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 Post subject: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:39 pm 


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Hi!

Just recently got back into shmups. I only play emulator and currently I'm on my laptop... Not the best. I tried searching for this (surely others must be looking for good monitors?) but couldn't find a comprehensive list of monitors you could go for. So here goes:

Could anyone give some advice on a new monitor? I only play MAME so I don't really know which specs you are supposed to look for etc.

Would also be great if the monitor is easy to TATE but that might be a tall order... :mrgreen:

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:14 pm 


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Money money money, must be funny, in a r... *cough* (sorry couldn't help it)

Welcome!

Usually I advise people to look in here http://www.reddit.com/r/BestMonitors/comments/6r1ysm/best_monitors_by_ncx/
but all the links are currently down :( (not the first time this happens, they might get back up later)

here is nice too http://pcmonitors.info/ since they don't exclusively talk about high-end pc gaming models, entry models are also reviewed. but the activity has been a bit low. check their forums also.

- what size?
- what's your budget?
- prefered resolution?
- what's your laptop model exactly if it's going to be the computer of your monitor?
- do you mind buying a rotation-capable monitor stand or arm separately? (will significantly expand your options for monitor models)

typical basic recommmendations start with:
- no TN panel because the viewing angles are too narrow for tate, only seek IPS and VA (IPS = IPS, PLS, AHVA...) (VA = VA, SVA, AMVA...)
- low input lag (only revealed in proper reviews, less than 16ms is recommended)
- good, balanced response (usually announced in *milliseconds grey-to-grey but that doesn't tell much about the real overall performance, again only revealed in proper reviews)
- flexible provided rotating stand (rare~ish) or/and VESA mounting holes (ideally 4 screw holes on the monitor back's center area)
- careful if you choose a 16:10 model (1920x1200) and plan to use consoles with it later, because the vast majority stretch the 16:9 aspect games to the full screen surface distorting the picture, and aspect settings in the monitor's menus often can't fix that. you'll be fine is using exclusively a computer and emulators.
note 16:10 aspect monitors are fewer and much less often reviewed, so reliable reviews are scarce

then also:
- do you need integrated speakers? or just audio in/out? or nothing/don't care?
- if you plan to buy online be careful to pick a reseller with good flexible returns and exchange policies for monitors. because monitors often have manufacturing defects, like dead pixels, and backlight bleed (in particular IPS panels for the latter, it's like poorly sealed backlight against the actual lcd, which creates annoying brighter 'stains' on the picture)
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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:16 am 


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Thanks for the reply! I'll check out those links. Maybe you (or anyone else) could help me further if I answer your questions...

- what size?
Doesn't really matter but I have a 21" monitor now and I'm happy with that. So around 20-21 is what I'm looking for.

- what's your budget?
Unlimited :] no but I'm ready to invest some money in a good monitor since my old one is over 5 years old ...

- prefered resolution?
I don't really know about this one! (I'm terrible at all of these things, I generally just play on console) I guess whichever resolution is best for MAME? Since that's what the screen will be used for (mostly)

- what's your laptop model exactly if it's going to be the computer of your monitor?
This is the laptop I purchased about a year ago:
https://www.cnet.com/products/dell-insp ... op/review/

- do you mind buying a rotation-capable monitor stand or arm separately? (will significantly expand your options for monitor models)
I could settle for one without a rotatable stand and get a separate one I suppose ^_~

- do you need integrated speakers? or just audio in/out? or nothing/don't care?
It would be a plus, but it's not that important - I generally use headphones.


Anybody got any got monitor models to recommend based on these specs? :]


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:04 pm 


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There are hundreds of monitors to choose from, but I still like to throw the Dell U2414H into the ring. It's getting cheaper and cheaper. Quality is great, input lag is extremely low and it rotates by default TO BOTH SIDES (which hardly any monitor does), so you don't have to bother much with software configuration if one game decides to rotate to the left, while another does it to the right. It's a 24" IPS 1920x1080p display with a nice slim bezel.


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:16 pm 


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Thanks Fudoh, I'll definitely check that one out - good price and availability in Sweden it would seem. This is the one you are referring to, right?

https://new.webhallen.com/se/product/19 ... P-IPS-VESA

(so many monitors out there like you said...)

Question: Are the built in speakers on that one okay at the very least? Just curious.

