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Clarifying differences between TN and IPS [SOLVED]

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I apologize for making a generic kind of "what is better" thread, but I just have a few questions on TN vs IPS panels, regarding my personal preferences. I am looking to buy 2 new monitors in the $200-$250 USD range, primarily for gaming, and casual movie watching.

First off, from what I have understood, the type of panel you have, e.g. IPS or TN, will, in essence, effect your color reproduction, response time, and viewing angles - Is this correct?

Now assuming this is correct, these are the things that I am looking at when comparing TN to IPS:
  • High contrast/deep colors. I recently tried a LED IPS monitor, and when I put it next to my current TN CFL monitor, the colors on the TN one looked like they had been left out in the sun for too long - in comparison they were faded and bleached - this could be due to its age, the back light, or the TN panel, I'm not sure.
  • Nice blacks/greys. The IPS monitor I tried seemed to poorly produce blacks and other dark colors. This was partially due to light bleed on the monitor, however I am aware of IPS glow. When I put the two monitors next to each other, the TN CFL monitor produced a nice deep, uniform black. The IPS monitor on the other hand, produced more of a dark grey then a black. Dark scenes in movies and games seemed a little bleached out. This factor is important to me, especially if I am using the monitor in the dark, I really appreciate dark, deep and full blacks.
  • Viewing angle. Eventually I would like to have 3 monitors. The vertical center will be more or less eye-height, and I will be perpendicular to the center monitor, with the other 2 monitors at 20-40 degrees from the center one (more or less, I don't actually know yet). I want to be able to view all 3 screens from a central position, with minimal (if any) distortion of colors, outside of that range, it isn't too important. I don't plan on viewing the screens at very extreme angles, so obviously the wider viewing angle the better, but it isn't a huge priority to me.
  • Response time. This isn't a big deal for me, I am a believer that in reality, with normal usage, you wont notice a difference of a few milliseconds, however I would like to remain at 5ms or below, maybe 6ms, but no higher.


So with these things in mind, what would those of you with knowledge or experience with the 2 panel types suggest? Keep in mind, my budget is $200-$250 USD. I know IPS monitors are perfectly obtainable within this range, but not the real good ones. The colors are of more importance to me than the viewing angle, so long as I don't notice distortion within reasonable, mild viewing angles, I will sacrifice some viewing angle for color. Furthermore, if IPS glow is likely to occur around the edge of the screen (I don't fully understand how it works), creating overall uneven or blotchy dark colors, that will be a problem for me.

Of course I could be completely wrong in my assumptions, or hoping for a 'perfect monitor' that just doesn't exist within my price range. If this is the case, please correct me.

As an added bonus, if any of you know or use good screens within my budget that you think are worthy of special mention, and you think might be to my liking, I would love to hear about them.


Thanks,
Tom

Edited by Tomha - 9/19/13 at 5:44pm
post #2 of 17
My personal thoughts on both:

TN:
Pros:
- Inexpensive
- Low response time

Cons:
- Bad color bit depth (dithering is really noticeable on some panels)
- Requires a certain viewing angle to get the best picture (generally straight on works best, but even at the slightest angle you will see colors seeming "off"

IPS: (or well, the new IPS panels):
Pros:
- Excellent color quality
- No viewing angle needed to get a good picture

Cons:
- Very high response time compared to other panels
- Generally expensive (although this seems to be have reduced on the latest
- Needs correct configuration to benefit from good contrast and color.

--

As for the blacks, try turning down the brightness a bit. I've always had excellent blacks on my U2711. In sRGB mode the display is "optimal" at medium contrast and brightness, although the blacks seem like a lot to be desired. Most of the TN panels I've touched is fortunately not in any way better than that monitor - although I am comparing a monitor that's 2-3 times more expensive than most of the TN panel monitors I've touched.

Once you get out of the cheap range of monitors, most monitors will have some sort of dynamic contrast. This can be both good and bad in some situations. If you sit in a very dark room, movies look great with it on, but aren't "true" to the content the artists took their time to make.
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post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonX View Post

Once you get out of the cheap range of monitors, most monitors will have some sort of dynamic contrast. This can be both good and bad in some situations. If you sit in a very dark room, movies look great with it on, but aren't "true" to the content the artists took their time to make.

