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Windows 7: Best Monitor for Intel Core i3-3240

1 Week Ago   #1
Nasty7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Best Monitor for Intel Core i3-3240

Don't know if this is the right place for this but I could not figure this out by myself. I want to get a new monitor but don't want to Over Buy or Under Buy because I have a decent one now. I have a specific Monitor in mind, or at least a pretty specific type. I will leave a link to them I guess just to be clear. Here is the Processor Link.
Monitors
Dell UltraSharp U2414H 23.8 Inch Screen LED Monitor
https://www.amazon.com/Dell-UltraSha...n%3A3547806011

Dell Computer Ultrasharp U2415 24.0-Inch Screen LED Monitor
https://www.amazon.com/Dell-Computer...n%3A3547806011

This is what I have now, and it is okay, but would like bigger, and perhaps better graphics.
Dell P2214H IPS 22-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor
https://www.amazon.com/Dell-P2214H-2...ywords=p2214hb

I really like these monitors because it allows me to raise the monitor to do other things on my desktop, because my space it limited.


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1 Week Ago   #2
dg1261

Windows 7/8.1/10/XP multiboot
 
 

Just a few thoughts...

All three of the monitors you mention are 1080p-class, IPS monitors, so I don't think you're going to notice much difference between them. As far as the quality of graphics, that will be dependent on your computer's graphics chip.

I also note that both the U2414 and U2415 support neither VGA nor DVI inputs, which is what your current monitor has. Both the U-models support HDMI, but I don't think a Satellite L505D laptop has HDMI, if that's what you're using the monitor with. There are adapters, if necessary, but it's worth mentioning to make sure you're aware of that.

As far as display size, your P2214's viewable display area calculates out to 18.7" horizontally. The other two calculate out to 20.7" (U2414) and 20.4" (U2415) horizontally. The U2415 is slightly taller vertically (1200 pixels vs. 1080 for the other two), for a 16:10 aspect ratio vs. 16:9 for the U2414 and your current monitor.

Frankly, that's not much of a size difference. I certainly wouldn't pay $200 for a new monitor that's barely 10% wider in viewable area than what I already had--especially when you've already got a good IPS panel. (It might be different if you were upgrading from an inferior TN or TFT panel, but IPS is good stuff.)

If it were me, I wouldn't even consider upgrading unless it was to at least a 27" monitor. Are you sure you don't have the room to go with a monitor a couple inches wider?

The only reason I would even consider buying another 22-24" class monitor is if I were planning to keep the old one and use a dual monitor setup. But of course, you'd need even more room to accomodate that arrangement.
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1 Week Ago   #3
iko22

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone
 
 

If buying a new monitor seems like an overbuy, had you considered an adjustable VESA stand for the monitor setup that you already have? That way you would not need to invest in a new screen, and would represent a viable minimum buy.
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1 Week Ago   #4
Nasty7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dg1261 View Post
Just a few thoughts...

All three of the monitors you mention are 1080p-class, IPS monitors, so I don't think you're going to notice much difference between them. As far as the quality of graphics, that will be dependent on your computer's graphics chip.
First off, thanks for the Very accurate assessment of my situation! I was thinking the same thing when I was posting about 1080p-class, IPS monitors, but don't know why the graphics aren't better. They aren't really bad, but I would think they should be better with this equipment.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dg1261 View Post
I also note that both the U2414 and U2415 support neither VGA nor DVI inputs, which is what your current monitor has. Both the U-models support HDMI, but I don't think a Satellite L505D laptop has HDMI, if that's what you're using the monitor with. There are adapters, if necessary, but it's worth mentioning to make sure you're aware of that.
No, sorry, I'm currently using a Dell 660s Small Form Factor that was designed and shipped with Windows 8, though there are drivers for 7 and 10 at the Dell site if I remember correctly.

