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Review index:
23” and 24” LCD monitors roundup
by Vincent Alzieu
Published on April 15, 2005

Introduction
There are other new phenomena this year, after the 20" monitors, large scale LCDs are now also affordable. Thanks to this lower price, more and more users tend to buy these products. Just take a look at the forum and you will understand what we are talking about. And to be perfectly honest, this roundup was carried out because of the numerous emails we received. These monitors might also be useful for companies, especially for the IT department. Only a 23" or 24" monitor can easily replace a dual monitor configuration. Or better still: you can replace two 19 CRT monitors by two 24".

A 24" monitor seems too big ? You will soon get used to it.
After testing these three monitors over several weeks for this roundup, we can assure you that you will quickly get used to the monitor’s size. When we unpacked the monitor and even though we were aware of its size, we were surprised. It seemed almost oversized for our usual uses. The fact that we might have even become rather greedy crossed our minds. After a couple of hours, we can’t let it go. It becomes the normal size and the other monitors look small. This 1920x 1200 display surface is ideal for video (DVD or HD 1920 x 1080 pixels), work, editing picture or even playing some games!

3 monitors 2 technologies
Of course, we would have loved to show you more monitors than the three tested here. In fact, we ordered all the 23 and 24" monitors currently on the market. Apple is still looking for a monitor, Samsung, LG, Philips don’t have any monitors in stocks, Sony can’t and BenQ even less… In the end, only three manufacturers responded positively to our request: Dell, Hewlett Packard and ViewSonic. Fortunately we had a stroke of luck: amongst the monitors are a 24" VA panel monitor (Samsung PVA) and two 23" IPS panels manufactured by LG-Philips. Two technologies were therefore face to face. To increase the stakes of this confrontation, all of them have 16 ms response time. But, according to the monitor’s product page, the Samsung is in fact an 8 ms G2G!
And we almost find ourselves dreaming of comparable results with the ViewSonic VP191b.

Finally, these monitors are high end products. All of them have high ergonomics including, YUV, S-Video, DVi, D-Sub 15 pins input, USB hub, are vertically adjustable, and feature a pivot mode…
Here are all the ingredients for a nice roundup :)

Which GC* to play in 1920 x 1200 pixels
(*graphic card) If you want to play with this type of monitors with its native resolution; 1920 x 1200, you also need to invest in a very good graphic card.
Indeed, the graphic card load is increased by 46% compared to the 1280*1024 for 17" and 19" monitors, 20% compared to the 20" 4/3 monitors 1600*1200 and 30% for the 16/9.

So, with this type of resolution, you will have to choose at least the ATI X800 XL, or even the more expensive NVIDIA 6800 GT. And still, even if these solutions offer an opportunity of playing with the greediest games, you won’t be able to activate the anti aliasing or anisotropic filtering effect. To play comfortably with these effects, you will have to choose a 6800GT SLI for example. As well as being very expensive, the other downside of this solution is that it provides variable performances according to the games.

There is no problem in using the DVI interface with such a resolution and with a modern graphic card. If, initially, the TMDS 165 MHz were restricted because of their bandwidth to 1600*1200, the GTF norm now provides the possibility of reducing blanking time information included in the signal from 25% to 5%. In fact, blanking time information used to correspond to the repositioning time allowed by the electron canon of some of the CRT DVI monitors included in the initial norm.

As LCD monitors do not need this, it is possible to reduce this information. So with a standard TMDS 165 MHz link it is possible to reach 1920*1200. Beyond this resolution, you will need to have a graphic card compatible with the Dual Link. It allows you to combine two TMDS bandwidths.

Tests
Color accuracy, calibration, reactivity for games, video quality, ergonomics, viewing angles, interpolation quality, we evaluated all of the monitors’ characteristics.

For color accuracy, we used a LaCie colorimeter. The Blue Eye 2 (379 € or$ 279) probe of this image-making professional is based on the Xrite tool with, on top, their own software. This colorimeter is used to measure the gap between the color requested and the one really displayed. In the interest of the tests, we also spent our days playing at UT 2004 , WoW…

The test computer is a home assembled machine including an AMD Athlon XP3200+ and a NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT graphic card.


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