Gateway FPD2485W: 24" LCD Beauty or Beast?

by Jarred Walton on 2/22/2007 10:00 AM EST
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  • jbr65n - Friday, March 14, 2008 - link

    I purchased this monitor 11/2007. In 2/2008, the monitor completely died. I called Gateway and they refused to send me a new monitor. they would only send a refurb. (customer service reps were nasty, arrogant, and rude, when you do not agree with them they hang up on you).

    The second monitor did not work right out of the box, none of the touch control buttons lit up and they did not work, I had no way to turn the monitor on or off.

    They sent a third refurb unit, and again, right out of the box, the backlight kept turning off, I would have to cycle the power several times to get it to come back on and then it would only stay on for a few seconds. Tech support said they would take back the monitor and the speaker bar add-on (since the speaker only worked on this one monitor) and refund my money for both. He transferred me to customer service to process the refund and returns and they changed there mind and said they will not give a refund. When I asked how long this was going to go on, there reply was "until I get a unit the works"

    In all fairness, this is a nice monitor, but three bad ones in a row, and there lack of proper customer service, is enough to make anyone think twice!


    Reply
  • timelag - Saturday, March 10, 2007 - link

    Thanks, Jarred, for the informed review. A selfish request--could you review the current Dell, Apple, and Samsung 23/24" LCDs? A friend is in the market in the next couple months and I am buying before the end of the year. From what little looking I've done, these seem to be the best candidates so far for hobbyist photo work (and movie viewing, game playing, web browsing...). Reply
  • strikeback03 - Monday, March 05, 2007 - link

    I purchased this monitor over the weekend at a local Best Buy. Here are my results from calibrating with the Pantone/greatagmacbeth Eye-One Display 2 colorimeter using the Eye-One Match 3.6.1 software.

    First I calibrated according to their instructions, which include driving the contrast to 100%. I had to go into user color and lower each color channel to 59 (default was 100) to get the brightness down. The brightness meter stated that it was at the target 120 cd/m^2, though the results show differently. Here are the results for the calibration:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v315/strikeback0...">http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v315/strikeback0...

    And here is the validation results as an image of an Excel page. The Eye-One software does not give an easy way to directly export a graph, so colors tested are labeled by both RGB and Lab color values. Dunno how these compare to the values the Monaco Optix package uses, but by it's tests the results were quite good.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v315/strikeback0...">http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v315/strikeback0...

    As the fist image shows though, the colorimeter was doing a lot of adjustment at the dark end of the spectrum, and video suffered from crushed blacks. So I tried changing brightness and contrast until video looked good, then recalibrating. Settings used here were brightness of 76 (with individual color channels still set to 59) and contrast of 60.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v315/strikeback0...">http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v315/strikeback0...

    Much less work is being done to dark colors now, video looks good, and the dE is even lower now:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v315/strikeback0...">http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v315/strikeback0...

    Brightness is still a little higher than recommended, but not much above what turned out following their procedure exactly.
    Reply
  • Ferris23 - Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - link

    I have this display and love it, but something I like to know about all my displays is how to access the service menu. Usually there are extra options that allow even more fine tuning with color etc...

    Do you have any connections that would be able to tell you the way to enter a service menu on this display?

    Gateway "tech support" has no idea what I am asking and just send me spec sheets or links to what the OSD looks like.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - link

    Not sure what more could be done to fine tune the display. If you go to the user settings you can adjust RGB colors, but being an LCD it doesn't really make a difference whether you do that on the LCD or in the Windows drivers. They both end up accomplishing the same thing. I have never looked into "hidden service menus" on any of the LCDs I've used, I'm sorry to say. Reply
  • gandergray - Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - link

    Jared:

    Thank you for the review. I'm very pleased that you will be reviewing monitors again. In your future LCD display reviews, I suggest that you identify the manufacturer and model of LCD panel in the monitor, and continue to identify the manufacturer and model of the signal processing chipset (you did in this review), as in Kristopher's November, 2003 "Dell UltraSharp 2001FP Preview: Gaming LCDs for the Masses" review. Finding information about an LCD monitor's panel and chipset is difficult at best. I suspect that many enthusiasts would often consider the panel type, brand and model when choosing monitors, if that information was readily available. In fact, I frequently read discussions about the merits of S-IPS panels over S-PVA panels. Additionally, would you also alert readers when a monitor manufacturer uses different types of panels in the same monitor, i.e., model. This practice is disconcerting; Consumers simply can't be certain that the specific model that they purchase will have a specific panel. I believe that a vocal outcry would eliminate or substantially reduce this practice.

