Benchmark

For comparison purposes, we ran a combination of CheckScreen and DisplayMate on the Samsung 172T LCD against the previously reviewed Samsung 191T LCD. Below is a table with the tests performed and notes we made during testing.  Our test machine is composed of an Inno3D GeForce4 4200 using the VGA 15 Pin D-sub as well as the DVI connections.  We ran all of the tests at 1280x1024 pixels with a refresh rate of 60Hz.  Before the final benchmark, we calibrated the monitor as per the instructions included with DisplayMate; any changes to the LCD during the initial calibration run are noted in the observations.

Testing the 172T will be done a little differently this time.  We are going to rate the 172T in the same categories that we usually rate monitors, but we will use a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest rating.  Unfortunately, we cannot rate our old 191T with the same ratings, since that would require us to redo the benchmark (we no longer have the 191T).

DisplayMate/CheckScreen

Test

Monitor

Observations

Intensity range check

172T (digital)

5, Looks good

172T (analog)

5

191T

Looks good

Black level adjustment

172T (digital)

4, Black levels still slightly high

172T (analog)

4

191T

Blacks appear slightly lighter than on CRT

Defocusing, blooming and halos check

172T (digital)

5, None

172T (analog)

5

191T

None

Screen uniformity and color purity

172T (digital)

5, Uniform

172T (analog)

5

191T

Sharp, crisp, pure

Dark screen (Glare Test)

172T (digital)

4, slight glare

172T (analog)

4

191T

Very little glare.  Anti-reflective screen

Primary colors

172T (digital)

4, unscaled hues display fine, but not perfect.

172T (analog)

5

191T

Looks good

Color Scales

172T (digital)

3, Still difficulty with reds, although an improvement over the 191T

172T (analog)

4

191T

Reds got dark a little too fast

16 intensity levels

172T (digital)

4, Good, but not perfect

172T (analog)

4

191T

Looks good

Pincushion/barrel distortion

172T (digital)

5, None

172T (analog)

5

191T

Completely straight, no distortion

Geometric Linearity

172T (digital)

5, no curvature

172T (analog)

5

191T

Razor sharp grid, no curvature

Focus check

172T (digital)

5, Uniform Focus

172T (analog)

5

191T

Uniform clean focus

Horizontal color registration

172T (digital)

5, Level

172T (analog)

5

191T

Slightly off on each color, expected due to RGB sub pixels

Vertical color registration

172T (digital)

5, Level

172T (analog)

5

191T

Completely level

Fine line moiré pattern

172T (digital)

5, None

172T (analog)

5

191T

Vertical Moiré, corrected slightly by controls

Screen regulation

172T (digital)

5, no problems

172T (analog)

5

191T

No problems

Streaking and ghosting

172T (digital)

5, none

172T (analog)

3, streaking present, but expected

191T

Moderate streaking

Hopefully the new scale is an improvement over our older subjective analysis.  The differences in the analog and digital inputs on this monitor should be fairly apparent after running one benchmark right after another.  As expected, under the analog connection we saw a bit of ghosting (halos around images that were not due to the rise and fall of pixel response time), and streaking (grainy artifacts in contrasting color patterns).  With those exceptions, the monitor performed fairly well under both conditions. 

One thing we did note was that the reflection on the 172T seemed slightly higher than some of the other monitors we looked at.  Fortunately, this is still much less than the reflection or glare found in any CRT/CDT monitor we have looked at to date.  Other notable features on the monitor include a near perfect screen uniformity.  Unlike the Daewoo and Albatron monitors we have seen in this past, there are absolutely no white highlights along the edges of the monitor. As a reader pointed out to us last year, this white highlight is usually caused by a reflection from the backlight around the corners of the screen.  As we will see in upcoming reviews, these highlights are not just limited to the edges of the screen. 

Fortunately, this monitor does not have the quite color problems the 191T had either.  Several graphics designers noticed that the red and green hues on the 191T were slightly off no matter what correction methods were taken.  We spent a lot of time with the 172T, and while there is still room for improvement, it looks like Samsung has come a long way in replicating accurate colors. 

On Screen Display Final Words

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