Eye-strain with new monitor - how did you deal with it?

partikl

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euskalzabe, you mentioned that you don't have any issues with a Surface. I'm curious which version you are using. I would love to find a laptop with a high PPI display to replace my old laptop that has a TN display. The thing is still plenty fast, but it is pretty beat up after dragging it around for years for fear of not finding something else that won't kill my eyes. And the display is low res.

By the way, I ran across an interesting video from The Slow Mo Guys on youtube that shows LCD, CRT, and OLED pixels at a macro level and in slow motion. I would love to see these guys (or anyone else) go deeper into the behaviors of displays in macro slow motion.

One thing that I find interesting here is how little light the eyes are exposed to at any instant with a CRT display, where the illusion of very fast individual lit lines builds the image on display. And even the individual lines are an illusion of only a super fast moving lit dot.

 
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Lepardi

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Turn the brightness way down!
Check the refresh rate make sure it’s not doing something inexpected like 30Hz!?!
Fiddle with contrast?
Put more natural colored light sources in the room.
Actually, I've found that turning brightness too low makes text harder to read and increases eye fatigue. So turn the brightness up, but according to ambient lighting.
 

sharknice

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If the monitor uses pwm to control the brightness it could actually make it worse at lower brightness depending on how rough the pwm is.
 

euskalzabe

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Indeed, you can't just go super low. Or even super yellow. I've tried different things in the past few weeks to see how they affected my eyes. I use the 40" display at 5/20 brightness when reading text in daylight, 10/20 when gaming in daylight, 3/10 at night for pretty much anything. Ironically, this TV uses PWM at 120hz from 10/20 brightness and down, but it does not bother me. This leads me to believe it was the garbage contrast of IPS that messes with my eyes more, otherwise I can't really explain why I was having such issues. I had a 20" IPS monitor a few years ago (still have it, don't use it) that, in hindsight, also gave me eye-strain, but then again I was younger so maybe I didn't notice it that often.

euskalzabe, you mentioned that you don't have any issues with a Surface. I'm curious which version you are using.
I'm using the Surface Laptop 1st gen, where the panel despite being IPS is said to have 1500:1 contrast ratio. That may be a reason why it doesn't bother me too much - though it definitely bothers me more than the VA monitor on the desktop.

Oh and I did see the slo-mo video months ago and it was quite cool! Definitely interesting to see how the pixels light up differently in all technologies.
 

XoR_

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Again Xor, you are presuming that users of computer displays who are experiencing eye fatigue must be doing something wrong, i.e, trying too hard to focus on text. Reality injection: I read paper just fine with no ill effects and without any conscious effort of focusing my eyes, whether it be a newspaper, paperback, textbook, magazine, whatever. Also e-ink displays are fine. With computer displays that is not the case. And in my experience eye fatigue has been the worst with the combination of IPS/W-LED. I am not making any absolute statements for why that is the case. I am only making an observation that it is the case in my experience.
LCD monitor is not paper. It is 3d structure and you need to focus eyes differently when using it

For whatever reasons (no absolutes being presented here) there is a range of experiences with eye fatigue from computer displays. Some people are not affected at all, where on the other end of the spectrum some users are heavily affected. And people who aren't affected telling people who are affected that it is not to do with computer displays but rather is a lifestyle issue is pretty silly, especially given that someone who isn't affected has no experience and understanding of the problem.
I have no issues because I spend my time understanding my sight and how to see clearly without ever needing to strain my eyes.
I had issues with having tired eyes in my teens when I supposedly had the best eyes. I didn't know how to see then and like everyone else I thought it can be done in one way.

