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#124114 - 02/13/03 11:00 AM Flat Monitors & Games
bj Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 375
Loc: La Puente, CA USA
How do flat monitors and gaming work? I like the idea of getting rid of my monitor and gaining a lot of space on the desk but since most of my computer time is in gaming I am not sure of how good flat monitors are for gaming. Opinions? Thanks.
Bob

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#124115 - 02/13/03 11:11 AM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
frazap Offline
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Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 290
Great question!

I've heard that flat monitors are still generally too slow in response time to work really well with shooters, but I guess that factor should be less important with adventure games.

What I'm worried about is that flat monitors as far as I understand are fixed in resolution, usually 1024x768 or above. Anybody know how this would work with games that work only in 640x480?

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#124116 - 02/13/03 11:33 AM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
caroleco Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 11/20/02
Posts: 174
Loc: Rhode Island
HI BJ,
I bought a new computer in December with a 17in. flat monitor, gaming has never been better. No problems and resolution can be changed to 640x480. Go for it and enjoy.



Carolyn

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#124117 - 02/13/03 11:58 AM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
Witchen Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 22381
Loc: Seattle Washington USA
HI Gang........I also have a flat monitor, 21" Sony. Its not a plasma screen however, and therein may lie the difference. I didn't get the plasma version because of complaints about resolution, fuzziness at the edges of the screen, tracing (artifacts) following the cursor, that sort of thing. I am thrilled with my new monitor and so is everyone else in the family...all clamoring to get to this system. smile LOL

Love, Witchen =O)

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#124118 - 02/13/03 12:27 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
Cynch Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/05/00
Posts: 1159
Loc: Arlington, WA, US
I'm so glad this thread got started as I have much confusion in my mind regarding the difference between a "flat screen" monitor and the LCD monitor....also what is a "plasma" screen?
<img border="0" title="" alt="[Confused]" src="confused.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Confused]" src="confused.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Confused]" src="confused.gif" />
Cynch
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we take but by the moments that take our breath away."

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#124119 - 02/13/03 03:22 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
Witchen Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 22381
Loc: Seattle Washington USA
HI Cynch.............Thinkin' about it maybe plasma only applies to television monitors...not sure about that. The ones I tried for computers looked the same, but I'm no techie. Could have been LCD maybe, but didn't look like that. Anyone else know more about this?

Love, Witchen =O) smile

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#124120 - 02/13/03 04:15 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
toger Offline
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Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 374
Loc: Northern California
Flat panels are the itty bitty monitors that are an inch or two front to back.

Flat monitors are the regular 70 lb monstrosities with a flat screen - meaning there's no curvature to the front of the glass.

Both produce less glare therefore it's better on your eyes.
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#124121 - 02/13/03 04:20 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
Witchen Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 22381
Loc: Seattle Washington USA
yes, but........... smile are plasma only television screen and LCD only PC? Both are flat. The flat screen I have is not one two inches thick though, its a big monitor with a deep width.

Love, WItchen =O)

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#124122 - 02/13/03 04:28 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
mszv Offline
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Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 1565
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA (left my bel...
Hi all,
The distinction is between CRT monitors and LCD monitors. CRT are the big monitors. The new ones have a flat screen, not a curved one, which makes them really swell monitors. This is what Witchen bought, I believe, and a 21 incher too! When I got a new monitor, I thought about sizing up, but I could not even get my 19 inch monitor (18 inch viewable) up the stairs by myself. I could move it around, it's not that heavy, but for the stairs part I needed help. That's the disadvantage, the monitors are big and heavy. LCD are those thin monitors. The confusion is that CRT monitors can now have a flat screen.

From all I've read, LCD monitors are catching up, but CRT are still said to be best for gaming. For LCD monitors the problem is the refresh rate (how fast the screen repaints itself), also some other problems. Some LCD monitors are better for gaming than others. Tom's hardware periodically does reviews - http://www.tomshardware.com/ . He also has good (non jargon) explanations of stuff. If you are a serious gamer, especially action games, you proabably want to check out Tom's reviews of CRT and LCD monitors.