Thanks for the suggestions. What do you consider the "cheap" range of monitors, price wise? I look at them and you can pay into the thousands, I assume that' s just for the likes of professionals who need flawless color reproduction and such, but if you were to buy a monitor in the kind of "I do care about how my monitor looks, and I am willing to spend some money to get a good one" range, what kind of prices are you looking at? That's kind of where I would like to sit, I'm just not sure exactly where that is. If its gonna be like double what I was initially expecting to pay, it's not going to be practical for me, but it was a little closer to what I was hoping, I could increase my scope a bit.
post #4 of 17
I actually wouldn't have any raw specs to base on how the monitor looks, other than the panel type.
Look around for reviews - especially searching for something like "budget photo editing monitors" would probably give some good results that are usable. If you just want color precision, you can always buy a calibration device (like the Spyder4 series from Datacolor) and expect to get fairly good results with basically any monitor.

Somehow the cheapest 1080p monitor I could find in Denmark actually has dynamic contrast (BenQ GW2255). I guess the market has changed since last time I went monitor shopping (I bought my U2711 in 2011, the last time I was looking for a new monitor).

I think the specs you want to look for today are either:

+120Hz compatibility (especially for gaming - for videos this is pointless)
+1440p resolution (eventually that and +120Hz compatibility)

What exactly are you looking for? For photo editing you almost always want IPS panels since the viewing angle and color accuracy do not vary. If you're gaming TN panels generally have the better response time. If you just want to watch movies you might actually want to look at VA panels. I don't know much about VA panels other than the contrast is generally amazing and has worse response time than TN.

Sorry if I'm not being much of a help, I'm not a monitor guru.
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonX View Post

I think the specs you want to look for today are either:

+120Hz compatibility (especially for gaming - for videos this is pointless)
+1440p resolution (eventually that and +120Hz compatibility)

This would be nice, however I have looked around at whats available here in NZ, and the lowest price for either of those features is $865 NZD (~600USD), which is a little outa my reach.

What am I looking for? Well I play a lot of games, so it has to be a capable gaming screen with a decent refresh rate and all, but I'm not fussed over 120hz, and I have a HD7950, which wouldn't run games we well as I would like in 1440p, I imagine. I also like movies, so this is why I want the nice color and contrast, so I can see dark scenes well, and the colors look good. A 5ms, IPS, 24", 1080p screen is what I am looking at, preferably with a smaller bezel, so I can use multiple monitors with small gaps between them. I would also like VESA mounting, but this is not strictly necessary.
post #6 of 17
What about those "VA" display technologies? PVA and MVA and stuff. Those are more related to IPS than TN and have deep blacks or something?
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
From what I have read about them, they are good for the likes of movies, but not very good for games, due to lower response times or something.
post #8 of 17
Based on what you listed, I'd think that a modern MVA may be more appropriate for you, like one of BenQ's. e.g. GW2460HM. I mean, response time is not as bad as some earlier *VA monitors by a long shot, but the 4 ms GTG is kind of a joke. That said, pretty much all manufacturer-listed response time specs are jokes, so this is in your target "range" anyhow, at least nominally.

That first point about IPS having better contrast than TN is not really true usually. They're around the same, but it depends on the models. *VA models have better contrast than both. Unless you just used a really poor model (like on many laptops or the cheapest stuff), all three technologies with "white" LED backlighting should roughly be able to cover sRGB space and not really look more or less saturated than the others.

edit: uh, default color calibration could be way off though, and some of the cheap TNs really are that bad, but yeah
Edited by mikeaj - 9/20/13 at 7:24pm
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Interesting, Ill have a look into them, thanks smile.gif

Edit:
I have looked into the availability of VA panels in the area, and it's a little limited. The cheapest VA panel I could get my hands on which had a reasonable response time, right resolution, etc, was the Benq GW2760HS, for $450 NZD, max I was hoping to pay was $300 NZD, perhaps a tad more, but not by that much. Furthermore, its 27", which isn't a bad thing, but I can't fit 3 27" monitors on my desk, and 2 would be cozy (I'm wanting to get 2 now, and another at a later point in time). So yeah, VA panels aren't going to be practical for me at this point in time.
Edited by Tomha - 9/20/13 at 10:13pm
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
So I have looked around at what's available, done some research, and I think I will go for an IPS screen. There is still 1 TN screen which could do the job, it depends on what features I decide are most valuable - the TN screen has a 1ms response time, and a "ultra narrow bezel" among other things, which place it slightly above the IPS screens, except for color and viewing angle (obviously).

Anyway, this thread seems to have served its purpose, so thanks everyone who helped out. I'm probably going to make another thread to get people's feedback on the screens I am looking at, not for the sake of "which one is better", but rather to see if anyone has recommendations regarding a manufacturer, perhaps they had a good/bad experience with one of the screens I am looking at, etc. I will link it in this thread once I have created it.
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Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Monitors and Displays › Clarifying differences between TN and IPS [SOLVED]