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tomas@eklund.com

Large professional monitor, advice wanted

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Hi there!

My old Sony Multiscan 300 sf (20") has started to make irritating high-freq noises. So I'm beginning to look at new monitors. I'm running this one at 1200x1024 and of course, I don't want to downgrade.

Should I look at CRTs or LCDs?

If CRT, I'm thinking 21" (really wanted 22", but couldn't find any nice brands - a test in a computer mag said the LaCie Electron Blue wasn't as good as the price tag implied). Would the 21" Sony Premierpro GDM-F520 be a good choice?

If LCD, I'm thinking 18" (ok, so it is a downgrade from my current 20"/19"vis, but I do have some financial constraints to consider). Eizo Flexscan L665K perhaps? Or Philips 180P2G? Maybe Samsung Syncmaster 181T? Of course, I could go for a 'cheap' 19" like Samsung Syncmaster 191T or Viewsonic VX900...

I hate to admit this but I really don't want an ugly monitor (so the Eizo CRTs are not an option). Aesthetics is an important factor.

Mostly I do coding work (web dev), but I also do a lot of Photoshop. I'm planning to do more illustration work in the future. I'm not a devoted gamer, but once in a while I do play. After all I should put my GeForce 4 Ti 4200 to use, shouldn't I?

Knowing this, what would you recommend?

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i would recommend a dell 2000fp 20" lcd for just about anything - see http://www.cadalyst.com/reviews/hardware/0...402lcd/dell.htm for a cad review. i say 'just about', because i wouldn't recommend it for twitch gamers because of pixel response or hardcore photo workers because color reproduction on lcds is not quite what it is on crts.

i sit before a sony f520, and i am underwhelmed. go to http://www.necmitsubishi.com/products/index.cfm and pick your high-end crt poison. the fp955 is the best looking crt i've seen in my entire life. the fp1370 is pretty good, but i imagine the fp1375 is on par with the 955 as it's from the same series.

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i would recommend a dell 2000fp 20" lcd for just about anything - see http://www.cadalyst.com/reviews/hardware/0...402lcd/dell.htm for a cad review.  i say 'just about', because i wouldn't recommend it for twitch gamers because of pixel response or hardcore photo workers because color reproduction on lcds is not quite what it is on crts.

I have the Dell 2000FP 20" and it's great. At 1600x1200 with large fonts enabled, it is not hard on the eyes. Text is nice and crisp, and the geometry is perfect. That's what bothered me the most about CRTs, fiddling with the plethoa of geometry settings to get it just right, plus with the larger monitors you had to worry about moire. :? I'm an avid gamer, and I've been very satisfied with response times in Quake3, RTCW, GTA3, etc. About the only downside is the color reproduction as honold mentioned. Solid black (when watching a DVD for example) is at best a dark gray, but you get used to it. Another great thing is the 4 inputs: HD15, DVI, Composite and SVideo.

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Guest russofris
i would recommend a dell 2000fp 20" lcd for just about anything - see http://www.cadalyst.com/reviews/hardware/0...402lcd/dell.htm for a cad review.  i say 'just about', because i wouldn't recommend it for twitch gamers because of pixel response or hardcore photo workers because color reproduction on lcds is not quite what it is on crts.

I have the Dell 2000FP 20" and it's great. At 1600x1200 with large fonts enabled, it is not hard on the eyes. Text is nice and crisp, and the geometry is perfect.

I have two of the dell P991 19" trinitrons, and run them dualie under XP. This is extremely handy when doing graphics, A/V, and multitrack audio work. If this 21" is going to be used for applications like this, I would seriously considder buying two decent 19" monitors instead.

Thank you for your time,

Frank Russo

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I have a 19" ViewSonic GS790 monitor, and it too makes an unusual high-frequency noise for perhaps 30 seconds after coming out of standby.

Changing the refresh rate from 75 Hz to 85 Hz solved the problem for the time, but is this is a sign the monitor will eventually fail?

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My old Sony Multiscan 300 sf (20") has started to make irritating high-freq noises.

If you're feeling adventurous, high frequency noises from monitors are often caused by dying capacitors. You could open up the monitor and listen for the mouthy capacitor, and replace it with one of the same rating (in Farads). It goes without saying that this is a bad idea if you are not comfortable around electronics, and that you should wear gloves at the very least as monitors have many "do not touch" parts. I've done this and it really isn't as difficult as it sounds.

If not...

Should I look at CRTs or LCDs?
As you know, LCDs are limited to their "native" resolution for all intents and purposes. (They look terrible otherwise). This is acceptable for some people. I find it horrifying.