If anyone else have more advice I'll gladly take them :]


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:24 pm 


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yes, that's the one. No speakers though (or at least I never noticed that it had any). Here's the review that led me to buy two of these http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2414h.htm . I use two next to each other, so the small bezel was a plus.


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:27 pm 


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Very extensive review :o I'll read it after lunch... Thanks a lot!


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:15 pm 


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Fudoh wrote:
There are hundreds of monitors to choose from, but I still like to throw the Dell U2414H into the ring. It's getting cheaper and cheaper. Quality is great, input lag is extremely low and it rotates by default TO BOTH SIDES (which hardly any monitor does), so you don't have to bother much with software configuration if one game decides to rotate to the left, while another does it to the right. It's a 24" IPS 1920x1080p display with a nice slim bezel.


+1

I have a U2417H and it's been a great budget choice.


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:43 pm 


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Oh yes that Dell U2414H was fast both in response and lag for the time a bit ahead of its time in the category, so it's still up to date.
The updated version of it (U2417HJ) seems less interesting because of more 'glow', but the contrast is better as long as it's not watched too much off-angle.

There haven't been many reviews of 24" full-hd monitors lately, too bad NCX's wcg forums links are dead at the moment because he's listed most of the interesting ones with actual reviews.
__

Anyway, some replies with added info;

- size
21" monitors: that's a category that doesn't get any attention at all today unfortunately, 24" is the minimum size for which you'll find enough material

- resolution
1080p (1920x1080 aka Full-HD) is fine, getting one with a higher resolution like 1440p (2560x1440 aka WQHD) will open the doors to finer detailed, more realistic fancy features like CRT shaders that imitate old low resolution tube TVs and arcade monitors (check the famed 'CRT-Royale' shader available in RetroArch for instance, it's more advanced than MAME's integrated HLSL)
Although it is rather gimmicky and not necessary purely for gaming, it shines best with panels of resolutions higher than simply Full-HD.
Here's a couple of good 1440p/WQHD 25" monitors;
BenQ PD2500Q
Dell U2515H (or newer U2518D)
I'm letting you google the reviews to find out about lag, response, rotation, speakers etc ;)
note of warning: using higher resolution draws more resources from your computer, and laptops aren't ideal for long sessions of intense use.
MAME and shooters should be fine, but if for instance you'd play late era Cave games that are very CPU intensive, and add a CRT shader on top, your computer might not be able to cope, and crawl, or it might play the games at full speed with some settings arrangement (not sure) but the overall heavy game + shader combination would remain very heavy. in short the same thing over a 1080p monitor would be a bit less intensive (but still)

- laptop
I was wondering if your mobile 1060 can produce G-Sync on an external compatible monitor (?) but I couldn't find the answer.
Adaptive Sync (nVidia's G-Sync and AMD's FreeSync) lets you run the emulated games at their original refresh rate and speed, no need to have vsync forced in the settings, it makes gaming smoother and tearing-free, more accurate and is even easier on gpu ressources.
You really need to make sure it works on external before considering a G-Sync compatible monitor though.
Also with few exceptions those are noticeably more expensive, and the more interesting models are at least 27"...(to develop only in the case you'd find out/ have any interest)



Personally I've been using a 32" full-hd :mrgreen: the excellent-for-the price ViewSonic VX3211-mh (good all-rounder), and I also have a 32" Samsung LS32F351 that's got an excellent VA panel for those who in priority like contrasted and vibrant colors and black/dark rendition, that kind is good for watching movies.
But those are overkill in size for most people, demand a big stand and enough room for rotating/moving. :mrgreen:
Also they have a reflective (glossy) coating that some people don't like.
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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:04 pm 


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Double posting sorry but I've just seen that iiyama still do their convenient 'XB' series of VA monitors, like the ProLite XB2483HSU-B3

Since there aren't tons of full-HD VA monitors today this is good to know.

BenQ also used to make some good ones with rotation, I'll check if they're still around.
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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:05 pm 


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Looks like U2417H is a good choice for me, but if you have other options, please post them!

Xyga,

Yeah 21" might not even be a thing anymore - my monitor is hella old but still works okay so... Anyway, time to switch things up I guess, just that I don't generally buy things unless the old are broken so that's why I've stuck with this monitor.

I don't really plan on playing anything newer than Batrider (like newer Cave shmups) so I should be fine with my laptop currently.