And you are telling us that sharpness should not be a problem, but at the same time you say that you are using a 4k 27" display, which should give sharp text. Why use a 4k 27" display if sharpness is not an issue? From personal experience, sharpness of text definitely is an issue for me. If there is some blur caused by the display, text rendering, whatever, my eyes are affected and I get eye fatigue much faster. For example, I cannot read a pdf book for very long on a low res display in comparison to the same book in paper format.
I can read low res monitors just fine and I do at work.
High DPI fixes issues with font rendering. On very small fonts there is not enough pixels to display font shape properly without blurring them out and font hinting affect font shape. I see screen door on low PPI displays all the time which means I have per pixel accuracy.
Ability to read and eye strain were not reasons I got 4K monitor but desktop real-estate and to get properly rendered fonts. I do not use zoom and can read tiny text even from distance I use (80cm). I use zoom (150%) in Firefox when viewing internet at full screen but then I usually sit even further away.
On tablet I use as my mobile laptop I have 220PPI and use no zoom whatsoever but I view it from much closer distances.

I am aware my claims about having to learn how to see sound ridiculous but this is something I strongly believe to be true. This is the kind of thing no one knows and talks about because no one knows and talk about. Do whatever you want with this information :)
 

euskalzabe

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I am aware my claims about having to learn how to see sound ridiculous but this is something I strongly believe to be true. This is the kind of thing no one knows and talks about because no one knows and talk about. Do whatever you want with this information :)
I think you missed the point of the comments directed at you entirely. What you say can very well be true, but it applies to you, and you only. You're assuming everyone's experience is similar to yours, when it is not. There are a myriad of causes for eye-strain issues. If you really believe you've found the holy grail of fixing these problems, bud, write a book and make yourself a millionaire. I'll happily buy your wisdom if it works, but so far, your comments don't really apply to my life (I already have excellent diet, exercise 5 days a week, take breaks from monitors, do eye exercises, and a long etc.). Just because one does all those things, doesn't mean these issues go away - even if they did for you.
 

partikl

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Personally, I have tried every type of artificial 'bias' light behind my monitor, and I think it's odd that LED is the norm for this purpose. LED light quality isn't good compared to other light types. In general, I haven't found having extra artificial light behind the monitor helpful. But I haven't tried natural light yet (placing monitor in front of a window).

Some things that I think are good for minimizing eye fatigue are: good quality ambient light while avoiding glare conditions, sane monitor brightness on a monitor without PWM (not too bright, not too dim), minimal backlight bleed through, warmer monitor color, mid grey text over dark grey background (~ text RGB: 127, 127, 127; background RGB: 20, 20, 20), sharpness of text (turning off anti-aliasing and avoiding other forms of blur; higher dpi), considerably bigger text size than what you need (probably double). And of course, minimizing screen time.

Some things about monitors that I have wondered about:

What causes the fine grain background noise on computer displays? I see it on every computer display. It's like a subtle flashing of every pixel.

Do any monitors actually use pure DC backlight dimming? Is that even possible with a switch-mode power supply? On my current monitor that supposedly doesn't use PWM, I swear at times that I see flickering at the edges. And when I take notice of it, I do see subtle moving lines across the screen. On the lines, it may be that my eyes are biased toward seeing lines of lighter text on a darker background which is causing me to see lines.
 
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XoR_

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I think you missed the point of the comments directed at you entirely. What you say can very well be true, but it applies to you, and you only. You're assuming everyone's experience is similar to yours, when it is not. There are a myriad of causes for eye-strain issues. If you really believe you've found the holy grail of fixing these problems, bud, write a book and make yourself a millionaire. I'll happily buy your wisdom if it works, but so far, your comments don't really apply to my life (I already have excellent diet, exercise 5 days a week, take breaks from monitors, do eye exercises, and a long etc.). Just because one does all those things, doesn't mean these issues go away - even if they did for you.
Fair enough, I am this one special snowflake :ROFLMAO:

