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  • graphicsgal - Friday, April 28, 2006 - link

    Our ad agency is trying to decide which of these monitors to purchase for our print staff. Is there any info on any differences in printed pieces? Reply
  • tmanXX - Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - link

    Does anyone know what revisions of the 2005FPW to stay away from?

  • jchor - Thursday, April 06, 2006 - link

    Did anybody figure out the power saving mode problem? Reply
  • cybrsamurai - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    I have purchased four 2005FPWs with out a single dead pixel or problem. I even dropped one right on its corner from about 4 feet up still works fine. Dont be afraid embrace the good cheap monitor. Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - link

    Dell make good LCDs if you discount all the people who have had to return them for backlight issues and/or dead pixels. I'll stick with Sony after owning one that has not a single stuck or dead pixel and just a slightly brighter bottom backlight. Let me know when Dell ups the quality enough that I can be certain to get one without dead pixels (or let me know when they start selling these panels at b&m stores so I can return it right away if it has issues). Reply
  • Ranger8P - Monday, May 23, 2005 - link

    Did you guys have the model A01 or the model A02? I didn't see that mentioned in the article. I recently bought a 2005 and it has the same manufacturing date as the one in your review. It's an A01 Reply
  • pucerian - Saturday, May 21, 2005 - link

    great place to get high resolution widescreen wallpapers for these monitors is InterfaceLIFT

  • LorenAmelang - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Great Review - Thank You!

    A couple of user comments asked about the S-Video & Composite video performance - here's the scoop:

    Before I ordered my 2005FPW, I tried to find out how it handled widescreen 16:9 vs. conventional 4:3 aspect ratios for the video inputs. I found no clue. But since video was not my main concern, I ordered it anyway - how bad could it be?

    Now I can tell you. It is unbelievably disastrous. It doesn't do any form of video correctly. First, it completely ignores the (anamorphic) widescreen control signals from my DV camera and DVD recorder. All video is mangled in the same way.

    Its manual aspect ratio choices are "Fill" which warps either 4:3 or 16:9 video to the full 16:10 screen format, or "1:1" and "Aspect" which warp all video to a different wrong aspect. This is not 4:3 (1.33 : 1), nor is it 16:9 (1.78 : 1), nor even 16:10 (1.60 : 1). It is 1.50 : 1, which is what you get if you take 4:3 standard 720x480 DV video and display the non-square video pixels as square display pixels.

    Of course you can't tell this by measuring the image boundary, because the video image is severely cropped (overscanned), particularly in the horizontal direction. In terms of a 640 pixel wide image, about 42 pixels are cut off each side. In "Fill" mode, a 4:3 picture is even more distorted than the 16:10 ratio would suggest. If you choose "Aspect" to get somewhat closer to 4:3, you end up with black bars along those edges in place of the missing 1/8th of your video, but what you do see is still too wide.

    When you use the picture-in-picture feature, you don't get the "1:1" and "Aspect" choices. All video is stretched to fill the 16:10 screen area of each of the available PiP or PbP sizes.

    Why would Dell bother to add the hardware for S-Video and composite video inputs, and get the software so wrong? I suspect the hardware was borrowed from a 4:3 (1600x1200) monitor, where the "Fill" choice would at least display conventional video more-or-less properly.

    But why the neglect of the rectangular video pixels versus square computer pixels issue? Can anyone with a Dell 2001FP 4:3 display enlighten us as to whether it has "1:1" and "Aspect" choices, and whether they produce too wide a picture when fed 4:3 video?

    So what does the video look like, other than distorted? Very bright and colorful, and fast, but when stretched to fill most of the screen it is blocky. The scaling algorithm is nowhere near as good as that in my (original) Apple Studio Display, or in a Sony WEGA (DRC) TV.

