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30" LCD Questions

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I've got a 4 year old HP LP2065 that I want to replace, and like most interested in a 30" LCD, it's either the Dell U3011 or HP ZR30w. I was going to get the HP, but now I'm thinking the Dell is probably the better way to go. I game some, but I also do a lot of other things on my PC such as watching/encoding/editing video and some image editing as well (Photoshop et. al.).

Sorry for the long post, but before I drop $1800-$2000 (>_<) on an new monitor and graphics card/cards, I want to make sure I'm making the right decisions and would really appreciate some help. Here are my questions:

Scaling

I'm not a "latest FPS" type gamer. I do play some new games, but I also like to play older/"old school" type games that have max resolution settings far, far below 2560x1600 - often in 4:3 aspect ratio (ex. 800x600). There are mods for popular titles, but they only go so far. I also have a lot of video data ranging from 1080p to even 480p.

So what advantages does the Dell's built-in scaler give me? Is it better to scale via the graphics card or monitor if possible (the HP does offer a 1280x800 mode for older games)? Isn't it recommended to set the graphics card to output at native resolution and use other sources to change resolution?

For video playback my main concern is maintaining aspect ratio. I much prefer letter boxes to stretched faces. I'm guessing that all I need to do is set my software (Media Player Classic + K-Lite Mega codec pack) to maintain aspect ratio and it should be fine...right? Regarding the HP, I thought I read somewhere that the lack of a built-in scaler can force video play back to the monitors aspect ratio (i.e. no letter boxes). Any truth to that? Finally, are there any situations where I would not want to use native resolution for video play back (ex. low resolution/low bit rate video sources)?

My current monitor is also 0.25 dot pitch and text/icon size is bit small. I would think it's worse with a 30" panel given all that screen space. My thought is to change the text size setting in Win 7 64bit to "medium" from small/default though it's a bigger change than I'd like. Any thoughts on this?

Color Gamut & Calibration

From what I've read, it seems that having an sRGB mode is a big deal since only a select few applications (Photoshop for example) use the wider color gamut and it can throw off video editing color adjustments when viewed on a TV. What I don't understand is why calibration (I have a Spyder3 colorimeter and Color Eyes Display Pro software) wouldn't correct for this. What am I missing? Also, on a monitor this big, how do you calibrate it? The colorimeter sensor is small compared to screen size.

I've read that the HP has slightly better panel uniformity, but isn't that "luck of the draw" since they use the same panels?

Input Lag

Does the Dell offer a "gaming" mode on this model that bypasses the scaler to reduce input lag? It's pretty long in standard mode.

Graphics Card

Right now, my first choice is the MSI 580GTX Lightning - probably the 3GB version since I can't find a 1.5GB GDDR version. Would this be enough to play most if not all games at highest quality with 4XAA? Is the 3GB GDDR a waste with only one monitor or does it afford me a little "future proofing"?

If I went SLI/CrossFire, then it would be probably 2xMSI Lightning or Frozen III 6950s. I'd rather not do that since my understanding is that SLI/CF only works if the software you are running is designed to take advantage of the set up (i.e. pretty much just modern games). Plus SLI/CF adds a lot of heat, even with my Fortress 02 case. I'm also not sure if my 850 watt PSU can handle two higher end cards. Still, if having only one 580GTX will cause issues, then no point in sticking with that. Any comments/recommendations?

Thanks a lot for the help
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post #2 of 12
1. looks like the u3011 won the battle vs the zr30w on ocn (since there's no official zr30w thread).

2. scaling:
the zr30w shows all resolutions my card allows. its native 2560x1600, 2048x1536, 1920x1200, 1920x1080, 1856x1392, 1800x1440, 1792x1344, 1680x1050, 1600x1200 etc all the way down to 800x600...

im not sure how dell does its scaling different. whether its image is clearer at those resolutions. coz with the zr30 any other resolutions not 2560x1600 are not sharp.
not that i'd give zr30's 2560x1600 A+ in sharpness. its better than my lp2465 but not better than the V7.

the dot pitch is almost a little too small but not made me change mine yet.

im not gonna spend too much time pointing out the strengths of the zr30 coz you can find that all over the net.

it would be nice to have other inputs coz if the zr30 did i wouldnt be shopping for a new bigger graphics card myself not being a gamer. which i have a feeling might be a waste.