To your defense, you most probably didn't gaze at praise the sun enough to even be able to see like I do...
6a7550090c203930c6cc446a526335460a971480_128.jpg
 

euskalzabe

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Some things that I think are good for minimizing eye fatigue are: good quality ambient light while avoiding glare conditions, sane monitor brightness on a monitor without PWM (not too bright, not too dim), minimal backlight bleed through, warmer monitor color, mid grey text over dark grey background (~ text RGB: 127, 127, 127; background RGB: 20, 20, 20), sharpness of text (turning off anti-aliasing and avoiding other forms of blur; higher dpi), considerably bigger text size than what you need (probably double). And of course, minimizing screen time.
My experience is similar to yours: good light in room (not behind monitor, that actually hurts me more, but might have to do with light being LED strips). PWM doesn't kill me (and I know my TV is currently doing PWM as brightness is 5/20), and text is... well, clearly legible from the other side of the room, while using yellow tint pretty much 24/7 instead of just at night:

BY2b-mjz4tj8R7vcqwG3yLWp7RAv6q07Rd9gQ64zSEQU-ozDrnAafoj6dvhLdsA0szdmnw0s52FGkTQSE=w2595-h1947-no.jpg
 

partikl

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It seems ironic to me that in 2019 no one is still working on any new type of computer monitors made for working with text without eye fatigue. I think such a monitor should not be backlit. Backlighting is definitely hard on the eyes when working with text. I can watch video all day long without any eye fatigue because everything on the screen is in constant change of colors, and so the backlighting isn't such an issue. But with text, what is being displayed is essentially static and the eyes are focusing in on small points on the screen, word by word.
 

Comixbooks

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When I went from CRT to LCD it was very very painfull back in 2011 I actually had both a CRT setup for regular use and a LCD setup for gaming use. I would game on just the weekends. I mean I played Trions Rift for the first week I was in so much pain due to how sharp the monitor was compared to my CRT monitor.

For monitors use a Power Practical Luminoodle for the bias light. Don't raise the monitor too high for height unless your neck is looking down keep the monitor at a distance if your desk permits. Turn the brightness was down I'm talking 20B 20C even is realistic in my case. Turn down the Nvidia settings even to about that level with gamma being low at well.

The best thing I found recently that helped was getting a higher office chair that has helped me a ton. I have a Serta Icomfort I5000 chair one of the best Serta chairs you can buy hope it lasts a decade anyway.
 

Comixbooks

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Anything over 27" is too big for me as well I'm lost and blinded by anything better even though you can see more.
 

XoR_

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Some things that I think are good for minimizing eye fatigue are: good quality ambient light while avoiding glare conditions, sane monitor brightness on a monitor without PWM (not too bright, not too dim), minimal backlight bleed through, warmer monitor color, mid grey text over dark grey background (~ text RGB: 127, 127, 127; background RGB: 20, 20, 20), sharpness of text (turning off anti-aliasing and avoiding other forms of blur; higher dpi), considerably bigger text size than what you need (probably double). And of course, minimizing screen time.
This is pretty much definition of extremely low contrast ratio. If lowering contrast is easier for eyes then IPS have obviously enough contrast ratio as it is...
Unlike most people I do not like bright text on black background and use black text on white background theme wherever possible. Most people at work from what I see use white on black presents in eg. code editors

Font anti-aliasing is not as easy as disabling it because since Vista times ClearType it is too much integrated into system and often software does not even work properly with it disabled.
ClearType got improved over the years and in Windows 10 it is pretty good if not great.
The way fonts look differs between software and used options. Chrome have consistently worse font rendering than Firefox and the so called "Hardware acceleration" (Direct2D) have worse font rendering than it disabled due to it allowing sub-pixel position accuracy which messes with font hinting.
Since Vista times I used Gdipp, then ezgdi to force Freetype2 font rendering in all applications and had custom font preset which made fonts not-hinted but also bolder and much more readable even from very far away even despite fonts being less sharp. Kinda similar to OSX but much better preset. In Windows 10 though I do not bother with it anymore.
 

partikl

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I don't like white on black. It looks glowy. Even the Hard Forum dark theme tends to make text look glowy to me. I actually prefer black on white over white on black. But both are hard on the eyes, and I prefer mid grey on dark grey over both.

