Wandering Thoughts archives

2006-09-06

How fast an LCD refresh rate is going to be fast enough?

One of my small peculiarities is that I'm an old-fashioned CRT person. By now this is an unfortunate affliction since it's pretty clear that LCDs are the future, whether or not I really like them. (If the prices for good CRTs haven't already bottomed out and started climbing due to decreased production, it probably won't be long.)

Part of the reason I haven't warmed to LCDs is that they have scary and visible failure modes, like stuck pixels, that the manufacturers blandly claim are not bad enough to replace the unit (I beg to disagree). But a good part of it is that for me, LCDs have almost always flickered.

(Okay, technically LCD flickering is actually ghosting.)

I admit that I'm a worst case for LCD designers, since I use black text on a white background. But for years, LCDs had achingly bad flicker issues whenever I tried to use them, sufficiently bad that I was amazed my co-workers could put up with it. I did once find an LCD that seemed OK on first inspection; unfortunately it was a very expensive SGI widescreen unit.

I've recently been spending a chunk of time in front of an almost current generation LCD, in this case a BENQ FP931. If Google can be believed, this has a 16 ms response time. Unfortunately, it still flickers. Not as much as LCDs did in the old days, but it's still there. (Possibly I am using it in an unfavorable situation, since there is indirect sunlight at my back, but I still expect my monitors to be acceptable there.)

The current generation of fast response time LCDs seem to be 8 ms, with some 'ultra-fast' models pushing to 6 ms. I'm hoping that that's fast enough, partly because I suspect that most people are not as picky as I am, so there won't be much demand for even faster LCDs that will drive their prices down (or even cause very many of them to be made to start with).

(There seem to be some faster LCDs; for example, the BENQ FP93G X claims to be 6ms black/white with a 2ms 'grey to grey' time. Of course, part of the whole fun is that all these are marketing numbers, so I'm never sure exactly what they're going to mean in real life and some source suggest that they're outright misleading and prone to be cooked; one discussion of this is here.)

tech/LCDRefreshRates written at 15:31:12; Add Comment


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