I just build a new computer and would like to update my monitor as well. I know I want to go widescreen.
I've been researching for weeks now and just can't decide on what brand/model or resolution. My son just bought an Acer 19" and it's pretty good...nice color, contrast, and brightness. The Acer is the only LCD I have experience with. I'm leaning toward a LG or Samsung. Reviews seem to be good on most models from them.
One question I need an answer on is resolution. A 19" monitor has 1440x900 with a .29 pixel, and the 20" monitors have 1680x1050 with a .25 pixel. If you look at 22" monitors, the pixel size goes back to .29. I was thinking the .25 pixel would be sharper? Is that correct? or is it so small you won't notice a difference? Is the 20" monitor going to give a nice picture because of the small pixel and larger resolution?
If I think a 19" monitor ($180) will work for me, is there any significant reason to spend an extra $80 to bump up to a 20" monitor ($260)?
And lastly is there any issues with video cards keeping up with the resolution? My video card is a nvidia 7600GS. My son has a nvidia 6600 and it seems to be fine playing FPS games at the native 1440x900 resolution.
I will be using the monitor for mostly web, email, and multi track recording, but once & a while play a FPS.
Can you give me some advise? What do you think about the pixel size or resolution?
Because widescreen 20.1" and 22" LCDs share the same resolution, the number of pixels is the same. One way is to increase the size of the monitor is to increase the spacing between each pixel. Another way is to increase the size of each pixel, but I'm not sure if this is done.
Generally speaking, the tighter the spacing in between each pixel, the sharper the image will be. But LCD panel technology also comes into play as well. Basically you have 6-bit TN panels filling in the low end of the LCD market, P-MVA & S-PVA panels make up the middle of the market, and S-IPS panels are the cream of the crop when it comes to image quality.
Is $80 worth the extra 1"? That depends on you. Personally, I am looking at 24" LCDs. The cheapest starts at about $600. Many people balk at that price and would settle for a 22" LCD monitor that costs $350 or less. I hate 22" LCD monitors (see below).
Most people buy TN panels because they are cheaper than the other panel technology and they are generally better for games due to fast response times. The disadvantages are many including color accuracy, viewing angles, and some image artifacts when watching movies. All 22" LCDs uses TN panels.
P-MVA & S-PVA panel LCD monitors are a little more expensive and slower response times. The fastest is 6ms. But they do not have the same weaknesses as TN panel. These represent the middle road.
S-IPS panel LCD monitors are extremely expensive when you get to the 24" LCD monitors or larger. Again, the fastest have 6ms response times which is good for gaming. But these panels are mainly for those with expensive tastes, or whose livelihood depends on color accuracy like graphic artists. 24" S-IPS LCD monitors start at $1,300. Like I said, extremely expensive.