The thing with IPS with dark backgrounds is that I can see the backlight glowing through the whole panel like a silvery sort of sheen, even with a solid black background, and over time that bothers my eyes. So on an IPS, having a dark background is much less effective than on a VA.

But something that I notice with VA is the soft appearance of text edges. Keep in mind that I turn off text anti-aliasing (cleartype in windows; I run both windows and linux). But even with anti-aliasing off, text isn't sharp on a VA. Also keep in mind that I just gave a 4K VA monitor a try to see if there was any improvement. Nope. There is a higher DPI with 4K that allows for less jaggy text with anti-aliasing off, but there is still a softness to text edges.

At this point I am considering giving a smaller TN monitor a try. Color accuracy and viewing angles are very low priority to me. And I can definitely give up some screen real estate for any gain in eye comfort. But ultimately, I think the elephant in the room is reading lots of text from a backlit monitor (no non-backlit monitors exist) and the light spectrum of W-LED adding to that. I also think that any sort of flashing adds to it (PWM, dithering).

It's crazy to me that even crappy newspaper print is far and above more comfortable to read than the best technology available today.
 

partikl

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Anything over 27" is too big for me as well I'm lost and blinded by anything better even though you can see more.
I'm thinking the same. What I notice on a 32" 2560x1440 is that I am actually positioning my view to one side of the monitor and often resizing the browser and text editor to a smaller size. I would most likely have a better viewing experience for text on a smaller monitor. I sure don't like reading lines that stretch the whole of a 32".
 

partikl

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Maybe I should start working with a typewriter and forget all about this new-fangled computer tech.

I love working with paper and pencil. No driver headaches, connector incompatibilities, OS upgrade corundums, etc. It just works damn well all the time, every time. And most definitely, zero eye discomfort.

Monitor manufacturers aren't showing any signs of developing displays for text work. Everything is further heading toward more popping colors, more brightness, more resolution. Nevermind eye health.
 
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sharknice

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Maybe I should start working with a typewriter and forget all about this new-fangled computer tech.

I love working with paper and pencil. No driver headaches, connector incompatibilities, OS upgrade corundums, etc. It just works damn well all the time, every time. And most definitely, zero eye discomfort.

Monitor manufacturers aren't showing any signs of developing displays for text work. Everything is further heading toward more popping colors, more brightness, more resolution. Nevermind eye health.

I have seen people load custom software on e-ink readers and remotely connect to their windows PC.

Not really practical because they're such small screens though.
 

partikl

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I have seen people load custom software on e-ink readers and remotely connect to their windows PC.

Not really practical because they're such small screens though.
There are people using the Dasung Paperlike in place of a monitor, but it is expensive and the general concencus seems to be that the overall experience is not good due to display update lag and other issues.
 

XoR_

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I don't like white on black. It looks glowy. Even the Hard Forum dark theme tends to make text look glowy to me. I actually prefer black on white over white on black. But both are hard on the eyes, and I prefer mid grey on dark grey over both.
and this is exactly very low contrast ratio

The thing with IPS with dark backgrounds is that I can see the backlight glowing through the whole panel like a silvery sort of sheen, even with a solid black background, and over time that bothers my eyes. So on an IPS, having a dark background is much less effective than on a VA.
Various IPS panels have varying degree of IPS glow.
I am not sure but direct backlight models are better in this regard.
Though even A-HVA model I use for desktop with its terrible IPS glow never bothered me. If it was blueish it would but it is silver so I do not really see how it would be uncomfortable

But something that I notice with VA is the soft appearance of text edges. Keep in mind that I turn off text anti-aliasing (cleartype in windows; I run both windows and linux). But even with anti-aliasing off, text isn't sharp on a VA. Also keep in mind that I just gave a 4K VA monitor a try to see if there was any improvement. Nope. There is a higher DPI with 4K that allows for less jaggy text with anti-aliasing off, but there is still a softness to text edges.
Some VA panels appear 'softer' because of imperfect subpixel stucture and dimming part of subpixel first then other part
There are some photos in this post https://hardforum.com/threads/ips-vs-va-pixel-structure-sharpness.1904527/#post-1042407982
Also comprehensive read: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/panel_technologies.htm
Combined with gamma shift and its ridiculous false-stereoscopic effects I would say VA is the worst panel type.

