My Experience With LED Monitors
Contents at a Glance
- 1 My Experience With LED Monitors
- 2 How Much Can You Save By Switching to an LED Monitor?
- 3 Are LED Monitors Better on Your Eyes?
- 4 A Review of 5 Top Rated LED LCD Monitors for Gaming in 2013
As the go-to guy for computers in my office and with my unreasonably large family I’ve had the chance to use quite a few LED monitors in the last couple of years. In this post I’ll offer you some insight I’ve gathered while looking at a few of the more popular models over the last year.
LED Vs. Older Fluorescent Lamp LCD Monitors
If you’re still using an older LCD monitors, then you should definitely consider the switch. LED monitors are up to 60% more power efficient and are more eco friendly as well. Also the LED lights used to light the LCD panel don’t use mercury while traditional LCD monitors, lit by fluorescent light, do.
*Picture: Here’s a look at one of my current setups – a 27 inch LED monitor on the left and a 23″ LCD monitor on the right.
How Much Can You Save By Switching to an LED Monitor?
Let’s assume you spend about 9 cents per kWh or Kilowatt hour and have your monitor on 10 hours a day. A standard LCD monitor which uses fluorescent lamps will use about 23.1 kWh/month while a standard LED monitor only uses about 60% of this or around 9.24 kWh/month give or take.
Monthly Savings for LED Monitors:
At 9 Cents per kWh this costs $2.08 a month for the LCD monitor and just $0.83 a month for the LED version. This amounts to a difference of $1.25 a month. If you have a dual monitor setup like I do, then this amount would be doubled to $4.16 vs. $1.66 or a savings of $2.50.
Yearly Savings for LED Monitors:
Under these current numbers you’d save $15 with single LED monitor or $30 with a dual monitor setup. Considering LCD monitors are similar in price and you may use your monitor for the next 5 years, then as you can see you’d definitely save more money, to the tune of $75, by going with an LED back-lit monitor.
In the picture to the right you can see a second setup I work at. This is two 24″ LED monitors of the same brand and type side by side.
Are LED Monitors Better on Your Eyes?
As someone who works in front of dual monitors 10 hours a day I definitely get some major eyestrain from time to time. While most of this stems from having bright monitors and not enough natural light, it seems LED monitors, for me at least, are a bit lighter on my eyes.
Refresh Rates Less Than 60 and that Old CRT You Still Have:
While most newer CCFL LCD or LED monitors have refresh rates higher than 60 an older CRT monitor with a low refresh rate can cause eyestrain as well. If you have eyestrain and are still using that 1990s CRT, then purchasing either a newer LCD or LED monitor should have substantially.
Image Attribution: Flickr Creative Commons
A Review of 5 Top Rated LED LCD Monitors for Gaming in 2013
#5 Asus VS247H-P
As you can see in the featured picture for this article I have a setup with two of these monitors. What originally drew me to them was a recommendation from a friend, a large rebate, and Asus’ reputation overall in the monitor market.
While this monitor is advertised as having a 2ms response time, that shouldn’t be a game winner for you. I generally go for response times that are 5ms or less simply because I can’t see too much of a difference. Low response times like 1 or 2ms are not that much better and in all reality a stat like input lag should be more important.
I’ve played with this monitor quite a bit, compared it side by side with my VH236H – the old EVO monitor and have not noticed a major difference in terms of input lag. I didn’t perform a stop watch test, so if you’re a professional tournament FPS, RTS, or fighting fanatic, then you may want to go on the side of caution and go with a monitor like the Asus VH238H which is basically the same panel as the EVO monitor, but uses LED back-lights.
By the way if there is enough interest for me to do an input lag test on this particular monitor side by side with the VH236H, then let me know by commenting below.
Color and Contrast
It’s hard to go off of raw stat numbers when it comes to color and contrast these days. Monitor manufacturers seem to mislead by posting their own “dynamic” contrast ratio numbers. I recently purchased a 27 inch Viewsonic which boasts a 30,000,000:1 DCR. Put it side by side with my VH236H and it looks horrible. This particular monitor is listed as having a 50,000,000:1 Asus Smart Contrast Ratio. In all reality that doesn’t mean a ton to me anymore.
That being said it looks as good or better than my EVO monitor when put side by side. The colors really pop and the black seems about as real as a TN 18 bit monitor will go.
