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20'' or 22'' tough choice! Any thoughts?

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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March 19, 2007 1:39:48 PM

Hi,

I just bought a new PC and my old 17'' CRT is on death row. Now I am looking into LCD teritorry but I can't decide what I should get: 20'' (Samsung 204BW is my choice - 206 not available in Romania atm) or 22'' wide (Samsung 226BW).
From what I read there are benefits for both but I would rather go for the 20'' one because of higher resolution (1600x1200) and because I wouldn't have to deal with the image streching or poor avi quality (or torment myself with setting it up). I will use this monitor only for gaming (FPS) and movies (AVI, DVD, HD).
My video card can handle high resolution without a problem so that won't be an issue.
Since I plan a purchase next week any opinion is highly apreciated.
Thank you all in advance!

P.S. I live in EU so any newegg products and prices can't work for me. :( 

More about : tough choice thoughts

March 19, 2007 3:15:21 PM

Quote:
Hi,

I just bought a new PC and my old 17'' CRT is on death row. Now I am looking into LCD teritorry but I can't decide what I should get: 20'' (Samsung 204BW is my choice - 206 not available in Romania atm) or 22'' wide (Samsung 226BW).
From what I read there are benefits for both but I would rather go for the 20'' one because of higher resolution (1600x1200) and because I wouldn't have to deal with the image streching or poor avi quality (or torment myself with setting it up). I will use this monitor only for gaming (FPS) and movies (AVI, DVD, HD).
My video card can handle high resolution without a problem so that won't be an issue.
Since I plan a purchase next week any opinion is highly apreciated.
Thank you all in advance!

P.S. I live in EU so any newegg products and prices can't work for me. :( 


204BW and 226BW are BOTH 1680x1050...

If you want 1600x1200, you need to get 204B.
March 19, 2007 3:16:13 PM

Ups...sorry my bad. I wanted to say 204B. Sorry again! Thx for your observation!
Related resources
March 19, 2007 3:34:54 PM

Quote:
Ups...sorry my bad. I wanted to say 204B. Sorry again! Thx for your observation!


Samsung is the first to attempt a "best all-round" monitor with the 204B. According to well-liked reviews at Newegg, Sammy has done a credible job on this one.
March 19, 2007 9:08:11 PM

Quote:
I will use this monitor only for gaming (FPS) and movies (AVI, DVD, HD).

TN panels are not the best for movies so the question is do you play strictly multiplayer fps, or are you more rpg / strategy. IPS is a waste of money (for your specific needs) but one of ViewSonic's* P-MVA panels might fit the bill (in terms of a compromise between decent Video playback and non-ultra-fast gaming).

If you're already dead-set on one of those two Samsungs and the only question is wide or not [to] wide... then imo, you should go for wide. I did and it's great for movies (16:9 DVDs) and games like Half Life 2 and if you're worried on losing out on res when dealing with 4:3 movies / games, don't forget that your upgrading from a 17" CRT...!

*If ViewSonics are hard to come by in RO then you may want to look at a Belinea (102035W, for example). Keep in mind that a 20, 21 & 22W all work at 1680x1050 so don't worry too much if you end up with say, a 21" and not 22" (unless you're sitting 3m from the monitor and need the 0.282 dot pitch :p ).
March 19, 2007 11:02:07 PM

Quote:
TN panels are not the best for movies so the question is do you play strictly multiplayer fps, or are you more rpg / strategy.


I dont want to sound mean, but what is the issue with the TN panel? Im guessing that the a-si TFT screen in the samsungs is the TN your referring to correct?
March 20, 2007 12:14:55 AM

TN panels are 6-bit LCD screens. That means they can only produce 262,144 real colors; 64 shades of Red, Green & Blue; (2^6)^3 or 64^3 . Thru a process called dithering they can produce up to 16.2 million colors. Due to this dithering prcoess, the screen can produce the wrong shades of color and also image artifacts. In general, they have limited viewing angles, less than vibrant colors compare to 8-bit LCD panels, and images & text are not as sharp as b-bit LCD panels.

TN panels are good for games because of the fast respsonse times, but are fairly poor for watching movies compare to other type of panel technologies available. However, TN panels are also real cheap. Lastly many manufacturers lists 16.7 million colors instead of 16.2 million colors for their 6-bit LCD panels which is a ploy to confuse consumers.