    Gandergray
    Reply
  • gandergray - Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - link

    My apologies-- Jarred. Reply
  • Googer - Monday, February 26, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Currently, the FPD2485W is listed for $680 on the Gateway web site, while the regular price of the Dell 2407WFP is $750. Dell routinely runs sales, however, and the 2407WFP is available for $675 right now. You basically end up with two very similar monitors that cost about the same amount, although the <U><B>Dell comes with a three-year warranty included making it a slightly better deal.</u></B>


    Gateway offers a $29 extended three (3) year warranty for the FPD2485W making it the same as the Dell 2407WFP for $40 less.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, February 26, 2007 - link

    The Dell is currently (or was last week) $675 with the three year warranty. The Gateway is $680 + $30 for a 3-year warranty. So right now, the Dell is clearly less expensive. If the price of the Dell goes back up (which is almost certainly will at some point), things change a bit. Reply
  • larciel - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    quote:

    The problem is, darker blacks are good but brighter whites are only good up to a certain point. Anything above 400 cd/m 2 is far too bright in our opinion. As you can see, the black levels of both the Gateway and Dell LCD are equal, /
    quote:



    Dell achieves 200cd/m2 while gateway achieves 400, 405.21cd/m2 to be exact.

    Aren't you supposed to compliment gateway for its excellent white brigthness while bash dell's inferior test result? or are you saying gateway's performance is nothing to sneeze at because it went over mere 5.21cd/m2 of your recommendation of 400cd/m2

    I hate to speculate, but I'm very disappointed in this review.. reminds me of biased reviews from Toms. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    You skipped quoting the rest of the paragraph:
    quote:

    s you can see, the black levels of both the Gateway and Dell LCD are equal, so the Gateway LCD achieves better contrast ratios mostly by offering brighter whites. If you work in a well lit office environment, the Gateway system might be the better choice, but most users will likely end up running either LCD at similar brightness levels.


    Optimal brightness setting for LCDs is often stated to be 120 cd/m^2. So in many circumstances the extra brightness of the Gateway isn't useful.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    400 cd/m2 is the most I could imagine using, and once both LCDs were adjusted the actual white point was a lot closer - meaning even though the maximum on the Gateway was twice as high, once calibrated I didn't use anywhere near that white level. 300+ cd/m2 can be almost painful to look at in my opinion, and 400 or higher is generally overkill.

    The point is, the only reason Gateway and others seem to have such insane brightness levels is to get better contrast scores. Most people will run around 200 cd/m2, give or take probably 50. But if your black is only able to reach a minimum of 0.35 cd/m2, that means the contrast ratio would be somewhere between 500:1 and 600:1. The "solution" is to simply crank up the maximum brightness, so you can claim a 1000:1 (or even 1200:1) contrast ratio. More is better, right? Except, it's not, because hardly anyone will actually use those super-bright whites.

    Also worth noting is that if you max out brightness and contrast (max white level), the color accuracy scores go to hell and the whites all run together, so everything from about 200 or higher on the RGB scale ends up as the same level of white. At maximum contrast, the recommended calibrated brightness (according to Monaco Optix) is 20%, where if I choose 60 contrast the recommended brightness is 61%. As mentioned in the review, the overall color accuracy was better with contrast set to 60 as opposed to 100.

    The maximum brightness (100% contrast) was even higher than reported: 500 cd/m2 was pretty close, but black went up to 0.45 cd/m2. Depending on the room you work in, higher brightness may be okay or not. I prefer running closer to 200-300 personally.
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    All I can say is that I love my 2405! Reply
  • Painman - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    Besides the already requested input lag tests, modern LCD reviews usually include at least a few gaming tests... some commentary on what kind of visual artifacts are evident with fast moving objects. I had 3 of these Gateways (returned for various defects) and tried to like it, but aside from other problems the smearing was just too much to take... green and brown smudges always popping up in my face. I bought myself an IPS based NEC and I ain't looking back.