Sony professional models are very nice. You might consider their wide-aspect ratio GDMFW900, which is only a few hundred more ($1,806.22 + S/H on www.mwave.com). With this, you could watch widescreen DVDs without much letterboxing and could tell all your friends that you have a 24" monitor. :)

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If you are serious about your digital photography, then pass on the LCD's and buy a Sony FD520 21" CRT, which is probably one of the best and best looking monitors you can buy. The key here is the level of greyscale - CRT's give you a near continuous tonality, while all LCD's give 256 greyscale tones. Sharp has JUST introduced a 1024 tone LCD, but I'm not sure of it's availability or effectiveness (haven't seen it).

When my Nokia 19" goes, the FD520 is the only thing on my list to replace it...Maximum PC has used it as the screen for their Ultimate PC for the last three years or so, for what it's worth, and every time I have seen one it has impressed me...

Future Shock

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If you can afford the F520 then you can easily afford a Dell 2000FP. It is an exceptional LCD, and thru DVI is a sight to behold. Perfect convergence that can't be matched by any CRT. That said, if colour is important to you then stick with CRTs.

Also if you decide on an LCD, the Dell 1902 has a very slim bezel, so it looks better if that matters to you.

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Thanks for all the helpful replies!

I think I have decided to go for a CRT (if my current Sony dies soon), because color rendition is an important factor.

However, changing the refresh frequency (lowering from 75 to 72 Hz) actually helped - at least it got a bit quieter for now. (Thanks emu10k!) Not sure if I dare trying to replace the capacitor (but thanks for the tip). If it gets worse I might get myself a soldering iron and try it.

New subtopic: medium size amateur monitor...

However, I'm still considering buying a LCD - for my girlfriend. I'm building her a mini PC and a lightweight, small footprint monitor is the choice here. I'm thinking 17" will do, as she doesn't live in front of the computer, as I do. Still, I want great quality of course.

I see a lot of people here are recommending Dell LCDs (well, the Dell 20" anyway). I have now looked at a Dell 17" LCD on the web. I'ts a bit cheaper than the Eizo Flexscan L565K, but it doesn't have the built in speakers (not important, but convenient). The Eizo got very good grades in a side-by-side 11 LCD monitor test I read in a magazine the other day. Dell wasn one of the tested monitors. I didn't even realise (until now) that Dell was an option if just buying a monitor.

The Dell 1702 17" LCD is a nice looking thing, but is it a good monitor as well?

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Hi tomas,

I see you are European. Have you ever heard of the brand IIyama? Over here in Belgium (and also Holland, Germany,...) it's considered as a very good brand. Don't know whether it's known in the States.

Anyway I bought one last month: IIyama Vision Master Pro 512. It's a 22" monitor with a Diamondtron tube. So you can take for certain this is quality. I cost me about 1000€ (more or less 1000$).

It's maximum resolution is 2048x1536@85Hz, but I usually work on 1280x1024@120Hz or sometimes when I need alot of space on my desktop 1600x1200@110Hz.

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i have a dell 1702 as well (i have tons of monitors...). i got mine for $575 new with shipping about 6 months ago (caught a deal on techbargains.com) and i love it. highly recommended.

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I like Samsung's line of LCD monitors and would get a 17" one if I could afford it. :) As it is, I really enjoy having a 15" from them; it takes much less space than my old 17" CRT and doesn't get hot.

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The key here is the level of greyscale - CRT's give you a near continuous tonality, while all LCD's give 256 greyscale tones. Sharp has JUST introduced a 1024 tone LCD, but I'm not sure of it's availability or effectiveness (haven't seen it). 

I am just taking a guess here, but does not the continuous grayscale tonality become discrete as soon as the CRT connects to a graphics card? Most cards will only do 8 bit grayscales; some (like the Parhelia) will do 10 bits.

Windows, also, only supports 8 bit grayscale. To get to 10 bits, each application need its own 10 bit hack (Photoshop).

I would also venture to say that everything before the CRT gun(s) can only handle 8/10 bit grayscale values.

Maybe I just do not understand what tonality is.

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I have the GDM-F520 and it is the best 21" available. If your looking for an LCD, take a look at the Sony SDM-X202/B.

Hi there!

My old Sony Multiscan 300 sf (20") has started to make irritating high-freq noises. So I'm beginning to look at new monitors. I'm running this one at 1200x1024 and of course, I don't want to downgrade.

Should I look at CRTs or LCDs?

If CRT, I'm thinking 21" (really wanted 22", but couldn't find any nice brands - a test in a computer mag said the LaCie Electron Blue wasn't as good as the price tag implied). Would the 21" Sony Premierpro GDM-F520 be a good choice?

