LaCie 324 Specifications and Appearance

LaCie 324 Specifications
Video Inputs DVI with HDCP support
2 x HDMI
Analog (VGA)
Panel Type S-PVA (LCA 24B2)
Pixel Pitch 0.270mm
Colors 16.7 million (8-bit)
92% color gamut
Brightness 400 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio 1000:1 Static
Response Time 6ms GTG
Viewable Size 24" diagonal
Resolution 1920x1200
Viewing Angle 178 vertical/horizontal
Power Consumption <140W max stated
88W max, 43W min measured
Power Savings <2W
Screen Treatment Matte (non-glossy)
Height-Adjustable Yes - 2.75 inches
Tilt Yes - 25 degrees back/3 degrees forward
Pivot No
Swivel Yes - 170 degrees left/right
VESA Wall Mounting 100mm x 100mm
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 22.28" x 16.45" x 8.97" lowered (WxHxD)
22.28" x 19.21" x 8.97" raised (WxHxD)
Weight w/ Stand 23.81 lbs.
Additional Features (3) USB 2.0 - left
(USB connection to PC required)
10-bit gamma correction
DCDi Faroudja video processing
Audio Audio in, Line out
Limited Warranty 3 year parts and labor with advance replacement
Price MSRP $1060
Online starting at ~$900

LaCie is a company known for catering to the professional imaging market. They also happen to offer a product called LaCie blue eye pro, which consists of both a colorimeter and calibration software. We were quite interested to see how the LaCie 324 stacks up to the competition, as we thought maybe we would finally see an LCD that provided good color accuracy prior calibration. Then we tested the Dell 2408WFP and discovered that there was already a reasonable solution in that area. So what exactly does LaCie bring to the table?

If we ignore the colorimeter and software for a moment -- those can be purchased separately from a LaCie display anyway -- the major difference between consumer LCDs and this professional LCD is the inclusion of 10-bit gamma correction and color lookup tables. If that actually sounds like something you might find useful, there's a good chance you're an imaging professional, in which case LaCie is certainly worth considering. For many users, the added cost is not likely to result in a noticeable improvement in image quality.

LaCie also uses Faroudja DCDi video processing, which can improve video playback. If you connect a Blu-ray player to the 324 using an HDMI cable, the Faroudja chip is supposed to help with noise reduction, de-interlacing, and the elimination of jaggies (depending on the video content). Unfortunately, we didn't have access to the appropriate hardware to test this aspect of the LCD.


As this is an LCD designed for the professional market, it's no surprise that LaCie uses an S-PVA panel rather than a TN panel. Overall performance is similar to the Dell 2408WFP in terms of viewing angles, but unfortunately input lag is also just as bad (around 40ms).

Gallery: LaCie 324 LCD

The LaCie 324 includes two HDMI, one DVI, and one VGA input. It does have height adjustment and it will swivel about 170° to the left or right, but there is no pivot function. The height adjustment is also shorter than most other models, offering only 2.75" of vertical travel. The LaCie panel feels heavier and looks a bit bulkier than the competing offerings. That's not necessarily a bad thing if your primary concern is image quality, as it could be the added space is for something useful. All other things being equal, we would prefer a better stand that offers more vertical travel and a pivot function. At present, imaging professionals may have to choose function over form.

Gateway FHD2400 Evaluation LaCie 324 Evaluation
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  • Rasterman - Friday, May 02, 2008 - link

    I wish you would have reviewed an old CRT to compare the LCDs to. I still have my 22" beast and would upgrade if I knew if an LCD could beat its image quality. Comparing the best LCD to the best CRTs of 5 years ago would be interesting as I'm sure a lot people are still holding on to theirs given the results of the Valve survey suggesting more than 70% of gamers are using CRTs. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 02, 2008 - link

    The simple fact that new *quality* CRTs are not being made can't be overlooked. Five years back, you could get a high-end 22" CRT that would do 2048x1536 @ 85Hz (or 1600x1200 @ 110Hz). Now, most 21" CRTs only manage 1600x1200 @ 75Hz. Then throw in all the crap you have to deal with in terms of image centering and pincushion and trapezoidal distortion - all things that are completely non-existent on LCDs.

    When you consider size, weight, and cost, I'll take LCDs every time. OLED or some other display technology may replace LCDs, but conventional CRTs are brain-dead and the manufacturers are getting ready to remove life support.
    Reply
  • Rasterman - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - link

    I totally agree it makes no sense to buy a new CRT, but what I am asking is if its worth it to UPGRADE based purely on image quality. This is why I suggested comparing it to a CRT of 3-5 years ago and not a new one. Weight, size, and taking 10 seconds to align the image are all secondary to image quality. I don't see how you can ignore the fact that most people buying high-end LCDs are upgrading from high-end CRTs. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - link

    I (and many others) upgraded from CRTs about three years ago. I have never regretted the decision. I think colors are better, I love not dealing with image distortion (i.e. pincushion, trapezoidal, rotational, etc. adjustments), the size reduction at the same time as you get a larger screen area (22" CRTs are the equivalent of 20" LCDs).... I could go on.

