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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > How bad is a 25 ms LCD response time?

How bad is a 25 ms LCD response time?
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riker1384
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Oct 1, 2008, 05:10 PM
 
I have an opportunity to buy a used LCD monitor for my Mac. It was a high-end unit, but it's sorta old now. Most specs are on par with decent new ones. (It's a TFT with 24-bit color, 250 nit brightness, 600: contrast, decent viewing angles and higher resolution than most of its size) but the response time is 25 milliseconds. Will that be a problem? I generally don't play computer games, but I'd at least want to be able to watch normal DVDs and other video (maybe not action movies) on it.
     
Veltliner
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Oct 2, 2008, 02:06 AM
 
Fast monitors have a response time of less then 8ms.

But: the lesser panels have a faster response time. I'd never buy a monitor by "response time". It's a typical marketing tool number.

What brand is that monitor you're talking about? What model? If you can't get that info, hands off (or it has to be ridiculously cheap).

If you are into higher end gaming you'd better not buy an old monitor.

Have you considered looking at refurbished cinema displays at apple.com? Come with a warranty.

It may help if you post your budget.
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 2, 2008, 02:51 AM
 
Response time is only one factor. Unfortunately, cheap TN panels have fast response time whereas higher-quality panels (in terms of gamut, i. e. the space of displayable colors, and angle-dependence of contrast and colors) have slower response time. Usually, fast response times are only necessary when you do 3d modelling or do a lot of gaming. If you edit videos, photos or write texts, it's not important at all.

If you're getting a sweet deal on the monitor, I say go for it.
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riker1384  (op)
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Oct 2, 2008, 05:38 AM
 
It's a Viewsonic VP201bm, a 20" model that was released as a $2000+ pro monitor in late 2001. (Not sure how old this one is.) It got really good reviews.

I'm getting it for around $100. A refurb Apple is way out of my range. I either need used, or a new one under $200, preferably under $150.

I'm not really into gaming (not practical on the cheaper Macs), but I'd like to at least be able to watch DVDs. I could live with action movies not looking great, but at least regular ones (and misc web videos) should look good.
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 2, 2008, 10:41 AM
 
Definitely get it, a 20" screen with a decent panel for $100 is a good offer. You won't have much of a problem with normal movies or even faster action movies. I doubt you'll get a new one with similar image quality (if the backlight is till in good shape).
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CharlesS
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Oct 2, 2008, 01:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by riker1384 View Post
I have an opportunity to buy a used LCD monitor for my Mac. It was a high-end unit, but it's sorta old now. Most specs are on par with decent new ones. (It's a TFT with 24-bit color, 250 nit brightness, 600: contrast, decent viewing angles and higher resolution than most of its size) but the response time is 25 milliseconds. Will that be a problem? I generally don't play computer games, but I'd at least want to be able to watch normal DVDs and other video (maybe not action movies) on it.
For watching movies and such, this monitor will be far better than the cheap TN panels with fast response times, because of the viewing angle. TN panels often have terrible viewing angles. If you're watching a movie with a few friends over, only one of you is going to be able to be staring straight at the monitor, and for the rest the colors will be distorted. If you want to see this for yourself, go into Best Buy sometime, and look at the pictures on some of their monitors from strange angles (it's most obvious with vertical angles - squat down on the floor and look up at it and watch the whole screen go dark). Compare that to an Apple Cinema Display if they have an Apple section to see what it's like with a real high-end display.

Of course, this monitor would be horrible for high-end gaming, but you say you're not doing that, so I'd jump on it. It's almost impossible to find a non-TN 20" monitor these days (even for 24" they're getting scarce).

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riker1384  (op)
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Oct 3, 2008, 10:57 PM
 
BTW, it's apparently an MVA type panel if that's relevant. I may buy it tomorrow if it's still there. (There were more than one so they probably aren't all gone.)
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 4, 2008, 04:37 AM
 
Yes, that matters much. All cheap monitors (typically all below 500 €/$) use cheap TN panels. For most things, they have gotten good enough and they are fast, so gamers like them. If you want or need accurate colors, you should use `good' panel types (MVA, PVA, etc.).
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riker1384  (op)
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Oct 4, 2008, 08:13 AM
 
I'm not a professional, I just want something that's nice. When I use the cheap LCDs at the library (Dell etc, not sure how old), they look bad compared to my current eMac's CRT. On the other hand, just looking casually at LCDs in the stores these days they seem to be much better (at least with the demo graphics they run) even though they're apparently TN panels.

