Author Topic: The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide  (Read 14196 times)

Ari Altman

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The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide
« on: March 03, 2014, 06:39:12 PM »
Here's the thread to discuss the "The Monitor Buyer's Guide", updated quarterly on The Tech Buyer's Guru.

The guide can be found here:

http://techbuyersguru.com/monitoradvice.php
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 07:53:58 AM by Ari Altman »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2015, 09:23:02 AM »
We received an e-mail from a reader inquiring about monitor choices for gaming. We thought it would be helpful to post the question and our response.

Here's the question we received:
"I am thinking about buying the Acer G257HU 25" Monitor.  I think it looks good but i don't know. I feel as if the refresh rate of 60Hz may not be as fast as a TN  monitor (actually I know its not) but it is an IPS and 60Hz is not bad. But for gaming is there a big, IPS, and 144 Hz monitor that is affordable?"

----------------------------------

Here's our response:


"This is a great question because it really gets right to the heart of the monitor revolution taking place right now - TN vs. IPS, 60Hz vs. 144Hz, and even G-Sync/FreeSync all pose major questions for gamers.

The Acer 1440p monitor you listed is pretty interesting, because it's the lowest price you'll find for that resolution. The problem is that it's just a bit too small, which will make reading text hard. Most 1440p monitors are 27", which is the optimal size for that resolution.

And yes, a 144Hz monitor is far better for fast-twitch gaming, there really is no comparison between a 144Hz TN monitor and a 60Hz IPS monitors. They have different strengths and weaknesses. At the Tech Buyer's Guru, we have a number of monitors we regularly use. When I am serious about playing a first-person shooter, I'll always use our 144Hz TN monitor over our 1440p IPS monitor. The 144Hz monitor is much, much better for gaming. The only drawbacks are narrower viewing angles and slightly less calibrated color.

If you really care about smooth gaming, go with a 144Hz monitor. The one I recommend is the LG 24GM77, but of course this may change in the future as new models arrive. It's brand-new and right now it's the best 24" 1080p 144Hz TN monitor out there. Plus, it comes in at a very reasonable price.

As for a "big, IPS, and 144Hz monitor that is affordable," well, that's what we're all waiting for. The new Acer XB270HU hits three out of four, and even throws in G-Sync for good measure, but at $800 retail, it's not affordable, and furthermore, it sold out as soon as it hit the US market on March 31, 2015. Acer may be having some quality control issues, not surprising given how cutting edge this monitor is. Amazon de-listed it entirely, and Newegg is offering a very unusual "backorder" on it, as of April 14, 2015."

JJAP

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Re: The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2015, 05:57:22 PM »
Good stuff. I especially liked the LG 24" 1080 144hz recommendation, I didn't know it was better than the very popular asus and benq models.

for the cheap bastard, aoc sells their model for $250, no anti-motion blur feature http://pcpartpicker.com/part/aoc-monitor-g2460pqu

Hmm can you tell lg to make a 27@1080 and/or 1440 version? That would be nice!

My 2 cents about g-sync is that at $100-200 premiums, it's not worth it. For about the same price as the 27" 1080 144mhz gsync, you can get 1440 and freesync (still TN) http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/content/acer_xg270hu.htm#conclusion I hope Acer could make that one IPS @ $600 to make it to ultimate amd companion.
Here's hoping the r9 390x impresses! Nvidia needs competition.

Concerning the the 23" inch basic home monitor, for about the same price ($150), you can lose the hdmi port and asus name, and get IPS http://pcpartpicker.com/part/aoc-monitor-i2369v I think it's a good trade, but low-end is all about tough choices.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 06:07:13 PM by JJAP »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2015, 08:36:49 PM »
Good stuff. I especially liked the LG 24" 1080 144hz recommendation, I didn't know it was better than the very popular asus and benq models.

for the cheap bastard, aoc sells their model for $250, no anti-motion blur feature http://pcpartpicker.com/part/aoc-monitor-g2460pqu

Hmm can you tell lg to make a 27@1080 and/or 1440 version? That would be nice!

My 2 cents about g-sync is that at $100-200 premiums, it's not worth it. For about the same price as the 27" 1080 144mhz gsync, you can get 1440 and freesync (still TN) http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/content/acer_xg270hu.htm#conclusion I hope Acer could make that one IPS @ $600 to make it to ultimate amd companion.
Here's hoping the r9 390x impresses! Nvidia needs competition.

Concerning the the 23" inch basic home monitor, for about the same price ($150), you can lose the hdmi port and asus name, and get IPS http://pcpartpicker.com/part/aoc-monitor-i2369v I think it's a good trade, but low-end is all about tough choices.

