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ptsant
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New 2nd monitor: exciting launches ahead?

Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:19 am

My secondary 24" 1920x1200 monitor seems to have broken down. My main monitor is an ASUS MG279Q (1440p144, Freesync) and GPU is an RX480. I like having a second monitor. I see the following options:
1. Buy a cheap 27" or similar monitor to cover that need. Forget about fancy stuff.
2. Pay a bit more and buy a better and bigger (32"?) primary monitor ($600-700?) with HDR. I don't think I need 4k. Not curved if possible.
2.1 Eventually migrate to Gsync, but I don't have a nVidia card yet.

Now, what annoys me with options 2/2.1 is that I don't see a much better monitor out there than what I have with the exception of very expensive stuff that is out of my budget. However, I could wait for a few months.

So my question is the following: do you think there will be much better monitors coming out in the next (say) 6 months that would be a worthwhile upgrade at $600-700? If so I can wait. If not, I'll just get a cheap 27" 1440p and call it a day.
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JustAnEngineer
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Re: New 2nd monitor: exciting launches ahead?

Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:07 am

ptsant wrote:
My main monitor is an ASUS MG279Q (1440p144, Freesync) and GPU is an RX480.
1. Buy a cheap monitor.
2. Buy a better and bigger primary monitor.
2.1 Eventually migrate to GSync.
2.2 Wait for NVidia to eventually quit blocking use of VESA standard adaptive sync on their desktop GPUs.
Unless you want to double your pixel count to 2160p, currently-available monitors aren't much of an upgrade from what you have. How do you use your second monitor? I currently have a 1200x1920 secondary monitor in portrait mode beside my primary 2560x1440 display. They have similar size pixels. Your existing 27" monitor has a pixel pitch of 0.233 mm (109 ppi). A 2160p monitor with the same size pixels would have a 40" diagonal. Because your existing monitor has an IPS (or VA) LCD panel, it could work satisfactorily if turned to portrait mode. (TN LCD panels are unusable when rotated.)

I suggest continuing to use your existing monitor for gaming. Purchase a secondary monitor for the things for which you use your secondary monitor.
27" 2160p60 IPS monitors with Freesync are under $300, delivered. The pixel density is 50% higher than your current monitor. That is too small for my eyesight today, but you may be young enough to still enjoy it.
32" 2160p60 IPS monitors with Freesync are under $400, delivered. The pixel density is 25% higher than your current monitor.
31½" 1440p60 IPS monitors with Freesync are also under $300, delivered. The pixel density is 15% less than your existing gaming monitor.
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Re: New 2nd monitor: exciting launches ahead?

Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:48 pm

2.3 Wait for AMD to make a GPU that's even remotely capable at the high end.

Sorry, I think I'm laughing too hard.

Honestly, don't waste that ASUS as a secondary monitor. Even without VRR, Nvidia cards will use that with fast sync, which at 144Hz is going to be most of the way there.
Get yourself a basic 60Hz IPS 27" 2560x1440 screen to go with it. You're not going to be gaming on it, so maybe get a VA panel for darker blacks and better video?
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ptsant
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Re: New 2nd monitor: exciting launches ahead?

Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:39 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I also tend towards the first option, ie buy a cheap 1440p monitor, but was secretly hoping that there would be a big range of exciting new panels coming soon.

For a very reasonable price I found the following:
https://pcmonitors.info/reviews/aoc-q3279vwf/

Briefly, 31.5" 1440p75 with FreeSync and 98% sRGB, very low input lag (3.5ms) and $259 local price delivered. It won't be better than the Asus, but it looks surprisingly decent for the money.

Will probably wait for black friday to see other options. Any other ideas?
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ptsant
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Re: New 2nd monitor: exciting launches ahead?

Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:45 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Unless you want to double your pixel count to 2160p, currently-available monitors aren't much of an upgrade from what you have. How do you use your second monitor? I currently have a 1200x1920 secondary monitor in portrait mode beside my primary 2560x1440 display. They have similar size pixels. Your existing 27" monitor has a pixel pitch of 0.233 mm (109 ppi). A 2160p monitor with the same size pixels would have a 40" diagonal. Because your existing monitor has an IPS (or VA) LCD panel, it could work satisfactorily if turned to portrait mode. (TN LCD panels are unusable when rotated.)


My vision is quite good but I never was particularly sensitive to dpi. I don't mind low dpi. The 27" 1440 does look crisper than the 24", but both were perfectly usable. I am a bit wary of the 4k scaling issues but apparently these are much better now.

