Samsung 2233rz review - the 120hz revolution begins

dz.Doze

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Let me start off by saying that this review is for the avid FPS gamers. If you're one of those people that insist the human eye can't see anything faster than 60hz or you simply like to crap all over any thread discussing a TN panel, then please move right along - there's nothing to see here. :rolleyes:

With that out of the way, I have some good news for FPS fans. The Samsung 2233rz is a gigantic leap better than any other 'gaming LCD' I've ever tried. The jump from 60hz to 120hz on the LCD is every bit as dramatic as the difference between 60hz and 120hz on a CRT. That silky smooth player movement is there in all it's glory. There is no interpolation or frame insertion tricks going on here. It is a real 120hz refresh. Finally!

The average input lag came out to 9.8ms, with a low of 0ms and a high of 24ms. Most were around 10-12ms. I took ~25 shots. The test was done using cloned output from an Nvidia card set to 1680x1050@100hz. I do have a VGA splitter here that would have guaranteed a synchronized refresh, but the 2233rz doesn't have a VGA input...so the cloned output is as good as you're going to get. In any case, the input lag numbers are respectable.

The 'ghosting' of the latest model TN's is still present, although it is minimal and I found it to be less distracting than usual due to the high refresh. The tearing with vsync off at 120hz is barely noticeable - very impressive! There is some mild backlight bleed along the very top and very bottom of the screen. I wouldn't have even mentioned it except that I know someone will ask. No dead pixels.

I suppose the final question is...is it as good as my FW900? The fact that I even have to think about the answer speaks volumes to how impressed I am with the 2233rz. The FW900 is a monster of an opponent. I've spent years bashing every LCD that I've tried to use for games. I'd frustrate myself with it for a couple of hours, kick it to the curb, and lift the CRT back onto my desk.

If I'm looking purely at raw performance - and I was playing a 1v1 deathmatch with a million dollars on the line, I'd still have to go with FW900 due to the fact that the FW900 doesn't ghost at all, it has 0ms of input lag versus ~10ms on the 2233rz, and it can push higher than 120hz refresh at lower resolutions. It's a superior piece of hardware.

Of course I'm not usually playing with a million dollars on the line so there's a flip side to consider. The 2233rz is much brighter then my aging FW900 and it's even faster than the FW900 at 1680x1050. It also has all the other benefits of any LCD - sleek, efficient, pixel perfect output, etc.

For now I'm planning to keep the 2233rz on my desk and the FW900 in my closet. I can say with a straight face that this is the first time I've ever considered replacing my CRT with an LCD. It's just that good.

Right now the availability is pretty limited. The only place you can buy one is from Tigerdirect or Compusa, and they're only available as part of a $600 'bundle' that includes the $200 Nvidia 3D Vision glasses. No doubt that $400 is a lot of dough for a 22" TN panel, but the premium is money well spent if you're a serious gamer.
 

R0achTheWarHero

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I am hesitant to believe it's really 120hz. Why would they not release a 75 or 85hz first and go straight to 120? It doesn't make much sense. Need picture of right clicking desktop, going to monitor properties and selecting between 120hz from the operating system!
 

dz.Doze

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No offense dude, but I obviously know how to set the refresh rate. Anyhow the main driver behind 120hz was the stereoscopic 3D support (e.g. 60hz per eye). That's why the monitor is being bundled with the Nvidia 3D Vision glasses.
 

Shrimpanzee

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im in ur closet... steelin ur fw900

But seriously, thanks for the brief review. I'm sure quite a few people are curious.
 

natty

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yes thank you....

I've heard Viewsonic is also coming out with a 120hz model. It will be interesting to compare the two.
 

R0achTheWarHero

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No offense dude, but I obviously know how to set the refresh rate.

You got hundreds of people on these forums claiming T240HD doesn't have input lag yet it has 60 so anything without pictures on H forum I'd be hesitant about.