At this point I am considering giving a smaller TN monitor a try. Color accuracy and viewing angles are very low priority to me. And I can definitely give up some screen real estate for any gain in eye comfort. But ultimately, I think the elephant in the room is reading lots of text from a backlit monitor (no non-backlit monitors exist) and the light spectrum of W-LED adding to that. I also think that any sort of flashing adds to it (PWM, dithering).
Moving to TN is not a solution.
Viewing angles are terrible and most TN panels have pretty visible noise.
Also because color quality is never a concern for TN panels they put absolutely the worst quality W-LEDs possible on these...

It's crazy to me that even crappy newspaper print is far and above more comfortable to read than the best technology available today.
Like I mentioned earlier LCD panels are in their nature 3d. Flat surface that appear like glowing paper is an illusion.
Next year there should be some OLED monitors available and until then good quality IPS panel is the best what you can get... or maybe this one hella expensive 32" 4K Dell OLED... which flickers at 120Hz XD XD XD
Or maybe use OLED TV as monitor? Because of big size you could use such display from quite far away which might be good for your eyes?
 

partikl

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Low constrast or not, on the VA panel I feel much less like I'm looking at the backlight than the panel itself. And even within my lower contrast setup for text, there is much more range on the VA than on IPS. For example, I have a slightly lighter active line color than the background color set up in my text editor. On IPS, I can just barely make out the active line color. On VA, the active line color is very obvious.

Real world: I swapped back in my U2515H to try it again this morning with fresh eyes. This thing is earaching my eyes...


Right away I feel like my eyes are being assaulted. Despite this thing having a higher DPI and very noticeably sharper text (at ~ the same text size as what I used on the VA), and my eyes can't hold focus. Changing the text size doesn't matter. The color is setup warm and changing it doesn't matter. The room has good ambient lighting. Viiewing distance doesn't matter. The only notable change here is swapping monitors (VA for IPS). And what's odd is that I can't identify any problem, other than the IPS glow. This monitor has good uniformity, as good as the VA. But it has that overall silvery sheen glow to it that I see on all IPS displays, and my eyes can't deal with it. And when this monitor was released, reviewers gave it a big thumbs up. I have since learned that for the use case of working with text and eye fatigue, monitor reviewers have nothing of any real benefit to offer. Personal experience and discussion with other people (whatever the product) is much more fruitful.

The points which I constantly see when arguing the merits of IPS are color correctness and viewing angles. But for working with text, those points don't amount to anything. Working with text doesn't require best color, and with sane monitor sizes, it doesn't require best viewing angles. What does matter when working with text much more than any other aspect is eye comfort. Right now, I have two VA's (1440 and 4K) and a TN (laptop) that are much more comfortable on the eyes than three IPS displays (monitors and phone). And I have looked at many other monitors and use a number of other monitors at work.
 
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Comixbooks

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I owned two IPS panels and found them harder on the eyes than their TN counterparts. I would sell the monitor if I were you I've had about 20+ different monitors over the years the worst one I ever had was a CRT from Dell I thought it was going to be a upgrade from my other Dell Trinitron but my eyes just burned big time. Also the 1st LCD from 2005 I had from Dell was really really bad it felt like I was raped by a supernova felt sorry for the person I sold it to =D I had my vision blank out from old CFL monitors I tried 3 of them to be exact nice looking picture but the CFL bulbs causes my vision to blank out I would blink and my vision would go out because of the flicker of the backlite of the CFL. Only in 2010 could I use LCD monitors again I still use a ASUS 1080P 21.5" for surfing have X3 of them total use a 24" and a 27" for gaming with my weird setup but it works. I think Laptop screen are the prefect size for eyeballs when you start with these bigger LCDs for Desktops it gets all funky because there is no standard for how you eyeballs will react to it. Reading text color temps brightness LED backlite the Chinese don't give a shit if you burn the back of your eyeballs out they are just trying to make a living.

