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Ronin's monitor problem

Postby Ronin » Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:46 pm

OK guys, I have two 20" flat panels at work and at home I have a 24" Acer that some of you will remember that I 'won' at Frag Weekend 3?? in 2013? maybe ( by 'won' I mean I lied to my wife about buying a new monitor)

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The monitor on the right is a true computing antique. It's a 21" Philips CRT that weighs about 80 pounds that I bought in 1997. The retail on it was $1999 but I bought it as an 'open box' for the amazingly low price of $1200. It has been in use constantly ( I must have had 5 different PCs using it over the years) until December 2014 when I bought both my kids 24" screens for less than $260 FOR BOTH including shipping.

Anyway, I always have a spare PC or two going here for my kids' friends when they come over & use this monitor but I decided to rearrange stuff and hook this beast up as my second screen and after just a few hours use I unplugged it. Native rez on it is 1600 x 1200 and for a long time I didn't even have a graphics card that could push that many pixels.
It looks so dark even with the brightness and contrast turned way up so I guess, after being the computer hardware purchase I will ever make in my lifetime, it's time to retire it.

So my question is should I add a second 24" monitor? or should I buy a 27" or even 28" monitor or should I maybe look at 4k? I am using a GTX 760. The main reason I want a new monitor is sad; my eyes are going. I wear contacts and now use reading glasses but to comfortable use my current monitor I need to take out my contact lenses. So I am thinking bigger monitor= bigger sizes for everything so I can see better.

I would appreciate any feedback on what I should get. Thanks.
After seeing and hearing about the amazing rigs that many people have on these forums; it seems rather silly for me to the specs of my very modest gaming PC. It works and that's good enough for me.

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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby jacobvandy » Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:52 pm

Don't go 4k with a GTX 760, that would be the same situation as when you first bought that CRT and couldn't push 16x12. I mean, nothing's stopping you from still running your games at 1080p and just having Windows be super high-res, I guess, but would that be worth it to you?

Also, if you're concerned with readability, 4k on a 27-incher would likely make things look the same size or smaller than 1080p on your 24-inch, just comparing pixel density... So maybe check out something like a 2560x1440 30-inch screen?
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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby Synchronicity » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:56 am

Personally, two monitors will always be better than one big one. There's just more multitasking potential involved. And if you're looking for better readability just adjust the DPI settings in Windows. Like Jacob said, a higher resolution might actually make things worse for you. If you just want a replacement monitor go for the same model Acer that you currently have for consistency's sake (and budget), but if you want a longer term investment look into a high quality IPS monitor and/or a GSync/FreeSync monitor. What's your budget?
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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby Ronin » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:16 am

My budget is ideally $350 or less. If I go with a second 24" monitor would it matter if it wasn't exactly the same? I could always buy a 24" and switch it with my kids. Taking both of their identical monitors for my use and switching mine and buy another for them.
After seeing and hearing about the amazing rigs that many people have on these forums; it seems rather silly for me to the specs of my very modest gaming PC. It works and that's good enough for me.

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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby Synchronicity » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:09 pm

It would only matter if it wasn't the same if you were playing games stretched out across two screens, which I could never do because of the bezels (and amount of pixels you need to push). Otherwise you can mix and match to your heart's content, which is what I did with a Dell Ultrasharp U2410M @ 1920x1200 24" and an ASUS VG248QE @ 1080p 24". The Dell was for graphic design because it had hella color accuracy but now I have it set to portrait mode so that I can read books and write long essays easier. The ASUS is for gaming as I modded it with the DIY G-Sync kit.
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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby Ronin » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:57 pm

What would it be like trying to game on two 24" monitors? Run things at a lower resolution? Would I need to get a second card & run it SLI? Not sure how it would be, but I fantasize about ZeroGuardian's three 27" monitor setup.
After seeing and hearing about the amazing rigs that many people have on these forums; it seems rather silly for me to the specs of my very modest gaming PC. It works and that's good enough for me.

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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby ZeroGuardian » Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:55 pm

Ronin, one thing to keep in mind. With two monitors if you try to play a game spanned across them the center of the display will now the large gap created by your monitor bezels. So its typically best to have three monitors if you are wanting to do gameplay spanned across them.

However, when using 3 monitors you are going to need some pretty beefy hardware. At the very least I'd recommend a single GTX 970 (preferably a GTX 980) and if you can run SLI.

The benefit of dual monitors is really the multitasking across them. IF your end game is running games across multiple monitors, I'd recommend first getting a better GPU and then picking up two inexpensive 24" 1080p monitors to go along with your current one afterwards.

