Perfect, thanks much for the search term. Exactly what I was looking for.
The only other thing I need is a second monitor. I’m thinking $150 or less. I think my current monitor was around $110 at Walmart around 6 years ago, but all three of those details might be wrong. The idea is to move it down with the old computer and get a slightly nicer new one for the new computer.
My current monitor is a 23.6" ASUS model VE247, 60 Hz, 2 ms TN Panel. Max resolution 1920x1080. Beating that for $150 is the goal. In a perfect world, in-store pickup. I don’t like having screens shipped, but that’s not a dealbreaker. (No Micro Centers in Connecticut. Closest to me looks to be in Brooklyn, so that’s out.)
24" is fine, as is 1080. I’m not entirely sure a 27" would fit on my little hutch but if it did I’d be thrilled. 120 Hz or better would be great but honestly with the 1050 ti most of my games run under 60 fps anyway. (Steep @ 37fps, Control @ 51 fps, etc…) So even just 75 Hz would be fine I would think.
I see people online talking about 27" being too big for 1080p; text looks blocky when not gaming. But I’m pretty sure that won’t be an issue for me. With my 1080p 23.6" monitor now I have a custom scale factor (not recommended) set to 125% in Advanced Settings, then on top of that I set “size of text, chat and other items” to 175%. My text is already pretty blocky and always has been. I’m hoping a 27" lets me ditch the custom scale factor entirely. Windows only grudgingly allows it anyway.
My top two choices are currently:
Both are 27" 1080p max, 144 Hz, 1 ms, and are brands I feel good about. (Unless someone has some horror stories about LG Ultragear?)
The $180 (after rebate) ASUS VG278Q would be a natural progression from my current ASUS VE247. It has every feature I want. The only downside is it would be shipped from Newegg.
The $200 LG Ultragear FHD has no display port, which I think means I can’t use the G-Sync feature with it. That’s kind of a bummer if so. Possibly a deal-breaker. On the plus side, I can pick it up at a local store and drive it home. And I think it’s a better name. It’s certainly a better discount.
Anyone think one of these is clearly better than the other? Or maybe know of a third option around $200 I should be considering?
Also, how important is display port, and can I run gsync without it on a gsync “compatible” monitor?
Haven’t decided on a monitor yet, and it’s looking like I won’t during this sales event. I really kind of want to see a 27" monitor running 1080p in person before committing to one. It could conceivably be too blocky even for me.
The reason I didn’t get the ultragear above is because my hutch sits high, so I need the monitor to stand low. This specific ultragear turns out to be a dirty Canadian version (27GN600-B) which does not come with an adjustable height stand like the US version does. (27GN650-B.) That leaves the ‘600’ stuck at a fixed height of 18".
My current monitor stands just under 14" tall, and it feels a little high. So my absolute max height on this new monitor including stand will be 15" tops. Preferably 14". I saw at least one 27" with stand that could go as short as 14.8", so my perfect monitor is out there somewhere. It does exist. Just gotta find it.
It would have been great if I had the idea for this project more than 12 hours before Black Friday started.
Okay, I have a real question: Should I avoid getting a high refresh rate monitor because my crappy 1050 ti can’t even reach 60 fps anyway?
I love my current monitor, and am accustomed to it from 6 years of use. An Amazon review for one of the monitors I’m considering talks about how setting the refresh to 144 Hz made games choppier with their GTX 1080 than on their older, crappier monitor.
Should I just stick with 60 Hz or 75 Hz for the time being, and then if I ever get a good video card, at that point I could worry about the monitor?
I’m worried about a nice monitor looking worse than a crappy monitor would when paired with my crappy video card. And based on how the past 10 months have gone with the video card market, I may end up stuck with this 1050 ti for the life of this computer.
I would not invest in a high refresh rate monitor for a 1050ti. Assuming you have one with GSync, there shouldn’t be a problem with screen tearing, etc but (IMO) the 1050ti just doesn’t push enough frames to make a 120Hz or 144Hz monitor worth the investment. And buying a new 60/75Hz screen seems rather pointless since you have one that you’re happy with. In theory, today’s monitors should be cheaper by the time you snag a new GPU.
If you need a larger screen for the other computer, I’d look at the second-hand market. Or maybe look after the holidays when people received/bought upgrades and are looking to unload their old screens.
