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CRT or Flat Panel LCD for my new PC? Which do you think is better? (1 Viewer)

Nov 24, 2001
I edited my choices, the LCD is now a Planar 17.4", not a Dell 17"

Hello. I'm new to this forum (I've been lurking for some time though). I have used the search function to help me make some decisions already but there is one thing that I haven't been able to get enough input on to help me decide which monitor to get. Will I be happier with a 19" (17.9" v.i.s.) CRT or a 17.4" v.i.s. LCD Flat Pannel? (See the specs for each below).

Actually, I already ordered the 19" CRT with my new PC from Dell on 1/3/02. (Their customer service rep said the PQ is better with the CRT specified). I just keep 2nd guessing myself wondering if I made the right choice. I love the Flat pannel I use at work, but that is strictly for business applications and some web surfing; no games, no DVD. I believe it's not too late for me to amend my purchase order so I need some thoughts from you very soon. I do want the best PQ that I can get, though I have to (that is to say, I want to) make a choice from

the monitor choices offered by Dell.

First let me say that I am not an avid gamer though I enjoy a game now and then. That is partly because my old PC is totally obsolete (PI 133MHz 64MB RAM 2Gig HD Win98 unknown video/audio cards). I suspect I may get a little more into gamming after getting my new PC, or at least my son will have an alternative to his Playstion or Nintendo. My PC is for general use: burn CD's, games, business applications, word processing, son's school work, web surfing (I'm an active member in the Audio & HiFi area at avsforum.com), e-mail. I will also use it to listen to CD's (and perhaps to watch DVD's) in my bedroom. In the hopefully near future I want to purchase a digital camcorder w/ still picture capability, so I want the ability to transfer/edit stills and video as well. Although this will not be a dedicated HT or Gaming PC, I want the best PQ I can get (within

the monitor choices offered by Dell and my budget (of course). (The Planar LCD is offerede by Dell though not listed in the link I provided).


P992 FD Trinitron

(customer service rep claimed it has a flat screen, not usual slightly curved screen, but I'm not sure about this)

Monitor Size: 19"

Vuiewable Screen Size: 17.97"

Dot pitch: .24 - .25mm AG

Horizontal Scan: 30Khz - 107Khz

Vertical Scan Refresh: 48Khz - 120Khz

Optimal Resolution: 1024 x 768 or 1280 x 1024 @ 85Hz Dimensions: H: 18.50" W: 17.80" D: 18.20"

Monitor Weight: 56.10lbs


Planar PV174

Display Panel: 17.4" color active matrix LCD (TFT)

Color: 16.7 million

Viewing Angle: 160° Horizontal and Vertical

Brightness (typical): 220 cd/m2

Contrast Ratio (typical): 400:1

Response Time (typical): 15 ms rise, 10 ms fall

Refresh Rate: 50-90 Hz analog

56-85 Hz digital

Supported Resolutions: SXGA (1280 x 1024), XGA (1024 x 768), SVGA (800 x 600), VGA (640 x 480), and others

Audio Stereo speakers with integral amp, 1W/channel

Pixel Pitch: 0.27 mm x 0.27 mm

Display Active Area: (WxH) 17.4-in diagonal, 13.61-in x 10.89-in

Display Dimensions: (WxHxD) 17.5-in x 17.8-in x 8.8-in

Weight 18.9 lbs/8.6kg

Supply Voltages: 110-220 VAC, 50-60 Hz

Power Consumption: 50W max (5W standby)

Video Inputs (Type): Analog RGB, Digital DVI

External Connections: DC input connector: standard receptacle

Video-input jack(s): Analog D-sub 15-pin & Digital DVI 24-pin

Audio port: Standard 1/8-inch audio jack

USB Hub: USB (1 upstram, 2 downstream)

Features: Multi-language support, On screen display (OSD)

Options: Built in VESA compatible (75 mm)

Software: Pivot® Pro version 6.0 included

This is the PC I ordered together with the P992 FD Trinitron CRT:

Dell Dimension 8200 series P4 @ 1.8Ghz

80 GB Ultra ATA/100 7200 rpm HD

256 MB PC800 RDRAM @ 400 MHz

Windows XP Home Edition OS

NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti200 graphics card

(4x AGP 64MB DDR DVI but no TV Out! :frowning: )