There is HDMI in the back of my tower but not the Monitor.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dg1261 View Post
As far as display size, your P2214's viewable display area calculates out to 18.7" horizontally. The other two calculate out to 20.7" (U2414) and 20.4" (U2415) horizontally. The U2415 is slightly taller vertically (1200 pixels vs. 1080 for the other two), for a 16:10 aspect ratio vs. 16:9 for the U2414 and your current monitor.
I agree, and was not sure about most of this till you have pointed it out, I just assumed that one of these would be better than what I have now.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dg1261 View Post
If it were me, I wouldn't even consider upgrading unless it was to at least a 27" monitor. Are you sure you don't have the room to go with a monitor a couple inches wider?
True again, and I would consider a 25" but think 27 would just be too big for me, and the 27" doesn't raise 6" like the ones I've listed here.

Often I work on laptops in front of my desktop, and have this monitor on a stand. This allows me to have even a 17" Laptop in front of this monitor (when raised) and use my pc for research while working on the Laptop in front of it.

I wonder, what I can do to make my graphics better. I don't game, and don't really want something that will take more energy and computer resources to run. Is there anything I can do to diagnose why my graphics are not as good as they "should" or could be IMO. Again, they aren't all that bad, I just don't know what I should expect. I once read (maybe here) that Windows 7 is not known for its graphics capabilities? Any suggestions are very welcome, I'm no power user but do like to have nice visual graphics. Maybe I'm exposed to other nicer machines, and am expecting too much out of mine?

Wouldn't the HDMI Monitors be a little better quality graphics? or It doesn't appear there is an HDMI Connection with my current monitor? And there is no DVI in the back of my pc tower.

Thanks, Nasty7
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1 Week Ago   #5
dg1261

Windows 7/8.1/10/XP multiboot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Nasty7 View Post
sorry, I'm currently using a Dell 660s Small Form Factor that was designed and shipped with Windows 8, though there are drivers for 7 and 10 at the Dell site if I remember correctly.

There is HDMI in the back of my tower but not the Monitor.
Ah, okay. Then if you get a new monitor, you'd be connecting HDMI to HDMI. No issues, then.


Quote:
I once read (maybe here) that Windows 7 is not known for its graphics capabilities?
Baloney. That sounds like somebody just making up stuff. It's not the OS that determines the quality of the graphics, it's the graphics hardware, graphics driver, the cable, and monitor.

You haven't mentioned what graphics subsystem you're using. With a 660S, the SFF case makes it more difficult to fit an aftermarket graphics card, so I'm guessing you might be using an Intel Core-i processor and its built-in Intel HD Graphics subsystem? If so, that's plenty good enough to get a decent graphics display, so I don't think you need to look at upgrading there.


Quote:
Wouldn't the HDMI Monitors be a little better quality graphics? or It doesn't appear there is an HDMI Connection with my current monitor? And there is no DVI in the back of my pc tower.
For this discussion, let's separate the display panel from the connection type. There's no technical reason one IPS panel should be less sharp than another IPS panel. (That's assuming the display isn't faulty--but if it were, that would usually manifest itself as flickering, flashing, gross color shifts, or parts of the screen that aren't rendered.)

But there are different cables and connection schemes. A "HDMI monitor" need be no different from a "DVI monitor" or "VGA monitor" except for the method of connection to the PC. Of the monitors you've mentioned, one is not inherently going to give a better picture than the others. But the type of connection can restrict the monitor from reaching its full potential.

I note that your current monitor supports DVI and VGA, while it sounds like your 660S supports VGA and HDMI. From that I surmise you're using a VGA-to-VGA cable. That could be affecting your display quality.

DVI and HDMI connections are better than a VGA connection. HDMI and DVI are both digital standards, while VGA is analog. Digital signals don't deteriorate with distance, as long as the signal is at least strong enough for the receiving end (the monitor) to tell the 1's from the 0's.

But analog signals do degrade with distance. They have a tendency to attenuate, color/phase shift, pickup noise, cross-talk, and signal reflections (ghosting) through the cable. The longer the cable and the higher the frequencies involved, the worse this problem is. Ideally, you should keep cable length to no more than 4-5 feet if you can, and use a high-quality cable. Most good cables will have thicker conductors, shielding, and ferrite cores embedded in the cable at one or both ends. Note that a lot of VGA cables may work fine on smaller, low-resolution displays, but can't really handle the higher frequencies required by 1080p or higher displays.

I'd troubleshoot your VGA cable first. If you can, try using a shorter cable, or a thicker, high-quality cable.