I don’t really think that’s a thing, especially not with gsync compatible/free-sync. I’ve never heard anyone complain about that and I don’t really see how that would work, how more frequent refreshes would make a game feel choppier - even without some sort of sync system, it should just lead to more frames being repeated.
Do you ever play simple/old/retro games that you’d push at a high frame rate? I’d get a high refresh rate monitor because they’d benefit you in some of those and you can keep a good monitor for 10+ years so I’d get the high refresh rate monitor with the anticipation that you’ll have a video card that can take advantage of it for most of its life.
Get an IPS monitor, probably 120+ hz, 1080p at 27" would be fine for you since you scale windows at 125% anyway. You can scale up 1440p at 27", too, but it’s likely that you’d be happy with 1080@27" unscaled based on scaling up 1080@24"
If you set it to ULMB mode instead of VRR mode, while also not hitting a locked 120Hz/144Hz, I could see the perceived choppiness being much worse than not running the monitor in that mode since the UMLB is making whatever you can see more pronounced. If so, such a customer is in that dangerous “I think I know what I’m doing but I don’t” category.
I wouldn’t buy such a monitor with a 1050 Ti. If I did because there was an amazing deal or something, I’d just go all-in and get a 27" 4K/144Hz VRR monitor.
I suppose that’s possible, but I don’t think ULMB mode would be a default, so that guy from the review probably screwed himself by messing with things he didn’t understand. In general, high refresh rates have no downside even if you can’t hit those rates. You can also lock a lower refresh rate in windows settings if you need to, for some reason. In fact you generally have to turn the refresh rate up in windows - many people buy a high refresh rate monitor and never turn the monitor settings above 60hz.
27"/4K/144hz is not a practical/desirable combo for most people. A 27" monitor fairly small to notice the extra resolution of 4k (over 1440) unless you’re very close to the monitor and have very good eyesight. Since he runs higher scaling at 1080/24" that’s almost certainly not his use case. Even top end systems can’t push many games at 4k/144, and 4k/144 is a very expensive combo right now. A setup like that will be common in 5 years, maybe, but not now.
1440p is a better fit for more people at 27". 1080 at 27" is fine for him given his stated preferences.
He’d be okay with a 60 hz monitor, especially if the cost difference is significant, but if the cost isn’t significant just get the high refresh rate monitor.
I could see it being choppier because you’re seeing more variations in framerate. A fixed framerate, even if lower, often seems less choppy than a non-fixed one.
However, I believe that you can usually limit framerates in games. (I was about to mention vsync, but I’m not sure how that works with monitors at other refresh rates. I do know that variable sync has its limits on how low it can go.)
You don’t need to push 4K/144Hz. 1440p/144Hz looks fine on a 4K screen. 4K is available for older games or games capped at 30/60 fps. It’s good for the next GPU and probably the one after that. It’s also useful when you get into fancier stuff like cloning the display to a TV. Some TVs skip 1440p support (especially Sony.)
I think the bigger point is that (a) it’s a 1050ti, a lower-end 1080p card, and (b) they’re already fond of their monitor. Yes, they could potentially be pushing 140fps in DOTA2 or Stardew Valley but that doesn’t strike me as a great reason to drop a couple hundred dollars or more (when you get into 1440/4K). Short of stumbling over some amazing deal, I just think the better choice is to save the money for now and worry about a bigger, better screen when you own a bigger, better GPU.
In other news, I bought Deathloop over the Black Friday sales and am really enjoying it. It’s made by the same studio as Dishonored and Prey and shows in the game feel and aesthetics. Has a retro-future 60s look like Prey but less corporate office and more pop-culture and tech. Lots of options on how to achieve your goals with different paths, the usual stealth/blazin’ choices, etc. It was $25 (and I had a $5 coupon on top of that) so pretty low priced for such a recent game; I suspect that, like Prey, it didn’t get the initial sales hoped and so got discounted quickly and people will be “discovering” it in the future when it’s cheap.
I found the amazon review I mentioned above. Looks like I misremembered a key detail:
Bolding mine. I forgot or possibly even missed the bolded part. I misread that and generalized it as the move from 60 Hz to 144 Hz with a lower end 10 series card. But his “crappy” monitor was already 144 Hz and 1 ms, so it doesn’t apply to my situation.
