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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i read most of the stickeys i did searchs all over the web and i still don't understand the different monitors, i know ips or isp or what ever is good for picture but i need a monitor with a good response time but is beautiful for gaming. I don't really know my budget yet because i have to wait 3-5 months for my grant money from school to get all these parts.
I need something i can game while still being so beautiful for design and movies.

Something under 200 and under 300 would be good.
Plus you could help me figure out the different things.

Sorry if there are millions of these threads but i am just darn confused... and i really need help, kinda like how i don't understand psu's completely or how my 8600gt is still working as it hits crazy temps once and a while...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That looks good. I hope i get 1500 and not just 500 so i can get everything i need.
 

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For $300 (or pretty close) you can get an IPS panel or a TN panel

Some general points:
• IPS (In-plane switching) monitors have better picture quality, color accuracy and a much wider viewing angle than TN panels. Of course some may not see a difference, but I think it's fair to say this represents general consensus.
• TN panels are usually much less expensive, have a much faster response time, and currently have 120Hz+ models in your price range.
• When comparing monitors, note that there is NO STANDARD for "contrast ratio" and even "response time". They are useful for comparing different models of the same brand, but not so much across brand (especially contrast). Dynamic contrast ratio is BS. Example, "3,000,000:1 DC", yet 1000:1 static contrast (usually given in parenthesis) which is the number you want to focus on. Even then, what's stated as 1000:1 often proves to be less than that. Useful information, but take with a grain of salt.

Some things to keep in mind:
• In your price range, you're looking at a 23"/24" monitor for IPS and as large as 27" for TN. Larger monitor may be worth more to you than better color display.
• You can either go 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio. JMO (others may certainly disagree), but as long as possible, I will only buy 16:10. 16:9 is just too narrow vertically - even 16:10 has its limits when scrolling down web pages or reviewing documents. It doesn't sound like much, but it's quite noticeable to me. Again, JMO, but as a student writing papers, something you might want to keep in mind. 16:10 monitors tend to be more expensive simply because the screens are larger (more "glass" = higher costs), but the difference shouldn't be prohibitive in your case if you prefer the added screen height.
• LED vs. CFFL (fluorescent) backlighting. For you, I suggest LED over CFFL. LED backlighting should be more power efficient, produce less heat and last longer = I'd get LED if I were you. IRRC, in the past there were comments about CFFL being superior to single LED backlighting for those very particular about color accuracy (professionals), but I don't think that's true anymore. I wouldn't hesitate to get an LED backlight monitor (Dell U3013 looks nice!).
• Brightness (cd/m2). This shouldn't be an issue, but I suggest at least 300 cd/m2 to be safe. 300 or even 350 is fine, but 250 may not be enough in brightly lit areas or as the monitor ages.
• 6, 8 & 10 bit color display ability. 10 bit is awesome… if your graphics card actually outputs at that
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. My understanding is that unless you buy an expensive professional graphics card (ex. Quadro/Tesla lines), you're looking at 8bit color output at best. That being said, I'd get an 8bit color monitor over a 6bit color monitor if possible.
• Scaling: This is kind of a hidden issue with some monitors. Some monitors (often due to lowering cost) do not have built in scaling. So if you watch a 16:9 video it will automatically stretch to 16:10 (i.e. no black bars). That bothers some people and you have to look for it when researching a monitor. Reviews, customer comments/forum posts along with possible resolution specs will guide you here.

For gaming in particular, there are three primary issues:
• Response time: given in milliseconds (ms) & the lower the better, though at some point there's diminishing returns IMO (ex. 1ms not a big deal vs. 2ms). As mentioned, IPS panels have slower response times (6-8ms GtG typically) compared to TN panels (2ms or even 1ms GtG). BTW, GtG = gray to gray. Response time used to be measured black to white (BtW), but because GtG is a smaller change and gives lower numbers, OEMs went to that for better looking specs. A loose rule of thumb (and just my observation - nothing scientific), but GtG is usually 1/2 of BtW. I would argue BtW is more accurate (honest) since it covers the entire transition range. Given that GtG is used these days maybe that's more FYI than anything else
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Anyway, while lower = better, that's not to say you might find 6ms GtG or even 8ms GtG fine for gaming. In short, I wouldn't base my decision solely upon this spec.
• Refresh Rate - given in Hertz (Hz). Higher Hz = smother motion playback for fast scenes. AFAIK, 120Hz monitors really help when your gaming at high FPS rates (particularly over 100 FPS). If your typically seeing say 60-70 average FPS or less, my understanding (= NOT 100% sure so verify), is that you won't get nearly the same visual benefit with a 120Hz monitor vs. 60Hz. I have no idea what you're next build will be like, but if you're going with a single card (and not a GTX690 or Radeon equivalent) and plan to play some fairly demanding games with 60 average FPS or less, 120Hz may not be that beneficial (again, AFAIK).
• Input lag: Some monitors have "high" input lag which can hurt in fast paced FPS games. Probably not an issue unless you go with a very cheap panel, but something to be aware of when reading reviews.

Suggestions:
(1) Decide on whether you want 16:10 or 16:9 or don't care either way. Should be easy enough to check out by visiting a local store (ideally with some sort of internet connection so you can "test surf" a bit).
(2) IPS or TN? Sorry, but I'm not sure what you mean by "beautiful for gaming." Does "beautiful" = performance only (i.e. response time, etc.) or performance and visual quality (primarily display color quality as viewing angle probably won't be an issue)? In other words, how much does color accuracy/display quality matter = IPS or TN. You may be perfectly happy with a TN panel. However, if you're somewhat sensitive to color display quality, then you may want to go with an IPS panel even if the response time is higher since the overall picture will be more satisfying for you. If you plan to watch a lot of video as well, then an IPS panel may very well be the better option (again watch out for scaling limitations). If you even plan to do any serious image editing, I'd definitely get an IPS panel.
(3) Do some research on 120Hz monitors & maybe estimate average FPS on games you primarily play/plan to play on your future rig (assuming I'm right about that). From that determine whether 120Hz makes sense over 60Hz monitor (which may have other features).
(4) After that, I would pick out some models and start reading a LOT of reviews along with forum posts by those who own the models on your short list.

In terms of models, Asus is popular for gaming TN panels. For IPS, Dell and HP are popular (watch for scaling limitations though). Asus has some worthwhile IPS models as well. There may be others (BenQ, LG, Samsung), but I'm not as familiar with those. Lastly, from time to time there are some pretty good monitor sales - so even if something is a bit out or your price range now, it may not always be so.

Hope this helps & GL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah that response was like, sweet jesus to my ears. Now if only i knew what i could spend i could start looking at monitors, but i like that one he posted and now i kinda know what to look for. I will have to pull out the tape measure because i am also building a desk, i guess i can post a giant build thread once i get my budget for desk,computer and room since i may go wild on the paint colors of my room..
 

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Glad my post helped. One thing I would add is that as a student (at least in the US), you should qualify for some sort of student discount if you buy directly from large OEMs like Dell and HP. Usually those discounts are pretty good (at least 10% if not 15% or even 20%) and I'd try get free shipping as well if buying directly.

If you get a really good deal, MAKE SURE you write it down along with the sales rep's name and date/time of your call just in case you end up getting charged extra. That happened to me once (not a student discount, but negotiated). My purchase confirm e-mail showed a higher price then what I received verbally over the phone. I had to call back, speak with a manager and give him the information I mentioned above. In the end, I got the lower price I was originally quoted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you man, but i've been stubling a bit trying to get my feet set to get all this money and school. It freaks me out, i don't to have panic attacks and not be able to pay back the money because i never went to college.
 
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