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Graphics Software

LCD Round-up 346

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the screens-to-lust-over dept.
TheKillerBee writes "The TechReport has posted a nice comparison of several different LCDs. A plethora of benches are present to help you decide how to spend that Christmas bonus check!" The screen update times still aren't fast enough for gamers, but they still are ever so delicious.
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LCD Round-up

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  • by aburnsio.com (213397) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:47AM (#4504748)
    ...to help you decide how to spend that Christmas bonus check!

    You obviously don't work in the IT industry, I can see. Perhaps you're a superhero from another dimension who's crimefighting organization still gives bonuses?

    • by Telastyn (206146) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:57AM (#4504843)
      No, he's just a management goon who's getting the profit bonuses from laying off 50% of his staff. Very dislike superheroes, except for the spandex of course...
    • I'm the IT guy for a small company. First place I ever worked at that had Christmas bonuses. I think it was like $50 or $100 last year. Nothing huge, but definitely appreciated! We also have free sodas and nobody writes me up if I'm 15 min. late. I love it. :)
    • What we need is an auto-reply along the lines of the famous poll option:

      "I don't get a Christmas bonus check, you insensitive clod!"
  • Hello ignorance! (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Quasar1999 (520073)
    The screen update times still aren't fast enough for gamers, but they still are ever so delicious.

    What??? I've been gaming for years on an LCD monitor... what the hell is wrong with the update times? 60Hz is ample for 3d gaming, especially when on an lcd you can't actually see 60Hz flicker... Obviously you don't have an LCD, and you are just spinning the same crap that every other uninformed CRT user is.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:54AM (#4504806)
      I believe the author was talking about ghosting caused by slow LCD updates, which is still an issue. Sure, you may not be able to see the flicker you get with CRTs, but you can see after-images when you've got a lot of motion going on.
      • Re:Hello ignorance! (Score:2, Interesting)

        by JebusIsLord (566856)
        This is true, however my NEC LCD 1850E looks perfectly acceptible even in games such as Quake3. Yes it blurs a bit, but once you get used to it, its no problem. I would never switch back even for games.
      • by Latent Heat (558884) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:49PM (#4505290)
        Remember those old DEC monitors which had this slow-crawl text scroll which actually allowed you to read text while it was scrolling?

        I use a sound spectrogram (voice print) display that I scroll in the same way. Synched to the vertical retrace using DirectX and viewed on a glass monitor at over 80 Hz, the scroll is rock solid and blur free. Try this scroll on ANY LCD (even the 20 ms response kind) and it looks like a blurred mess.

        I got the same blurred mess when I bumped the glass monitor refresh to 120 Hz but only updated the scroll every other frame (60 Hz). I pointedly don't get a blurred mess when refreshing and updating at 60 Hz.

        What this tells me is that a glass monitor gives a stroboscobic image (it flashes the image and goes dim in between refreshes), and for certain kinds of motion (i.e. a scroll or pan of the entire field), you can do amazing things with glass and get garbage with LCD. It also tells me that LCD will never be any good for motion, no matter how fast the response time, because it is not strobing the image.

        In your typical game (or even a movie), only part of the scene is changing over a pretty much static background. On the other hand, if you want a game with a scrolling 2-D display, like a moving "treasure map", you are going to notice this difference. With the right image, the effect is quite striking -- you don't need a "Golden Ear" to hear the difference between a tube and transistor amp.

        I suppose LCD will eventually take over, and there will be us few glass monitor holdouts, but the LCD will NEVER do motion well, but the masses of people will resign themselves to LCD's being good enough.

        • Glass/LCD isn't a good distinction. LCD monitors often sandwich the liquid crystals between layers of glass. (Which can shatter, which is no fun.)
        • Very interesting...

          LCD will never be as responsive as CRT because it doesn't "strobe". LCDs always maintain the previous frame until the next update, whereas CRTs always start with a blank slate. Since the chemicals in our eyes are slow-ish to respond, we see it as a continuious image.

          So even if a hypothetical (impossible, I know) LCD screen had a 0ms response time, our eyes would still not see the transition (from white to black for example) until after the next update. A CRT will show it before the update because it's always quickly fading to black. For a black to white transition, they would at best, tie.

    • Re:Hello ignorance! (Score:5, Informative)

      by jerrytcow (66962) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:00PM (#4504869) Homepage
      The display control panel may say 60 Hz, but that's not how fast the LCD updates. LCD updates are dependent on how fast the diode can turn on and off, usually called response time. It's generally in the range of 30 or 40 ms (about 25-30 Hz), though they are getting faster - I think I've seen some as fast as 20 ms (50 Hz) recently.
      • Re:Hello ignorance! (Score:3, Informative)

        by slcdb (317433)

        I've been using an LCD panel for everything, including gaming, for a little over a year now. At first, the "ghosting" from the slow diodes is a bit annoying when playing certain games, particularly FPS games and the like.

        However, it's nothing you can't get used to, and in some games it is hardly noticeable at all. It's certainly no disadvantage to the player -- at our most recent LAN party I was kickin' a** in Unreal Tournament on my LCD panel. Everyone else had CRTs.

        There are lots of pluses that you get with an LCD panel, such as: virtually non-existent refresh flicker, clarity and crispness, light weight (a huge plus if you need to tote your monitor to your LAN parties), small footprint, no glare, and less eyestrain.

        I'd never give up all those benefits just because of the small amount of ghosting that I get.

    • Re:Hello ignorance! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Telastyn (206146)
      For most everyone 60hz is sufficient for 3d gaming. For people that can actually distinguish refresh above 60hz there is a noticable difference in play (or rather results of play) as resolutions rise.

