For those of you who follow our LCD reviews, you've probably noticed that we haven't looked at many models within the last few months. To make up for that, we decided to look at seven 19" LCDs, just in time for the holiday season.

19" and higher LCDs are the current sweet spot for LCD substrates. Recall that 19" LCDs have roughly the same viewing area as 21" CRT monitors, and that 17" LCDs have about the same viewing area as 19" CRTs. Production costs of LCDs have dropped dramatically over the last 2 years, but CRTs still beat LCDs in the cost versus size debate in the mid-size arena. The 19" and 20" LCD categories slightly differ, however.

Although the viewing area on a 19" LCD is roughly equivalent to the viewing area on a 21" CRT, LCDs use less power, use digital signal, don't have linear convergence issues, weigh considerably less, and put less strain on your eyes in a well lit environment. The issue of cost that used to deter people away from LCDs has also disappeared. A reasonably cheap, new 21" CRT runs for about $350; a reasonably cheap, new 19" LCD runs for about $330. Granted, you get what you pay for, and buying a low end 19" LCD or a 21" CRT generally is not what we would recommend. Today, we are going to focus on LCDs that run anywhere from $400 and higher - which is generally the price that you will pay if you wanted a quality CRT monitor.

With the exception of the NuTech L921G, all of our LCDs today were store bought. We tried to bring a balanced look at LCDs from all across the spectrum - low response time AUO panels, vivid Samsung panels and every a mix of both with some of the SIPS LG.Philips LCD panels. Most of our models today are within the $400 to $500 price range.

We plan on looking at them subjectively and quantitatively measuring the performance of each monitor against our industry standard Dell 2001FP. Almost all of our reviews over the last year have used the Dell 2001FP as a benchmark comparison. So, translating some of the performance that we see today with the performance of past monitors should not be very difficult. Feel free to view our past LCD reviews here.

How to Pick a Good LCD
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  • benk - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    I just (like two hours ago) got my Dell 2005FPW...played an hour of CS:S. Didn't notice any ghosting, blacks were all black, etc. I have my desktop set up stretching across this LCD and my old Sony Trinitron 17" and the color and sharpness on the LCD is markedly better. It actually surprised me; I thought I was giving up color in trade for a wider monitor that's a little easier on the eyes. Nope. It looks great, plays great, and, according to my girlfriend, is lots more stylish.
  • IceWindius - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Screw LCD, SED is the wave of the future.

    Until then, i'll stick with my Viewsonic CRT monitor, thank you.
  • archcommus87 - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Can anyone go back to the issue that someone asked prior about running non-native resolutions? My biggest deterrent about LCDs was always the fact that if I run my desktop at 1280x1024, I have to run all of my games at that, too. Sorry, but unless I'm buying two video cards a year, that's sometimes hard to do.

    Can you use other resolutions without getting crappy images?

    Yes, at times I have considered selling my 19" and 17" CRT dual monitor setup for one, single 19" LCD. But then I think, nah I love my Philips, and two monitors is cool. Plus I'd hate to have to run all my games at such a high res.
  • nullpointerus - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Cat: The lower the refresh rate on the video card, the more sluggish the mouse feels to me. Anything below 75 Hz feels terrible. Setting it up to 100 Hz (assuming your card and display support it) feels extremely fluid. I'm just suggesting possibilities, so YMMV.

    TCfromNL: From what I can tell, the article doesn't make any such claims about whether you have problems if the GIF appears dithered on your display; it's just presenting a visual aid.
  • coldpower27 - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    It depends on each peoples eyes, I guess it's not quite as noticable to some. Also not all the 25ms screens are created equal.

    I have a 25ms LCD, and I don't really notice ghosting, I got it over 2 years ago, though when it cost alot. Though 25ms for an LCD to do continous motion as that enough to generate 40FPS, I also don't really play that many FPS. The new LCD's that are capable of 12ms are amazing that like double the FPS at maximum.

    Yeh it would have been nice to test some of the newer LCD panels as well, but to me I don't know why people want it so bright, my LC is around 350:1 range and I already fine that awfully bright, 800:1 just seems so much :S
  • drinkmorejava - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    I'm confused, how can all those 25ms monitors have no noticeable ghosting. I've always known that a black-white measurement does not truly show how much ghosting there will be, but a 5?
  • TCfromNL - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Okay. Small problem with the 256-shades-of-blue thing, referred to as "the image below".

    Since it's a GIF, it only contains 256 shades of color, tops. Including all the greys.

    I imagine you have a losslessy (or un-)compressed 24-bit copy somewhere. Still, it's not nice to scare your readers by displaying some 20-shades-of-blue thing while saying that if it doesn't display smooth as a baby's skin, which it doesn't, the viewer's monitor is at fault.

    Further, nice article. But since these monitors are all 1280x1024 (except for the 20" Dell), I can't help but leave disappointed. I don't like squarish monitors. There's a reason why TV evolved from 4:3 to 16:9. I agree with the cry above: IT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE.
  • gwynethgh - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Now to find a good but reasonably priced DVI KVM switch.
  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    Klah: have they benchmarked any units using that methodology except the example? I checked around and couldnt find any.

  • klah - Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - link

    "klah: I was only aware of Xbitlabs doing so. We feel that the methods for measuring reponse time thus far are OK, but not represent gray to gray response time measurements well. Its something we are working on and we will probably have a better methodology before the next roundup.


    Here is Tom's methodology:

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