Monitor Specs Questions

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  1. Posts : 183
    W10 Pro v21H1 64-bit
       #1

    Monitor Specs Questions


    I'm thinking of replacing a 1K monitor with 2K and would like whatever advice anybody can provide.

    1. Most manufacturers have their own "technology" like Crystalclear, SmartContrast, SmartImage, SplendidPlus Video Intelligence Technology, AQCOLOR, Brightness Intelligence, UltraSharp, and PremierColor. Are these concepts marketing nonsense, or serious improvements on basic specifications like color gamut, brightness (nits), contrast ratio, panel type, 8/10 bit-color, whatever else?

    2. Is response time of 14ms (typical)/6ms (GtG) acceptable? If a specification is given for only GtG, is the "typical" time always greater than that?

    3. What technology/specification determines 16.7M vs. 1.07B colors?

    4. All else being equal, which would be better: 300 brightness/1.07B colors, or 350 brightness/16.7 million colors?

    5. More monitors than I suspected have built-in speakers, but they're all 2-3 watts per speaker. As a practical matter, are these things usable? I have a Dell soundbar at 5w per. Basically that's OK. Sometimes the sound could be louder, but that's probably a function of the source, not the speaker.

    Thank you.
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  2. Posts : 1,561
    Windows 10 Home 20H2 64-bit
       #2

    Hi.

    You can use this site to get full specs on your display: DisplaySpecifications - Specifications and features of desktop monitors and TVs
    Just punch in the name of the display in the 'search' box.

    1) They are usually marketing. The actual statistics for the color gamut, contrast, bit depth etc is what matters here. What panel is being used is important. They can have differences though, but what matters is that they have technologies you need, e.g blue-light filters. You can look them up and find out what they do exactly, I'm not entirely sure myself.

    2) For general usage, videos, movies and casual to normal gaming, yes. For competitive gaming, not really, or I should say for e-sports here. But yes, it's acceptable. They use GTG response time because it can yield better results in the spreadsheet. Average response time is what matters, and it will always be higher than GTG. Many monitors can tout "1MS reponse time!!", but in reality they have a higher average response time. It's all in the marketing. Overshooting on fast response time can give coronas or color artifacting, so it's a balancing act for trails/smearing or artifacts. Some prefer one over the other though. Personally I take trailing over corona.

    3) For colors it can reproduce it will be bits, bit depth, panel type and FRC.

    4) Depends on the panel I guess. Higher nits can lead to better blacks, but more colors can give better results in regards to accuracy.

    5) Sure, but IMO mostly just for watching youtube videos or give information through audio. I'm an audophile so I need my high-end setups. For movies and gaming you definitely should get something better. And for music you NEED something better. Don't play music on built-in 2W speakers, you'll make me crazy if you do, Lol.
    Last edited by Faith; 16 Sep 2019 at 16:12.
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  3. Posts : 183
    W10 Pro v21H1 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thanks, Faith.

    Still accepting any other comments.
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  4. Posts : 2,320
    Windows 10
       #4

    1) That is pretty much all marketing speak of made up words. Means next to nothing.

    2) They tend to quote GtG because it is much faster than other transitions they could quote, typical means typical, middle of the normal distribution curve.

    3), 4) Basically it is a bit depth of the display panel plus dithering to increase the theoretical range of colours. The eye cannot distinguish more than a million or so colours at best anyway.

    5) Entirely up to you whether you want amp/speakers in a monitor. They are invariably not good due to the box shape of a monitor, flat and thin.

    I recently bought a monitor and these were the main considerations.

    1) Basic Panel technology, things like IPS, TN etc. Matters in terms of viewing angle, the most important to lesser things like response times etc.

    2) Panel coating. I prefer semi-matt sometimes called AG(Anti-Glare) a midway between Matt and Glossy.

    3) DPI (dots/pixels per inch) this you will have to calculate from the pixels and physical panel dimensions, they never give this important number.

    Personally I like about 100-120 dpi. Going much higher than that leads to problems with some applications that don't respond to Windows scaling and you can have small thin fonts.
    This goes against the current trend for ever higher dpi, but I don't care, I know what works for me.

    4) Dead pixel policy.

    5) DisplayPort, HDMI inputs looking to the future.

    6) Good quality stand that is firm and not wobbly, good range of adjustment. I prefer black or near black surround for obvious reasons of perceived contrast in use.

    Basically you have to cut through a ton of marketing jargon to the basic facts which mean the most to you.
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  5. Posts : 183
    W10 Pro v21H1 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Helmut, thanks for your response.

    Concerning 14ms response time, as a practical matter, for just normal web stuff--not gaming, is this noticeable? It's slower than any other monitor's spec I've seen.

    Concerning question 3, this pertains to the Dell UP2516D. It's specs don't say anything about "bit depth" or "dithering." Are you saying these concepts were played with to get the number up to 1.07B? Are you saying that 16.7M, much less 1.07B, is meaningless since we can't functionally perceive that many colors anyway?

    So apparently I should be more concerned with 350 nits than with 1.07B colors--is this correct?

