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New monitor - Opinions required

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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July 3, 2011 9:51:53 PM

Hey guys,
I'm looking to buy a new monitor and after searching the market for a few days i'm drawing a complete blank.

For every good review I see 2-3 bad/mediocre reviews.
I am completely unable to decide between IPS and TN.

So I am finally seeking help from people with more experience the in monitor field.

I want a high quality monitor.
Between 21" and 24" - Size is much less of factor, think quality.
I will use this monitor mostly for movies and some FPS gaming.
Must be able to adjust, at least tilt.

I was looking at the Dell UltraSharp U2410 and read excellent reviews. Its a bit out of my price range, but I might stretch it a bit. But even with its excellent reviews I have 2 major draw backs with this monitor.

A. Its not LED back light from what I understand (even though it does not state it clearly almost anywhere).
B. Its max refresh rate of 60Hz is horrible for gaming. (correct me if i'm wrong).

Tbh, I'm still using an LG FLATRON CRT 17" screen. I'm a bit old fashioned when it comes to monitors and I want the jump into LCD monitors to be as smooth as possible.

Any suggestions guys?

All help is highly appreciated. Thanks a lot in advance.
Roy.E
a b C Monitor
July 3, 2011 10:46:26 PM

Just about every LCD monitor out there has a refresh rate of 60Hz at its native resolution (in the case of the U2410 1920x1200). The U2410 is a monitor known for its superior color accuracy which is a must for graphics artists. The thing you worry about with the IPS type of monitor is the slower pixel refresh rate which may cause ghosting to occur when the screen is redrawn at a high rate of speed. If you want to make the switch to a decent gaming monitor, you don't have to spend that much. If you want more than a 60Hz gaming monitor and you don't mind spending that much, there is one by BenQ:

http://www.benq.us/products/product_detail.cfm?product=...

with a 120Hz refresh rate in 2D mode. You can get this on Amazon. This is a good monitor if your refresh rates consistently exceed 60Hz with a gaming setup.

What is the primary use for your PC?
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July 3, 2011 11:04:05 PM

ubercake said:
Just about every LCD monitor out there has a refresh rate of 60Hz at its native resolution (in the case of the U2410 1920x1200). The U2410 is a monitor known for its superior color accuracy which is a must for graphics artists. The thing you worry about with the IPS type of monitor is the slower pixel refresh rate which may cause ghosting to occur when the screen is redrawn at a high rate of speed. If you want to make the switch to a decent gaming monitor, you don't have to spend that much. If you want more than a 60Hz gaming monitor and you don't mind spending that much, there is one by BenQ:

http://www.benq.us/products/product_detail.cfm?product=...

with a 120Hz refresh rate in 2D mode. You can get this on Amazon. This is a good monitor if your refresh rates consistently exceed 60Hz with a gaming setup.

What is the primary use for your PC?


Thanks a lot for the quick reply.

I understand what you are saying. Basically you wouldn't recommend IPS for gaming use?

My primary use is work (office, e-mail) but I want the monitor to be best fitting for movies and gaming. I watch a lot of movies on my computer (almost all) so it should have good blacks and so on.. but its very important that it has a decent refresh rate and response time.

Would the BenQ model you recommended be good for movies?
Tbh, I never encountered a good BenQ product.

Thanks again,
Roy.E
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a b C Monitor
July 3, 2011 11:30:17 PM

TechRoy said:
Thanks a lot for the quick reply.

I understand what you are saying. Basically you wouldn't recommend IPS for gaming use?

My primary use is work (office, e-mail) but I want the monitor to be best fitting for movies and gaming. I watch a lot of movies on my computer (almost all) so it should have good blacks and so on.. but its very important that it has a decent refresh rate and response time.

Would the BenQ model you recommended be good for movies?
Tbh, I never encountered a good BenQ product.

Thanks again,
Roy.E

If you don't like the brand or have had bad experiences with it in the past, by all means avoid it. It's the only way we consumers can cast our votes for what we want.

Like I said, a monitor with 60Hz refresh works well for most of us. If your a stickler for colors, you might be best off with the U2410. Should be great for even blu-ray at 24 frames per second (fps) or 24Hz. I'm currently in the market for a 120Hz monitor, myself, because my video cards consistently output around that many fps, but I"m gaming just fine at 60Hz.

You probably won't get too much ghosting out of that monitor - as some IPS-type monitors have been susceptible to - since I've seen it used in many video card/gaming reviews.

The U2410 sounds like a good match for you, if you don't end up with the green to pink issue. Dell probably just had a bad run of those things. Just hold them accountable to their warranty if you do have a problem.
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July 4, 2011 11:38:33 AM

ubercake said:
If you don't like the brand or have had bad experiences with it in the past, by all means avoid it. It's the only way we consumers can cast our votes for what we want.

Like I said, a monitor with 60Hz refresh works well for most of us. If your a stickler for colors, you might be best off with the U2410. Should be great for even blu-ray at 24 frames per second (fps) or 24Hz. I'm currently in the market for a 120Hz monitor, myself, because my video cards consistently output around that many fps, but I"m gaming just fine at 60Hz.

You probably won't get too much ghosting out of that monitor - as some IPS-type monitors have been susceptible to - since I've seen it used in many video card/gaming reviews.

The U2410 sounds like a good match for you, if you don't end up with the green to pink issue. Dell probably just had a bad run of those things. Just hold them accountable to their warranty if you do have a problem.


I'm killing myself over this.

On one hand, I really want a gaming monitor, since I used to be a professional gamer and i'm used to high end performance gear.
Even though I don't play professionally or even all that much, when I do play a bit, I would prefer my gear to be as fitting as possible. There is nothing more annoying than gear holding you back. I used to play CS (so obviously the BenQ monitor caught my eye).

