Originally Posted by jpinard
This is a long explanation of how this excellent, low-cost display happened and why this higher Hz model matters so much for most gamers who play any FPS, Simulator, RTS, or many MMORG’s
. This is very wordy, somewhat repetitive in places, but the goal is to outline everything about this crazy computer monitor market. If I happen to have any details wrong please let me know, but this should be educational for anyone who hasn't read a FAQ on each subject. (note: I purposely left MVA references out to keep explanations simpler) Therefore based on the repeated questions I’ve seen it's important that people understand the how & why these displays are cheaper than other high-end displays and why they cannot be super pixel/color perfect like an Apple Cinema Display
Here we go!
LG makes the vast majority of IPS panels used in LCD/LED monitors. They make a tens of thousands 27" panels (JUST the panel with no connectors or guts) and they are sampled for quality. Those that appear perfect go to Apple, HP, Dell, Hazro, Asus, Viewsonic and several other big companies for their high-end displays. These are rated as A+ panels. Those that are not perfect, but still good, go to a 2nd party monitor maker (usually South Korean) like Yamasaki, PC bank, Achieva, Crossover. They add the connector circuit board, input plugs, speakers, OSD hardware, frame, scalars, and anti-glare just as top tier manufacturers do.
As these Korean manufacturers are not high-end display companies they often forgo the extra crap Dell & Apple would put into their monitors ie. an OSD which is on-screen display functions for changing color, orientation, size, position, etc. NOT having the OSD is very inconvenient for most users, but fantastic for gamers as any extra components attached to the PCB creates extra input lag. For gamers who want the ultimate in responsiveness (on an IPS display), they usually need to find one with the fewest extras. Even adding a single HMDI port to the standard DVI-D port will add some lag. TN panels have better response times regardless of the amenities, but one greatly sacrifices the image quality by going TN not to mention the poor viewing angles. Regarding “extras” the terrible anti-glare coatings you see are not done by LG when the basic panel is made. Once again this is done in the secondary manufacturing step by the people who sell these panels (Dell, Apple, and Asus). Since the South Korean companies who sell the A- graded panels want to keep costs down they do not put anti-glare coatings on the display. This is fantastic as it gives users the choice. For those of us that love glossy, we do nothing with these Korean displays. If you hate glossy, there are plenty of options to add your own anti-glare that will undoubtedly be better than the terrible solution Dell uses on their own IPS monitors.
So besides above, what's the big deal about this particular monitor? Basically for gamers - THIS IS THE HOLY GRAIL of MONITORS. For years we've wanted an IPS display that is the right size, with the best colors, the least amount of ghosting, the best responsiveness, and the least amount of lag, the perfect pixel pitch, and the most possible "stuff" on the screen at once. With the primary two options we’ve had, TN vs. IPS, you could not get all of this on one display... until the Catleap v.2b. So lets make a general question & answer list of the points I just made.* Why is 27" the best size for a gaming monitor?
For immersion, you want a screen that fills the front of your desk, without you, the user, having to manually look side-to-side to see everything on the screen. 26" and 27" monitors sitting on a desk are the perfect size.* What's this about ghosting and lag?
For anyone except gamers who play games with motion it's not really an issue. But if you play faster action games, MMORGS, even many RT's it is of critical importance. Only TN displays in the past could truly cut out ghosting, blurring, and screen lag by running at a higher refresh rate and using special overdrive utilities. So IPS has the best picture quality, but the worst gaming experience. Worse if you have someone sitting next to you as you play on a TN panel, everything they see is washed out, and depending on the angle, sometimes nearly illegible. Adding a scalar and OSD (on-screen displays) usually increases lag on both IPS and TN, so the fact these are not available (due to the increase of cost) in the secondary Korean manufacturers is a plus. But it does make color calibration more difficult as you have to do it through your video card. Furthermore, if you use a non-native resolution on these Korean models you must use the scalar from your video card as they're not an option on the monitor itself. That is generally no big deal though. Once again, for gaming it's better the display doesn't have a built-in scalar.* Why does this panel (IPS) have better colors than the competition?
IPS is better than TN (active matrix displays) for a lot of reasons I won't go into because it doesn’t pertain here. But because of the way the panels are designed and the pixels light IPS has better colors and looks much better in space games due to blacks being deeper.
* What about Screen Resolution and pixel pitch?
