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

Started Apr 26, 2013 | Discussions
Lord Mox
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Monitor Choice, Graphic Card, etc... :(
Apr 26, 2013

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:

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

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

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+).

Thanks guys...

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ilysaml
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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:

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

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

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+).

Thanks guys...

What resolution do you seek? Most 24'' IPS monitors are 1920*1080/1200P

For photoediting, some of the Adobe Suite benefits from nvidia CUDA cores and AMD OPEN CL/GL to enable hardware acceleration processing. For gaming, you need a high end card to enjoy a smooth gameplay @ high resolution.

For the monitor, you can get a very good one @ 500$

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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:

.

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".

.

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

.

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

.

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

.

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

.

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.

.

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+).

.

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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Fastfwd01
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Re: Monitor Choice, Graphic Card, etc... :(
In reply to NewsyL, Apr 26, 2013

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

.

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

I’m not trying to hijack this thread, but on the topic of these 24” – I see the Dell U2410 doesn’t rate as well on the PRAD site as the ASUS or the newer Dell U2412M.  I’m personally a bit put off by dropping this kind of money on a *new* monitor after I not too long ago I finally stepped up to a LCD (not an IPS and on the more entry level end of the spectrum at that) and getting what I presume is another 6 bit panel regardless of how good the AFRC is.

My interest in an IPS was sparked by a new camera that shoots 14bit RAW files and editing those in Adobe Lightroom.  As you mention though – I am NOT really familiar with color science.   I’m not currently using a color profile in Photoshop, etc. It’s frankly a bit beyond my game with it all.  I do need to get up to speed on all of that I suppose. I’ve got a fairly decent card I think to drive a better performance monitor; nVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti

Is it a waste of money for me to buy one of these if I’m not super serious about the ‘color science’ behind it all and maybe I’m just interested for the time being in editing the 14bit RAW files on a better monitor?  Maybe it’s something that I will learn more about as I go along.  I’m possibly attending a Canon seminar this weekend on their printers as a matter of fact that might enlighten me to matching output better, etc.

I’m leaning toward the old school 8bit panels personally on this if I even do it.  Is the backlighting technology on those going to be a disappointment for the money?  I don’t care about how thick it is really if it works well enough – maybe I’m not assessing the priority of the correct attributes, but it seems the big deal about the new Dell is the hot tech backlighting it has over the older generations (beyond the improved panel).  I’m not dropping that kind of money though for sure.  These older ones are at least coming off their original retail prices right about now with the new tech coming to the market.

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NewsyL
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Re: Monitor Choice, Graphic Card, etc... :(
In reply to Fastfwd01, Apr 27, 2013

Fastfwd01 wrote:

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

.

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

I’m not trying to hijack this thread, but on the topic of these 24” – I see the Dell U2410 doesn’t rate as well on the PRAD site as the ASUS or the newer Dell U2412M.

I had a very long response but DPReview timed it out.  I can't retype it, sorry, I'm under time constraints and won't be here much in the coming week.

The U2410 is a bear to deal with.  I've not thought much of it since the day it was released.  I don't recommend considering it unless you are under a $$ budget crunch.

The U2413 was on sale for $499 CAD this week.  The U2410 is $399.  For $100 more you get a much much better wide gamut monitor.

.

I’m personally a bit put off by dropping this kind of money on a *new* monitor after I not too long ago I finally stepped up to a LCD (not an IPS and on the more entry level end of the spectrum at that) and getting what I presume is another 6 bit panel regardless of how good the AFRC is.

Read the reviews.  The banding issues on 6bit+AFRC IPS monitors are minimal.  Get a good calibrator!  It will help a lot.

My interest in an IPS was sparked by a new camera that shoots 14bit RAW files and editing those in Adobe Lightroom.  As you mention though – I am NOT really familiar with color science.   I’m not currently using a color profile in Photoshop, etc. It’s frankly a bit beyond my game with it all.  I do need to get up to speed on all of that I suppose. I’ve got a fairly decent card I think to drive a better performance monitor; nVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti

Is it a waste of money for me to buy one of these if I’m not super serious about the ‘color science’ behind it all and maybe I’m just interested for the time being in editing the 14bit RAW files on a better monitor?

For a wide gamut.... maybe.

Maybe it’s something that I will learn more about as I go along.  I’m possibly attending a Canon seminar this weekend on their printers as a matter of fact that might enlighten me to matching output better, etc.

