Computer Monitors, and the Buying Thereof

I’m going to be in the market for a new computer soon. The current one is an anctient eMachines eOne, an all-in-one type package, like the original iMac (you better believe it got them sued, oh yes). So, although the current monitor still works fine, it’s sorta inseperable from the computer. New monitor time! I’ve done a bit of looking, and I’m nearly certain I’ll be wanting a CRT monitor. I’m on the verge of starting my secondary education; I will be majoring in New Media. My main use of the computer will be for graphics work. Everything points to CRTs having superior color, and the latency of LCDs drives me CRAZY. I’ve done a little bit of looking around, but it’s difficult to find info on CRT monitors anymore, let alone actual usefull revies. and don’t seem to review CRTs anymore. I tried looking at, but I can’t navigate that quagmire of a site.

I’m looking to see if anyone has any reccomendations on what manufacturers to look at, where to go for reviews and info on different models or where to go to buy, online or off. Viewsonic seems ok so far, and I guess the default store would be newegg. I’m very interested in learning as much as I can about this, so any suggestions or info would be appriciated. If I need to clarify anything, just let me know. Thank you!

how big of a display? how big of a budget?

I have a samsung, viewsonics are good too… [the 17" models last nearly forever]

I like ViewSonic… and Sony tubes have never treated me poorly (and the good news about that is that they’re in a lot of other brands’ monitors. Check out some of the IBM, SGI, and Sun monitors. They’re basically rebranded Sonys. You can usually find refurbs a decent prices… though you should test 'em first to make sure they work and their colors are accurate.)

i can’t really recommend a specific model because i’m using the one attached to this dell craptop, but be sure to run the dead pixel locater if you decide on a used monitor:

ultraviolet film coated flat tube high contrast trinitron tech CRT monitor, whatever you like (Philips, Sony, LG, NEC, etc) . Or which gives you best postsale guarantees. 17" minimun.

Notice that this kind of tube is in fact made only by two factories (Mitshubitshi and Sony afaik) but is incorporated and rebranded in other monitors (Philips, Sony, LG, NEC, etc)

My advice is to go for an LCD! Large LCD’s are affordable now and they last a gazillion times longer than CRT’s. I had a Samsung CRT befor my LCD screen and you can notice them getting blurry even after a year or two, althoug Samsung is quite good. Latency isn’t really an issue anymore on good LCD’s, unless you play Quake all day long. LCD’s are so much sharper, they’re more energy efficient, they take up 1/5th of the space.

Maybe you’ll spend more on a good LCD, but you won’t regret it. That’s my advice.

I completly agree with this! I recently bought an LCD and im loving it. I have a lot less eye strain than when Ive been using my bigass CRT. But be warned, for the heavy gamer, LCDs suck

I wonder if latency is really even an issue anymore? I do sit there and play quake all day long, so I had to wait and wait before I could buy an lcd monitor. Almost did it at the 12ms barrier, but I held off a bit longer.

8ms. Thats darn fast, and I cannot notice any ghosting at all when playing q4. There is also a 3-4ms panel out there (viewsonic i think) as well.

The price points are pretty good, and the size can’t be beat.

BUT, if you are really out there for pro-level graphics and multimedia (and I mean pro level), you will want a crt. LaCie, Sony, NEC produce some really nice high end monitors (in the 20-22" range). Be ready to drop around $2000.00US for a professional quality monitor, including calibration equipment (and probably a hood too).

I prefer CRT. Where I work, they all have dual LCD displays and I have a laptop and it drives me crazy because the colours are all off - I love getting home to my nice clear CRT. LCD just makes things too bright so when you view the same thing on a CRT, it looks too dark.

CRTs are dirt cheap. I got a refurb for £30 and it is just amazing.

The biggest problem I have with LCD is the aliasing. When you are trying to get rid of aliasing from your renders, I find it really difficult telling between the render aliasing and the display aliasing so I either over- or under-compensate for it.

It’s the same with televisions. Why would I get a much more expensive widescreen TV for a worse picture? Look at a CRT and a plasma next to each other. The CRT beats it easily.

