27" Monitor... Shop Now or Wait for Better PC?

Hi all, frequent reader, first time asker.

I've been considering upgrading to a 27" monitor, so I've started shopping around. I'm currently using a Dell UltraSharp 2407. It's been a great monitor over the years, nothing wrong with it, just thought maybe I could bump it up a bit. Plus, my family is still using an old 17" CRT and I feel bad, so I figured I'd get an upgrade and let them use the 24".

Anyways... I mainly use my computer for gaming, movies, media, etc. My build is a big old, but it still plays the games that I like fairly well, plus, I can't afford a new build right now, so I've just been making due.

- AMD Phenom II X4 955
- 4GB DDR3-1600
- nVidia 260GTX

So... the point is, my 24" native resolution is 1920x1200, which most games will run at, not necessarily highest settings. I play some games at 1920x1080, but get the horizontal bands. I know this build wouldn't be able to play games at 2560x1440.

Would it be worthwhile to shop for a 27" that has a 1920x1080 resolution, or would it be better for me to wait until I have built a newer system that can handle a 'nicer' 27" monitor resolution? Would there be a significant difference? I haven't really set a monitor budget yet, so price isn't really an issue right now.
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  1. for movies 1920x1080 is best as 720/1080p content will look better. you will also get less black banding issues as 16:9 content is widespread. you will still get black bands on odd sizes though on occassion.

    as far as gaming, stepping down to 1920x1080 should improve performance just a little bit. if you are having trouble running games at max at 1920x1200 then i definitely wouldnt step up in resolution. some people will miss the extra 120px in height but for games and movies its not really noticeable.

    as far as image quality is concerned a 27" monitor will not be as crisp and clear as a 24" monitor. you might need to alter such things as zoom factors by +5% or so for things to be easier to read depending on how you adapt.

    i'm using a 40" lcd 1920x1080 at around a 3.5-4' viewing distance and i kicked up windows zoom (win7) and ie zoom +5 to +10% and its manageable for the games/media center that i use it for. as far as writing documents and internet surfing it is manageable but i prefered my older 1600x1200 20.1" monitor i used in the past.

    now as for the question is it worth upgrading? i'm happy with using a larger screen as games and movies are much more immersive. if it fits your uses and you are okay with a little loss in clarity then sure go for it.

    in regards to waiting until your next pc build that is completely up to you. keep in mind that when powering a 2560x monitor in order to keep graphics at maximum all the time you will need some serious hardware and also require more frequent updates as games get more and more advanced. running at 1080p will increase the overall lifespan of your build and it will be cheaper in the long run.

    in conclusion...unless you are planning on spending $2000-2500 or so on a pc and $800-1000 on a monitor in the future i'd stick with a 1920x monitor now. you could then ride out on your current pc for a bit longer (until you absolutely need to upgrade) and then save on parts in the future when you do require an upgrade (due to reduced requirements).

    just my thoughts.
  2. Would it make sense to get a 2560x monitor and just playing games in 1920x1080? Figuring, eventually I'd have a system that can run at higher resolutions, and then I don't have to go out and buy yet another monitor that can run at higher native res. This way I have the 27" for movies and room to grow with the PC build?
  3. I don't know of any 27" 1920x1080 IPS monitors (ultrasharps are IPS btw).

    The closest thing I know of is Benq has a VA monitor that's 27" and 1920x1080, but I've heard it has a red ghosting issue, and isn't a good choice for gaming. (it's around $400)

    Planar used to make a 1920x1200 IPS monitor(called the px2611),that you can still find for sale. I had one, it was great but it died after a few years. (it's around $800)

    HP has the zr2740w, I own one, I'm playing Skyrim on it. It's a 2560x1400 IPS panel. I'd recommend it to you, but it doesn't have a scalar(it can only run in the native resolution). You're video card can scale for you, but if you're concerned about Frame rate, this might not help. (It's $700)

    Dell has the u2711, which is like the zr2740w, but it has a scalar. Costs a lot more ($1100).

    Samsung has a new PLS monitor. PLS is their version of IPS. I've not heard much about it. Most people say it's not really as good as IPS.

    I'd get the 2560x monitor and make do (play at a lower res if you need to) until you upgrade your system.

    For the money, the only 27" panel I'd buy is the hp zr2740w. The thing is, if you want something cheaper, you'd be better of with a good 24" panel. And by the time you're shelling out $1000 for the dell u2711, you might as well look for a good deal on an hp zr30w 30" panel (sometimes dell has good deals on the u3011 as well).
  4. Besides glare being a CON... I like the glossy screens on monitors, my Dell 24" is a matte finish. Seems like the glossy monitors are more vibrant, maybe that's just an illusion...

    Also, scalar, is that just the ability to change resolutions? I figured that was all done by the video card regardless. Am I misunderstanding something?
  5. A scalar is when a monitor takes a smaller image and scales it up to match the resolution of your monitor. When this happens, the monitor looks a little blurrier than normal.