      Unfortunately this sort of thing has caught on with the masses like refresh rates on video cards. 70% of the people will get the ubercard-9000 even though only 10% of people can benefit from the better refresh.
      • 60hz on an LCD may be tolerable. 60hz on a CRT is unviewable, especially in an office with flourescent lighting, which also strobes at 60hz
        • ... doesn't flicker at 60Hz, it flickers at 120Hz. Your electricity is a 60Hz sine wave, so current flows one way, stops, flows the other way, and stops again 60 times per second. The light goes off momentarily at both of the stops.

          A good flourescent system using an electronic ballast, however, increases the frequency to the kHz range and produces no visible flicker.

      • Re:Hello ignorance! (Score:2, Informative)

        by JebusIsLord (566856)
        It just occured to me while typing my last response that you probably have refresh rate and framerate confused. Refresh rate is how fast the monitor draws images, while framerate is how fast an image gets rendered by the video subsystem. Normally your system renders frames as fast as possible then outputs them to the RAMDAC which draws them on the screen at 60,70,85hz depending on your settings. Framerate can stutter if they system is bogged down, refresh rate is fixed to your current resolution.
    • Re:Hello ignorance! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:17PM (#4504993)
      > 60Hz is ample for 3d gaming, especially when on an lcd you can't actually see 60Hz flicker...

      I concur. I have a 17" AOC LM-700 (1280x1024). First thing I did when I bought it was:

      - Play Diablo 2 at 640x480 & 800x600.
      - Play Quake 3.
      - Watched some DVDs with high action. (Jackie Chan & James Bond.)

      I was concerned about potential ghosting and other artifacts (namely aliasing at fractional multiplicative resolutions: 800 does not evenly divide into 1280), but everything looked good. (The LCD applied bi-linear filtering to 800x600 resolutions)

      Where LCD's *really* shine (pardon the pun :) is for coding. Text is crystal clear !

      Sure a pure green gradient (white to pure green) on my LCD has banding (I figure the LCD only has ~ 7 bits for green), but pictures look great on it whethere they are still or moving ones.

      I just wish this review, and Tom's would do a *comprehensive* LCD review.

      Cheers


    • I notice some ghosting when I play Quake 3 on my LCD (Viewsonic VP191 or something), but it's still a generally much nicer experience than my CRT was. I would say another big problem with gaming is that you usually need to use an LCD at its native resolution in order for it to look good, and that can be a problem if you want to run at a lower resolution to handle fancier games.
  • Hmph. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by drhairston (611491) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:50AM (#4504769) Homepage
    Why are the Macintosh LCD monitors not represented? They work quite well not just with Macintosh computers but with PCs as well, as my desktop can easily demonstrate. Additionally, Apple's patented display has none of the viewing angle problems the author complains of. Hardly representative.
    • Re:Hmph. (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:55AM (#4504818)
      Because other than Steve Jobs, nobody gets a Christmas bonus large enough to afford the clear plastic and Apple logo.
    • Re:Hmph. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by red_dragon (1761) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:29PM (#4505085) Homepage

      Because they believe that:

      • Apple hardware is completely incompatible with PC hardware;
      • ADC only works with Apple hardware;
      • There are no ADC-to-DVI converters.

      Ignorance is bliss, some people say.

    • Why not ask why other manufacturers (Sony, NEC etc.) are not represented as well ? I'm sure the reason is that these manufacturers did not see fit to send over a demo.
  • Hot Damn! (Score:3, Informative)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:50AM (#4504771) Homepage Journal
    And I'm about 2 weeks from getting a 17" monitor. I've looked at Sony, NEC and Viewsonic in person and so far the NEC 1700+ series look great, but still $650 is enough to give pause. There are cheaper, but you get what you pay for, and a 17" for $550 may be one sorry investment.
    • Re:Hot Damn! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kaypro (35263)
      Being a very satisfied owner of an NEC LCD (1500 series (1550M), same specs as the one mentioned in the parent besides being only 15") I can say without hesitation that it's well worth the extra $$$. Great display, no problems at all with games (running at the native resolution) and an absolute pleasure on the eyes, no strain at all and sitting in front of it for 8 hours straight if you have to is not a problem either. If you're not a heavy gamer I recommend getting the ones with the built in speakers, they sound great and save valuable desk space.
    • I'll also happily recommend the NEC 1700. I spent about a month buying and returning 19" CRT monitors that were alternately fuzzy or had poor refresh rates. My wife turned the corner and said, "Why not go LCD?" Good idea. The NEC LCD is beautiful and so far works wonderfully -- at 1280x1024.

      I have considered the fact that for the same amount of money, I could have bought a very good 19" CRT -- make no mistake, the price is far higher than a bigger CRT -- but I certainly do not miss the sag in the middle of my desk or the lack of desktop space that a big CRT takes up. The credit card hurts a little, but the mind is happy.

      -schussat
    • Re:Hot Damn! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by alistair (31390)
      I have a pair of NEC MultiSync 1850DX monitors for work and I have to say they were the best investment I ever made on IT equipment. My headaches have reduced from about 1 every 2 days on busy days to one in the six months I have owned these monitors, this was beginning to concern me as I didn't put it down to the monitors until I bought these (and my CRT monitor was a very hig end Sony with a high refresh rate).

      One thing I have noticed about flat panel displays is that you can get end of life models relativly cheaply if you are prepared to search the web and wait a bit. NEC seem to refresh their monitor range fairly frequently, the one I am using cost over $1000 each but three months later a friend managed to pick one up for around $450. If I had to move jobs and was given a CRT display now, i would seriously consider spending up to $1000 of my own money on this quality of flat screen display, such is the difference it has made to my ability to work.
  • Why Bother (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheEnglishPatient (173496) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:51AM (#4504774)
    From the article:-
    "The good will have to really outweigh the bad and the ugly if you want to justify an opulent LCD purchase to your boss, to yourself, or worse, to your significant other."

