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Old 04-13-08, 12:16 PM   #1
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Stick with old CRT monitor to save money?

My old PC just died so I am selecting a new dell. Trying to keep price under $400, and I'd prefer a 320 or (better still) 500 GB hard drive.

I still have the old CRT monitor, which works perfectly....though it is eight-nine years old now. It looks like Dell charges about $150 for a 20" LCD. Assuming I can save that dough and put it towards the bigger hard drive/faster processor, would you just keep and use the old monitor? Will there be any issues with the new video card that would favor the flat screen?
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Old 04-13-08, 01:23 PM   #2
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I don't think that there would be any video card issues with keeping the CRT. Although I would seriously consider getting the LCD monitor; it will probably improve your computing experience more than increasing the size of your hard drive - particularly if you spend a lot of time in front of the monitor. Having more space on your desk is also nice.

Also, instead of increasing the size of your HD, you might want to consider (now or in the future, regardless of what you do with you monitor) buying an external HD in lieu of a larger internal HD. It makes moving to your next computer much easier, and gives you some protection in the event of a HD crash. There's no real reason that your files need to be on the same HD as your OS...and in fact there are a lot of reasons to keep them apart.
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Old 04-13-08, 02:15 PM   #3
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It's totally a matter of whether you mind the extra space taken up on your desk. I've switched over all my monitors at home to LCD, but at work I've kept my CRT, mainly because it's higher resolution than any LCD they've offered to buy me (1600x1200) but also because it's a great place to dry my bike clothes.

I think I'm going to take them up next time they offer though; I got a complaint about the smell, so I won't be drying like that anymore. Also I've discovered the joy of portrait mode monitors. Now that I have one of my monitors vertical, I don't even know why horizontal is the default. Other than watching movies (and probably, games, though I wouldn't know), vertical is the way to go.
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Old 04-13-08, 02:21 PM   #4
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There are only 2 advantages to going flat screen -- lower power consumption (but not enough to justify the price), and recovering desk space. CRT is a great stable technology that will give you a better viewing angle and better picture than many LCDs. Don't worry about the video card. You'll have no trouble running your old monitor. You don't need to spend the $150 unless you want to.
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Old 04-13-08, 02:25 PM   #5
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Even a cheap CRT will outperform virtually any flat display in most respects. Especially for photography work. There are almost no flat displays available that have the proper characteristics for good photo editing, at least not within the consumer price range. Hardly even at prosumer levels.

For office work, a flat display is superior, though. For gaming and watching DVDs, it's a toss-up. In terms of energy consumption, a flat display is vastly superior.
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Old 04-13-08, 02:52 PM   #6
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My old PC just died so I am selecting a new dell. Trying to keep price under $400, and I'd prefer a 320 or (better still) 500 GB hard drive.

I still have the old CRT monitor, which works perfectly....though it is eight-nine years old now. It looks like Dell charges about $150 for a 20" LCD. Assuming I can save that dough and put it towards the bigger hard drive/faster processor, would you just keep and use the old monitor? Will there be any issues with the new video card that would favor the flat screen?
Depends. What's the refresh rate on your CRT? My old CRT had a pretty low refresh rate, so I experienced a drastically better computing experience when I switched because my eyes weren't getting tired as quickly.
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Old 04-13-08, 03:36 PM   #7
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Even a cheap CRT will outperform virtually any flat display in most respects. Especially for photography work. There are almost no flat displays available that have the proper characteristics for good photo editing, at least not within the consumer price range. Hardly even at prosumer levels.

For office work, a flat display is superior, though. For gaming and watching DVDs, it's a toss-up. In terms of energy consumption, a flat display is vastly superior.
+1 to all this.
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Old 04-13-08, 03:44 PM   #8
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Even a cheap CRT will outperform virtually any flat display in most respects. Especially for photography work.
IF you actually bother to calibrate the thing. (Even eyeballing it will do, but you have to somehow verify that your colors are reasonably calibrated.) Otherwise, what's the difference when all the colors may be off anyway?
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Old 04-13-08, 03:51 PM   #9
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A flatscreen will use around half the power and create less heat. I like that.

If you want a CPU that will last, get a Wolfdale, I am drooling over them. Dell isn't using them yet. They have numbers like E8200 and E8400. Awesome CPU for the $$.

You can pop the case and add a second internal HD later, or as others suggest, get
an external. No biggie, storage is incredibly cheap now.

