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Purge me of my LCD ignorance


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#1
Junkman

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Hi, I'm building my first gaming PC, probably an AMD X2 3800 or 4200, and I'm now looking at monitors. Problem is I don't know much about what to look for. I'd like to have a flat screen monitor, but I've never used one before. With a little research I've learned that with LCDs you have to worry about native resolution, and if you use other ratios you may not get a great picture. A brief read of other threads has also implied to me that LCDs perhaps have other viewing issues, especially with games, which is what I'm wanting the computer for.
It's been years since I've had a high-powered machine, and the most advanced games I've played are probably NWN1 (without any of the expns), Deus-Ex, and Freelancer, and those I had to play on low display settings. So now I'm looking to be able to play Oblivian, NWN2, KOTOR, Guild Wars etc.
So, what do I need to look for in a monitor? I'm on a budget and would rather spend cash on RAM, CPU and GPU, so the cheaper the better for a monitor. Will a cheap LCD be OK as long as it has a decent native resolution? What other system stats do I need to look for? And what is the general verdict of the other gamers out there, will a cheap LCD do the trick for my needs? I don't need everything at max res and framerate with all the features on, but obviously I'd like it to be smooth and pretty as possible. If a CRT would be much better and cheaper I'd be willing to go that way.
Thanks in advance.
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#2
swordofdestiny

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Honestly, I can't stand CRTs anymore with the lights on, if the lights are off, they're fine, but they hurt my eyes when the lights are on (I don't have a crt anymore) crt's do produce some radiation... I recommend LCD's, but for gaming, it's probably good to look for a high end one, look at reviews of the product and see how it's been with other people.
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#3
stettybet0

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What is most important in a gaming LCD is native res and response time. A higher native res allows for higher resolutions to be more easily displayed. A high response time may cause "ghosting" in games, especially fast paced games like FPS's. So, you want a high native res and a low response time. Another thing you look for is the monitor being able to display deep blacks. You can only really tell by seeing the monitor in action, or reading reviews.

What I'd recommend is decide what res. you want to play at (which mainly depends on your graphics card) and find a monitor which has that native res, and the lowest response time (compared to other monitors of that res). For gaming, you're probably at least going to want a 22" screen.
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#4
james_8970

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Look for these and you'll be happy with your monitor.
Have a response time of no higher then 5ms
Max resolution, no lower then 1680 x 1050 (if its wide screen)
300 nits for brightness, maybe 250nits (but no lower) if you like the monitor dimmer
Be sure it has DVI outlets
If you want your monitor to last, be sure it has HDCP support for Blue-ray and HD-DVD for future upgrades.
Contrast ratio of no less then 1000:1, 800:1 is ok(lower is crap), but 1000:1 and higher is MUCH better.

Just a note, response times are messured differently depending on the name brand, buying a good name brand will ensure that the responce time is infact the real deal. If you find a really cheap monitor with 2ms, chances are it's to good to be sure and they used a poor method to mesure the response time.

P.S. If your on a really tight budget you'll pay much less for a CRT and have less to worry about such a dead pixels. However the quality isn't as high nor will you be as happy with it. You can't get a cheap LCD for a gaming rig.

This is a good monitor and its cheap, just a suggestion.
http://www.tigerdire...p;Sku=S197-2016

Edited by james_8970, 24 February 2007 - 08:16 PM.

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#5
stettybet0

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Have a response time of no lower then 5ms


I'm pretty sure James means no higher than 5ms. :whistling:
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#6
james_8970

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lol thanx, better correct that.
James
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#7
Junkman

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Thanks guys, that helps. I've done some more reading though and I'm still a little worried about the native resolution thing. Obviously higher seems better, but I've read about other people suffering from the problem of having too high a resolution, so that when they get a high-powered game and need to turn the display settings down some, the LCDs get cranky. I'm probably not gonna be playing the latest FPSs any time soon, but I may not be upgrading again for a while, and it would suck if my monitor began holding me back from playing the games I want. How big a concern do people think this is? Anyone had this problem? And if I am to choose a resolution with some future-proofing, what would be your recommendations? You say 1680 X 1050 James, but I worry that that would be too much as newer games come out (or even high-end current games on the lower- middle-range system I'm planning).
One last thing, I am, unfortunately, limited for purchasing options by my location in Denmark :whistling: I had a look for that monitor you suggested James but couldn't find it here. This is an example of something in my price-range and available where I am, what do you think?
http://www.komplett.....asp?sku=324781

Edited by Junkman, 25 February 2007 - 02:26 PM.

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#8
stettybet0

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widescreen should have at least 1680x1050 like James said. if your not going to get a widescreen, 1600x1200 should be good.

Max resolution means... well, max. If the max resolution is 1600x1200, you could still play at 800x600 if you wanted. You just couldn't play at anything higher than 1600x1200.

Edited by stettybet0, 25 February 2007 - 02:30 PM.

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#9
Junkman

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I know that, but I have read that on LCDs the picture can get very bad if you use a resolution other than the native. So even if it can go lower than, say, 1680 X 1050, the picture quality will suffer, as they achieve this by simply blocking pixels together (or creating black borders and thus making the image smaller).
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#10
james_8970

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what they mean is the quality is going to suffer, but of course 1680 X 1050 is going to be clearer then something like 800x600. Also if you use a widescreen LCD and put it into a fullscreen resolution the image won't be pretty, I'm almost positive that the image will be stretched same works vice versa.
James

Edit: you should be very happy with that LCD

Edited by james_8970, 25 February 2007 - 03:33 PM.

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#11
Junkman

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Just wanted to say thanks for all the info, it helped :whistling:
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