post #1 of 1
Thread Starter 
I’m looking to put together a really nice desktop computer this summer (replacing one that’s now about 8 years old!) and would like some advice on monitors please.   The computer will have 2 1080 cards in SLI (factory overclock only) and my goal is to set up a 3-monitor surround system that can anything at all I throw at it in terms of current or near-future games/software/whatever at 60 fps at the highest possible graphics settings.

The cards are overkill for 1080p monitors (currently using LG W2753V, which are low-ish-quality TN panels – time for an upgrade), and there’s no way they’d be able to drive 3 4k monitors at max settings at 60fps, so 3 1440p IPS (or equivalent) monitors at 60Hz seems to be the way to go here.  If I could get 100/120/144Hz panels to make everything run a bit more crisply when possible, that would be a really nice plus, but it’s a bonus, not a requirement, especially not if it doubles the price.  I don’t want a curved or ultrawide monitor, so there’s little point in waiting for next cycle’s offerings, and don’t need a touchscreen for a desktop  monitor.

After looking at various reviews and sites, there are lots of options out there (and most with small bezels and VESA mounts, which are both nice bonuses), and they all sound pretty much the same hardware-wise.  The real problem is finding a good monitor with both good color reproduction and upscaling, the latter of which often isn’t covered in a review, so I wanted to post on a few sites and ask for advice from people who are familiar with the current state of the industry and have looked into this a lot more than my few weeks of searching.

The four factors I am considering, in order of importance, are image quality, upscaling, price, and dead pixel policy:
1) Image quality – I plan to use a sypder to calibrate the three monitors, so what I want isn’t so much image quality out of the box, but the potential for extremely accurate color reproduction, minimal ghosting, good contrast, and passable response time (5ms is ideal, 8ms seems like what I’ll probably end up getting with most of these panels, 10 is probably pushing the upper limit).  Basically what I should expect out of a current generation quality IPS panel.  I imagine most monitors should fit this requirement quite easily, unless I buy a complete bargain basement panel.  The biggest issue I might run into is a lack of image customization options on the panel, which isn’t often covered in much detail in monitor reviews (hence, posting here).  I’d love a 144Hz monitor for increased image quality, but not if it doubles the price for a minor quality increase; ditto with a G-sync, but that doesn’t really seem to be a thing anymore (for that matter, 27inch IPS panels over 60Hz in general seem pretty much nonexistent, and the rare few I’ve found seem super pricey, so sticking with 60Hz seems my best bet for now.  Anyone heard of a company called Crossover?  It seems they have a new reasonably priced 1440p 144Hz monitor out at under $500, the 27 fast 144, but I could find very little information on it, and it seems like it may be using rejected ASUS panels, eww).

2) Upscaling from 1080p – This is the main reason I’m posting here.  There is a LOT of legacy content out there at 1080p (or even lower), and I imagine I’ll be spending a lot of time on the monitors looking at upscaled 1080p content.  Thus, possibly the biggest problem when monitor shopping is finding a monitor that has a good upscaling/interpolation setup whereby I won’t be able to tell much difference (hopefully none!) from native  1080p content and content scaled for my 1440p monitor.  Unfortunately, very few monitor reviews that I read seemed to cover much about the upscaling capabilities of their monitor, and I’ve heard plenty of horror stories form posters who bought brand-name, otherwise wonderful monitors, that turned out to have unusable image quality on upscale content.  (And let’s face it, for the next few years, on a 1440p monitor you’re probably going to be handling a lot of upscaled 1080p content, and maybe some occasional downscaled 4k content).  (There’s also a few happy stories of otherwise-mediocre 4k monitors saved by their incredible upscaling algorithms, but I imagine finding good upscaling in a 1440 monitor is even harder since the pixel conversion is not as pretty).  Having a wonderful scaling algorithm is an absolute necessity in a monitor for me, and the one thing I’m extremely unsure how to go about finding when monitor shopping.

3) Price – Ideally, I’d like to pay in the $250-350 range per monitor, considering that the monoprice generic is on the low end of that range.  I wouldn’t mind going higher, either if a more expensive monitor is substantially better, or if I just can’t get what I want for $350, but that’s the range I’m going into this expecting to pay.  Anything over $500 would be bordering on a flat no unless there was a good reason why.  I’d be connecting them through DisplayPort, and probably mounting them via some type of vesa stand, but pretty much all monitors these days are thin/vesa compatibly/have Displayport outputs.  I was looking at monoprice’s monitors (http://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=113&cp_id=11307&cs_id=1130703&p_id=13808&seq=1&format=2) (http://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=113&cp_id=11307&cs_id=1130703&p_id=10489&seq=1&format=2) but I’m not too sure about the build quality, and couldn’t really find any good reviews, which worries me since it’s not a well-known brand.  I know Dell/Apple monitors are generally good, but also know that I could get the same quality at half the price by using a monitor with the same IPS panel Dell uses without the branding, if I could find one…

4) Dead pixels – I hate them.  Even single dead pixels are quite visible to me, especially near the middle of the screen.  I would like a brand with a good dead pixel policy.  If I order off Amazon prime, this isn’t really an issue, since they allow 30 day returns for anything I feel like, but if I’m ordering pretty much anywhere else, the manufacturer’s dead pixel policy becomes an issue, especially if I want to avoid multiple potential ‘15% restocking fees’.  Everything else aside, I’d much rather not play pixel roulette with an unsympathetic business/manufacturer.  If one of them develops a dead pixel on the edge a year or  two in, fine, I can shuffle it off to the side, but I don’t want to have to keep monitors that come with dead pixels out of the box, or develop a cluster right in the middle on day 31 when returning them becomes dicey.  A manufacturer that honors a reasonable policy for 1-3 years would be a huge plus.

Thank you for your advice!
Zithras

(note: cross- posted to several independent forums in hopes of a wider response pool)

TLDR: Want 3 27-inch 60Hz (preferably higher) IPS (or equivalent) panel monitors in the $250-350 range (ideally, sub$500 max) with good image quality, good upscaling, and few dead pixels (also small bezels and VESA mountable, but they pretty much all have that these days)