I'm wondering a bit about this here:

"I was wondering if your mobile 1060 can produce G-Sync on an external compatible monitor (?) but I couldn't find the answer.
Adaptive Sync (nVidia's G-Sync and AMD's FreeSync) lets you run the emulated games at their original refresh rate and speed, no need to have vsync forced in the settings, it makes gaming smoother and tearing-free, more accurate and is even easier on gpu ressources.
You really need to make sure it works on external before considering a G-Sync compatible monitor though."

Sorry for being a complete newbie here but what is G-sync? And what is it that I need to double-check? :?: That my laptop can run games on an external screen? (it has an HDMI-output so I thought it was just to plug in an HDMI-cable and go)

I feel so lost on these matters so thanks for helping ^_~


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:29 pm 


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Read about G-Sync here: http://www.blurbusters.com/ there's a dedicated menu tab. (you can also read about blur reduction later it's a vast topic)

In short you know when you don't have the 'v-sync' (vertical synchronization) option activated in a game's settings, or emulator options, or directly in the nVidia control panel, then you might see screen tearing.
You're guaranteed to see a lot with MAME since a lot of games are off the typical 60Hz refresh rate of the monitor.

V-sync forces the game to sychronize the the monitor's refresh rate, tearing is gone, but that means two things:
. the game will either run slightly faster or slower (the latter is a rare case) than it was originally running when displayed on a crt display
. your computer uses processing power to make that synchronization work, which can be a problem when you're playing demanding things and need all the resources available to avoid an overall slowdown/loss of fps

G-Sync (and competing FreeSync) is a fairly recent feature developed by graphics card manufacturers to solve this problem, it allows the games to run at their original intended refresh and speed while still eliminating tearing, and that without the need to activate the usual 'vsync' setting.
Two with a stone.
It works with PC games, but also emulators (not always without issues iirc but nothing's absolutely perfect in this world)

SO, your laptop's nVidia card apparently shoudl support G-Sync, it's an option that appears in the control panel under sthe synchronization settings, either it's invisible or greyed-out when there is no G-Sync monitor connected, either it's there waiting to be toggled (or it does so automatically if the option is activated through some game menus)
G-Sync should be working with your laptop's integrated display (verify that when you can with some compatible game)
...BUT I am not sure it can work on another monitor (therefore external monitor) that would officially feature G-Sync compatibility.
Often it is a matter of drivers and also connectivity, I don't know if G-Sync can work through your HDMI-out.

EDIT: an article on responsiveness with a paragraph on G-Sync & FreeSync: http://pcmonitors.info/articles/factors-affecting-pc-monitor-responsiveness/
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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:54 pm 


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Okay, ahh, so many things to take into account. I'll look into the articles a bit more during the week, thanks for sharing! If you come up with anything else of value let me know :]


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:01 pm 


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Don't worry too much about it though, Adaptive Sync (G-Sync or FreeSync) is still a rather high-end feature and in regards to retrogaming it only makes a difference for people who are very bent on getting as much accuracy as possible up to small details, a bit like audiophiles. :p

But most games are still quite playable without it.

Another positive of adaptive sync is to also possibly get less lag (because v-sync ups the lag too, yeah)

But since fairly recently three MAME builds have been offering different lag reduction solutions, although not perfect and varying in effectiveness depending on the emulated games, these builds make the experience more comfortable:
ShmupMAME (although I don't like the method)
GroovyMAME
RetroArch (not a build but supports MAME)

Those work with any monitor of course, you don't need to go for high'end features and extreme performance to play some shmups on MAME.
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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:05 pm 


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Okay, noted. Yeah I have hundreds of vinyl records but never invested in a proper sound system so I can't really call myself a high-end person, playable is enough for me I suppose :] I might go for the U2417H then since it's cheap and my local store has it in stock... But this thread has been immensely helpful and I can go back to it if I need to check my settings.

If anything this might actually force me to buy a proper PC at some point (I should, but laziness is laziness...)


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:10 pm 


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youngmoneySWE wrote:
and my local store has it in stock...

this is precious, in case of defect and need for a replacement/exchange; no need to struggle with shipping back and cost/refund policies etc.
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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:23 pm 


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Xyga wrote:
Don't worry too much about it though, Adaptive Sync (G-Sync or FreeSync) is still a rather high-end feature and in regards to retrogaming it only makes a difference for people who are very bent on getting as much accuracy as possible up to small details, a bit like audiophiles. :p

But most games are still quite playable without it.

Another positive of adaptive sync is to also possibly get less lag (because v-sync ups the lag too, yeah).