Turtle Beach Santa Cruz DSP Sound Card

16X Max. Variable DVD-ROM Drive

24x/10x/40x CD-RW Drive with

Roxio's Easy CD Creator

Microsoft Office Small Business software bundle

Norton Antivirus 2002 (90 day introductory offer)

Dell Jukebox powered by MusicMatch 6.0 for XP

Image Expert 2000 for XP, Dell Edition

3.5" Floppy Drive

56K Telephony Modem for Windows XP

Intel Pro 100+ PCI Ethernet Network Card

Dell Enhanced Performance USB keyboard

Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer

3 Yr Ltd Warranty / 3 Yr Ltd At-Home Service + Lifetime Phone Support

6 months of DellNet By MSN Internet Access

So, knowing the rest of my PC's components, which of the two monitors specified above do you suggest I get, and what are your reasons for your recommedation?

Chris PC

Senior HTF Member
May 12, 2001
If you can afford am LCD, then go and look and them in action and see if you like the picture. I went from a 14" CRT to a 19" CRT monitor and although I love the size of the picture, the monitor itself is way too huge and takes up too much space. LCD monitors take up almost no space at all compared to a 19" CRT monitor. Also, CRT's use WAY TOO MUCH POWER. The lower power consumption of the LCD monitor alone is a huge reason to get one. I would love one but can't afford it right now :frowning:

Michael Silla

Second Unit
Jul 27, 2001
Boy, if you can afford it, go for the LCD display. I also find them easier on the eyes. My vision isn't the best but even I can see smaller text more easily on a LCD type display. I just replaced my monitor with a NEC Multisync 95 19 inch monitor. I like it but it is on the low end of things. If I had the cash, I would have bought a LCD display (even with the gaming disadvantages).

Nov 24, 2001
I have to admit. The more I look at some of the 19" CRT's (I went to CompUSA, just for comparison's sake), the less desirable a large box of a monitor looks. In comparison, the LCD's look so friendly (in size). I think I'm liking the idea of a 19" behemoth less and less. Perhaps enough to get the 17.4" LCD even though there is definitely a sharper picture on the CRT. Perhaps enough to override the "gaming disadvantages". After all, I did say that I'll use the PC mostly for web surfing, participating in forums such as this one, e-mail...gamming not being a top priority. I guess I'm just trying to get the best out of all worlds (general use, gamming, etc.) Of course if that was the only decision factor, getting the best out of all uses, then the CRT would certainly resolve the matter. But I guess I can't get away from the size issue. Looks like I'm going for the LCD, if it's not too late to change my order from Dell.

If anyone has had experience with the Planar LCD's, please chime in. I would especially like to here from you.

In any case, thank you to all who responded.

Charles Bober

Stunt Coordinator
Sep 5, 1999
I have no experience with the Planar LCD monitor but I did extensively demo a Samsung 770TFT at work. This was the first LCD that any of our divisions ordered and I was given the task of "breaking" it in and testing it for OS compatibility/potential problems. Damn, someone's gotta do it :D
Anyway, I was blown away by the picture quality. After tweaking the settings, I instantly fell in love with LCD monitors. Graphics were crisp and video (.avi, .mpeg and .mov files) were razor sharp and extremely life like. I viewed numerous trailers from the Quicktime website and I couldn't get enough. In fact, I demoed these trailers to my division manager and IT co-workers: they were thoroughly impressed as well. Plus, the footprint is so tiny compared to the hefty 19" CRT it was replacing. 14 lbs. compared to 47 is a HUGE difference as well. Needless to say, I'm purchasing one myself in a few weeks when I build my new multimedia server. The only issue I'm not familiar with is gaming. I'm a moderate gamer so any problems I may encounter will not adversely effect me. In essence, the pros will far outweigh the cons.
Go for the flat panel. IMHO, you will not be disappointed.


