View Full Version : LCD monitors and PC games?
Im getting a new PC in a week or two.
I play online PC games like Counter Strike, Day of Defeat, and Medal of Honor. Mainly FPS.
I have heard rumors that LCD screens don't play games nearly as well as the normal CRT monitors. Is this true?
Are some LCD monitors better than others at playing games?
Im looking into getting a Viewsonic VG150, a Viewsonic VA520, or a KDS Rad 5.
Does anyone have experience with those LCD's, or heard anything about them, or played FPS on an LCD and it was fine?
Thanks for the help.
Since there hasn't been much talk on LCDs here at B3D, I recommend you head to www.ArsTechnica.com forum -> Audio/Visual Club -> the giant 31-page LCD thread. I don't remember if the ones you are considering were mentioned there, but could be; at least you'll find tons of very useful general info on LCDs, especially from a gaming perspective. Good read!
With fast-paced gaming, the crux of the matter is the "average total response time" of the LCD. If it is, say, 25 milliseconds, then the display transistors can refresh (on average) 40 times per second. This is good. If the response time is much higher (and the display is slower to update), you'll see nasty image ghosting on the screen; it's quite personal how much it disturbs, though. Note that you have find out the *total* response time: it's the rise time plus the fall time; some ads/specs only give the rise time...
Another important consideration is the resolution you want to game at. Try to get that as the native resolution -- almost all LCDs fumble something if they scale the image to a (smaller) non-native resolution.
Look for these and other things in that thread! I hope you get answers here as well, hopefully from people with first-hand gaming experience with those or at least some other LCDs.
It's a purchase I'm considering too... (But I'm waiting to see how much Parhelia can improve my old biggie tube first :wink: )
a friend just got a Samsung SyncMaster 171S (17" TFT)
i've played Quake3 on the TFT and it looked just like my 19" CRT
(i dont really play Shooters, but to my eyes it just looked at least as good as my Samsung Syncmaster 950p+)
I have played some FPS games on an LCD display, and it SUCKED.
IT was blur-tastic due tot he lower inherent REAL refresh rate of the LCD.
As was mentioned earlier in this posting, the pixel response time of the LCD is what is going to be most important when you are playing fast pased 3D games. Basically it comes down to how fast the pixel can change from one shade/color to another. Generally LCD manufacturers measure it in terms of going from white to black to white again. This test isn't a terribly good test either, as going all the way from white to black or black to white is fairly simple; you just drop the voltage to 0 or up to the full amount the cell can handle. It's much easier than waiting for the pixel to stablize on a gray value inbetween. Right now, the fastest LCDs as measured by this test take about 25ms, (about 10 from white to black and 15 from black to white). That yields about a 40Hz picture with no bluring. Keep in mind that this is probably a pretty favorable scenario though. You might be looking at more like 25-35Hz with no blurring on average most of the time. Despite this, these panels generally seem to perform fairly decently. (though I've not seen one myself, so take it with a grain of salt).
There is an article over at extremetech that I pulled some of this information from, that states that mitsubishi will have out a new technology that can be used with current panels to apply full voltage to a cell, but cut the power at the right time to stablize it at the exact right moment to produce the correct shade. This dramatically lowers the gray shade cell switching time, which actually makes the white to black to white test the WORST case scenario. This would push that same 25ms panel from earlier to have a 40Hz picture at the worst, and probably likely be able to do a full 60Hz most of the time. Rumors seem to indicate that new panels using this tech won't be out until the end of this year or possibly next year though. :(
Anyway, here's the article:
just a little addition
Ive seen quake on a Notebook TFT and the slow pixel resp. time was noticeable, but i didnt noticed it on the Samsung TFT... it just looked good. (at least good enough for me but i dont like/play many shooters)
But you may want to test the TFT yourself to find out if its fast enough for you.
My next monitor will be a TFT. (in 4 or 5 years when my 19" CRT dies)
I game on an ADI LCD, and I've never noticed any ghosting on a variety of games - Counterstrike, Giants, UT, Op. Flash, DAoC, SOF2 Multiplayer test etc.
Can't speak to the other models you listed, but I have a VG150 and am fairly satisfied with its performace in games. Good response time and no noticeable ghosting. And the important part - no dead pixels! :lol:
As others have mentioned, LCDs look sharpest at their native resolution, which for the VG150 is 1024x768. When displaying less than native rez (eg: 800x600), then the monitor downsamples and results in some blurring. However, some LCDs downsample better (and more consistenly) than others, and my Viewsonic downsamples much more cleanly than my buddy's NEC.
