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  1. #1
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    Looking to buy a new monitor

    Hey, I recently acquired a decent old desktop PC (a Dell Dimension 9200) but the problem is, since I've been rocking a lappy for the past 4 years, that I haven't got a monitor for it. I've been borrowing one from a mate for the past few months but I don't want to overstay my welcome and so it happens to be that I'm looking to buy a new monitor. I'm looking for something in the 23/24 inch region since I also want to use it to watch movies etc from a bit further away. I've read through the "hard choices" about monitors a few times but I don't really find anything in there that I really like. The dell monitors seem really great to me anyone got any experience with those? Or any monitor recommendations for about 200 euro's (or less), or any general tips?

    As said earlier I'm really digging the Dell monitors but I'm not sure if I want to pay the "premium" on those or just go for the cheapest one with good reviews I can find (think it was an Acer one, not too fond of that brand though but then I don't know their reputation on monitors).

  2. #2
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    you've got a tv, right?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze-X View Post
    you've got a tv, right?
    Nope, student housing...Well I do have an old CRT TV but that isn't really useable as a monitor replacement.

  4. #4
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    If you can find an IPS panel, go for it. Even if it's slightly more expensive than you'd like, the benefits are worth it.

    Otherwise, just about all screens are roughly equal as they just about always use the same TN panels anyway.

    A monitor with a VESA mount is an extra bonus, as it lets you use the monitor in portrait most of the time.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FriendlyFire View Post
    If you can find an IPS panel, go for it. Even if it's slightly more expensive than you'd like, the benefits are worth it.

    Otherwise, just about all screens are roughly equal as they just about always use the same TN panels anyway.

    A monitor with a VESA mount is an extra bonus, as it lets you use the monitor in portrait most of the time.
    These are indeed the two features that make the dell monitors so attractive to me. But I'm unsure if I'm going to notice the difference IPS makes or if I'm regularly going to use the portrait mode.

  6. #6
    Network Hub Chaz's Avatar
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    I have a similar but slightly older model LG IPS monitor to this one http://www.ebuyer.com/284103-lg-ips2...ips235v-bn-aek and it's great.

    A friend of mine has a nice Dell screen and yes they are nice, but pricey. Will you notice the difference in cost, hard to say. His Dell supports a higher resolution than mine, but do you really need to go higher than 1920 x 1080?

  7. #7
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    Will you see the difference in pure isolation? Depends a lot on your occupation and needs, but I'd say yes. Will you see the difference if you use other monitors or check side-by-side? Bloody hell yes.

    Basically, if your computer's fairly good, it'd be skimping on the wrong parts to get a poor TN panel when IPS is finally getting cheap enough to be accessible to everyone. Sure, they're not pro super-duper IPS panels or anything, but IPS, even in the worst scenario, is still much better than TN for image quality and viewing angle. If you do image work, even infrequently, then IPS is even better.

    As for VESA and portrait, I'll be honest: I have three U2311h and I rarely put them in portrait mode. Most things nowadays are designed to be used in 16:9, so they tend to feel right this way. However, much of this can be attributed to the fact I have three of them and lining them up is always a bit of a pain and my desk is full and such.

    If you want to know whether you'll be using portrait, there are a few questions to ask yourself:
    -Are your cables long enough? This might sound stupid but rotating the panel tends to require some loose ends there. If you constantly need to fight with them you'll tire and not do it.
    -Do you have enough space? Turning the monitor over usually involves tilting it to its maximum angle and then rotating, which takes up a *lot* of space, more than the monitor takes in either portrait or landscape mode. Make sure you have sufficient space to do this, especially if you want to do it a lot.
    -Do you do code, print work, read websites a lot? If you've answered yes to any of these, a portrait monitor can be a godsend. All of these tend to be fairly vertical (code can have long lines, but line wrapping is solid nowadays) and thus highly benefit from ample vertical space. Reading websites on a portrait monitor feels weird at first because all the sudden you lose all this empty space on each side of the vast majority of websites... but after 10 minutes tops, you get addicted to it because wow, you lose no space at all!

    I can't tell if you're going to use portrait, that's up to what you do and how much you're willing to turn the monitor around and shuffle configuration options in your GPU. What I can tell you is that regardless of this, an IPS panel is a significant upgrade and one you need to experience for yourself to see how good it really is.

    Oh, I almost forgot... If you have a window behind your desk (so facing your monitor), keep in mind most TN panels are glossy while most IPS panels are matte. Glossy screen with bright window behind tends to mean you can't see a darn thing.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the tips FriendlyFire. I just ordered the Dell monitor. After hearing everywhere raving about the benefits of IPS I couldn't really buy anything else. I also noticed it is one of the few monitors that have a matte bezel and all its competitors had glossy ones, which is one of my pet peeves. And the tilting mechanic seems to be useful for most of the work I do on my PC (text editor and web mostly). And especially since I'm planning to use this monitor till it falls apart It would be dumb to skimp on "quality", both visually and build, now and have to deal with it for the next 10 years or so hopefully (which is how long our monitor at home is lasting).

  9. #9
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    Dell makes excellent monitors, and the ones with USB plugs are especially handy.

