**The Massive TFT Sticky - FAQ, Links and Buyers Guide**

23 Oct 2008
Very well written and informative guide.

However (there is always a However) I don't get this with the different panels :confused:

I even read the link you posted about more info, but I am still not clear which of the panel technologies to choose.

For sure I won't be buying a TN-film panel (I had quite a few of those) even if I found them pretty good in the past. (I will probably get the Dell 2408WFP)

but what is better for a 50% gamer 25/25% office/internet/movie consumer?

MVA, MPA, IPS, and so on..

I think it would be great if you would bother to give some recommendations to panel usage for different scenarios.

Thanks and regards,
Finish troll living in the UK
Man of Honour
9 Jan 2007
Screen sizes and Dots per Inch (DPI)

I stumbled across this guide when looking for a new monitor and wanted to know whether the text size would be comfortable to read. Hope this helps:

From the notebookreview forum:

When you're looking for a laptop (or any type of screen), one of the things you should look at is the screen resolution. Some people care more about the size of the screen, but to me, it's both the size and the resolution that are important. The more pixels on the screen, the more stuff you can see at once.

While shopping recently for a laptop, I kept coming back to the question of: "Will the display resolution at this screen size be too big or small for me to read comfortably?" My current monitor has a nice size, and I wanted to be able to compare my monitor with the laptops out there. Of course, I can't take my monitor everywhere to compare.

This led me to the idea of looking at the DPI, or "Dots Per Inch". DPI measures how many dots (pixels) there are in 1 inch across or down on the screen. Because this measurement is specifically tied to a physical measurement, you can be sure that no matter what the resolution of the screen is, the DPI will tell you exactly how it will look.

I calculated the DPI for many common screen sizes at common resolutions, allowing a very direct comparison of DPI for these different screens. Here are the charts, broken down by aspect ratio (and you thought that learning the pythagorean theorem and all about sine/cosine/tangents was useless!):

Widescreen Format (16:10) Display DPI Resolution

Diagonal 2560x1600 1920x1200 1680x1050 1440x900 1280x800
(inches) (WQXGA).. (WUXGA).. (WSXGA+) (WXGA+) (WXGA)

12.1...... 250x249 187x187 164x164 140x140 125x125
13.3...... 227x227 170x170 149x149 128x128 114x113
14.1...... 214x214 161x160 141x140 120x120 107x107
15 ........201x201 151x151 132x132 113x113 101x101
15.4 .....196x196 147x147 129x128 110x110. 98x98
17 ........178x177 133x133 117x116 100x100. 89x89
19 ........159x159 119x119 104x104 89x89.... 79x79
20 ........151x151 113x113 99x99... 85x85.... 76x75
22 ........137x137 103x103 90x90... 77x77.... 69x69
24 ........126x126 94x94... 83x82... 71x71.... 63x63
27 ........112x112 84x84... 73x73... 63x63.... 56x56
30 ........101x101 76x75... 66x66... 57x57.... 50x50

Standard Format (4:3) Display DPI Resolution

Diagonal 1600x1200 1400x1050 1280x960 1024x768
(inches).. (UXGA)..... (SXGA+)....(SXGA).... (XGA)

12.1..... 165x165 145x145 132x132 106x106
14.1..... 142x142 124x124 113x114 91x91
15........ 133x133 117x117 107x107 85x85
17.........118x118 103x103 94x94... 75x75
19........ 105x105 92x92... 84x84... 67x67
20........ 100x100 87x88... 80x80... 64x64

SXGA (5:4) Display DPI Resolution

Diagonal 1280x1024
(inches) (SXGA)

12.1..... 135x135
14.1..... 116x116
15........ 109x109
17........ 96x96
19........ 86x86
20........ 82x82

Some of those size/resolution combinations don't exist (you'll probably never be able to get a 12.1" screen with a resolution of 2560x1600).

OK, how do you use these charts?