    Obviously LCD still hasn't bettered CRT so keep you old monitor and spend the dosh on something else instead.
    • Re:Why Bother (Score:5, Insightful)

      by KFury (19522) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:02PM (#4504891) Homepage
      It's funny how a 1280x1024 LCD at $799 is considered opulent. It wasn't so long ago that an 800x600 15" CRT cost more than that.

      Most places I've worked have sprung for Trinitron tubes back when they cost a premium. Why is it unreasonable to think they'll go LCD? Do you have any idea how much these things save in desk space? and frankly, they make users happy, which also helps the bottom line. The up-front cost is a small price to pay for the continuing dividends.
    • Re:Why Bother (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tuffy (10202) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:14PM (#4504975) Homepage Journal
      Obviously LCD still hasn't bettered CRT so keep you old monitor and spend the dosh on something else instead.

      If you want to stare at text all day long, you'll need a CRT with a fast refresh rate to approach LCD's "no refresh" approach, so in that respect LCDs are far superior. But, if you want to play action games, you'll need an LCD with a fast update to approach a CRTs refresh rate. On the other hand, if you have too much desk space and need to put more watts through your UPS, CRTs are superior in that respect also. But, LCDs still don't have the brightness of a CRT.

      In short, LCD and CRT tech are different and the value of each will depend on just what the user is looking for in a monitor.

      • Getting an LCD saved my eyes and spared me many headaches from long days of screen staring. I can spend 8-10 hours in front of an LCD a day and not have a serious headache in the evening - even with a 75-85Hz refresh, I can't say the same about even the best (Trinitron) monitors I have used (well, I can go for a few days, but after a week or two of intense screen staring, I get the headaches and general eye fatigue/strain problems again).
  • Be wary (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:51AM (#4504777)
    The pixel response time of LCDs has improved dramatically over the years, but CRTs still have the edge. What's most worrying about pixel response times, however, is that LCDs with similar pixel response time specs don't always show the same performance in the real world. It's really something you have to check for yourself. Slow pixel response time = ghosting and streaking.
  • LCD vs CRT (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theeds (300421) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:51AM (#4504780) Homepage
    Despite the years that lcd's have been around I still don't get why people buy them over crt. Yes they take up less space and if you poke them you can make cool designs, but past that they suck. I just hate it when I'm scrolling and the page gets all blurry, it's like a bad cam version of a movie.
    • The motion blurring issue is not as bad as it used to be. Many of the newest LCD's sport 25 ms reponse times, which pretty much eliminate screen blurring except for the fastest motion.

      I've seen DVD movies played back on a Samsung SyncMaster 152T 15" LCD with its 25 ms response time and it was able to play back a DVD movie with surprisingly good clarity.

      I expect a number of new technologies arriving in the next 18 months that will lower the response time to the 10 ms range, which will make it possible to view DVD movies and high-end games with pretty much no perceptible motion blurring.
    • Re:LCD vs CRT (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Triv (181010) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:32PM (#4505124) Journal
      here's a few reasons:

      1. LCD's are smaller, have less of a depth to them.
      2. LCD's are silent, CRT's have a horrible whine.
      3. LCD's don't have that annoying screen refresh that gives people (me, anyway) an awful headache.
      4. LCD's use less power. It ads up in the long run.
      5. LCS's are brighter, at least in my experience.

      YMMV, of course, but those're all the reasons I switched to LCD.

      Triv
      • Re:LCD vs CRT (Score:3, Informative)

        by NeoSkandranon (515696)
        1. LCD's are smaller, have less of a depth to them.
        Okay, I'll give you that one. CRT's are pretty huge if you're strapped for space

        2. LCD's are silent, CRT's have a horrible whine.
        If your CRT is making noise i have to wonder if perhaps something's wrong with it. Mine makes not a sound.

        3. LCD's don't have that annoying screen refresh that gives people (me, anyway) an awful headache.
        Buy a decent monitor. I had that problem too, until I ditched my 3-year old CRT and got a KDS flat CRT. Notched the refresh rate up to about 75Hz and no more headaches

        4. LCD's use less power. It ads up in the long run.
        Can't comment. I'm not terribly concerned about saving five bucks on my power bill if i payed and extra 200$ for the LCD though

        5. LCS's are brighter, at least in my experience.
        Most monitors do come with a controls that let you adjust that ;)
        • If your CRT is making noise i have to wonder if perhaps something's wrong with it. Mine makes not a sound.
          I haven't heard it much from computer monitors lately, maybe my hearing is not as good as it used to be, or the higher resolutions use a higher frequency, but I used to hear the screen refresh on computer monitors all the time.

          Actually, I still hear it on televisions. In college, I can tell if one of the television screens was left on in the classroom (even though it has a black screen and no power indicator LEDs) by *hearing* the refresh. I usually turn them off. The sound doesn't really directly annoy me, but it seems like a sound that would annoy me if I had to hear it for a long time.

          The OP also forgot to mention sharper text. At work, I have been using two 17" LCD screens which surround my central 21" CRT. I use my central CRT for coding, where I use a large, basic, bold-ish font (fixedsys), and my side screens are for finer text, web browsers, and terminal windows.

          I'm not sure about other models of LCD, but these models (Samsung SyncMaster 770) have a very fine control that has allowed me to tune a 1:1 ratio on the pixels, even though it's over an analog signal. Of course this only works in the exact max resolution of the screen, and it took a bit of time to get right, but it has stayed there, and it's probably just as sharp as a digital connection.