For all I've said about CRT monitors being better for gaming, everyone's experience and needs are different. If you don't play a lot of action games, perhaps an LCD monitor would be fine for you, and there are people on this thread who say they like them.
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#124123 - 02/13/03 04:44 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
Witchen Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 22381
Loc: Seattle Washington USA
Thanks a bunch, mszv! laugh laugh laugh thumbsup

CRT I can relate to.......we used to call the computer monitors that back in the "dark ages" when personal computers were first introduced to the business world. Cathode Ray Tube right? That is, as opposed to LCD....which is lead crystal display????

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#124124 - 02/13/03 05:24 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
SuMac Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: New Hampshire
Witchen, I believe LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display, but I could be wrong. I remember this term when LCD watches became popular back in the 60's or 70's. Then there's LED (Light Emiting Diodes) which has nothing to do with monitors, I think.....

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#124125 - 02/13/03 05:54 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
Witchen Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 22381
Loc: Seattle Washington USA
Hi Su....... smile Yuppers I think you're right, by golly. smile Thanks!

Love, Witchen =O)

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#124126 - 02/13/03 06:29 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
bj Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 375
Loc: La Puente, CA USA
Thanks for the information guys. Preciate it.
Bob wave wave wave

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#124127 - 02/13/03 07:31 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
HorseDancer Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 01/02/01
Posts: 490
Loc: Port Orchard, WA USA
Hi,
I have an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)monitor and I love it. I had a 21" flat screen monitor, and the LCD beats it in every way. It is MUCH easier on the eyes, and so much more clear. It's a 17" but because of the way they measure the old style monitors, the viewing area seems to be nearly the same.
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#124128 - 02/13/03 10:11 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
Cynch Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/05/00
Posts: 1159
Loc: Arlington, WA, US
You guys are wonderful! You answered all my questions..thanks for the info. laugh

And a special thank you to mszv for that very helpful link! thumbsup

Whew! I know what you mean about those heavy CRT monitors. I, too...have a 21# monitor. When I purchased it from Dell, I lived in a 2nd floor apartment. That poor UPS guy had to lug that heavy sucker all the way up those stairs. lol I've been saving up for one but needed to know from you guys if they're okay for gaming. Thanks to all of you for the info. smile
Cynch
_________________________
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths
we take but by the moments that take our breath away."

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#124129 - 02/14/03 11:07 AM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
Scout Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 11/17/01
Posts: 1118
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Cynch,

I haven't bought one yet but I've been reading good things about the Hitachi CML174B. It's a 17 inch LCD monitor that is supposed to be TWICE as fast as the next fastest 17 inch LCD monitor. It was tested on the new Unreal game and apparently did great so it can handle the frame rates. It's 575.00 at Monitersdirect though the black one is sold out at the moment. It has both digital and analog inputs and right now they are selling a 3 year warrenty for 1 cent. I almost pushed the buy button last night but I'm going to have to wait to buy a new system so I don't want a monitor sitting around unused. Though I could plug it into my laptop I suppose.

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#124130 - 02/14/03 01:03 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35203
Loc: southeast USA
My brother has an LCD monitor - 19" I think.
He plays RPG's on it and there isn't any lag that I can tell. It cost a little over $800.

However, his monitor has a native resolution of 1280x1024 and so objects in games look taller and skinnier than on a CRT monitor that would display 1024x768 or 800x600 and other resolutions of that aspect ratio.

The aspect ratio you see on CRT monitors is 1.3333...
The aspect ratio of my brother's monitor with 1080x1024 is 1.25.

If you want to keep the proper aspect ratio for your games, an LCD monitor with a native resolution of 1600x1200 would be a better choice than a 1080x1024. Of course it will be more expensive and maybe the vertical stretching won't bother you.

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#124131 - 02/14/03 04:16 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
Cynch Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/05/00
Posts: 1159
Loc: Arlington, WA, US
Hi Scout....
Thanks for the info...I checked out that Hitachi CML174B--looks like just what I am looking for. And the price is not as bad as I thought it would be. Thanks for the tip. wave
Cynch
_________________________
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths
we take but by the moments that take our breath away."

