New Monitor and GPU

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion & Support' started by NuclearWastE3, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. NuclearWastE3

    NuclearWastE3
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    So, as some of you may remember, I was having trouble rendering colors, correctly, on my beloved behemoth of a monitor (65 LBS CRT monitor to be exact); which, in itself, got resolved on its own. Another thing that began happening was that the monitor itself was having difficulties turning on during the boot-up stage. This was especially common during the winter -since the monitor needed to be warmed up before it would turn on- but this habit bled into the summer-time as well (this summer, actually). Sometimes, it would take me three to five tries until the monitor would violently buzz ON and display the desktop. Other times, I would have to restart by pressing the Windows Key, on my keyboard, and blindly navigate to the restart option (since the screen was off). Well, the monitor is still in operable condition, today, and I have not gotten rid of it. Instead, I've replaced it with its "better" sibling: an LCD monitor. 98% times thinner......99.9% lighter!!

    If you have no idea what a CRT monitor looks like, it's this:
    [​IMG]

    The LCD monitor that I got is made by DELL and supports 1920x1080 (better known as 1080p). It's a step up from what the CRT was able to go up to; which was 1600x1200 (not bad for old technology, ehh?). Hooking it up, I noticed a big difference -both good and bad. The good news is: the display is beautiful and now I can now max out games even further. Sweet. I adjusted the colors to my liking and the colors come off similar to what the CRT was capable of, but not quite. Another good thing is -which goes in hand with the GPU upgrade- is that games, such as Metro LL, can be cranked up and play just as well as, sometimes even better, than at 1600x1200.

    The new GPU (actually a used card from 2009) is the AMD 5870. I've been using it for half a year now and was even able to use it with the CRT monitor set-up. The card is a little over twice as powerful than the 4870 that I previously used; which makes a big difference. When I was using the 5870, at 1600x1200, and benchmarking with Metro LL, I noticed that the GPU was only using 30% of its power. Quite poor, in my opinion (though, it can be seen as a good thing, I guess) but the game was running sluggish since the card wasn't being stressed. Maxing out the graphics, I could force the GPU to jump up to 60%, but that was it. LL would run at, around, 25-30 FPS maxed out (no motion blur enabled). Another reason could have been that I have an extremely old CPU that only has two cores and was bottle-necking the card. Anyway, now with the new monitor, I can crank it up to 1080p, raise SSAA all the way up, and play at 44-50 FPS. Sometimes, though, the FPS will dip down to the low 20s for a brief moment (especially in the outdoor areas). With LL maxed out, the GPU now does 85% to 95%.

    Now, for the only true down side -concerning the monitor- is how the color black is displayed. Jumping into a very dark game -the kind that has spooky, scary, monsters running wild in it- I was able to notice that the monitor could not show "true-black" colors. I was aware, from reading online articles, that LCD monitors were not capable of rendering colors as good as the CRT monitor (quite strange, especially if one considers that CRT monitors are considered ancient technology in the tech-world) but I didn't imagine that I would have been able to really notice a difference. In fact, it's not the way the LCD monitor displays the color black. While in-game and staring into what's suppose to be a pitch-black corridor, I can't see a damn thing; and that's how it should be and that's how the CRT monitor was. Although, the big difference is that the LCD monitor has some sort of "bleeding" affect (as the terminology goes) where a white, background, haze fills itself atop the dark areas (I can only notice it while playing at night during a really dark game). The "white haze" is -I guess- suppose to be there to help prevent headaches or just there because that's how LCD monitors are built; nonetheless, it can't be turned off and it bothers me. I no longer feel immersed in dark games. Before, with the CRT, it was pitch-black; no white haze. It made me feel if I was there. Now, there's a barrier between me and the spooky monsters. A white glowing haze that makes me feel invulnerable to what ever creeps within the darkened hallways. It's kind of like playing with the lights on.

    The good thing is, games look good where it's daylight. Darker games are meh. Hopefully, I'll get use to it. Overall, I'm quite satisfied :)
     
    #1 NuclearWastE3, Aug 17, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2015
  2. Skaara Dreadlocks

    Skaara Dreadlocks
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    Niiiice! That picture made me miss my old screen. I had one of those not long ago, actually. (Or has time just passed faster than I've realized?)
    Welcome to the current generation of gaming, 'twas about time you got rid of that box :lol:
     
  3. Komodo Saurian

    Komodo Saurian
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    That's analog vs digital for you.
     
  4. Bamul

    Bamul
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    Good news, I'm glad that you're getting better FPS now. And yeah, CRT monitors are pretty great in some aspects; as you mentioned, LCD monitors are pretty much incapable of displaying "true black" and have less vibrant colours than their CRT forefathers, response time on CRT is practically always lower than in LCD screens (a low response time reduces ghosting and unwanted motion blur) and CRTs also have higher refresh rates than most LCDs (meaning that they have the potential to display smoother gameplay with better frame rates if your rig can run it at, for example, 80+ FPS, but it makes no difference if you're fine with playing at 60 FPS max since the majority of LCD monitors have a refresh rate of 60Hz). Nevertheless, despite of the less vibrant colours and lower colour accuracy in dark areas, LCDs are actually significantly better at showing more realistic (thus less vibrant) colours and in my opinion games look better on them in all but the darkest situations. Furthermore, CRT monitors are old and don't support good-looking resolutions, so textures and pretty much everything else on games looks a lot more washed out and there is more need for anti-aliasing. Last but not least, I don't know about you but back when I used CRT screens I would get headaches every now and then, so LCDs are much easier on the eyes.