        • 5. LCS's are brighter, at least in my experience. Most monitors do come with a controls that let you adjust that ;)

          So did mine. ;) Problem was, even if I cranked the contrast and brightness all the way up it was still too dark to watch DVD's on. It made everything I wanted to watch look like a bootleg of "Casablanca." :)

          Triv
        • Re:LCD vs CRT (Score:3, Informative)

          by Skater (41976)
          6. LCDs don't give off any radiation, CRTs do. (I don't care, but some people do.)
  • Cool... (Score:4, Funny)

    by bucklesl (73547) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:51AM (#4504784) Homepage
    A plethora of benches are present

    ...it's so hard to find comparisons of benches. I am needing a new one.

    thanks!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:52AM (#4504788)
    Don't you mean that Christmas Severence Check? Or even more likely that Christmas Unemployment Check?
  • by vought (160908) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:53AM (#4504793)
    The first manufacturer to go to an all-LCD lineup doesn't get it's products reviewed?

    Besides pushing the technology, they've actually got LCDs that are decently bright and easy to profile and calibrate. I wish they'd reviewed some of Apple's displays - I'd like to see if the dollar premium is really worth it. (The easel adjustment on the 17", 22" and 23" is pretty killer though!)
    • by tswinzig (210999) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:02PM (#4504888) Journal
      They probably couldn't afford the test monitors...
    • "The first manufacturer to go to an all-LCD lineup?"

      What's that thing in the eMac? [apple.com]

      A fifty-pound, vacuum-filled, beam-addressable LCD?

      (I guess "CRT" is just an Apple trademark for Color Raster Technology).
      • You got me there. But Apple still seems to be pushing LCD technolgy further and faster than other top-tier manufacturers. Apple no longer makes standalone CRT displays. All but the very lowest cost products are equipped with LCDs.

        I seem to recall that Apple was all-LCD for a few months between the introduction of the new iMac and the eMac, but I guess that's not accurate either, since they've been selling the $799 iMac all along.
  • by mesach (191869) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:56AM (#4504829)
    Do these retailers take Ralphs(California Grocery Chain) Gift certificates.

    Thats what I get for a Chistmas bonus!
  • by Getzen (549982) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:56AM (#4504831)
    "The screen update times still aren't fast enough for gamers, but they still are ever so delicious."

    Just to set the record straight, many people, myself included, have found that update times less than 30 ms are plenty good for even the fastest games (UT2003 springs to mind). My 15" KDS is excellent for gaming -- I can't imagine ever going back to a CRT.

  • by httpamphibio.us (579491) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @11:57AM (#4504844)
    I'm a real estate whore... I'm currently running 2 19" monitors at 1600x1200 (3200x1200) and I'm seriously considering getting a third. I've looked at LCD's every once in a while and I've never been pleased with what I've found, I can get a very decent 19" for under $200, Viewsonic PF790's are what I'm using now. Lower cost, higher res, I could even get three of these and be right in the middle of the pack pricewise. Apart from the Apple Cinema HD [apple.com] (which I wouldn't mind getting four of) I can't think of an LCD that cuts it.
    • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:12PM (#4504964)
      I think the biggest downside with CRT computer monitors is the fact that monitor manufacturers still haven't addressed the biggest downside of these monitors, namely the large depth of the monitor due to the way CRT's are manufactured.

      I remember a few years ago Viewsonic addressed this with the A75s model, a 17" CRT monitor that had a physical depth substantially less than other 17" CRT monitors. I'm very disappointed that Viewsonic (let alone the CRT monitor industry) has not adapted the short-depth CRT concept to all their 17", 19" and 21" monitors. :-(

      CRT's fast response makes them excellent for viewing fast motion graphics (e.g., high-end games and DVD playback), but monitor manufacturers should be working on shortening the depth of the tube so the monitor can fit onto desks easier.
      • by RatBastard (949) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @01:37PM (#4505601) Homepage
        "Short Neck" CRTs are pretty costly to produce. They need stronger magnets, get knocked out of alighment more easily and suffer higher incidents of misconvergance, IIRC. While they are a nice technology, they tend to be fairly costly in a pretty cut-thorat market segment.
      • Short Depth monitors (like the Viewsonic PS790) have horrible quality problems. You either have abberations (one color shifted a pixel off) near the edges of the screen (which on a 19inch are pretty big) and a sharp center, or you have the same problem or a vague fuzziness in the center of the screen while having sharp edges. There's a big reason they dropped "short depth" as a "big feature point" and are now all over "flat", and quality and warranty-cost issues are part of it.

        AND to top it all off, "short depth" wrt tubes means 17 inches deep instead of 18.5 inches. Ooooh, so much more compact.
    • by luiss (217284)
      I know, it's 10 grand, but check out the IBM T221 [ibm.com].
    • Text will never look as sharp on your 19" CRT as it will on a DVI equipped LCD. You get what you pay for. Deal with it.
    • I'm a real estate whore... I'm currently running 2 19" monitors at 1600x1200 (3200x1200) and I'm seriously considering getting a third.
      Mitigating factor: LCD resolution is more useful than CRT resolution. I used to run my 19" CRT at 16x12. I was seriously worried about the lower res of my 12x10 LCD. However, the LCD is SOOOOO much sharper than the CRT, I just lowered all my font sizes. IMO, a 17" LCD at 12x10 is about as useful as a 19" CRT at 16x12.
  • audience? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tps12 (105590) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:00PM (#4504870) Homepage Journal
    For what audience is this article written? At some points it looks like they're going for the geeks:

    LCDs are capable of being just short of blinding if you crank the brightness. (Finally, a less embarrassing excuse for your computer-induced blindness!)