Utlimately, it depends on the person who buying an LCD to decide if the visual quality of a 6 bit panel is good enough. Money is also a driving factor as well.

Note: All 22" LCD screens uses TN panels.

Here's a review that compares a 20" 8-bit display to a 22" 6-bit display:

http://www.behardware.com/articles/638-1/22-the-new-siz...
March 20, 2007 2:19:04 AM

Quote:
TN panels are 6-bit LCD screens. That means they can only produce 262,144 real colors; 64 shades of Red, Green & Blue; (2^6)^3 or 64^3 . Thru a process called dithering they can produce up to 16.2 million colors. Due to this dithering prcoess, the screen can produce the wrong shades of color and also image artifacts. In general, they have limited viewing angles, less than vibrant colors compare to 8-bit LCD panels, and images & text are not as sharp as b-bit LCD panels.

In practice, I have found this "dithering" to be noticeable only under the right conditions. It takes someone who knows what to look for to spot it; the average user who doesn't use the computer extensively may not even notice it.

Quote:
TN panels are good for games because of the fast respsonse times, but are fairly poor for watching movies compare to other type of panel technologies available.
From a technical standpoint, I see no reason why a TN panel should be any less effective at movies... unless you are referring to the viewing angle that causes the top of the screen to be darker than the bottom on large screens (or vice versa) -- which might not be good for HDTVs or computer monitors that you want to use for quality HDTV watching... is that what you are referring to?

Quote:
Lastly many manufacturers lists 16.7 million colors instead of 16.2 million colors for their 6-bit LCD panels which is a ploy to confuse consumers.
Yeah that does confuse things... especially when you are shopping online and want a real 8-bit panel. Sometimes a call to the manufacturer about a specific model asking if it is true 8-bit, 16.7 milllion non-dithered colors can help.
March 20, 2007 3:19:16 AM

cool guys, thanks alot
that really clears things up
March 20, 2007 3:25:39 AM

I suppose I'm a little more critical than the average consumer. I can tell the difference between a 6-bit LCD and 8-bit LCD simply by looking at the wallpaper. Specific the Autumn wallpaper that comes standard with Window XP. There are certain parts of the tree barks are pixelated which also results in discoloration.

Text on a 6-bit LCD looks a bit "soft" at native resolution than on an 8-bit LCD panel. Images also do not look as sharp either. That's probably due to the dithering effect on 6-bit LCD panels.

While watching movies, sometimes I can pick out pixelation even in slow action scenes. I haven't seen any high definition video on a 6-bit or 8-bit LCD yet, but I've read that image artifacts are clearly visible on an 6-bit display even to the un-trained eye. Just like still images, video looks a bit "soft" to my eyes.
March 20, 2007 3:29:12 AM

i was just checking out the samsung line, and ALL their panels are a-si TFT/TN. i know that samsung is a very good company, why are their screens made of the lower quality lcd?
March 20, 2007 3:39:33 AM

Quote:
i was just checking out the samsung line, and ALL their panels are a-si TFT/TN. i know that samsung is a very good company, why are their screens made of the lower quality lcd?


Not all of their panels are TN... just the lower quality/cheaper, speedy, gamer ones. Many others have PVA or S-PVA panels... they are more costly.
March 20, 2007 3:39:57 AM

You must be looking at their inexpensive monitors. Samsung also makes P-MVA and S-PVA LCD and various IPS panels. Generally speaking if you are looking at a 19" LCD then anything that is selling for less than $300 is most likely a TN panel, Anything over $300 is a P-MVA / S-PVA panel (generally speaking).

I'm sure there are S-IPS 19" monitors too, but I don't know any off hand since I'm not in the market another 19" monitor. But they will probably sell for over $500.
March 20, 2007 3:44:56 AM

crap and i was hoping to get a decent lcd for ~$300, ive had good experience with my last samsung, but I want good color quality and a low response time. anyone have and suggestions?

I also checked newegg, of the 27 lcd's smaller than 24" that they offer: 1 is spva, all others are a-si TFT/(some other panel)
March 20, 2007 3:50:44 AM

Quote:
You must be looking at their inexpensive monitors. Samsung also makes P-MVA and S-PVA LCD and various IPS panels. Generally speaking if you are looking at a 19" LCD then anything that is selling for less than $300 is most likely a TN panel, Anything over $300 is a P-MVA / S-PVA panel.

