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Displays Gaming Monitor[s] - 27" +

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Unicorn, 10 Nov 2013.

  1. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    As someone who builds an entire new PC, buys a new monitor or spends a lot on upgrading my own kit once in a blue moon these days, I find myself in need of a new monitor setup after finally consigning the second of my Viewsonic 27" LCD's to the workshop for repair and use as test and media PC screens. They have served me well, one for well over 6 years of ridiculous usage and the other for a little over three, although it was well past new when I got it and repaired both the signal board and inverter board for the paltry sum of £10 worth of components.

    Compared to modern panels, they have horrible CCFL bleed, terrible contrast ratio and average at best colour rendition. I'm now down to using my U2411 as my primary and a 2007WFP as my secondary, neither of which feel big enough after so many years with all that screen real estate in front of me. Desk size is going to be a problem now as well, because I just put my FT02R on it, which as anyone who's seen one in the metal will know, takes up a lot of space. Desk space can be easily and cheaply resolved though, at the moment I'm just torn between something like a U2711, a 2913 or a 120Hz panel. What do the big-screen gamers of bit-tech recommend?
     
  2. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    I've just downgraded from a 30" Dell to a 29" LG EB93-P 21:9 monitor.

    Reason being - I didn't want to spend hundreds on GPUs to get 60fps and max settings in all games. I think the best way to approach this huge issue is a simple Pros and Cons list. Hopefully it'll help you out.

    Dell U3011 (and other large screen 16:9/16:10 monitors).

    Pros:
    • Loads of desktop real estate for stuff that isn't gaming
    • 99.9% of games support this res out of the box
    • 2560 width gives you a great field of view
    • IPS colours and viewing angles!

    Cons
    • Massive res = unless you have a beastly (read: expensive) setup most games will have to be run with reduced details. I run a hugely OC'd GTX 670 and at 1600p I'd get about 50fps at 'high' in BF3 with small dips.
    • HUD elements (in BF3 for example) aren't directly in your field of view as they are in 1080p panels. Even modifying the .ini files to bring in the HUD still leaves them quite a distance from your eyeline.
    • Only 60hz panels are available if you want IPS

    29" Ultra widescreen monitors

    Pros
    • Great 2560 width means you get a great field of view
    • Almost universal support for 21:9 in AAA games
    • Only requires GPU to push 2.5MP (vs 4 of 1440/1600p). Using a Oc'd GTX 670 I get 80-90fps in BF3 at Ultra settings (using FXAA instead of MSAA). This means gaming is gorgeously fluid.
    • HUD elements are easily within line of sight due to the 1080p vertical resolution
    • Great for watching 21:9 content (such as the latest Star Citizen Hornet Commercial!)
    • IPS colours and viewing angles!

    Cons
    • Not all games support 21:9 aspect ratios or 2560*1080. The ones that don't fall into 3 categories - old, indie or beta. If you only play games in those categories then best to avoid (though the 29EB93 supports 1:1 pixel mapping so just I just play in 1080P).
    • You lose vertical resolution - not a problem in games really, but some people may prefer 16:9/10)
    • No 120hz Panels

    I can't help you with 120Hz panels really I'm afraid matey, as I've never used one. The reason this was never a option for me is that I love the colour and clarity of IPS panels, and feel that because they are TN and usually only 1080p, the price for 120Hz panels is too high, and thats before you've got a GPU setup capable of pumping out 120fps. Maybe my opinion would be changed if I used one, buts its not something I'm willing to take the risk on.