    Oh well, the 2005FPW is a beautiful computer monitor. And my tablet's Intel Graphics adapter (82830M), which gave no hint of supporting 1680x1050 before the monitor was here, suddenly made that resolution available when the 2005FPW was connected. (Windows didn't show it, but the Intel control panel did.)

    One more thing... If you buy a Dell monitor alone, without a Dell CPU on the same invoice, you do not get a Dell "System Tag". Without a system tag, you can not access any of Dell's online support or chat support options. You simply do not exist.

    The telephone support people will talk to you if you give them a serial number or order number, but there is no support department dedicated to displays. I ended up being transferred to the Dell TV support people, and spent literally hours on the phone. Even sent them photos of test patterns to illustrate the aspect problems. I'm not sure I was even able to make them understand, let alone solve the problem.

    Best to just forget the 2005FPW has those S-Video and analog video inputs. Unless you have a thing for short, fat people...

  • stevlevin - Saturday, May 14, 2005 - link

    Excellent review! It's way over my non-tech head, but I surely appreciate that these are both great monitors.

    Here's my problem. I bought the Dell 2005 and found with a DVI interface that it is so bright that it hurts my eyes, as #9 comment said. Apparently the contrast control is disabled with DVI, and the range of brightness control is very limited - extremely bright to very bright. I had to return it just on that basis.

    When I went to the Apple store, it appeared to me that the 20" Cinema display may have a greater range of brightness. Have others had this problem or found a solution? Am I missing something that might have allowed me to lower the brightness or adjust the contrast of the Dell monitor?

    Thanks for all comments.
  • wrack - Thursday, May 05, 2005 - link

    So can I assume that any graphics card of ATI like, 9800, X300, X600, X700, X800 will support the resolution in question. Reply
  • Weezard - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - link

    Okay, sounds good.

    So if I buy this monitor, Ill just have to plug it in, and it will work with widescreen and all - on my Windows XP system with 9700Pro?

  • Pastuch - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - link

    "Does my Radeon9700Pro support this monitor?"

    A 9700pro is an excellent videocard for this monitor if you dont plan on playing games like Halflife 2 or WoW. The 9700pro's DVI signal will work perfectly, however you should install the latest ATI driver from

    "but what about resolution options, DDC (or what its called - the function that delivers 16:10 widescreen). "

    DDC or whatever you had in mind does not deliver a widescreen display. If you install the latest ATI drivers you will see that the standard windows graphics profiles in display settings have 1680x1050x32. The ATI driver has the ability to force 720p or 1080i but it is not necessary.
  • Weezard - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - link

    Hi, nice review.

    I do have a few questions about the Cinema Display.

    Does my Radeon9700Pro support this monitor? It has DVI output, but what about resolution options, DDC (or what its called - the function that delivers 16:10 widescreen).

    Is this a plug and play monitor, when running Windows XP and Radeon 9700Pro? Is any software needed before using it with a Windows OS?

    Thank you.
  • wrack - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - link

    One thing I forgot to ask Kristopher,

    Which graphics card and processor was used to carry out this review..? I can't find 1680x1050 resolution option on my graphics card.
  • wrack - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - link

    #54 Electonic circuits always tend to attract fine dust. Reply
  • nortexoid - Sunday, May 01, 2005 - link

    dust acts as an insulator? the monitor is standing vertically so the only place dust would gather is on the top, not on any of the electronics. or do you lie your monitor face down on a glass desk and work from underneath the desk? i know it's gaining ergonomic popularity, but i thought only in malawi. Reply
  • Spacecomber - Saturday, April 30, 2005 - link

    This is the kind of review that I'd like to see become the standard for comparing LCDs. Pick an assortment of LCDs that are using the same type of matrice panel(TN, IPS, PVA/MVA) and compare these monitors to each other. They don't have to be using the exact same panel, as in this case, just one based on the same technology. This will provide the reader with something much more like an apples to apples comparison than the apples to oranges comparision that you will get otherwise. (Sorry, about the Apple pun.)