On the topic of lower-priced 144Hz gaming monitors, the AOC 144Hz monitor is a pretty decent deal, but having used a 144Hz with motion blur reduction, I can honestly say that the feature is critical in these monitors. It just so much smoother. The LG 24GM77 is by far the least expensive model with the feature built in (no software hacks required), and also has great color and contrast. BenQ makes some great monitors, but it charges a premium for them. LG is a newcomer to the gaming monitor market, but has the manufacturing capacity to come in at a very competitive price despite offering lots of features and image quality. That's why it wins here.

JJAP

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Re: The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2015, 12:32:41 PM »
Actually, you dont have to switch brands or pay more to get IPS.

Asus makes a 23" ips for the same price as their tn. I see one number difference in model number. Dear god why do monitor makings (hell, and mobo makers) do this?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008DWITHI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B008DWITHI&linkCode=as2&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=TGGGACB3LH7RSM6R
« Last Edit: May 23, 2015, 09:04:28 PM by Ari Altman »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2015, 09:05:57 PM »
Actually, you dont have to switch brands or pay more to get IPS.

Asus makes a 23" ips for the same price as their tn. I see one number difference in model number. Dear god why do monitor makings (hell, and mobo makers) do this?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008DWITHI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B008DWITHI&linkCode=as2&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=TGGGACB3LH7RSM6R

This is actually a really great suggestion. I believe this particular model was in a previous buyer's guide, but either went out of stock or up in price, and was replaced with the TN (238) model. In the next edition of the guide, I'll make sure to bring back the VS239. At the same price, going with IPS is always better than TN.

dubritski

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Re: The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2015, 09:58:03 AM »
So i have 2 needs for a new monitor, one to play games on that will look great, and the other need is a lot of photoshopping work i do, i will need something with true colors, it seems like i can only get 1 or the other,
i currently have 2 24 inch monitors, and id prefer not to go any smaller with a new one. My old monitors are from  2008 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236033 and one from 2010 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236049

the 08 one is beginning to give me some trouble with some vertical lines and the color is not great on it.
so the challenge is to find something in the $200ish range that will do a pretty good job at both my needs, i followed the pc guide on this page and built a $800 pc with an r9 280X and intel 4590, so i don't know if i should even aim for a 4k monitor, if so i realize i will have to raise my budget somewhat.

any ideas from you guys?

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2015, 11:02:00 AM »
So i have 2 needs for a new monitor, one to play games on that will look great, and the other need is a lot of photoshopping work i do, i will need something with true colors, it seems like i can only get 1 or the other,
i currently have 2 24 inch monitors, and id prefer not to go any smaller with a new one. My old monitors are from  2008 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236033 and one from 2010 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236049

the 08 one is beginning to give me some trouble with some vertical lines and the color is not great on it.
so the challenge is to find something in the $200ish range that will do a pretty good job at both my needs, i followed the pc guide on this page and built a $800 pc with an r9 280X and intel 4590, so i don't know if i should even aim for a 4k monitor, if so i realize i will have to raise my budget somewhat.

any ideas from you guys?

In the $200 price range, you're really looking at getting either a good Photoshop monitor or a good gaming monitor. If Photoshop is the priority, try stretching for the Dell Ultrasharp U2414. For gaming, right around the same price, you have the Asus VG248QE. It's a 144Hz monitor, which is in a wholly different league from 60Hz monitors when it comes to gaming. There is no comparison.

You definitely should not even consider 4K, because any 4K monitor worth buying is going to be $500 and above, and frankly, it won't be ideal for either Photoshop or gaming, as it will be based on a standard 60Hz TN panel. Your video card would also have trouble with this resolution, but that's not really the limiting factor so much as your particular needs.

dubritski

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Re: The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2015, 06:06:03 AM »
Thanks Ari,
is it possible to find a monitor that would be good for both you think? staying under 500$?

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2015, 08:06:24 AM »
Thanks Ari,
is it possible to find a monitor that would be good for both you think? staying under 500$?

You can get some excellent monitors for around $500, including QHD 2560x1440 monitors, which provide a much clearer image for both gaming and photo work. But getting a combination of ultra-high refresh rates (which provides smooth motion for gaming) and a high-quality IPS-type panel (which provides optimal color reproduction for photo work) still isn't quite possible.

Here are a few ideas for you though:

(1) If your priority is photo work, get the excellent Asus PB278Q 27" 2560x1440 monitor. It's an awesome value at around $430, and its high-quality IPS panel provides great color for photo work. It will also look great for gaming, although it uses a standard 60Hz refresh rate.

