I've just bought a new PC (i5, 8GB RAM, 2x1TB hard drive, 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTS 240) and I need a new monitor to go with it. Consequently I have done my usual trick when buying some new bit of kit and spent a fairly large proportion of my life over the last week or so churning through endless reviews, countless ratings - then making an absolutely final FINAL decision as to what to get only to read something else that completely changes things....and ultimately going round in smaller and smaller circles, to the end that I am now sitting in a revolving chair, slowly spinning myself round and wondering whether it would be better for my health to take up lawn tennis.
But I digress...I guess I'm really after a few pointers, as the number of monitors available these days is somewhere in the gazillions. I'd like 23"+ and the main things I'm going to be using it for are general purpose browsing (documents, web, etc), Bluray movies (so need HDMI), photo editing and hopefully video editing - though the photo and video stuff will only be personal stuff - nothing commercial or professional. One of the main things I've picked up from my dredging of the web is that for movies and games, TN panels are generally perceived as being a good option, as they have a much faster response time and therefore show less blurring. But for anything else, especially photo editing, it seems that IPS/PVA panels are much better...better colour reproduction and much better viewing angles (which it could be argued would be better for movies too).
However, whilst I realise the benefits of an IPS/PVA panel, I really can't justify spending the extra cash, as it seems that a reasonable such monitor is going to set me back a good £400+....which I can't afford! So I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to have to settle for a TN panel for now....which narrows my buying choice down to about 109879835982634897 different monitors. What I'm wondering is...besides a few ergonomics and bells 'n whistles, is there really that much difference between similarly priced TN monitors? It seems that Dell, LG, Samsung, BenQ, etc all have a plethora of monitors that have startlingly similar specs for pretty similar prices. Is it going to make that much difference if I choose one over another? Is there one brand that generally has a better reputation for quality, performance, etc? Or in all honesty, is it not really going to make that much difference?
I know there are millions of "what should I get" questions on here, so I won't specifically ask that question....but does anyone have any experience or opinions on the following:
- LG W2353V
- LG W2442PA-BF
- Samsung SyncMaster P2450H
- Dell SP2309W
- BenQ G2420HD (although this seems to be like rocking horse poo at the moment - no-one has any in stock, anywhere!)
You would probably end up with a TN panel because that is what dominates the market and cheap.
The technology is very mature by now and it doesn't matter which company you go for just look for key specs.
Resolution: Bigger is better, manufacturers are pushing towards 1920x1080 as standard now
Response time: anything 6ms or faster is good for gaming
Color gamut: Shown as % of NTSC. Not many manufacturers advertise this because TN panels have dreadful color compared to IPS panels. An average TN panel have 72% of NTSC while a IPS would have an average of 115% of NTSC.
Refresh rate: 60hz is standard for LCD but 120hz monitors have been comming out for the past several months. They are better than 60hz monitors all around but more expensive. Probably more expensive than they are worth because you can't really notice the difference anyway. 60hz monitors provides really fliuid motion already.
Contrast: Means absolutely nothing. TN panels are all 1000:1. Dynamic contrast is horrible. It dims the entire backlight of your monitor to produce blacker blacks but turning off the backlight ruins color as well and dims your whites. You will just notice your screen go dark in video games and flicker in brightness if you are scrolling very fast in a first person game. Always use static, who even needs blacker blacks...