Even better would be to eliminate as much of the analog path as you can by using some sort of adapter. Try using a HDMI-to-DVI conversion cable, connecting your PC's HDMI output to your monitor's DVI input.

Other examples might include a combination of an adapter and regular cable: such as a VGA-to-DVI or HDMI-to-DVI adapter at the computer end coupled with a regular DVI/DVI cable to the monitor, or a HDMI-to-VGA or HDMI-to-DVI adapter at the monitor end coupled with a HDMI/HDMI cable from the computer. Note that in both these solutions, the aim is to avoid any long analog cable run.

When researching conversion solutions, be mindful of the signal direction and that you're getting the right male/female connectors. A VGA-to-DVI adapter is not necessarily the same as a DVI-to-VGA adapter. VGA is analog and HDMI/DVI is digital, which means there will be a DAC (Digital/Analog Converter) involved, so it matters whether the digital or the analog is meant to be the input side to the DAC.

Also, be forewarned that there are two DVI standards: DVI-I and DVI-D. Most monitors should be DVI-D, while DVI-I is common on TVs, set-top boxes, DVRs and the like. Online catalogs don't always clarify which they're advertising, but matching the catalog picture with the pin arrangement of your monitor's DVI port will usually get you the right part.

As for HDMI vs. DVI, they are both digital and should provide the same quality of video signal. HDMI differs in that it includes audio+video, while DVI-D provides video only. That shouldn't matter to you unless your monitor also has speakers and you're using those instead of other speakers. A DVI-D cable would require a separate audio cable to use a monitor's speakers, while a HDMI cable would not.


(Edit: this hasn't been explicitly or implicitly stated, so just to be sure ... you do have Windows display settings set to the monitor's native resolution (1920x1080), correct? Probably so, but just didn't want to get caught making any assumptions, since that would have a drastic impact on display quality.)
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1 Week Ago   #6
Nasty7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote:
That's assuming the display isn't faulty
I haven't noticed anything like this at all.
Quote:
so I'm guessing you might be using an Intel Core-i processor and its built-in Intel HD Graphics subsystem?
Yes
Quote:
I surmise you're using a VGA-to-VGA cable.
Yes
Quote:
Most good cables will have thicker conductors, shielding, and ferrite cores embedded in the cable at one or both ends.
The cable is short, 4-5ft, and have used multiple cables with same outcome. It is not a high quality one as far as I know, but does have those little Cylindrical Barrels at each end, I take it that's the " ferrite cores"?
Quote:
connecting your PC's HDMI output to your monitor's DVI input.
I can do this, I think I have one laying around.
Quote:
(Edit: this hasn't been explicitly or implicitly stated, so just to be sure ... you do have Windows display settings set to the monitor's native resolution (1920x1080), correct?
Yes, the only thing I did was make the Zoom one level up at Medium 125%

And read all the rest thoroughly in case I purchase one of those devices.

Thanks, Nasty7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #7
dg1261

Windows 7/8.1/10/XP multiboot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Nasty7 View Post
The cable is short, 4-5ft, and have used multiple cables with same outcome. It is not a high quality one as far as I know, but does have those little Cylindrical Barrels at each end, I take it that's the " ferrite cores"?
Correct. They're small, iron donuts that help filter out noise that might be picked up by the long analog cable, which can act like an antenna at the frequencies involved.

That cable sounds short enough and seems like it ought to be okay. I don't know how bad your display is, but if you haven't noticed a difference while trying several different cables, then you may not notice much difference going from an analog to a digital cable, either.

To refresh my own memory, I tested my own setup. Of course, my components are different from yours, but I wanted to get a qualitative sense of the difference a cable might make. For the tests I used the same computer (with an Intel HD4000 graphics chip) and the same monitor (an Asus IPS 27"), only swapping between a VGA cable and a HDMI cable. The VGA cable was a run-of-the-mill, generic brand, about 5' long, with ferrite cores at each end; nothing special.

Even with the VGA cable, I couldn't really see much of a difference. When comparing side-by-side, I could see a slight improvement with the HDMI cable, but the difference was so slight that I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference without having an A-B test to refer to.