    That aside, I can confidently say you'll be massively happy with either a 27/30" or a 29" setup for gaming, depending on which of the above pro's and con's you consider your priorities. Let me know if you have any other questions etc. :thumb:
     
  3. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    Thanks Parge, all really useful comparisons. I should have mentioned what I'll be running this on in my first post - At the moment it's quad SLI GTX 295's, but if and when the price of the 780 Classified ACX falls below £400 I'll be replacing them with one of those, and if necessary I can run a 580 which I have spare and haven't been getting much use of lately. The core system spec isn't going to change until well into next year now that I've finished* my weekend re-shuffle of all my X58 hardware. Along with the 295's, my gaming rig is now as follows:

    Board: EVGA X58 Classified3
    CPU: 980X @ 4GHz
    RAM: 12GB Corsair Dominator GT @1600MHz
    Boot: 256GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD
    Local Storage: 2x 300GB WD Velociraptors RAID0
    PSU: Corsair HX850
    Audio: Asus Xonar D2X

    I have been eyeing the Dell U2913 since CPC reviewed it and other than not being able to fit it on my desk along with everything else that currently** sits there, it looks more and more like a winner every day.

    *Still have some custom wiring looms to make up for the FT02R & A05 cases.
    ** Old but brilliant 23" Samsung TV, about the only thing I can effectively play Reach for Xbox 360 on, the 360 Slim itself and the 60% keyboard for it. I might have to relocate these to another room when I upgrade my monitors. Either that or do what I've been wanting to do for ages and have a huge custom desk made for this room...
     
  4. mucgoo

    mucgoo Well-Known Member

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  5. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    £190 is more than half way to a factory refurbished example of the award winning and immensely popular U2711! It's looking like a winner at the moment. A U2913 would be great but the desk space it requires is unbelievable. My plan a while ago was to add another U2411 to my current setup and PLP them with a U3011 but again, I'd need a much bigger, custom desk for that!
     
  6. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    As Parge said, it really depends what you're wanting from it.

    If you play a lot of FPS and smooth gameplay is your biggest priority, then I would go for a 120hz monitor. TN panels have come on a long way, so they shouldn't be too bad to look at colour wise, and 120hz feels veery smooth :)

    If colour is your thing, then it's a case of what you use your PC for, if it's mainly gaming/watching media them maybe the 21:9 monitor would be best for the reasons Parge mentioned, if you need to do a lot of work then it's quite possible the 16:9 ratio would work out better for you.

    I currently use a U2711 but I've considered switching to a 120hz monitor many times, the only reasons I haven't is the hassle of selling my U2711 and the fact I watch all of my TV etc on my computer, so the reduction in screen size would be missed.
     
  7. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    FPS games, web browsing and HD media is all I do on this setup. There is absolutely no space for doing anything productive on this desk - for that I go to the workstation in the office which has much more free desk space! Colour rendition and contrast ratio are important for films, TV etc.

    I definitely cannot see myself using a panel smaller than 27" for gaming long term, no matter how smooth it is. Playing on the U2411 this past weekend, I found myself squinting at the monitor and my eyes were sore after just a couple of hours of BF3. I would love a 120Hz monitor, but the cost and lack of size put me off. It's got to be 27 or bigger, not cost the earth and last me a long time.
     
  8. heir flick

    heir flick Active Member

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    parge how are you getting on with the 21.9 ratio, the look great for gaming but how about stuff like web browsing do you miss the hight
     
  9. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    You can get 27" 120hz panels :)
    If possible you want to try as many options out as possible.
     
  10. hamza_tm

    hamza_tm Well-Known Member

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    To clarify 120Hz panels come in 27", but at a maximum resolution of 1080p.

    If you are using big IPS already, I wouldn't recommend switching to 120Hz as it will a bitter pill to swallow losing out on visual goodness such as no gamma shift, pure colours, visible dark scenes, better viewing angles (especially vertical), and the real estate (presuming you go for 1440p IPS) for everything other than games. This is unless you are a super competitive gamer - are you the sort of person who would reduce detail levels, purely in order to get a higher framerate that only applies in chaotic dogfights, purely so that you can beat opponents in multiplayer FPS games?

    For most people the answer is no. To them, I say stick with IPS. If you play visually splendous games like Battlefield the answer is likely no, so stick with IPS :) If you play quake or counter strike on the other hand then maybe.