If LCD, I'm thinking 18" (ok, so it is a downgrade from my current 20"/19"vis, but I do have some financial constraints to consider). Eizo Flexscan L665K perhaps? Or Philips 180P2G? Maybe Samsung Syncmaster 181T? Of course, I could go for a 'cheap' 19" like Samsung Syncmaster 191T or Viewsonic VX900...

I hate to admit this but I really don't want an ugly monitor (so the Eizo CRTs are not an option). Aesthetics is an important factor.

Mostly I do coding work (web dev), but I also do a lot of Photoshop. I'm planning to do more illustration work in the future. I'm not a devoted gamer, but once in a while I do play. After all I should put my GeForce 4 Ti 4200 to use, shouldn't I?

Knowing this, what would you recommend?

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Hi tomas,

I see you are European. Have you ever heard of the brand IIyama? Over here in Belgium (and also Holland, Germany,...) it's considered as a very good brand. Don't know whether it's known in the States.

Anyway I bought one last month: IIyama Vision Master Pro 512. It's a 22" monitor with a Diamondtron tube. So you can take for certain this is quality. I cost me about 1000€ (more or less 1000$).

It's maximum resolution is 2048x1536@85Hz, but I usually work on 1280x1024@120Hz or sometimes when I need alot of space on my desktop 1600x1200@110Hz.

I've had Vision Master Pro 400 for 4 years now (purchased it on the net, they don't sell it in stores in the US). I work with Photoshop and Painter and must say the color reproduction of this monitor is perfect. Also, believe it or not, I've never turned this monitor off for more than half hour at a time in these 4 years and it hasn't yet faded a notch. I'm thinking of a lager IIyama now and going to keep the old one for menues.

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I also have an iiyama vision master pro 450 19" monitor that I purchased about 3 years ago. I'm very happy with the monitor, and so far no problems. I run it constantly at 1280x1024 @100 Hz.

I'm considering their 22" vision master model for my next purchase, but that may be down the road a bit.

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Stay away from the Viewsonic P95F+.

If my experience is anything to go by (which it very well might not be), this monitor suffers from lousy screen geometry and unnacceptable blurrieness at the edges.

I'm RMA'ing my second one. I'm not buying a third one.

Piyono

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PC World recently reported that the best monitor it has ever tested is the Compaq P1220. On the strength of that report combined with knowing that this 22" monitor uses a Mitsubishi aperture grill tube, I purchased one. My tests show that this monitor performs flawlessly: it is razor sharp, even at resolutions above 1600×1200; its color and geometry are right on, and the brightness dazzling; glare from reflections is non existent. Unlike Sony tubes I have seen, the horizontal grill support wires form a very faint shadow that is not in the least distracting. So, I endorse this monitor without reservation, though it IS heavy and takes up a lot of desk space.

Before the P1220, Compaq made several monitors that have received accolades from reviewers such as CADALYST.

I also have an Iiyama Vision Master 450 (19") which is very good too, but it does not hold a candle to the P1220.

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The last time I looked into getting a large CRT, all the newsgroup posts I could find from design professionals were hot for the Mitsubishi 2040u and later the 2060u. I would imagine the Compaq P1220 uses the same tube.

NEC/Mitsubishi has now released the new Superbright tube which is in their 2070SB and another NEC version which is virtually identical and a few dollars less. I have yet to see any performance evaluations on it because it's so new. Hopefully they retained all the good things from the 2060u tube and continued to improve.

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I've got the Dell 20,1' TFT 2000FP and I'm more than happy with it.

Excellent monitor - no pixel error, sharp picture - can easily read text size all the way down to 6 points.

Run it at 1600X1200 with DVI - I've made a direct comparison between my Dell 2000FP and a Sony F520 and I must sy my Dell has the edge.

Only color precision gives the edge to Sony F520 CRT - but thats a known thing with TFT - CRT just gives better color precision than any TFT no matter the prize tag.

I can only recmommend the Dell 2000FP 20,1' TFT - this is truely a GREAT TFT monitor worth every penny.

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I am currently running a Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 900u (the 2060u's little brother) alongside a Dell 1701FP (connected with DVI). I find that this setup fulfills all my needs, as I have a great LCD for web browsing, word processing and spreadsheet creation, while my AG tube handles gaming, DVD/divx viewing, and Photoshop work. But beware: Just like SMP systems, once one has the luxury of dual monitors, it is impossible to return to a single-monitor approach. That said, the best "money is no object" configuration is the Compaq P1220 paired with a Dell 2000FP.

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I am using a Mitsubishi DiamondPro 2040u, and it is clear and sharp at 2048x1536, 75Hz. I can say the same for the 2060u, since we have a few of those here too. I haven't seen a 2070SB either.

So another recommendation for the Mitsubishi 22" tube.

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