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NEC Multisync FP955

Comparison: Twelve 19" CRT Monitors

The FP955 is a newer and improved FE950Plus. It too has a 19" DiamondTron NF tube, but a refresh rate of 110 kHz. This is a great improvement on the 96 kHz of the FE950Plus. Like the others, the FP955 screen has a display zone of 18". It has an OptiClear coating to reduce reflection and improve sharpness. Its design is fairly classical, though we noted the green Multisync on the facing, which lights up when the monitor is on. Though not very useful, it is quite fun. Another unique feature of the FP955 is in its connections. It not only has a conventional 15-pin RGB input, but also a DVI one (Digital Visual Interface). The purpose of this interface is to handle digital-to-analog conversion, often a source of distortion, inside the monitor and not at the graphic card output. The idea is to achieve better image conversion, but actually, on the FP955, this is not so because its input format is DVI-A for analog. This means that the port is physically different from the 15-pin RGB, but not technically different. In this case, digital conversion is done on the graphic card anyway. The only cable supplied is a 15-pin-to-DVI and not a DVI-to-DVI, so the advantage for the user is not too obvious. Because adding a DVI input is less expensive than adding another 15-pin port or BNC plug, it is easy to assume than the advantage is in marketing and money more than anything else. Note that, according to our tests, the DVI-A input on the FP955, compared to the 15-pin port, does not penalize the bandwidth. The FP955 has a bandwidth of 290 MHz. NEC states its maximum resolution as 1920x1440 at 73 Hz. It must be said that this is true, because we reached a rate of 73.94 Hz, and not one hundredth of a Hz more.

The screen of the FP955 is known as 'unipitch.' This means that, unlike the Vision Master Pro 454 for instance, pitch size is the same in the center and at the edges, so 0.24 mm over the entire surface. This is achieved by adding an electron deflector in the tube. As for its geometry, the latest NEC behaves very well up to 1600x1200. Beyond this resolution, you have to battle with the settings a bit to get a satisfactory image. The OSD is fairly easy to use, with a direction pad and two buttons on the facing. All the essential options are there, including moiré reduction and purity adjustment corner by corner. The color chart tests showed fairly faithful rendering, with well-differentiated shades and nice blacks. Brightness and contrast are good, though not as good as with the Iiyama Vision Master Pro 454. So, the PF955 is one of the best monitors in the test. Though its options and resolutions are not mind-bending and its refresh rates not outstanding, its images are of good quality and meet all our test criteria. It's a shame its price is rather high compared to others that perform just as well.

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