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I'm a professional looking for quality graphics on a budget

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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March 17, 2007 1:16:11 AM

I'm a professional 3D animator, FX artist, and compositor, so I need a BIG screen (at least 21") that will hold up both for video playback and color representation. I'm also on a budget though, so some of the higher end screens are out of the question. I'm hoping for something in the $300-$400 price range.

So, my question is, should I even bother with the 22" LCDs in this price range. I like the size/aspect ratio of the 22" screens, but I've heard they are of lower quality than some of the smaller ones, mostly using 6-bit TN pannels which is unacceptable for working in Photoshop or color grading.

I don't mind a little ghosting, since I don't play games often. I'm most concerned with A. Color Quality, B. Price, and C. Size.

What would you advise? Will I find anything in my price range, or will I have to go down to a 19"?

One last consideration is that I'll be hooking it up to my laptop (Compal Hel80, T7200, 2GB ram, GeForce Go 7600) and it's only got VGA output.

Thanks for any help.
March 17, 2007 3:18:22 AM

With your requirements and budget, there are not an abundance of choices... but another 20", UXGA, to consider would be the Planar PL2010M... I don't know what type of panel it has.

If you have to go down to 19"...

The NEC 1970NX has S-IPS panel as does the HP LP1965.

The Samsung 971P has S-PVA panel and gets excellent reviews for color and black level.

Nearly all of the 22" and widescreens have TN panels and are out of the question for your needs.
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March 22, 2007 12:44:08 AM

Thanks Hose and KevinAr18, that's good info to know. I find it kind of odd that the screen type isn't well advertised by the manufacturers, so it's nice to have some advice on this.

So, here's my second question, if I were to change my priorities around and keep the price flexible, but no compromising on color representation and screen size, what would you recomend then? In other words, what's the best 20" or bigger IPS monitor I can get for under $700.
March 22, 2007 1:09:31 AM

Quote:
Thanks Hose and KevinAr18, that's good info to know. I find it kind of odd that the screen type isn't well advertised by the manufacturers, so it's nice to have some advice on this.

So, here's my second question, if I were to change my priorities around and keep the price flexible, but no compromising on color representation and screen size, what would you recomend then? In other words, what's the best 20" or bigger IPS monitor I can get for under $700.


Panel type is usually not disclosed. I believe it's for 2 reasons... (1) it's a bit confusing, and (2) if the maker doesn't list the panel type, he's free to substitute or change to a different panel.... not a good idea in my book.

Most of the S-IPS panel monitors are made by NEC and Philips... with a smattering of models in other makers' lineups.

One good thing about NEC is that you can extend the warranty to 5 years if you like.... they are about the only one who does that.

FWIW... the NEC 2190UXi won "Monitor of the Year" recently at some computer show, but it's more like $1500.

I don't think you'll find much around $700*... they seem to mostly be 20.1", 1600x1200, @ $400-$500, or $1000+.

*I checked Planar website and found a 21.3", PX212M... the specs look like it might be S-IPS... for $819.

Planar is a quality maker and worth looking into.
March 22, 2007 1:25:43 AM

If you are looking for a S-IPS 20.1" widescreen monitor, then you can check out the NEC Display Solutions 20WMGX2 which sells for $570 + $16 shipping at Newegg.com.

If you are looking for a 20.1" 4:3 "regular" monitor, then you can check out the HP LP2065 Silver-Carbonite 20.1" that sells for $360 after a $40 mail-in rebate + $19 shipping.
March 22, 2007 1:33:05 AM

Quote:
If you are looking for a S-IPS 20.1" widescreen monitor, then you can check out the NEC Display Solutions 20WMGX2 which sells for $570 + $16 shipping at Newegg.com.

If you are looking for a 20.1" 4:3 "regular" monitor, then you can check out the HP LP2065 Silver-Carbonite 20.1" that sells for $360 after a $40 mail-in rebate + $19 shipping.


The price on the NEC 20WMGX2 is right (it's one of my favorite monitors, too), but it's 1680x1050...
March 22, 2007 1:37:21 AM

Quote:
Planar PL2010M... I don't know what type of panel it has.


Planar monitors are great. I got a PX 191M that's about 4 years old. It carries a 3 year warranty which can be extended (up to 7 years I think). The thing that really drew my attention to them was their warranty plan (besides the quality of the monitor itself).

If the LCD monitor displays any flaws within the warranty period, Planar will ship a replacement monitor overnight in advance and they also pay for shipping both ways. I know of no other companies that offers that type of service.