    I ask about speakers because there's no room on my desk for speakers. I've always had a Dell monitor (5w per) with a Dell soundbar attached to the bottom of the monitor. That apparently isn't going to be an option for my next monitor. Dell now makes another soundbar with a mound/bracket that attaches to the upright post connecting the stand to the monitor. It can be used with other manufacturer's monitors, but not all monitors, including Dell's. It's just a matter of the bracket fitting around the upright post. It's only 2.5w per. I don't do serious music listening on my computer; that's what stereo systems are for. The 5w soundbar is acceptable for that; I just have doubts about 2.5w. Of course, Dell assures me it's OK. Any thoughts here?
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  6. Posts : 4,457
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #6

    vanp said:
    (snip)

    Concerning question 3, this pertains to the Dell UP2516D. It's specs don't say anything about "bit depth" or "dithering." Are you saying these concepts were played with to get the number up to 1.07B? Are you saying that 16.7M, much less 1.07B, is meaningless since we can't functionally perceive that many colors anyway?

    (snip)
    If you want 10 bit color (1 billion colors), you'd also need a graphics card that is capable. 8 bit color (16.8 million) can show banding (steps in continuous gradients), so it's not excessive for graphics work.

    FRC (frame rate control) is a temporal dithering scheme use to allow 8 bit panels to display HDR (10 bit) color. It's common on cheap HDR TVs. It isn't as good as a 10 bit panel, but it's still real HDR. I don't know how often it is used on computer monitors.

    I have a tool (Xrite 1I Display) for monitor calibration. Its baseline luminance (brightness) for a monitor is 120 nits. I think that 350 might be brighter than anyone would want for a PC monitor. Premium 4k TVs run brighter than 1000 nits peak.
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  7. Posts : 4,457
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #7

    Incidentally, I just acquired one of these: https://www.amazon.com/LG-27UK650-W-...gateway&sr=8-3

    LG 27UK650-W. 27" UHD HDR IPS display. It's recommended by rtings.com as a good all-around "4k" monitor. The 6 Best 4k Monitors - Summer 2019: Reviews - RTINGS.com I just installed it. I'm not fully up to speed on it, but it has a lot of capabilities. (The down side is complexity.) It's a lot more advanced, and cheaper, than a Samsung 28" UHD monitor that I bought a few years ago, which is only a TN panel. The Samsung was one of the earliest 60Hz 4k displays that was relatively inexpensive.
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  8. Posts : 183
    W10 Pro v21H1 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #8

    bobkn, thanks for responding. A few questions, comments, issues:

    Are you saying that a monitor that shows 1.07B colors is officially 10-bit even if it doesn't advertise itself as such?

    Would I look for a graphics card that explicitly states it's for 10-bit?

    "I think that 350 might be brighter than anyone would want for a PC monitor." As best I can tell, all the monitors I've looked at are 250, 300, or 350 bits, with 350 not uncommon. You seem to be a committee of one here.

    You say you bought a 27" 4K monitor. My understanding is that to get anything out of a 4K screen it needs to be a lot larger than 27". According to comments on ghacks.net:

    "4k or 4000p videos will only have a significant visual impact on TV screens that are larger than 50 inches, ie there will be no perceived visual difference between 4k and 1080p for smaller screens."

    and

    "4k is only visually discernible for TVs of 55 inches or larger, ie when viewed normally from at least 8 feet away. Itís quite pointless to have 4k desktops and laptops."

    Also, paraphrasing, all the extra pixels of 4K "don't add up to a sharper-looking [picture]" " to most viewers with normal 20/20 vision at most normal viewing distances."

    Is it your perception that you can see a difference on your 4K monitor?

    Thanks again.
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  9. Posts : 4,457
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #9

    10 bits per RGB color gives 2^ 10 = 1.07 billion colors. It could actually be a native 8 bit panel (16.8 million) that uses FRC to produce the extra 2 bits per color. The dithering is done in the time domain, so it may give issues for some applications. (Not for static images.)

    If you want 10 bit color, I guess that you'd need a 10 bit card. I have no idea whether that's common.

    My new monitor is capable of more than 120 nits, but I think that would be painfully bright.

    "4k is only visually discernible for TVs of 55 inches or larger, ie when viewed normally from at least 8 feet away. Itís quite pointless to have 4k desktops and laptops." The two statements don't go together. For normally acute vision, to barely resolve individual pixels from a 55" 4k TV, the maximum viewing distance would be about 40" (1m). Few sit that close. For a 27" monitor, 20" (0.5m). I may sit a little farther away than that, but it's roughly correct. If you want to sit a long distance away from your monitor, maybe you should buy a TV rather than a desktop.

    Don't mix advice for TVs with that for computer monitors, unless your usage is similar for the two. (Mine is not.)

    There are fundamental issues with a small UHD monitor. I've set the text size to 150%; otherwise, it would be too small. Some applications (like Photoshop CS6) don't scale their menus for high-res displays, so they are very small (but sharp).
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  10. Posts : 183
    W10 Pro v21H1 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #10

    bobkn, thanks again for your input. Thanks also again to Faith and Helmut.
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