CCFL Versus LED: Is There A Downside To Going Green?

BenQ And Dell Power Draw

There’s no point in trying to be clever about explaining why we only have one BenQ model here. Its presence (as well as Viewsonic’s later) serve to help corroborate our observations of the semi-matched pairs from Asus, Dell, and Samsung. BenQ and Viewsonic would be more useful with their CCFL or LED twins, respectively, but there simply weren't any available to test.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 LEDCCFLLED
Monitor TestBenQ EW2420Dell ST2310Dell ST2320L
Blank screen saver31.0 W24.5 W26.4 W
Video, 100% brightness31.3 W24.2 W26.2 W
Video, 75% brightness27.1 W21.4 W21.2 W
Video, 50% brightness23.1 W18.8 W19.4 W
White, 100% brightness31.8 W23.3 W24.9 W
White, 75% brightness27.6 W20.5 W20.0 W
White, 50% brightness23.6 W17.9 W18.0 W
Black, 100% brightness30.7 W24.2 W26.3 W
Black, 75% brightness26.6 W21.3 W21.6 W
Black, 50% brightness22.5 W18.8 W19.6 W

From a power perspective, BenQ’s EW2420 is the highest energy consumer among our LED models. Could this be a result of the VA technology BenQ implemented to deliver a superior viewing experience? Perhaps. We’ll see if BenQ’s VA panel delivers on its visual promises in a bit. For now, it’s interesting to note that the BenQ is the only monitor we tested that showed higher power draw at 100% brightness running video and a white Word screen than a black screen saver.

Now, how about those Dells? We saw earlier that the pair showed identical power specs on paper. Dell’s 30 W maximum draw turns out to be a little pessimistic, as the highest draw we saw from either unit was 26.4 W from the ST2320L at a black screen. At 50% and 80%, the two displays are essentially identical on energy use. At 100%, though, the CCFL-based ST2310 averages about 2 W less than the ST2320L in each test.

How is this possible? Whereas every other CCFL monitor in this roundup uses four lamps, the ST2310 only uses two. The fact that we had to get this explanation from Dell, and couldn’t observe a visible difference at first glance, may give you a hint as to what’s coming.

Apart from Dell competing with itself, you’ll notice that both Dell monitors easily trounce their competition on power consumption, often by 10% to 20%. We don’t have an explanation on why Dell’s monitors are so much more efficient than rival brands, but it’s clear that the company’s growing reputation in the display space is well-deserved.

  • In the "Wrapping It Up" section, perhaps you meant "LED" instead of "LCD"?
  • nevertell
    How about doing this with IPS panels ? :>
  • nforce4max
    I am going to get such a monitor later this year. Imagine the leap from CRT to Led LCD.
  • Ragnar-Kon
    I personally can't wait until the OLEDs manufacturing process becomes cheaper. Having seen Sony's new OLED displays at this year's NAB in Vegas, I can say they are VERY VERY impressive.
  • scook9
    I know that I have been rocking a pair of Gateway FHD2400's for a few years now and love them as they meet all my needs and have never left me wanting
  • g00b
    Ummm ... LED? They are all LCD :).

    "Ultimately, we’d pick LCD for media consumption, but we’d pick CCFL for editing work where detail and accuracy are paramount. LCD is more fun to watch; CCFL is more reliable."
  • Please substitute "LCD" with "LED" everywhere in the conclusion section!
  • theshonen8899
    Basically the differences are very dramatic right? I'm gonna sound like a hippie for this but I'd definitely go for the greener option. Just being polite for our future generation is all.
  • what g00b said. At the end you start saying LCD instead of LED, might confuse some poor soul.
  • wrxchris
    May not be too relevant here considering that this article was based around image quality, but as a gamer, I'm still plenty satisfied with my trio of 25.5" Asus TN monitors. Yes, they bleed a bit of light around the edges and the colors may not be very accurate, but they handle fast moving images with no problems and only cost $750 for the set. And my favorite feature is the 16x10 aspect ratio, which is becoming quite hard to find these days; not sure why people are so willing to give up vertical screen space.