    This isn't a very good gamer panel... thinking about it now sitting in front of this NEC, I can't really say the Gateway FPD2485W is a good ANYTHING panel, tbh.
    Reply
  • Aquila76 - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    If you want to see something that'll blow your mind on this display, fire up HL2. At the menu screen, where it's out of focus as it loads the game, it looks like you've dropped to 256 Color mode and are 'dithering' the image. I noticed the same effect when hitting the Nitro in a couple Need for Speed games. Reply
  • knirfie - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    This monitor features DCDi by Farudja, why is there no mention of this in the review (or did I miss it?). And how is the videoquality/deinterlacing over composite/svideo/component? Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    Page 3:
    quote:

    The Gateway FPD2485W uses a Faroudja DCDi signal processor, which is one of the more respected brands.


    Reply
  • Souka - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    get an apple cinema display and make sure its calibrated properly....

    nothing better IMHO... use them all the time at work. Some folk have those Dell units...yuk....color is off, things seem dull, despite all calibration attempts.

    Good thing they're just doing web page design and programming....
    Reply
  • dcr - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Could you test WoW and see if you get this "flashing" in the terrain? Reply
  • chizow - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Jarred, nice review of the 2485W, was wondering if you wouldn't mind posting your settings after you calibrated your display with Optix. Reason I ask is that myself and many others felt the color accuracy out of the box on this panel were horrible, especially compared to other displays. I was able to get better results by asking what settings people were using, and obviously what looks good to them will vary person to person and card to card, but it was a big help.

    Also, it might be worth noting what month your panel was made. There were some serious issues with this panel in early production runs (November), but each successive month seems to correct problems and greatly reduce other problems. Backlight bleed seems to greatly diminish as well as an annoying PSU buzzing problem with newer models.

    Lastly, I was glad you mentioned the 1:1 pixel mapping, but I think there needs to be greater emphasis on this aspect of 24" panels or any panel able to do 1920x1080. In the era of HD with all of the inputs this monitor and some competitor models provide (BenQ, Dell Rev. A04), the ability to do 1:1 is a major consideration for the enthusiast. If you have multiple HD capable devices (HDTV, PS3, Xbox360, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray) this monitor can basically serve as your entertainment center, all while maintaining its main functionality as a massive 2.3 Megapixel PC display. There's really few other tech-enabling devices I've purchases that can compete with this panel's versatility and functionality.
    Reply
  • Aquila76 - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Chizow,
    Did you run the gradient test from xtknight's website (linked above)? I'm curious to see how yours fares. I handpicked a Dec '06 model from Best Buy, but it still borked that thing badly no matter what bright/cont/R/G/B etc. I had it set to. I got most of my settings from the thread over at , but none seemed to eliminate the transition issues / color accuracy for me. :(
    Reply
  • chizow - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Ok, I applied the color profile Jarred provided (thanks again!) and colors do look much better, a lot more like the 2407WFP out of the box. Ran the gradient tests in full and windowed mode. In windowed, there is no significant banding or gradients although there is some faint gradient lines and banding on the straight color strips at the transition between the corresponding 1st and 2nd blocks. Seem to be uniform vertically through the pattern although they're unnoticeable on the magenta strips.

    In full screen mode, the banding is more obvious but again, its limited to the lower dark areas and don't extend past the 3rd block. After the 3rd block, the transitions are flawless. I wish I ran these before I calibrated the settings to see if its my panel or the calibrated settings.

    Unfortunately, it looks like these settings will only apply under WinXP.

    Jarred did you change the OSD/EzTune settings at all? Also, if you're really bored, would you mind calibrating the panel using EzTune or the OSD? Lol, well was worth a shot at least. Thanks again for the help and review.
    Reply
  • Aquila76 - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Heh, somehow clipped the last phrase off.

    ...from the thread over at HardForums.
    Reply
  • Aquila76 - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link


    WTF? I used a BRACKET H BRACKET and it hides the text? Reply
  • Aquila76 - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Sorry for all the quotes of myself.

