Monitors

Archived discussion from Toril-2.
Sarvis
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Monitors

Postby Sarvis » Tue Nov 18, 2003 1:36 am

So who knows much about monitors? I don't really know jack about them... not even what the dot pitch is supposed to be. Is a low number better or a high number...?

Or you can make this short... and just tell me what the best 21" monitors are. ;) I'm thinking about starting a small business and would need like 30 of them...
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Postby rylan » Tue Nov 18, 2003 1:53 am

What kind of things do you plan on using them for? For the vast majority of buisness LCDs are far superior than big bilky CRTs.
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Postby Sarvis » Tue Nov 18, 2003 2:05 am

Also vastly more expensive though, correct? They'd be primarily (constantly) used for gaming actually, as I want to start a gaming center. Basically everyone comes in and pays a small amount of money per hour to play games on the computers, in case you don't know what a game center is. Sort of a cross between an arcade and an internet cafe.

So I figure 21" monitors will be nice, and CRTs are cheaper so it'll keep the initial loan slightly smaller. Also don't LCD's have slower refresh rates or something that makes them less than optimal for gaming? Or is that plasma monitors... or is that just a completely unfounded rumor I heard somewhere?
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Postby Gerad » Tue Nov 18, 2003 2:19 am

I have always loved NEC, their multiysnc stuff is great. Check out the 'flat glass' monitors they sell, they are the best CRT's out there.
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Postby Iaiken Toransier » Tue Nov 18, 2003 3:21 am

The best bang for your buck, is gonna be NEC for sure.

If you're looking for high quality monitors 24 dpi is the best (true) dotpitch there is. Those companies that advertise 22 diagonal dpi or lower are actually just 24x20 dpi and you can see horizontal bars if you look closely.

If you ask me, 21" for a game cafe is a little silly at best. 19" with the better video card you'll be able to afford will look a LOT better. Nec doesn't really have any true flat monitors though, they are actually just flatened crt's (but on the plus side, there's no horizontal lines to hold the grill in place like with a trinitron.)

It's really hard to say for certain, but my suggestion is NEC, I still have my first NEC monitor from back in 1995 on my sisters PC. My 17" and 19" monitors have NEVER given me any grief either.

If not that, then you're gonna have to go trinitron. (in which case it's best to prolly get them dirt cheap at an off lease auction, sony's warranties are a pain in the butt anyway.)

My philosophy, if you can't get it for free (or damn near free) you don't want it.
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Postby kiryan » Tue Nov 18, 2003 4:55 am

rylan wrote:What kind of things do you plan on using them for? For the vast majority of buisness LCDs are far superior than big bilky CRTs.


in terms of screen size, resolution, frame rate, brightness or cost? I'd pretty much say the exact opposite on every one of those counts.

The only things LCDs do better than CRT is generally lower energy consumption, frees up desk space (so important in cubicles), and affecting the human element (i feel special cuz i have a flat screen).
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Postby Sarvis » Tue Nov 18, 2003 12:23 pm

Iaiken Toransier wrote:If you ask me, 21" for a game cafe is a little silly at best. 19" with the better video card you'll be able to afford will look a LOT better.


Why's this? Mainly I think one of the draws for people to go to such a place would be better hardware than they can get at home...

So far though the consensus seems to be NEC. Anyone else got an opinion here?

I probably should have actually asked this a couple months ago... I just bought a 19" Samsung monitor since my old one was crappy and started developing blurry spots. And it was only 17"... don't know how I survived back in those days. ;)
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Postby rylan » Tue Nov 18, 2003 1:12 pm

LCDs are brighter, can have better contrast (depends on the glass type) and are much easier on your eyes.

However, for gaming a nice CRT will still be better, because to get an LCD panel that has a fast enough refresh rate to reduce 'ghosting' for high game framerates will cost a lot. As people mentioned, NEC has some good monitors. CRT technology is pretty much all the same now, so a lot of companies have similar monitors. 20-21" is a good range, as it'll give you 19-20 viewable. I also like viewsonic for CRTs.
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Postby Iaiken Toransier » Tue Nov 18, 2003 1:16 pm

Problem inherant with a business that is at it's core leasing the use of hardware/software is the constantly rising cost of new hardware. Because of this, you're going to want a return on investment within the first six months. If not you're going to fall into a hardware trap where the costs of upgrades and the like every 6-8 months are going to kill your profits.

