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Thread: I need a new monitor

  1. #1
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    Default I need a new monitor

    I am looking for a new monitor. There are monitors with resolutions of 1920x1080; 3840x2160; 2560x1440. Also there are monitors with aspect ratios of 16:9 and 32:9. All these specifications are confusing to me. All I want is a monitor that has good resolution, but I'm not sure about the aspect ratio. I want my lines straight and my circles round, not egg shaped. A wide screen sounds nice, but will it give me what I want? Any recommendation as to monitor manufacturer would be nice also.

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    Default Re: I need a new monitor

    Many in our office use a curved wide monitor with aspect ratio of 32:9 split to work like dual monitors that line up perfectly.
    Make sure whatever you decide is supported by the graphics card you have.
    Tom Beauford P.S.M. - Civil 2020 on Windows 10 Enterprise
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    Default Re: I need a new monitor

    I've used Dell UltraSharp U3014 30" Monitors for 15+ years. I don't believe in using screens designed for TV use. Some people buy 4k TVs then whine about the icons being too small, etc.

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    Default Re: I need a new monitor

    If you get a 4K (3840x2160), it fills in the gaps between pixels to make text easier to read, straight lines less jagged, and line weights more accurate.

    However, a lot of people then struggle to figure out how to set up Windows to improve the overall GUI scaling. It's not hard, but Windows tries to "help" as usual and buries what you really need to get everything scaled to taste. It will double scale instead of use 4K, under- or over-size the font, use the wrong font hinting settings, and get the wrong refresh rate. You really have to get in there and force it do what you know is correct. I see many people using 2x GUI scaling, when they could use 4K at 100% scale just by bumping the font a little.

    I'm a bit older, so my eyes aren't as good as when I was looking at computer screens in the early 1980s. I need the GUI slightly larger than I used to. But I'm still easily able to set up any Windows interface to my liking using Settings, although Microsoft sure has moved things around over the years between ye ol' Display to now Personalization and Ease of Access.

    The trick is understanding that your monitor size is directly related to the GUI size. If you use a 15" laptop monitor, you have literally 10% the area for displaying the interface and application than I do with my 50" monitor. Seriously, 43" is a grand size as long as you can sit a few feet away from the monitor (30"D desk). I use 50" because I like to have a lot of windows open. It's the first size that let's me display a full 24" x 36" drawing at real scale. Not quite the 200 dpi of printed paper, but good enough. That's the key.

    I use a $300 Sceptre 4K "hospitality" (no smart TV or network connectivity) monitor. It only refreshes at 60Hz, but that's plenty for any kind of video, graphics, or CAD work. The only people who theoretically need more than 60Hz are gamers or two-eye VR users. And I highly doubt that, scientifically your eye only refreshes at maybe 32 Hz or so. With calibrated color, 60 Hz is just fine.

    As for expensive quality and dymanic range—you don't need a whole bunch of extra gamut unless you are doing graphics professionally, but even then, most large shops actually have just one $$$$ monitor for final proofing and everybody else uses good-enough LEDs. My super cheap monitor, once I turn off all the assisting features (black level, film modes, dynamic range, color temperature, etc.) and properly calibrate it in a dark room, has clearly visible 255 steps of RGBCMYK. But having a dark room is critical to keep things in range. I think it's a waste of money (and energy) to pay $2k for a super bright, accurate monitor just because you can't work in low light settings.

    The best part of a $300 monitor is that it's display was probably made in the same factory and with the same tech that made that $5k screen. It won't have quite the spec, but it also won't have so many "helpful" features getting in the way. They cripple "hospitality" monitors by giving them 30 second wake times and that won't wake automatically when the input re-starts (your PC goes into sleep at lunch time) so you have to keep the remote beside the mouse. It's slightly annoying, but I have all the monitor scale and quality that I need.

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    Default Re: I need a new monitor

    I should have added that for a 4K monitor, you need a decent video card. I use Nvidia cards because I render with Maxwell Render, which needs Cuda. But whatever it is needs to comfortably push 4K at 60Hz. An RTX 2070 or above should be fine, but don't expect an integrated card to manage... AMD or Nvidia strongly recommended. (I basically melted my 4 year old Nvidia 1070 in an Omen laptop pushing 4K while rendering! And of course, on a laptop, it's not replacable, and the motherboard was $2k for HP to replace... so a whole new desktop to fix.)

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