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#124132 - 02/14/03 04:33 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
ratracer Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/29/00
Posts: 468
Loc: Porto, Portugal
I may add more confusion - I am a bit uninformed in this aspect, also - but I think there are two types of flat panel (those new light slim monitors) and I am not including the new TV sets (plasma, right?)
At least that's what I can gather from the publicity... ones are LCD and the other ones are something else?
Anyone can enlighten a bit more?

Also, from what I read recently, some new flat panel monitores already have good refresh rates - although I don't know if they rival the CRTs...

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#124133 - 02/14/03 07:04 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
bj Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 375
Loc: La Puente, CA USA
Got another question. Is resolution a function of the monitor or the software? I looked at a dozen flat panels on computers running XP and none of them had a resolution below 800x600. Is that a limitation of the monitor or is it something in the drivers on XP. If I installed it on a windows95 would it go to 640x480?
Bob

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#124134 - 02/14/03 08:49 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35203
Loc: southeast USA
800x600 as the lowest is a limitation of XP, though compatibility mode is a way to get around it and use 640x480 for games.

Flat panel monitors look sharpest in their native resolution, but they can use other resolutions. The difference can be pretty obvious when you try running at something other than the native resolution.

My brother's flat panel monitor can run at 640x480, but it's a bit pixelly. He seems to be able to choose between digital and analog with it. Analog doesn't look as bad at 640x480, though it still doesn't look as good as a regular CRT. Digital shows super-pixels at 640x480, though it's way sharper for native resolution.

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#124135 - 02/14/03 09:34 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
Tom Sr Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3642
Loc: Texas
Quote:
Originally posted by Jenny100:
The aspect ratio you see on CRT monitors is 1.3333...
The aspect ratio of my brother's monitor with 1080x1024 is 1.25.

Jenny, are you saying that the physical dimensions of the screen have a 1:1.25 aspect ratio instead of 1:1.33? That would make it more squarish. But, if the video adjustments allow you to adjust height, couldn't you compensate for the vertical stretching that way? It would leave blank areas at top and bottom something like wide-screen movies on TV but would be preferable to the distortion you would see otherwise (also seen sometimes in TV's wide-screen movies).
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#124136 - 02/14/03 10:01 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35203
Loc: southeast USA
I think you can't adjust the screen if you're operating the monitor in digital mode. I'll have to ask my brother about that to be sure. I think I did ask him a while back, but I've forgotten by now. He likes using the native resolution in digital mode because it looks so much sharper than the analog mode and his computer and video card are powerful enough to run games in 1080x1024.

I'd have to measure his screen to be sure, but it does look more squarish than mine (Mine is a flat screen CRT).

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#124137 - 02/14/03 10:06 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35203
Loc: southeast USA
I don't know if anyone's mentioned it, but you need a video card with a DVI socket if you want to use a flat panel monitor with it.

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#124138 - 02/16/03 08:08 PM Re: Flat Monitors & Games
SirDave Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 174
Quote:
Originally posted by bj:
How do flat monitors and gaming work? I like the idea of getting rid of my monitor and gaining a lot of space on the desk but since most of my computer time is in gaming I am not sure of how good flat monitors are for gaming. Opinions? Thanks.
Bob
Part of the answer to your question depends on the type of gaming you plan to do. If you are mostly doing Adventure games then any of the more recent LCD-flat monitors should be okay. But if you also do 3D FPS games or fast sports games eg. NHL Hockey etc., then you need to consider the Redraw or Response time of the monitor. This essentially determines the number of images per second produced and if it's too slow you'll see ghosting which can cause some people to get dizzy/nauseous. Most of the newer LCD monitors will give the Reponse time in milliseconds. The human eye discerns a continuous motion if there are at least 25 images/second which translate to a Response time of somewhere around 30-35ms.

In conclusion, I would look for a monitor with a Response time of at least 25ms (which is about 40 frames or images/sec-eg. Samsung Syncmaster 191T) if you're an 'action' gamer. Even then, some reviewers/users complain of some ghosting, but it hasn't bothered me too much. Don't let dummy salesmen tell you the Response time isn't known. The better LCD monitors will have this value listed in the manual or on the manufacturer's website.

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