I think Gsync/Free Sync is an important feature to consider if using for MAME. For games that have odd refresh rates (like 54hz) it removes the 'judder' you get from these games and give super smooth scrolling (look at Mortal Kombats title screen with the avatars scrolling at the sides of the screen for an example) also they will run at their correct speeds, a 54hz game will run at 60hz on a standard monitor so will run slightly faster than it should


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:44 pm 



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Glad this thread dropped, going to need a decent 1080p monitor myself sharpish.


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:35 pm 


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@Lettuce: Oh certainly. For those quite far off-60Hz like the Irem, Seibu, Xexex, and non-shmup like MK etc it certainly is valuable. But not having it doesn't make the games unplayable either.
You need to think about how important these games are to you if that means investing in a proper adaptive sync setup.
For both G-and-Free sync the more interesting models aren't the cheapest from the various manufacturer series.
And there are decent ports of some of these games to consider too.

Personally I still place the basic performance balance of the display higher in importance than the adaptive-sync capability, but that's because I don't play a lot of much-off-60Hz games, and I can still wait for the ideal monitor that'll check all the boxes from the basic ones to advanced features like G/Free sync etc.

Or in other words I don't feel the urge to get adaptive sync 'asap' considering the rather small percentage of utility I have for it in the global.
For me also 15khz setups are more interesting and considerably cheaper (I have a bunch of 15khz scart tvs after all!)

For youngmoneySWE I asked the question about his laptop being able or not to actually produce G-Sync on an external G-Sync compatible monitor, because if the answer is yes then it places him in an interesting position in terms of investment: not having to buy-build another computer just for the sake of it.

Then yet even so, assuming it is verified his laptop can output G-Sync, problem remains that the list of G-Sync monitors isn't easy, as most of the more affordable and smaller models are rather shitty as monitors, extra features notwithstanding...or flat out overkill.
http://www.blurbusters.com/gsync/list-of-gsync-monitors/
can I seriously recommend a TN to someone who will primarily play shmups?
can I seriously recommend one of the best like the ViewSonic XG2703-GS while I know his computer won't be enough at all to take full advantage of it?

It's the same with blur reduction features: I find it all very frustrating because no monitor comes with everything needed to make all of those technological advancements really unquestionably better than the basic stuff and compensating well-enough for the flat panel's lackings vs crt's.
And there are new and imrpoved models every year, more and more expensive.
For now I just limit myself to 400~ish maximum price and try new ones once in a while, because there's still no top-of-the-line model available that has made me click the 'buy for a ton of money now' button without hesitation. I just don't want buyer's remorse for a 800, 1000, 1500 bucks monitor and see it bested every year after that. These things don't resell well also.
I've been extremely satified with finally finding a simple 32" 1080p monitor so well-rounded (thank to Thomago's advice) that it covers pretty much all my needs and doesn't have any glaring flaws, and it cost only 200 bucks. Sometimes it's a combination of seemingly small things/specs done right that do the most.
I might find more interesting entry-level FreeSync ones though, but FreeSync being the more cost effective adaptive sync solution, it is also a total mess in some products descriptions and card/drivers compatibility claims that aren't clear.

So, since I still consider response and lag, angles, contrast etc and a number of essential basic characteristics to be more valuable, I might spend big on an OLED tv rather than one of those so-called high-end monitors that won't necessarily give me as much astisfaction as I'd expect for the price. With the performance of an OLED panel at least I know I'll get satisfation for some of the most crucial specs.
Still waiting to see if VRR will be interesting or just another proprietary hassle, then I'll decide on a set.

Lenghty rant but heh. ^^
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Last edited by Xyga on Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:44 pm 


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Yay me!


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:24 am 


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Archive link for NCX's best monitors page. Not the latest but recent-enough.

http://web.archive.org/web/20170823065210/http://wecravegamestoo.com:80/forums/monitor-reviews-discussion/15723-monitor-questions-read-1st-post-post-questions-here-send-me-private-message.html

Would be a good idea to navigate and save what you care about.
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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:42 am 


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Seems WCGT forums won't be coming back.

NCX's bitter which is understandable, and it's certainly the end this time;
http://www.reddit.com/r/DrNCX/comments/86zszu/the_end_of_ncx/

The internet's lost a valuable no-bullshit reviewer and adviser on monitors.