1. Figure out the resolution and size of your current display. To find the size of your display, take out a ruler and measure diagonally from corner to corner. To find the resolution, right-click on your desktop, choose Properties, then go to the settings tab. You will see a slider with the "screen resolution" listed.

2. Look up your monitor on the chart. For example: if you have a standard (4:3) format 17" display, with a resolution of 1400x1050, then your DPI is 103x103.

3. Now you can look at other DPI numbers in the chart and see what else matches up to your monitor.
One thing that many people worry about is if "things will be too small" on the monitor. It's true that the higher the resolution and DPI (bigger numbers), the smaller pictures and fonts will be on the screen. However, you can adjust the font settings to compensate for this on the Display control panel, using "Large fonts", or you can specify what DPI you have. This can make some of the Windows UI look out of proportion, though I hear that in Vista this should not happen. The advantage of doing this is that you will see much better resolution with photos, and fonts will also display more clearly (kind of like using cleartype). Many programs (like MS Office, Firefox) also have a "zoom" feature, that lets you make the fonts look bigger on the screen without changing how big they will be when printed.

Some notes on DPI:

• Bigger numbers mean smaller letters on the screen.

• Windows generally assumes you have a 96dpi display, no matter what you ACTUALLY have.

• I'm not sure how much this relates to DPI settings in Photoshop or other programs like that

• You can compare this to printed paper too. As far as I know, printed material is usually around 300 dpi.
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1 Mar 2010
Just to add some colour to the ... colour depth discussion. It is believed that the human eye cannot detect gradation differences in any of the primary colours, red, green and blue, if those gradients are more than 256 (or thereabouts). In other words, if you draw a red bar across the screen, and if you divide it into 256 parts, and if you assign each part a brightness value between 0 and 255, then what you will see would be a continuous bar changing from black to bright red without any bands. If you do not have 256 brightness levels at the hardware level, then you will see bands. By counting the bands you can deduce how many colours you really have on each primary. Usually you can cheat on blue, as the human eye is less sensitive to it, and allocate your bits to the red and green. In any case, if you can allocate 8 bits of brightness to every primary colour, the total would be 2^8 * 2^8 * 2^8 possible combinations, ie 2^24 = 16,777,216 colours.

The article above says that the manufacturers play tricks in order to produce colours by flicking between colours etc, I think all that would deteriorate the screen, after all flicking the pixel from one colour to another will steal from the total time the pixel has in order to draw itself.
10 Oct 2008
brilliant read thanks.

Hey, does anybody know if ultrasharps are covered for "mura type 3"? Mine has always had it. Then again, I've never seen a monitor without any "mura type 3". Also I always thought it was backlight bleed :(

It's good list but when it says 1x Analogue input, 1x DVI Input. Like for this monitor:Here.
What is the analogue input?
Is it a green, blue, red, input like on an xbox? (HD)
Is it a yellow, white, red, input like for a SD source?
Or is it something else?

Analogue is the VGA connector, digital is the DVI connector. Though some monitors could have component analogue input - which is what you are confusing it with - they probably aren't very good screens. Red green and blue is for composite HD, which some TVs have, it is not as good as HDMI or DVI as it is still analogue (I think). White red and yellow is composite SD; white + red are stereo audio whereas the yellow is the video signal, though digital audio can be sent through the white+red I think. Generally monitors will only have DVI, HDMI and VGA, other connectors are added in for compatability but few people will or should use them they are simply not as good, DVI and HDMI are king ^_^. HDMI is essentially DVI except with capability for audio too, most people will use DVI for their monitors even if they could use HDMI, I don't see any downside to using HDMI but it feels really "consoly" so I don't like it :D
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13 Jul 2010
thanks... this is a useful guide.. i`m thinking of getting a tv for the bedroom..i.e. not a puter monitor but a tv... i got one for it last year and i hate it as i can`t see anything on it apart from only the one angle..... so i`m getting a new one and with this info hopefully get a good one :D
Man of Honour
12 Jan 2003
sticky now updated and improved for 2012. looking to add more info as well, so please shout if there are suggestions or ideas on things people would like to see added!
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