Many displays that are 27" are only 1920x1080 - the number of pixels horizontally and vertically. If you look at a monitor that is only 24" in size but displays 1920x1080 it is MUCH sharper than a 27" monitor of the same resolution. Why are people so gaga over the new iPad Retina display? - same thing. Way more pixels on the screen vs. the older iPads makes the display that much sharper. Being IPS and not TN makes the colors and pictures POP from straight on or any angle. A 27" monitor running the 2560x1440 has pixels that are very close together creating a very sharp image with text that is not as microscopic like you’d have on a comparable 24"monitortrying to show 2560x1440 pixels.* Why do Dell and other tier-1 display producers go nuts on their Anti-glare coatings?
Because they don't want to deal with business’s and other whiny people complaining about glare & lighting issues in the workplace - ie. Laziness and cost reduction. Adding those anti-glare coatings costs more than not, but dealing with more tech calls and returns is much more. So the easy way out is to just put the anti-glare on everything no matter how much it ruins the images. A good company would offer a version with anti-glare coatings and one without - but apparently that's too much effort for most.* “The most Stuff on-screen”?
That just means running 2560x1440. If you're playing a flight simulator you will have almost twice the view someone else would have. In a flight simulator this means more of your airplane cockpit, more scenery, more peripheral vision, more situational awareness. In an RTS, FPS or MMORG it means you see more on the screen than your competitor. Someone running at 1400x900 is at a massive disadvantage vs. someone running 2560x1440. Imagine putting a box over your head and looking through a cutout only 1' square vs. having a clear unobstructed view. That puts it in perspective.
So you may be asking, why isn't anyone making these “Holy Grail” displays if gamers want them so bad? The answer takes us back to how panels are made and distributed. You have one company, LG, which makes the majority of the world’s panels. The exact distribution of these base displays is something I have not researched but I know there are direct sales, a lottery, an auction, and “junk sales” based on LG’s initial (I’m guessing very quick) quality check as they probably don’t have time to run 50,000 panels for a week at a time. Since making panels is still an imprecise and imperfect process, primary producers pay much more to receive the more limited A+ displays. Secondary companies do not have the funds to compete in this respect and LG may even have production agreements that say no A+ panels can go to non-top tier companies. When Apple, Dell, and HP get these panels they add all the extras you’ve come to expect (whether wanted or not). The most beautiful monitors out there, the Apple Cinema display are not meant for gamers so Apple has no interest in fine-tuning input lag or increasing refresh rates. This is where Yamasaki, PC bank, Achieva, & Crossover come in. They buy the A- panels from LG that Apple, HP, Dell don’t want, slap them in a bezel, add a stand, add a circuit board with connectors and presto - you have cheaper Apple Cinema Display. But… where does the higher refresh rate come in that we mentioned earlier, and is driving this poll and curiosity?
A higher refresh rate makes your mouse movements smoother by updating the screen 100x per second vs. the standard 60x per second. It makes you more accurate, the game "feels" more responsive because technically it is - especially with a higher DPI mouse. Running extremely high DPI mice, on an IPS screen in an FPS has been very frustrating (compared to old tube monitors) because what you feel or should see doesn’t exactly match your mouse movements and results in a feeling of delay... like running a flight simulator at settings way higher than your computer can handle. You must anticipate what will happen vs. reacting to what's going on. You can get used to it, but it's not optimal. Now Yamasaki, the company who made the earlier Catleap did not intend to make an IPS display that can do more than 60 Hz. As far as I can tell, they used a more expensive circuit board than they'd planned on, and some enterprising souls on Overclocking.net decided to see if it could handle more than the default 60 Hz and were stunned that it could. Yamasaki has no idea this panel could do that (or that it would be in demand) so they replaced it with the circuit board they'd intended to reduce costs by a few bucks. As soon as the idea these cheaper, 27" IPS displays had the possibility to do, what is only offered by much more expensive TN displays the overclocking and modding pc gamers latched on trying to find any way to either get a replacement board for the panel or have Yamasaki go back and make more of this variant... hence this thread.
I hope this helps outline why this particular display is so important to gamers and why many hardware & overclocking forums have a disproportionate amount of posts about new IPS displays & 120 HZ TN monitors. We've been waiting... wanting for a display with the best features of both panel technologies for over a decade and for a breif moment a few got their dream monitor. Hopefully, Yamasaki, and if not them, then other manufacturers will take note that is “IS” possible to make an IPS 2560x1440 that does 72Hz-100Hz-120Hz, whatever your video card can put out . This is something many were saying was just a pipedream or totally impossible just a month ago.(note: even better would be a version with CCFL instead of the backlit LED for those who don’t care about heat, energy consumption, or a super slim design)
Cheers and hope this helped maybe 1 person out there!