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Need monitor advice (desired function: gaming and digital TV)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey all... I have lately been looking into getting me a decent monitor. I still have my 11 year old dinosaur monitor (professional color 19" CRT with a 1600x1200 resolution). Now, while I am honestly not really dissatisfied with my current monitor, it does at times mix up colors, and well, it isn't really up for the tasks I intend to give it over the course of the next year. So I am looking into getting a new monitor.

So, I want a new monitor, and I am prepared to spend some 600 euros or similar on a monitor. After some thorough research, I am starting to get a decent idea of the possibilities with that kind of money... but let me first explain what I want my monitor to do.

I am a gamer, I think that on average I probably spend 2-3 hours a day playing games. Combined with work, further education, and a girlfriend that translates to almost every spare hour I get. wink.gif However, I also enjoy watching TV, and there aren't many moments where my TV isn't on at the same time... I watch the occasional movie, follow a whole list of TV series, and whenever neither of the two apply I have news television running.

Unfortunately, in the near future I will most likely get into a situation where my TV and my computer will not be in the same room... and because I do not like that, I will need my computer to start to double as both a TV and a computer. I have looked into that possibility and have concluded that it will cost me about a 100 euros to give my computer all the things it needs to process/decode digital, HD, television. Which, in my opinion, wouldn't be a bad investment at all.

The problem is that obviously, my 19" 1600x1200 resolution monitor just plain won't do for this purpose. It's too small, and it isn't widescreen. So, the dinosaur has to go. And I need to invest in a new monitor. Here are my idea's.

Durable - I want my monitor to last me a good long time. The fact that I used my current monitor for 11 years underlines that. So, when I spend on a new monitor, it needs to be up to date, and solid quality. I am prepared to spend extra on features that will arguable increase the chance of long term satisfaction.
High resolution - Obviously, for HD television anything less than 1960x1080 is unacceptable. But 1080 would actually be a lower horizontal resolution than my dinosaur. Which I really dislike, so 1960x1200 is the absolute minimum... and the 2560x1440 or 2560x1600 have my preference. I was way ahead of what was normal when I bought the dinosaur, and never regretted it's high resolution.
Great colors - I won't do photo or video editing or anything of the likes. But when I watch TV, and when I play games, I want them to look as good as possible. So, I have from the start been drawn to 10-bit screens and thelikes... and while I realized that current stuff doesn't go beyond 8-bit, I figured that that doesn't mean that 3 or 5 years from now it won't be 10-bit. But then I found some people mentioning that many 10-bit screens actually look worse for gaming/movies than 8-bit screens... is this true? So what is best then?
Multimonitor... or big screen? - I am drawn to multi-monitor set-ups because they seem to add flexibility. I could game on one screen, watch TV on a second, and have the internet open on a third... or game on three screens... that idea sounds great to me. But, I am not set on this idea. First, I have understood that cross-fire is somewhat tricky in combination with eyefinity at times... and I am not sure if playing a game on just one screen while watching TV on a second and browse the web on a third is actually possible? Second, 3 monitors cost three times the cost of one monitor... which puts me down from looking at 30 inch screens to looking at 24 inch screens in this case (with the 27" hanging somewhere inbetween in undecided land). That isn't a problem when playing a game with all 3 screens, or when playing a game and watching TV at the same time sitting in close... but how about when I want to kick back and just watch a movie? Maybe 3 monitors in portrait would work for that, but that would require fairly thin bezels I guess. A single 30" monitor seems far more ideal for when I want to kick back and watch a movie... and doesn't have the potential crossfire issues that eyefinity seems to have. But, a single 30" monitor seems at least somewhat unsuitable for watching TV and playing a game at the same time.

Now, I have been looking at the options and what I would have to pay for them...

Dell U2311H, new in box, 125 euros.
Dell U2312HM, new in box, 125-140 euros.
Dell U2412M, refurbished: 200 euros.
Dell U2711, refurbished: 375-400 euros.
Dell U3011, refurbished: 600 euros.

Apple Cinema's are selling for similar, often slightly higher prices. HP monitors are also slightly more expensive in each of the tiers for some reason. Achieva shimians and Yamakasi Catleap 27" are available for 260-300 euros a piece but with connectors ranging from DVI-D to DVI-D, VGA, and HDMI... no DP connectors I can find, and for a multi monitor set up that would pretty much be a necessity...


