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Hardware  /  16 Jul 2009, 17:40
Samsung SyncMaster 2233RZ
The time for 120Hz TFT displays is here. As you might have noticed, there have been some discussions about 120Hz TFTs on our forum. So, I decided to get myself one, being this particular Samsung model, 2233RZ.

Note:

The monitor is compared directly to one CRT and two TFTs.

1) 21" Viewsonic P227fB (1360*768 @ 154Hz)
2) 24" BenQ G2400WD (1920*1200 @ 60Hz)
3) 20" NEC 20WGX2 (1680*1050 @ 60Hz)

All the comparisons apply to QW only in this blog. I have played other games too but I feel it is important to keep this review QW only because of the people visiting QW.nu Regardless of that, the review also applies to other games too, of course.
Introduction:

Ok, so the 2233RZ is your typical 22" A-Si TN TFT monitor with a catch. It can support up to 120Hz refreshrates at its native resolution, 1680 x 1050. All you need to have is a "modern" graphics card (Geforce 7800-series or better) that supports dual-link DVI mode. Also you might want to install the monitor's .inf for your operating system to get the refreshrates available, but it might work even without it (I didn't test or check it).

Let's check the specs and a few features:

Manufacturer specifications wrote:
Screen Size: 22" Wide
Resolution: 1680 x 1050
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio : 1000:1
Response time: 3ms (GTG) / 5ms
Viewing Angle: H:170° / V:160° (CR>10)
Colors: 16.7M

The monitor looks like this: (stolen boldly from Samsung, Zalon beware!)
http://pici.se/pictures/tCtfvZtPW.jpg


As you can see, the monitor has glossy exterior to make it look "cool and futuristic". Yet I pay little attention to such details, but someone might find it attracting. Also the blue led below the "SAMSUNG" text looks rather ok on that transparent plastic thingy. The weak side of this is the fact that you are going to see every damn speck of dust or finger print on it. The screen itself is non-glossy and anti-reflective.

The stand is your standard el-cheapo stand for TN panels. Two words can describe it perfectly: shitty & horrible. You can tilt the screen but that's it, there is no rotation or height adjustments. However, you can replace the stand with VESA100 mount if you wish.

OSD is also pretty simple, however it takes some time to get used to it, since the damn buttons are placed on the right side. The good thing is the opened OSD shows you where the buttons are located, but that doesn't help all that much.

(Another stolen image, we are doomed!)
http://pici.se/pictures/aGfAmjlYj.jpg



Image quality:

Out-of-box colors, brightness and contrast are absolutely terrible. Colors are totally off, brightness is set to 100 and contrast is set to 75. With these settings you are bound to have headaches and images burned to your retinae. My suggestion is that you use the following settings:

1) Color settings:
User defined: R:48 G:35 B:41

New calibration values 25.4.2010

2) Normal brightness/contrast settings (neutral/balanced)
brightness user defined, contrast 50


3) Alternative brightness/contrast (darker black, more vivid)
brightness 10, contrast 65


With these settings the image looks rather ok, pretty close to my BenQ G2400WD's calibrated image, but a bit more vivid.

The native resolution of this monitor is 1680 x 1050 which is seen on most of the 20-22" models. It is acceptable for gaming yet I'd like to have more on desktop when doing the normal stuff, like reading text on internet or writing a blog like this. The viewing angles are typical TN crap so don't expect to see much on the screen from around the monitor. It's still a little bit better than the viewing angles of G2400WD.


Performance:

So, what's the performance? According to my tests, this monitor comes very close to CRT when being used at 120Hz. Yes, you can use 60Hz too if you want to, but I wouldn't recommend that. The 120Hz refreshrate removes ghosting and blurring really efficiently. While this does not quite make it CRT level, it is considerably better than any other TFT out there (excluding the 120Hz models, like Viewsonic Fuhzion VX2265WM). There's some inputlag, places like Xbitlabs, Prad.de and Digital-versus have measured it being around 10ms average, but at least my performance wasn't affected by it. My BenQ G2400WD has around 8ms inputlag and it feels pretty much the same, yet my Samsung 2233RZ looks much, much better in games. Even if I'm pretty sensitive to such things, I'm sure there are people who might get affected by the inputlag even if I didn't.

There is one pixel that doesn't lit red color. Also there is some backlight bleeding on the lower part of the screen. Something you can reduce with some adjustments and proper lighting in room, but in dark rooms it will be visible with dark images, but in the end it will not go away totally. Scaling options are limited to wide and auto, yet they seem to be doing the same thing. So no 1:1 scaling options or even proper aspect ratio scaling options, which sucks donkey balls.


QW settings?

With cl_earlypackets 0: cl_physfps 77, cl_maxfps 308 or more
With cl_earlypackets 1: cl_physfps 77, cl_maxfps 300, 360, or whatever

cl_maxfps 120 looks rather ok, but doesn't really feel ok. cl_maxfps 154 makes the screen jerky so skip that one too. There are no particular rules about using refreshrate multiplications with cl_earlypackets, otherwise one should consider what's written here.


Final thoughts:

How about the price then? It's around 300 euros at this moment in Finland, you might be able to get it cheaper from someplace else. However, the price IS NOT JUSTIFIED because you are getting:

1) a TN panel
2) ...that has backlight bleeding problem
3) ...and weak dark level
4) ...with 22" size
5) ...and only 1680*1050 resolution

But if you really want to play with almost blur- and ghostless TFT at 120Hz, then you should consider buying one. You can get "gaming grade" 60Hz 24" monitors with better image quality under 200 euros, so there's your comparison.