    By the way, I would really look into getting that CPU replaced. There are some surprising dual cores out there that can still tank it and not get slaughtered by modern games, but your graphics cards must be getting really bottlenecked by your old CPU - meaning that you're not using its full potential and getting less frames than you otherwise could with a processor that would be closer to matching the performance of your GPU. I recommend getting one of the very decent i5 quad cores, though I'm not sure if your motherboard has the right socket for it if you're running things on an old dual core.

    I'm still using my trusty, old 19" 1440x900 LCD (Samsung Syncmaster 953BW or 953GW) monitor, but it has practically no adjustment options (so I have to really sit-up to see anything in darker environments of games due to not being able to tilt the screen at all) plus the resolution is very low for today's standards, so I've been wanting to get it replaced for ages now. Fortunately, sometime next month I'll finally be able to upgrade to a 23,8" (basically 24") 1920x1080 LCD monitor - the Dell U2414H. I believe it actually has a lower response time than my current screen, but I'm not a twitch competitive gamer so a few milliseconds shouldn't make any difference to me. Moreover, I'll gladly take a higher resolution, thin bezel and (apparently) great colours - as well as that bloody tilt option I've wanted for so long - over a higher response time. :lol:
     
  5. NuclearWastE3

    NuclearWastE3
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    Ghasp. I still have it! I can't get rid of her! Too many fond memories :p. As there were myths (but strongly supported facts) that CRTs emitted dangerous amounts of "photons," which could screw up your eyes, I do hope that the LCD won't cause any harm. The LCD gives off a softer display.

    Hear, hear! Technology is going backward instead of forward. I mean, Russia reached the moon first, then they sent man, in orbit around the Earth, with this type of hardware. The US eventually took man to the moon, but with the same tech -CRT monitors and giant computers. I just can't believe nobody has come out with the technology to replicate the quality colors of a CRT monitor :tsk:.


    Edit:
    Hmm, I didn't know that. Well, I could never tell the difference anyway. With the CRT and on certain games, I could put the Hz to 120Hz. I'd often switch between 120Hz and 60Hz, to try and signify any distinction, but there really weren't any. I could only notice some slight ghosting (on 60Hz) if I stared at the monitor, from the corner of the eye, and moved the mouse around. Put who plays a game using there peripherals?

    I thought CRT supported really good resolutions. I was able to go down, in resolution, to 640x480 and still have the picture fill the screen. Now, with the LCD (when I feel like playing an old game, such as Carrmageddon) I can still play in 640x480; but then there are big black borders along side the playing screen. I can also go up to 1920x1800, but then the textures begin looking stretched. On the CRT, I was able to play at 1600x1200 and the textures were evenly distributed so that they looked appropriately in-sync with each other. In other words, they were sized-up, at a ratio, that wouldn't mess with the height or width at drastic differences from each other.
    I've never experienced any headaches while using a CRT. Though, what would happen is that my eyes would get really dry and I would have to strain my eyes open while using the CRT -especially in total darkness. I haven't had a decent amount of time playing in darkness with the LCD; but, when I do, I'll post back and let you know how it went.

    yeah, I've been dreaming of it. This one can handle up to 2.5 GhZ; but, on more modern games, I begin to see some artifacts. Either that would happen, or the game would crash; So, I've lowered it to 2.2GhZ.

    You should keep it and run it with under dual-monitor.
    Hey, that's the same one I'm using, right now :D! We'll be monitor buddies :p We can compare specs to see how certain games run on your hardware vs mine while using the same monitor.
     
    #5 NuclearWastE3, Aug 17, 2015
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  6. Bamul

    Bamul
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    If your game wasn't running at that number of frames then you weren't going to see a difference anyway. With Metro: Last Light and such beasts, you're more likely to struggle reaching 60 FPS than ever going past it. However, whilst playing less demanding (but still really pretty) games such as Stalker or Alien: Isolation, with good hardware you can easily surpass 80 FPS on max settings or even go up to 120 FPS. That is when you'd benefit from having a monitor with a refresh rate higher than 60Hz. I personally am absolutely fine with playing games at 60 FPS, it looks very fluid and graceful - when I imagine people using 144Hz monitors for games, I can only think of "hardcore competitive gamers" spending their whole lives on Counter-Strike (no offence to anyone who plays CS here). Anyway, as far as I know, the only LCD monitors that do let you see more than 60 frames per second are TN displays. They give you worse colours and much shittier viewing angles than the IPS type panels that go up to only 60Hz, so I'd take IPS over TN any day since I'm a "casual gamer" who wants his games to look nice in comparison to all that e-sports nonsense. :p

    Well, yes, old CRT monitors are much better at supporting smaller resolutions in older games (and if you run older games on a screen that is larger than the game was designed to be played on back in the day, you're most likely going to experience more blurry and generally lower quality graphics than you would using the old hardware - that is unless you use some unofficial patch that lets you run these games on a higher resolution natively). What I meant is that they usually don't support the high-end resolutions of most modern games, since 1080p is the standard for PC gaming these days and we're seeing more and more 4K displays too - neither of which can be achieved on older monitors. And the general rule with games being released these days is that the higher the resolution, the sharper and overall better everything looks (higher resolution textures and less jaggies).

    Wahey! :D
     
    #6 Bamul, Aug 17, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2015