Buying a new Monitor

Cyfr

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Ok, I have around £350 to spend on a new monitor. (Obviously I would spend less if someone told me to buy a CRT)

Atm I have a flatscreen, 12" visable, 15" total monitor. It was something my grandma bought me for my birthday a while back, so it isnt that good :p.

Could someone tell me the pros and cons of TFT and CRT?

I'm thinking TFT is the best one to go with (but havnt got much info on the pros and cons, im just guessing :) )

If I went TFT I was thinking of getting the "Hercules ProphetView 920 Pro DVI 17"
TFT Monitor"

Is this a good buy? It's the 5th item down at http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_TFT_Monitors_112.html#amo_2d003_2dhe

Thanks :cheers:

Edit: Maybe I sound stupid as im posting this on a gaming forum, but it will be used for gaming, so unlike my current it needs to have the low ms thingie-mi-bob.
 

Shovel

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Right, very quickly (and simply too, you'll have to wait for Jonty and his padowan.. I mean Fatty... to research stuff for you).

TFTs: New ones are very very nice, response times of 25ms and lower are generally acceptable for gaming, newer models coming out at 16ms and even 12ms are supposed to verge on "outstanding". It's this characteristic that you must take careful account of with TFTs. Poor performers result in 'ghosting' on screen, similar to switching off vsync in some games.

Second up: Sizes. TFTs are measured properly, unlike CRTs. Therefore a 17" TFT gives you 17" viewable, unlike a 17" CRT which gives you anything from 15" to 16". This is nice.

Resolution: TFTs will really only work well at their optimal resolution (15" = 1024x768, 17" ~1280x1024, 18.1", 19" sometimes higher). They wont go higher, at all, and going lower results in some blurring. So, if you buy a high res model, you need to be prepared to keep your hardware capable of running games at that same resolution - a rather nasty consideration for your wallet. Obviously for office stuff, you wont need to worry as much.

Then there's also benefits for screen burn, much reduced eye strain from minimal glare and the fact that your desk will now go back against the wall :)

One final consideration, TFTs are subject to quality control that allows them a maximum level of pixel faults - rather than none at all. Consider that there are individual LCDs for each pixel on screen (usually 3 each), multiplied by your resolution (786432 pixels on a 1024x768 screen is 2359296 LCDs...), that's a lot of potential faults. Anyway, this translates to there being a teeny risk of an LCD you buy having an irritating pixel fault, e.g. you could have a pixel stuck on blue. With regards to who is good/bad for this, I'd listen to any recommendations of specific parts that you get from owners here, as well as experiences with suppliers.

On your budget, you may be looking at a 1024x768 model, while you can get 15" LCDs at this res for under £200 now, if you're playing games you will probably find yourself needing to invest that bit more for a higher quality model.

Hope that helps get you started :)
 

Cyfr

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Thanks for your help guys :)

*ponders over waiting 2 or so weeks for Xaviers suggestion to come in stock or just get the Hercules one.. * :(
 

Quige

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I had to make the decision between buying a CRT or LCD recently, and in the end I just knew I wasn't the sort of person that could cope with spending over £300 on something, and it maybe having dud pixels, and not being able to do anything about it .....

so I got a CRT again in the end, the iiyama Vision Master Pro 454 19"

Not regretted it so far :) then again I've got a very big desk and it's not backed up against a wall.

I wish there were more places you could go an see a good range of monitors, and say, yes I'll take that one, that one there I can see working. I always end up just ordering 'blind' online.

Oh well such is life.
 

Cyfr

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Can you not take them back under warnty or something if there are pixel bugs?
 

Quige

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Cyfr said:
Can you not take them back under warnty or something if there are pixel bugs?
No,it's what Shovel said up above, basically you could get stuck with it. I don't know if this is all manufacturers or if anyone knows of anybody that guarantees no dud pixels?

Shovel said:
One final consideration, TFTs are subject to quality control that allows them a maximum level of pixel faults - rather than none at all. Consider that there are individual LCDs for each pixel on screen (usually 3 each), multiplied by your resolution (786432 pixels on a 1024x768 screen is 2359296 LCDs...), that's a lot of potential faults. Anyway, this translates to there being a teeny risk of an LCD you buy having an irritating pixel fault, e.g. you could have a pixel stuck on blue.
 

Cyfr

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tbh that should be ilegal.. selling falty products ...
 

Quige

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Cyfr said:
tbh that should be ilegal.. selling falty products ...
You'd think so wouldn't you! Apparently not if they state at the time of purchase (in small print) that "it might not be perfect".

It's what's putting me off from an LCD tbh now that there are plenty of them with 16ms refresh.
 

Jonty

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Cyfr said:
tbh that should be ilegal.. selling falty products ...
Hi Cyfr

Not directly helping with your question, I'm afraid, but the problem of faults isn't unique to LCDs. I recently came across two brand new, flat-screen CRT monitors (not mine). After a closer inspection they both had a very feint line running across the screen. Usually it wasn't noticable, but on a white/light background (say a word processing document) it was all too obvious. A phone call to the manufacturer revealed that such lines were an accepted result of their manufacturing process, or words to that effect, and however annoying they wouldn't be replaced.