Thanks for all the info.

Edit: I'm also seeing a fairly new monitor, asking $200 for a model that apparently might have a 20" IPS. Some people are saying that there are a few of the model that use PVA, though. Might be one of those "lottery" monitors that use different panels in the same monitor.
( Last edited by riker1384; Oct 4, 2008 at 08:27 AM. )
     
CharlesS
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Oct 4, 2008, 03:02 PM
 
Would that be the Dell 2007WFP by any chance? That monitor did indeed use a lottery of IPS and PVA panels. Either of the two would be excellent for your purposes. That monitor is also nice because it has a lot of inputs and you can connect a lot of other devices to it besides just your computer. It's also not being made anymore - I ended up getting a refurbished Dell 2408WFP (which is a 24" PVA) since I couldn't find the 2007WFP on their store anymore.

Basically, I think you'll be pretty happy with any of these non-TN monitors - MVA, PVA, and IPS will all deliver noticeable quality improvements over TN panels.

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riker1384  (op)
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Oct 5, 2008, 02:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Would that be the Dell 2007WFP by any chance?
Why yes, that and another brand of "lottery" panel in 4:3 that I'm looking into. I guess if I wanted to be picky I could call both guys up and ask for the serial #'s to see if one is IPS, but I'll probably just go with the cheaper of the two.

Thanks for the info, this stuff is all new to me. I'm just a regular computer user, but I wanted to get something good so I could keep it for some time, and I'll spend a lot of time in front of it over the next few years on the Internet and all. My original plan was to pick up a 19" CRT for peanuts, but the LCDs are too tempting.
     
CharlesS
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Oct 5, 2008, 04:30 AM
 
I've read some of those threads slamming PVA, and I'm not sure what those guys are smoking. I've got a Dell PVA monitor, and it's great. If you are doing high-end photo editing, you will probably notice the difference between the two, but since you're not, I really don't think you are going to care. Both PVA and IPS are true 8-bit monitors with good color accuracy and good viewing angles. IPS is a little better in this regard, but PVA is still very good, and it actually has some advantages of its own - for example, PVA has deeper blacks and better contrast than IPS, which can actually make it look better if you are watching a movie with lots of dark sets.

I'd just get the 2007WFP and not worry about the panel type. It'll be great either way as long as there aren't obvious defects like stuck pixels or something.

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riker1384  (op)
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Oct 7, 2008, 08:18 PM
 
Damn, I typed a reply and it didn't work, and when I went back all my typing was gone, so I have to do it again.

I got a 2007WFP for $150. It's revision A02, with the IPS panel. (I might have gone with either.)

I haven't hooked it up yet, don't actually have a computer to use it with. I have an eMac that's getting old, and I've been thinking of getting one of those Psystar clones, or a Mini and the selling the Emac. I'm going to see what new products Apple might announce on the 15th before making a decision. (And look out for refurbs.)

This is my first LCD and my first widescreen. I was looking on Craigslist for a cheap or free 19" CRT, but I was tempted by the LCDs. I like the look of some of the LCDs in stores nowadays, but the cheap ones at the public library look like crap. I didn't want a downgrade from my CRT, so looked for a good one and read up on it. Figured I'd get something good so I can keep it for a long time. I've used a friend's Dell LCD, a 4:3 20", not sure which model. It's big and bright, but it has a sort of pixellated look to it. You can see you're looking at pixels instead of a smooth image.

When I went to pick up the LCD, they invited me to test it. I googled LCD test images and saw there was no "banding problem." It did have that pixelly look, even though the dot pitch is about the same as my Emac. I still got it because I didn't want to second-guess myself and waster the seller's time.

I might still look for a CRT, just to have an extra. People are giving those away like mad. I've seen someone offer a working name-brand 32" HDTV flat-screen CRT for free to anyone who could take it. It would be worth it to rent a truck to get something like that.
     
Cadaver
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Oct 12, 2008, 09:11 PM
 
The panel in one of my displays is a 24" P-MVA (LG 246W). Its very nice. My wife has on her machine a 20" Apple Cinema (which is an S-IPS panel) and I actually prefer the look of mine better.
     
jonnyz1245
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Oct 20, 2008, 12:01 AM
 
as others have said, refresh rate is a marketing tool . I would see if I could google the model # and read up on some of the review sites. good luck!
     
   
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