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Author Topic: Tell me about monitors.
pH
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My desktop is finally fixed, but my monitor doesn't love me anymore. I wanna get a new one, probably widescreen? Definitely LCD. And probably from Circuit City because Best Buy has evoked my wrath, and I feel more comfortable buying something like that if I can look at it first. What do I need to look for? What's a good brand?

-pH

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Dagonee
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One key thing when shopping for LCD monitors: be sure you like how your desktop and applications look when in the native resolution of the monitor. LCDs look bad when they don't run in native resolution, and some people find the fonts and icons too small when running high res. So check it out first.

If you play games or watch lots of video, look for a good response rate so you don't get too much ghosting.

I got this one on sale for $290 in April and love it.

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fugu13
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Dell has remarkably good monitors, and your university might have a deal with them.

I would suggest a 19" or larger LCD. If buying at Circuit City, the ViewSonic ones look decent, as does the HP (though that's a bit more expensive; of course, that's not all bad).

I haven't kept up on what the qualities of all the monitor brands are, though.

The Dell I'd suggest would be this 20" one: http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=320-5123

Of course, next time I buy a computer, I'm going to get a box that comes with this as part of IU's buy what IU buys program [Wink] : http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=320-4335 . I work on two of them at work, and love having so much screen real estate

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Lisa
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Link.
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steven
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Look over the monitors at the big box stores like Circuit City/Best Buy, then buy online from tigerdirect.com. I got my computer from them. There may be other online discount houses that others can suggest, but Tiger Direct is large, well-established, and has excellent customer service, IMHO.
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vonk
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Ugh, I hate monitors.
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Juxtapose
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Costco can be a good place to check out too.
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Kwea
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Buy.com and newegg.com are well respected and have great deals as well. Both have decent return policies as well.
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rollainm
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When you know, you Newegg.

Seriously, check it out. They always have excellent deals. Just do your research before you buy, of course.

I'll also second Dell's monitors. I believe Samsung actually manufactures most of their LCDs.

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erosomniac
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Costco has unbelievable deals on monitors. I got my absolutely gorgeous, bright 22" Viewsonic for $199. This one, in fact.
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Pegasus
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I don't know much of the technical stuff... just my experiences.

If you do any kind of graphic design work, LCD monitors are pretty poor at displaying colors accurately. Some images/photos look wrong/bad when viewed on LCD, but look fine on the traditional tube style. Also, on my LCD monitor at work, light colors show just like white, so I may have a little light gray in an area where it's supposed to be white and not know it until I view it elsewhere or print it.

So if fine color manipulation is important, than you may want to think twice about the type you get, or read as many reviews as you can for various ones to see if any have started to fix this problem that I have seen.

good luck

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DSH
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I have to side with Pegasus here. I've never seen an LCD that was as good as a CRT. (I have no experience with HD monitors, maybe that would make a difference?)

I have an LCD at work and hate it. I only see acurate colors in a small area around a point perpendicular to the screen (relative to the location of my eyes). Everything above that is too dark, everything below is too light and left or right has odd color shifts.

Don't rule out a CRT, they look better than LCD's and are extremely affordable since they are losing favor to LCD's.

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fugu13
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Even the designers I know who have a CRT on their desk tend to do most of their work on a large LCD, and many non-print designers do without the CRT [Smile] .

A quality LCD for everyday purposes may be had for $200 or so. A similar size (edit: and similar quality; you can get a bad 19" CRT for $100) CRT monitor will cost more. Take a look at the prices on newegg, or elsewhere, sometime. And that's before shipping, which is why one should almost always buy CRTs locally.

If you want a used CRT of uncertain quality you can get one cheaper, sure, but if you want a new monitor, LCDs are cheaper for the same useful quality by far. A good CRT will cost you: there are fewer made, they require a good deal more work to make, and they are targeted more and more at people who have expense accounts.

Additionally, they take up a lot of desk space, which can be valuable.

