High Resolution LCD Comparison - 1600x1200 and 1920x1200

For gaming, I’m not an LCD fan, but for pretty much everyday office stuff, I think they are pretty cool, though not perfect.

I have this thing where for any screen to be productive for me when I use it, I pretty much need a resolution of 1600x1200 or higher.

I replaced a 19" CRT running 1600x1200 with a 20.1" LCD (Samsung 204b) with a native res of 1600x1200. The 19" really had a viewable display size of 18", so basically you had higher pixel density on the CRT than on the LCD. However, when you compare a 19" LCD running at 1280x1024 to a 20.1" LCD running at 1600x1200, the 20.1" has noticeably higher pixel density and as a result the image looks sharper and cleaner.

1600x1200 on that 20.1" LCD is a little bit bigger and for most folks, easier to read and preferable to the 19" CRT at 1600x1200. This I can understand, even though I was fine with 1600x1200 on the CRT.

Well, in addition to that 20.1" LCD, I now have a 24" iMac with a resolution of 1920x1200. Previously, Apple only offered the 23" LCD with a resolution of 1920x1200, and I thought that one looked very, very crisp and detailed when I checked it out at the store. I kind of wish the new iMac was a 23" like that Cinema display, but hey, what’s another diagonal inch, eh?

Well, this is what I’m kinda getting at. I think I am actually happier with the 20.1" LCD at 1600x1200 than the 24" LCD, because of the pixel density primarily.

In terms of true viewable size, the Samsung 20.1" measures 12" vertically and 16" horizontally. The iMac, when displaying 1600x1200 (black bars on the left and right) is 12.75" tall (vertically) and 17" wide (horizontally).

That means it spreads the same 1600x1200 out over a larger area, meaning the pixels are not as close together and therefore the display does not look as crisp and clear, at least to my eyes.

I mean, the iMac screen is not evil or anything, but it just seems to be stretched out compared to the Samsung LCD and the Samsung gets the nod by a sorta small margin as a result. (not taking any other factors into account)

I thought about getting a MacMini and another Samsung 20.1" LCD ($300 after rebate) but the MacMini is grossly underpowered compared to the new Core 2 Duo iMac, and the whole “all in one” thing appealed to me.

I guess what I’m getting at is - is anyone else noticing these differences in pixel density on these LCD models? Especially when you hit 1600x1200 and above?

I know that when I see a 17" LCD at 1280x1024 side-by-side with a 19" LCD at 1280x1024, it is very obvious that the 17" looks less pixelated and is much clearer and crisp. Especially when working with text like spreadsheets and web browsing.

Does anyone else notice this, especially with higher resolution LCD’s?

:eek: you must have really good eyes

Nah - I have glasses. But I do think I’m a bit nit-picky about quality.

At least, Apple’s 23-inch and 30-inch LCD monitors use LG.Philips’s best panels. Highest prices as well. :slight_smile:

I hear ya. That 23 inch Cinema LCD that Apple has is a FANTASTIC LCD.

But man, the 1600x1200 Samsung 204b is a GREAT LCD with 4:3 and is only $300. You have to pay like $700 more for that 23" widescreen and all ya get is 320 more pixels from left to right! Doh!

I’m still kinda torqued that there is only a Brightness setting on the 24" iMac. No contrast adjustment.

Even when the brightness is cranked all the way down, it is too freakin bright man! OMG!

I love my HANNS_G WS/LCD it is 20in. and native 1440x900 it is wide screen! But of course can go higher but I prefer the native! What is your refreash rate on those? Mine has a 5ms, at 700:1 & Aspect Ratio of 16:10 which is great for gaming not that I play anymore!
Luvs Jenni

I thought the Native resolution was always the MAX resolution for LCD’s. My LCD native is 1600x1200 and that is also the max on the PC, and the iMac native is 1920x1200 and that is also the max.

I run refresh rates always at 60hz, which is what LCD’s are designed for. But I think you meant response time, which is 5ms on my Samsung and has an 800:1 contrast ratio. I can’t seem to find the info on the response time for the 24" iMac, but the contrast ratio is 700:1 on that LCD.

Mine can be set to a few different refreash rates not sure why it is a 60 now, sorry yes ment response time with the 5ms lol! And the native on mine is 2 below its max which they advertised for best set to native though, it may also have something to do with this new fancy video card i now have! It can also be rotated which I have yet to find a use for but kool, and it came in a realy nice shiny laquer finish which really stands out nice over the dull finish on most! I am thinking of buying another and tying them together side by side looks very productive with all that work space!
Luvs Jenni


I hook up with DVI, which defaults to 60hz, which is what all of the LCD’s are designed to run at, I believe. I always run in NATIVE mode, cause, well, that’s what it’s designed to look best at, and since I don’t game on LCD’s, I don’t have to worry about running at a resolution less than the native.

But as long as folks is happy, then more power to 'em. I’m trying to adjust to the LCD’s and find that for general work, they are ok. I don’t like 'em much for picture editing and vector drawing/color matching, but for word processing, spreadsheets, web browsing, stuff like that, I am ok with them for the most part. I still prefer my CRT though. :slight_smile:

Interesting that you have issues with them and picture editing and such I do that all day long on mine and my CRTs sit in closet now, lol! Have no issues with mine although my eye site is better then most ppl no brag’n just lucky! :smiley:
Luvs Jenni

All else being equal, 17" at native is better than 19". However, the majority of 19 inchers have much better electronics/software. Therefore, a good 19" will always look better than a good 17". 1920 is used by some vendors to boost profit.

I dunno, furballi - I’m not sure I can agree with that.

I second on that with you!
Luvs Jenni

A 19 incher has larger pixels at native rez. Therefore, it only appears inferior when working with ULTRA HIGH resolution. Under normal conditions, most users will prefer the larger pixel size of 19 inchers. Just count the number on 17 vs 19 on the shelves. Technology in 19" and above will advance, while those in 17" and smaller will remain static due to the lower profit margin.

All 24" and 30" LCD panels have ~.25 mm pixels. 20" at 1600x1200 also means .25 mm pixels, quite dense for most people used to .27 mm and .29 mm on 17" and 19" LCD monitors at 1280x1024.

Don’t forget to enable ClearType if you are running Windows XP or Vista: Use ClearType to Enhance Screen Fonts in Windows XP

I wonder why anyone would want a blockier picture?

I do have ClearType enabled, of course, and the iMac auto-antialiases.

I prefer a finer grid with smaller pixels so that the lines look cleaner and straighter, none of that stair-stepping stuff like in the old days.

Strange my lcd runs way better in standard rather than clear type. It seemed very blurry switching over to clear type.

I like standard text with high pixel density LCD’s, but don’t find Cleartype all that bad. Helps in some apps, depending on the font. Like Britannica for instance. But displays are pretty personal, and each set of eyes is unique.

The key thing is to use what works best for you. :slight_smile:

Maybe you have a rare monitor that has the color sub-pixels in BGR (blue-green-red) order. Microsoft’s standard ClearType assumes the more common RGB order.

You can change ClearType to work with such monitors. You can try the on-line method here, and there’s also a link to the PowerToy program.

I’ve read that screen shots taken with ClearType on will look bad on BGR LCD monitors, and on CRTs also. What do you poor souls without RGB LCD monitors think?