I'll be updating this blog if I remember something I should have mentioned or if I bump into something new.
Comments
2009-07-16, 17:47
nice writeup, seriously considering purchasing one of these, however do you know how the image quality is when gibbing @ 800x600? ~
2009-07-16, 18:00
It scales to full screen and looks unsharp and ugly. But it is playable if that's what you want to know.
2009-07-16, 19:10
Nice. I read some stuff about it on Xbitlabs earlier today and from what I could tell - it's far superior to other "gaming" TFT's. I prefer this review tho, since it's an actual Quake review and directed to this audience
I will most likely get it (it's around 300 euros in swe aswell).
2009-07-16, 20:19
I am very disappointed by this review. I expected some comparision CRT vs. LCD LG% egoscreenshots from povdmm4 against randomnoobs (( </irony> hehe
But nah, I really expected a bit more detailed description of how it does feel in QW compared to CRT. But overall nice read, covered lots of topics.
2009-07-16, 23:22
I did mention about the performance compared to CRT in the review. It's as close as it can get to CRT, yet not being able to being one in the terms of responsiveness.

I actually did play with Miarf and I got pretty much the same scores as with CRT last year, and those numbers are considerably better than the scores with my 60Hz tft. So coming from CRT will make you notice the difference, but after a few days (or hours) you're as good as with your CRT I'm sure. Coming from 60/75Hz TFT, it blows your mind away.
2009-07-16, 23:27
There is really not much to say that Renzo hasn't already said. If you've ever tried a CRT at 120hz you will know how this monitor feels too, only it's a bit sharper. Of course this monitor does 120hz in ALL resolutions (well, not really, since all resolutions are 1680x1050 - scaling :/). Most people who have a CRT don't have one that can do 120hz @ 1280x1024 even. The refresh rate is really all that separates this monitor from any other flatscreen.
2009-07-17, 11:29
I have one of those and can only say it was the best buy ever.
If you wanna know how it works in qw I can tell you that it's freakin' awsome, and compared to a regular 60hz tft (I had such for 3 years) this is heaven. So much more control, and I see no ghosting/blurring, if you're not speed practising at very high speeds and fast turns. yougoandbuythisnow.com!
2009-07-19, 17:19
Damn, i really want 24", 19xx*12xx res and 120hz. Dont know if i can wait any longer... i maybe buy this sucker instead just to get 120hz
2009-07-19, 17:28
i can't even remember the last time i played quake on a crt. would be interesting to try a 120hz tft now for sure.
2009-07-22, 19:28
i wonder if there will ever be a 150hz model :/
2009-07-23, 00:52
dmt wrote: "i wonder if there will ever be a 150hz model :/"
There will not.
2009-07-26, 10:22
I've been toying with the idea of buying one of these, it's just the size that's putting me off really. If it were 24" @ 1920x1200 then I'd definitely go for it, but as I already have a 75hz 22" panel I can't really justify it given that I'm not playing competitively any more.

In fact if it wasn't for the fact it needs dual DVI input then I'd probably go for it anyway, as then I could run dual monitors for desktop work without needing to stick a second graphics card in.
2009-07-30, 18:55
It doesn't require Dual DVI input, it requires a dual link DVI cable (1 cable not 2) and a dual link capable video card as mentioned above (the cable comes with the monitor).
2009-07-30, 23:00
If theres already 75hz tft's out there, why wouldn't 2x75hz be possible? Sorry if I sound retarded
2009-08-01, 23:57
The bandwidth for DVI is currently:

Single Link 3.96 Gbit/s
Dual Link 7.92 Gbit/s

Now, if you had resolution of 1920*1200 @ 75Hz it would require 4,15Gbps bandwidth so dual-link would have to be used. Double that value and you see the bandwidth exceeds 8Gbps, so it can't be done at that resolution.

1680*1050 monitors are different, so running such monitor would need 6,35Gbps bandwidth and it's within the DVI's bandwidth limit.

30" 2560*1600 monitor can't go beyond 80Hz in the terms of bandwidth, 81Hz exceeds the 7,92Gbps limit by 0,04Gbps.

So as you can see it all depends on the resolution. You can calculate the bandwidth required by the following formula:

resX * resY * 24 * refreshrate / 1000^3

example wrote:

2560*1600*24*80/1000^3 = 7.86432 Gbps

24bits of color has to be used since gfxcards output 24bits signal, 8bits for each, red, green and blue. That extra 8bits of alpha is required only during rendering stage, so it won't be sent to the monitor as separate channel.
2009-08-04, 19:32
I went out and bought this today, since im damn tired of my old CRT screen. The first impression is really good! QW is smooth (maybe even more smooth around corners and stuff than my old CRT), the only thing I can complain about is player models (and sometimes other stuff like megahealth) leaves a quick shadow behind them if moving fast. My lg % seems to be about the same as on my 160hz CRT, though i expected to lose some. The sharpness of this thing compared to my old CRT is a huuuge upgrade, and it feels nice playing at a high resolution in QW (using 1680 atm) when coming from 640x480. Now i can actually use costum crosshairs without them looking terrible, and playing is more easy on the eyes. I would also recommend using the color settings Renzo wrote in his review.

All in all, very pleased with this buy. I would imagine the experience if coming from a 60hz tft as being quite awesome, but could also recommend this to people used to a CRT.
2009-08-07, 09:11
Good final thoughts, much appreciated.
2010-06-30, 19:19
Ye its a good screen for sure. The colors canīt really compete with my old t220, but using renzos u can get decent enough. Feels like it hurst my eyes, have to fiddle around abit more with the settings.

For qw its absolutly fantastic First try got me 50% lg on lgc3, used to be around 43-46 on 75hz... Feels like crt, only better

/jOn
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