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Monitor Advice

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After many years of faithful service, my trusy monitor passed away last week. After days of mourning I am ready to move on and purchase a replacement. The problem I am having is that I am unsure which monitor out there is the best value for the money, based on my needs. I have recieved incredible advice from this forum in the past and thought I would see what you can offer me here.

Here is some info on how I use my computer: I am a gamer, and this is the primary use of my system. I have always had a 19" monitor and have no desire to get anything smaller than that. My existing monitor was always a 'dark monitor' in that I had to have the contrast/brightness at 100% to get a decent screen (and even then it was a little too dark for my liking), and I want to avoid this at all costs as I prepare to purchase a new monitor.

As I prepare to purchase a new monitor, I am immediately forced to examine the differences between LCD and CRT monitors. Many individuals keep telling me that CRT monitors are the best for gaming, and that this is what I should purchase. Is this true? I do not necessarily need a flat screen, and do not want to purchase it just because it is a LCD screen... ecspecially if a CRT screen is going to be a better performing monitor for my gaming. While I am fine with a CRT monitor, assuming they are better for gaming, my only concern is the brightness. Is there a way to avoid purchasing another 'dark monitor'?

Long story short... what type/brand of monitor would you reccomend based on my needs?

Thanks in advance for the help,

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Neil Jones

Neil Jones

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You need to consider your needs beyond gaming for a short while.

CRT monitors do provide better picture quality for certain types of computer activity - such as Computer Aided Design for example.
However LCD/TFT monitors are easier on the eyes to look at for extended periods because of the way they work.

CRTs work just like television sets - a little laser beam redraws the screen 50 times a second (the refresh rate), this being what gives you headaches after so long. LCD/TFT work by just changing the colour of various pixels as needed - with no need to "redraw" the screen 50 times a second - it just happens.

LCD/TFTs are cheaper to run - a 19" flatscreen can use up up to two thirds LESS power than a 19" CRT. Therefore you shoudl weigh up whether the monitor will pay for itself in the long run.

LCD/TFT monitors will look dark if you look at them from the wrong angle; this obviously becomes more of a problem the bigger the screen. Nothing wrong with the monitor, more a trick of the light. Doesn't happen on CRT monitors.

Another thing to be aware of: dead pixels on LCD monitors. Different manufacturers have different policies on this and you may be unlucky enough to receive a monitor with dead pixels already. But you usually get a warranty in any case so if its damaged enough, claim on it.

Beyond that, it comes down to how much you want to spend. A monitor is something you'll spend a lot of time staring at so it makes sense to buy a decent one which often means moving into the mid-range and avoiding the cheap stuff. Most monitors regardless of cost come with cheap speakers that are so bad its laughable so remember to budget for extra speakers if you haven't got any already.

As for "is there a way to avoid purchasing another 'dark monitor" - you should have consumer rights which basically say you can take it back for a refund/exchange within so many days if you're not happy with it.
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