You try Windows 10 Night Light it helps but I can't run it all the time.
 
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XoR_

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And when this monitor was released, reviewers gave it a big thumbs up. I have since learned that for the use case of working with text and eye fatigue, monitor reviewers have nothing of any real benefit to offer.
You cannot expect reviewers to comment on imaginary things like eye comfort. Imaginary not because they are not real but because for most people things like you describe is like describing issue with flying unicorns.

Besides now I am starting to think you are biased against IPS panels. It is way too easy to self inflict eye strain just like it is easy to cause sound to sound harsh and even feel pain in any part of body. People get placebo-aches all the time.

Monitors do not cause such eye discomfort. Snap out of it!!!!!!1
 

cybereality

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I used to get eye strain with CRT monitors. Luckily it went away once I got my first LCD panel.
 

XoR_

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Hmm. Maybe I've just been lucky and randomly bought very good screens, but I've never experienced this phenomenon.
Monitors are like fire.
Only animals fear fire. People see it as a gift ; )

I used to get eye strain with CRT monitors. Luckily it went away once I got my first LCD panel.
I myself didn't stop using CRT after I got my first LCD and rather used LCD for desktop and CRT for everything multimedia and gaming related with some occasional desktop usage when I absolutely needed it. Such configuration made most sense for many years to come and even today setup consisting of some IPS LCD + Sony GDM-FW900 is still awesome :)

Some people actually prefer CRT for desktop usage claiming it is easier on eyes with soft fluffy compared to sharp and relentless presentation of soulless LCD's...
Since I started using LCD I only once chose CRT over LCD for desktop, it was at work when it was choice between very good CRT (really good black, best I have ever seen on CRT) vs. very bad TN. In the end when I finally had to ditch CRT and use this LCD it seemed better for my eyes. CRT was pretty good too and didn't gave me any eye strain, just was more tiring. For occasional usage CRT are fine, especially good ones, with proper settings and light management.
 

euskalzabe

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what's odd is that I can't identify any problem, other than the IPS glow. This monitor has good uniformity, as good as the VA. But it has that overall silvery sheen glow to it that I see on all IPS displays, and my eyes can't deal with it. And when this monitor was released, reviewers gave it a big thumbs up. I have since learned that for the use case of working with text and eye fatigue, monitor reviewers have nothing of any real benefit to offer. Personal experience and discussion with other people (whatever the product) is much more fruitful.
Fully agree with you. The only aspect of the monitors I've been trying in the past year that still remains problematic, is IPS glow. There's no other explanation as to why I've had such problems with all my IPS panels. Back on the 40" VA and I feel mostly fine after a few days.

Burning eyes stretching lack of focus you name it.....
Burning eyes, in my case. It's so unnerving. When it was happening, I just couldn't get work done. Hell, I couldn't keep my eyes open properly for a while after screen exposure. It was hell - and I was getting worried that something may have actually been wrong with my eyes.
 

partikl

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I ordered a TN monitor to see how that goes. VA has been far better than IPS for eye fatigue so far, in my personal experience. I just don't like the softness of the pixels on VA for text. IPS is better in that respect, but the backlight glow seems to be an eye killer for me. And the backlight issue outweighs the benefit of sharpness. TN should be just as sharp, I would think. My low res laptop TN is sharp enough with text anti-aliasing turned off. And maybe a TN monitor won't have the glowy backlight that I see on IPS monitors.

I am intentionally looking over XoR's post. Life is too short. Ain't nobody got time for that. I'm just trying the different panel technologies to see what I think works best for me. So far it is VA.
 
