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If you had to buy a monitor today... - Page 2

post #31 of 244
I have seen the Apple monitor in an Apple store. I was directly comparing it to my 2405 and 2407 Dells. I wasnt that impressed. I'll stick to Dells.
post #32 of 244
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyHTPC View Post

I have seen the Apple monitor in an Apple store. I was directly comparing it to my 2405 and 2407 Dells. I wasnt that impressed. I'll stick to Dells.

I need to check out these Dells before I leap... What's the difference between the 2405 and 2407, and what makes them better than the Cinema Display?

There's a Dell kiosk directly outside the Apple store, I'll sniff around there.
post #33 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

No budget... I would rather not do the $1800 awesome 30" job, but a $900 23" very nice one doesn't hurt me too much. And I haven't upgraded my PC, save Vista, in a long time. Justifications..? I hope I'll find understanding in this forum.

It sounds like you've already sold yourself on the Apple, like you wont be happy with anything else, in which case: Go get the Apple. $900 bucks is just an awful lot of scratch to spend on 23".
post #34 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

I need to check out these Dells before I leap... What's the difference between the 2405 and 2407, and what makes them better than the Cinema Display?

There's a Dell kiosk directly outside the Apple store, I'll sniff around there.

CHEAPER then the Apples..... But seriously take a look at the Dell 27" before you jump.
post #35 of 244
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadRusch View Post

$900 bucks is just an awful lot of scratch to spend on 23".

Agreed -- thus my reason for this thread.

I know $900 will get me a computer monitor that I've tried and I know I'll be very happy with. But if I can get something equally as good (100% equal to these eyes) with more display options, I will go for that instead.

I'm not an Apple elitist that thinks they are the only ones to put out great stuff, but at the same time I'm not an Apple hater (common in these PC Forums) -- I use their products and find them to be some of best quality out there and worth the money.
post #36 of 244
I just bought a used Dell 2407 and I'm loving it. The contrast is fine and the brightness is actually too high so I ended up toning it down a lot.

What I really love about it are all the extra inputs. It does DVI (HDCP compliant), VGA, component, s-vid, and composite. That really gives you a lot of options for adding consoles and other devices. Right now I've got a PC, Dreamcast, and PS2 connected. When I decide on a 360 or PS3 I'll add that also.

EDIT: I wanted to add that in regard to LCD vs CRT I've been a CRT guy for a long time. In the past 2-3 months I started noticing that the current quality of LCD's has improved dramatically. Right next to the 2407 is my NEC 22" CRT which I absolutely loved right up until the point I went dual monitor with the LCD. Now it's really hard to look at. Anyone need a 65 pound(!!) monitor, cheap?
post #37 of 244
I have a 2405 which is almost the same as the 2407 minus the HDMI. and i love it. and unless you play FPS and want a huge amount of extra frames then a single 7800 GT does just fine for most games i have played on it. oh and the 3 year warranty is nice too.

just did a check, the apple 23 is 889 or something with a one year warranty
the dell 2407 is 579 with a 3 year warranty
for the price difference alone i would go with the dell. but knowing how awesome mine looks its hard to think that the apple can look much better considering the cost difference.



also from my experience the 30" monitors are not worth it unless you NEED the extra resolution. those to require serious hardware. and by need i mean for 3d rendering and HD video editing since the 2560x1600 lets you have full res HD and all of your tools at the same time. other than that its a waste.

oh and on the CRT thing, eye fatigue is a major issue with them compared to LCD. so if there are marathon gaming sessions in the future LCD cant be beat.
post #38 of 244
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input Samstag (welcome to the forum!) and Cy-Gor.

So I went to the mall today at lunch and right outside the Apple store there's a Dell kiosk with the 2407. I know this isn't the fairest test, but it's the best I could do in a pinch -- I made sure both were on 1920x1200 and loaded up the same webpage on both. Then I ran back and forth between the two to compare the difference.

You guys are right: the Dell 2407 is a very nice looking monitor. It was really hard to pick one over the other... I still think the Apple wins pixel sharpness, MAYBE. I couldn't get them side by side, but it's a very close race.

The Dell has all the extras: various inputs (no HDMI though), scalability, rotation, PIP, memory card readers.

Plus the Dell is $300 cheaper.

Now it's hard justifying sticking with the Apple. I think aesthetically the build of the Apple is way better... the solid base, curved metal sides, lack of cheesy buttons and a single cable leading to the PC looks MUCH better sitting on my desktop. And I really don't like how wobbly and flimsy the 2407 seems.

