Introduction

Just last week, we took a look at a display that almost had the workings of the next great LCD, but came up short on price and performance. LG’s L1980U was unfortunately plagued by a 6-bit LCD that we didn’t feel very comfortable with after several weeks of testing. However, as TN displays appear to be the only ones that can really offer substantially better response times than SIPS displays made by LG.Philips LCD, more manufacturers continue to embrace these six-bit panels.

We are a bit skeptical about how low response times can go – realistically. You may recall from reading some of our other display articles that LCDs are measured by two major “response times” quantities: TrTf (Time rising, Time falling - sometimes called average) and GTG (Gray to Gray). Originally, all displays were all marketed by their TrTf response times and nothing more. It then occurred to certain manufacturers that while TrTf times were very low, the transient time from certain degrees of the liquid crystal were slower than others. This spawned the whole gray-to-gray measurement, which was really nothing but an average time of many different transient measurements. Occasionally, some manufacturers just find it acceptable enough to list one half of the TrTf time as we have seen in recent reviews. Unfortunately, those not aware of how displays are marketed fall as easy prey to the “lower” advertised specifications. With the already liberal interpretations of luminance and contrast ratio, it’s probably about time for VESA to start cracking down again. But that’s not what we came here to talk about today…

Just to rehash - we don’t have a lot of faith in advertised response times. If there are significant response time differences, there is usually a hit in performance somewhere else, like luminance or contrast ratio. It becomes easy to fall prey to benchmarks that measure response times in only certain scenarios, which is why all of our reviews use comprehensive real world comparisons between all of our displays to set the playing field level.

Samsung’s launch of the SyncMaster 915N seems unusually familiar – a low budget display is unveiled that boasts the lowest response time yet. Hitachi did it several years ago with their 16ms 17” display, but the SyncMaster 915N costs less today than the Hitachi did then. The SyncMaster 915N is a “no frills” display; there is no clever cable management, only a single 15-pin D-sub interface and an exceptionally low price (at least for a Samsung display). The 6-bit TN display used in the SyncMaster 915N is obviously a bit cheaper to produce than the 8-bit PVA displays used for most other Samsung displays, and the lack of a DVI interface and DSP help shave costs quite a bit. In the past, we have been fairly critical of 6-bit displays, TN displays and displays that didn’t have DVI capability. The deck seems stacked against Samsung, but perhaps there is more to this display than meets the eye.

Construction
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  • Denial - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - link

    This will be a nice replacement for the 193s I'm staring at. Reply
  • RaidenSix - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - link

    There's already a DVI version of this monitor - 930B. Reply
  • Chapbass - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - link

    first post! har har...

    typo on this line in the conclusion:
    comparison to all of the displays htat we have reviewed in the past

    in all, pretty cool review...yet another lcd option to replace my old scratched 21" crt...
    Reply

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