LCD monitor needed: What should I buy?

By Razmo · 27 replies
Nov 15, 2004
  1. Guys,

    I'm running a 19" Sony Trinitron 991 (CRT). Great monitor, only a few years old, but looking for a brighter, clean, crisp display for gaming. I'm guessing I'd want something a little larger with high resolution. Thanks

  2. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    I still have a problem with LCDs for gaming because they only look good at their native resolution. So you will want something that your videocard can game in. If you have a top of the line card or dual cards in SLI then go for 1600x1200 LCD, If you have a medium grade card then maybe 1280x1024 LCD. You also want a fast screen, 25 ms or lower latency or you'll see tracers on moving objects, 16 ms is great. I still think a good CRT kicks LCD butt.
  3. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 664

    The most obvious choice is a 17" TFT, as most 19" one's still only display 1280x1024 (the same as a 17"), but 20" and 21" TFTs are now coming down in price.

    25ms is now a bit slow, as 12ms and even 8ms TFTs are becoming common. I personally have a 17" Phillips TFT with a response time of 16ms and it is fine for games, with the exception of games based on the half life engine (e.g. counter-strike, cs:source beta, probably half-life 2) where there is a slight lag for no apparent reason.

    Expect to pay around £200 for a decent 17" TFT, and upwards of £400 for 20" or 21" TFTs.
  4. Razmo

    Razmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    What exactly is the Native Resolution? I notcied this spec lingo last night on

    I just purchased the 128MB 6800 Nvidia. I would have gone 6800 GT or ULTRA but was told it was over kill for my PC. I'm running a pentium 4 at 1.8 Ghz, 400 FBS with 1 gig of memory. I'm in the process of uprading my power supply to a 300 watt or greater. This has been a difficult job, thanks to Dell.

    My interest in the LCD over the CRT is the brightness. It also seems cast a crisper picture? I don't know what it is I like so much??

  5. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 664

    The native resolution is the resolution that the TFT has been designed to run at, as unlike CRTs, TFTs can only run very well at a single resolution, because the screen is made up of a fixed number of pixels (they can display lower resolutions, but these are scaled up, i.e. they look blocky, or have a black border around them)
  6. Razmo

    Razmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Wow, thanks for the help!

    By the way, I'm thinking about a 19" SONY (Xbrite) with a response time of 12ms. I'm forgetting it's native resolution but I want to say 1280 by 1024.

  7. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    I'm 99.9% sure you are right about that native res. Almost all 19" LCDs are 1280. I can tell you from experience that there will be a noticable difference when running things at a lower resolution. Everything just looks right at the native res.
  8. Razmo

    Razmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Why would I want to run things at a lower resolution? I can only guess to increase it's size?

    If so, I feel 1280 X 1024 on 19" is plenty large. What do you think?

  9. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    You want to use a lower res if your graphics card can't run the game you want at the native res.
    An LCD can look "good" on a lower setting than the native, but only one that is divisible with the native leaving no res (ie 640*512 for a 1280*1024)... At least this is true on most LCD's... There are some screens that will handle non-native res' better than most others, but I have no idea why....

    As for if 1280*1024 is enough, try it... You have a 19", and the size will be comparable (though your current CRT will be a bit smaller in screen realestate)...

    BTW: When it comes to response time, make sure that the LCD is ISO certified. That means that there are certain requirements on how to meassure the response time (amongst others)... If it isn't then that time could very well be just white to black instead of white to black to white.

    Lastly, if you have the chance, go to a store and try the monitor before you buy it. That way you can see if you really do like what you see, or if it isn't quite suited to your needs. Remember, all LCD's are not created equal...

    Oh, and you should get on with a DVI in, not just VGA...

    Good luck :)
  10. Razmo

    Razmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    I'm really glad I stumbled upon this forum guys, thanks.

    I was fiddling with a 20" last night at Micro Center, forget the manufacturer. 1600 X 1200 just seemed too small. I'm also forgetting what the native res was. I almost needed bifocals to see read the text. 1280 X 1024 seemed to be the right size. Unless of course 1600 X 1200 is ideal for gaming ? Where can I find an 19"+ LCD with a response time of 12ms or less with a Native res of 1600X1200? I wonder what it will cost :giddy:

    I don't plan to use the monitor for watching HDTV. Would I still want to use the DVI output?

