Posted 23 March 2004 - 03:14 PM
Personally I think you should by a flat panel monitor only if it aesthetically important and to save room. There are some advantages, such as taking up less space, reduces eye strain, and reduced power requirements, but tube monitors (CRTs) still give a better picture.
If a flat panel is that important to you, though, here are some recommendations on what to look for.
Interfaces - The interface between your monitor and your computer is important. A lot of new video cards support digital interfaces that you can connect a flat panel to. These digital interfaces will provide a truer signal to the monitor. If your video card does not support it, though, it is not worth upgrading just for that.
Pixel Refresh Response Time - If you plan to play games on your computer, it is important to have a decent refresh response time. Most affordable Flat Panels have a response rate in the 40+ range. In order to play games without having any display issues, you generally want a screen that is generally 40 ms or less. If you can find one that is 25ms and is affordable, then that is even better.
Viewing Angle - Make sure you have a wide enough viewing angle so that if you are looking at your monitor from the side, you do not just see black. In general higher viewing angles are better than lower ones.
Contrast ratio - At a minimum you want your display to have a contrast ration of 200:1. Higher rations such as 300:1 or 400:1 are obviously better. It all depends on the budget.
Resolution - Make sure your flat panel supports many resolutions. you do not want a monitor that will have trouble change its resolution as many programs/games run in different resolutions.
Hope this helps.