    The first one should have ended with:

    ...the thread over at HardForums.
    Reply
  • chizow - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    I haven't run any extensive tests, but I'll check out Xtknights later when I get home. The few tests I have run were just html-based static images, and I can honestly say I saw very little gradient issues on the 2 panels I had (DEC annd current JAN). Banding was another issue though and pretty severe depending on content, source resolution/quality, and colors etc. I'll have to look over the definitions to make sure they're not mutually exclusive, so I'll have to get back to you on that one. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Beware the open-bracket H close-bracket abbreviation used for a certain other site! :D

    We use brackets for our pseudo-HTML, and that one just happens to correspond to turning on white text. It comes up now and then, but thankfully you figured it out before the thread was very long. LOL We had a thread a year or two back where about 20 people responded trying to figure out WTF happened to the text. I think a guy had posted a comment where he used {H} five or ten times, which only served to make things more difficult to "fix".
    Reply
  • Aquila76 - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Eeks. I'll have to keep that in mind! Another cool test on xtknight's site (www.lcdresource.com) is a Dark Grayscale test. It's in the same section as the gradient. Mine just showed all black unless I cranked the brightness up to eyeball-melting. Granted, this is difficult for any LCD to display properly due to the issue of backlighting.

    I think what really pushed me over the edge on this monitor is that the last few bands of the grayscale showed up on my HP L1706 at work and the gradient shows flawlessly on it. A ~$700 display beaten handily by a ~$150 display hurt much more than my wallet. That was the final deciding factor on my returning the Gateway. I don't know how they managed to screw up this panel so badly. AFAIK, the Dell and Samsung 24" (same panels) had this resolved before the Gateway was released.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    I believe my sample is an earlier run from around November, but I didn't notice any issues with PSU buzzing. Could be that the color banding was a result of the early run - I don't know for sure. As for settings, I set contrast to 60% and ended up with brightness at 61%. The color profile will of course vary somewhat from panel to panel, so I'm not sure how helpful providing my particular profile will be, but if you want to give it a look, here you go:

    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/monitor/2007/g...">FPD2485W Calibrated Profile

    Caveat Emptor! :)
    Reply
  • chizow - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Wow that was fast! thanks :) A lot of 2485W owners will be happy. I think a lot of people got the brightness/contrast settings similar to yours, but color accuracy is a whole different monster, like whack-a-mole almost. Solve one color problem only to make one much worst. For me, its like tuning a guitar. I know what doesn't sound right, I just don't know how to fix it. :) That profile should help a ton though, thanks again! Reply
  • anandtech02148 - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    I find the Westinghouse 37 lcdtv eye candies with all the pluggins you could want, for pc, consoles and whatever hi-def format.
    and it has native resolution as this Gateway 24.
    Dell is losing it touches lately, Westinghouse got a niche here they should runaway with it.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    I'll see if I can get one for review - I'd certainly like to check out some of the LCD-TVs that can function as computer displays. Of course, pixel pitch is going to be a lot larger on a 37" 1080p display, and while that may be fine for HDTV and gaming purposes, it probably isn't the best for close up computer work. Reply
  • Welshtrog - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    I am looking at these displays with interest, however there is nothing in this review that will change my mind regarding retaining my 19" Flat screen CRT just yet, It has good colour accuracy after being set up and no stuck pixels Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    I've got two decent 19" CRTs still (NEC FE991 and Samsung 997DF), and honestly I can't stand using them after I switched to a 24" LCD 18 months ago. I still get irritated by image tear caused by the 60Hz refresh rate, but in all other areas I'm a lot happier with larger LCDs over CRTs. Part of that is simply the expanded screen size, but the reduced footprint is nice as well. I bailed on CRTs a few years ago and haven't really missed them, although I can certainly understand the hesitation. The $600+ prices doesn't help either. :) Reply
  • Justin Case - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    The review doesn't address this. I know it says "16 million colors", but all manufacturers say that, and 90% of them use 6-bit panels with automatic dithering. The fact that this is an active matrix TFT, coupled with the very low resposne time suggests that this is a 6-bit panel, like the majority.

    This means more banding and dithered midtones. Which is probably fine for "office" use, but it makes the LCD unusable for photo work (actually, any LCD short of an Eizo CG is pretty much useless for photo work, IMO, and even those just barely manage to match a high-end CRT), and can make games and movies look pretty bad, too.

    To test this, just display a smooth gradient (at the monitor's native resolution) and either look at it very closely or take a photograph of a very small area (about 10 pixels wide), and then increase its contrast until the darkest color is black and the brightest color is white. If you see dithering or banding at the pixel level in the intermediate shades, it's a 6-bit panel.

