22" vs 24" Widescreen LCD

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22" vs 24" Widescreen LCD

Post by Rockitt » 06 May 2008, 07:53

Howdy

I'm in the market for a new PC. The budget is flexible but not excessive, say $2,500 tops. I prefer to buy at the best price point for performance versus value. Bleeding edge is for the super-nerds or filthy rich. The machine will be used for gaming 90% of the time. Here's what I'm looking at:

Intel E8400 Core 2 Duo 3.0GHz CPU
4GB DDR2 PC6400 or PC8500 Corsair or Geil memory
Asus P5K-something motherboard
620W Corsair or 650W Antec PSU
A pair of SATA-II 500GB or 750GB HDDs
SATA DVD burner
Nvidia 9800GTX or 8800GTS or 8800GT

At a minimum, I'll purchase a 22" (1680x1050) widescreen LCD of some reputable brand name. However, I'm leaning towards buying a 24" (1920x1200) LCD.

My questions to those of you knowledgeable in the dark arts of LCDs are:

1. From an eyestrain point of view, which size monitor is best for reading text, eg. web browser, Word docs, etc? I fear my old eyes may suffer from teeny tiny text. No, I don't like using large text in Windows.

2. Would using a 24" monitor warrant installing 8800GTs SLI or is a single 9800GTX or 8800GTS ample? This is with all the bells and whistles enabled, eg. 4xAA 8xAF.

3. Is the extra 2" worth $300? (Keep it clean :) ) Money's not really an object. I spent as much or more on my 17" and 19" BenQ LCDs than a 24" costs these days. However, if I had to purchase a second 8800GT for SLI, the cost goes up a further $300 in addition to the extra money for a larger monitor.

I'm guessing replies will generally along the lines of "You'd be mad not to buy a 24" LCD".

Feel free to pass comments or recommendations about the other pieces of hardware or my poor dress sense, bad breath and so on. ;)

Of course, I'm doing independent research, ie. Google.

Cheers
Rob
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Re: 22" vs 24" Widescreen LCD

Post by Secro » 06 May 2008, 09:23

Rockitt wrote:1. From an eyestrain point of view, which size monitor is best for reading text, eg. web browser, Word docs, etc? I fear my old eyes may suffer from teeny tiny text. No, I don't like using large text in Windows.

2. Would using a 24" monitor warrant installing 8800GTs SLI or is a single 9800GTX or 8800GTS ample? This is with all the bells and whistles enabled, eg. 4xAA 8xAF.

3. Is the extra 2" worth $300? (Keep it clean :) ) Money's not really an object. I spent as much or more on my 17" and 19" BenQ LCDs than a 24" costs these days. However, if I had to purchase a second 8800GT for SLI, the cost goes up a further $300 in addition to the extra money for a larger monitor.


I'm using a 22inch right now at work. The writing isn't that small really running at 1680 x 1050. I think you'll be fine.

If you did get a 24" a single graphics card is fine. Just get the nicest single one you can afford. Like a 8800 GTS/X is better than the 9800 series i think.

Also with 4gig of ram + a beefy graphics card. Make sure you get Vista 64bit, XP 64bit. Spyder wrote why on this forum somewhere a few weeks ago.

Is 2 inches worth 300? Not really.
If you get a dell it could only be 549. Or 999.
http://www1.ap.dell.com/content/product ... dhs&~ck=mn
The 999 one is better obviously. Higher contrast ratio is a win imo.

Anyway i think that machine would be fine for running WaR if that is what you wanna play eventually.
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Post by Rockitt » 06 May 2008, 10:17

The 8800GTS and 9800GTX are quite close in terms of performance and price. I'd pick a 9800GTX simply for the edge it has over a 8800GTS.

Wrt to memory, absolutely. The plan is to install WinXP 64 bit or perhaps dual boot XP/Vista 64 bit. From time to time I like to play old games and I'm not convinced of Vista's backward compatibility.

Umart has quite a large range of 24" LCDs, many < $550 and even as cheap as $455 (but I wouldn't touch it :) ).

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Re: 22" vs 24" Widescreen LCD

Post by Kashak » 06 May 2008, 13:09

Rockitt wrote:2. Would using a 24" monitor warrant installing 8800GTs SLI or is a single 9800GTX or 8800GTS ample? This is with all the bells and whistles enabled, eg. 4xAA 8xAF.

3. Is the extra 2" worth $300? (Keep it clean :) ) Money's not really an object. I spent as much or more on my 17" and 19" BenQ LCDs than a 24" costs these days. However, if I had to purchase a second 8800GT for SLI, the cost goes up a further $300 in addition to the extra money for a larger monitor.


just a single top-of-the-line card will handle this fine. MMO's especially. You wont be able to turn absolutely EVERYTHING to max on some games though , especially the newer ones. I run everything at at least 4xAA and 8xAF(performance) and turn down game settings first though.

Dont know if its worth $300. Id pay the extra because a quality monitor will last you ages. I got mine from Dell. Works great and has composite inputs for when mates come around to LAN some halo (dunno if thats still teh case). The extra 2" is better than paying the $300 on another gfx card.
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Post by Nicrob » 06 May 2008, 14:13

SIZE DOES MATTER
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Post by WasteGate » 06 May 2008, 16:23

This was taken from HardOCP and was the reason that I stayed 8800GTX SLI.