    If you hadn't yet bought it I'd have recommended going to a store and just checking a few monitors out personally. I think Dell has a decent return policy though in case you're not satisfied.

  10. #10
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    Congratulations on your purchase then ;)

    I think you'll be most pleased with your buy. Remember, too, that with a VESA mount you can do a lot. I haven't looked into it much yet, but wall mounts, full pivot mounts, etc. are all possible as a later addon. If you don't have a lot of desk space this can be a worthy addition to remove some clutter.

  11. #11
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    Hey, just a follow-up post to let people know how awesome an IPS monitor actually is (even if it is only an e-IPS and not one of the 'real' s-IPS/h-IPS ones). The difference in the representation of colour is really astonishing. When I plugged the monitor in my laptop to test it and saw the two screens side by side the screen on my laptop almost looked grayscale in comparison. The mount is also perfect, hitting the sweetspot between feeling really sturdy but still a breeze to adjust. People who really want super-duper screen quality probably might want to spend some extra cash on the more expensive 'real' IPS panels and people with a response time fetish probably need to steer away from IPS panels as a whole for now.

    Also if you think you really are going to use the portrait mode alot you're better off buying the 24 inch model with the extra 120 lines of pixels (1920x1200).

    Thanks for the advice mates!

  12. #12
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    IPS is the shit (a lot closer to crt quality than the awful TN panels) but make sure you get one with low input lag (under 10 ms) or your games will all feel disconnected/unresponsive.
    And make sure to find one with low response time (which is difficult to find among IPS panels) , blurry ghosting whenever there is movement on screen defeats the whole point of playing at 1080 or 1200p res.

  13. #13
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    The input lag thing is really ridiculously overblown. Any recent monitor won't have sufficiently high input lag for you to notice in isolation. Sure, if you do a side-by-side with the fastest TN panel out there, you might see the difference, but otherwise, there are much more prevalent sources of lag than the monitor's response time.

    If you are seeing the lag, you're just concentrating on the problem to the point of obsession really.

  14. #14
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    Input Lag and pixel response time are two completely different things. The response time is the quoted spec of how long the pixels in the panel take to change state (usually grey-grey these days, although there are different methods used sometimes). Input lag is the latency caused by the display's internal image processing, and there's no specification to indicate how good a screen is in this respect - it varies from model to model, and also depending on how much processing is being applied (eg what settings you're using).

    Input lag can be a big problem for gaming, which is why a lot of TVs these days have a "game mode", which disables much of the processing to reduce the latency. With computer displays it's less of an issue as they tend to be made with this in mind, although there's still been some models that suffer from it.

  15. #15
    Network Hub Rath's Avatar
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    Have a look at this;

    Samsung LS27A950DS

    Apparently the first batch had some backlight bleeding issues due to the design of the hinge, but gaming wise, it seems pretty decent.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistabashi View Post
    Input Lag and pixel response time are two completely different things. The response time is the quoted spec of how long the pixels in the panel take to change state (usually grey-grey these days, although there are different methods used sometimes). Input lag is the latency caused by the display's internal image processing, and there's no specification to indicate how good a screen is in this respect - it varies from model to model, and also depending on how much processing is being applied (eg what settings you're using).

    Input lag can be a big problem for gaming, which is why a lot of TVs these days have a "game mode", which disables much of the processing to reduce the latency. With computer displays it's less of an issue as they tend to be made with this in mind, although there's still been some models that suffer from it.
    I never said they are the same thing (I made it pretty clear there are seperate reasons to care for both :p )

    @ friendlyfire, you don't see input lag, you feel it.
    20 ms or under will be hard to discern vs 0 (10 or under pretty much impossible) but a 0 ms input lag monitor will make gaming feel a whole lot more responsive than a 30 or even 50 ms one, and since it all adds up fast (vsync can easily add 50 ms or more if you choose to use it + the larger latency when playing at lower framerate and depending on the game engine) you really want 10 ms or less.

    Response time is VERY noticable, my lcd tv looks extremely blurry in motion compared to my crt monitor, it ruins the image quality for me in panning scenes during movies (and pretty much all the time in first person games).

  17. #17
    Network Hub Rath's Avatar
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    I'm currently trying to decide between two different Samsung 27" IPS panels. Both of them are capable of 120hz through Display-Port, only difference is that one is capable of 2560 x1440 while the other is 1920 x 1080. Every review I've seen claims that the 120hz is a cracking difference. Not bothered in the slightest by the 3D features as I can't view 3D for more than about 15 seconds without getting stabbing pain headaches, and I imagine I could flog the glasses (or keep them until laser eye surgery corrects my deficiency). Both of them are discounted to below RRP on Amazon at the moment.

    Samsung LS27A950DS
    Pro - 2560 x 1440 max resolution
    Con - Asymmetrical stand could get on my nerves after a while, reviews have mentioned possible backlight bleed

    Samsung LS27A750DS
    Pro - Cheaper, stand won't annoy me
    Con - Lower max resolution than the 950 model

    So the real question here is, should I fork out the extra hundred quid for that higher resolution. Hrrmph. Decisions.

    EDIT:



    Video is tempting me toward the 950 now.
    Last edited by Rath; 05-08-2012 at 07:23 PM. Reason: Added video.

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