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XoR_

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I am intentionally looking over XoR's post. Life is too short. Ain't nobody got time for that.
Actually I did not expect you to do anything with your eye focus because it is too hard to change how senses work.
Not because it is hard in itself (eyes would calibrate themselves near instantly if you used sight properly) but because how interconnected senses (and especially sight is) with sense of self. Especially in people who have issues with eyes such as eye strain from focusing too much.

Hope it is worth going blind :ROFLMAO:
 

euskalzabe

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I ordered a TN monitor to see how that goes... I'm just trying the different panel technologies to see what I think works best for me. So far it is VA.
Please report back to this thread once you try it! I look forward to know about your experience. I've always cared too much about contrast and colors to go back to TN, but if you have a good experience with it, it might be worth a try. Good luck!
 

partikl

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I'm curious. What does this eye strain feel like?

I don't think I've ever experienced it.
It has different feelings, according to the person, severity, and probably the backlight spectrum involved. The main thing that I feel is aching eyeballs, like I am pushing on my eyes with my fingers. Close your eyes and put some pressure on them with your fingers until it feels uncomfortable. It very much feels like that, and it lasts until I either get some sleep or stay away from screens for some days. At the same time, my eyes will lose ability to maintain steady focus on text; my brow feels very tense; I begin to feeling lethargic; my eyes begin to feel slow moving. If the fatigue goes on for too long, it moves into strain territory, and my eye focus will begin to flutter rapidly when trying to read text; I feel physically sick. I have only experienced that degree of strain a few times, and I never want to go there again. It's horrible. A new one on me after trying VA is burning eyes, which doesn't feel like dry eyes. It feels like muscle burn after really working a muscle. So far it has been very mild along with a little of that pressure feeling on my eyes compared to much more of that pressure feeling with IPS. With IPS I have to dim the display until a solid white background starts to look grey and dirty to even be able to look at the thing for a small amount of time, and I almost always still end up with eye fatigue.
 

partikl

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Please report back to this thread once you try it! I look forward to know about your experience. I've always cared too much about contrast and colors to go back to TN, but if you have a good experience with it, it might be worth a try. Good luck!
Will do. Maybe it will suck, maybe not. I figure it is better to try the different panel technologies to see what I think instead of following internet hearsay. I see so much bad information on internet forums about eye fatigue. Such as: Put more LED's behind your monitor. Nevermind that LED's are giving you eye fatigue in the first place. I'm not seeing the the post now, but someone previously mentioned the anemic quality of LED light. I very much agree with that. But it seems that different panel types might have an effect on how severe LED light is on the eyes.
 

partikl

Limp Gawd
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Very odd. I left the U2515H setup exactly as it was and used it all day yesterday without any eye fatigue. I was going to swap it out, but when I turned it on it didn't feel immediately bad like it usually does. My eyes felt a bit tired at the end of the night, but nothing major. Definitely not into fatigue territory. And so far today I have been using it without any eye fatigue. I'm very baffled. I have owned this thing for years now and have tried to use it many times, getting eye fatigue ever time. I feel a bit crazy right now over it.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Personally, I have tried every type of artificial 'bias' light behind my monitor, and I think it's odd that LED is the norm for this purpose. LED light quality isn't good compared to other light types. In general, I haven't found having extra artificial light behind the monitor helpful. But I haven't tried natural light yet (placing monitor in front of a window).

Some things that I think are good for minimizing eye fatigue are: good quality ambient light while avoiding glare conditions, sane monitor brightness on a monitor without PWM (not too bright, not too dim), minimal backlight bleed through, warmer monitor color, mid grey text over dark grey background (~ text RGB: 127, 127, 127; background RGB: 20, 20, 20), sharpness of text (turning off anti-aliasing and avoiding other forms of blur; higher dpi), considerably bigger text size than what you need (probably double). And of course, minimizing screen time.

Some things about monitors that I have wondered about:

What causes the fine grain background noise on computer displays? I see it on every computer display. It's like a subtle flashing of every pixel.