But are aesthetics worth $300? Not for everyone, but I feel it's worth something -- ask any Lexus owner. Still... it's hard justifying 3 benjamins for something that going to look great sitting on a messy desk.
post #39 of 244
dell 2407 for $550-650 depending on the deal. They now have 1:1 pixel mapping working correctly on the ones shipping now. 1900x1200 native res, actually I can't think of a actual flaw with them, the standard lcd issues of course no tube monitor black levels and such. For the money damn fine monitor. Oh it is HDCP compliant despite what was said earlier about them.

Oh the stand how bout this, mine fell over shattered the screen. Went to dell's website and dell rep on forum ok'ed a replacement. Now I had no warrenty extention for complete care and it was past the 30(or whatever lenghth of time it is) return. But yet they still replaced it. I honestly have no idea why it fell, I wasn't anywhere even near it and no one else is ever here. But my heart sank but thankfully for me it worked out.

Anyway the quality of the monitor is great for the price. Nothing topped it at the time of my purchase back in oct 06.
post #40 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

Thanks for the input Samstag (welcome to the forum!) and Cy-Gor.

So I went to the mall today at lunch and right outside the Apple store there's a Dell kiosk with the 2407. I know this isn't the fairest test, but it's the best I could do in a pinch -- I made sure both were on 1920x1200 and loaded up the same webpage on both. Then I ran back and forth between the two to compare the difference.

You guys are right: the Dell 2407 is a very nice looking monitor. It was really hard to pick one over the other... I still think the Apple wins pixel sharpness, MAYBE. I couldn't get them side by side, but it's a very close race.

The Dell has all the extras: various inputs (no HDMI though), scalability, rotation, PIP, memory card readers.

Plus the Dell is $300 cheaper.

Now it's hard justifying sticking with the Apple. I think aesthetically the build of the Apple is way better... the solid base, curved metal sides, lack of cheesy buttons and a single cable leading to the PC looks MUCH better sitting on my desktop. And I really don't like how wobbly and flimsy the 2407 seems.

But are aesthetics worth $300? Not for everyone, but I feel it's worth something -- ask any Lexus owner. Still... it's hard justifying 3 benjamins for something that going to look great sitting on a messy desk.

Well, you have two options now and one is around a 60% premium over the other (numbers help clarify sometimes).

I think you are down to save, splurge, or diversify (take the savings and buy something else for yourself along with it).

I'd consider how each strategy and outcome affects you and go with the winner.
post #41 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

Then I ran back and forth between the two to compare the difference.

Spoken like a true Dork!

Quote:
You guys are right: the Dell 2407 is a very nice looking monitor. It was really hard to pick one over the other... I still think the Apple wins pixel sharpness, MAYBE. I couldn't get them side by side, but it's a very close race.

Pixel Sharpness? Whats that....you're looking at a static screen, no focusing, the pixels are the pixels and those monitors use the same panels. What you are seeing is nothing more than the difference between the coating on the screen and the lighting of the monitor, both external and whatever its backlight is set at.
I assume both are connected via DIGITAL MEANS (HDMI/DVI) and not VGA, which WILL look significantly worse than a pixel-mapped digital display when compared side by side.

Quote:
Now it's hard justifying sticking with the Apple. I think aesthetically the build of the Apple is way better... the solid base, curved metal sides, lack of cheesy buttons and a single cable leading to the PC looks MUCH better sitting on my desktop. And I really don't like how wobbly and flimsy the 2407 seems.

Ok now you're talking crazy.....its a MONITOR....*A MONITOR*. Nobody but you is going to see it. AFter a few weeks it'll have spilled coffee on it, a few of your boogers wiped on the back, and the front will be covered with dust and post-it notes...

Unless you're one of those pretentious types who shows off their monitor
"Look...its my snazzy new monitor".....a guy like me would be like "Cool, uh, why'd you get the tiny one?"
post #42 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadRusch View Post

Spoken like a true Dork!
"Look...its my snazzy new monitor".....a guy like me would be like "Cool, uh, why'd you get the tiny one?"

Ditto here on that comment....
post #43 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

Apple's Cinema Displays have no scaler... these are DVI-D monitors which is 100% pixel by pixel. If you send a 720p native signal to these displays unscaled, it will appear in a box in the center of screen.

