Are LCD Monitors Finally Worth It?

Back in the spring of 2001, when I was buying a new computer, I went with a CRT because the available LCDs at the time struck me as being poor quality. You know, slow response times, bad blacks, native resolution, and so on. Well, the monitor I’ve got still works nicely, but I’ve been thinking of going dual-monitor and maybe using the new monitor as the primary display as my current monitor has taken a few hits in all the moving over the years. Of course, to go dual-monitor I need to be able to use the DVI connection on the video card, which you can’t really find on CRT monitors, and yes, I know that a DVI input on a CRT only uses the analog signal anyway. Should I just get over my anti-LCD stance and get one?

I have one of the faster refresh LCD ones, 8mms or soemthing like that. I play FPS and WOW. The games look great. I notice there is still some ghosting, but tolerable.

I was in the same boat at about the same time. A few weeks ago my old 19" CRT finally started being too obvious about it’s decline and I bit the bullet and replaced it with a Samsung 204b 20" LCD.

I love it. Blacks and colors are great, it’s brighter and clearer ( granted my CRT has been in decline for awhile ) and there was no ghosting at all at native resolution ( 1600 x 1200 ) with the maximum detail settings playing Unreal Tournament 2004 ( maybe not the best modern test, but a passable one ). Couldn’t be happier.

Do note that’s the 204b with the 5m/s response time, not the earlier 204t with the 16m/s response time. Confusingly not only does the older model have a seemingly higher designation, but they’re both in the stores right now for near the same price.

  • Tamerlane

Just for the record, you can get a little adaptor dealie that will convert the DVI jack on your video card to VGA. I got one “free” with my card. I wouldn’t expect them to go for more than 10 bucks.

Slightly off the OP, but I’ve got a Compaq Presario Model 3020 Mod. 2.00B DOM (Pentium 3) computer that has its cpu box mounted vertically, with a 12-inch LCD screen permanently attached (with angularity hinge) to one of its flat sides. Still looks great.

BTW, the cpu has a single vertical slot on the narrow side into which I can insert four program discs. I’ve had it for over 10 years and have always wondered how many they produced as I have never heard from anyone else who owned or even heard of one.

The biggest change in our little office is that it got cooler. :eek:

I got one of those as well, but I like things to work properly. I don’t really need digital video, but if the card can handle it I’m going to get something (eventually) that can use it.

It is important to note that not all LCD monitors support DVI, and furthermore, many support DVI but do not include a DVI cable, only a VGA cable, so don’t be suprised if you have to run out and buy a cable (~$10). Both issues mainly happen with lcd models that are more budget-oriented. Given all this however, i’d highly recommend an LCD for your “main” display with a CRT for your secondary. Good thing being to test your color with a CRT monitor you simply have to drag the document to your other screen. I won’t even get into all the advantages of a dual-monitor setup, though needless to say, it can revolutionize your workflow. Besides that, modern LCD’s (from a reputable brand) are quite easy on the eyes and you can tell a particular difference when it comes to sharpness and dark colors. If i may make a specific recommendation, the hyundai L90D+ (19") is great if you use your work for design, the black levels are superb and the panel is known for having excellent color replication. The response time is also quite good and ghosting is kept to a minimium. At any rate, good luck.

Would you recommend for home use–staring at financial reports, MS word reports, etc.?

I’m not tamerlane, but I was once ridiculed for making the comment that excel looked fantastic on my Dell 2005fpw.

So, yes.

I’m using a 17" LCD with a refresh rate of 12ms and I’ve never noticed ghosting in anything I’ve used on it, including fast paced FPS’s and WoW. YMMV, obviously, but personally I think that it’s something only the most discerning eye could see, rather akin to the argument that records sound better than CD’s – 99% can’t tell the difference.

The amount of desk space saved by it is well worth any minor drawbacks it may have in comparison to a CRT. Actually, I’m using two flatscreen 17" and because they’re flat I’ve still got pretty much my whole desk available to work on. Definately not something I could do with CRTs anywhere.

They still make CRTs? :smiley:

Actually, that’s not all that silly of a statement. Sony, RCA/GE/Thomson and Toshiba are all getting out of the CRT business.

Go flat. It may cost a bit more up-front, but you’ll soon realize the savings on both electricity to power it and air-conditioning as it puts out less heat.

Also, my 19" Planar LCD puts out an image that beats the socks off a 22" NEC CRT. Much better color rendition and gray scale. Reduced power draw and size (the NEC is very tall, wide, deep and heavy!) are just extra benefits.

I would. 'course I do have to use large fonts to make my eyes happy at 1600 x 1200. Also be warned that some have complained of slight vertical viewing angle issues and out of the box I could see where that comes from. It isn’t a huge effect, but it’s there. But if it is sitting right in front of you ( and it has adjustable height ), then it shouldn’t be an issue.

  • Tamerlane

If you’re doing a lot of that, I strongly recommend an LCD monitor with a pivot feature. That is, the screen can be rotated 90 degrees into portrait mode. At 1600x1200 (or 1200x1600, I guess) you can usually display a whole page of a document and it’ll be legible. It’s also perfect for browsing message boads.

Mine is a Samsung 213T, I bought it almost 2 years ago for about $1100. You can get a similar one for under $600 now, but I never regretted the purchase - I’ve gotten more than $500 worth of use out of it already.

To answer the OP: Yes. Although as Tamerlane points out, do your research and make sure you get the right one. The newer ones with the color range and fast response time kick ass!! I am never going back to a CRT again.

Okay, it’s a week later, I’ve got enough money that I can afford a new monitor right now (up to about $350, preferably less, so the Samsung 204b is out of my range), and I’ve been out looking at them in stores. The best looking one I’ve seen in my price range was a $330 17" NEC. Very sharp and bright, with some handy USB ports and DVI-in. I didn’t get a model number, but I think it was this one. Available on Newegg is this 17" one which seems to be better on paper, except for the screen size, and for the same price.

So, two questions. 1. How good is NEC? And 2. Is there an inherent advantage to widescreen over the standard 4:3?

IANA gamer, but I do use my computer for DVD and TV watching. I have a dual screen setup with one LCD and one CRT. I like to rig it so that my DVDs play on both displays, in clone mode. And there’s no comparison: the CRT has much brighter, smoother, nicer picture quality. OTOH, I experience tremendous eyestrain when reading text on it.

In sum, the quality issues basically cancel out for my purposes. So if you’re going to go with a two monitor setup, I highly recommend one of each.

asterion, I recently got a 19" NEC LCD, and I love it. My husband is always pointing out how much better the images look on it than on his Sony.

Do you know what the model number is? I’m just looking for comparisons.

Is your refresh rate set to >75hz? Low refresh rates hurt your eyes.