    Reply
  • Aquila76 - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    It is an 8 bit S-PVA panel, like the Dell and Samsung 244t. It does 'real' 16.7 million colors, but as I stated previously (and as Jarred can attest) it is nowhere near accurate. Reply
  • Justin Case - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    I'd still like to see a "real" test of the screen (by taking a high-speed photo of a small area). Some panels out there do intermeidate colors by flipping between two shades. The panel _accepts_ 8-bit values, but the LCs don't actually have 256 stable transparency levels.

    Not that I'm very interested in this particular model, but I think it would be useful if review sites actually did that, rather than trusting what the manufacturers tell them.

    Even in high-end professional equipment there's a lot of deception. Consumer stuff is even worse (ex., until about a year ago there were almost no real 1920x1080 HDTV sets out there; apart from Sharp, they were all 1366x768 and below, but they all claimed to "support 1920x1080", because they could take it as an input signal).

    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    meh, the color calibration results aren't great, considering on my laptop I have an average dE of around .6 and only 3 values over 1 (out of the 42 tested by my Eye-One Display 2). I'll probably still pick one up though, as it's the only locally available 24" display.

    Other reviews I read online spoke of crushed blacks which calibration did not correct when viewing movies. Any comments on this?
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Other reviews I read online spoke of crushed blacks which calibration did not correct when viewing movies. Any comments on this?


    Jarred is currently reviewing the requests/questions and will have responses later today.
    Reply
  • xtknight - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    When you calibrate using a colorimeter and accompanying software, it only loads the LUT (lookup table) on to the desktop. When you watch a movie, most of the time you're using overlay, which to my knowledge does not allow the fine tuning needed for a lookup table. With VMR you could potentially view videos calibrated, although the last time I tried this I had some odd 16-240 level compression problem.

    I've been meaning to investigate the overlay "LUT" (or to even find if it exists in the first place). I've seen a function in NVIDIA's control panel API that allows the loading of a LUT onto the overlay surface so I'll see what's up with that.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Monday, February 26, 2007 - link

    thanks, that makes sense. I assumed the LUT was applied to everything the video card sent to the monitor. However playing with my calibration settings in the GretagMacbeth software and also with the nVidia controls provided in their settings package did not touch the video image.

    My current desktop monitor absolutely destroys blacks in it's out-of-the-box configuration. Calibration can make most stuff OK (not great) but since it does not affect video, movies such as the Matrix or V for Vendetta are unwatchable.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    I didn't notice any issues with blacks being "crushed", but there were some other issues I'll address shortly in regards to colors. Reply
  • chizow - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Crushed blacks are a pretty bad problem with miscalibrated displays. Basically if you use the provided calibration software EzTune and calibrate the display based on what the captions tell you, you'll get an overly dark setting with really high relative contrast. In games and movies, the result is horribly crushed blacks with no detail/difference in blacks and brain-searing light/particle effects. For instance, in Dark Messiah, I felt like I was running around with a blindfold on...except for the blinding light coming off my Lightning Shield, which I avoided using at all costs. Reply
  • Justin Case - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    Note that most lossy video compression algorithms will eliminate more detail from very dark (or very bright) colors than from midtones, so if a DVD appears to have crushed blacks, that could be just a poor encode.

    Most 3D games have a local gamma setting, so a wrong value there can also make things look bad.

    Having said that, poor loss of detail and posterization in dark areas is a problem with some LCD panels.
    Reply
  • Justin Case - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Laptop panels are typically picked for their low power consumption, not color accuracy, which makes those values a bit odd. What model is your laptop? And have you measured other monitors with the same calibrator?

    Anyway, simple calibrators won't measure things like color variation with angle of view, light bleed, etc. (which aren't issues for CRTs, but are for LCDs), so the deviation alone isn't a complete measure of the overall image quality.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    Thinkpad T43 with the Flexview (IPS) screen. There is some slight contrast change with viewing angle, but it's the best I have seen in a laptop. Other displays I have checked include my desktop LCD (cheap, with predictably bad colors, which is why I'm looking to replace it), a cheap old CRT (not very good), and a few ViewSonic CRTs at work (good results from calibration on all). Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    You should see the results from an older laptop I have. Even calibrated, dE is still a whopping 7.8! There are a few colors (blue and yellow I think) where I couldn't get dE to anything lower than 16-20. Heh. If you've got a display on a laptop that can get an average dE of anything less than 2.0, you're doing *VERY* well! My future laptop reviews will take a closer look at the laptop LCD quality.... Reply
  • StevenG - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Some sites have reported extensively on the issue of input lag with LCDs. They have found that if you drive a CRT and an LCD at the same time, the image on the LCD will often lag the CRT by 1 or more frames. So what you are seeing on screen with an LCD is actually up to 50 or so ms behind the image that is being produced by the video card. This is one reason why I still don't use LCDs for gaming (the other reason being low refresh rates, which means a low frames/second limit if you enable vsynch - I refresh at 100 Hz at 1280x1024 on my 21" CRT, and there isn't an LCD on the market that can match that).