The second monitor is essentially there for either looking at web pages (code/office in the primary) or films. I do photography as a hobby but was never passionate enough to justify a true wide gamut monitor (+ calibration etc).
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Re: New 2nd monitor: exciting launches ahead?

Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:46 pm

ptsant wrote:
seems to have broken down.

Broken down how? If it's power supply issues, the fix might be relatively simple: replace a few capacitors.
 
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Re: New 2nd monitor: exciting launches ahead?

Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:10 pm

meerkt wrote:
ptsant wrote:
seems to have broken down.

Broken down how? If it's power supply issues, the fix might be relatively simple: replace a few capacitors.

Maybe. It certainly doesn't hurt to look, but the last few failed LCDs I've been inside had no visible problem to fix. Back when LCDs were expensive and lit by cathode tubes, the controller boards usually had a longer life than the power supply capacitors. Now that LCDs are cheap and lit by LEDs, the controller boards often go from non-obvious causes with plenty of life remaining in the power supply.
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Re: New 2nd monitor: exciting launches ahead?

Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:29 pm

If not failed capacitors, it's probably failed solder joints due to RoHS compliance (lead-free solder), in an area that is subjected to repeated thermal or mechanical stress.

I use good ol' fashioned leaded solder whenever I do component-level repair. They can pry it out of my cold dead hands. :lol:
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Re: New 2nd monitor: exciting launches ahead?

Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:12 am

meerkt wrote:
ptsant wrote:
seems to have broken down.

Broken down how? If it's power supply issues, the fix might be relatively simple: replace a few capacitors.


It's almost certainly a capacitor somewhere. The monitor failed with a moderately loud popping noise. It's old enough to not have LEDs (HP ZR24w, about 7 years old I believe) so it could be the PSU.

I could try to repair it but I really don't have the time right now and would not count on being successful. I have toyed a bit with a soldering iron a decade ago, but I am nowhere near "competent". I'll probably keep this as a toy project. If I see a burnt capacitor I'll just replace it...
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Re: New 2nd monitor: exciting launches ahead?

Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:57 am

My recommendation would be a 27" 1440 IPS or VA display without VRR (since your primary already has FreeSync no real benefit in getting VRR twice). Those should be relatively inexpensive, and keeping the size + resolution the same makes transitioning between screens cleaner.
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Re: New 2nd monitor: exciting launches ahead?

Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:11 am

ptsant wrote:
For a very reasonable price I found the following:
https://pcmonitors.info/reviews/aoc-q3279vwf/

Briefly, 31.5" 1440p75 with FreeSync and 98% sRGB, very low input lag (3.5ms) and $259 local price delivered. It won't be better than the Asus, but it looks surprisingly decent for the money.
?


I was suggesting a 27" 1440p because I hate (really really hate) having two screens of different DPI side by side. If that doesn't bother you, 31.5" at 1440p looks fine, just like a 23 or 24" 1080p screen.

I've owned the AUO 31.5" panel you're talking about in two different monitors (A Samsung S32D850T and an HP Pavillion Gaming 32" HDR600) and it's a really nice panel. It's actually pretty fast for a VA panel, meaning that it doesn't suffer noticeably from poor black transitions. You can still trip it up if you use specific worst-case contrived testing but even then, in something like blurbusters UFO test, it's not bad.

I've heard some complaints about AOC build quality, yet VA panels are actually pretty tolerant of bending and being pinched at the edges. Unlike IPS, I'd be reasonably confident that a cheap VA monitor will still look good - you're unlikely to see much or any backlight bleed, and the uniformity should be reasonable.
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Re: New 2nd monitor: exciting launches ahead?

Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:11 am

ptsant wrote:
I have toyed a bit with a soldering iron a decade ago, but I am nowhere near "competent". I'll probably keep this as a toy project. If I see a burnt capacitor I'll just replace it...

PSU boards should be easy enough to solder. They aren't multilayer and there's usually plenty of space around components.

Besides something obviously burnt it could also be bulgy caps, and also caps with nothing visible to single them out. The simplest strategy is to replace all the medium-sized capacitors.
 
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Re: New 2nd monitor: exciting launches ahead?

Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:08 pm

ptsant wrote:
It's almost certainly a capacitor somewhere. The monitor failed with a moderately loud popping noise.

If you find a blown-out capacitor, then yup. But IC packages can also do that when they fail, and sometimes the damage point is no larger than a pinhole. Another source of "pop" is an arc inside the switching transformer, and that usually takes out a couple other components along the way.

If you open it and see a visibly damaged capacitor, you've got your culprit. If you don't, you've probably got an exercise in futility, unfortunately.
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