Attached are some photos of my screen tests, taken with my smartphone--not ideal, since a digital photo of a digital screen introduces annoying moire patterns. (I couldn't have Windows capture screenshots, of course, because Windows would do that inside the computer, not at the monitor, so wouldn't show me what the viewer sees in front of the display panel.)

The two left images are with the VGA cable. I suspect the slight fuzziness of the top-left photo is probably the smartphone camera not focusing as well as it did in the other photos. Even so, it's apparent that the two HDMI snapshots (on the right) display slightly more definition when looking at the sunlit rock faces in the upper part of each photo. Still, it would be difficult to tell you were missing something when looking at the VGA-cabled display from a normal viewing distance.

One oddity I found interesting: the speaker icon in the system tray is different with the VGA cable than with the HDMI cable. The icon changes with volume level, but I didn't change the volume level during the tests. HDMI carries an audio signal with it, so I guess Windows saw it as a different audio level when the HDMI cable was connected.

Anyway, I'm not sure how your display quality compares to these photos or what you're expecting to achieve, but hopefully this will give you some sense of what difference tinkering with the cable might make.


Attached Thumbnails
Best Monitor for Intel Core i3-3240-vga-vs-hdmi-test.png  
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6 Days Ago   #8
Nasty7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote:
Anyway, I'm not sure how your display quality compares to these photos or what you're expecting to achieve, but hopefully this will give you some sense of what difference tinkering with the cable might make.
Yes, this was very interesting, and I'm tickled to death that you would go through so much trouble to assist me!

I was thinking the exact same thing, that I would use my phone to post a pic here, but there would not be much to see, because like I said, the picture is not all that bad, but pales in comparison to some I see in my day to day work or at the local stores. I'm sure some have better graphics cards, but I keep wondering if just a different Monitor would be better.

The HDMI would be something I would invest in for sure after seeing that. If I can sharpen things up without a new Graphics Card that all sounds good to me. Right now, as usual for me, trying to do things without spending too much money and energy, because I'm struggling with my health. I got most of this rig for free, though did save up for some cheap speakers and a new HDD because it did not have one included.

I also wonder if there is something I can adjust to make things a little better. Like I did with my Audio recently, I downloaded the Dell 660s Audio Software from the official site, and then finally learned that there is a little Equalizer that I could make Audio much much better. I have the little "Intel HD Graphics Control Panel" in the Taskbar, and have opened it to look around but don't see anything that might help me?

Wonder if I need to download the official Monitor Software?

PS: Those pics look like some good Spring Skiing, or hiking area's! is that a generic pic, or is that one of your own?

Thanks, Nasty7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
6 Days Ago   #9
dg1261

Windows 7/8.1/10/XP multiboot
 
 

Quote:
I'm tickled to death that you would go through so much trouble to assist me!
Well TBH, it's been several years since I've used a VGA cable, so it was helpful for me to refresh my memory on what it was like.


Quote:
[my monitor's] picture is not all that bad, but pales in comparison to some I see in my day to day work or at the local stores. I'm sure some have better graphics cards, but I keep wondering if just a different Monitor would be better.
When looking at monitors on display in stores, keep in mind that they often have the contrast and brightness turned up to make the colors pop. You probably know that, but sometimes you have to consciously remind yourself they're doing that. Also, I suspect the larger monitors make more of a lasting impression on shoppers, so that may not be a fair comparison to replay in your memory.

When I evaluate monitors in a store, I try to pull up the Start Menu and check the text quality, or look at the icons and time display in the system tray. I'm looking for sharpness, definition, ghosting, color bleeding or color artifacts shadowing lines.


Quote:
I have the little "Intel HD Graphics Control Panel" in the Taskbar, and have opened it to look around but don't see anything that might help me? Wonder if I need to download the official Monitor Software?
I'm not sure, but I don't think the Dell driver would be any different. I think it's the same driver from Intel, but with a couple custom features or utilities enabled or disabled. As far as affecting picture quality, I think they're the same.

If you haven't done so already, another thing to try would be to experiment with Color Calibration and your ClearType settings in Windows' Display Settings.


Quote:
Those pics look like some good Spring Skiing, or hiking area's! is that a generic pic, or is that one of your own?
It's part of a panorama I took during a mid-summer trip to North Cascades National Park in the state of Washington.
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