On the other hand, I don't play all that much today, I don't have time to play professionally so I almost don't play at all. What I do more often is watch a movie or a TV show. I also watch it from my bed and that means the monitor is at somewhat of an angle and I would prefer not to have to adjust it drastically each time I move from the chair. I want a good color gamut and high quality, as true as possible blacks. that's why I was looking a lot at the Dell UltraSharp series. It would be perfect if it had 100-120Hz refresh rate. I would even settle for 85Hz. But 60hz is not enough for online fps gaming.

Are there any other 100-120Hz monitors out there that have a bit higher color quality? Maybe based on an IPS panel?



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a c 195 C Monitor
July 4, 2011 12:18:37 PM

120Hz monitors are only limited to TN panel monitors. There are some IPS monitors advertised as "120Hz monitors", but in reality they are not. Those "120Hz IPS monitors" use video interpolation similar to HDTVs where frames from a 60Hz input is doubled to 120Hz output. This basically causes lag and it is recommended you switch the monitor to 60Hz mode for games.

TN panels are great for games because of the fast response times and pretty low input lag. However, the main drawback is the limited viewing angles. Due to the use of 6-bit colors, TN panels tend to have the worst color accuracy of any LCD panel tech, but that should not be a concern for most consumers those who value very high color accuracy are generally graphic artists and photographers.

VA panels are great for movies because they have high static contrast ratio of up to 3000:1. More expensive VA panel monitors have up to 4000:1 static contrast ratio. Do not confuse dynamic contrast ratio with static contrast ratio since static contrast ratio is the true measure of contrast. Basically this allows you to see more details in dark scenes due to the high contrast. IPS panel and especially TN panel monitors suffer from what is called "black crush" due to the relatively low maximum static contrast ratio of 1000:1. It seems that TN panel monitors may actually be a little less than that, but that's advertising/marketing for you. Generally speaking the lowest response time is 8ms. These VA panels use 8-bit colors which can provide very accurate colors once properly calibrated. The exception is the cPVA panel which is 6-bit VA panel, but that has been phased out production due to low demand.

IPS panel monitors (excluding e-IPS panels) are generally good for color accuracy capabilities and have wider viewing angles than VA panels. There are a few different types of IPS panels, but this section is mainly for H-IPS, S-IPS and P-IPS. Although both IPS and VA panels are listed to have 178° viewing angles, VA panels are slightly narrower than IPS panels. As for response times, they can be as low as 5ms, but the vast majority of them are 6ms. IPS panels are also considered to have the best color accuracy once properly calibrated.

e-IPS panels are considered the "economical" version of the more expense IPS panel. It's kinda like a marriage of TN and IPS panels. Like TN panels, e-IPS panels are 6-bit color, but the colors are better than your standard TN panel. Viewing angles are better than TN panels, but a bit worse than VA/IPS panels. Response time is at 8ms for this type of panel tech making it seem worse than TN and IPS panels.
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a c 195 C Monitor
July 4, 2011 12:26:55 PM

You may want to consider the HP ZR24W which uses an e-IPS panel. Here's a review:

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/hp_zr24w.htm

Here's a little chart from the review which compares the HP ZR24W to the HP LP2475W (H-IPS panel) and the Dell U2411 (H-IPS panel):

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July 4, 2011 6:19:37 PM

Thanks jaguarskx, for your extremely informative reply. I actually had no idea that there is such a thing as VA.

2 short questions.

A. VA panels sound like a great middle ground between quick response times and decent-good color and blacks. Is there a VA panel with 100Hz refresh rate and overall good quality that you know of?

B. The HP model recommended looks great. However, I did not see a refresh rate on the specifications. Do you know what it is? I would settle for 85Hz but I have to decline 60Hz monitors for gaming, its just not enough.

Thanks a lot for your help,
Roy.E
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a c 195 C Monitor
July 4, 2011 9:27:43 PM

The HP monitor I recommend is 60Hz. If a monitor does not list the refresh rate, then it is a 60Hz monitor. 120Hz monitors will have their refresh rates listed in the specs and often be stated outright with the name and model of the monitor. As I stated before, all true 120Hz monitors are TN panel only. IPS monitors advertised as "120Hz monitors" only accepts 60Hz inputs and uses video interpolation (similar to HDTVs) to create and insert interpolated frames in between every two actual frame. This leads to smoother movie/video playback, but will cause input lag with games.

As a general rule, monitors can only do 60Hz unless they are 120Hz monitors. This is because the DVI port operates at 60Hz. 120Hz monitors uses a dual linked DVI cable which is basically 60Hz x 2.

Some monitors can allow you to select above 60Hz, but not at maximum resolution. For example, if your buy a 1920x1080 resolution monitor, you would need to use it at a lower resolution (like 1600 x 900) to achieve 75Hz - 85Hz refresh rate. Additionally, I've read that while some 60Hz monitor may allow you to choose a higher refresh rate, the internal electronics may convert it down to 60Hz.

If you are dead set on more than 60Hz refresh, then you really have no other choice but to buy a 120Hz monitor with a TN panel.

An alternative is you can read through some reviews of 60Hz monitors from Newegg that interest you to find out if they can achieve about 60Hz refresh rate while at maximum resolution. But that can be a little frustrating and time consuming.
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July 5, 2011 4:59:17 PM

jaguarskx,
Thanks again for your great input.

I'm so frustrated that I'm honestly thinking of getting a CRT. CRT's are great, amazing blacks, 100Hz refresh rate no problem. Good colors... and EXTREMELY cheap. I'm actually becoming more and more convinced as I write... why did the world jump to LCD screens? Space saver? I don't have a space issue on my desk.

Thanks again,
Roy.E
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