But of course most videocards know this and perform the scaling for the monitor. My aging nVidia 6800GT reports that it's connected to a Cinema Display and scales everything* sharply to 1920x1200 full screen without any interaction on my end.

As for 23" being small, I agree... but with the caveat that the monitor is literally 2 feet from my nose. If it were any further I wouldn't consider it. The 30" Cinema Display requires a dual-DVI path and my 6800GT only has two single DVI paths. Not to mention the native resolution for the 30" display is 2560 x 1600 -- all those pixels are the reason for the need for dual-DVI. That resolution is almost too much desktop for what most people do. Oh, and the 30" is $1800!!!

I know I've gone on and on about how good these Apple displays look, but if you haven't seen one in action, by all means brave the elitist snobs at an Apple store near you and take a look at the 23" and 30". These monitors are very limited in options (and by limited, I mean "none"), but I have yet to see sharper pixels on any other display.

*I mentioned that the video card has to scale everything to the native resolution, and I must mention that this only happens when the computer is in Windows. As I boot my PC, before it gets to Windows I don't see anything on the screen like post information, RAM, CPU speed, etc. because the monitor doesn't know what to do with the low resolution. This means I can't do anything at bootup, including going into BIOS, until the computer gets to Windows. Not a problem for 90% of computer users, but definitely a problem for most of the users in this forum.


I found mention of someone using an iScan HD+ to scale output to 1280x800 for a Dell 30" widescreen via DVI. Apparently, that is the only other resolution you can feed it. It will be "Full" and will -not- be centered. You could probably get one of those iScans pretty cheap used and switch and scale all/some of your other sources through that.
post #44 of 244
I just saw Samsung has a 24" Widescreen for $499 at ECost or TigerDirect or something, and last time I checked Samsung made decent monitors.
post #45 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

I need to check out these Dells before I leap... What's the difference between the 2405 and 2407, and what makes them better than the Cinema Display?

There's a Dell kiosk directly outside the Apple store, I'll sniff around there.

The biggest difference between the 2405 and 2407 is that the 2407 is HDCP compliant and my wife uses it.

I use the 2405. The 2407 has some onscreen annoying big icons on power up where the 2405 does not. The buttons on the 2405 seem to be better than those flat ones on the 2407. Other than this the two monitors are exactly the same.

Note that for some reason the Dell monitors come calibrated to MACs. You have to change it to match PC's colors. Otherwise everything looks slightly bluish.

This monitor makes a great MAME screen. Tilt it vertically and play some of those long screen scrollers.
post #46 of 244
I don't think a much better 24" monitor can be had than the new BenQ FP241W. It has a huge range of inputs, not least HDMI. It's HDCP compliant, has 1:1 Pixel Ratio for 1080p playback. There's a price premium compared to the Dell 2407 for example but with the future proofing and better performance I recon it's worth every penny.
post #47 of 244
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma0 View Post

I don't think a much better 24" monitor can be had than the new BenQ FP241W. It has a huge range of inputs, not least HDMI. It's HDCP compliant, has 1:1 Pixel Ratio for 1080p playback. There's a price premium compared to the Dell 2407 for example but with the future proofing and better performance I recon it's worth every penny.

^^ Thanks for the heads up on this Sigma, and welcome to the forum!

It looks like the BenQ trades Dell's card readers for HMDI, something I find of great value.

Here's a nice review of the BenQ monitor from Wil Harris (of This Week in Tech podcast), where he used the Dell and Samsung as the benchmark to compare against. In the review, when observing greyscale and color ramp, he found "the Dell was definitely outclassed and this monitor established as a cut above the rest - it was at least on a par with the Samsung 215TW, if not better." He ends the review with "it is in the same price bracket as the Dell whilst providing significantly better image quality. What's not to like? Using this over the course of a couple of weeks, it has become an indispensable part of my desktop. If you're looking for a 24" monitor to buy, this is the one to go for."

Ok... this is now on the top of my list. Is anyone using one of these?

EDIT: The BenQ website shows a newer model of this monitor, called the FP241WZ. It's a little more expensive, has all the same inputs, but also boosts "Full HD 1080p" and 1:1 Pixel Mapping, I'm thinking mainly for game consoles and Blue-Ray/HD-DVD players. Wouldn't the non-Z model also do this? Maybe it does 1080p-24? I'm confused what Full HD 1080p means.
post #48 of 244
The difference between the W and the WZ is that the WZ has an additional feature to reduce ghosting. Reviews are mixed as to whether it is worth it though.

