Monitor Choice, Graphic Card, etc... :(

Started Apr 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
NewsyL
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Re: Monitor Choice, Graphic Card, etc... :(
In reply to Lord Mox, Apr 26, 2013

Lord Mox wrote:

Hey all,

I am about to invest in a new monitor. I really do need help. I used to be a gamer and one of my main issues was response time. That's all over now as I've quit gaming....and found a new hobby...photography.

My current monitor isn't that good. I see color banding almost in every photo when I start to edit it in LR or PS. So, after some research I learned that it's mainly due to my monitor...after more research I settled on Dell ultrasharp 2413. I could go to 27" ...but I am not comfortable increasing the size...It might be that, for gaming, I am used to smaller screen where I can see things faster if the monitor is smaller as I don't need to move my head! Anyway, the questions are:

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I think you should consider a dual monitor systems using a new monitor for your main editing and viewing monitor and your old gaming monitor as your secondary to park software menus in, etc etc..  You get more useful real estate with duals over a single 27".

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-For a 24", what do you recommend for a monitor that won't exceed $700-800...for photo editing that is.

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The Dell U2413 you mention is a very good monitor.  You should know that it is a wide gamut model which demands a solid understanding of color management best practices and advanced editng and viewing software to implement it.  I'd also recommend that you obtain a hardware calibrator, more so with using a wide gamut monitor.

http://www.gballard.net/photoshop/srgb_wide_gamut.html

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Other similar wide gamut monitors are the NEC PA241w but it is borderline on your budget of $700.

ASUS makes a wide gamut PA246Q which is very similar to the Dell U2410.... very very similar!  (I subscribe to the theory that the OEM division of ASUS makes the monitors for Dell).

Otherwise there are a number of standard sRGB gamut 24" models out there.  The new NEC P242w is probably the best of the lot.  The HP ZR2440w is also very good.  Then there is the Dell U2412M.  I have one and for my use it is fine.

Another point to be aware of is that almost all of the monitors with an IPS panel of 24" and smaller below $400 USD in cost are actually 6bit monitors that use an AFRC (Advanced Frame Rate Control) technique to simulate an 8bit color depth of 16.7 million colors.  Should this be a concern?  Depends on how advanced you are in terms of awareness of issues pertaining to bit depth and the software tools you use to edit and if you carefully use a hardware calibrator.  With the latest generation of AFRC, the main issue of banding is not that big an issue if what a number of the reviews state is true.

Check out these review sites:

http://www.prad.de/en/monitore/reviews.html

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews.htm

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-Does graphic card performance matters for photo editing as much as it does for gaming?? my current is Nvidia GTX 560.

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Should be fine.  I believe this model supports a unique LUT (Look Up Table) for each port off the back of the card.  This is important in a dual or triple monitor system.  The LUT holds data, derived from an ICC profile created using the new hardware calibrator you are going to buy, pertinent to each unique monitor.  You don't want to share a LUT amongst two monitors as one of them will be forced to use the data from the other monitor and then its' colors will be skewed.

When calibrating a monitor you either rely on a LUT in the video card to hold data unique to the electronic character of the monitor, or you use a LUT in the monitor itself.  The vast majority of monitors do NOT have an internal LUT that can be written to by calibration software.  The Dell U2413 and NEC PA241w both offer this feature.  Despite this, a lot of U2413 and PA241w users rely on the LUTs in the video card for calibration.

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Again, I could go to $900 if it's really worth it.(But I am keeping in mind that I would probably need to invest in a calibration device which would easily cost me an additional $200+).

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Xrite i1 Display Pro (a must buy if you get the U2413 as it is the only model that will work with the Dell OEM calibration software to write the internal LUT of the monitor

Xrite Colorvision Display (similar to the Display Pro but locked, slower, less features)

Datacolor Spyder 4 Elite

Datacolor Spyder4 Pro (like the Elite but less features, no dedicated brightness module)

Reviews here.... http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/reviews.html#Monitor_profiling

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