    Source: I've owned various 120Hz monitors, of 27", 24" and 23" sizes, as well as IPS of 23" and 27" and various resolutions and have currently settled on a 24" 120Hz and a 27" IPS monitor. If you have any general comparison questions about such things feel free to PM me.
     
  11. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Just fine really matey. The only place where it might be more useful is for Sketchup/photoshop where extra vertical resolution can be useful. Other than that, web browsing etc is pretty much as good as ever.
     
  12. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    I'm aware of this, but the prices make me :(

    I am using a pair of IPS panels (U2411 & 2007WFP) but only as a gaming monitor for the first time this past weekend - the 24" normally lives on my office desk and the 20" was in portrait mode on my gaming setup for browsing, mumble, Vent, iTunes etc. The monitors I've been gaming and watching media on for the past 6 years were the now failing Viewsonic LCDs I mentioned in my first post. The backlight bleed, the contrast ratio, the complete and utter inability to display black in dark movie scenes... I've had enough of them and as I mentioned before, have sent them to the workshop where they will be repaired and stay, probably wall mounted for test setup and media PC duty.

    As far as the super competitive gamer thing goes - a few years ago I would have said yes. As I'm sure I mentioned, I ran CSS for years with a very customised config to squeeze every last frame out of my old gaming PC, first built in 2004 and upgraded multiple times until being retired and replaced in 2009. Nowadays though, I'm more about the pretty. I already don't like that I can't run BF3 at ultra because I know how nice a game it is with the detail cranked up. At some point in the future, I will inevitably make a return to Counter Strike, probably Global Offensive, and should I ever do so I will find it hard not to be competitive, but I still don't like the idea of sacrificing colour quality, dark blacks and viewing angle just to get a better performing panel for gaming. I would rather go for a 1440p IPS and enjoy the eye candy in both games and media.
     
  13. David164v8

    David164v8 Member

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  14. hamza_tm

    hamza_tm Well-Known Member

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    Unicorn, in that case pretty much the U2711 you've had your eye on is the one to go for. Unless you want to go Korean.

    Advantages of an overclockable Korean IPS panel over the U2711:
    • Option of a glossy coating
    • Overclocking adds better responsiveness and overall smoothness (but does not reduce motion blur at all)
    • Cheaper

    I presume the disadvantages are self explanatory (lower quality stand, not having an actual OSD, etc)

    Not all of them btw
     
  15. [PUNK] crompers

    [PUNK] crompers Dremedial

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    The u2711 is a beautiful thing to behold but, you do have the accept the drop in overall performance. I've considered getting a second 670 at points but just can't justify the cost of card + block at the mo.

    In short you won't regret it, just be prepared to be running stuff like battlefield at high rather than ultra (the extra res makes up for it in many ways)
     
  16. Tangster

    Tangster Butt-kicking for goodness!

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    As a U3011 user, I can comfortably say that a good quality 2560x1XXX panel is a great investment. The extra resolution and extra space are wonderful to work with, although as others have pointed out, you will need to turn down the details if you're only using a single mid-high end card.
     
  17. Cleggmeister

    Cleggmeister Of reasonable knowledge...

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    A thought re desk space, would a wall mounting bracket help any? They seem cheap (£15) and simple to install.
     
  18. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    The Korean 27" are all pretty much lottery based. The difference of course is that they have very little input lag as far as IPS panels are concerned. Partially due to the lack of an OSD.
     
  19. davefelcher

    davefelcher New Member

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    Seconded. Haven't regretted buying my U3011 for a second. It does mean you have to spank a fortune on other hardware to run games at their best but it's well worth it.
     
  20. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Swinging the banhammer Super Moderator

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    My vote would go to a U2713HM from NRG:IT - I'm over the moon with mine and have it 'overclocked' above 60Hz if you worry about that sort of thing
     

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