I have bought about 4 Dells over the years, but my current box is a Cyberpower. They DO offer a Wolfdale... just a thought.

If you play games you need to be excruciatingly careful at the moment, because there is really only one card that makes sense for gamers (mid price).
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Old 04-13-08, 08:06 PM   #10
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new LCD display is about $140. you'll probably save that much in electricity using the LCD over a CRT in a year anyway.
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Old 04-14-08, 12:07 AM   #11
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IF you actually bother to calibrate the thing. (Even eyeballing it will do, but you have to somehow verify that your colors are reasonably calibrated.) Otherwise, what's the difference when all the colors may be off anyway?
Even without calibration, the colour range and contrast of a CRT better matches photography. A quick calibration is enough to make sure it's reasonable. Only if you intend to make prints of your images will you need to do a more precise calibration.
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Old 04-14-08, 12:12 AM   #12
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new LCD display is about $140. you'll probably save that much in electricity using the LCD over a CRT in a year anyway.
Not always true (I've done the calculations for energy-efficient PCs), but money isn't the only reason to save electricity.

I recycled my last CRT a couple years ago for space and environmental reasons...the savings on the juice are a nice bonus though.
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Old 04-14-08, 05:18 AM   #13
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I was being a touch sarcastic with the power savings, but the point is an LCD uses far less power than a CRT. Also, the LCD with DVI input will be auto-calibrated do you never have to mess with ISF technicians, or trying to eyeball color settings again. Nor will you ever need to mess with screen edge settings.
I love my 22" CRT, but it's not as bright, it's massive in regards to it's footprint, and it leeches current like a fat kid with a slurpee. All things considered, I get the same edge to edge screen size with my 20.1" LCD, and all of the above advantages.
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Old 04-14-08, 05:34 AM   #14
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Even without calibration, the colour range and contrast of a CRT better matches photography. A quick calibration is enough to make sure it's reasonable. Only if you intend to make prints of your images will you need to do a more precise calibration.
It also depends upon what the error is and if it's linear or no. If a CRT's off, it's typically in the color-temp balance and it's easy enough to shift the entire hue. However, CRTs have non-linear aberrations. The easiest areas to see where LCD panel's off is the dark shadows. They either show lack-of-gamut with blocking or completely render all the shadows as 100% black. Simple test is to create a full-screen gradient in photoshop with RGB values of 0-20 and see how well a monitor displays that range.

As for hard-drive space, buy an external firewire drive with just the capacity you'll use right now in the 200-250gb range. You can pick up another drive later for A LOT LESS.
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Old 04-14-08, 10:28 AM   #15
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new LCD display is about $140. you'll probably save that much in electricity using the LCD over a CRT in a year anyway.
I don't think so. Even assuming fairly heavy use, say 16 hours a day, 350 days a year, that's 5600 hours. $140 is about 1400 KW/h. So the LCD would have to burn 250 watts LESS than the CRT. My 19" CRT only draws 120 watts total. Most people probably use their monitors a bit less than that.

I think it would take a number of years to pay back purely on power savings.
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Old 04-14-08, 11:51 AM   #16
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Well how big is the CRT? How much deskspace do you have?

If the CRT was on the bigger side, say 19 or 20", and you have ample deskspace, I'd stay with the CRT.

But if its small (<17") and/or you don't have much room on your desk, might as well take the plunge.

d
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Old 04-14-08, 03:44 PM   #17
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I don't think so. Even assuming fairly heavy use, say 16 hours a day, 350 days a year, that's 5600 hours. $140 is about 1400 KW/h. So the LCD would have to burn 250 watts LESS than the CRT. My 19" CRT only draws 120 watts total. Most people probably use their monitors a bit less than that.

I think it would take a number of years to pay back purely on power savings.
I think you failed to read the part where I mentioned sarcasm.
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Old 04-15-08, 08:05 AM   #18
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great food for thought! Thank you everyone.

I actually have a 300 GB external with Fire wire 800 (there's about 240GB available - I was using this with the old PC) so I guess a 250 GB HD would hold me. I would have to pay a little extra through Dell for the fire wire connection. I figured I'd stick the old pc's 20Gb HD in as a second drive, though I could just as easily destroy that and buy a second 250GB (or larger) internal on the cheap later as suggested.