Anyway, anecdotes aside, you're best bet would be to contact to company befor purchasing and simply ask them whether or not they will replace monitors with dead pixels etc. That way you know exactly what you're buying getting into, so to speak.

Kind Regards

Jonty

P.S. If it's any consolation, the LCDs I've bought have always been perfect, so not everyone has LCD horror stories to tell :)
 

fatbusinessman

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Quige said:
so I got a CRT again in the end, the iiyama Vision Master Pro 454 19"
Seconded - the 454 is a very nice monitor, with insane resolution and refresh rate (I'm currently running mine at 1600x1200@100Hz, which is pretty damn blistering). Picture quality is good (not quite as sharp as you can get with an LCD though) and it's got a USB hub on the side for gadget value :)

(Oh, and some built-in speakers, but they're shite)
 

fatbusinessman

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Jonty said:
The problem isn't unique to LCDs, however. I recently came across two brand new, flat-screen CRT monitors (not mine). After a closer inspection they both had a very feint line running across the screen. Usually it wasn't noticable, but on a white/light background (say a word processing document) it was all too obvious.
One thing to bear in mind about this: the faint lines are present in all monitors with DiamontTron or Trinitron CRTs (the official name is aperture grille, and involves stringing wires over a frame, rather than the alternative, which involves making lots of little holes in a screen). For this trade-off, you get better brightness and contrast, and the lines (as Jonty said) are rarely an issue.
 

Cyfr

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Thanks guys, I went to PC world today to speak with them also. They didn't impress me tho (They didn't know what a responce time was...). So im going to shop online and im *hoping* that a way around the dead pixel thing is the 30 day money back garentee? :p
 

Xavier

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Cyfr said:
Thanks for your help guys :)

*ponders over waiting 2 or so weeks for Xaviers suggestion to come in stock or just get the Hercules one.. * :(
I'll ask Gypsy where he got his, it only took him a day or three, certianly not the 2 weeks Dabs quote... :)
 

fatbusinessman

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Cyfr said:
I went to PC world today to speak with them also. They didn't impress me tho
Not entirely surprising - I'm inherently mistrustful of anyone who says "We will fit extra memory in the PC Clinic for only £15!"
 

Cyfr

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I once asked for crossover cables

'Erm what? Im the wrong person to ask'

Like.. you work there ffs..
 

Stimpy

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Quige said:
so I got a CRT again in the end, the iiyama Vision Master Pro 454 19"
I just got that very same monitor for christmas - I'm liking it alot :)
 

GDW

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Big G

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My 2ps worth.

Either the aformentioned Hercules or the Hitachi CML174SXWB 17" TFT Monitor with 16ms response time for £350 inc vat (the Hercules has a slightly better contrast ratio).

I'm going to go for the hitachi probably in January, as it gets great write ups. I currently run an Iiyama VM Pro 450 19", but it's enormous depth wise and it's cream coloured and doesn't match my black hardware. I don't run at 1600*1200 'cos things are a little too small for my liking, so i'm already used to running my desktop and games at 1280*1024.

This falls into line with what shovel said re native resolutions of 17"s (which tend to be 1280*1024).

I use an 18.1" at work, and I find it to be easier on the eyes and much sharper than my Iiyama (even tho this TFT is about 3 years old). I also love the perfect geometry and "RGB alignment" on the TFT. Even though the Iiyama is a brilliant monitor, I can see that the geometry isn't perfect (although very close to perfect).

G
 

Janusian

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There was a recent article in Custom PC magazine about 17" TFT's.

The one that came out top with an 85% score was the Liyama Prolite E431S. To quote the article "What we care about is image quality and the Liyama has this in abundance

They reckon it has a 16ms response time so is perfect for games. £336 quoted from pcnextday.co.uk (never heard of them tbh)

The Hitachi CML175SXWB scored 79%.
 

RandomBastard

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Tis a damn shame tfts cost so much :/ its the one thing i really want atm but cant afford or justify buying.
 

Dubbs

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I'm using the Samsung SyncMaster 172B at the moment and it's a fantastic screen - one of the best LCD screens I've seen for sure.

I've got my old screen a 19" CRT Mitsubishi DiamondPRO 920 sitting here if anyone fancies it - £50 not bad for an 18 month old £250-300 monitor!

For LCD, definitely take a nose as Samsung though - very nice...
 

youngbaba

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gah dubbs, i wish i haf visited this thread 2 days ago. just bought me a Vision Mater Pro 454 too, absolutely awesome monitor, only reason i didnt get the Diamond Pro was the price, and here it is for £50!

And guess what, ive got TWO f those lines of dead pixels on my Visionmaster :S
 

TdC

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they're not dead pixels mate, they are the shadows of the supporting wires of the grille. there are some tricks to make them less, have a google. you'll notice that you only see them against light, single colour backgrounds (at least, I do on mine). in games I hardly ever notice them.
 

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