A side effect of downsampling your games to 800x600, for example, is that you effectively get a bit of anti-aliasing for free!
Althornin, as seen in other posts here, some LCDs are better than some others. (And some are even good enough.) Maybe the one you tried had a slow average response time (and refresh rate)? However, your experience emphasises the importance of checking before buying any model: reading peer comments, or trying out a FPS game at the shop.
Mat, thanks for the comparison to a CRT. I'd like to see much more of these opinions -- not whether the flat panel is "okay" for gaming, but whether it's equal or better than the previous tube monitor! (And how, preferably.)
Randell, how would you compare your ADI to some monitor you've had or used? Clarity, colour "strength" -- any other notable features in the visuals?
Clarity, colour are second to known compared to the generic IBM monitor I had before and also a NEC I had for a short while. Some slight font bleed on small fonts, but nothing to write home about.
Although I do not see any 'ghosting' I do get a black screen flicker every now and then in some games which v-sync and fiddling with refresh rate help a bit. Not sure whether it's the monitors fault or the 8500 though tbh.
No LCD display has the clarity and sharpness of a good trinitron tube (that i have seen, including the Apple cinema displays, as well as various NEC LCD's) and none fo them have a good enough pixel response if you want to play FPS games. The work fine for games where 30 FPS is ok, like dungeon seige. But when you run into a room, turn real fast, and cant see someone because they are just a semi-clear grey smear on your screen, you'll wish you were using a crt.
No LCD display has the clarity and sharpness of a good trinitron tube
That depends :) One have to see that different points may be made. If "sharpness" is defined as "dot size" then a good CRT tube (be it Trinitron or traditional Invar Mask -- yeah, there are/were really good such, too) will probably beat most LCD/TFT displays. But if sharpness is defined as "edge sharpness" then the flat monitor will win -- it has perfectly sharp edges of its pixels, while all CRT's exhibit some light falloff. What is preferred is obviously highly subjective. I don't like anti-aliasing and think that a good TFT monitor is unbeatable for reading text. OTOH, I can't, as a graphics artist, accept a TFT monitor as my main display, because of their problem with light hues, especially pastel ones; they just don't seem to render them correctly. They also have a problem with viewing angles. For me, flat monitors in their current state are only acceptable for traditional office use. Read "Word processing".
For me, flat monitors in their current state are only acceptable for traditional office use. Read "Word processing".
Ok, i agree with what you've said, and especially this point.
I want the flat CRT's!
Excuse the lack of use of a tripod, and the interference between my camera's CCD and the screen itself. It's actually razor sharp and (subjective guess) at 80% brightness at near parallel angle.
Large picture warning (350kb*5) :o
Sorry if it goes down, perhaps someone else has a better place to put these. This is DVI, with cleartype enabled, taken with a Fuji 2600Z in macro (1600x1200 CCD) with flash disabled with soft light in the room. edit: Dell 2000FP, 1600x1200 native, 60hz, specs say it does 25ms total response time.
Anyway, the point is not all LCDs are limited by viewing angle. I have better than 20-20 vision, and yet I'm limited by my eyesight as I approach a 180 degree viewing angle. The display is fine.
Certainly you wouldn't want to do any hardcore 2D work in non-native LCD resolutions, but scaling is fine for games. The blur is at worst as bad as Quincunx. I guess it depends on the monitor. Higher native resolution LCDs won't have much trouble scaling to gaming resolutions.
As for gaming, I've gotten used to the slow response. It's definitely not a CRT running 100hz, but I don't really think my game has been affected.
Unfortunately the price is still hard to justify for the trade-offs. I'll admit my LCD purchase was probably not completely sane and a bit impulsive, but there's enough to like to suspend my guilt.
If you're in the market, shop around. There are some pretty crappy LCDs (Viewsonic VE170 comes to mind), and some good ones (Dell --FP, KDS RAD-15/17, HP's business 15).
edit: Found out why my transfer limit was hit. I was link #2 when you search on Google for "shitty webpage". I feel special. [/i]
what LCD display is that? It looks like it has a nice native resolution. :)
Personally I'd like either the IBM T210 or T211. :)~
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