color:
first impressions on the LP2465 is great. its bright and colors are real. viewing angles are very good.
first impression on the v7 text is super sharp and nice and instead of using it as a secondary monitor to the lp2465 it immediately became first. color was noticeably bluish. monitor not bright enough.
first impression on la2405wg was wdf did hp just make? can i sue them for selling this crap in 2010?
first impression of the zr30w is huuge. colors dont exactly look real. i dont like very bright monitors coz they tire my eyes but as i take the brigtness down the whites begin to look dirty. (it only has SOURCE, -/+brightness, POWER buttons).
so you have to go to your video card settings to play around with the color temperature. i found 6300k to fit me best. i didnt make any other changes in the catalyst control center. the zr30w also had a bluish tint to it before tweaking.
the colors are nice and rich even tho the display looks like its a little "cgi". maybe i was just used to the v7 and the adjustment might take a while. but when i went from lp2465 (IPS) to v7 (TN) there was no adjustment. that was a noticeable upgrade. so its really hard to justify the "adjustment" from a $159 monitor to a $700+ one.


but if you have calibration tools you have nothing to worry about colors.


input lag:
i've only gamed once on the zr30w. i think i performed well coz of adrenaline of having a new monitor. i actually performed too well that i said there was no difference btwn a crt and the zr30w. i played in 1280x1024 and also tried 2560x1600 but both times my computer crashed coz temps hit over 100C.
the lp2465 had very bad input lag. the v7 was very good in gaming.
gaming on the crt was excellent. the colors and the "feel".
on the zr30w its very good too. the 2560x1600 is nice but might be a little too big. make one start thinking maybe you need a better gaming mouse. i personally prefer to fps in lower resolutions on a large monitor coz the mouse can be all over the screen fast and i can see my targets magnified better. the 2560x1600 might be a little much. but this is my own preference maybe because i have a weak graphics card.
Edited by Remix65 - 8/4/11 at 6:02pm
    
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
First, THANKS for the reply. The information about the graphics card settings was useful. No worries about the mouse issue - I always use a gaming mouse even if I didn't game since having adjustable DPI is very helpful.

I'm not surprised that the image wasn't as "sharp" for less than native resolution on the HP - and that's kind of the heart of my questions. I'm still confused by the roll a built-in scaler plays when displaying lower resolution, or (excluding old games) when you would normally downscale. I can't imagine standard definition video looking very good with this many pixels, but it seems odd to change global display resolution just to watch a video. confused.gif

Regarding the HPZR30w strengths, I've read at least a half dozen reviews on each and the one major strength it has over the Dell is the significantly lower input lag. I've got that. Maybe another way to ask all of this is "Other than a more thorough pixel warranty, what advantage(s) does the Dell offer someone who has calibration equipment/software. *sigh* if I was a hard-core gamer only this would be an easy decision - get the HP.

I guess I'll try reading more threads & reviews to give me a better idea. I'll also try to see if a local store has one so I can check it out in person.
Edited by goesto11 - 8/4/11 at 5:47pm
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post #4 of 12
my opinion on the color has since changed.

i hadnt installed the drivers for the monitor. i'd just plugged it in and went off using it.

when installing the drivers the monitor checks your operating system and graphics card and "adjusts accordingly"...
    
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remix65;14467402 
my opinion on the color has since changed.

i hadnt installed the drivers for the monitor. i'd just plugged it in and went off using it.

when installing the drivers the monitor checks your operating system and graphics card and "adjusts accordingly"...

Sorry for the late reply - been dealing with RL issues. So far, I haven't been able to even demo either monitor. I'm not sure how I'll be able to do so since the stores I've checked that have either/both HP & Dell monitors do not carry 30” monitors. I’m not really worried about the color, though it would be very helpful if someone could help me understand how an ICS profile works because from what I can tell, it can be overridden by game software (I notice a change in brightness when I play some games).

More than anything, it's still the scaling issue that I'm having trouble understanding and prevents me from making a purchase. $1200-$1500 for a monitor AND another $500-$600 for a graphics card(s) is a lot of money so I need to get it right the first time. I guess that an MSI 580GTX lightning should be fine so that plan is to go with that (be nice to find one on sale).

I've called both Dell and HP, but to no avail. After a long conversation, I did get some information from the Dell tech, but more bits and piece than anything else. From what I can tell, I THINK that the built in scaler allows you to view lower resolutions “full screen” rather than have a small image in the center with large “letterboxes” on the outside. That would be beneficial as long as using a lower resolution doesn’t impact image clarity much if at all. It also sounds like sRGB mode would be good for me, but the Dell tech was clueless about it (just read the description off the webpage ).

Hopefully, I'll be able to find one or the other monitor (both ideally) locally and I can see for myself how it all works. The plan is to bring a standard resolution DVD and see how it looks upscaled & at lower resolutions resolution. Still if anyone is give me their experience playing a low resolution game (ex. 800x600) or standard definition video (upscaled and at less than native resolution) I would sincerely appreciate it.

Thanks again for the reply.
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post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by goesto11;14616320 
More than anything, it's still the scaling issue that I'm having trouble understanding and prevents me from making a purchase.

