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23" Monitor 1080p 120Hz with Dual-Link DVI & HDMI?

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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June 8, 2012 6:29:48 PM

So I need some advice on a new monitor I'm hoping to pick up when I start building my new PC. The rough specs for the build are as follows:

ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M
Intel core i5 3570K
ASUS Radeon HD7850
Kingston 8GB DDR3 1333Mhz or 1600Mhz RAM
Seagate 1TB Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s

The monitor I was initially planning on buying had a 60Hz refresh rate, but then I heard how much more responsive 120Hz was, so I started down the rabbit hole that is 120Hz monitors. The market is really limited for such a highly regarded screen type. The ones I'm now looking at the 'classics' (i.e. some of the only ones available):

Samsung S23A750D
Samsung S23A700
BenQ XL2410T
BenQ XL2420T
HannsG HS233H3B

But my problem is, to run the monitor at full HD native resolution AND at 120Hz, I will apparently need to connect the GPU to the monitor with a Dual-Link DVI cable because HDMI does not have the capacity to send so much information through. This is OK as the Radeon 7850 has these options for the interface: DVI-I (dual link) HDMI 2 x Mini DisplayPort. But will I be losing any noticeable benefits from the sacrifice of HDMI?

Also, what does using the monitor in 3D do to the resolution and/or refresh rate? I'm not really that interested in 3D, but I've never tried it so it might be something I love. For now I just want a 23" monitor for 2D gaming, movies and Internet that has around a 2ms response time, 120Hz refresh rate, Full-HD 1080p, LED backlighting, good viewing angles, and of course very good picture quality. Will any of these monitors NOT provide that?

The original monitor I was going to get was the Samsung S24B350H. It seemed perfect accept that it didn't offer 120Hz refresh rate. Thoughts?
a c 78 C Monitor
June 8, 2012 8:59:57 PM

All you'd be losing by "sacrificing" hdmi is the audio, but most monitor speakers are pathetic, even by the standards of non-audiophiles like me.

Using a 120hz monitor in 3d mode will keep the 1920x1080 resolution, but the refresh rate will be 60hz per eye (using shutter glasses)

Those are all TN panels to support 120hz, so you won't get good viewing angles from any of them, and the picture quality will probably be acceptable, but not especially good. Also, the HannsG you listed does not have an LED backlight. I have a vague memory of reading somewhere that with some 120hz monitors, it can be tricky to set that refresh rate in 2d mode, but possibly others here can provide more information about that.

As far as looking for 120hz over the Samsung S24B350H, what games are you playing that would benefit significantly from an increased refresh rate?
June 8, 2012 10:14:12 PM

I heard that it helps if the game's refresh rate is a factor of the screen's total frequency.

For example... a game that has it's FPS stabilized at 40 will have a harder time sending those frames to a 60Hz monitor compared to a 120Hz one. Because it just has to multiply each frame 3 times when sending to the 120Hz, but it has to do this weird fraction thing when sending it to the 60Hz. Though I never learned if this was true or not, just something I've heard.
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June 8, 2012 10:31:44 PM

I'll be playing TF2, BF3, Max Payne, etc., all fast paced games.

I don't really have a huge budget, €300 probably being the max, so are there any other suggestions than the ones I listed?
a c 78 C Monitor
June 9, 2012 4:25:56 AM

PTNLemay said:
I heard that it helps if the game's refresh rate is a factor of the screen's total frequency.

For example... a game that has it's FPS stabilized at 40 will have a harder time sending those frames to a 60Hz monitor compared to a 120Hz one. Because it just has to multiply each frame 3 times when sending to the 120Hz, but it has to do this weird fraction thing when sending it to the 60Hz. Though I never learned if this was true or not, just something I've heard.


I don't see how this could be true - the video card doesn't know ahead of time what framerate it will achieve (and I can't think of a reason to clamp it at a lower frequency than the screen's refresh rate), so it's not multiplying each frame. Instead, for each screen refresh, it sends whatever frame is ready; I think most video cards have double buffering enabled by default, so if it hasn't finished rendering a new frame, it would just send another copy of the old frame. You might be getting mixed up with pre-recorded video.
June 11, 2012 1:18:29 PM

I'm just bumping this, if that's OK? I need some help.

