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My IPS Surround Experience

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I've been considering getting new monitors for an Nvidia surround setup for quite some time. I've read countless threads on "IPS vs 120hz" while trying to make a decision. Part of the difficulty for me that I've never owned a TN panel (except for a laptop). Many users seems to make them sound atrocious. My other LCD monitors are a u2407(PVA) and u3011(IPS).

I had decided that the IPS panels would work better in a surround setup due to the better viewing angles and the option of using a portrait surround configuration. I recently purchased 3x Dell U2312hm monitors, but I returned them a week later. I have not used a 120Hz monitor, but that's what I have decided to buy and here is why. I hope my experience is useful for others trying to make the same decision.

I play mostly racing games and some RPGs and FPSs(rarely). For the past 4 years I have been using a 120Hz 40" Samsung TV as a PC monitor. I know it only takes a 60 Hz input and interpolates frames, but it does make games like GT5 noticeably more fluid with the 120Hz on. The 120Hz feature is set to "low" when a PC is connected and the hdmi input is renamed "PC". This setting makes the text crisp and works perfect for a PC montior.

After using this TV for so long I decided to "upgrade" to a surround setup using the Dell u2312hm. I quickly discovered that the fast motion handling was no where near as smooth as my 4 year old TV! Yes, the 4 year old TV had significantly less motion blurring than a new eIPS panel! It was very noticeable in any racing games that I played, but not as obvious in most other games. On a positive note, the u2312hm has excellent viewing angles (maybe better than my u3011).

I also discovered the pixperan tests and found that the TV blew away the eIPS panel in the readability and chase tests. I didn't think the u2312hms were bad, but they were certainly a downgrade for racing sims. I think the main difference that I was seeing was in the 120hz frame rate and not so much the response time. With 120hz turned off on the TV, the pixeran images were similar. In fact the TV may have had a very slight trail with the u2312hm did not. However, turn the 120hz (AMP) to low and the TV wins by a landslide. No subtle difference there.

The u2312hm monitors in portrait orientation made a sceen just a bit larger than the 40" TV. The "large screen" with good pixel density had a temporary wow factor though. The bezels in portrait orientation seemed to get in the way of everything in desktop usage. Sure, it was nice to have the vertical space, but annoying to have to keep any windows in a 1080p wide space. For RPGs with text that spans the display, portrait orentation would just be a headache. For FPSs, I could probably live with portrait surround. For racing games it was fine, but the portrait orientation is definitely superior

I was only slightly bothered by the the size of the u2312hm monitors coming from the 40" TV. If the motion handling had been smoother or had less blur I'm sure that I would have kept the u2312hms.

So now I'm back to using the TV until I can get a few Asus vg278h monitors that should be available shortly. I'm still a bit concerned about the TN panels on the 120Hz displays, but I have seen a 23" LG IPS panels next to 23" LG TN panel at FRY's and I think I can handle the TN panel for less motion blurr.

So after my experience with the u2312hm surround setup I've learned:
- I don't care for the portrait setup. My TV with much less pixel density offers a better overall experience.
- For my purposes, primarily racing sims, the more fluid motion that a 120hz panel offers is a top priority.
- I need a panel larger than 23". i.e. viewing a 40" display from 40"s is more comfortable than using a 23" display from 23"s.
- I'd like to try 3DVS. I tried the 3DVS discover with the u2312hms using anaglyph glasses and even that was very impressive in racing sims.

I'm also considering the Panasonic 32dt30 due to its size and the fact that it is IPS. However, it will not take a 120hz signal at 1080p. Also the TV may have a bit more input lag. I measured the input lag of my TV against the u2407 and the TV was consistently 16ms faster. Tft Central indicates the u2407 had 34ms of lag, so the TV is around 18ms... so not bad.
post #2 of 3
Take a close look at the new ASUS VG236E's. Unless you're wanting 27"+, this I think is a great monitor around $350. Got one today. It's early days, and I'm not really a 'monitor guy', but this thing is bright, clear, has fantastic colour, crisp as all get out in the minimal gaming I've done so far. A touch dark in 3D, which I understand is common and I understand the next gen 3D monitors are going to address, but otherwise a winner.
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2600K P8Z68-V Pro Gen3 EVGA GTX580 SSC 8G Patriot PC3-15000 
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2@WD Caviar Black 1TB Corsair H80 7/64 VG236 120Hz 
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The Latest
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2600K P8Z68-V Pro Gen3 EVGA GTX580 SSC 8G Patriot PC3-15000 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
2@WD Caviar Black 1TB Corsair H80 7/64 VG236 120Hz 
PowerCase
AX850 T600 
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks keto. I'm glad you like the vg236he. I've seen this monitor once and I thought the viewing angles were great.
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