    I would like to see Anandtech explore this issue of LCD lag.
    Reply
  • Justin Case - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    You have a 5:4 aspect ratio CRT? If not, you should be using 1280x960. If you pick 1280x1024, most games will assume you're using a 5:4 monitor (LCD), and the image will be slightly distorted (vertically compressed). Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Refresh rates are one of the advantages of CRTs that nothing else is currently able to match, unfortunately. I wish we could get 100 Hz refresh rates on LCDs, if only to avoid reduce the appearance of screen tear with vsync disabled, but the digital connection precludes that option for now.

    As for input lag, the pixel response times can make the LCD always appear one frame behind what is supposed to be shown, i.e. the GPU sends frame 1, and then 1/60 of a second later it sends frame 2, etc. The LCD receives frame one and the pixels start to transition, but the transition takes anywhere from 2-20ms (depending on colors and LCD). If we just say it takes ~16ms, that's one screen refresh. I've heard other LCDs may buffer input so that there's an additional lag, but if so I can't say that my eyes are sharp enough to detect it.
    Reply
  • Justin Case - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    As you say, the problem isn't so much the LCDs themselves (with reaction times of 10ms and below, they can do 100 fps), it's the DVI interface. Not because it's digital, just because it's (relatively) slow.

    The "reaction time" of a CRT isn't zero (unlike what some LCD vendors and tons of clueless retailers claim); in fact, a white-to-black transition takes longer on CRTs than it does on most LCDs. So all this obsession with reaction times ends up hurting consumers, that treat that number as a magical definition of a panel's quality, and completely ignore other (far more relevant) aspects, such as the actual number of displayable colors (without dithering or flipping), color variation with viewing angle, luminance uniformity, etc.

    To quote an engineer working for a major (high-end) LCD manufacturer: LCDs are still 2-3 years away from catching up with top CRTs in terms of color reproduction. But when 90% of people can't even tell the difference between a 6-bit panel and an 8-bit one, I wonder what incentive the manufacturers have to improve that...
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    If we're talking about ghosting / screen lag, I use a 8ms 19" widescreen LCD, and see none. The only real problem I have, is when I'm playing a graphics intensive game, at the monitors native resolution, and my video card ( 7600GT) can not keep up.

    This is not to say, that some 'lag' does not exist, but in my case, it is not percievable.
    Reply
  • Justin Case - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    Lag is not the same as ghosting. Lag refers to the fact that the frame you are seeing on screen is not the last frame your graphics card rendered. Some flat panels display the image with a delay of 1 or even 2 frames. This is fine for LCD TV sets (as long as the audio is also delayed, by the same amount), but in interactive applications like games it can be a killer. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    As I said above, I see none, and seriously, I play Oblivion, F.E.A.R., not to mention a multitude of other games ;) Reply
  • StevenG - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    The game I play doesn't support 1280x960 so I play at 1280x1024. Sure there's some distortion, but it doesn't bother me. And the higher res looks much better than 1024x768 (the next lowest supported resolution in the game). Reply
  • Aquila76 - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    This is by far one of the worst LCD's for color accuracy, IMO. I bought one at Best Buy a couple weeks ago, and no matter what settings I used, gradients did not look fully smooth. It is what is refered to as a 'gradation' not a banding.

    Check here for more info: http://lcdresource.com/index.php?option=com_conten...">Gradation v. Banding

    Check here for a test: http://lcdresource.com/index.php?option=com_conten...">Gradient Downloads

    What's really sad is that the HP L1706 I use at work (came bundled with the PC) does the gradients flawlessly. A $150 display outperforms this $650 one. I noticed this in games and movies a lot, especially when in a dark place, looking at the sky, etc. I ended up returning mine and am waiting for the NEC 24WMGX3 to come out. I loved the size/resolution for my desktop workspace, but the rest was too much for me to stand.
    Reply
  • demani - Monday, April 16, 2007 - link

    I wish I had seen this review and comments before I bought mine- The gradient thing is horrible. I am trying to see if I can return mine it is so bad. I haven't seen a panel have that much of an issue with gradients in years-and it ruins what would otherwise be a great panel.