Aug 22, 2000
What is the price differential? Comparing a $700-800LCD with a $300-400 monitor isn't very fair. Compare a $700-800 consumer level 17" LCD monitor with a $700-800 19" monitor and I can tell you which one most people will prefer in terms of picture quality (that being the CRT model for the rest of ya:)).
LCD's are great for space and energy savings, that's about it. Cheaper LCD's (basically what you are going to get from Dell) are prone to ghosting (about the most annoying thing I've ever seen), bad black levels (tolerable).
CRT's are a big waste of space, use a little more energy (but aren't that ineffecient either). A comparably priced CRT monitor will allow you to converge it, change focus around the screen, ability to run high resolutions at high refresh rates (no eye strain at 1200x1024 @ 100Hz). Get it all tweaked out and the picture will be better than the LCD.


Supporting Actor
Oct 14, 2001
I vote with Andrew on this one, the expensive LCDs are getting real good, but you are talking a 4-5x cost as compare to an equivalent CRT.

Ryan Spaight

Supporting Actor
Jun 30, 1997
The CRT in question is indeed flat -- it's the same tech as a Wega TV. I've got either that very same monitor, or last year's model. It's lovely.

And, something I said in another thread:

Don't be tempted by the cheap flat panels. Apparently, these are like the bad old days of laptops when dead or lit pixels were considered OK. A friend of mine bought a $500 15" Viewsonic flat panel with a few lit (or "stuck") pixels and was told that up to a dozen (or more, depending on where they were) was considered within spec.

I'm not gonna spend that kind of money for anything that's blatantly defective. Maybe when you spend $800-900 you don't get those problems.



Supporting Actor
Oct 14, 2001
>>Apparently, these are like the bad old days of laptops when dead or lit pixels were considered OK.

Steve J

Apr 1, 1999
I've had a Samsung SyncMaster 170MP for about six months, and it's unbelievable. The picture is extremely sharp and detailed, and very easy on the eyes. I spent extra $ on this one because it has a built-in TV tuner, speakers, and two additional video inputs...turns out I rarely used these extra features. Still, it's the best picture I've yet seen on an LCD monitor (better than the TFT series in my opinion), and you can get one nowadays for below $900..

Steven K

Supporting Actor
Jan 10, 2000
I use a Dell 15-inch LCD flat-panel at work... it took a few days to get used to the softer image, but now I'll never go back (unless I have to)!

Kimmo Jaskari

Feb 27, 2000
The problem with the current flat-panel displays is that they have too low resolutions for me.

For instance, I'm typing this at work on my 17-inch flat panel display and the resolution is only 1280x1024; on a 17-inch LCD I'd prefer 1600x1200 at least.

My laptop (Dell Inspiron) has a 15 inch screen with 1400x1050 resolution which is superb. Personally I really prefer having 1600x1200 available - or more - when working on a desktop machine, and a 15 inch LCD only goes to 1024x768, usually - way too little.

Samuel Des

Supporting Actor
Feb 7, 2001
I would recommend a CRT. CRT images seem sharper to me. I purchased the Samsung 955DF -- it has anti-glare surface, and is pretty flat. It is also relatively small for a 19" monitor. The longer I live with it, the less I miss my Hitachi 21". (The 21" broke.)

Kimmo Jaskari

Feb 27, 2000
Steven K: I find it odd that you would consider the image softer on an LCD. My experience has been that LCD's are very sharp and give "pixel perfect" pictures for text etc. You sure you have it properly tuned? It can make quite a difference.
But of course maybe we're not even talking about the same thing when we both say "soft". :)

Cees Alons

Senior HTF Member
Jul 31, 1997
Real Name
Cees Alons
I have a 15" flat screen monitor for more than a year now. It can easily replace a 17" CRT (that is what I was used to, since 1995), because it's just a bit sharper and slightly larger that a 15"CRT. You can easily sit somewhat closer if you want, it's less tiring. Mine is 1024x768 pixels: the image is superb - but only at the exact physical (!!!) resolution of the panel (understandably).

But here's my advice: get a digital one (they generally have two inputs: 1 analogue and 1 digital)! No ghosting, very sharp, very quiet images, brilliant gamma.

Remember that the graphics adapter must support digital output!



Dec 11, 2001
So what do games look like on these new LCDs? Because that would be some (most?) of my usage.



Ted Lee

Senior HTF Member
May 8, 2001
i'm also curious...
how do flat-panel's do when playing graphic intensive games? does a pc need some sort of additional hardware/software to "handle" the load?
i'm not that big of a gamer (yet) but when i get my new pc, i may start up another hobby. :)

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