I’m leaning toward the old school 8bit panels personally on this if I even do it.  Is the backlighting technology on those going to be a disappointment for the money?

No.  Every generation and technology of LCD back lights be it LED or CCFL have had issues like gamut coverage, warm up time, flicker, lack of low minimal brightness.

I don’t care about how thick it is really if it works well enough – maybe I’m not assessing the priority of the correct attributes, but it seems the big deal about the new Dell is the hot tech backlighting it has over the older generations (beyond the improved panel).  I’m not dropping that kind of money though for sure.  These older ones are at least coming off their original retail prices right about now with the new tech coming to the market.

I'd stay away from the U2410.  It will frustrate you initially until you learn to tame it.

.

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Lord Mox
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Re: Monitor Choice, Graphic Card, etc... :(
In reply to NewsyL, Apr 27, 2013

Thank you guys for the your detailed replies. Much appreciated. Just to clarify, I am currently shooting with sRGB setting in my camera, not adobe sRGB which is an available option...my desire for a wide gamut is to be able to have the option in the future..I am not going to spend another $1000 anytime soon on a monitor that's for sure.

The things is, reading your comments, and your links, made me a bit confused. Does using a wide gamut monitor like DELL's 2413 affects my current sRGB work-flow in a negative way (e.g. introduce color banding, etc..)? Can't I set the monitor to be standard sRGB only for the time being and only use its wide gamut capability when needed??

All I need really, is (1) to be able to see my photos as real as possible...with a budget of ~$700. (2) to be future proof at least for 2 yrs considering that my photography skills are hugely improving with time as I am dedicating a lot of time for it...as a hobby though, not making money nor thinking about making money out of it in the future. But I know for sure, that I will start printing for my own collection..that's why I am eager to get a solid monitor and start doing real editing.

Thanks guys...

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Fastfwd01
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Re: Monitor Choice, Graphic Card, etc... :(
In reply to NewsyL, Apr 27, 2013

I appreciate the advice the old Dell is actually dropping down below $390, free shipping, etc. now that apparently stock is back up on them possibly, but I do see the brand new replacement’s price dipping as it comes closer to availability.  Probably in the least worth seeing what happens after it comes out for a bit and gives me a good excuse to hold off on it.

I already have the impression that the entire population of Oklahoma City is reading these message boards to try to rip me off for every possession that I confirm owning on here.  I can’t begin to express how much I HATE living here.  That’s another story.

Thanks though.  I have been concerned with some reviews on the older Dell despite it seeming like it was the higher quality panel.

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Clueless Wanderer
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Re: Monitor Choice, Graphic Card, etc... :(
In reply to Lord Mox, Apr 27, 2013

Just stay clear of the  Dell UltraSharpTM  U2410 Monitor. I sent 3 of these back.. Yeah "Pro colour", YEAH RIGHT! It may do the gamut but it has a green through to magenta cast going across the screen. This was after a full weekend with 4 different kinds of calibration software and a colourimeter. I was just so over it I spent 4 times more than I should and got an Eizo to be done with it.
  People who own NEC screens seem to like them..

Oh and the wide gamut.. I opted for a wide gamut screen, simlar attitude to you, but in doing so I had to buy another (more expensive) calibrator because my other one couldn't do the wide gamut.
After all the outlay, I now have this sweet looking set up with super rich colours for gaming but when Im editing I flick the monitor over to sRGB.
I edit in adobe 1998 and embed the file. I send Images for print to a lambda that is printing in Adobe 1998 and the prints come back slightly more vibrant than my sRGB calibrated monitor setting. My point? You dont need an adobe 1998 gamut screen for editing, It makes the colours more 'neon' looking, for the want of a better description.. But man, Those Adobe 1998 Colours when gaming are mindblowing..  

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Leon Obers
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Re: Monitor Choice, Graphic Card, etc... :(
In reply to Lord Mox, Apr 27, 2013

Lord Mox wrote:

my desire for a wide gamut is to be able to have the option in the future..I am not going to spend another $1000 anytime soon on a monitor that's for sure.

The things is, reading your comments, and your links, made me a bit confused. Does using a wide gamut monitor like DELL's 2413 affects my current sRGB work-flow in a negative way (e.g. introduce color banding, etc..)? Can't I set the monitor to be standard sRGB only for the time being and only use its wide gamut capability when needed??