    If only the Dell could dimmed to regular brightness...
    Bastiches.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Yikes! Glad someone pointed this out. Some things slip through the cracks when you're trying to come up with a good set of display evaluation tools. I had intended to check color gradients but forgot to actually do it. Ummmm... wow. The Gateway FPD2485W is definitely inferior to competing LCDs in this respect. I will try to get a good picture of the result, but have been unable to do so at present. Regardless, there is definitely a lot of banding visible, something that I didn't see at all in a quick test of a Dell 2407WFP. My 2405FPW shows a slight amount of banding, but not as much as the Gateway.

    To be honest, this isn't something that was really a problem for me during actual use, but that's likely because I don't do a whole lot of gradient work on a day to day basis. I have updated the text accordingly on pages 8 and 9. Thanks, and I will definitely remember to run this sort of test future display reviews!
    Reply
  • mcfraggel - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Input lag is a concern for 24" displays and larger. Some displays have more than 50ms delay. Google for it and you'll find quite a lot about it. Shouldn't this be adressed in this review somewhere? Reply
  • Aquila76 - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    I didn't notice any input lag. I had my old CRT side by side for a bit to test this and didn't perceive any difference. Note my post below for the deal killer, though. Reply
  • Xenoterranos - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    I've been waiting for a site I trust to do some monitor reviews, as I'm getting ready to purchase a new LCD (my first LCD) in a few months. Would it be possible to do some reviews of different-sized lcd's (i'm thinking 20" 24" 30" etc) as most of them are based on the same/similar panels (for their respective sizes).

    Or just a price range (sub 200 3-400, 5-700 etc...)
    Reply
  • Avalon - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    What's with the "long live LCD!" cry? Why would you want such a pitiful technology to have a long life? Most LCDs only eclipse CRTs in weight, power, and size (some might include eye comfort). Picture quality and video performance is at best, equal, and at worst, not as good. I say bring on OLED/SED ASAP so we can get the best of both CRT and LCD.

    All ranting aside...it's good to see some display reviews on the site again. Keep up the good work!
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    You, obviously, never used a LCD, or at least a good one, I have a 21" professional Grade CRT, sitting next to a non professional ViewSonic 19" LCD, and all I can say, is I'll never use that CRT again, if I can help it . . . Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    I would have a bit of difficulty deciding between a 21" CRT and a 19" LCD, at least in terms of resolution, refresh rate, etc. When I ditched my 21" CRT and got a Dell 24", however, it was love (lust?) at first sight and I've never regretted the move. And now I have a 30" Dell sitting on my desk, although even I will admit that can be overkill. :) Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, February 23, 2007 - link

    Yeah, that CRT is good, crisp (for a CRT), but it does not come close to my ViewSonic VA1912wb. Gaming, it could be a toss up between the two, because: 1) the CRT supports higher resolutions, 2) the refresh rate is higher on the CRT (important if you enable double/triple buffering). That being said, even in non native resolutions (I only do this for games, when the games do not support the monitors native resolution), it still looks great, and for pictures / text, the CRT is terrible by comparrison (especially with ClearType fonts, for text).

    If there were a complaint, I'd have to say that cleaning said monitors can be 'scary' at times. Pressure marks can completely ruin, an otherwise awesome LCD monitor, but, I for one, try to use a light touch, with antistatic alcohol soaked wipes, you can buy from wal mart for $5(anti static helps keep the dust build up to a minimum).
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    More a tongue-in-cheek comment than anything serious. I guess I've been reading too many high fantasy books lately or something (currently reading the King's Blade books). Reply
  • dukerobillard - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Nice review; one request, though:

    A big concern about widescreen monitors in the gaming world is how
    they work with games that can't handle widescreen aspect ratios. What
    you want is to be able to tell the monitor to behave as a 4:3 display,
    and put black bars on the side, so the game still works (albeit at
    1600x1200 for a 24" or 1280x1024 for a 20"). I've read that the
    24" Dell Widescreen has some issues about this; apparently it doesn't
    work with some inputs.