(2) If your priority is gaming, get the new Acer XG270HU 27" 2560x1440 monitor, which provides a 144Hz refresh rate using a best-in-class TN panel. It's a steal at $504 right now. It will be good for photo work, and excellent for gaming. Note that it also has AMD Freesync, which unfortunately only works with R9 290/390 series cards, not your 280x.

(3) If you want the best of everything, i.e. a 144Hz IPS panel display, you'll need to push your budget up to $600 and go for the brand-new Asus MG279Q. It's backordered at Amazon, but it's in stock at Newegg. This is really a dream monitor, using an IPS panel running at 144Hz to combine the best features of both of the models above.

By the way, Amazon has the better prices on all these monitors once shipping is factored in, but Newegg was the first retailer to get the new Asus MG279Q, so if that's the one you want, go to Newegg for it.

dubritski

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Re: The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2015, 08:17:04 AM »
will my card be able to handle that resolution in games ok you think? or should i stay in the 1080p resolution?

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2015, 10:28:41 AM »
will my card be able to handle that resolution in games ok you think? or should i stay in the 1080p resolution?

The 280X is actually a really good card for 1440p due to having 3GB of VRAM.  In the newest games you might need to drop to 1080p just to get optimal framerates, but for productivity, you'll always be able to take full advantage of the resolution. 1440p provides so much more work space that once you try it, you won't want to go back.

Given that you aren't using an ultra high end video card, though, I'd probably recommend an IPS panel over a fast TN panel at $500 or less, since you'll always be able to take advantage of the better color and viewing angles of IPS even if you can't hit framerates of 120Hz or higher that gaming TN panels support.

skline00

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Re: The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2016, 04:42:53 PM »
Thanks for the monitor review. Received a number of Newegg gift cards so I've got the monitor upgrade "itch". I'm thinking of replacing my 27" Achieva Shimian 1440p monitor with the new Acer 34" curved CK freesync monitor. I have 2 R9 290s in CF to run it. Your thoughts?
5960x-4.4|AsusRE5|16g DDR4-2133|ZOTAC GTX 1080 FE-EK Blk|2 850 EVO 500gb Raid0|2Tb WD Blk|Win10-64|PC P&C 1200W|Thrmtk X9|Custom WC |Dell U3415W
6700k-4.6|Asus Max Hero 8|16g DDR4-2933|Sapphire RX 480-8g CF|SmSng 850EVO 500g ssd|Win10-64|EVGA 850W|Fractal Define S|LG 29UM67-P

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2016, 06:33:46 PM »
Thanks for the monitor review. Received a number of Newegg gift cards so I've got the monitor upgrade "itch". I'm thinking of replacing my 27" Achieva Shimian 1440p monitor with the new Acer 34" curved CK freesync monitor. I have 2 R9 290s in CF to run it. Your thoughts?

Hey again skline00!

So, if you're referring to the XR341CK from Newegg, I think it's a very good choice for use with dual R9 290 cards. Note that right now it's a bit cheaper at Amazon, so depending on whether there's something else you can get with your Newegg gift cards, it might be worth considering getting the monitor at Amazon.

The other thing I'll say is that I'm not completely happy with the premium being placed on this monitor right now, given that it's only capable of 75Hz. And keep in mind that your dual 290s should be able to push that resolution well into 75Hz territory, so you'll be bumping up against the limit constantly

I've used the Dell U3415W, and it's fantastic, but of course it's locked at 60Hz as it doesn't have free sync or g-sync. It actually uses the same panel as the Acer, and comes with excellent support from Dell. So unless your primary use is gaming, I might go for the Dell over the Acer. Having used 144Hz monitors and G-Sync monitors, I just don't think a 75Hz limit is quite optimal to get the most out of frame syncing..

skline00

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Re: The TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2016, 05:28:58 AM »
Thanks Ari: The Dell U3415W is on the FedEx truck expected for delivery today! I'll keep you posted.
5960x-4.4|AsusRE5|16g DDR4-2133|ZOTAC GTX 1080 FE-EK Blk|2 850 EVO 500gb Raid0|2Tb WD Blk|Win10-64|PC P&C 1200W|Thrmtk X9|Custom WC |Dell U3415W
6700k-4.6|Asus Max Hero 8|16g DDR4-2933|Sapphire RX 480-8g CF|SmSng 850EVO 500g ssd|Win10-64|EVGA 850W|Fractal Define S|LG 29UM67-P