I'm sure there are S-IPS 19" monitors too, but I don't know any off hand since I'm not in the market another 19" monitor. But they will probably sell for over $500.


Actually 19" S-IPS monitors are not that expensive. There are not many, but one that comes to mind is the NEC 1970NX.... about $335 at Newegg. For about about $50 more, one could get a 20.1", S-IPS, 1600x1200, HP LP2065.
March 20, 2007 4:52:47 PM

Quote:

Lastly many manufacturers lists 16.7 million colors instead of 16.2 million colors for their 6-bit LCD panels which is a ploy to confuse consumers.
Yeah that does confuse things... especially when you are shopping online and want a real 8-bit panel. Sometimes a call to the manufacturer about a specific model asking if it is true 8-bit, 16.7 milllion non-dithered colors can help.

I just spoke with LG and they said their L226WA which I am looking at buying is a "true 8 bit" monitor. How do I test this out when I buy it??

LG-L226WA

-Deuce-
March 20, 2007 5:05:55 PM

Quote:

Lastly many manufacturers lists 16.7 million colors instead of 16.2 million colors for their 6-bit LCD panels which is a ploy to confuse consumers.
Yeah that does confuse things... especially when you are shopping online and want a real 8-bit panel. Sometimes a call to the manufacturer about a specific model asking if it is true 8-bit, 16.7 milllion non-dithered colors can help.

I just spoke with LG and they said their L226WA which I am looking at buying is a "true 8 bit" monitor. How do I test this out when I buy it??

LG-L226WA

-Deuce-

If you want 8-bit color, these params are almost 100%....

Don't buy < 20.1" UXGA (1600X1200)

Don't buy widescreen < 24"

Don't buy Samsung 204B, 1600x1200, UXGA, but in an effort to be affordable/cheap, it has a TN panel.

There are a few exceptions, of course...
March 20, 2007 5:10:41 PM

Quote:
Quote:

"... just spoke with LG and they said their L226WA which I am looking at buying is a "true 8 bit" monitor. How do I test this out when I buy it??

LG-L226WA

-Deuce-

I looked at their website, and I don't believe it. Many makers are "fudging" the concept of 6-bit dithering and claiming "8-bit".
March 20, 2007 5:29:27 PM

Quote:

I just spoke with LG and they said their L226WA which I am looking at buying is a "true 8 bit" monitor. How do I test this out when I buy it??

LG-L226WA

-Deuce-


The L226WA is not a "true 8-bit" LCD. All 22" widescreen panels being manufactured today are 6-bit panels. A big hint is the response time the LG L226WA has a GTG response time of 2ms. At best 8-bit panels are 6ms, no faster and typically slower than that.

However, if it looks good enough to you then just go for it. You can step down to a 20.1" widescreen 8-bit LCD that uses an 8-bit P-MVA or S-PVA, but it is likely to cost more then the L226WA since 8-bit panels are more expensive to manufacture. Stepping up to a 24" will also get you an 8-bit LCD, but it is also more expensive as well.
March 20, 2007 6:09:33 PM

OK Thx everyone. I'm not willing to step down to a 20", so I'll just buy and test it out. Though I have to wait until I buy my new system as I can't game very well on a 22" with my 6800GT.

-Deuce-
March 21, 2007 10:34:42 AM

Quote:
All 22" widescreen panels being manufactured today are 6-bit panels.

I was just about to agree with you there but was surprised to note that the 22" panels listed at LCDTech all state 16.7mio (vs. 16.2 or "6bit+FRC") but I don't do Russian / Ukranian / etc. and I don't really know how accurate their DB really is...
March 21, 2007 2:58:21 PM

Quote:
The L226WA is not a "true 8-bit" LCD. All 22" widescreen panels being manufactured today are 6-bit panels. A big hint is the response time the LG L226WA has a GTG response time of 2ms. At best 8-bit panels are 6ms, no faster and typically slower than that.
Kind of hard to go by response time, since most are an outright lie by the manufacturer. For example, the VX922 is listed as 2ms and is 6-bit; however, it's real response time if 8-10ms (one of the fastest on the market, BTW). Compare that to the NEC 20WGX2, which is listed as 6ms and is 8-bit AS-IPS; however, this panel's real response time is 5-10ms, with it being 7-9ms most of the time.
Quote:
I just spoke with LG and they said their L226WA which I am looking at buying is a "true 8 bit" monitor. How do I test this out when I buy it??
Maybe another thing you should ask is does it use "FRC" or some kind of "dithering".
An easy way to test it is to use a gradient test image with something like a gradient from one shade to another shade. You should be able to spot the dithering on certain shades. Keep in mind, that the dithering is only by around 3 or 4 shades on the RGB scale.
March 21, 2007 3:00:49 PM

Quote:
All 22" widescreen panels being manufactured today are 6-bit panels.