Your GPU will do the scaling itself. A scaler is useful for other sources, like PS3 or a Blu-Ray player directly connected. What a scaler also brings is an OSD (On Screen Display) which makes adjusting the monitor easier. Scalers also tend to add around 1 additional frame of input lag which some people notice and some do not (like myself).
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post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by goesto11;14616320 
Sorry for the late reply - been dealing with RL issues. So far, I haven't been able to even demo either monitor. I'm not sure how I'll be able to do so since the stores I've checked that have either/both HP & Dell monitors do not carry 30” monitors. I’m not really worried about the color, though it would be very helpful if someone could help me understand how an ICS profile works because from what I can tell, it can be overridden by game software (I notice a change in brightness when I play some games).

More than anything, it's still the scaling issue that I'm having trouble understanding and prevents me from making a purchase. $1200-$1500 for a monitor AND another $500-$600 for a graphics card(s) is a lot of money so I need to get it right the first time. I guess that an MSI 580GTX lightning should be fine so that plan is to go with that (be nice to find one on sale).

I've called both Dell and HP, but to no avail. After a long conversation, I did get some information from the Dell tech, but more bits and piece than anything else. From what I can tell, I THINK that the built in scaler allows you to view lower resolutions “full screen” rather than have a small image in the center with large “letterboxes” on the outside. That would be beneficial as long as using a lower resolution doesn’t impact image clarity much if at all. It also sounds like sRGB mode would be good for me, but the Dell tech was clueless about it (just read the description off the webpage ).

Hopefully, I'll be able to find one or the other monitor (both ideally) locally and I can see for myself how it all works. The plan is to bring a standard resolution DVD and see how it looks upscaled & at lower resolutions resolution. Still if anyone is give me their experience playing a low resolution game (ex. 800x600) or standard definition video (upscaled and at less than native resolution) I would sincerely appreciate it.

Thanks again for the reply.

for now i can only comment on zr30w since that's what i have.

when i first got minei just plugged it like i do other monitors and run. and colors werent good. i had to try and do it manually but didnt exactly get it right thru ati control panel.

later on i've come to find out the right way of doing it is installing the monitor drivers which communicate with the graphics card and calibrates itself. the 5670 didnt calibrate well. now i have a 6870 and its perfect.

when doing research like yourself ppl say the zr30w doesnt have a scaler and can only be used at native resolution but that's not accurate. or my graphics cards are doing the scaling. (5670, 6870). my monitor was manufactured in january and does every resolution from 800x600 to 2560x1600.
so say for any reason your video drivers mess up you can still use the monitor in safe mode, or lower the resolution for any reason. the monitor only works through dual link dvi. (which i think is available on all cards 2010 onwards).

a good place to do your research is hardforums.
i wanted the u3011 at first but they have 3-4 revisions and you might wanna avoid some if sold used. the new ones have no issues.

on paper the u3011 is better than the zr30w. there's not much on the zr30w online. but for the price i got mine i had to get it. i will try answer any questions you have.

color is important. very important. especially for the price these monitors come with.
the zr30w is a tough monitor that can take a beating. i've mi
shandled it a few times even dropped mine (in the box) and its been alright.
the only way to test these monitors is to use them for an extended period of time. coz regardless of what manufacturers list in their specs, the most important thing is whether yours passes quality control and can stand the test of time.

the zr30w also comes from sleep faster than the la2405wg and lp2465.
    
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draygonn;14618092 
Your GPU will do the scaling itself. A scaler is useful for other sources, like PS3 or a Blu-Ray player directly connected. What a scaler also brings is an OSD (On Screen Display) which makes adjusting the monitor easier. Scalers also tend to add around 1 additional frame of input lag which some people notice and some do not (like myself).

Thanks for the reply. I originally thought that the built-in scaler was primarily designed for non-pc (graphics card) devices. I'm not going to use the monitor for anything other than my PC so I figured that feature was useless, but as I mentioned, the Dell Tech support guy gave me a an completely different answer. Gah...I don't know why I'm having so much trouble with this issue. I completely understand TV upscaling, but in this case it's more downscaling I guess. I appreciate everyone's patience with this.

