20" Widescreen questions yet again

riversend3

Member
Aug 9, 2006
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Anand forum peeps,
I have read almost all of XTknight's excellent buyer's guide, plus his article on his website. Also have been lurking here for about 3 weeks reading any thread on 20 inch widescreen displays, as well as hardocp and widescreengamingforum. This user base seems to be the most knowledgeable and wideranging in usage (not always hardcore enthusiast, not always gaming)......

So here's my deal: I don't have a ton of money to throw at my computer, and being a bit older than most of you (almost 40) with a family I don't game as much as I used to. The monitor has to last me a while (my current monitor is almost 9 years old, lol, a 17 inch CRT), and my wife does not want a 23-24 inch monitor on our desk at this time (not to mention that with my slow upgrade timelines I will likely not be able to drive a 1920x1200 monitor for many years to come). Currently running an Athlon 2800+ and a Geforce 5900, 1gig of ram in my system, and not likely to make the next upgrade until 9-12 months down the road. I game about 4 hours a week (right now it's RTS oriented, but then I will go to FPS when one appeals to me which seems to be getting harder to do), sometimes a bit more. Will use the monitor to play kid's titles (in the basement when I need kid's entertainment while the adults are hanging out having dinner etc.), my wife will use for web and text docs for work, and I do some very minor photo and video editing..... in summary a little bit of everything.

Given all that, here is my thought process, if anyone can think of anything I might not be thinking about, please feel free to fill in:

Dell 2007FWP - Nice overall display, but some monitors if not upgraded with new firmware will exhibit excessive color banding. Has scaling resident to the display, so if I wind up with an ATI card in my next upgrade, and I can't run games at a widescreen res, the display will be able to handle without any stretching. Has the USB ports, and can be adjusted every way til sunday.... Went on sale today at 20% off, so is only about $379US... cheapest of the three

NEC20WMGXA - Great picture, but has the coating on the screen, and I have a light directly behind where we sit, although it is on the ceiling. Without being able to test prior, I am concerned about glare, particularly since we live in the northwest and can't always count on sunny days to keep the lights off, not to mention most of my computer time is at night anyway. Has lots of great inputs, USB, and a tv tuner. Can't do it's own scaling, so would need driver software to do that, or some other third party program which I assume someone has created by now.... Most expensive of the three at a low price of $571US. Limited physical adjustments....

Samsung 215TW - Good overall display, does everything very well but nothing extraordinarily well. No USB. Has all the physical adjustments.... I can pick up (and thus return) at my local Best Buy, cost is $499US as of today. Seems as though quality on these is generally good, and if there is a problem the 3yr warrantyon the box will at least make a person feel good...Can't scale independently, will need a video card driver or other software to do this......

If anyone sees errors in my analysis, please feel free to let me know. Thanks in advance!

RE3
 

WaTaGuMp

Lifer
May 10, 2001
21,207
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Welcome to the forums, you young kid (im 42) :D The 215 tw owns IMHO cause well its a good price and you get more real estate of the buck. I am a gamer and really have zero issues with mine. I cant speak for the other 2 never tried them, but in general NEC's do look better to the eye. I just felt the NEC was too much money for what you got when I was able to get a bigger monitor for less money that works really well. LCD's come down to what you can live with and be happy using, cause none of them are perfect.
 

riversend3

Member
Aug 9, 2006
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Thanks Watagump, feeling younger already:D The greater real estate of the Samsung is something I had not considered, but what with our failing vision that could be what finally sells it :D
 

MrX8503

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2005
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You have to remember all of those monitor resolutions are no higher than 1680x1050.

So even if you have a 21" samsung, you arent getting any more pixels. The pixels will be a little larger to fill in the extra inch. I dont know if this is something that you would be able to notice or not when looking at a 20" vs 21"
 

kmmatney

Diamond Member
Jun 19, 2000
4,363
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The Samsung 21" will have slightly larger pixels, which should be easier on the eyes. I have a 21" Samsung at work (Model 213T), and a 20" LCD at home, and I do notice that my work LCD is better on the eyes. My eyes are probably worse than yours, though (I'm 35 years old).

One LCD I would consider is this Viewsonic:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16824116008

Its a traditional 4:3 monitor (so it's larger than a 20" widescreen) , and the 1400 x 1050 resolution can be handled by a decent mid-range video card. The pixel size is 0.29 mm (same as a 19" LCD) which is very nice on the eyes. This is a LOT of LCD for the money. In fact, it will have a slightly larger screen size than the 21" Samsung. The pixel size will still be smaller than a 17" CRT at 1024 x 768, if your worried that the pixels will be too large.

