8ms 19" LCDs: Speed for Gaming, but at What Cost?

Just As Fast

Again, the Samsung 913N uses a 190EX-L01 panel made by Samsung itself. And as you would expect, this panel is really fast.

It has excellent responsiveness, with a latency of 27ms in the worst cases. As with the other models we tested, 8ms is optimistic - with our adjustments, we came up with a reading of 10.5ms. But the difference doesn't have much effect on performance.

In Practice

With office applications, we found the Samsung monitor less sharp than its competitors. It's a shame there's no DVI input, which would have helped reduce that problem. But though text is slightly less sharp, it's still perfectly legible. You'll be able to use this monitor for office applications occasionally with no difficulties. On the other hand, the panel height is a little low for my taste. It would have been better to make it a few centimeters higher to provide a more comfortable working position.

As you've gathered, games are the area where the 913N is most at home. The images are very fluid (for an LCD); you won't find better performance on the market. The colors are bright, so playing FarCry or Half-Life 2 on this monitor is very pleasant. Beyond the natural immersion the large screen size offers, the depth of the black adds to the atmosphere of murky, gloomy games, especially Doom 3. But as with most LCDs, you'll have to play in native resolution - pixel interpolation isn't any better than that of the two competitors. Though Samsung is one of the only manufacturers to offer quality interpolation on its 17" units, that advantage diminishes considerably when making the move to 19 inches. The pixels are larger, and the problems caused by interpolation are all the more evident.

For video, on the other hand, the situation is still as bad as it was for the previous two models. The viewing angles are very narrow and video noise is still present.