If you have any questions let me know. I ran dual monitors for a very long time. Then moved to three late last year.
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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby Synchronicity » Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:05 pm

In addition to what Zero said I would strive to always maintain your monitor's native resolution first and lower all other graphics settings to get a playable framerate. Running at a non-native resolution always looks worse than running with some bells and whistles off.
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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby Ronin » Sat Sep 05, 2015 5:18 pm

I appreciate all of the input. Now that I see the situation more clearly it is obvious that picking up a cheap 24 inch second monitor is the way to go. I can easily get one for about $150 and I won't need to upgrade my graphics card just yet.

What is the best way to connect it? I currently have the projector from our home theater hooked up to my gtx 760's HDMI out (I just mirror what ever is on my monitor when I want content from my PC shown) I had the CRT hooked up to the motherboard's VGA out. But I had some weirdness in Windows with having 3 monitors connected.
After seeing and hearing about the amazing rigs that many people have on these forums; it seems rather silly for me to the specs of my very modest gaming PC. It works and that's good enough for me.

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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby Synchronicity » Sat Sep 05, 2015 5:46 pm

What outputs does your video card have? Going by Google it looks like 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 1x DVI-D, and 1x DVI-I. So just connect it to one of those and you'll be fine.
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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby Ronin » Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:20 pm

Would connecting it to my 760 decrease my frame rates while gaming? I figured connecting it to the motherboard would off load graphic work from the graphics card to make things easier.
After seeing and hearing about the amazing rigs that many people have on these forums; it seems rather silly for me to the specs of my very modest gaming PC. It works and that's good enough for me.

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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby jacobvandy » Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:48 pm

There's virtually no graphics processing work to be done by simply extending Windows to another monitor. You won't notice a difference in gaming performance unless you're rendering the same game across both screens or two different games simultaneously or something like that. As long as it's just a web browser or other simple apps on the second screen, you'll be fine. Mirroring of course is fine regardless of the content; the video card only creates the image once no matter how many screens are showing it.

Also, connecting a display to your motherboard means it must have been using some built-in chip to drive it, which is probably why Windows was giving you trouble. Having two different graphics adapters active at once is a hassle you shouldn't bother with unless you have to.
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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby Ronin » Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:43 pm

Interesting to learn about the connections. Now all I have to do is pick out a monitor. I had seen a few deals on 27" unit. I could make it my main display and make my 24" my second. Or (more likely) I will pick the cheapest 24" I can find and squander the savings on eBay & Amazon buying more crap I don't need!
After seeing and hearing about the amazing rigs that many people have on these forums; it seems rather silly for me to the specs of my very modest gaming PC. It works and that's good enough for me.

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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby Synchronicity » Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:01 pm

Go for a second 24" and save the money for a video card upgrade. Your computer will either not be able to reliably push the higher resolution of a 27" display or you end up getting a cheap 27" monitor that displays at 1080p and looks absolutely awful.
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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby Ronin » Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:56 pm

Anyone have any suggestions?

This is a BenQ for about $175 that has good reviews:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007HS ... _pC_nS_ttl I would probably make it my primary monitor since the one I have now is almost 3 years old.

and here's a 24" Dell for $140 that has amazing reviews
http://www.amazon.com/Dell-E2414Hr-24-I ... NXGM8B94CS
After seeing and hearing about the amazing rigs that many people have on these forums; it seems rather silly for me to the specs of my very modest gaming PC. It works and that's good enough for me.

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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby Ronin » Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:18 pm

The new monitor is in place and is way better than the old CRT. I still have to take out my contact lenses for any serious time on the PC but I think I would be hard pressed to spend $137 to get as much improvement of my computer experience on any other hardware.

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(ignore the World of Tanks defeat & terrible score on the left monitor!)
After seeing and hearing about the amazing rigs that many people have on these forums; it seems rather silly for me to the specs of my very modest gaming PC. It works and that's good enough for me.

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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby Synchronicity » Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:56 pm

Looks good! Which monitor did you get?
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Re: Ronin's monitor problem

Postby Ronin » Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:51 am

Sync,

I bought the ACER G246HL 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0098Y ... ge_o01_s00

It cost $137 ($129 PRIME + some tax since Amazon has facility in my state) which when I think about my old 21" CRT retailing for for almost 15 times more than this Acer is simply staggering. I am sure once I get used to the set up it will change my PC experience as much as when I got my first SSD. Last night when we were gaming I had Mumble open and Chrome window with Battlefield 4 controls on it. Once I get used to moving the cursor in and out of the game window it will be perfect.

I really need to figure out the best way to calibrate it.
After seeing and hearing about the amazing rigs that many people have on these forums; it seems rather silly for me to the specs of my very modest gaming PC. It works and that's good enough for me.

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