I am looking into replacing my current 17" CRT with a new monitor. I can’t figure out whether to go with a wide screen or a 5:4 type monitor.
I have a fair amount of older games that I enjoy and I worry about them not being able to take advantage of a wide screen monitor. I am limited by the opening in my PC hutch which will limit me to a 20" or maybe a 21.5" wide screen. I would probably consider a regular 19" non-wide screen monitor as well.
Any thoughts or advice on selecting a new monitor?
What is your CPU? How much RAM?
What is your video card? What input will you be using?
What is your desired gaming resolution?
Do you like matte or glossy? Take into consideration natural/lighting behind/around you.
What is your budget?
Where do you live?
Go with the widescreen, it’s the wave of the future. : P
Kidding aside, right now 4:3 monitors are basically unavailable at retail outlets, you’d have to special-order one or get it online. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed my Samsung.
If you decide to go widescreen, you have to decide between 16:10 (ex: 1920x1200) or 16:9 (ex: 1920x1080) monitors. 16:9 is the HDTV standard, but I have 16:10 on my desktop and laptop because I found it more pleasing to the eye, 16:9 just seemed squeezed somehow. 16:9 content (like an Xbox 360 signal) will display with letterbox bars.
Content that doesn’t match the resoltion will look less sharp, that’s just what happens with LCD displays. Either live with it or run it windowed. Some games will have widescreen support, some won’t (esp. the older ones). Check the net for info, hacks, patches, etc. A lot of monitors will let you set whether an image is stretched to fill or not, and the drivers should have that option as well.
Make sure it has 1:1 pixel mapping if 16:10 if you want accurate widescreen movie without stretching and scaling with aspect ratio (-should- be supported in modern ATI and nvidia drivers if you use DVI) so if you play a 4:3 game it doesn’t force stretching
CPU: Intel Core i7-920 Processor (8MB L3 Cache, 1MB L2 Cache, 2.66GHz)
RAM: 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM
Video card: 512MB ATI Radeon HD
Video input: VGA or DVI
Desired Gaming resolution: Not sure, but for older games perhaps 1280x1024
I have no real preference concerning matte or glossy. The monitor is in my finished basement with overhead canned lighting. Windows are on the opposite wall and not a factor.
The location question was just to see if you can order the fantastic deals from USA e-tailers. Recommendations from QT3ers in the recent past have been met with wails of “but I can’t get them here” but without answering where the hell they actually reside in the world.
My recommendation: Forget about that $150 budget. You just spent $899-$1050 on a computer, and it’ll be junk in a few years. If you spend half that money on a good monitor today – the U2410, a highly-rated monitor with an IPS panel, is $549 at Dell – you might still have it a decade from now, and you’ll be looking at it every day between now and then.
Define “lasted.” If you configured an $800 computer in 2004, it was a single-core Celeron (not as fast as a real Pentium 4) with a low-end GeForce 5-series GPU and, what, 1GB of RAM? I don’t think that’s spectacularly useful today.
I still get a TON of use from my 5+ year old Dell P4. It really depends on whether one is an early adapter or a tech follower who doesn’t need the latest and greatest. I am the latter and am more than willing to use second generation technology which usually meets my gaming and computing needs. This is much easier on the wallet and with a wife a 2 kids to support, you can guess where PC items falls in the family budget.
As for my monitor questions, I have no issues buying a $150 or less monitor as long as it works and meets my needs. My issue is trying to decide between wide screen and 5:4 formats.