I've had a look around and it appears that the monitor has a firmware issue with scaling. Currently it will only do 1080p 1:1 over DVI, and not HDMI/Component/VGA. This apparently affects both models although once resolved both models should support 1080p 1:1 over all inputs. BenQ have stated they will release a (second) firmware update to solve this, though that probably means sending any current ones back to receive the firmware update. This is slightly worrying for myself seeing as I've just ordered one of these from eBay.

For PC's it's still about the best 24" on the market. Just thought I'd let others know of the issues i've come across.
post #49 of 244
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma0 View Post

I've had a look around and it appears that the monitor has a firmware issue with scaling. Currently it will only do 1080p 1:1 over DVI, and not HDMI/Component/VGA. This apparently affects both models although once resolved both models should support 1080p 1:1 over all inputs.

Yea, I read through some of the 130 page thread over at hardforum.com and there's some pretty upset BenQ users... mainly people unhappy using it for the HDMI. Even though I'm primarily using it as a computer monitor via DVI, I would really like to get one that has good HDMI. There's also the issue about the screen intermittently blacking out, something none of the reviews mention.

Sigma: Please post back when you get yours from eBay and tell us your impressions. If you get to test some HDMI that would be great too, but any impressions you pass along on this monitor would be appreciated. I'm not sure how much longer 'till I have to go back to the 20" 4:3 monitor... I know when I do I'm going to be ready to jump on the best 24" widescreen I can buy at that moment!
post #50 of 244
I don't have a console or HD-DVD/Blu-Ray player to test the HDMI input with though I'll pick up a DVI to HDMI cable and try it with my 8800gtx and see what happens. Some post that they can get the full 1920x1200 through a PC on the HDMI input, whereas others say the image is cropped to 1920x1080.

The real problem is apparently with video signals through anything other than DVI where 5% of the image is cropped. This is within the specifications for HDTV since nothing important should be placed around this 5% area at the sides but it's still somewhat pointless to crop the signal in this way when it could have just been left untouched. Hopefully BenQ will release a firmware update that actually resolves this.
post #51 of 244
I personally would go for the HP w2207 22-inch Widescreen Flat-Panel Monitor that is if you don't mind the glossy screen. It goes for $329 @ CC. It has the best colors and sharpness I have ever seen and it's also HDCP compliant.
post #52 of 244
After owning BenQ's products for a while now, PJ and monitor, I vowed to avoid all BenQ's corner cutting manufacturing at all costs. I rather pay more.
post #53 of 244
WELL? Dave, what did you go with? Is the reason I've not seen you on XBOX Live lately because you're too busy making sweet, sweet love with your new shiney MacMonitor?
post #54 of 244
Thread Starter 
The Mac Pro computer hasn't come in yet... going through a non-profit takes longer than it seems it should.

So I'm still using the sweet Cinema Display and still undecided what my next monitor will be.

...btw, XBL: I'm going through Gears again on Hardcore, so jump in sometime and play as Dom!
post #55 of 244
I'd like to play but have to wait until my TV is fixed.
post #56 of 244
Roger, I could use the achievements

MS: MacPro? have you abandoned your WinTel platform?
post #57 of 244
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadRusch View Post

MS: MacPro? have you abandoned your WinTel platform?

The Mac Pro can be a WinTel platform. But it isn't for me - it's for the more talented and better looking member of my household.
post #58 of 244
Sony GDM-FW900 best monitor I have had. More flexibility with resolution and better picture
quality than LCD.
post #59 of 244
Ive had the Gateway 24" FPD2485W for a few months now and i think its an excellent monitor. Bf2 looks awesome at 1920 X 1600
post #60 of 244
Why does nobody mention Input Lag as a spec to be concerned about? Are all LCD monitors created with equally slow input lag? Note that this is not the response time spec (16ms, 6ms, 2ms, etc) that manufacturors claim. Input lag is something CRT monitors of the past were perfect at, and LCD monitors are slow at.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Input_lag

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=LCD+input+lag

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread....ight=input+lag

Myself I bought the Dell 2407 about a year ago, and had to slow the mouse speed down just to not spin in circles in my favorite FPS Battlefield 2. I still notice it when sniping there's that tiny delay that causes a lower hit %.
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