    Usually both monitors and video cards have a scalar in them, but you only really need one or the other. HP has stopped putting them in a few of their monitors(the ones without OSDs), because it reduces input lag.

    However, Hp uses super matte coatings, so it you don't like your Dell you'd hate an HP. Only Apple makes IPS monitors with a glossy coating, so if that's what you want, that's where you have to look($$$$); although, Samsung's matte panels are less matte than Dell or Hp.
  6. The BenQ VA panel is glossy, but it's not very good.

    If any monitor makers are reading this, what you need to do is to go with very mild AR coating, (semi-gloss) on most of your monitors. Seriously, you can have too much of a good thing.
  7. Yeah, I wasn't planning to spend $1000+ on a 27" monitor. The Apple 30" is beautiful, but the price is outrageous. My 2407 has been nothing but good to me, I just kinda like the glossy image better, but it's not a deal breaker. Just figured the glossy was actually more vibrant, since it feels more like looking through a clear glass than a 'painted surface'. Hard to describe, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

    Basically, what I've gotten out of this though is that the 2560x1400 will give me growing room and that I want to be looking for an IPS monitor.

    From what I've read on here, IPS monitors don't come in a 120Hz flavor, correct? I'm not looking for 3D movie/gaming, but, I read that it's a smoother play, assuming my system is maintaining a high FPS.
  8. There are no 120hz IPS monitors, though Panasonic does have a few 120hz IPS televisions, so it's possible.

    The zr2740w is a great monitor, but the AR coating is almost sarcastically aggressive(it almost feels like a joke). AR coating doesn't bother me, so I'm good with it, but I've read about others trying to mod their monitors by removing the ar coating.

    This makes it glossy, but it also makes the monitor easy to damage. (The majority of people who remove the coating damage the monitor.)

    AR coating also look worse the higher pixel density you get because the size of the sparklies starts to get close to the size of the pixels.

    Plan on spending at least $700 on a good 27" incher. If I were you, I'd wait for black friday and see if dell gets the u2711 down below $850.
  9. Thanks for all the tips, appreciate the help.
  10. damn, that is a good deal, wish i wasn't so hard pressed for cash right now.
  11. @op

    in regards to you wanting to play at 1920x1080 on a 2560x monitor "for now" and then upgrade in the future while retaining the ability to play movies at 1920x1080... keep in mind that video will look better on a 1920x1080 native resolution monitor of the same size. images and video feeds look best on screens of their resolution. when you reduce or enlarge the source to fit on the screen there is always a loss of quality.

    120hz is such a joke. its not worthwhile unless either you want 3d content or are one of the people who can actually notice a difference between 60 and 120hz. as stated, IPS panels for monitors are only 60hz still.

    if you are strapped for cash you shoudlnt even be thinking about a 2560x as its a huge money pit.
  12. I understand and agree that a 1920x1080 video/game will look better on a monitor of that resolution, it just didn't seem to make sense to ultimately buy 2 monitors. I will eventually build a computer that can handle gaming at higher resolution, it just seemed that if I could buy one nicer monitor, it'd be cheaper than buying a new monitor every time I bump up my PC's performance ability.
  13. i never was suggesting that you buy a monitor now and a monitor later. there is no point in that. the reason i gave for staying with 1920x1080 was that if you are on a tight budget then 2560x isnt really the way to go as its always going to be a bigger moneypit. more money for the monitor, more money spent on upgrades as well as more frequent upgrades (to keep fps up with new games).

    besides upgrades you have to think about the content being played. blueray is likely to become more prevalent (its already pretty common) and is likely to stay around for quite some time. this means that 1080p content will be the norm for most media sources. a 1080p monitor will display this content best. the only real sources where a higher definition monitor would beat it out is on higher resolution sources (14k video maybe) and real-time-rendered video such as games or windows itself. text is also likely to be easier to read on the higher definition panel but you might need zoom settings raised depending on your vision.

    ultimately everyone can offer up their opinions on pros and cons, what choices are out there and what they would do but the only one that really matters is yours. you need to weigh out what is most important.

    all i'm saying is dont jump right in until you know exactly what you've gotten yourself into.
  14. Ah, I understand what you're saying now. It's true, I'm quite happy with the image quality of 1920x1080 games. Even with a more powerful system, I'm sure it would just mean that gaming at that resolution would be that much more smoother and that detail levels could be turned up. With that justification, I guess the next question is... what's the best 1920x1080 27" shopping I can do? I frequent Newegg, but they don't always have everything that's available.

    Most of MagicPants suggestions, while great, were for 2560x monitors.
  15. I really liked the Planar px2611w, which they are selling again ($660 on Provantage)

    It's 26" and 1920x1200 so it's not quite what you wanted, and mine died after 3 years (it stopped turning on, and would shut off spontaneously). But it was great while it lasted.

  16. I prefer viewsonic myself.

    But dell and some otherbig brands should be safe.
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