Monday, August 27, 2012

Upgrade: New Monitor

I've just had a new display delivered to replace my old Dell 1907FPt, which was an old 4:3 display that had a maximum resolution of 1280x1024. I bought an Iiyama X2377HDS B1, a decision I came to after several hours research and deliberation!

I didn't have a massive budget, around GBP 150.00, so the higher resolutions (2560x1440 or 2560x1600) were out of the question, nor could I consider a 16:10 ratio display (1920x1200 instead of 1920x1080). However, all I was really after was a nice widescreen model, preferably with an IPS panel. In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology provides better colour reproduction than Twisted Nematic (TN) panels, but at the expense of LCD response time. As I would be occasionally playing fast paced games, I had to ensure that if I did manage to find an IPS display within my budget it didn't have an appalling response time. To complicate matters, it became apparent that the response time listed by manufacturer and review sites wouldn't always be a measure of the same LCD transition; some mention black-to-white transitions and others grey-to-grey.

To help whittle down the choices out there, I tried to find some good recommendations, or "best-buy" articles from trustworthy sites and I had pretty much settled on an AOC i2352Vh, another cheap IPS panel. However, when searching for monitors on Amazon, I happened across the Iiyama. I managed to find a site that had tested response times for both the AOC and Iiyama, of which the latter actually performed better for all the transitions tested. That, coupled with the fact I had used Iiyama displays previously at work were the deciding factors.

I was very excited when the monitor arrived and took a couple of pictures while unpacking and assembling it:

Once the display was connected to my PC and I had configured it, I was very impressed; I have played a bit of Half Life 2: Episode 2 and Battlefield 3 and both looked stunning. Obviously, that's not particularly scientific and I will be doing a bit more analysis of the screen over the coming weeks no doubt, but my initial impressions are good.

There are only two problems that I have with the monitor currently, both relate to the stand. First, the stand isn't height adjustable, which was something I was aware of when buying; having a fully adjustable stand appears to come at a premium. Secondly, when I'm typing at full speed, the whole display wobbles as the vibrations of my keystrokes travel through the desk! Fortunately, this problem does not occur while playing games. Overall though, I am extremely happy with my purchase and I'm glad to have managed to achieve my original target of a wide-screen IPS display.