Really a shame that we couldn't get a more recent capture.
Another good reminder to always backup your important stuff...
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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:48 am 


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Resurrecting this thread for some further advice.


Picked up a Dell and it works great for shmups (though I picked up an Astro City a month after the purchase so mostly playing on that). Right now I'm looking for Another monitor for my retro games. What I'm looking for is:

Around 25"
Needs to have Scart and HDMI
Decent Speakers (for local multiplayer)


Any recommendations?


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:56 am 


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Are you looking for a CRT (since you're aiming at retro games) or a LCD (since you mention HDMI) ?

For CRTs 25" was a rare size in Europe There were some models, but in this 90s there was almost nothing available between 21" and 27/29". When looking for a CRT I would usually recommend going the other way around. Check what's available in your area and what's looking good in terms of cosmetical condition and then check back here to see if somebody has any experiences with the models you're looking at. 99% of the TVs available will have RGB scart inputs.

For LCDs: Scart isn't an option. It's being phased out and even if you get with scart, it won't look good.


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:02 am 


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Hmm, was hoping that there might be some LCD's available with Scart. Maybe I should just buy a smaller CRT (21" like you said)

Rephrasing the question then:

If I want to buy a 21" CRT, are there any particular brand to look out for? I'm EU based and these are the systems I intend to play:

AV Famicom (NTSC J)
NES (NTSC US)
SFC (NTSC J)
Super NES (NTSC US)
Mega Drive (NTSC J)


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:26 am 


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youngmoneySWE wrote:
Hmm, was hoping that there might be some LCD's available with Scart. Maybe I should just buy a smaller CRT (21" like you said)

Rephrasing the question then:

If I want to buy a 21" CRT, are there any particular brand to look out for? I'm EU based and these are the systems I intend to play:

AV Famicom (NTSC J)
NES (NTSC US)
SFC (NTSC J)
Super NES (NTSC US)
Mega Drive (NTSC J)


From what I gather it's hard to say, that depends on your location as some brands were pretty much region/country exclusive or hardly distrubuted outside of said region/countries. Sony is good and was more widely distributed, however some models are better than others and it seems that specific models/chassis were more distributed in one region country than others, so getting the best model might be hard if you need to import it.

As far as gaming goes, people tend to recommend the Sony with an AE1 Chassis and the people also highly recommend the Lowe with an E3000 chassis.


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:17 am 


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Can someone help me choosing a good monitor, please?

I am looking for
- 1080p native resolution
- 32"
- tateable (if nothing helps in combination with a separate rotating stand)
- very low input lag (so no hdtv)
- for PC games in native 1080p only (HDMI)
- no speakers needed

I heard about the ViewSonic VX3211-mh and LG 32MP58HQ.

Are there better options?
It is okay if the monitor is more expensive than those models above.

Thank you :D


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:33 pm 


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The Viewsonic is better than the LG, you can be sure of that.

There's a new version called VX3276-MHD-2 that adds Displayport (only for convenience though since there's no freesync nor WQHD), and a new metal-color frame.
Xaranar bought one and as far as I've heard from him it performs identically.
Like the VX3211 it can be mounted on a generic stand, though the mount is a bit off-centered which is annoying, so you'll be able to rotate but it will probably be preferable in tate/portrait to let the bottom of the screen lay on something to avoid too much strain and risky/unstable situations.
A custom thick metal plate with fitting holes and side-hooks could re-center the mount, of course it would be DIY.

Note: do not mistake it with the VX3211-2K-mhd or VX3276-2K-mhd, which are respectively last year's and this years' 1440p versions of the VX3211-mh and VX3276-mhd-2.

--

Alternatively I wanted to add a note about the AOC Q3279VWF, which is an interesting 1440p VA FreeSync monitor at just 200 bucks too, performs decently in most areas afaik, so it's very versatile, but lacks a VESA mount, unfortunately.
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mycophobia wrote:
have tyou ever played dodponpatchi


Last edited by Xyga on Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:28 pm 


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Joined: 06 Mar 2006
Posts: 11370
Location: Germany
On the new VX3276-MHD (and it's 1440p counterpart) the VESA holes look centered - at least in the manual. Maybe they changed that in regard to the 3211 ? The small bezel that Dell had exclusively for a few years looks great on that one.


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 Post subject: Re: Which monitor to buy?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:38 pm 


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I have only checked the photos on Viewsonic's website and they still look off-centered...
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mycophobia wrote:
have tyou ever played dodponpatchi


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