Here is a quick pixel size list:

17" CRT at 1152 x 864.....0.300 mm
17" CRT at 1024 x 768.....0.337 mm
17" CRT at 800 x 600.......0.432 mm

19" 5:4 ratio LCD ............0.292 mm
20" 4:3 LCD Monitor.........0.290 mm
21" widescreen LCD.........0.269 mm
20" widescreen LCD.........0.256 mm
 

supastar1568

Senior member
Apr 6, 2005
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i currently have a NEC 20WMGX2. The monitor I received has one dead pixel, which i cannot stand, so its going back. I then ordered and received another NEC with two dead pixels, of course that is going back as well.

Just right now I ordered a 2007WFP, which will not be a problem if I dont like it because I will not have to eat the shipping charges.


So my advise is, if your picky like me, go with the dell, because now i am taking a loss on the NEC's due to the fact that I have to ship them.

 

littlefrank

Junior Member
Aug 5, 2006
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Hello riversend3 ... I've just gone through the more or less the same process as you.

I wanted to see the LCD in action before committing - I couldn't initially find the NEC locally, and then I made a decision so I didn't look further, so I can't comment on that one.

However, I brought home 6 widescreens and hooked them up. I looked at the Dell at the local mall (but didn't want to get one shipped). I think you've narrowed down to the best options. The 215tw was head-and-shoulders above the other monitors I tried at home - in terms of image quality, uniformity, compact/clean styling, and just about everything else. I basically chose between the Samsung and the Dell, and chose the Samsung as I could pick it up locally and there wasn't much difference in price. (Dell was around $400 shipped, I got my BB to honour on the Back-to-School coupons on the Samsung).

I think you'll be very happy with either the Samsung or the Dell. Yes, no USB hub on the Samsung but it does include (below-par) speakers, so you can move something else off your desk!

Happy to answer any specific questions you might have.

Cheers!

PS: Don't underestimate the value of stand/screen adjustments - I regularly move it around to put it in a comfortable position! Less good screen panels might force you into looking from a specific position to get good quality images.
 

littlefrank

Junior Member
Aug 5, 2006
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PPS: And I don't think the difference between 20" and 21" (and even 22") makes any real difference ... it's barely noticeable even with the monitors next to each other. What DOES make a difference is the bezel - the Dell and the Samsung look 'svelte' and compact with narrow bezels - other monitors with bigger bezels will just look ungainly on your desk!
 

supastar1568

Senior member
Apr 6, 2005
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Also, remeber that the NEC does not have height adjustments.

So ~$600 dollars for no height adjustment. Its really your call. I just realized that I will never use the TV input feature, the speakers, the USB ports, or any of the other ports on the NEC.

Another reason why I am going for the less expensive dell
 

kmmatney

Diamond Member
Jun 19, 2000
4,363
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Originally posted by: littlefrank
PPS: And I don't think the difference between 20" and 21" (and even 22") makes any real difference ... it's barely noticeable even with the monitors next to each other. What DOES make a difference is the bezel - the Dell and the Samsung look 'svelte' and compact with narrow bezels - other monitors with bigger bezels will just look ungainly on your desk!

There is a noticable difference in the size of the pixels. A 20" LCD has smaller pixels - the smallest you can get in a mainstream LCD. The difference in overall LCD size doesn't amount to much, but the difference in pixel size does - especially for kids, or when multiple people are viewing the monitor (e.g. playing a game for a kid). I have 3 kids, and their games looked better on my old 19" LCD than my new 20"widescreen LCD.

For USB hub, you can always get a USB keyboard with a built in hub. My keyboard has 2 USB ports - one for the mouse and another a keep a small 3" extension plugged into for memory sticks, etc...
 

riversend3

Member
Aug 9, 2006
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Thanks for all the responses, made me think about a couple of items, and for now I am tossing the NEC out of the mix. I can't get it locally, and since my wife will use the monitor for work, me for multiple items, and kids for movies and such I am definitely going to need the flexibility of the adjustable monitor. No indications in your replies that give me a better reason to go with the NEC....

So, I think my gameplan is to head over to the local Bestbuy and compare the Samsung to other 20" widescreens and see if I can determine any positives or negatives between the different pixel sizes (good points there, and my guess is since I am a bit past kmmatney ;) I will appreciate the larget pixel size). A negative comparison, and I will go with the Dell (and the ease of shipping is a bonus with Dell), if it is neutral to positive, then I'll just get the Samsung.

I did consider the Viewsonic VX2025, but since I can afford a bit more, and there seems to be some issues with DVI input, I decided to bump up my price point to get to the three monitors I am thinking about.