I was just about to agree with you there but was surprised to note that the 22" panels listed at LCDTech all state 16.7mio (vs. 16.2 or "6bit+FRC") but I don't do Russian / Ukranian / etc. and I don't really know how accurate their DB really is...
I suppose if someone wanted to, they could remake the circuit board controller to use a full 256 shades instead of 64 shades. :)  I'm not saying the info is accurate, just that the panel is not the limitation; it's simply the choice to implement 6-bit or 8-bit on the circuitry that controls the panel.
March 21, 2007 4:07:34 PM

Quote:
All 22" widescreen panels being manufactured today are 6-bit panels.

I was just about to agree with you there but was surprised to note that the 22" panels listed at LCDTech all state 16.7mio (vs. 16.2 or "6bit+FRC") but I don't do Russian / Ukranian / etc. and I don't really know how accurate their DB really is...

The following article should shed some light on this issue:

6-Bit vs. 8-Bit....PVA/MVA vs. TN Film - Are Things Changing?

Quote:
While it is hard to get any confirmed information from the manufacturers, it would seem that perhaps some modern TN Film panels now offer a full 8 bit colour depth, and perhaps negate the need for dithering technology. This is a good sign, and thanks to overdrive, response times still remain very low on TN models. Discussions across the internet seem to suggest that TN Film panels are either 6-Bit with FRC, or 6-Bit extended to 9-Bit, offering 16.7 million colours on paper. Either way, it looks as if there have been changes in TN Film recently, and dithering has become far less common.


Then again LCD panel technology is reaching a point where it can make it very difficult to determine just what type of panel you are purchasing. That's because colors can now fall into the following categories:

1. 16.2 million
2. 16.7 million
3. 16.7 million (True 8-bit)

Quote:

What's The Pattern? - Summary

After speaking with Rasmus Larsen from Flatpanels.dk further about this, we tried to identify a pattern in this whole situation. From user discussions across the internet and from panel specs, it seems like perhaps the following best describes what we are seeing from modern panels:

*

All TN Film panels = Dithering. Some are 6-bit with FRC, some are 6-bit extended to 9-bit and figure as 8-bit in the specs (or 16.7 million colours). More modern panels seem to be the latter, look for "16.7 million colours" quoted in specs.
*

PVA Traditional = 8-Bit
*

PVA + Overdrive = Dithering, 6-Bit +FRC
*

S-PVA + Overdrive = Still real 8-bit
*

MVA Traditional = 8-Bit
*

19" and below MVA + Overdrive = dithering, but not as obvious as with PVA + Overdrive
*

>19" MVA + Overdrive = real 8-bit
*

S-IPS Traditional = 8-Bit
*

New S-IPS panels + Overdrive = No obvious issues
*

AS-IPS = 8 bit, not heard any reports of colour issues on these
March 21, 2007 4:15:22 PM

Quote:
Kind of hard to go by response time, since most are an outright lie by the manufacturer. For example, the VX922 is listed as 2ms and is 6-bit; however, it's real response time if 8-10ms (one of the fastest on the market, BTW). Compare that to the NEC 20WGX2, which is listed as 6ms and is 8-bit AS-IPS; however, this panel's real response time is 5-10ms, with it being 7-9ms most of the time.


True enough. But for myself I kinda use the stated response to gauge if a panel is 6-bit or 8-bit. Before doing serious research on 24" LCDs my rule of thumb was:

1. Manufacturer's Respone Time => 8ms = 8-bit (with OverDrive or similar tech)
2. Manufacturer's Respone Time < 8ms = 6-bit

Of course technologies like OverDrive can blur the lines. The 24" BenQ FP241W/Z are listed as having a response time of 6ms, yet they are using P-MVA panels. At least BenQ also states the BTB response time is 16ms for these monitors. Not too many brands provide BTB response times anymore.
March 21, 2007 5:34:52 PM

Quote:
I'm not saying the info is accurate, just that the panel is not the limitation; it's simply the choice to implement 6-bit or 8-bit on the circuitry that controls the panel.