My problem is I need a second monitor to set up a second computer, but there’s no cheap give-up option. If you look at PCPartPicker with no filters at all so all possible monitors are shown, sorting by lowest price shows the cheapest one on the entire site is currently $100.00 on the nose. And that one is a 19" 1366x768 junker. The cheapest 23" or bigger monitor is $140, as is the modern day Walmart floor model if I just go drive to the store like I did last time. (I think.)
If I drive to Walmart now, their 24" floor model is from a shady Walmart-exclusive brand named “onn.”. All lower case, with a period. Nobody else sells them; not Newegg, not Best Buy, they’re not listed on PCPartPicker, etc… And even that costs $140! Hard pass.
That means $150 is really the minimum for a new monitor. Even used I had little luck. Like, if I were selling my monitor right now, I’d probably ask for $70 and be willing to haggle down to $50. But I can’t find any other me’s to buy from; it seems like everyone is asking triple digits. But if $150 is my minimum it’s hard not to try for an upgrade, since I managed to find eight choices that check all my boxes in the $180 to $204 range.
Here’s my top 8, with my current monitor included for comparison. All 8 are 1080p with gsync (at least compatible), displayport, 1000:1 contrast (if listed at all), and unfortunately they’re all TN panels. I was hoping for IPS but no joy for my budget.
“no signal” issue
My first inclination is to go with a 24.5" screen as a middle ground between what I have now vs a 27". That way I can upgrade to 27" at the same time I upgrade to 1440p and have it look bigger instead of it being just the same size picture but now with smaller text.
I care more about power usage than may be warranted. Probably because I just recently looked into an emergency generator again, for the millionth time, and again failed to come up with any solution under $10 grand. But everything else being equal – and these choices all look pretty similar – the 23W models seem like a good way to go. Are they dim or something? How are they only 23W? Newegg’s computer builder says my computer uses around 260W; keeping it under 300W including monitor would help in an emergency backup power situation, and just about all of these choices do that.
The VG258QM is looking pretty good just based on stats. 280 Hz, 0.5 ms, 24.5" screen, 23W, recent release, solid customer reviews.
EDIT: If I could buy a cheap monitor for the old computer for like $80 or less, that would be a real choice. 22" would be fine, no need to play games. Is that possible, or am I looking at $120 for something that does even that little poorly?
The cd/m2 rating is the screen brightness, which for whatever reason doesn’t seem to correlate much with the power usage, when you think it would. If I had to guess, maybe the older monitors are using CFLs or some non-LED backlight and therefore use more energy to generate the same rbrightness.
I know a couple of years ago slickdeals would have a 24-27" monitor deal that was good for under $150 on a regular basis, but I haven’t seen many of those recently, may relate to all the shortages going on now.
Regarding your energy concerns, a PC with a light load is probably using more like 100w of power, the 230 the calculator used probably a moderate or high load as a power estimate. If you aren’t gaming or doing anything strenuous when your power goes out your power load is probably considerably lower than 230w.
The VG258QM looks good for your needs, but is overkill in terms of refresh rate. Which is fine, it won’t hurt and it doesn’t look like you’re paying any premium for it. But I don’t know if that monitor suffers somehow in image quality in pursuit of the really high frame rate. I wouldn’t buy a TN monitor, though they probably aren’t so terrible these days. I have no specific advice on these because I only read up about monitors that I was considering a few years ago which means IPS 1440 144hz+ so I don’t know anything about the cheaper ones.
Yeah there’s a bunch of good IPS options in the $230 to $280 range. In my current budget, all the IPS options had some issues.
It’s the G-Sync that’s killing me, greatly limiting my selection and driving the price up on the few choices that leaves me. Maybe I should rethink that.
My current monitor doesn’t have G-Sync, and the plan is to run this new monitor with my current video card. I’ve never noticed any screen tearing.
I guess my naive idea was, let’s say I get a 3060 ti a year from now. (Ha!) If my monitor were 144 Hz and had G-Sync, the 30-series card could really shine right out of the box. And that would be fine for a year or two, at which point I could upgrade to a 27-in 1440p, and that same 30-series card could drive that too.
But maybe I should rethink that whole plan. Just try to find a crap second monitor for under $100 for the old computer, and if I ever get a real video card I can worry about the monitor then. With the way the world’s looking, that may legitimately never happen.
It’s just frustrating to spend $150 on a s*** monitor when I could have spent $180 and gotten something that would be comparably very nice. The floor is much too high.