    With all three (or four) types of matrices having such distinctive strengthes and weaknesses, you pretty much have to decide which of these patterns of characteristics will best match how you use the computer and then go looking for that particular type of matrice in a panel.

    The questions for the reviewers then becomes how well does a particular display cope with it's inherent weaknesses, as well as how well does it emphasize what should be its relative strengths.

    For example, in this Anandtech review of IPS panel displays, one of the main problems for IPS panels to overcome is a relatively low contrast ratio, which can affect how well it reproduces black; so, this specification is one that should be given particular attention in the review, especially the subjective analysis.

    Response times are always a point of emphasis in LCD reviews, and with IPS screens, as was noted in the review, you should expect to see the relatively modest black-white response time made up for by the fact that response times stay relatively consistent, even when changes in shade become smaller. (That is why I was confused by this statement, regarding motion blur, in the review, "...two states that are very close to each other take less time than two states further apart from each other, which results in pixels that are not just delayed in a uniform manner, but at several different speeds across the entire panel depending on the hue". I thought that it was with states that were closer together that you saw the slower response time, due to the voltage differential being so small in these cases.)

    In sum, I'd like to see more LCD reviews start with what is known about the panel that is being used (such as is detailed in this very good xbitlabs analysis, and use this understanding to provide a framework for comparing LCDs in terms of their strengths and weaknesses. Essentially, while there is no one LCD monitor that is as well rounded for many purposes as is a CRT, anyone buying a LCD will be looking for the one that imposes fewer compromises on the them and for compromises that impinge less on how the screen will be used by that particular buyer.

  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, April 29, 2005 - link

    nortexoid: Dust acts as an insulator. Wrapping your DSP in a warm cuddly blanket will probably make it fail prematurely.

    glennpratt: Unfortunately I cannot quite vouche for the fact that aluminum really acts as a heat sink on this display. The housing is completely smooth and does not really create additional surface area for heat dissapation. Aluminums ability to transfer heat well only helps if there is additional surface area for the sink to come in contact with air.

    In reality, the reason why Apple can get away with a beveled design without any passive exhaust has more to do with the fact that the inverter is housed in a separate brick from the display. Samsung does this too in many of their high end displays.

    Anyways - I think Apple just picked Aluminum for looks.

  • glennpratt - Friday, April 29, 2005 - link

    The Apple is made of aluminum which may have affected their decision to leave out the vents (aluminum transfers heat much better the plastic.) Reply
  • nortexoid - Thursday, April 28, 2005 - link

    What do you think damages a electronics more: dust falling on them or high temperatures?

    I'd rather vents in the back of my monitor to prevent higher temperatures than have it completely sealed to keep out that horribly destructive nuclear fallout.
  • cnlsilva - Thursday, April 28, 2005 - link

    Thanks for the article - I have an LG/Phillips 1680x1050 display on my laptop and it is great. The only display I can see that could beat it would be tthe 1920x1200 display now on the Dell XPS Gen2 laptop. A review on that display would be nice.
    Two questions:
    1. Anyone have any information on the 17" 1680x1050 display as separate units - I have DVI out so it would be nice to dual monitor - although that is a VERY wide dual display - too wide perhaps.

    Loved the article - a few errors(please edit this and remove this statement):
    page 10 "Unlike analogy" -> analog
    page 10 "uses much simplier" -> simpler
  • Pastuch - Thursday, April 28, 2005 - link

    Fantastic article.

    RE: Widescreen Gaming
    I too found the Widescreengamingforum and was shocked that with simple registry changes you can adjust most games to the native resolution you desire. I play Halflife 2 (CS Source), Farcry, Warcraft 3:FT (DOTA), Doom 3, and Everquest 2 on my 2005fpw without any stretching issues.

