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What's the best LCD monitor to get for my needs?

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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February 3, 2007 1:48:49 PM

Hello.

Since I am having a hard time finding new CRT monitors and I think my monitor is about to die with its blurry and shimmering wavy lines
(probably using the wrong terms), I might as well look into LCD
monitors. What are the best brands and models to get that meet my needs:

1. Monitor's width (not screen) must be within 17" due to my tiny desk space and room.
2. Colors must be good even with VGA connection connected an old two-ports Belkin OmniCube KVM (PS/2 and VGA connections). The colors should be good as CRT monitors. I know DVI is good for this, but I would have to buy a new KVM (PS/2 and DVI) and video cables. From what I saw, they're expensive!
3. Native screen resolution must be at least 1280x1024 pixels or higher.
4. Must have fast redraw since I play games (mostly action), watch
videos (e.g., TV, DVDs, HDTV recordings). Another reason why
5. Screens look still good with non-native resolutions like 800x600
pixels and text mode (console -- like DOS and Linux). Yes, I do use low ones for testings, checking out graphic demos (http://www.pout.net), MAME, etc.
6. Lasts a long time.
7. Available to see/sample and buy in local retail stores in Los
Angeles, CA. Best Buy, Fry's Electronics, Costco, Circuit City, Target,
etc. are available to look.

I will be watching http://www.salescircular.com/ca/computer/mnitrp.shtml
often to see any good deals, but I don't know which ones to look into and get.

Thank you in advance. :) 

More about : lcd monitor

a b C Monitor
February 3, 2007 6:10:55 PM

Quote:

1. Monitor's width (not screen) must be within 17" due to my tiny desk space and room.

By those requirements, you could get a 20.1" 5:4 ratio monitor. See: http://viewsonic.com/products/desktopdisplays/lcddispla...

Quote:
2. Colors must be good even with VGA connection connected an old two-ports Belkin OmniCube KVM (PS/2 and VGA connections). The colors should be good as CRT monitors. I know DVI is good for this, but I would have to buy a new KVM (PS/2 and DVI) and video cables. From what I saw, they're expensive!

Whether a monitor can display colors or not is not a result of choosing VGA vs DVI. All 8-bit LCD panels display the same number of colors; some panels may have issues, but if you need absolutely accurate color, you can get a hardware calibrator to fix it.

Quote:
3. Native screen resolution must be at least 1280x1024 pixels or higher.

19" = 1280x1024
20" = 1600x1200


Quote:
4. Must have fast redraw since I play games (mostly action), watch
videos (e.g., TV, DVDs, HDTV recordings). Another reason why

Abolustely Impossible. All LCDs, except for new special units, have motion blur due to slow response time -- even the much touted VX922 has a slow enough response time to show motion blur. You cannot get around this fact with LCDs. However, whether you do stuff on your computer to be able to spot the motion blur is another story. There are people who claim no motion blur on some LCDs when writing a review, however, this cannot be accurate since all LCD monitors have it (except maybe the new very special ones).
Having said all that, you can get monitors with somewhat acceptable levels of motion blur such as the:
Viewsonic VX922
Viewsonic VP191b
Samsung 930BF
Samsung 760BF
Viewsonic VX924
Viewsonic VX724
NEC 90GX2
NEC 20WGX2
MFM-HT205


Quote:
5. Screens look still good with non-native resolutions like 800x600
pixels and text mode (console -- like DOS and Linux). Yes, I do use low ones for testings, checking out graphic demos (http://www.pout.net), MAME, etc.

Impossible, unless you are willing to have black borders around the picture so that the screen remains in a native resolution. Any time you use scaling for desktop purposes (including the console), it is going to look bad. For games, however, it is not quite as bad.

Quote:
7. Available to see/sample and buy in local retail stores in Los
Angeles, CA. Best Buy, Fry's Electronics, Costco, Circuit City, Target,
etc. are available to look.

Gonna be hard to do. Most of the good models are not in stores; while most of the monitors in the stores are not models that I would recommend purchasing. You might be able to find a few from the list though.
February 3, 2007 6:24:41 PM

Thanks for the quick response. I am about to go out to search for a monitor. ;) 

1. ViewSonic VP2030b is too big: 18.4" x 15.9" x 12.4" ... Like I said in my original post in this thread, the physical monitor's width must fit under 17.0". 19" diagonal screen barely fits from what I researched so far.