As for the CRT - I know we tweaked it by eye, but I am not sure how well it is calibrated, nor do i know the refresh rate. This is all good stuff to look into - i appreciate the advice. Regarding space concerns, it's a 19" so it's pretty huge and space is at a premium as this will sit crammed in next to our new Mac (on a small cabinet next to our computer desk, which holds the Mac).

Finally, the wife and I do try to do our part for the planet, so energy savings sound good. (we normally turn off monitors at home and work when not in use - I actually shut down my machine when I leave the office; not sure if restarting is less efficient than just letting it sleep).

In the end, I guess it's 6 of one/1/2 dozen of the other regarding whether to to try and save on $ by keeping the old CRT and getting bigger HD or going 250 GB internal + the 300Gb external and just getting the new monitor (I reckon a 20" LCD in the package I was looking at will give a nicer real estate than our old screen, with much smaller footprint...).

So most here would say - ditch the CRT, stick with 250GB hd (+ my old 20Gb internal and 300GB external) and get the new monitor for less footprint & energy consumption.

Btw, I should have said - I mainly do photos, watch videos, for personal use, not professionally - that would be more office stuff (Access, Excel, word, etc.). So an LCD would be better all around for me?
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Old 04-15-08, 08:31 AM   #19
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If you're going to be staring at the computer screen for more than 1 hour at a time (i.e. office work or extended gaming/pr0n/web surfing) i'll recommend going with the LCD. CRTs produce their image by flickering on and off 60-75 times/second. LCDs emit a steady glow which is much easier on your eyes. I used to get a headache after an hour when i had a CRT (not to mention my room would become a furnace) but since switching to an LCD i don't have any more problems.
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Old 04-15-08, 11:02 AM   #20
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If you're going to be staring at the computer screen for more than 1 hour at a time (i.e. office work or extended gaming/pr0n/web surfing) i'll recommend going with the LCD. CRTs produce their image by flickering on and off 60-75 times/second. LCDs emit a steady glow which is much easier on your eyes. I used to get a headache after an hour when i had a CRT (not to mention my room would become a furnace) but since switching to an LCD i don't have any more problems.
However, I've used CRTs exclusively many hours a day, virtually every day since the early 90s. I don't find them to be a problem at all. Flat displays, on the other hand, are often extremely bright, which at least messes with my eyes. Can be easily adjusted, but I find that people often turn the brightness up all the way, for some reason.
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Old 04-15-08, 11:49 AM   #21
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However, I've used CRTs exclusively many hours a day, virtually every day since the early 90s. I don't find them to be a problem at all. Flat displays, on the other hand, are often extremely bright, which at least messes with my eyes. Can be easily adjusted, but I find that people often turn the brightness up all the way, for some reason.
My old CRT was rather dim. I had to go into the "advanced" settings of my graphics card and tweak the gamma curve to get a decent picture. I switched to an LCD...it was very bright, and I had to tweak the gamma curve the other direction. In neither case could I get a picture that suited me with just the brightness and contrast controls at the display itself.
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Old 04-15-08, 12:00 PM   #22
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Don't underestimate the importance of peripherals (input peripherals like mouse/kb and output peripherals like display). The display is the window into the computer; it's how we as humans interface with the machine. It's important to have a large (19+) LCD monitor now that the technology is available. The CRT (tube) fans are a tiny minority of video-philes, for most of us doing most computing tasks, an average LCD is going to look much better to our eyes than a CRT.
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Old 04-15-08, 12:15 PM   #23
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My next monitors will be LCD when I need them, BUT I very much prefer a CRT monitor to an LCD monitor.

At work, I have two LCDs. I can't stand that I can see each pixel and it just looks terrible (and these are $400 LCDs as of a few months ago).

At home, I have two CRTs that run a refresh of 85hz and 75hz (if I run them both at 85hz, I get intereference). I love them very much. I just pull the desk out and the tube is over the back of the desk. The foot is still on the desk, so it won't fall over. I do not lose much desk space because of this.

I will be very sad when my CRTs die, which should be in about 50 years or so...
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Old 04-15-08, 01:25 PM   #24
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I was just chatting with an IT guy at my office and he strongly voted in favor of the LCD, citing radiation emission from the CRT as a main factor...I wasn't sure this was so conclusive.
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Old 04-15-08, 04:03 PM   #25
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the biggest reason not to go with lcd is dead pixels. you get one you're **** outta luck with most companies.
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