    The masturbation humor tends to work well with the slashdot crowd, but probably would fall flat for most of the general population. Which is fine, I can deal with a review targetted at geeks. But then they have this informative paragraph:

    Take a look at how much of your desk is currently taken up by your monitor. Seems like a lot, doesn't it? CRT monitors are notoriously big, bulky, and deep. LCDs are the exact opposite; many are just inches thick, if that, and some even come with wall-mounting hardware. Because of their size, LCDs are also much lighter than CRTs, which makes lugging them around a lot easier.

    I mean, if ever there was a paragraph deserving of a "no fucking shit," this has gotta be it.

    This is a perfect example of the poor quality of writing on the web. When Internet "journalism" fails in the next couple of years, you'll need only look at this poor editting to understand why anyone with any intelligence is sticking to dead-tree periodicals.
  • by LoudMusic (199347) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:02PM (#4504883)
    If you look a the ones they're comparing, they are all 15" and 17" displays. Apple has one 17".

    They are comparing these displays for the "PC" market - in order to use an Apple display on a non-Apple computer you have to get an expensive adaptor in addition to the already over-priced display. The ones reviewed are relatively inexpensive displays.

    Cut them some slack, journalists have the right to review whatever the hell they damn well please - if you want a review comparing the Apple displays to other people's displays, do it yourself.
  • Screen updates (Score:3, Informative)

    by gazbo (517111) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:02PM (#4504886)
    Well, you may not think that they are fast enough right now, but that is set to change. On of the manufacturers (Sony perhaps? I have a terrible memory) has had a patent for some time that they were expecting to come to fruition around Q2 of 2002 that has obviously gone over schedule, but is likely to allow refreshes up to 70Hz in the first generation, but they believe it may even extend to ~150Hz in the future - put monitors to shame in every which way!

    I forget the exact tech, but the basic idea was using a set of 'high-tensile' coupled LCDs instead of the regular LCD cells. Usually their nature means that they can only be cast to minute sizes, far too small for useful work (a 15" screen would require a minimum of 4096*4096 cells, and even then the display would be grainy due to the cell-pitch.

    Philips tried to work around this by using flared-end fibre optics, but it'll come as no surprise that this produced an exceptionally blurry and dull image. Sony, however, have found a set of lab conditions under which HT-coupled LCD can be crystallised at sensible sizes.

    It'll be expensive to start with, but this may well spell the end of the power hungry CRT.

  • Other reviews (Score:5, Informative)

    by rutger21 (132630) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:03PM (#4504897)
    Tomshardware [tomshardware.com] has a quite extensive review on their site regarding 17" LCD monitors,

    Sexy LCD 17" Monitors - Part I [tomshardware.com]

    Comparison of 17" LCDs: The Heavyweights Enter The Ring - Part II [tomshardware.com]
    Cheers

  • Recently got a Belnea (Euro only I think?) 10 15 37 for my parents new workstation (for behind the Bar, when it gets quiet the computer comes in handy), and it is great... especially with the limited surface space we have. The original version of this monitor was reviewed [tomshardware.com] on Toms Hardware, but the casing was cheap and nasty. Fortunately they heeded the reviews and there have been two revisions of the monitor, for a great price of £255 ex vat,

    I did try the monitor with Unreal 2003, but the ghosting started making me feel sick after 10 minutes of play... but I'm not the primary user, and the only games played on it by my parents usually involve cards (as well as internet and e-mails)!

  • 17" 1600 x 1200 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DOsinga (134115) <<douwe.webfeedback> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:05PM (#4504917) Homepage Journal
    One thing I have been wondering for a while, why are there no 17" 1600x1200 lcd monitors? There are laptops that support that resolution with smaller screens, but no monitors, as far as I know.
  • Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Why is it I can get a laptop capable of 1600x1200 on a 15" screen no bother, but the only 1600x1200 capable LCD displays for the desktop are huge monsters?

    I want a monitor with high DPI, not high physical size. I'd pay good money for a 1600x1200 desktop display that was basically a laptop screen in a different case.

  • Depends on the game (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sjbe (173966) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:11PM (#4504956)
    The screen update times still aren't fast enough for gamers, but they still are ever so delicious.

    The only games where this could possibly matter are the fastest paced shooter games, and even then it is a marginal problem. Certainly isn't a big enough problem for me to want to take up 300 square miles of desktop space with a glorified vaccuum tube.

    Besides there are games besides Quake out there you know. Some of us even play them.

  • They didn't have my favorite "Cornea" brand monitor...ugly brandname, but a very decent monitor generally priced one size lower than what you get.

    Anyway, one justification for me for getting an LCD was the idea of not bathing myself in EMF all the live long day...is there any rational reasoning behind that, or am I just being paranoid? (Or just enjoying all the extra deskspace...)
  • My Toshiba Satellite with its 1600x1200 is bar-none the most gorgeous display I have ever seen. Granted I don't work in the graphics industry and I don't spend $600 on monitors. Everyone I work with always mentions how beautiful my display is and even our web designers and graphics guys always mention how much they like it. The only thing I wish it had was the ability to input from another video source. (You hear that Toshiba? Add a digital input!)
    • Heh heh. I have the same sort of LCD (those new wide-angle UXGAs, IBM calls them "FlexView") in my Dell laptop, and the thing is a beauty. Since I can't find any 133 DPI desktop LCDs, and the damn thing lacks a DVI input, I'm thinking my next system will be a nice, headless dual Hammer with the laptop acting as a X terminal.
  • by MSBob (307239) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:20PM (#4505011)
    This roundup is not representative of what most people tend to buy. There is a huge thread [infopop.net] on arstechnica that covers most LCDs that are good value today.