Do any monitors actually use pure DC backlight dimming? Is that even possible with a switch-mode power supply? On my current monitor that supposedly doesn't use PWM, I swear at times that I see flickering at the edges. And when I take notice of it, I do see subtle moving lines across the screen. On the lines, it may be that my eyes are biased toward seeing lines of lighter text on a darker background which is causing me to see lines.

This might be why I never experience problems.

I do use the screen in the dark a lot, but I tend to keep the backlight down pretty low compared to what I see many others do on these forums.

The backlight on my 2015 Samsung JS9000 is set to 6 out of 20. If I turn it much higher, I feel like I am about to scorch my eyeballs
 

partikl

Limp Gawd
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144
I think that whatever the eye fatigue issue is, it is much backlight related. My hunch is brightness and spectrum of W-LED. Probably the narrow directionality of LED light, too.

So I used the U2515H all day on Saturday, which only left my eyes feeling tired at the end of the night (not fatigued). Sunday I dropped the brightness from 20 (which is already low) to 15 (which looks even more dirty/grey), and I think it was a further improvement in terms of eye comfort over the day...sort of. I still get a bit of tightness in my eyes even at 15 brightness, but no pain to speak of. And I feel like I want more brightness for better clarity. I guess it sort of feels similar to reading paper in dim light, even though the room is well lit. It's a bit bothersome and a tradeoff. The overall look of the panel is definitely worsened at such a low brightness level, making the good display qualities of this monitor a bit of a wash, other than the DPI of 2550x1440 at 25.5". But also, this monitor feels a bit squatty. 27" is a better size for this res, despite the slightly lower DPI.

Any way, I should have the S2716DGR tomorrow to try out. In the meantime, I have been reading that these monitors have color banding issues, which I hadn't read before ordering it. Some people are saying that this monitor is 6-bit+FRC. TFTCentral stated '8-bit?', indicating that they weren't sure. And it seems that Dell have had many revisions of this monitors, the last of which I saw a mention on the net of was revision AO9 in 2018. But some owners of all revisions are saying that they are seeing color banding. A Dell person on their forum said that he didn't know if it is 8-bit or not, citing that he trusts TFTCentral. That seemed like an odd thing to say. My bet is that it is 6-bit+FRC, which isn't the end of the world, but the colors will likely be worse than the U2515H and the 32GK650F. But I could be fine with worse colors if the monitor ends up somehow being more comfortable to look at and doesn't have major quality issues such as bad backlight uniformity like I see on the LG 32UD60. And it would be nice for gaming if the S2716DGR works out, since it does have G-Sync and ULMB (which reportedly can be used together on this monitor) and a high refresh rate. But my main priority is eye comfort for reading text. So if that is an issue, none of the other features matter.

Side note here: It would be nice if monitor manufacturers would include a few dedicated buttons for switching custom user settings so that we don't have to go menu diving to access settings. And hard-set manufacturer presets are always a waste of OSD space, in my opinion. Why not at least make all presets customizable by the user? A simple use case here is quickly changing settings for the very different requirements of reading lots of text vs. watching lots of video.
 
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Zarathustra[H]

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I also wonder how much of this has to do with PWM brightness control.

Is this still common? Back in 2015 when I was research screen more actively, PWM was a huge issue for many.
 

partikl

Limp Gawd
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I also wonder how much of this has to do with PWM brightness control.

Is this still common? Back in 2015 when I was research screen more actively, PWM was a huge issue for many.
I have a monitor here that looks very good color wise and brightness wise (has RGB backlight), but it has PWM even at max brightness. It has a very comfortable look to it, but I cannot read from it for any amount of time. Gaming and video are ok. All other monitors that I have here supposedly don't use PWM at all.
 

Nenu

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19,221
I also wonder how much of this has to do with PWM brightness control.

Is this still common? Back in 2015 when I was research screen more actively, PWM was a huge issue for many.
They nearly all use PWM but now at higher frequencies which reduces the number of people susceptible to issues.
PWM is useful to keep the response of the LEDs linear and predictable.
 
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