As for the eye strain, I don’t agree that CRTs are worse. It seems to me to be 100% down to ambient lighting. I used to use a CRT in a dark room and I would get really sore eyes. These days, at work, the lighting is really low and I get sore eyes and headaches from the LCDs. At home I now keep the room well lit and my CRT causes me no trouble at all.

Higher refresh rates help ease eye strain too.

Concerning make, I just got a cheapo no-name CTX monitor. The important thing is to get one that supports a high enough refresh and resolution. This depends on your graphics card too. For a 17", try to aim for compatibility with 1280x1024 @ 85Hz. Mine goes up to 1920x1440 @ 75Hz but that’s pretty much useless for a 17"display because everything’s too small. Even 1600x1200 is a bit too much.

I have a CRT and LCD, but when using Blender the CRT is better. Renders (and other images in general) look like they have aliasing errors on the LCD. Plus the color shifts depending on the viewing angle. LCDs are better than CRTs if you do a lot of writing – and for reading small text.

OLED displays are supposed to be superior to both, but who can wait for them to come out.

Get a 19-inch, flat-screen, shadow-mask CRT. I use a samsung 997DF all day and it is a joy. Beware of aperture-grille models because they have two permanent, but very faint horizontal lines going across the screen.

I’ve never had a problem with aperture grill. The image is crisp and I hardly ever see those wires.

if you can find a second hand Philips 109p4 monitor then it will cost you hardly anything and it is the last of their professional range CRT monitors.

nobody is making professional CRT’s anymore, most are consumer grade… thus have poor colour management/ settings and inputs. (mine has composite imput for mental GFX cards)


Hey, thanks everybody! That’s a lot of good advice. I am set on a CRT (but wouldn’t mind an LCD for a second screen…). A flat, 19" screen at 1280x1024 @ 85mHz is what I’ll shoot for. Else, a 17". I don’t really think a lower resolution is a good idea, and absolutely not a lower refresh rate. I am a poor boy, but am going to school. Hopefully, I will be able to use educational funds for my new shiny comp-u-tron. I’m majoring in New Media, so a computer will almost be compulsory. I suppose it will simply come down to how much money I will have when buying time comes. Thank you for all the brand and model recommendations, though. Very, very helpful! And as an added note: anyone interested in display technologies might want to check out up and coming surface-conduction electron-emitter displays (SEDs). They seem to have all the benifits of a CRT crossed with an LCD with little to none of the drawbacks. Furthermore, it seems commercial SEDs should be available sometime next year. If this technology is used for computer monitors, it seems like this could be the heir apparent to CRT monitors. I’m cautiously optomistic! Thanks everyone!

Well I just got a new LCD a few months ago, the color was a bit bright but I managed to tease it to match my CRT. With my bad eyes LCDs are a lot easier to see in high-res. And they do last longer, haven’t checked this but a friend of mine was saying they don’t have an expected life span they either work almost forever or just die. But we’ll see how true that is as more people use them and they get cheaper. Anyway only 2 warnings if you do get a LCD:

First, make sure you have em take it out of the box at the store and run a few screens to see if there are any dead pixels or other problems. Mine has 1 pixel that is red all the time, not a big deal but drove me nuts at first. Secondly, make sure it’ll work on your video card and OS. If you’re buying a new PC, this shouldn’t be an issue but I believe some LCDs don’t work on older PCs. At least mine wouldn’t work on my old one but that could be my crappy Nvidia card.

ok, this thread is moved since it was posted in wrong forum section, and no moderator seems not to have noticed this OT thread in time to lock it in News & Chat section…

the_uppinator, be sure to post in the right forum next time, right? :-?

ztonzy - administrator

Yes, this is exactly what I wanted. I just hope they make smaller 17-19 inch versions. It sounds like they are going to initially aim for the high end TV market first (55 inch at HD resolution 1920x1080). Because they use a cheaper manufacturing process, they reckon they could match the price of plasmas while offering superior quality.

I’d love to have a 17 inch DVI SED connected to my computer. Or higher if I had a better graphics card. Thank goodness they have something like that because I really thought the future was bleak with LCD quality.