    Personally, I would only consider the Dell 1702FP (a beaufiful 17" DVI panel) or the Dell 2000FP (a huge 20" panel that can be had for $1300 if you apply some Dell discounts). Samsungs are OK but I don't like their panels' piss poor black reproduction. If you want your computer to look hip go get a Samsung, but if you want a screen that delivers beautiful images then Dell is the better vendor even if their case styling isn't as nice.

  • The reviewer indicates "Here, I've broken things down Eastwood style" and the procedes to give us the 'Good Bad and Ugly' results of the review.

    It's not Eastwood style at all. He (Eastwood) was just "The Good". The "style" he's talking about should either be attributed to Sergio Leone (director) or Agenore Incrocci (writer) though Leone also wrote the story with Agenore.

    Ahh, journalism in the world of the Blog.
  • Flat panel CRTs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by regne (619612)
    Does anyone know what happened with flat CRTs [slashdot.org]?. I'm still waiting for a 36" Magnetic Matrix Display to replace my old 4:3 TV set. Should I start breathing again?.
  • by realmolo (574068)
    So many people with LCDs that they use for games are saying "Yeah, it ghosts sometimes, but you'll get used to it". Screw that. LCDs cost more than *bigger*, better CRTs. So I'm paying more to have a crappier picture in essentially every way (color, speed, viewing angle, brightness are all superiour on a CRT)? Give me a break. Oh, and the "saves valuable desktop space" argument is bullshit, too. What, exactly, are you going to be putting behind your LCD display, now that the space isn't taken up by the CRTs tube? LCDs are cool because they are thin, don't use much power, and have a sharper (though not necessarily better)picture. That's it. Otherwise, they suck.
  • by razathorn (151590) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:40PM (#4505201)
    I have to say that my viewsonic va800 (17.4") is quite the awesome peice of eq. I'm a software eng by day and a gamer by night... As for the programming side of the coin, any monitor will do, bug screen space is king... that paired with crisp fonts makes the code flow. As for the game side, the lcd I have is very good for games. I have owned 2 other LCD flat panels that were just plain too slow (disposal of pixels) to play games on, but the va800 has it down. Scrolling, full motion, no bluring in the least. Don't get me wrong, not all viewsonics are great for games.. their 15 inch one was just terrible, and a friend of mine claims his 19 inch black viewsonic was too slow for him. Something about the va800 made me keep it for gaming where the others went back to the store. Just my 2 cents for the gamers.

    Oh and some of the other PRO's of LCD that make it totally worth it if you have the extra cash and have found one with a quick pixel disposal rate that you are comfortable playing games on:

    1) one touch auto sync / setup. Match the res and contrast with a click of a button. No black boxes around your viewing area. BTW 17.4 means 17.4 VIEWABLE.. unlike in the CRT world.

    2) no more areas of the screen that you just have to deal with distortion on... Cant count how many monitors are just slighly curved or crooked in the corners or discolored in a fashion that even a degaus coil won't fix.

    3) LIGHT and small. This one is under rated. I had a 21 inch monitor at work that was soo big, I couldn't get it all the way in the corner section of the cube where the computer should go and still have a keyboard on the desk. What a joke.. I don't need a big set top TV thank you. LCD's pivot, twist.. all that... turn the screen show a friend. Move the screen to a new location, don't break your back.

    4) low power consumtion... quit dimming the lights when you power on your RAY GUN.

    5) multiple input and or tuners built in. Some of the lcds have multiple inputs (svideo, multiple analogs..), some even have tv and radio turners with PIP built in (I had a samsung that did that.. TITS!). I can have my ultra 60 and my game PC plugged into mine and hit the 'switch input' button and boom.. there's the other machine. And with all that space i saved for having an LCD, I can have 2 keyboard and mice! JOY!

    Thats's about it. I like mine overall... it was 1600 bucks back in the day, now it's like 700 retail. I'm very happy with it... the moral is 'try em all' cause loads of them just do plain suck for disposal rates. I made the guy at the computer store play a DVD on all of them before I considered purchasing one ;)
    • Agreed 100%. The VA800 does rock, both for games and text-heavy activities (coding, writing, etc. all of which I have been known to do). Crystal clear text.


      I don't for the life of me understand the screen measurements of LCDs vs. CRTs - they aren't even remotely comparable. The VA800 17.4" LCD has almost an identical amount of screen real estate to my Dell Trinitron 19" CRT monitor sitting by desk (on the floor until I get a dual head card). I measured the diagonal, and the Dell is about .2" longer than the VA800, and you get a perfect, flat image that uses the entire viewable area on the VA800 every time.


      Those complaining about ghosting - I don't really see it, even in high speed 3D games (CounterStrike, etc.). My only quibble (and it may just be me) is that ClearType seems to not look that good on this monitor under Win XP. Honestly, the text looks great at native 1280x1024 resolution with standard anti-aliasing (i.e. no anti-aliasing for normal 10-12point fonts), and it doesn't give me a headache like ClearType does after a long day of screen-staring. Is this a feature of the LCD or a feature of my brain?

  • I think I would rather get myself a projector then a flat screen. It would make watching DVD a lot better then staring around a 17" screen. And and makes the ultimate 2d ermersion for thoes 3d games.
  • by shadowj (534439)
    Just bought a 17", 1280x1024 display at CompUSA (yes, yes, the devil incarnate, I know) for $399. It's an off-brand; name on the bezel is KOGi, model number is L7EH, apparently made by Gvision [gvision-usa.com].