The GeForce 9800 GTX is an interesting beast. On the one hand it offers the fastest shader performance you can get on a GPU today, faster than the previous champ the GeForce 8800 GTX. However, NVIDIA has chopped up the memory subsystem and only offers a 512MB framebuffer (versus 768MB on the GeForce 8800 GTX) and a 256-bit memory bus (versus 384-bit on the GeForce 8800 GTX.) Therefore the GeForce 9800 GTX enjoys faster shader performance, but the GeForce 8800 GTX enjoys greater memory capacity and bandwidth.


Not sure if that helps but explains the difference pretty well in the high end space of Nvidia cards.

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Post by Fellhahn » 06 May 2008, 16:43

Jump onto x-bit labs if you want some excessively in depth reviews of graphics cards. The various charts I've seen show the 9800GTX outperforming all of the other single GPU boards by a smidge (8800GTS usually coming in second) However the 9800 runs a good 10 degrees cooler on average (stress and idle). That's a big plus imo as my current 7900 has suffered some serious performance degradation due to heat.

Edit: The same site also does good monitor evaluations. Showing some interesting statistics beyond the generic grey-to-grey responses, they used some good visuals to show response time from any color to any other color. They also look at brightness uniformity (wether a screen is brighter in patches) RTC errors (single pixels quickly flashing bright) and a bunch of stuff about color warmth/gamut and gamma curve that I don't understand :P

Been a few months since I did some daydreaming research on what's the best available, but the Samsung 244t or Benq fp241w were two of the best I believe.
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Post by Rockitt » 07 May 2008, 08:10

Thanks for the replies and suggested reading. Anandtech's lengthy treatise on LCDs recommends the BenQ G2400W for gaming. At a paltry $488 from Umart, it's not much of a stretch from the $300 you'd pay for a 22" LCD.

A single high performance graphics card seems to be the recommendation. As there's only about $100 or so between a good 8800GT and the faster 8800GTS and 9800GTX models, it's not a hard decision.

I know 8800GTs (note small 's') can be had for less than $250 but I prefer to buy the factory overclocked versions for $280-300. Yes, you can overclock a standard card yourself but I like the fact that I don't have to dick around with after-market cooling. I know the card's designed to operate at faster speeds and is built to handle the higher temperature. Call me risk averse but I like to minimise PC heat and noise where I can.

The 9800GTX gets a guernsey because of the lower operating temperature and, of course, because of performance/cost. There are numerous models in the $370-420 range.

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Post by Spyder » 08 May 2008, 22:13

Coming in a tad late to the thread, and I'm going to say basically what you've already decided :)

Monitor:
I use a 22" dell at work and the older 24" dell at home, I used to use a benq 22" at work until they got me a shiny new pc (and now my boss uses it lol). 24" creams all over 22, the text size isn't a problem. Text is far more readable than you'd think for a 1920x1200 resolution simply because the monitor size is amazing at first.

Here's the photos I took the day I got mine :)
http://members.iinet.net.au/~thespyder/monitor/

Head into any myer or david jones and check out the mac section, the biggest iMac is 24" and should give you a good idea of what you'll be looking at.

Also, the new Dell 24" are only vga/dvi. No composite/component/svideo but it does still have the card reader.


Video:
9800GTX will undoubtedly serve your every desire (and then some). Benchmarks I saw had it running crysis on a 30" screen with decent fps.


OS:
Interestingly enough Vista 64bit had more game compatibility than I thought. It actually loaded FF8, which I haven't been able to run since XP SP1 because SP2's security patch broke it (and it doesn't work in Vista 32bit either).
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Post by Rockitt » 09 May 2008, 07:22

Thanks, Spyder. Love your pics, especially those showing PiP.

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Post by Nazz » 09 May 2008, 09:12


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Post by Kashak » 09 May 2008, 10:52

Rockitt wrote:
I know 8800GTs (note small 's') can be had for less than $250 but I prefer to buy the factory overclocked versions for $280-300. Yes, you can overclock a standard card yourself but I like the fact that I don't have to dick around with after-market cooling. I know the card's designed to operate at faster speeds and is built to handle the higher temperature. Call me risk averse but I like to minimise PC heat and noise where I can.


Ur risk averse. If your PC case has just a couple of fans you'll be fine.

You save significant cash on a stock card and you can get pretty decent overclocks on the stock cooler. If the card doesnt like to OC you arent missing much performance anyway and you have moneys in your pocket.
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Post by Rockitt » 09 May 2008, 11:34

You can't deny a 8800GTS out-performs a vanilla 8800GT. My argument is that for the sake of $20-40 more, you can buy a 9800GTX instead of the 8800GTS.

If I already had a 8800 series card, of course, I wouldn't be shelling out for a 9800. Overclocking a 8800 would certainly be wiser. However, as I'm upgrading from a 7800GT, buying a big bang for a reasonable buck is good sense. I'm not one of those crazy guys who spent $700+ on an original 768MB 8800GTX.

It's funny looking back at old Umart invoices and noting I paid $695 for a 19" LCD in January 2005.

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Post by Kashak » 09 May 2008, 12:12

Oh and when looking at the reviews ensure you only look at the performance at the native res of whatever screen you want :)
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Post by Rockitt » 09 May 2008, 12:22

You don't think 640x480 is pretty? ;)

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