Keeping these systems "cutting edge"; and I use that term loosely, is almost pointless. Most people who run systems at home have a 17" or smaller monitor, and a pentium 3 750mhz (these are #'s gathered from Blizzard software)

I mean, you have to take into account that 21" monitors cost 150% more than 19" monitors. and the price gap between a radeon 9800 and a 9700 is almost 300% for next to no actuall extra performance.

Best way to deal with computers is to stay 6 months behind. It's just cheeper, and the gains in performance aren't worth the cost except for tech enthusiasts and my roommate who bought a 9700 and then an 9800 as they were launched.

I've thought about doing this very same thing in oakville near the college, but at the time the ROI was looking at 9 months, which is unacceptable.
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Postby Sarvis » Tue Nov 18, 2003 1:32 pm

Well, I actually priced out a slightly less than optimal computer a few months ago when I first had the idea. So that pretty much covers the 6 months behind once I finally get around to doing this, rather than just thinking about doing it. ;)

Also consider that you can keep the monitors themselves pretty much indefinately. So while a 21-22" (just saw 22" NECs) may be 150% more than a 19", it makes a better investment than a Radeon card that needs replacing in a year or two... actually the "less than ultimate" PC I priced out would get a GeForce FX 5600 card.

I'd _like_ to lease, maybe... but I can build the computers myself cheaper probably, and maybe sell them off to customers as I occasionally upgrade to newer machines. If not, I dunno... donate them to school's and get a nice tax writeoff or something. Can't be a big time businessman till I start finding ways around taxes right? ;)


So basically looking at this for now: http://products.insight.com/product/Pre ... NMT2111SBB

But there's also this: http://products.insight.com/product/Pre ... =NMT2111SB

It looks like the only difference, other than price, is the SuperBright Diamondtron flat aperature grill. What exactly is that?

There's actually a couple more that cost another $100 more... they must be good, but since I don't know why I'll ignore that for now and assume it's just a way for them to get more money.

Damn, can't wait until I'm a super rich CEO and can afford all the latest technology, no matter how ridiculously expensive it is. And so I can meet models like Teyaha does... 8)
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Postby Gurns » Tue Nov 18, 2003 3:39 pm

The one thing I don't see a mention of here is digital video. As far as I know, digital can only be used with LCDs? (Or am I behind the curve on this?) And to my eye, a digital signalled LCD looks significantly better than the best analog CRT (OK, I haven't seen top of the line on analog card/monitor, combinations, just some very good ones).

I also haven't seen any refresh problems with digital video, but I don't play the games that would cause 'em.

Anyway, the suckers are going to come there because (1) you have games they don't have, and (2) your equip is better than there's. The thing about (2) is, it's gotta be obviously better, no? If they've got a Pentium II at home and you've got Pentium III, that's better, but they'll wonder why you don't have IVs. Negative style. I dunno if that'll be true for monitors as well, but monitors are more obvious than the CPU (which they probably won't be able to see, 'cause you've got them safely locked and hidden away).

The other thing that hasn't been mentioned is size. A 19" CRT monitor weighs in at around 40-45 lbs, and has a depth of 16 inches or so. A 21" CRT weighs in around 60-65 lbs, and has a depth of 18", maybe. (Haven't seen a new one.) LCDs weigh in around 20 lbs and take less than a foot of depth. So with CRTs, you need significantly stronger (costs more money), deeper (takes more floor space) surfaces. The cost for the extra strength is trivial compared to the difference in monitor costs. The "cutting into your floor space" -- well, what's your space like? If all your desks/tables/counters could be 6" narrower, what would that do for the number of seats, number of people you could fit in?

Extra cost for the LCD is some sorta lock/cable to hold 'em down. No one's going to try to run out with a 40 lb. CRT under their arm. A 20 lb. LCD? Oh, yeah.
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Postby rylan » Tue Nov 18, 2003 4:19 pm

Yes LCDs look better in digital mode, but you still are limited by the switching time of the lcd matrix. Refresh rate is generally 60Hz also, but thats no tmuch of an issue since refresh on lcds is differant than crts, where you want a high refresh to eliminate flicker. The biggest drawback with lcds is they only really look good at their native resolution, so if you have a game with a lower resolution it'll look crappy.

Anyway just go with what you think is a good price vs size for a monitor.
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Postby Sesexe » Tue Nov 18, 2003 5:33 pm

One of my monitors that I have is a 21" NEC. Works fine. Works great on high graphics 3d games. Tried same games out on a flatscreen, looked like hell.