    Is is God's gift to monitors? No. But it's big, it's crisp, and comfortable to work with; I ditched a decent Sony 17" CRT in favor of this thing, and I'm happy with it. FWIW, CompUSA also sells a 14" LCD from the same manufacturer for $199.

  • by Poilobo (535231) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:44PM (#4505244) Homepage
    All the lcd panel reviews seem to focus on the same thing, cost. When people review crts they don't go out and find the cheapest monitor they can consider that the standard (That's why you have 'budget' reviews).

    I've been using an AG Neovo 17.4" monitor for about eight months and it is absolutely fantastic (IMHO better than the mac 17's). The text is crisp and the color reproduction is oustanding. Yes, it's expensive (~$899US), but if I have to look at something for 10+ hours a day I'm going to spend the extra cash. Besides, how many slashdotters are there that don't seem to have a problem buying $400+ video cards twice a year to make sure they get the extra 200fps out of quake3?

    As for gaming, I play UT2003 on it all the time without a single bit of ghosting. One thing from the article that the author should have made manditory was the use of DVI. Why anyone would buy a DVI-only lcd is beyond me. Having both inputs is great for using my laptop (analog output only), but the picture is noticebly better through the DVI connector.
  • "Although LCD screens claim support for 32-bit color, the displays themselves often aren't capable of accurately reproducing all 16.7 million colors common 32-bit graphics modes."

    Reading between the grammatical lines, I'd say they have to go back and think about exponents some more. The rest of the review is just as hinky.

    -B

  • No Sony? No NEC? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Junks Jerzey (54586) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @12:59PM (#4505352)
    Kind of funny that two of the most highly regarded makes of LCD monitors are ignored.
  • by default luser (529332) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @01:03PM (#4505382) Journal
    Look, let me clear up some common misconceptions.

    LCDs do not refresh at a certain rate per second like CRTs. In fact, once a pixel is set on an LCD, that pixel remains set to that color until it is changed.

    THERE ARE NO UPDATES ON AN LCD. Each pixel is wired, and stays the same color until it's signal changes.

    This is why there is noticable blur on an LCD. On a CRT, we would just see the whole screen getting updated at an incredibly low rate and call it insane flicker. But LCDs simply have a certain delay between when you change the pixel's color signal, and when the pixel gets updated. It looks blurry because it's not uniform rederawing of the screen like a CRT refresh.

    There are three problems presently with LCDs that manufacturers will have to address before they overthrow CRTs:

    *Even highend LCDs do not have the response time to even deliver 60fps video without blurring, and by far games are the worst thing to view on an LCD with a slow response time. As you look around and maneuver, the whole scene is blurred. The best LCDs on the market right now have around 25-30ms response rate, which is barely above 30fps. I believe we had this debate years ago ( 60 vs 30 ), and if the horsepower in today's video cards is anything to judge by, I'd say 60fps minimum won. I know personally I can't live with anything less. Sure, not everyone needs this kind of response time, but making it avaliable for the performance player is still a necessity.

    *Most lowend mass-market LCDs have even worse response times (~45ms), and end up looking terrible when you view a video, or even when you're just scrolling through Explorer. People have come to expect a certain responsiveness and capability after paying for a multigigahertz toaster.

    *Very few LCD screens have addressed the fact that their contrast ratios are terrible, even compared to cheap CRTs. I know a lot of you are proponents of LCDs because of their lack of flicker, but the truth is low contrast can cause just as much strain on the eyes, especially when reading.
    • Hmm. I have a pair of NEC 1530V monitors connected to a 1.2Ghz PIII with GeForce4 MX440 video card. Playing RTCW I get around 80-90 FPS on interior scenes and maybe 40 on exterior.

      I don't notice any blurring, or have any problem playing the game. There may be some, but it's not substantial enough to be an issue.

      Contrast is an issue in games. Whenever I start up the game, I have to go in and manually adjust the contrast settings. Once I do that, then I can see in all the dark corners, etc.

      I'd have to say your comments are based on the LCD screens that we had available 4-5 years ago, or even on some of the cheaper laptops today. Either that or you are exagerrating the issues.
  • A couple of years ago I bought a 17" 1280x1024 analog-interface LCD from Planar Systems - either the CT1744Z [planar.com] or a direct predecessor, I don't quite remember. It came with built-in speakers (I don't care that much about sound so that was a plus; YMMV) and a built-in four-port USB hub that hadn't even been mentioned in the literature. It was under $1000 then, and is now down to $650 (at Insight [insight.com].

    I just have to say, this is a great monitor, and I wish more people knew about the brand. It never seems to be included in these types of roundups, which is a shame because I think it would do very well. Compared to other LCD monitors I've looked at the Planar is bright, it has good contrast (400:1) and pixel response time (15ms rise, 10ms fall), etc. The interpolation actually works rather well, though I still prefer to get dot-for-dot accuracy on a smaller display area in most cases; unlike some LCD monitors, this one gives you the choice. IMO Planar's combination of performance, features and price spanks any of the monitors that were in this review.

    And no, I don't have any relationship with Planar other than that of a very satisfied customer. I just like to acknowledge when people work hard to create good products.