So. Am I on the right track? Or should I look at a totally different kind of monitor? Single 30" monitor, triple 24" monitor, or maybe a dual/triple 27" monitor...? Should I perhaps actually look at something other than IPS? I would like to hear your opinions.

P.S.; the dell monitors, including the refurbished ones, would come with limited warranties up to a year, but I am not interested in a long warranty as I will probably live in a different country a year from now and that makes warranties very complicated no matter what.
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post #2 of 7
http://www.prad.de/en/monitore/review/2011/review-asus-pa246q.html

It's basically the same hardware as the U2410, and the price is also about the same. Best choice, IMO. Anything larger probably has unreasonable response times.
That site's great for finding color accuracy and REAL response time (8ms on this monitor - advertised as 6ms. Some others listed as 6ms are more like 23ms!)
Supposedly, the contrast ratio is around 700:1, we all know how manufacturers like to stretch the "truth".
Edited by Dalamar - 3/25/12 at 11:49am
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post #3 of 7
I would highly recommend a good 27" monitor with high resolution! I have had my Dell for a few years now and it has been very very good to me and I would never settle for anything less! In particular, the Yamakasi Catleap is supposed to be a very good and cheap 27" 1440p monitor from what I have heard!! thumb.gif

EDIT: From the looks of it they are around 280 Euros with free shipping and better still, they are supposed to use the same panels as the best 1440p displays! They have a club on OCN if you have questions:
Edited by DirektEffekt - 3/24/12 at 10:20pm
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalamar View Post

http://www.prad.de/en/monitore/review/2011/review-asus-pa246q.html
It's basically the same hardware as the U2412, and the price is also about the same. Best choice, IMO. Anything larger probably has unreasonable response times.
That site's great for finding color accuracy and REAL response time (8ms on this monitor - advertised as 6ms. Some others listed as 6ms are more like 23ms!)
Supposedly, the contrast ratio is around 700:1, we all know how manufacturers like to stretch the "truth".
Thank you... I have been looking at the monitor you suggested, and I am somewhat confused why you would suggest that monitor over the U2412M... seeing that that monitor would cost almost twice as much. (At least over here in Europe it would) As for the real response times, I know to look at input lag figures, for many of the monitors I have looked at I could find those numbers at tftcentral.co.uk...

It's why I am actually somewhat put off by the U2711, it apparently has worse input lag than the U3011... only explanation for that I can think off is a bad quality scaler. So it seems that if I want a screen that big I might have to do without a scaler... which would be where those Korean 27" screens become interesting.... or for instance the HP ZR30W. I do get a bit concerned about the lack of an OSD on those screens though... doesn't that limit/hinder the experience?
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirektEffekt View Post

I would highly recommend a good 27" monitor with high resolution! I have had my Dell for a few years now and it has been very very good to me and I would never settle for anything less! In particular, the Yamakasi Catleap is supposed to be a very good and cheap 27" 1440p monitor from what I have heard!! thumb.gif
EDIT: From the looks of it they are around 280 Euros with free shipping and better still, they are supposed to use the same panels as the best 1440p displays! They have a club on OCN if you have questions:
Yeah, they seem very interesting with a few concerns of mine...

1. They lack an OSD, doesn't that really limit the use of those screens compared to for example a Dell U2711 (which of course has the issue of extra input lag caused by the scaler)
2. They lack display ports... which would mean that I would need mini-DP to dual-DVI converters for them to work in a multi-monitor set-up... Which would be rather expensive I believe. Although I do need to replace my videocard for a multi-monitor set-up anyway... are there any solid videocards (which also aren't too noisy) that would work with 3 dual-DVI ports on these resolutions?
3. Im somewhat cautious about shipping from Asia. I remember I once ordered a phone which turned out to come from China... I got a box with all accessories but no phone. When I complained they said to send it back... to China. I sent it back to China, at significant cost, and they just decided to claim it never got back and therefore I didn't get another and ebay/paypal refused their insurance because I couldn't prove they received it, which I couldn't because the track-and-trace only goes up to the border with China and doesn't actually guarantee anything inside China. What are the best methods to avoid a scenario like that? tongue.gif
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post #6 of 7
Sorry, typo. It's the u2410M. 2412 is not as good. u2410m = 500.
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post #7 of 7
I understand that there is higher input lag on the u2711, but I think you should try and get some first hand experience with it if that's your preference. I think you will find that its not actually noticeable under any regular circumstances! I have never used a better monitor!
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