast response/low precision, right?).

just my thoughts (and then i added some more, hope it didn't messed up what i wanted to say ...)

edit: and it's a shame you havent't reviewed NEC 20WGX2, probably the ONLY 6ms gtg monitor with IPS panel technology! (wich btw is 20" wide and about 25% more expensive than Viewsonic VP930 8ms gtg MVA)
July 12, 2006 11:45:39 PM

i m using 3 crt s with Matrox Tripleheadtogo2 and have been leaning toward getting 3 lcd s for the narrow bezels.....i have enough room for crt s but 2 are older and the bezels are quite thick.....
July 23, 2006 5:02:47 PM

After much thinking I took the leap of faith
Got the Viewsonic VX922. Sold my Viewsonic E90F.
I just love this LCD. No ghosting at all in any games
Using the DVI input is a MUST
July 23, 2006 6:05:19 PM

hi Vladtepes.

Your nick sugests that you are from Romania. If this is so, can i ask where did you bought the VX922 from?

I am interested in VP930 myself, and don't quite know where to buy it from ..., hope you can help ....

thanx
July 28, 2006 9:37:29 AM

not likely that it will beat the viewsonic vx922
and the price on the LG is about 15-20% more than vx922 !!! (at least comparing the prices i found around here)

and 1600:1 contrast ratio on a TN panel is hard to believe!!!

worth a review tho, i'm sure it will be in the next one ;) 


EDIT:
I bought the viewsonic VP930, great monitor. Good in everything, including games. Intensive shooters look a little weird, but playable (maybe it's coz of my lame video card). Will test more on shooters, other games i tested on (like Silkroad, Savage) look perfect!
July 28, 2006 3:31:54 PM

Yhee i know that it's hard to believe (1:1600) but also LG it familiar company.

I don't think that will beat the vx922 but not because the spec. or the price
(in my country the prices are same that what make me to think over :(  )
because it's unknown.

My big question is to relate to brand or spec. ???????


tnx ..
October 4, 2006 8:25:52 AM

Did one of you guys ever try this one ?
Dvirus is right ...looks like the next thing to me

LG1970HR from lg ...
look at the ratio !

Display Type: LCD
Resolution: 1280 x 1024
Ultra High Contrast Ratio: 2000:1
High Brightness: 300cd/m2
Lightening Fast Response Time: 2ms
Viewing Angle: H:160, V:160
Video Signal Input Connector: 15Pin D-Sub, DVI (Digital & Analog)
SPECS
Maximum Resolution :1280 x 1024
Brightness :300cd/m2
Viewing Angle :H: 160, V: 160
Response Time :2ms (GTG)
Display Colours :16.2M Colours
Surface Treatment :AG(3H)
Horizontal Frequency :30~83 kHz
Vertical Frequency :56~75 Hz
Video Signal Type :RGB Analog/Digital (Separate, Composite, SOG, Digital)
Input Connectors :15pin D-sub, DVI (Digital & Analog)
Power Supply :90-246 Vac (47-63Hz), Power Adapter
Shipping Weight :Net: 11.9lbs, Gross: 16.5lbs
Wall/Arm Mount Type :VESA
Power Consumption :39W
Warranty :3 Years SWAP
Panel Type and Size :19"
Contrast Ratio :2000:1 (DFC)
Resolution :1280 x 1024
Power Switch Type :Adapter
Pivot :-
Height :●
f-Engine :FLATRON f Engine
Dimensions without Base (WxHxD) :16.2" x 13.6" x 2.3" (Folding)
Shipping Dimensions (WxHxD) :19.4" x 16.8" x 5.3"
November 6, 2006 11:18:39 AM

I bought the Samsung 970P, based on this review, for photo retouching ... BIG ERROR. The monitor is not good enough for serious photo.
Anyways, I see readers of this site only care for games and watching videos. The monitor is very good for that and has very nice colours. But the precision is just not enough for photo retouching/printing.
November 13, 2006 7:57:36 AM

Hi from spain :p 
I want to buy a LCD monitor, i was looking for a 19" panoramic monitor with nice color representation, and good features.. it would be used for gaming and graphic desing (not in this order).
I was thinking in the Samsung SM 940 BW I searched in Tomshardware.com for technical informatios like i founded in the link http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/03/27/the_spring_2006_... for can make a good comparison with other monitors.
Someone can help me?
THANKS!
!