Banding has more to do with the bit-depth of a monitor, than that is has to do with color depth c.q. "wide gamut".
As it comes to banding, every 3x 8 bit LCD monitor do have some tiny banding, not to speak about 6 bit per channel monitors (do avoid these totally). If you want 10 bit depth per channel, only a few monitors do have that bandwidth. But not only that, you need a graphics card that do have the capability to output for 10 bit depth per channel. Only NVDIA "Quadro" cards, and AMD "FirePro" cards have the possibility to output at 10 bit depth per channel.
That is not the end of the line, only a few applications do have the possibility to show the complete bandwidth of 10 bit per channel. E.g. Photoshop does, but Lightroom doesn't.
But more, the price tag is quite high for this professional demands.

I should say, just go with a graphic card and monitor that has output / input for 3x 8 bit color depth.

sRGB or Adobe RGB is not dependent from 3x 8 or 3x 10 bit output. Only for the between steps, you have more "smooth" distribution of it using 3x 10 bit output.

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glasswave
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Re: Monitor Choice, Graphic Card, etc... :(
In reply to Clueless Wanderer, Apr 27, 2013

Clueless Wanderer wrote:

Just stay clear of the  Dell UltraSharpTM  U2410 Monitor. I sent 3 of these back.. Yeah "Pro colour", YEAH RIGHT! It may do the gamut but it has a green through to magenta cast going across the screen. This was after a full weekend with 4 different kinds of calibration software and a colourimeter. I was just so over it I spent 4 times more than I should and got an Eizo to be done with it.
  People who own NEC screens seem to like them..

Oh and the wide gamut.. I opted for a wide gamut screen, simlar attitude to you, but in doing so I had to buy another (more expensive) calibrator because my other one couldn't do the wide gamut.
After all the outlay, I now have this sweet looking set up with super rich colours for gaming but when Im editing I flick the monitor over to sRGB.
I edit in adobe 1998 and embed the file. I send Images for print to a lambda that is printing in Adobe 1998 and the prints come back slightly more vibrant than my sRGB calibrated monitor setting. My point? You dont need an adobe 1998 gamut screen for editing, It makes the colours more 'neon' looking, for the want of a better description.. But man, Those Adobe 1998 Colours when gaming are mindblowing..  

My 2410's perform flawlessly and calibrated just fine w/Colormuki. I have 58 of them. One died after falling off a desk and on another the buttons gave out (warranty replaced).

If you go wide gammut, then calibration becomes more critical, as does brightness v/ambient light.

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Clueless Wanderer
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Re: Monitor Choice, Graphic Card, etc... :(
In reply to glasswave, Apr 28, 2013

glasswave wrote:

Clueless Wanderer wrote:

Just stay clear of the  Dell UltraSharpTM  U2410 Monitor. I sent 3 of these back.. Yeah "Pro colour", YEAH RIGHT! It may do the gamut but it has a green through to magenta cast going across the screen. This was after a full weekend with 4 different kinds of calibration software and a colourimeter. I was just so over it I spent 4 times more than I should and got an Eizo to be done with it.
  People who own NEC screens seem to like them..

Oh and the wide gamut.. I opted for a wide gamut screen, simlar attitude to you, but in doing so I had to buy another (more expensive) calibrator because my other one couldn't do the wide gamut.
After all the outlay, I now have this sweet looking set up with super rich colours for gaming but when Im editing I flick the monitor over to sRGB.
I edit in adobe 1998 and embed the file. I send Images for print to a lambda that is printing in Adobe 1998 and the prints come back slightly more vibrant than my sRGB calibrated monitor setting. My point? You dont need an adobe 1998 gamut screen for editing, It makes the colours more 'neon' looking, for the want of a better description.. But man, Those Adobe 1998 Colours when gaming are mindblowing..  

My 2410's perform flawlessly and calibrated just fine w/Colormuki. I have 58 of them. One died after falling off a desk and on another the buttons gave out (warranty replaced).

If you go wide gammut, then calibration becomes more critical, as does brightness v/ambient light.

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There is simply too much beauty in the world to photograph it all, but I'm trying.

The calibration software said they were good, but I could visually see the green to magenta cast.. Its been a well documented problem with them.. FYI I was using Xrite idisplay2 with various software..

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