As for the input lag, it's less than ideal for sure, but since I'm not a hard core FPS gamer, that shouldnt be too much of an issue.
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remix65;14619876 

when doing research like yourself ppl say the zr30w doesnt have a scaler and can only be used at native resolution but that's not accurate. or my graphics cards are doing the scaling. (5670, 6870). my monitor was manufactured in january and does every resolution from 800x600 to 2560x1600.
so say for any reason your video drivers mess up you can still use the monitor in safe mode, or lower the resolution for any reason. the monitor only works through dual link dvi. (which i think is available on all cards 2010 onwards).

a good place to do your research is hardforums.
i wanted the u3011 at first but they have 3-4 revisions and you might wanna avoid some if sold used. the new ones have no issues.

on paper the u3011 is better than the zr30w. there's not much on the zr30w online. but for the price i got mine i had to get it. i will try answer any questions you have.

color is important. very important. especially for the price these monitors come with.
the zr30w is a tough monitor that can take a beating. i've mi
shandled it a few times even dropped mine (in the box) and its been alright.
the only way to test these monitors is to use them for an extended period of time. coz regardless of what manufacturers list in their specs, the most important thing is whether yours passes quality control and can stand the test of time.

the zr30w also comes from sleep faster than the la2405wg and lp2465.

Thanks - all of that's good info. I didn't know you needed TWO DVI cables

Regarding the color I wasn't clear before. Color accuracy is definitely important, but since I have a colorimeter and calibration software, I'll use that rather than try to adjust via OSD controls. I should get at least decent color accuracy with either one after that.

The video card does scale (as Draygonn mentioned), but are there any issues when you do so? For example, if you play a 1080p video, and use 1920x1200 aspect ratio, is any part of the video cut off? Does it have black bars on the top and bottom, or is the image automatically stretched to fit the screen like the older ZR24w? I would have bought a ZR24w a couple of years ago if not for that problem.

Thanks for the tip regarding HardForums. I spent a couple hours reading threads there already & might post something as well. I'm leaning towards the Dell, but the input lag, complaints regarding the AG coating, and more than one website noting less than ideal panel uniforminty all give me pause. The sRGB mode may be the deciding factor. From what I can tell, many people prefer it and it could be make a big differnce when editing/encoding vdeo.

I just missed a sale where you could buy the Dell for $1140(!) so if that deal comes around again, I'll probably pull the trigger. In the meantime, I'll keep trying to see if I can find either one locally. That would be the best solution.
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My System
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 2700k @ 4.5Ghz (HT on) MSI Z77A-GD65 EVGA GTX 580 Classified 3GB @ 920Mhz G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB DDR3 @ 2133Mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Crucial M4 SSD 256GB (OS) WD Caviar Black 2TB (Data) 2x Samsung F4EG 2TB (Data) Thermalright Archon 2x140mm 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit Dell U3011 Logitech G710+ mechanical keyboard Corsair HX850 
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post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by goesto11;14623931 
Thanks - all of that's good info. I didn't know you needed TWO DVI cables

Regarding the color I wasn't clear before. Color accuracy is definitely important, but since I have a colorimeter and calibration software, I'll use that rather than try to adjust via OSD controls. I should get at least decent color accuracy with either one after that.

The video card does scale (as Draygonn mentioned), but are there any issues when you do so? For example, if you play a 1080p video, and use 1920x1200 aspect ratio, is any part of the video cut off? Does it have black bars on the top and bottom, or is the image automatically stretched to fit the screen like the older ZR24w? I would have bought a ZR24w a couple of years ago if not for that problem.

Thanks for the tip regarding HardForums. I spent a couple hours reading threads there already & might post something as well. I'm leaning towards the Dell, but the input lag, complaints regarding the AG coating, and more than one website noting less than ideal panel uniforminty all give me pause. The sRGB mode may be the deciding factor. From what I can tell, many people prefer it and it could be make a big differnce when editing/encoding vdeo.

I just missed a sale where you could buy the Dell for $1140(!) so if that deal comes around again, I'll probably pull the trigger. In the meantime, I'll keep trying to see if I can find either one locally. That would be the best solution.

dual link doesnt mean 2 dvi's.
    
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usb iomega superslim dvd Zalman CNPS12X 7 ultimate x64 SP1 ZR30w 
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u2412mb u2412mb u2412m u2412m 
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V7 D24W33 LA2405wg E157FP dell sk-8115 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
3770k (3233C Batch)  G1.Sniper 3 sapphire 7950 reference sapphire 7950 reference 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
ares 32GB Samsung 840 Pro 256GB 2.5" MZ-7PD256BW Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 128GB Western Digital WD1002FAEX  
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
usb iomega superslim dvd Zalman CNPS12X 7 ultimate x64 SP1 ZR30w 
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
u2412mb u2412mb u2412m u2412m 
MonitorMonitorMonitorKeyboard
V7 D24W33 LA2405wg E157FP dell sk-8115 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
SeaSonic Platinum-860 860W ATX12V RSV-R4000 Rackmount Server Chassis TeamScorpion X-Luca xtrac ripper xxl 
AudioOtherOtherOther
Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 logitech c920 webcam logitech C920 Webcam serato sl1 
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usb 2.0 hub 
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