    It would be great to hear how the Gateway handles this situation. There's
    a paragraph in the "Subjective Evaluation" section that sounds like it
    does it right, but I'm not 100% sure.
    Reply
  • neogodless - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Just wanted to point out/remind you that 1280x1024 is actually 5:4. It is, however, pretty widely supported, and when done on an LCD there should be no distortion... but perhaps that is something that could be investigated in these monitor reviews. I used to use 1280x960 on my CRT because I wanted to avoid the skew (however imperceptible it may have been) and I had to read the specs and do the math about ten times before buying my 1280x1024 19" LCDs to make sure it was being done right. Reply
  • Aquila76 - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    It will do sidebars (true 1:1 pixel mapping) thru the OSD. This was great when I didn't have enough graphics power to run at the native 19x12. Reply
  • Phlargo - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    I trust Anandtech's reviews a lot and LCD monitors are one of the weakest set of reviews available across the internet hardware review gamut. I really like sites like BeHardware, Toms, and even our own xtknight's (props! Check out his site - www.lcdresource.com) exploration into monitors, but it'll be great to have good ole' Anandtech adding more reviews to the mix.

    Buying such an important component shouldn't be the mystery it is right now!! As I always say, there's only one part of the computer you look at: the monitor. Never skimp for price on it - get something that makes you feel warm and fuzzy every time you look at it :)

    Thanks Jared! Can't wait for more reviews!!!
    Reply
  • erwos - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    No 1080p over component sucks - when will manufacturers realize that people want this? An additional DVI-HDCP or HDMI input would have been nice, too. That said, it's still a beautiful LCD, from what I've seen of it in the stores. Reply
  • OrSin - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    A second DVI or HMDI connection would be very usefull. Is that why you want 1080P so you can have a second 1080p connection to the monitor? Reply
  • OrSin - Thursday, February 22, 2007 - link

    Component was never orginally spec'ed for 1080p. Alothought it can be done it being out of spec makes most compnays not put the effort in to doing it. Also it was only recently you could get 1080p from any source so why go through the effert to make something when no one could even use it. By the time 1080p showed up HDMI was almost the standard. All broadcast HD is still 720p or 1080i. So you need HD-dvd or Blue-ray for any 1080p.

    I dont think many people really need component 1080p, single not a single 1080p TV comes without HDMI and and high end monitors comes with DVI. Why do you want this again?
    Reply
  • mlambert890 - Saturday, February 24, 2007 - link

    My guess is people want 1080p over component for gaming. Some people probably want it to try to bypass HDMI security, but I think the majority are thinking XBox 360 or PS3 gaming and, possibly at some point, dl'd video. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, February 25, 2007 - link

    Xbox 360 is the primary reason anyone is talking component 1080p as far as I know. I'm not sure if PS3 does component output with 1080p or not, and I somehow doubt it. Anyone with a PS3 feel free to speak up, though. Reply
  • questech - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    I have one of these, and it is a great monitor, when it is working. I mean it has great clarity and an interesting resolution, that not all graphic cards can support.

    They have a big problem with the cheep capacitors they use, and my monitor started taking longer and longer to boot up until one day it wouldn't. I replaced the capacitors with their high quality counter parts and that did the trick!

    Unfortunately one day the internal fuse on the power board blew. I thought that maybe it might be an anomaly and replaced it... but it was the sign of something more involved.

    I troubleshot it to the point of narrowing the culprit to either the transformer, or bridge rectifier.

    Then things went from bad to worst... I left the monitor face down on a rubber mat, meaning to get back to the project in a short time, but I got busy with my film business and it sat there for a few weeks. When I got back to it, much to my horror, the rubber mat stuck to the bezel of the monitor and it made a mess.

    OK, that wasn't bad enough, while cleaning the monitor face, I put a scratch in it. Now I'm not sure if it's an actual scratch, a mark that can be rubbed out, or what... but I'm not touching it again for fear that I'll completely destroy it :-)

    At this point I am embarrassed and have decided to sell it for parts. If anyone is interested here's a link: http://tinyurl.com/pg6s3yh

    Anyway, that's my Gateway story, I hope that it will make some of you feel better about any calamities that are happening in your life!
    Reply

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