Thursday, August 27, 2009

The SyncMaster!

As a blog that revolves around gaming and everything related to gaming, I have to write a post about my new Samsung SyncMaster 2233rz 22inch gaming monitor. As a computer enthusiast, I have never used anything that even comes close to matching the performance of this beautiful piece of hardware.

My previous monitor was a 22inch widescreen view sonic LCD. With a response time of 5ms and a good contrast ratio, this was not a bad gaming monitor by any standards. So why upgrade to another monitor of the exact same dimensions? Because the SyncMaster can operate at 120hz refresh rate as opposed to any previous LCD's 60hz refresh rate.

Now as I have recently discovered that not all gamers are aware of how refresh rates impact gameplay or the general viewing experience. The refresh rate is the number of times a second that a display redraws data. This is not the same as your frame rate. Your average movie plays at around 24 frames per second (fps), but each frame is illuminated two or three times before the next frame appears. The amount of times the screen is illuminated per second is your refresh rate.

Many hardcore gamers still use older CRT monitor because of their ability to refresh at around 120hz (120 times per second). LCDs, only until very recently, have always displayed at an average of 60hz. This isn't really a problem for normal media, such as videos, because they generally play at frame rate between 24 and 30 frames per second. However, games can have a frame rate that is only limited by your computer's hardware. Thus many enthusiast gamers can achieve frame rates over 100 per second.

Playing a game at a frame rate of over 100 per second on a 60hz LCD cuts out many of the frames your computer is rendering. This often causes an effect called screen tearing, where two frames overlap each other. The Vertical Sync option found in most games, limits your frame rate to 60 fps to avoid this effect.

Playing a game that renders at over 100 frames per second while using a monitor with a 120hz refresh rate, allows the player to see up to 120 frames per second. This creates a much, much more fluid experience and even offers a distinct advantage to people playing fast paced games such as first person shooters.

While playing Call of Duty 4, I was able to take in my soundings at a much more detailed level. When quickly spinning my view around, I noticed a player hiding in the foliage who I probably would have missed if I were using a 60hz monitor. Playing games like Eve Online also resulted in a very fluid feeling while orbiting my camera around the spaceship. The general viewing experience of the operating system has less flickering and causes significantly less eye strain.

The last main perk of using a 120hz refresh rate monitor is that it allows you to use some of the more advanced 3d gaming hardware. While alternating frames, a 120hz monitor can still display a separate image for each eye at 60hz. This will allow you to game in 3d at an acceptable frame rate. Although I haven't dropped $200 for Nvidia's 3d kit, it is definitely something I have been thinking about. Now if only CCP would support 3D viewing in Eve Online my decision would be so much easier :)


  1. I think I'm still working on a first generation flat screen. I wish I could afford a new monitor :-p

  2. I bought that moniter for Linda for her birthday. I'm still using the Syncmaster 226bw. 2ms response 3000:1 dynamic. Both are freaking awesome. Not to mention stylish too.

  3. Don't drop the 200$ for the glasses and expect Eve to be good though the FPS are usually good. CCP would have to rewrite part of the display code to make it better.

    Has tried it. In Eve, meh. CoD, Assassin's Creed, Arkham Asylum, it's great.

    65" Mitsubishi DLP works great as a monitor for 3D Vision too ;)