That statement could be the best way to describel the Dell 2407. As stated in another thread, I had trouble pinning down exactly what the deal is with that monitor. Some people say it's a true 8-bit, others say the panel itself is an 8-bit, but the circuitry is 6-bit. And plenty of other say the available info is too inconclusive.

Thus, I have decided to remove the Dell 2407 from my list, leaving only the BenQ FP241WZ which costs over $100 more.
March 22, 2007 12:18:40 AM

Quote:
Of course technologies like OverDrive can blur the lines. The 24" BenQ FP241W/Z are listed as having a response time of 6ms, yet they are using P-MVA panels.

Are you referring to problems VA panels tend to have with the dark to dark and black to dark transitions? It seems like that is a problem with MVA panels. I wonder why VA is technically limited in that area? ...I wonder if the new AMVA? has that problem. From personal experience, I can see the VP2030b has problems in that area; and all three MVA panels that xbitlabs.com tested has problems in that area. (On the other hand, the VP2030b has noticeable overdrive errors in certain transitions, while the Acer MVA panels do not have major overdrive errors.)
March 22, 2007 12:24:27 AM

Quote:
That statement could be the best way to describel the Dell 2407. As stated in another thread, I had trouble pinning down exactly what the deal is with that monitor. Some people say it's a true 8-bit, others say the panel itself is an 8-bit, but the circuitry is 6-bit. And plenty of other say the available info is too inconclusive.

Thus, I have decided to remove the Dell 2407 from my list, leaving only the BenQ FP241WZ which costs over $100 more.

If you can swallow returning the Dell if it's not true 8-bit, then you might give it a try since 6-bit vs 8-bit is so easy to spot for those who know how. Still, there's gotta be someone who's confirmed if it is 8-bit or not. BTW, is the 2407 one of the Dells that might come in an IPS or might come in a PVA? After seeing the effects of viewing angle on color shift (something that you wouldn't normally expect) I really would prefer an IPS or maybe one of those new AMVA in the future (that and something like true 120Hz with the special motion correction for video :)  ).
March 22, 2007 12:56:25 AM

Quote:

Are you referring to problems VA panels tend to have with the dark to dark and black to dark transitions?


No, I mean problems when shifting from one color to another. From my understanding of OverDrive and similar technologies, the pixels are overvolted to make the transition quicker. But that can lead to an over transition where the shade of color is brighter than it should be.

For example, say there are 256 shades of yellow; yellow 0 is the darkest shade of yellow, yellow 255 is the brightest shade of yellow. Due to a scene change in a movie or game, such as an explosion, a pixel needs to change from black to yellow 185 as a result of the explosion. A non OverDrive LCD would more or less display yellow 185 for that pixel no matter what the response time of the LCD panel is.

Now with OverDrive switched on, the pixel is overvolted to force the transition from black to yellow 185 faster than normal. The actual shade displayed due to this fast transition is yellow 225. That's far brighter than it should be, but the shade should drop down to yellow 185 once the pixel is no longer overvolted. However, that assumes the scene does not change again.

I suppose what I'm describing is a type of "after glow" effect.
March 22, 2007 1:03:06 AM

Quote:

If you can swallow returning the Dell if it's not true 8-bit, then you might give it a try since 6-bit vs 8-bit is so easy to spot for those who know how.


Nah, that's a pain. I'll stick with the BenQ unless I find something better before I decide to pull the trigger. That will be awhile, since I owe Uncle Sam some $$$ in taxes.

What would be nice is a LCD with LED backlighting. But that's too expensive right now. The 20" Nec LCD2180WG LED has a list price of over $6,000. Too rich for my blood.
March 22, 2007 1:24:01 AM

Quote:

If you can swallow returning the Dell if it's not true 8-bit, then you might give it a try since 6-bit vs 8-bit is so easy to spot for those who know how.


Nah, that's a pain. I'll stick with the BenQ unless I find something better before I decide to pull the trigger. That will be awhile, since I owe Uncle Sam some $$$ in taxes.

What would be nice is a LCD with LED backlighting. But that's too expensive right now. The 20" Nec LCD2180WG LED has a list price of over $6,000. Too rich for my blood.
What I don't get is why they are so expensive. Are they some kind of special LEDs or something. Standard Leds are actually really cheap (just a few cents), meaning you could probably replace the backlight on a monitor yourself with leds.
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