However, their monitors are a bit expensive. I think I paid around $650 for my 19" back in 2003.
March 22, 2007 2:11:47 AM

Quote:
I Froogled for the Planar PX212M, and found it for $626 + $20 shipping... looks like it's in stock.

http://salestores.com/pl99px21lcdm.html


Wow, that's a great price. Too bad there is no definitive info about the panel, short of calling Planar directly. Based on price I would assume that it's a S-IPS panel, but I've been wrong before.

I would actually like to get my hands on the Planar PX2611W, but it has a MSRP of $999 and is not on sale yet, or at least not in stock anywhere.

Hmm... maybe I'll simply forego the BenQ FP241WZ, save up some extra cash and buy the Planar PX2611W.
March 22, 2007 10:36:05 AM

Quote:
I Froogled for the Planar PX212M, and found it for $626 + $20 shipping... looks like it's in stock.

http://salestores.com/pl99px21lcdm.html


Wow, that's a great price. Too bad there is no definitive info about the panel, short of calling Planar directly. Based on price I would assume that it's a S-IPS panel, but I've been wrong before.

I would actually like to get my hands on the Planar PX2611W, but it has a MSRP of $999 and is not on sale yet, or at least not in stock anywhere.

Hmm... maybe I'll simply forego the BenQ FP241WZ, save up some extra cash and buy the Planar PX2611W.

For many monitors, calling the company directly and asking for Tech Support is likely to be the only way to know....
April 4, 2007 1:11:40 AM

I'm currently leaning towards getting the NEC 20WMGX2, but was pointed to the Dell UltraSharp 2007FP or 2007WFP as a potentially cheaper alternative. What are your opinions on this screen? I've heard that there were color banding problems, but these have been resolved, but it still makes me concerned. As far as online reviews go, this screen seems to be decent, but not great. Still, if I can save a few hundred $, I'd consider it. Image quality is still the main concern here however, so any serious color banding, color reproduction, noise, or video problems will not be tolerated.

Thanks.
April 4, 2007 11:27:22 AM

Quote:
I'm currently leaning towards getting the NEC 20WMGX2...


Why, your'e not even looking for a Gamer's monitor. From Tom's 20" article:

"The NEC 20GX2 is an interesting alternative. It's by far the most responsive monitor in the group, and the "gloss" rendering is a natural with games that are rich in color. But that's all. It's a pure gamer's monitor, and that's how it should be judged."

My two cents: look for a P-MVA panel. It's probably the best balance between graphics and video work. Eizo's S2000, for example, has my attention although it will most likely clash with your budget restrictions... .

In they days of the CRT, I would have told you to spend a little more as a good CRT should be seen as a middle-term investment (something quite rare in the PC business...)! I am however, a bit less certain when it comes to LCDs as the technology is evolving almost as rapidly as the GPU industry!

This is one of the reasons I opted for the less-expensive BenQ FP241W over Eizo's considerably higher priced S2411W for my multimedia (gaming & DVDs) workstation. I will, however, look to Eizo or NEC for a more serious monitor for my digital imaging (photo & video editing) workstation where color accuracy & video playback quality will be more important than response times.
April 5, 2007 1:08:52 AM

Quote:
I'm currently leaning towards getting the NEC 20WMGX2...


Why, your'e not even looking for a Gamer's monitor. From Tom's 20" article:

"The NEC 20GX2 is an interesting alternative. It's by far the most responsive monitor in the group, and the "gloss" rendering is a natural with games that are rich in color. But that's all. It's a pure gamer's monitor, and that's how it should be judged."

My two cents: look for a P-MVA panel. It's probably the best balance between graphics and video work. Eizo's S2000, for example, has my attention although it will most likely clash with your budget restrictions... .

In they days of the CRT, I would have told you to spend a little more as a good CRT should be seen as a middle-term investment (something quite rare in the PC business...)! I am however, a bit less certain when it comes to LCDs as the technology is evolving almost as rapidly as the GPU industry!

This is one of the reasons I opted for the less-expensive BenQ FP241W over Eizo's considerably higher priced S2411W for my multimedia (gaming & DVDs) workstation. I will, however, look to Eizo or NEC for a more serious monitor for my digital imaging (photo & video editing) workstation where color accuracy & video playback quality will be more important than response times.
That comment by Tomshardware is really inaccurate. The NEC is actually much better for image editing because it is an IPS panel, which reduces or eliminates the color shift caused by viewing angles. TN, MVA, and PVA will likely show some level of color shift where a particular color is a different shade across the surface of the screen (due to viewing angles).
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