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DSH
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Last time I checked (which has been a while) folks like Dell were giving away their CRT's and charging a premium for their LCD's. I haven't been shopping for computers for about 3 years, maybe things have changed.

I DO know that all the LCD's I have ever used don't even come close to the generic CRT I got from Dell 3 years ago.

The only negative I see with CRT's is, as you pointed out fugu, the real estate they require.

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MightyCow
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One thing to check on, if you're buying an LCD, is the manufacturer or store's return policy for dead or stuck pixels.

LCDs often have one or more pixels which either don't light up at all, or light up a specific color and never change. Different manufacturers and stores have widely different policies on how many need to be broken in total, or within a specific distance of one another, in order to let you return the monitor.

My current monitor has a single dead pixel in the lower left corner, so I can mostly ignore it. I had one at a job once that had two in the middle area of the screen, and it drove me nuts.

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erosomniac
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quote:
Originally posted by DSH:
Last time I checked (which has been a while) folks like Dell were giving away their CRT's and charging a premium for their LCD's. I haven't been shopping for computers for about 3 years, maybe things have changed.

I DO know that all the LCD's I have ever used don't even come close to the generic CRT I got from Dell 3 years ago.

The only negative I see with CRT's is, as you pointed out fugu, the real estate they require.

As a designer myself, I have absolutely no clue what Pegasus & DSH are on about regarding color fidelity. You've been using crappy monitors or not properly adjusting your settings. Every LCD monitor I've used has had far better color fidelity than any CRT, ever. Maybe you're thinking of 7 year old LCDs where the color fidelity began warping outside of a 30 degree viewing angle - that's not so anymore.

Also, Dell no longer offers CRTs for their home & home office models.

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fugu13
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DSH: try finding a recently made Dell UltraSharp LCD. You pay a few hundred dollars premium for a really high quality screen. Last I checked, they used the same supplier and same quality cutoff as Apple's Cinema displays, and the designer at my job uses two of those to do print design (and several of the things created with her help end up in a scientific exhibit we curate).
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fugu13
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I should say that there are a lot of very bad LCDs out there, and that the areas LCDs have color problems are different from the areas CRTs have color problems, meaning someone used to a CRT can definitely pick out areas of inadequacy on a quality LCD . . . but will likely be missing some areas of increased fidelity.

If color fidelity matters at the highest, you might consider Dell's new UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC, which came out this past winter. It spans 92% of the NTSC color gamut, trumping all but the best (and just as expensive per square inch, and smaller) CRTs. Dell's other high end LCDs are around 72% (as of this past winter, that might have changed), which is only slightly under the amount spanned by a CRT (but also a slightly different section, not a subset).

Actually, they have a 24" widescreen HC variant, which is only $10 more than the normal UltraSharp 24" widescreen, which is a great deal.

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pH
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24" inches seems huge! Of course, my tv is only 20.

Thanks, guys. I looked through newegg to see what they had, and I'm checking out Dell right now. [Smile]

Um, what's a "good" response rate? I use my desktop for FPS. And probably a few other kinds of games that I've wanted to play, but not on a laptop with a 12" screen.

-pH

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fugu13
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You'll probably be fine with anything at or under 8ms, and pretty much definitely at or under 5ms.
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Nato
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I got two Hanns-G LCD's (19", 7ms response I think) for $100 each after rebate. They've been the best computer purchase for me ever.

I saw the same deal for Hanns-G's widescreen version a month after I bought my two, so those might be available too.

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fugu13
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The Hanns-G monitors are great for their prices, but keep in mind the caveat. They usually have inferior viewing angles and color fidelity, but they do a good job with brightness and contrast, meaning many people don't notice the lack.

I would generally not recommend a Hanns-G monitor if someone can afford a better one and does anything beyond email, web browsing, et cetera, but if you're looking for cheap screen real estate, its not a bad deal.

Actually, after I pick up the 24" UltraSharp, I might just add in a cheap Hanns-G for a second monitor, positioned somewhat to the side for doing things like checking mail and viewing documentation while working on the primary monitor.

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