  11. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 664

    I don't think you will be able to find a 19" with a Native Res of 1600x1200, all of the ones I have seen are 1280x1024. Also, I just had a quick look on, to try and find a decent 19" TFT (e.g. 12ms response) and couldn't find one, so I don't think 12ms 19" TFTs are widely available yet (probably because the most common TFT size is 17")

    If you have a graphics card that has DVI out, then I recommend you get a TFT that uses DVI, as you will get a better quality signal (since LCDs work in a digital format, using VGA rather than DVI means the signal gets converted from DIGITAL-ANALOGUE-DIGITAL, which results in a slight loss of quality, DVI is DIGITAL-DIGITAL).

    Well I hope you will stick around :giddy:
  12. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    I think you're a bit out of luck if you're looking for a 19" for gaming.

    For some reason it's mostly 17" and 20" LCD's that are good for gaming (ie. uses
    good enough panels). (I'd post the info if it wasn't for the fact that it's in norwegian, and I don't have time to translate/hunt up an english version.... )

    For that reason I went from a 19" CRT to a 17" LCD, and whilst it did feel a bit cramped at first, I'm loving it now (though I do use the 19" CRT as secondary monitor).
  13. Razmo

    Razmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Sony offers a new 19" TFT with Xbrite technology. It's specs read a response time of 12ms and an attractive monitor to boot. I haven't had the time find out whether it's ISO certified? Seems like an attractive buy for 600.00 after rebates.

  14. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    I can not find any screen matching that on sony's site. Would you mind telling us the name/product number for the screen so it's easier to find?
  15. Razmo

    Razmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

  16. Razmo

    Razmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Can anyone offer any negative comments on the LCD I mentioned above?

  17. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    I've not been able to find a review of it yet, so no...
  18. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    I would like to offer you one peice of advice not mentioned.
    LCD "can" have a couple of dead pixels new out of the box.Each company reserves the right to deny exchange based on the number of dead pixels.
    I insist upon a store firing up the units I have bought ,with the understanding I will except no dead pixel.
    For gaming you might want to do this.

    P.S. My twosense, I have used Veiwsonic(More Money) / Samsung ,Both have models offering the speed you require,Consistently crisp images and color.3 year warranty, Veiwsonic has one of the best pixel policies around.
  19. Razmo

    Razmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Is a dead pixel noticable? What am I looking for?

  20. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    They are obvious .Just look closely at the screen turned on with a dark background Dead pixels are light about half the size of the period on this page.
    99% of new screens will not have any ,the technology is very very reliable.They will show up immediately or not at all.
    Just have an understanding with the retailer up front.Once you have seen it you can be confident it is a good machine.
    Also the retailer should know the return policy of each company and most publish it.
  21. Razmo

    Razmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35

    Thanks Liguidlen.

  22. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    Por nada;

    Checkout this series from Viewsonic . It'sgot everything on your shopping list . VP912b , 17"-20"
    Let us know how it worked out.
  23. Razmo

    Razmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 35


    I appreciate it. I'm really leaning towards your suggestion....

    I spoke to Sony today and found the 12ms on the SDM-HS94P is not total rise and fall. A sales rep who asked his manager claimed it's 12ms rise only. I've also heard a few mention ghosting problems with their sony as well as a mirror effect from the glossy panel.

    What is ghosting?

    The VP912b specs read Ultra-fast 12ms video response broadcast-quality full-motion video at 83 frames per second. Would this mean I'm not subject to ghosting at 83FPS and below?

  24. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    I really do not know much about the technical cause of Ghosting.I suspect that a fast response time with a computer that has plenty of power and Ram should notsuffer from it .
    Hopefully one of the guys will give you a better answer.
    At any rate let us know how it turns out.
  25. paynesgowest

    paynesgowest TS Rookie

    Difficult one !

    I was looking for ages for right screen, only really wanted for graphics and video work and some games but eventually after looking at hundreds of review sites came across AG Neovo. Who the hell are these I thought, and why do soi many existing owners in the states especially seem so happy with them. (More reviews for this brand than any other).
    Took plunge a got the f419, 19" . . . wowww.
    Once I'd swopped over to DVI connector and used Adobe Gamma to correct the colour space and gamma this screen is brilliant.
    Native is as others have suggested 1280 x 1024, which all of them seem to be.
    Some drag with high speed movements but, hey I would be surprised to find one that doesn't. Colour is rich, blacks excellent but also good shading in darker areas and brightness and contrast easily as good as old Trinitron CRT.

    Hope this helps
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