2. How about those 6-bit? I read that 16.2 million colors thing. Is that noticeable on VGA? DVI won't happen for a few years or so. More colors would be nice.

3. I have seen 17" LCD monitors with 1280x1024 too! What's the deal? Are pixels bigger with 19" size?

4. Interesting. How about the lowest speed. So far, I saw a 19" Samsung SyncMaster 931BF that can 2ms. That's low! I hope it's true too. I have a 8 ms LCD monitor at work, and haven't noticed these ghostings/blur but then I don't play games at work.

I hope local retail stores have those models for me to sample before buying.

5. I *AM* willing have to black borders as long I don't get ugly picture and fuzzy texts/drawings. I used to have an old Pentium 90 laptop/notebook that did this. It was fine. I hated the newer ones and desktops with LCD monitors that stretched. Ugh! How can I check for this? I haven't seen any specifications that mention this feature.

7. Yeah, I always like to sample/demo stuff before buying. I can do online orderings from that if they are a lot cheaper. The key part is sampling/demoing. I want to see/touch things with my own eyes.

Also, I forgot to mention this but noticed it during my research. I need a monitor that lets me adjust physically (rotate and tilt). I don't look at monitors (CRT and LCD) straight. I usually rotate the monitor about 5 degrees to the right and 5 degrees up.

I also noticed lots of these monitors use software based. I don't use Windows all the time because I use Linux/Debian too. I hope this is not a serious problem. I prefer monitor buttons.
Related resources
February 3, 2007 6:30:31 PM

I noticed you said Samsung 930BF. What do you think of this one (newer model?):

19" Samsung SyncMaster 931BF = $269.99 (Best Buy)
2 ms
1280x1024
16.2 million colors
700/2000(?):1 contrast ratio
Height: 16.8" with stand (14.1" without); Width: 16.6"; Depth: 8.6" with stand (2.4" without)
Simple stand (not adjustable) [will have to figure out to deal with this part]
VGA and DVI
30~81 horizontal; 56-75 vertical

Web site: http://www.samsung.com/nz/products/monitors/tft/931bf.a...
Detailed review: http://www.xyzcomputing.com/index.php?option=content&ta...
a b C Monitor
February 3, 2007 7:36:53 PM

Quote:
1. ViewSonic VP2030b is too big: 18.4" x 15.9" x 12.4" ... Like I said in my original post in this thread, the physical monitor's width must fit under 17.0". 19" diagonal screen barely fits from what I researched so far. Oh yeah, sorry. Was looking at view size.

Quote:
2. How about those 6-bit? I read that 16.2 million colors thing. Is that noticeable on VGA? DVI won't happen for a few years or so. More colors would be nice.
Does't really matter if it's VGA or DVI. It is still gonna be dithered on 6-bit. It depends on if you can spot the color difference of maybe 4 points on the RGB scale and if you do image editing where you need pixel accuracy and/or the image has gradients and/or solid colors in it.

Quote:
3. I have seen 17" LCD monitors with 1280x1024 too! What's the deal? Are pixels bigger with 19" size?

Yes, either that or the space between them is greater (for a bigger "screen door" effect). I am not sure, which is the case.

Quote:
4. Interesting. How about the lowest speed. So far, I saw a 19" Samsung SyncMaster 931BF that can 2ms. That's low! I hope it's true too. I have a 8 ms LCD monitor at work, and haven't noticed these ghostings/blur but then I don't play games at work.

No, it is not true at all. The lowest response time I've ever seen on a monitor is maybe the VX922, which has a real response time of 5-10ms, though the box says 2ms! Interestingly, the NEC 90GX2 has a range of 2-20ms.

Quote:
5. I *AM* willing have to black borders as long I don't get ugly picture and fuzzy texts/drawings. I used to have an old Pentium 90 laptop/notebook that did this. It was fine. I hated the newer ones and desktops with LCD monitors that stretched. Ugh! How can I check for this? I haven't seen any specifications that mention this feature.

Don't know. Maybe a 1:1 mapping spec? Maybe someone else knows. You can also do this in windows using the drivers, but it may not work for all those console situations that you mentioned. Since you will be picking one from the store, check in the menu of the monitor before you buy it.


