I am building a rig for a friend. He has 300$ left in his budget for a display.
-Raptors in raid 0
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This rig is 100% used for gaming. 300$ is his top end on a display. This is my first Q6600 build. I am not realy all that sure on LCD monitors. He has bad eyes and despises CRT. Me personaly I prefer CRT but this rig is not for me. Now this rig will not be OCed right away. We will OC it later if need be. Taking the specs into account at stock clocks can anyone help me figure out a good fit for a LCD. These resolutions and the overall pile of errors with LCDs are making me very hesitant.
Remember it MUST be under 300$ and I would prefer if it did not use "all" of the power the system has just to render the display at its native resolution. Having more power on the back burner is always a good thing. Using it all and constantly streching a rig I find is a great path to building something that has no balance.
If he will be using this rig 100% for gaming getting him anything less than a 20-22" widescreen LCD will be doing him a disservice.
I'm really not sure what you mean by "These resolutions and the overall pile of errors with LCDs are making me very hesitant." or "I would prefer if it did not use "all" of the power the system has just to render the display at its native resolution." Maybe you could clarify those statement to help help us understand what you are looking for.
I left my ViewSonic CRT for a Samsung 226BW a little over a month ago and wish I had done it sooner. I have a Q6600 based system with a 8800GT also and it plays games great. No need to worry about running out of power as you put it, as 1680X1050 is not *that big* or too big for a 8800GT to handle. I'm Currently playing Call of Duty 4 at with the game set to1680X1050 with no problems at all. The graphics simply blow me away. Thinking about how it would have looked on my old square CRT make me shudder.
Of course the first monitor I will recommend is the Samsung 226BW. It is just a bit over $300.00 at Newegg, but with a rebate it comes in at $370.00. Not sure if waiting for a rebate can fit in the budget or not.
However there are plenty of top name monitors at that size under the $300.00 mark. The ViewSonic VA2026 is worth checking out as is the Samsung 2220WM, both under the $270.00 mark. The Chimei CMV 221D-NBC is one you really should check out. I have no experience with Chimei monitors, but the name pops up around here quite a bit and on Newegg it has a lot of great user reviews.
A note on Newegg;
I use them a lot for price reference because they do have a great service at a great price, but if you shop around I'm sure you can find it cheaper.
The user reviews, like any user review, take them with a grain of salt.
Anyway, IMO again, once you game on a decent size widescreen you yourself will be putting your CRT in the closet.
If you dont mind me asking what detail levels do you find yourself capped at in your current games? I hear alot of folks claiming the 8800GT falls fast at 1680x1050 on high detail. I own one but am CPU locked atm and am wondering how it works for you.
Is that Samsung the model that has a vsA,B,C that has created a hudge stink?
The most current game I am playing is COD4 and I wouldn't say I'm capped. It's maxed out, lol. All the settings are on and at their highest levels, including AA and AF. All at 1680X1050. But that's COD4. The game runs really well on just about any system. I have Crysis too, but haven't installed it just yet. I'm sure that will be a different story. The only other things I can compare it to is the UT demo and WIC. UT is a max levels at 1680X1050, but WIC was a little buggy for me and I think I have to reinstall it. I ran the built in benchmark and got some pretty low FPS with high settings at 1680X1050. From what I understand that game is tough on newer systems as well, so the FPS I was getting may be right.
The one and only issue I seem to have with this card may be heat. At default the fan only spins at about 25%. Probably a driver issue. I use Rivatuner to control the fan speeds and have a couple of profiles saved for gaming to bring the fan speed up to 100% at a certain temp, which works great. On two occasions I forgot to start Rivatuner before starting a game and the screen went black on me after playing for some time.
Overall, you can't beat this card for the money. I'm not sure what ATI has yet, but your only other options would be a GXT, still around $500.00 for some reason, or wait for the new G92 8800GTS which I have heard will be around or over $500.00. Anyway, there are some reviews out there that show the 8800GT doing well at or around 1680X1050 with the only card pulling ahead being the GTX.
The Samsung 226BW in the one and the same. Some of the early production models had a screen that was sub par and had issues with color saturation and back light bleeding. At that time some 226BW's were shipped with a Samsung screen and others were shipped with a brand of a lesser quality. Also at that time you could figure out which screen was in your 226BW by looking at the serial number, or by accessing a hidden diagnostic/maintenance menu. IIRC, "S" indicated it was indeed a Samsung screen, and the other two brands were an "A" or a "C". At that time, If you wanted to guarantee yourself a Samsung screen you could always purchase a 226CW at a premium.
All this has changed though and is no longer an issue. I'm not sure which screen is in my monitor as they no longer put the letters in the serial number and don't put the information in the maintenance menu. What it comes down to is no mater what screen is in my 226BW it looks great to me and I don't have any of the issues that plagued the early models. I guess Samsung actually listens to their customers.
EDIT: The new G92, 8800GTS should be coming in around $370.00. The $500+ I saw was not U.S. dollars