Flatscreens are great for space/power saving reasons and low graphic gaming (such as mudding) or word processing. They are great to use with graphics programs like photoshop as well, where you don't need a blazingly fast refresh.

I'm thinking about getting a couple flatscreens just for the "I want more of my desk space area back" reason to go with my dual monitor video card. Nothing like having mud scroll on one screen and tell capture on another screen! Besides, I mud, use graphic programs, and use word processing way more then other games anyways.

I don't know about that whole difference in graphics between a 17 or a 19 or a 21 inch (as I have all 3 sizes of monitors and played same game on all 3 with same graphics card just to see which was best previously when I first got the 21"). If your graphics card is kickass you can jack up the resolution within a game and on a 21" and it looks very schweet.

21" CRTs are great and all, but UGH are they heavy. =^(
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Postby kiryan » Tue Nov 18, 2003 5:45 pm

oh one more thing

CRT are horrible for your eyes compared to LCDs

I'm not ready to mothball my 21" trinitron that has outlasted several computers, but I'm gonna buy a 21" flatscreen for the smaller foot print and the ergonomics.

And watch out, some LCD's don't come with a analog input (digital only). Converters are cheap, and a lot of them come with it built in but really if your buying a nice LCD should get a digital only and get a video card that has a digital out (cant remember last time i saw one without a digital out).

Its digital in the computer no sense converting to analog so that your monitor can convert it back to digital.
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Postby Stamm » Tue Nov 18, 2003 8:07 pm

Get a CRT.

LCD have dead pixel problems - Manufactuers admit that some pixels will be dead or always on for every monitor, there are quotas for them. If you have less than 12 dead pixels they won't replace the monitor generally.

LCDs are more expensive than CRTs.

LCDs are worse for games I've heard, but I don't know a great deal about it. I know that if you aren't some kind of computer retard and you cause a lot of scrolling (i.e. you don't need to read with your finger) then LCDs blur.

And having used a BBC model B monitor 20+ years ago... modern monitors are probably good for you in comparison :P Those things were lethal! And do you really give a shit about the long term effects on your customers eyes?

The only reason to get LCDs over CRTs is if you have the $3,000 spare for it, and you want smaller monitors.

I'm using a 21" CRT, and it's great. Made by Hitachi, it wasn't very expensive, but did have good specs (go for lower dot pitch).
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Postby Iyachtu » Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:19 am

I was stunned to set up a computer lab, using brand spanking new LCD's, only to discover that even scrolling in a web browser looks horrendous. Whatever you do, if you decide to buy LCD's, check them out beforehand running what you want to run.

Anyone who comes in to buy 30 computers deserves a hell of a lot of service, even if they're going into Fry's.
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Postby Dlur » Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:37 am

I'm all about Samsung for both LCD and CRTs. For a gaming parlor you'd definately be better off to go with CRTs not only for price but for higher performance on high end games.

I've got a Samsung 955df that I absolutely love, but I think it's been disco'd and now the 957MB is a current 19" model.
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Postby Sarvis » Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:52 am

Dlur wrote:
I've got a Samsung 955df that I absolutely love, but I think it's been disco'd and now the 957MB is a current 19" model.



Heh, I've got the 955df too! Bought it a couple months ago pretty cheap, it was actually only a little more than a 17" monitor. Maybe because of the 957MB coming out. Nice.



Rylan:

Was going AMD anyway. Running one at home too, and I see no need to spend the extra cash on a P4. Plus I read somewhere that P4's are worse for gaming because it predicts what code you are going to run next and if it is wrong it has to empty that out and grab the correct code. So it was fast for something where you were running a loop that was always the same, but not so good for gaming where a lot of different bits of code get executed. I think AMD chips actually do the same thing, but have a much smaller cache for it so it takes less time for it to get the next segment of correct code... or something like that.