Quote:
Also, I forgot to mention this but noticed it during my research. I need a monitor that lets me adjust physically (rotate and tilt). I don't look at monitors (CRT and LCD) straight. I usually rotate the monitor about 5 degrees to the right and 5 degrees up.
Will viewing angles be an issue. Remember that on the lower quality panels, the colors will shift slightly off hue from one side of the screen to the other. Even if it's not major, it's enough to cause problems for graphics work.

Quote:
I also noticed lots of these monitors use software based. I don't use Windows all the time because I use Linux/Debian too. I hope this is not a serious problem. I prefer monitor buttons.
Plug in the monitor on any OS and it will work; they don't need any software. In fact, I kind of prefer not to install all the stuff that they put on the CDs; sometimes it's buggy bloated software.
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February 3, 2007 8:47:49 PM

Quote:
I noticed you said Samsung 930BF. What do you think of this one (newer model?):

19" Samsung SyncMaster 931BF = $269.99 (Best Buy)
2 ms
1280x1024
16.2 million colors
700/2000(?):1 contrast ratio
Height: 16.8" with stand (14.1" without); Width: 16.6"; Depth: 8.6" with stand (2.4" without)
Simple stand (not adjustable) [will have to figure out to deal with this part]
VGA and DVI
30~81 horizontal; 56-75 vertical

Web site: http://www.samsung.com/nz/products/monitors/tft/931bf.a...
Detailed review: http://www.xyzcomputing.com/index.php?option=content&ta...
OK, I just got back from Best Buy and ended up with this model. I hope it is the best choice to get that I researched. I am going to test it on my other desk before moving my CRT monitor to ensure no dead pixels and other stuff.
February 4, 2007 2:40:31 AM

Quote:
I noticed you said Samsung 930BF. What do you think of this one (newer model?):

19" Samsung SyncMaster 931BF = $269.99 (Best Buy)
2 ms
1280x1024
16.2 million colors
700/2000(?):1 contrast ratio
Height: 16.8" with stand (14.1" without); Width: 16.6"; Depth: 8.6" with stand (2.4" without)
Simple stand (not adjustable) [will have to figure out to deal with this part]
VGA and DVI
30~81 horizontal; 56-75 vertical

Web site: http://www.samsung.com/nz/products/monitors/tft/931bf.a...
Detailed review: http://www.xyzcomputing.com/index.php?option=content&ta...
OK, I just got back from Best Buy and ended up with this model. I hope it is the best choice to get that I researched. I am going to test it on my other desk before moving my CRT monitor to ensure no dead pixels and other stuff.This monitor isn't too bad for a 19" LCD. Still bummed about the the color not being bright. Maybe DVI can fix that if I were to switch from VGA setup. The controls are sure weird on the bottom. I keep pressing the wrong buttons. Samsung needs to fix that usability issue. Good thing MagicTuner is way easier. I wonder if there's a program for Linux too.
February 6, 2007 5:17:21 AM

Check the BenQ LCD monitor. And here's the review.
Now I can't remember which of the smaller model has the good review. I'll get back to you on that.
February 6, 2007 5:23:33 AM

Quote:
Check the BenQ LCD monitor. And here's the review.
I never heard of this brand and never saw them in local stores. Where are they at?

I doubt I will get one because I already got a Samsung SyncMaster 931BF.
February 6, 2007 5:58:55 AM

Newegg is in California but I think it's only online store. and I don't know if Wallmart, Bestbuy, Circuit City carries them.
February 6, 2007 6:02:50 AM

Quote:
Newegg is in California but I think it's only online store. and I don't know if Wallmart, Bestbuy, Circuit City carries them.
Yeah, I never saw this brand in them so far. Oh well, thanks though!
February 6, 2007 6:05:05 AM

I understand how you feel. I don't purchase product online anymore.
I like to see what I'm buying before I give them my money. Fortunately I'm close to where to buy the unit.
February 6, 2007 6:23:45 AM

Quote:
I understand how you feel. I don't purchase product online anymore.
I like to see what I'm buying before I give them my money. Fortunately I'm close to where to buy the unit.
Where is that and what store?
February 6, 2007 11:13:43 PM

Sorry, I had to go last night, wife called for me to sleep.

Anyway TigerDirect in Canada. 15 minutes (or so) drive from my place.
February 6, 2007 11:17:47 PM

Quote:
Sorry, I had to go last night, wife called for me to sleep.

Anyway TigerDirect in Canada. 15 minutes (or so) drive from my place.
No worries. :) 
!