    I think most professionals upgraded to LCDs a long time ago; the people who remain with CRTs are those who are ultra-dedicated to high refresh rates and faster pixel response times. The only area where that really matters is gaming. Throw in the fact that the phosphor used on CRTs starts to fade after 4-5 years, and even if you have the best CRT ever produced it's probably time to upgrade.

    In short, I am not ignoring CRTs; I am simply refusing to beat a dead horse.
    Reply
  • probert - Friday, June 13, 2008 - link

    This may be an old thread but I'd like to put in my 2 cents.

    Love your reviews but I think you're wrong about CRT's. They're used more than you think and for someone who does print work they are an excellent inexpensive alternative to a really good lcd.

    For example Pixar has stockpiled CRT's (trinitron FD tubes) and I suspect a lot of places do. It takes about 15 minutes to calibrate one and - as far as being bulky - I'll admit I won't take mine backpacking any time soon, but why would I want to.

    There are sites that still sell new and refurbed CRTs with the trinitron FD tubes (Generally Dells and IBMs). These are superb and cost about $200.

    They are great for print work You can adjust not just rgb but bias and gain on each channel. Their color accuracy and ability to render gradients may be matched by a top line NEC - but at 1/6 the price.

    My set up is a 21" crt and an 8bit lcd for web work and checking sharpening. (In fact, I don't calibrate the LCD presently to simulate the general web experience. This is driving me a little crazy and I may tighten it up.) The whole rig cost $400.00 - has plenty of real-estate and has very good monitor to printer accuracy.


    I'm happy that people who don't need this precision use LCDs, as it saves energy and materials, but the crt is a very viable alternative for someone who does need accurate color and good tonal range for short money.

    In fact, I'll toss the gauntlet and say that for this particular niche - they are better than, or, as good as, any LCD on this or any other planet.
    Reply
  • icthy - Friday, May 02, 2008 - link

    Just curious, has anyone actively considered buying either two 24" monitors as a substitute for one 30" monitor (or the other way around). I know it depends what one does, but I'm so frustrated working on my one 20" monitor, I want to go big, big, big! But I'm unsure if the cost of the 30" is worth it. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 02, 2008 - link

    I personally prefer one large LCD over two smaller LCDs. Working on large images in Photoshop, I can use all the resolution I can get. Splitting an image over two displays just isn't the same to me. That said, I know others that really like having two 24" LCDs. My dad is set up that way, so he can have web pages, documents, etc. on one side and spreadsheets, other web pages, and such on the other. In fact, my dad sometimes has both 24" LCDs in portrait mode, so he can have a virtual resolution of 2400x1920 and see long segments of text that way.

    Total cost of two 24" LCDs would be $900 to $1200 depending on brand (or $1800+ for two LaCie 324 LCDs). A single 30" would run at least $1000 I think (outside of used/refurbs), and some like the 3008WFP would cost as much as $2000. Total screen resolution and area is higher for two 24" LCDs: 12.5% more pixels and 28% more screen area. If you can live with the black back between the LCDs, two 24" LCDs is a more economical/flexible approach overall.
    Reply
  • icthy - Saturday, May 03, 2008 - link

    Thanks. I'm tempted by the shear prettiness of one 30" monitor. But I tend to run Linux, and than use windows under Vmware. I suppose with two 24" monitors, I could have one Vmware-Windows display, and one for my Linux-computational stuff--although I don't know if the vmware drivers would support that. Reply
  • KLC - Friday, May 02, 2008 - link

    Your review confirms my experience with the Dell 2408, it is a great monitor and also an excellent value for its performance. Just look at comparably sized NECs and LaCies to calibrate your value gauges. I got it for $599 with free shipping.

    I've read the comments about pink tinges and banding and on and on and on in hardware forums, like Jarred I've had no such problems with mine. I mostly use my system for photoshop, video editing, office apps and websurfing, no games so lag time doesn't matter to me.

    The ergonomics are also outstanding. You can easily adjust height, tilt, etc. And like all Dell monitors I think they've done a great job of industrial design. If you like all of your tech to mimic a Transformer you'll have to look elsewhere, but if you like something elegant and functional Dell has few that surpasss them.

    It does put out a lot of heat, it is very bright, too bright, out of the box and I still haven't been able to use my Spyder3 Pro to fix that to my satisfaction. I'm going to use Jarred's RGB settings and see how that goes.

    One mildly irritating thing, after playing around with the On Screen Display and the Spyder for several days the white contrast marking on the front panel buttons has completely worn off. Jarred, did you see any of that on your sample?

    But I have no buyer's remorse over this purchase, and that is something I don't experience very often.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 02, 2008 - link

    I haven't noticed any issues with the button labels wearing off, but then I might not be using them enough, or perhaps your fingertips have more oil than average and that's causing the loss. After the labels are gone, you can pretend to have a Samsung 2493HM and guess at which buttons do what until you get the layout memorized. :) Reply

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