    This forum thread has over 90 pages of responces from Dell 2005fpw owners. The thread is actually a review.
  • stukafox - Thursday, April 28, 2005 - link

    Has anyone been able to purchase this monitor at the listed price of $486.85 from the Dealtime link? I click on the 'BUY IT' and am directed to Dell's site, which lists the monitor at $749, less a 25% discount of $187.25, for a total of $561.75. This is far from the $486.85 listed at Deal Time.

    Any idea what's going on?
  • Ibrin - Thursday, April 28, 2005 - link

    I run the website that was mentioned earlier (WSGF),

    I posted an article over on the AnandTech forums about this article. The author is quite mistaken, and most new games do support widescreen. If you'd like a bit more detail on some of the games that do support widescreen, you can hit the forum topic here:

    If you'd like detailed info, including on to hack/mod some of your favorite games to run in widescreen, head on over to the WSGF
  • golemite - Thursday, April 28, 2005 - link

    few things...

    1) world of warcraft does support 1680x1050 natively, surprised you didnt see this in the resolution settings

    for other games check out

    2) 16:10 is usually used for computer/laptop monitors because it is felt that 16:9 doesnt give u an adequate workspace. it is suppose to be the recommended aspect ratio for Longhorn as well

    3) dell will actually replace your LCD for any reason, even down to 1 pixel or backlighting problems within 21 days or so of purchase as part of their total satisfaction guarentee (or similarily named policy) many early adopters have apparently done this successfully
  • JNo - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    oh yeah - thanks Sandys (#37 & 39) - that rocks! really helpful and saved me a lot of time...
    got a modded xbox with monster component, so it's getting even more tempting... just need to find a friend willing to contribute to getting the two at the discount...
  • JNo - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Also, I am guessing that the panel in the Dell 2405 may be the same one as in Sony's P-234/B (23" 1920x1200 widescreen, 16ms response time) reviewed here:

    Can anyone confirm?
  • djbkim - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    My guess is that Dell LCDs are compatible with Macs. Dell's website has only PC compatibility listed. Reply
  • djbkim - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

  • MJA - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    at one time the dell 2005FPW was selling for $386 ( codes)I got mine for $486 Reply
  • sandys - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Oh yeah and as for panel manufacturer it can only be Samsung, not seen anyone else doing one. probably the ltm240w1

    pure guesswork of course :p
  • Gatak - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    #36, It is about contrast. The eyes are strained if you have a bright light in just a part of the field of view. The strain comes from having to both adjust for the bright light _and_ at the same time allow enough light to come from the darker areas. In other words it is difficult for the eyes to properly acclimate to the lighting situation. Reply
  • sandys - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Hi JNo,

    The 2405 can be bought in the UK, for some reason it is not showing on Dells site but you can still phone them and buy it so answers to questions

    a) yes it supports 1:1 pixel mapping
    b) it can be bought but price varies depending on offer at the time, I bought two and got one half price plus 20% off bring each to £540 which was a bargain, others have got around 600-693 for a single unit.
    c) yes it can.

    The 2405 also has component and I run my PS2 and xbox off of it, unfortunately we get stiffed a bit in the UK and box Sony and MS remove the useful progressive resolutions in place of interlaced so the only way to get a quality output on Xbox is to mod it and switch it to NTSC and for the PS2 buy US games or live with 576i :(

    look here

  • xsilver - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    obviously to "fix" a dark room you just turn on the light... but I wanted to know more about the principles behind it.... what makes the monitor so different when its used in a dark room?
    why is it so bad to turn down the brightness?
    why does it hurt your eyes? (cause it doesnt hurt mine)
  • Zak - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Doom3 and Trainz configs can also be edited to support 1680x1050.

