The big push in movies and displays has been 3D the past few years. In movies it’s ranged from well designed and executed (Avatar) to a gimmick to charge $4 more per ticket (many examples), but for gaming, it potentially has more direct benefits. Virtually every game now is rendered in 3D, and so all of the information is there that is needed to show the game in 3D to the user, unlike the fake 2D to 3D conversions that many films use. Running in active 3D also means a panel that works at a true 120Hz, so even your 2D image can benefit. Samsung sent us their latest 3D enabled 23" LCD for review, with built in support for AMD's HD3D solution.

Samsung S23A750D Design and Setup

The Samsung S23A750D (henceforth S23A) is certainly a slick looking monitor, but it is not a design without issues. Its angular central pedestal only provides tilt adjustment, with no swivel or height adjustment at all. The connectors on the rear of the pedestal are nicely arranged in a way that keeps everything close together and makes cable organization easy for the user. There are HDMI and DisplayPort connectors, and you’ll want to use DisplayPort here, as it’s the only way to get a 120Hz signal from your video card to the display. The one bad side about the port design is that Samsung uses an external power adapter, so be prepared to hide another power brick somewhere near your workstation.

The front controls on the pedestal are all touch sensitive, with Menu, Power, and 3D buttons at the top, and 4-way arrow keys with a central Enter button in the middle. This brings up one big issue that I had with the display, in that the Enter key is located far too close to the arrow keys and is nearly impossible to hit. The Enter key is also used to select the correct input, and for a couple of days I was not able to hit Enter to change from HDMI to DisplayPort. It turned out that trying to barely hit the button didn’t work and I had to use my whole thumb to hit it, but this would often hit the arrow keys instead of Enter.

Needless to say, this drove me absolutely crazy during the review period. It was hard to change inputs, to adjust anything on the OSD, and to really adjust anything with the display. I’d strongly suggest that Samsung spread out the buttons more, or make them actual tactile buttons, and possibly include a remote as well if they want to stay with the touch sensitive options. Since the monitor is also available in a configuration with a TV tuner integrated, the remote option makes the most sense as it would let them keep the look while making it easier to adjust.

The screen and bezel of the Samsung are very glossy in use, and I likely wouldn’t use it in a room where there was going to be a lot of lighting that would reflect off of it. While taking some pictures of content on the screen it was virtually impossible to get one without a reflection, so if reflections bother you easily then you might want to look elsewhere. The glossy finish gives the screen a good amount of pop as you would expect, but there are the reflections. Here's the overview of the specs and features for the S23A.

Samsung S23A750D
Video Inputs HDMI 1.4a, DisplayPort
Panel Type TN
Pixel Pitch 0.265 mm
Colors 16.7 million
Brightness 250 nits
Contrast Ratio 1,000:1
Response Time 2ms (GTG)
Viewable Size 23"
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Viewing Angle 170 H / 160 V
Backlight LED
Power Consumption (operation) 48W
Power Consumption (standby) 1W
Screen Treatment Ultra Clear Panel (Glossy)
Height-Adjustable No
Tilt Yes, 0-20 degrees
Pivot No
Swivel No
VESA Wall Mounting No
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 21.39" x 15.94" x 7.59"
Weight 9.26 lbs
Additional Features 120Hz input, 2D -> 3D Conversion, Active 3D, Headphone Out
Limited Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Active 3D Glasses, DisplayPort Cable
Price Available online starting at $435

The OSD system of the S23A would be fine if not for the issues with the touch sensitive buttons. All the settings you expect to see are there.

Sidenote: Display Testbed Upgrades

The harder point of setup for me was that I’m not a huge gamer, so I didn’t have a video card that would drive a game in 3D at reasonable frame rates, or that had a DisplayPort output on it. AMD was kind enough to send along a Radeon HD 6950 video card for the testing so nothing would hold back the performance of the display. On the other hand, AMD's current HD3D solution doesn't have quite the gaming support as NVIDIA's 3D Vision, but that's a matter for gamers. Considering the S23A specifically includes support for AMD's HD3D solution, testing with an AMD GPU makes the most sense. It's also worth noting that running games in 3D mode puts a much higher load on the GPU, just as with NVIDIA's 3D Vision, so you're not going to want to try 3D gaming with anything much lower than a 6950; that brings us to the next point.

Not surprisingly, upgrading to a high-end GPU meant my PSU wasn’t up to the task, but OCZ helped out with a ZX series 850W PSU to replace the anemic one I had installed. Installing this into the Antec P182 was a bit of an adventure thanks to all the dividers inside the Antec case, but it worked great once installed and ran even quieter than what I had installed previously. The OCZ is also a modular PSU, whereas my previous PSU had a fixed set of cables, and I found the change helpful when rewiring my case and adding the PEG connectors to the GPU. Here you can see the result of my upgrades if you're interested.

The main reason we mention this is that anyone considering upgrading to a 3D display for gaming purposes really needs to consider their other hardware as well. Serious gamers might have all the necessary equipment already, but casual gamers—as well as many typical OEM builds—could fall well short of the desired level of performance. Now with my PC upgraded and ready for 3D testing, let's see how the S23A performs.

Viewing Angles and Color Quality
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  • DParadoxx - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    Chris, there is an OCZ 850 PS gallery on page one. I suspect this is unintentional. Reply
  • DParadoxx - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    Spoke too soon, I see it is. Reply
  • Iketh - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    Sorry to be a d**k, but I could only glance through the article. It felt like is was written by a 7th grader. Not AT worthy. Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    I'm sure your thoughtful and constructive comment will really be a force for change at AT. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    It's really no use to criticize unless you can be more specific. What is wrong with it? The writing style or the knowledge of the writer? Or something else?

    Haters are always gonna hate. If you want things to change, the way is to provide feedback and tell WHAT IS WRONG.
    Reply
  • Galcobar - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    The writing style is more juvenile, hyperbolic and chatty than I've come to expect from Anandtech. There are also some grammatical issues which obscure meaning. As a result the reader has to sift the article more carefully for the relevant information.

    Clear, concise writing which conveys the information precisely indicates a greatery mastery of the subject material. The author may have a complete grasp of the issue, but it is not presented in a manner which would lead the reader to trust the author's, erm, authority.
    Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Saturday, December 17, 2011 - link

    That's a much better way to put it. Nice ironic twist in there too. :p Reply
  • Reikon - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    Yep. I've been saying recently that AT is going down in quality. These new writers just aren't any good. Their writing style and content just isn't up to the old standards.

    I mean, look at those pictures of the OCZ PSU on the first page. Someone even thought they were included as an error. This isn't a blog. Don't write about how your computer couldn't handle 3D and then detail how you upgraded it to support it. This isn't a case or PSU review. We don't need to know the details of your PSU installation for a monitor review.
    Reply
  • claytontullos - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    agreed Reply
  • johnf1285 - Monday, December 19, 2011 - link

    I agree with this too. I was thrown off when I was reading through the article, and glanced down to see a photogallery with pictures of a PSU. Reply

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