Good monitor for games and general use

By fw2004
Feb 14, 2010
  1. Hi;
    I'm thinking of a new monitor.
    My current is the Viewsonic VX2000, 20", which is a decent monitor, but response time is slow compared to today's standards.
    There is also a problem with this monitor when running at native resolution (1600 x 1200) @ 60Hz.

    For some reason, I get "noise" on the screen as white horizontal dashes or lines, moving up and down the margins after the monitor has been running for 5-10 minutes.
    It works fine at 1280 X 1024 @ 75Hz, but again I see the noise if I try to run at 60HZ.

    In looking at specs for monitors, I find that all run at 60Hz for the max resolution, but can run higher freqs (75Hz, etc) at lower res. This is to be expected.

    I am a little concerned that if I buy another monitor, and need to run it at 60hz, I will experience the same type of problem.
    If this is the case, then I would probably have to replace my video card, which is a BFG GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB which I bought only a year ago.

    I am running the monitor on the DVI output. The card has two DVI outputs, so it is possible that when I get the new monitor, I would keep the old one as a second screen. i now use an old 15" analog LCD as my second screen.

    All of this aside, if I am going to purchase a new monitor, I would like one that is good for games as well as doing work in Photoshop.
    I don't watch a lot of movies or TV on my screen, so the wide-screen isn't a preference, but it seems that all of the larger monitors are wide screen.
    I am thinking along the lines of 22 or 23", which would be a slight increase in size from my 20", but I don't want to spend more than about $250-$275.

    Can anyone recommend a good monitor for this use and price range?


  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    If you can the very first thing I would do is check your video card temps and then put your card in another system and test it to see if it is indeed your monitor or card.

    I love the Samsung 2494 for gaming. Samsung makes great monitors and you can get this model or a 23" Samsung in the price range you listed.
  3. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    agreed, the gfx card is more likely the culprit to video issues than the actual monitor.

    regardless, I have a 23" Acer X233H widescreen (1080p) and it's great for gaming. i bought it for $230-ish a little over a year ago but I'm sure they are under $200 now, if still available.
  4. fw2004

    fw2004 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 150

    If the noise problem on my monitor is the video card, then why does it go away if the monitor has been off for a while; long enough for it to cool down?

    Also, I didn't tell you that if I run the same setup on the same machine on Windows XP with the old (Oct 2008) NVidia drivers, the monitor works fine at 1600 X 1200 @ 60HZ.

    It almost does seem that there is some sort of incompatibility issue between the video card and the monitor when the new drivers are installed for the video card.

    Also, when I first put this system together, I had an ATI card, and the monitor would not even display on the DVI input.
    I tried the monitor on another machine, and it worked fine, but that machine had an NVidia card.

    I also tried the ATI card with another monitor, and it worked fine.

    It seems that all along the Viewsonic has some issues with the DVI signals. They must be very tight, or maybe a little off, so when the monitor warms up a bit, something goes slightly out of spec, and thus the noise patterns.

    I don't know. I have been trying to figure this out for a long time. Problem is, I don't have another machine or another monitor to play with.

    I'm thinking that I could use a new monitor anyway, and if I have the same issue with the new monitor, then I would have to replace the video card as well.

    I have already tried removing the back of the monitor, but nothing is exposed, so I didn't go any further.

    Oh, and one more thing to add:
    Before the GeForce 9800, I had a GeForce 6800, and never had the monitor issue.
    I recently re-installed that card with the newer drivers, and did not have the issue either. This would point towards the video card, but then I'm trying to figure out why the problem goes away if I let the monitor cool down for a while.

    Does the video card shut down (and thus cool off) when the monitor is shut off?

    I have checked the temps on the video card, and it is well within the normal range. As a matter of fact, I don't think it ever goes above about 40C.

    Very strange.

  5. fw2004

    fw2004 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 150

    I think the Samsung 2494 is the one that got good reviews on CNET. I have been looking at some of them, and Samsung does seem to be a good brand.