  • ir0nw0lf - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Don't forget that World of Warcraft natively supports 1680x1050!! Reply
  • bob661 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    I won't buy a LCD either, yet. I do have a Viewsonic VP201b (supposedly the same panel as the Dell 2001FP) and it was VERY good playing UT2004 and Doom 3. I'll wait for two more generations of LCD AND then I'll some more for those to come down into the $300 range for a 19 or 20".
  • DestruyaUR - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Will these new 23 and 30" samples you speak of have HDCP circuitry so they could actually be used as TVs? Reply
  • Gatak - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    #9: Easy to fix. Increase ambient light in the room. It is usually never good to work in a dark room. The "White" on the screen should also be the same color temperature as the ambient light. Reply
  • TinyTeeth - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Great review, but you really should use a better camera... :X Reply
  • jediknight - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Only thing I really don't like about Dell is their dead pixel policy. They will only replace a monitor (so I've been told) if it has 6 dead pixels.

    Personally, ONE dead pixel is too many!
  • crimson117 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Dell's brand is called "UltraSharp", not "UltraSync" as the review states. NEC's brand is called MultiSync, maybe that got confused? Reply
  • mlittl3 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Here are the final prices (retail not education of both of these monitors).

    Apple $799
    Dell $486.85

    Apple just today reduced the price of their LCD panels. Also, it should be noted that the Dell LCD is listed as $749 but a 35% discount lowers the price.

    This is a perfect example of how hardware costs the same between PC and Mac but volume shipments allow a distributor to lower the cost considerably.

    Apple is selling a lot less of these than Dell therefore their prices are higher. Both panels still cost about the same before volume shipments are factored in. If the whole world buys Apple, then Apple would sell the LCD for $499 and Dell would increase the price to $749.

    Gotta love capitalism!
  • DCstewieG - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    #17 How did you get that $799 price? I followed the link and the session was expired but then I went back to the store and sure enough...$799. Even with my educational discount it's $899.

    Though even @ $799, my point stands.
  • JNo - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link


    Agree that other connections (s-vid, composite) should be tested via eg xbox... shame no component...

    Am really tempted to get widescreen now that games are beginning to support it or can be made to support it. More elegant than dual monitor and better for movies/games too. Really impressed that the Dell 'out-functioned' the Apple with similar/better performance too.

    On the Dell 2405 (1920x1200), does anyone know what panel it uses? LG Philips too?
    Also anyone know if
    a) it supports 1:1 pixel scaling?
    b) it can be bought in UK (does not appear on dell uk website) - and how much?
    c) it can also rotate to portrait mode?

  • smn198 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    12ms typical (Grey to Grey) / 16ms typical (Black to White)

    Guess Dell are slightly schizophrenic
  • sandys - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Quite a few games that don't support widescreen natively can be modified to do so, check out for details, I have a 2405 and run all my games in widescreen with the correct aspect ratio.

  • blwest - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Nice article. I bought two of these in Feb and absolutely agree with everything in this article. I do think that WOW supports 16:10 though. I'm not 100% certain until I get home but I've been playing it and nothing is deformed. In soviet russia, the monitor watches you. Reply
  • segagenesis - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Impressive display but I personally dont like the fact its 16:10... why not 16:9? Did I miss the memo on how LCDs are manufacturered? Having a Trinitron CRT im still hard pressed to want to move to LCD especially for games. Reply
  • toyota - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Dell does NOT claim 12ms response time!! I am looking at their catalog that i got a few weeks ago and it lists 16ms for response time for the 2005FPW!! Reply
  • intellon - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Oh why oh why did you leave out a small paragraph of comment on the composite input or the s-video one... If you can update the review by connecting xbox to it and playing halo on the xbox, and commenting on the playability in just one itsy bitsy paragraph that would make this head to head review complete...

    Lots of students with cramped space dream about using computer monitor as a display for their consoles.
  • jasonsRX7 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Lots of Mac users love the Dell widescreen displays, they're great for the money. I'm a Mac user and I thought a lot about getting a Dell widescreen but ended up with a 30" Apple Cinema display instead. There are tons of people in the Mac forums I visit that use the Dell 20" and 24" monitors, though. Reply
  • Chuckles - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Hey #11: Try $799.

