Is it time for me to give up CRT in favor of LCD monitors?

Recently, my beloved 21-in computer monitor died on me, forcing me to use a horrible 16-year-old, 17-in, Gateway 2000 monitor that cannot display better than 1024x768 at 70 hertz. My eyes start to bleed after an hour of staring at this flickering monster.

Therefore, I am now in the market for a new computer monitor. I immediately began looking for a new CRT monitor, but there really are not very many being made anymore. It seems that the world has switched to LCD monitors. Even Sony has completely abandoned consumer level CRT’s.

I find this confusing because as far as I can tell LCD’s still do not match the quality of CRT monitors. I have never seen a LCD monitor that I liked or thought was as good as a CRT. CRT images always look so bright and crisp to me. With CRT’s I can switch between resolutions with no loss in image quality (as I often need to when trying to improve the performance of 3D games), LCD’s look bad outside of their native resolution. A CRT can display an infinite variety of colors, but outside of the extremely expensive models, LCD’s can only display up to 24-bit color. Whenever I have played a fast-paced 3D game (such as Quake or Half-Life) on a LCD, the action was always slightly blurry, and not clear like a CRT. There are very few LCD’s (if any) that can consistently refresh their pixels at 10ms or below. Those that claim so fail to mention that the stated refresh time is only the average, and that the refresh for transitions from black to white, anything to grey and between colors are all very different. I hate how the colors and brightness look different in the corners of the screen and shift if you move your head. Not to mention the fact that LCD’s are still more expensive than CRT’s. It seems that all of the reviews of LCD’s I have read conclude with, “It’s practically as good as a CRT!”

I can understand the use of an LCD monitor in certain cases. If you are exclusively looking at static images then an LCD is a good choice. If heat production and power consumption are a major concern (such as in an office complex) LCD’s are better. Of course, LCD’s look better, weigh less and take up far less space.

So am I wrong in my assessment of LCD’s? Is it time that I joined what seems to be the rest of the world and abandon my search for a new CRT monitor?

For me the big selling feature is complete lack of flicker. I find my LCD much easier to look at for extended periods of time than a CRT. The downsides you mention do exist, but are often overstated. But if the upsides of CRTs are important to you, by all means stick with them. They’re cheap! The only real downside is size and the tendency to develop visible flicker.

I just wanted to say that my Dell LCD monitor is currently set to display 32-bit color and it seems fine to me, but then I don’t play games like you mention. And I have no idea if it really is displaying 32-bit color. I don’t do much with graphics.

Glad I could be of help. :dubious:


Yes, but the only time you really need to switch out of default res is for games and games actually look pretty tolerable on a LCD at non-standard res.

Not true, a CRT displays 24 bit colour just like a good LCD (some cheap LCDs display less than 24 bits). The other 8 bits are used as an alpha channel for transparency.

This has improved markedly in recent years and most people can’t tell the difference anymore. However, it’s strongly dependant on your eyes. Some people are just more sensitive than others.

This is generally not a problem anymore in modern LCDs. Again, it’s strongly dependant on your eyes.


Not to mention the fact that LCD’s are still more expensive than CRT’s. It seems that all of the reviews of LCD’s I have read conclude with, “It’s practically as good as a CRT!”


If you take into account the energy savings, LCDs pay for themselves somewhere around the 1 year mark.

Did you ever check the refresh rate? There will be no flicker if it is set at 85 hertz or above.

That depends. Some people are sensitive to flicker even at very high rates. Old monitors also seem to develop flicker (at least, one of mine did). Lots of them also develop very annoying high-pitched whines. I’m not trying to convince you to buy an LCD, just pointing out relevant pros and cons. CRTs certainly aren’t without their share of pros, but they’re not entirely without cons.


Check which Microcenter or Best Buy near you has the NEC 1970GX.

I think you will be quite suprised.

Sounds like you’ve already done a comparison and concluded that you prefer CRTs. So what are you asking us for?

Although if you’re basing your judgement on store displays, you’re not getting the full picture. LCD displays should be used with a DVI interface, not a VGA output that’s split into a dozen monitors.

Many graphics professionals who need accurate color still use CRTs because of the limited dynamic range of LCDs. 3-D shutter glasses like these need the high refresh rates (even at 140 Hz, there’s a lot of flicker). And of course there’s cost, both initial and repair–all good reasons to stick with CRT.

On the other hand, I’ve got an LCD and a CRT hooked to my computer right now. They’re the same size and resolution, but the LCD is clearly brighter, clearer, takes up vastly less desk space, and has no flicker (I’ve got the CRT set at 120 Hz; I can’t see it flicker when it’s on by itself, but next to the LCD, it’s obvious). I use the LCD as my main screen, and not by accident.

Realize that what LCD’s mostly have going for them right now is the “coolness factor” which makes people pay the extra cost. It sounds like you’re immune to that, so I’d say you’re better off buying CRT and saving the money. CRTs will eventually go away, but they haven’t yet, so if you prefer them, go for it.

I made the switch 2 months ago. I went and bought the new 8mms LCD monitor. I play FPS (Unreal Tournament) and currently World of Warcraft. I run my resolution at 32 bit 1280 x 1024 and everything looks great. In terms of ghosting, I notice no difference.

I am using my fathers LCD right now and the colors can be very dark. I have tried adjusting the colors, but if a page is designed to be naturaly dark many parts of it, such as text, are often impossible to see.

You are right that LCD’s are very cool. The form factor of them really looks like a computer screen from the year 2000 and beyond. I am still waiting for large organic displays to finally come out. From the descriptions I have read of them, they beat LCD’s and CRT’s in all regards.

Depending on your financial situation, you ought to check out Sony’s Xbrite technology. I don’t know if its hype or not, but after looking at a traditional LCD, it will make you say “wow.” Its amazing the difference in depth that these have. I don’t know the stats, but they are really beautiful displays. I’ve heard that the shiny surface could be a problem on a laptop, but in a controlled environment (eg a desktop) it ought to be fine. Take a trip to the local Circuit City to check out the laptops. I am pretty sure they also make standalone LCD monitors. But you will pay Sony prices. But considering how you bought a 21 inch CRT, I imagine that wouldn’t be a problem.

As for gaming? Sure your games won’t be as beautiful, but still, they will be nice and the experience isn’t bad, plus ghosting really isn’t a problem as far as I’m concerned. CRTs probably are better at a few things, but in the end, I never spent more than 30 percent of my computer time gaming when I was a gamer (before I got a Mac :frowning: ) and I thought it was a good tradeoff. Althought I would pay the money for an xBrite display if I had the cash. They are great, IMO

Check out the Samsung 193P 19 inch LCD, it rotates 90 degrees. Makes web surfing so much sweeter.

Ditch the CRT. CRTs look like big old…well…they look like big old CRTs! :stuck_out_tongue:

Live in the now!

      • “…at anywhere near the same price”.
  • A 17" CRT with a good image might cost around $100. A 17" LCD with a lousy image will cost $220; a 17" LCD with a really good image will cost up near $600. There are some very good LCD’s out there now, but they still cost way, way more than a comparable CRT does. Among LCD’s, for any given size, there is a wide spread in price, but a wide spread in image quality as well. I do not advise buying any LCD unless you can see it in use first. You can even shop at local stores, get model numbers of what you like and then search for lower prices online. Many of teh cheaper LCD’s simply look really crappy.

Contrast ratio (600-1 at least), refresh rate (20 mhz or less) and native resolution (1024 or higher) are the keys to weeding out the crappy LCDs. I’ve found the no flicker to be worth the price alone. It’s so much more comfortable on the eyes.