  • by jjohnson (62583) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @01:14PM (#4505452) Homepage
    I have a Dell Latitude with a 15" LCD screen running natively at 1600x1200, and it looks fantastic. Why the hell can't I get a standalone LCD with that high a resolution? 15" LCDs max out at 1024x768; 17" at 1280x1024. Half the reason that text is so clear on my laptop screen is the high resolution, and that advantage disappears for a standalone.
  • I thought you meant LCDs as in LCD text displays like CrystalFontz or MatrixOrbital! Shucks...
  • by sjonke (457707) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @01:28PM (#4505533) Journal
    In 1999 Apple invested $100 million into Samsung and uses their LCDs [macworld.com] for their own displays.
  • Environmental Impact (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hopbine (618442) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @01:36PM (#4505589)
    Does anyone out there know of the environmental impact of LCDs vs CRTs. I know that with the traditional CRT their is a high toxic metal content - lead, phosphorous,cadmium, barium and mercury. Also I think that they take more energy to produce. I have not seen similar concerns expressed with the production and disposal of LCDs. It could be of course that one can recylce the content of a CRT but not that of LCDs. Any comments welcome.
  • One thing that really upsets me about thes LCD reviews is that the authors are totally lazy. They say "LCD's are more expensive up-front, but they're smaller and save desk space." Fine, but that statement is useless without numbers.

    1) Real estate
    Save desk space? Whatever, LCDs let you save floor space by getting a smaller desk. So, how's this pay? Well, the initial cost of the LCD should probably go up a bit, since most folks don't have a narrow desk. So, tack on $50 as a base cost for a new desk. (If you shop at IKEA, you can get a new top and re-use your existing legs, driving the cost down towards like $25. If you're seriously rich, maybe you'll drop $500 on a new desk, but you probably already own the LCD.)

    So, now the repeating costs. A 2' desk that's 6 feet wide will save you 6 aq'. In Manhattan, a 1000 sq' apartment is $2000/mo. or $2/sq'/mo. In Pittsburgh, it's more like $.10/sq'/mo. Obviously, where you live makes a difference. So, annually, we have:
    LCD Savings
    Cheap cities: $7/yr
    Expensive cities: $144/yr (no wonder that every business in Manhattan buys LCDs as a matter of course)
    Note that the payoff period for the desk is more than 9 years in Pittsburgh, so there is about 0 space savings.

    2) Power
    Unless you live in California, I think electricity's about $.07/kW/h. Let's assume you use power saving reasonably and stuff. If you work at home, or multiple people use your computer throughout the day, the monitor's probably going to be on like 12 hrs/day. If you're a more causal user, it's probably more like 4. If you use your computer to read email once a week, you don't read slashdot.

    So, according to the article, monitors use 100w, LCDs use 50. Assume you use your computer 260 days per year (5 weeks/year not using). For the heavy user, CRT is 100*12*260*.07/1000 = $21/yr. The causal user is $7/yr. LCDs are half that, for a cost savings of $10 and $4.

    So, how expensive are LCDs? Well, 4 years seems a reasonable length of time to own a monitor. So here's a comparison for a 17" LCD and 19" CRT (which have about the same viewable area). Assumes the initial cost of the LCD is $650(+50 in Manhattan), CRT is $250. Lists the cost difference of an LCD:

    Manhattan (heavy use): $152 less
    Manhattan (light use): $144 less
    Pittsburgh (heavy use): $260 more
    Pittsburgh (light use): $384 more

    Hopefully this ads a touch of rigor to your buying decision. I suspect that if you live outside the energy-subsidized US, the energy costs will become more significant. If you live in a hot climate, you might want to factor in A/C costs (see below). Also not factored in is the reduced eyestrain with LCDs. For those of you who work long hours, this is probably worth the LCD price on its own.

    For another take on TCO, which is more detailed WRT power & cooling, but seems less useful to me, check out this page [viewsonic.com].

  • I have a 15" Eizo LCD flat panel, and it is by far the best monitor I've ever owned. Very fast pixel disposal, very even colors and brightness from top to bottom. Wide viewing angle. About the only bad thing I can say about it is that you can't rotate the screen 90 degrees, but I'd never use that feature, anyways.

    Excellent brightness and contrast. Black is excellent. Eizo also has image smoothing built-in, but I never use it.

    Great for gaming. Unreal Tournament and Castle Wolfenstein are totally smooth. No ghosts. No slowness.

    If you're in the market for an LCD panel, make sure you audition an Eizo, as well. Fantastic monitors (CRT and LCD panel both).
  • Samsung 181T (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I have a Samsung 181T (18 inch thin bezel) TFT LCD. I have had it since Jan/Feb this year. I play Ghost Recon without noticing any problems even looking for ghosting. I watch DVDs exclusively on this monitor and never noticed any problems.

    In my home office in the summer, it produces a fraction of the heat of my 19" CRTs. It has also allowed me to push the monitor farther back on the desk to increase the distance to my eyes and give me more workspace to clutter up.

    Not being able to use lower resolutions doesn't bother me. I bought a decent GEforce3Ti200 video card and run everything at 1280x1024 (Ghost Recon at 1280x1024x32 bit colour looks pretty amazing on this one compared to my 19" LG and 19" Viewsonic CRTs!... also when I compare the colours on my LCD to the colours on the CRTs, the TFT wins hands down especially whites). I've done plenty of photo editing and everything always looks crisp, bright and colourful. The 181T is also very good even when you're looking at angles.

    It was expensive, but I stare at the monitor for hours on end and work in text most of the time so it's reduced eye strain and there's no glare, just a gorgeous matte finish.
  • by r5t8i6y3 (574628) on Tuesday October 22, 2002 @02:31PM (#4506069)
    i have spoken with LCD fluorescent tube manufactures. supposedly, these tubes dim significantly after a few years.

    unfortunately, these tubes are not end-user replaceable.

    so, you spend multiple times what you'd spend on a CRT, only to have the thing lose half of it's brightness a few years later. the simple solution would be to replace the tubes, but you can't because the LCD unit is designed to be disposable.

    until it is possible to easily replace the fluorescent tubes in an LCD panel, i won't be investing in this technology.

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