  6. fw2004

    fw2004 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 150

    Monitor issue update

    Continuing the discussion on whether I should replace my video card; I have done another experiment.
    Thinking that the monitor is the issue, because shutting it off for a while alleviates the problem for about 10 minutes, I was thinking that it has to be the monitor.

    But unplugging the DVI cable from the computer and leaving the monitor on has the same effect.
    In addition, when I plug the DVI cable into the other connector on the card (I use the lower one for the main monitor, and the upper one for the analog monitor), the problem is much worse.
    That indicates to me that the problem is the video card.

    I have owned this card for less than 1 year, but never knew of the problem until I upgraded the NVidia driver.
    As long as I was using the older driver (ver 178.24) on Windows XP, there was not a problem. But anything newer would cause the problem.

    I stuck with the older driver until I upgraded my OS to Windows 7. Then I had no choice but to use the newer driver, since the old one is not compatible with Windows 7.

    I am now thinking of getting an RMA from BFG to have them check out the card. I have the GeForce 6800 I can use while the 9800 is out.
    OTOH, I might just buy the new GeForce GTS 250 1Gig for $140 from Amazon.
    Twice the RAM, a faster card, and cost is the same as I paid for the 9800 about a year ago.

    Once I get the new card, I could send the 9800 in to BFG for evaluation and possible repair. If they do find something wrong with it, and repair it for me, then I've got the 9800 I could sell on Ebay. If they don't find anything wrong, then I've still got a good 9800 I could sell on Ebay, or hold onto for a spare.

    Unfortunately, I don't have an SLI compatible MOBO, or i would use both cards.

    Now, if after upgrading or repairing the video card I still have the trouble, then I would buy the new monitor.

    But before I do anything, I should probably try to get another monitor on this system, or this monitor on another system.

  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,455   +1,759

    There is a problem here from the onset. Monitors with "TN" panels, (90% of what's out there), are the monitors with the fast response times. Photo editing is best done with higher quality MVA, C-PVA, and IPS panel screens. They tend to be slightly slower in response times, usually on the order of about 8ms With respect to photo editing TN panels are only 6 bit color, and change color and density very quickly with even a slight change of viewing angle. This renders fully accurate calibration difficult to almost impossible
    The fact here is that you will almost certainly get a WS monitor, there are few of the older standard still in production. You choice will be between the TV WS format, 1920 X 1080 16:9 aspect ratio or the 1680 X 1050 16:10 computer standard aspect ratio. (1920 X 1200 is also 16:10)

    I've been eyeballing this Samsung with a C-PVA panel, but it is a bit over your (and my) current budget.
  8. fw2004

    fw2004 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 150

    My choice of monitor is not going to be determined by my use of Photoshop. I am not a professional, so this is not as important to me as my game play.

  9. fw2004

    fw2004 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 150

    Well, I just ordered the Samsung 2494HM for $249.99 + tax from Newegg.
    If I still have this issue with the video noise with the new monitor, I will upgrade the video card again. Probably to the BFG GeForce GTS 250 1G.
    The total of the monitor and video card will still not be above what my 2009 tax refund was.

    My feelings on this though is that the new monitor will solve the problem (besides giving me a new experience). I used to work in the electronics field, and understand quite a bit about signals, timing, etc.
    I don't think the noise i am seeing could be generated by the video card. If there were a problem there, I think the image would break up, rather than show the noise in the margins.

    I have checked the temperature on the GeForce 9800, and as I stated before, it is running well within the normal range.

    with the new monitor, I might even be inspired to rent an additional HDTV box from Verizon Fios to watch HDTV.
    I gave up TV a long time ago, mostly because I don't find the content I am looking for. But with the HD monitor, maybe I can find some new content I would be interested in.
    The additional box would only cost me $6 per month, so it's not a bank breaker.

    In addition, I am thinking that I will keep the old VX2000 on the second DVI output and run it at 1280 x 1024 @ 75HZ. Having the 24" wide screen and the 20" standard would be really nice.

    Thanks for your help in choosing the monitor.

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