Overall the Asus VS247H-P should be near the top of your list if you’re considering a new LED gaming monitor. It has a lot of great features beyond gaming like a variety of inputs including HDMI, D-Sub, and DVI-D and looks great with its thin design. Try to grab it on rebate below $150.
#4 Samsung 700 SERIES S23A700D 120 Hz LED Monitor
If you’re in the 120hz monitor space, then here’s a monitor you might not have considered yet, but should have a place next to the BenQ XL2420TX. The S23A700D is one of those monitors that potentially gives you everything you want for gaming including a low response time, input lag, and 120Hz refresh rate. No, they don’t make an IPS alternative, yet.
The S23A700 D has a 2ms gray to gray response time which is good enough for all games.
As show here the S23A700D has about a 10-11 ms input lag when put side by side with a CRT. This is sub 1 frame and considered professional level in the gaming community. When using 2D to 3D conversion this increases substantially to around 38ms.
Because this is a 3D monitor it has a 120 Hz refresh rate, but 60Hz may also be used. This is ideal for those looking for a more crisp motion, better responsiveness, and less tearing while gaming.
This is another really great monitor that should be considered in the high-end market for gamers.
#3 ASUS VH238H
This monitor is pretty much the same in every way to the original Asus 236H except that it has an LED backlight. I’m not going to go into too much detail here, but it’s inexpensive, has an input lag of 8.3ms, a 2ms response time, and should be an option for all types of gamers.
Additional Tech Specs:
Resolution: 1920 x 1080p
Pixel Pitch: 0.2652mm
Display Colors: 16.7 Million
Contrast Ratio: ASCR 50,000,000:1
Inputs: D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI
Integrated Speakers: 2W x 2 Stereo RMS
VESA Compatible: Yes
Warranty: 3 Years Parts and Labor
#2 Ben Q RL2455HM Vs. BenQ RL2450HT Professional Gaming Monitors
If you have to have the best, then BenQ has a couple of options that really stand out for FPS gamers. These two are their official console and PC gaming choices. Officially the RL2450HT was designed for PC gaming by a StarTale, a well-known competitive StarCraft II Team. The RL2450HT is their official monitor for console gaming. Both of these post 2ms or better response times and super low lag times (less than a half of a frame each).
The difference in them is basic, but important if you’re competing at a higher level. The RL2450HT comes configured for RTS type settings out of the gate and may need to be adjusted for standard viewing. On the other hand, the RL2455HM looks good on a variety of console FPS-type games like Halo 4.
Here’s a look at the Technical Details for Each:
RL2450HT Technical Specifications:
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Pixel Pitch: .276mm
Brightness 250 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio: Dynamic of 12M:1 1,000:1 standard
Response time: 2ms gray to gray
Panel Type: Twisted Nematic
Inputs: D-Sub, DVI, HDMI
Adjustment: Swivel, Tilt, Height, and Pivot
Vesa Compatible: Yes
Other Features: Includes Senseye 3, AMA, 17 OSD Languages, and K Locker
Warranty: 3 years parts and labor.
RL2455HM vs RL2450HT Technical Specifications:
Specifications for the RL2455HM are similar but include an additional HDMI port, a 1ms response time (vs. 2), built-in 2Wx2 speakers, and the stand itself is only tilt adjustable.
You’ll be happy with either of these monitors whether you’re a PC gamer or console gamer. Overall just stick with the monitor that better suits your style.
#1 Ben Q XL2420TX vs XL2420T
Our final monitor is one that if you can afford should definitely be considered in the 120Hz space along with the S23A700D from Samsung. You’ll find Nvidia 3D Vision 2 on the XL2420TX with a built-in 3D transmitter while the XL2420T lacks 3D Vision HDMI Support. Other than this they use the same panel and cabinet.
Response Time and Input Lag
Both of these monitors offer a 120 Hz refresh rate along with a 2ms GTG response time and input lag of 7.9ms which is under 1 half of 1 frame.
We’ve taken you through 7 different monitors and the XL2420TX takes home our prize for most desirable while the RL2455HM is probably my favorite non-3D compatible monitor. Those looking for practicality and casual gaming may find the two Asus monitors a better choice overall. Before you go, be sure to leave us a comment below, take our gaming monitor poll, and share any insight you have on monitors you’ve used.