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17" LCD Part V: Four Panels Compared

Samsung SyncMaster 172X: Games

There's no point in keeping you in suspense any longer. The Samsung screen is extraordinary when it comes to color rendering, but for games, it's a disaster. Samsung has taken a big step backward. The rendering is comparable to the worst 25 ms panels. This is why we explained in the introduction, that the response time measured according to the ISO 13406-2 standard can produce any old result and seriously mislead gamers.


It's simply unplayable! The image is sharp, the game looks superb, the colors are brilliant, and you can't help but find it attractive. The problems start as soon as you begin to move. The screen effect produced is similar to that in the movies when the hero starts to dream or goes into flashback mode. He, or in this case our weapon, remains sharp, but everything else is blurred, as if swept by a mighty wind. The wake left is so bad that you can't see anything at all. It would be impossible to win a round of the game if you are playing over a network.

So in 1280, it's horrible, and it's even worse in 1024 x 768 or in 800 x 600.


Wolfenstein may well be slower than Unreal, but in this case, this doesn't make it more playable. Climbing stairs or running along corridors is quite simply hallucinogenic. FPS players, walk on by.

GTA: Vice City

The bends in the road are tight and in soft focus, but on the whole, the game remains playable. It's much less fun than with other panels, but at least you can use it for some games. That's something, after all.

Command & Conquer: Generals

As usual, movements to get from one point to another on the map tend to be blurred, but the image is good. Once again, you need to add the text "-xres 1280 -yres 1024" to the shortcut to the game, so that you can play with the benefit of an attractive image. The other resolutions produced too poor an image.


The 172X contains the collection of all of the defects of its rivals, minus one - the angle of vision is quite simply excellent. This is the first TN + Film monitor that does not fade to black when viewed from below. The angle of vision even approaches that of the IPS and MVA panels, rather than TN panels. From this point of view, the 172X has made considerable progress. In other respects, the screen flashes at least as badly as the AU Optronics model (making it clear that this is not a 24-bit screen with 16.7 million colors, but a 16-bit screen displaying 16.2 million colors with dithering) and the wake is critical. Everything tends to soft focus, and there is "ghosting." The screen is unusable for watching a movie.

What a mess! This screen is wonderful but it is only suitable for display in some big corporation. It's okay for word processing, displaying pictures, but useless for playing a game, at whatever speed, or watching a film.