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.

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  • LX - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    Spacecomber (#20), the LTM190E4 is specd to be half as bright as the LTM240M1 (250 vs. 500 cd/m^2).

    I am not sure how it translate to real-life scenarions though.
  • JNo - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    I did comment this on the preceding LG display review but just to reiterate...

    "I know anandtech focuses a lot on the Dells and Samsungs in the LCD world, which is in many ways fair enough given their marketshares, but there are other LCDs coming out which I'd like to see reviews of. I know response time isn't everything and is often a controversial subject but I'd love to see priority reviews on the reported 6ms Gray To Gray (GTG) BenQ FP91V+ and the reported 4ms GTG Viewsonic VX924. Inquiring minds would love to know.."
  • at80eighty - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    Jarred, Kristopher ..ANYONE!!

    this has probably been asked before (my apologies in that case)

    Could we have a round up of the best 19"+ monitors for gaming?

    and here's the noob question of the day - how is a 6bit monitor better for gaming than a 8bit?

    Thnx in advance

  • DoctorH - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - link

    I was debating getting the 915N or the NEC 1970GX, also an 8ms LCD, but with the glossy black screen that makes movies look better.

    I decided to go for the glossy black screen. Plus I get a 700:1 contrast ratio, and DVI inputs, and USB hub.

    All this for $535 canadian.

    No dead pixels either.

    A friend of mine also picked one up.

    Best monitor I've laid eyes on. I did a direct comparison with the 915n, which was also, good, however, no DVI, and had that matte black finish.
  • archcommus - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - link

    #26, thanks. The 930B is definitely still my choice, then. I'm going to pick it up at Best Buy.

    I want to buy it now, but my upgraded computer won't be ready for a couple weeks still, and I don't want to buy the monitor and then just have it sit there - I want to use it actively from the moment I buy it in case any pixels or something dies. Hmm, what to do...
  • shiznit - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - link

    i apologize, didnt see the buyer's guide. but a review last year would have been nice.
  • ocyl - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - link


    Thank you for your sustained poundering on 6-bit panels. It really is much appreciated.

    Best regards.
  • MajorPayne - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - link

    #24, the main differences between the 2 are 1) DVI connection (Essential for most folks), and 2) Software DPS control (useful to some, but I have never minded setting it manually, so not that useful to me). The other specs are the same.... 8ms response time, still no swivel (at least it does tilt), and a beautiful screen. I was playing farcy64 last night on mine (I just got it 2 days ago), and could not believe how beautiful everything looked. I kept getting killed because I stopped to stare at stuff ;)!
  • Rocket321 - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - link

    So what is the actual response time for the Dell 1905? This review indicates that it is a 25ms panel - several times. Yet in the full review from January it is listed as a 20ms panel. Which review has it right?
  • archcommus - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - link

    I wanted to get a 930B pretty soon, is it different in any ways besides having DVI? Should I still get that one?

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