    As long as your video card has the S-Video Port between the DVI ports, two connectors will fit. If they are crammed next to each other, they won't.
  • xsilver - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    "The largest mistake that we see people make when they buy a new LCD is to put their new, bright LCD in a dim, dark room (and then turn the LCD down to 25% brightness). Not only is this terrible for your eyes,"

    can you clarify this? why is this so bad? you mention colour offset, but if this is changed accordingly, what is different?
  • lebe0024 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    This has nothing to do with MAC vs. PC. This is a display manufactured by Apple, which has nothing to do with Apple's "Macintosh" computer line, other than the fact that they're sold together. Reply
  • MIDIman - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    An absolutely superb real down to earth mac vs. pc comparison.

    Reminds me of the millions of times I've been confronted by mac-lovers saying that the Apple Cinema Display is the only good LCD on the market and is "worth" the extra cost. Nowadays, I just send them to anandtech!
  • hirschma - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    A couple of quick comments:

    * I have two OLD Apple DVI monitors hooked to my PC. While they work great, there is no software for the PC to control anything except the backlight controls, like the model reviewed here. I'm guessing that the new model still doesn't come with anything in that regard.

    * The Apple DVI cable head looks too "fat" to use with Dual DVI cards - looks like one port will be partially blocked. Is that accurate?

    I'd like to have heard more about the Apple monitor's suitability for use with Windows.

  • cHodAXUK - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Dell UK are charging nearly £600 for the 2005, thats $1000 the cheeky mofos. Looks like Dell are another company exploiting the ripoff Britian mentality. Reply
  • DCstewieG - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    I'm surprised the price of the Apple display is never mentioned. If the Dell is $486 at the outlet store online you figure the Apple name will cost maybe $100 or so more? So about $600.

    Try $999.

    Geez, I think that thing is as sexy as anyone else, but holy crap is that a premium. And without the possibility of analog! $350 for the Dell on the right day makes a hell of a lot more sense to me, even if roles were reversed and it had been rated slightly worse than the Apple.
  • DeanO - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Good review Kristopher :)

    Personally, I've seen photos that show some serious backlight leakage on these things, so I'm still a little hesitant, though it's reassuring that you guys haven't had this problem.

    Hope the upcoming reviews of bigger screens include the Dell 2405FPW. That screen looks fantastic!
  • nels0360 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    I have a Dell 2005FPW and I love it. One thing though. The brightness setting on it (and all others) is worthless. It's either bright or really bright! Not a big problem for me but it does lead to eye fatigue if used in a dark room (like for gaming).
  • IceWindius - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    After days of research, I got the Hyundai L90D+ and I couldn't be happier. Dell just isn't one for quality assurance. Reply
  • Ahkorishaan - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Page 8, there is a typo at the end of the Matrix spiel,

    "Since the Apple 2005FPW has a (very) slight lower measured contrast ratio, this didn’t surprise us during out testing."

    Otherwise, great review.
  • ArtOfWar - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    That Acer display looks pretty good too... maybe you could add it to the review... suince in looks (aesthetics) it's better than both these display IMO (thou both of these look awesome)

    Anywyas great review... Wish I could afford one of those
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    kini62: Thanks for the update; I've corrected that.

  • kini62 - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    You said that NO games use 1680x1050. Half Life 2 and Far Cry both support that resolution. Reply
  • Anemone - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    Rats wish you would also put the 2405 under the microscope too :)

    Loved every page of the article even still.

  • Novaoblivion - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    I have a 2005FPW as does my brother and we both love them they work great :) Reply
  • Zerhyn - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link

    "We were very surprised to learn that the Apple Cinema 20” display only comes with a one-year limited warranty, if you do not purchase the display with a PowerBook or PowerMac. Dell displays all come with a three-year limited warranty."

    In the spec charts it says the apple has a 3 year warrenty and the dell only a one year....

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