If I go with the Samung, I can just pick up a USB hub, or do what kmmatney did and get a new keyboard to give me better functional use of my USB ports.

Thanks all, I'll let you know how it goes:)
 

harle

Member
Oct 19, 2005
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Originally posted by: riversend3
I did consider the Viewsonic VX2025, but since I can afford a bit more, and there seems to be some issues with DVI input, I decided to bump up my price point to get to the three monitors I am thinking about.
I just got the VX2025 yesterday, and so far it is great. I kind of wish i could afford some of the higher end monitors that you are looking at, in specific the 215TW. Ive heard nothing but good things about that monitor, and several people i have talked to use the monitor as a benchmark when comparing anything else.

One big difference i see between the VX2025 and my old Samsung 730B is how vibrant the colors are. This is with stock settings, so im sure it could look even better.

I ended up paying $260 at compusa (after rebates and a pricematch to CC) for this monitor, so the price was perfect.

 

supastar1568

Senior member
Apr 6, 2005
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I'd like to suggest the Samsung 215TW as well, but don't those have the same panel as the Gateway FPD2185W. I had that same monitor and the blacks were a little too dark (left out details) unless looked at from a side view. That bothered me so I ended up getting rid of the Gateway.
 

littlefrank

Junior Member
Aug 5, 2006
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Originally posted by: supastar1568
I'd like to suggest the Samsung 215TW as well, but don't those have the same panel as the Gateway FPD2185W. I had that same monitor and the blacks were a little too dark (left out details) unless looked at from a side view. That bothered me so I ended up getting rid of the Gateway.

I don't know if it's the same panel as the Gateway ... but I love mine. xtknight's test images (at lcdresource.com) all look great - I can pick out very subtle details in the dark areas - and more importantly to me, my digital photos are very faithfully reproduced. If you have the brightness & contrast levels set incorrectly, then that will cause loss of detail.
 

riversend3

Member
Aug 9, 2006
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Bummer, I went out to the local BB, and when I called out there I was told they had the Samsung out on the floor for viewing. Alas, not true :frown: but I did look at some of the other monitors, and outside of a couple of the lower end brands, almost all of them looked good (something about the Westinghouse brand did not seem right to me, but I'm not considering them anyway) at least in the Samsung line. So no look at the 215TW....

Anyway, now I am down to choosing between the Samsung and Dell 2007FPW without having seen them, and on best possible quality and larger pixel size the Samsung is in the lead (would have bought today if BB had it). Now I have to order online, which kind of changes the picture a bit (no pun intended :D ) since it brings shipping charges into play, not to mention the RMA game.

With that in mind, it would seem to me (as mentioned by Supastar above) that the Dell is a less risky purchase since I won't have to eat a potentially long line of shipping charges.... So, let me ask this question: Is there any way to test the monitor for several days running to expose any flaws? What I am getting at is that the Samsung seems to have a quality issue with some blue, yellow, or red lines appearing on the screen after being in use for relatively short periods of time. Anyone on this forum ever seen this? My reading seems to indicate it happened on monitors made in Mexico in early spring, but no issues on monitors since....

I'll pull the trigger on either the Dell or the Samsung by tomorrow afternoon

As always, thanks folks.
 

xtknight

Elite Member
Oct 15, 2004
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The Samsung 215TW will beat the Dell 2007WFP for color reproduction and be equal in other aspects. I like the on-screen display style and MagicTune software of the Samsung brand also. Probably much better backlight uniformity too. Yes, reading reviews from Newegg, it looks like some people are having QA issues but hopefully those problems are no more.

Well, the Samsung 215TW has a 3/3/3 yr Parts/Labor/Backlight warranty, so if anything goes wrong in 3 years, you should be able to take it up with them no problem. http://www.samsung.com/Products/Monitor...l/LS21DPWABXAA.asp?page=Specifications
 

Tweakin

Platinum Member
Feb 7, 2000
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For what it's worth I have been through 3 different dells and they all had banding problems. I then picked up the Gateway, but after two different models with severe edge lighting problems I was done. I tried the NEC but the coating was just too reflective for me, although the image was almost worth moving my computer or changing the lighting.

As you can see, I now run a Samsung 215 and have had zero problems over the last 4 months or so...and having come from a 4:3 ratio 19" LCD, all I can say is once you go wide it's hard to go back.
 

littlefrank

Junior Member
Aug 5, 2006
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I understand about you not wanting to have to pay S&H back and forth ... I'm not sure where you are, but near me in Atlanta I have founf the Samsung at the following places: BB, Costco, Microcenter, Fry's.

From what I could tell from postings, the problems the people had with the red/yellow lines just popped up with normal usage - so I would say just use it normally and see what happens.