Actually, here's the parts for the machines I was planning on:

Athlon XP 3000 400
A7N8X Deluxe 400
512MB DDR - 2 sticks
GeForce FX 5600 256MB
60Gb Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM
16x DVD-ROM - Black w/Software MPEG-2 Decoder
Lite-On 52x32x52x CD-RW
Creative Sound Blaster® Audigy 2 - 6.1
Floppy Drive


Probably with XP Pro. Debating the Floppy Drive too, it might come in handy if I ever need to flash the bios or something but other than that I have no use for one. Ever. My machine at home doesn't even have one... heh. If you can do that from the network or a CD then no need for one at all, and it'd save a couple hundred bucks. Not a huge amount when you are buying parts for 30 computers, but it's nice to save where you can...
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Postby Shargaas » Thu Nov 20, 2003 12:38 am

I was going to suggest a 19" philips flat CRT. The pro series (109P#) uses a Sony tube and usually sells for 20% less, has the same foot print as a 17" monitor, and is shielded nicely so you can space them closer together without screen interference. But then I checked the price and it was over 350 (used to be $250). Also as mentioned above some people dont like the 'double line' that appears on Sony tubes. Philips does have good warranties and customer service imo. Usually 1 year full coverage and 2 more years limited (limited means you pay shipping costs for repair)

The price point on 19" monitors looks to be the best for CRT screen sizes.
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Postby Iaiken Toransier » Thu Nov 20, 2003 1:59 am

Sarvis wrote:Actually, here's the parts for the machines I was planning on:

Athlon XP 3000 400
A7N8X Deluxe 400
512MB DDR - 2 sticks
GeForce FX 5600 256MB
60Gb Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM
16x DVD-ROM - Black w/Software MPEG-2 Decoder
Lite-On 52x32x52x CD-RW
Creative Sound Blaster® Audigy 2 - 6.1
Floppy Drive


Probably with XP Pro. Debating the Floppy Drive too, it might come in handy if I ever need to flash the bios or something but other than that I have no use for one. Ever. My machine at home doesn't even have one... heh. If you can do that from the network or a CD then no need for one at all


You can update flash chips from a remote network location, it just takes some tact. I don't however understand your logic for the cd writer or any other means a user can input potentially damaging information or pirated software. If you are using microsoft technology, likelyhood is you are going to have to perform software audits and the LAST thing you want is a lawsuit because of some stupid kid.

If you are running identical rigs, it's easy to set them up, you can install software and games to those PC'S from a network server, or better yet, ghost the harddrives from a fresh install server and enter the product keys for the specific games upon first setup on that machine.

I really suggest that you stay away from any means where a user can install software (no windows administration will NOT save you) there are a million ways around it. I would also dissallow any downloading of files from the internet (windows can actually (remarkably) handle this)

You'll save money, and time with a little ingenuity.

Only problem I have with the way games are currently, is the idiocy behind requiring the CD to be in the drive to start the program... most are NEVER even used. They think they are outsmarting pirates when you can just take the CD out, and pass it along after you start up.

Introducing another problem, theft of legit software/copied cd's alike. If you make a copy of a game, and someone steals it, you are still partially responsible because you made the copy, or in the case of the CD-RW provided them the means to do it. It's sad, but people will go to extreme lengths to get what they want if they can get it free.

What it all boils down to is this... Watch your ass man, you may be providing these people with a service for a fee, but most will just as soon lie, cheat and steal from you the first time the opportunity arrises. And you don't want no piracy lawsuits.

As one of my final projects, I wrote a program that functioned as a gaming suit. It was an interface with a chat room etc that allowed access only to the programs I designated in a small DB, along with prepared COM statements that allowed access only to the multiplayer aspect of the games. It intercepted all windows input and could only be escaped by shutting down the PC, which was bios, hd, and OS password protected. Might be worth a shot...
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Nov 20, 2003 2:11 am

Agreed on the CD's. I think I just assumed they would be necessary for installs when I started looking at parts. I was planning on ghosting a drive and then just using the network to copy that to each machine anyway, but by that point I was no longer thinking about the hardware... heh.

I'm hoping there are business licenses or something for those games so that the CD isn't required to run them. If not, there are ways around it... such as programs that create a virtual CD within windows.

Also heard that it's a good idea to have the PC's locked away from the customers anyway, so they can't steal/damage/reboot the machines or whatever. Logical, but probably wouldn't have thought of it myself initially...

http://www.igames.org/forums/forumdispl ... &forumid=2 has some information on this stuff. Unfortunately the admins keep claiming the _real_ information is in member only forums, and membership costs a good deal of money.

If I ever get started with this, would you be willing to share that program you wrote? I was going to try writing some stuff myself, but less effort/time spent is good... heh.
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Postby Gerad » Thu Nov 20, 2003 7:46 am

One thing to remember is that in a "lan center" your EULA will be different. The "end user license agreement" that exists when you buy a game for private use is very different from when you buy it commercially (as is the price).

Just a heads up, I would start checking into it. Wouldnt be much fun if you started getting sued or something.
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