I had hoped to buy the Samsung S23A750D, but since I am holding back on buying a new graphics card until the GTX 660 Ti is released later this year, I will still be running my old Nvidia Geforce 9800 GTX+ which does NOT have a DisplayPort or HDMI (it only has HDTV and Dual Link DVI), and they are the only connections available for the Samsung S23A750D. But can I get an adaptor to make this work?

The other option is to go for the BenQ XL2420T, which isn't necessarily what I wanted but has all the connections I would need, or the Samsung S23A700, which has a DVI-D Dual Link input and a HDMI. Thoughts?

-The Samsung S23A700 has a more intuitive menu system and buttons, more connections, and is quite cheap at the moment from from Amazon considering how expensive it is elsewhere. It apparently has the same screen as the Samsung S23A750D, which does look great.

-The Samsung S23A750D looks the prettiest overall and is supposedly great for both movies and gaming, which is what I'll be aiming for, as well as web browsing. However, it has reportedly clumsy touch buttons and connections only viable if you have a Radeon card. Although the Radeon 7850HD is one of two cards I might get—the soon-to-be-released Nvidia 660 Ti being the other—I still only have the Nvidia 9800 right now and, as I said, it does not have the connections I need.

-The BenQ XL2420T looks a bit gammy, is only really designed as a CS:Source/FPS monitor, and doesn't seem to have as pretty of an image. It does, however, have all the connections you'd need, a bigger screen, availability—and thus competitive prices—and a very functional set-up.

What do you think?
a c 78 C Monitor
June 11, 2012 2:09:44 PM

You can easily get a DVI to HDMI adapter to connect the S23A750D, but you won't get the 120hz that way. As far as DVI to displayport, I seem to remember reading that that requires a more expensive active adapter - if you look carefully at the summaries for the inexpensive dvi to displayport adapters, they say they're for connecting a dvi monitor to a displayport video card, so they might not work properly in reverse.

My suggestion would be to go with the S23A700D. It has dual-link DVI input, and I confirmed in the online manual that it supports 120hz in 2d mode.
June 11, 2012 2:17:58 PM

Will my old 9800 GTX+ run the screen at full resolution OK? I won't be gaming until I build the new PC, which will take a few months, and I would like to start buying the parts now one at a time, starting with the monitor, but if I won't be able to run it properly with my current system then I'll have to start buying the other parts before the monitor.

I'm honestly not interested in 3D. To me it's a dead technology unless both game developers, hardware manufacturers, and monitors all unite and work in parallel. Avatar has yet been the only instance of 3D that I thought added to the experience, and that was because the whole script was based around the premise of 3D; it wasn't an afterthought.
a c 78 C Monitor
June 11, 2012 3:16:28 PM

Looking at the latest hierarchy chart, the nvidia 9800 gtx+ is only one tier below the ati 5770 that I've been using for a while, so it should have no trouble running the desktop at full resolution and 120hz. However, you'll probably have to turn down the details in your games to get the benefits of 120hz (setting aside 3d, when your framerate is below 60, I don't think there would be much difference between a 60hz monitor and a 120hz monitor). I don't think there are benchmarks up yet for the nvidia gtx 660 ti, but in the Tom's Hardware review of the radeon 7850 and 7870, the 7850 only achieved an average frame rate of 54.7 in BF3 at 1920x1080.
June 11, 2012 4:20:59 PM

Based on the supposed leaked benchmarks, apparently the 660 may not actually be better than the AMD 7850 (though the 660 Ti might well be better). Whether that's actually how it performs IRL is different. These "leaked benchmarks" probably are just specs that have been compared against others. Nvidia generally have better software support so I suspect it may eventually be, if it isn't already, the better GPU, but not by a colossal amount.

Any other opinions regarding video cards? The specs of my future build are in the OP at the top.
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