Don't know how many times I've read "Just got my Samsung 244T, awesome for gaming!"
 

evilsofa

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I am hesitant to believe it's really 120hz. Why would they not release a 75 or 85hz first and go straight to 120?

120 is the first number that divides evenly into 24 and 30. Film is recorded at 24FPS, and video is recorded at 30FPS. When you view video at 60Hz, it looks great because it merely displays each frame twice, but when you view film at 60Hz, it has to drop every third frame. If you made a 75Hz or 85Hz model, it would drop frames on both film and video and nobody would be happy.
 

Inu

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This post is relevant to my interests. I may drop the monies for this if i see more results. Also how do you like the stereoscopic thingers?
 

dz.Doze

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Also how do you like the stereoscopic thingers?

I haven't tried them yet. I'm running XP and the Nvidia Stereoscopic 3D drivers only support Vista. I may toss Vista onto a spare HDD over the weekend to check them out.
 

alamone

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How's the scaler on it - have you tried any low resolution modes @ 120hz?
10-24ms of input lag is still 1-3 frames in 120hz, or 1-2 frames in 60hz.

I still use my FW900 for console gaming since it has no input lag and can handle
lower resolution for older consoles (w/ an upscaler like an XRGB-2),
but LCD's perfect geometry and small footprint plus easy rotatability
(if you get a third party vesa mount) are big pluses.

Maybe I should hold out for the Viewsonic 120hz monitor or the LG 120hz mentioned in the other thread, which might also include VGA inputs and better input lag numbers, although as you mentioned those are still pretty respectable numbers, especially compared against your typical IPS panel.

Also, I have no interest in the 3D stuff, so I'd prefer to be able to order the monitor without paying $200 for the 3D glasses. I don't even have a nvidia video card to begin with.
 

chicken-

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From what I read the Viewsonic just has the dual DVI inputs as well, I believe that is the point as none of the inputs are able to put out 120hz without using dual inputs.
 

10e

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I am hesitant to believe it's really 120hz. Why would they not release a 75 or 85hz first and go straight to 120? It doesn't make much sense. Need picture of right clicking desktop, going to monitor properties and selecting between 120hz from the operating system!

http://forums.legitreviews.com/about19198.html


^^^^^^^^Scroll down for pic of nVCPanel^^^^^^^

As you can see, there are a few choices for refresh rate, R0ach. You can set them from the control panel yourself. Wouldn't be surprised if there are more choices, but I can't say because I haven't seen the manual to see everything the monitor would sync to.

OOps, spoke too soon. Should read what I link:

http://astkorea.iptime.org/fileupload/bn59-00834a/ver_00/manual/eng/01_htm/index.htm

Thanks for the post Dz.Doze. Much appreciated that you put the question to rest about true 120 or interpolated 120hz. I look forward to seeing your thoughts after a little more use both for gaming and general PC stuff.
 

RESTfulADI

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much appreciated review sir, it's about time crt lovers got a respectable lcd. I love my FW900 but sometimes when playing laid back stuff I do wish I had the clarity and brightness of an LCD, but there was no way I was going to settle for 60hz. At least I can replace this aging Hyundai 19'' TN that I use as my secondary, unacceptable for gaming but the text clarity is great. I should wait until the Viewsonic comes out so we can see some head to head comparisons, what's this about an LG?

btw, do these monitors have overdrive?
 

mathesar

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According to this site: http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.php?ty=6&ma1=120&mo1=61&p1=689&ma2=36&mo2=452&p2=4461&ph=13 this monitor does indeed average 12ms input lag which isn't bad at all.

It also measured 0.21 cmd/2 black level (Link) which is OK but still leaves a lot of room for improvement in comparison to a CRT. The 0.1 cmd/2 reading isn't a likely scenario being the monitor's brightness is turned way down for that test.

If only it wasn't a TN panel... I cant get past the viewing angles, my bro has a Samsung 2232BW+ and it drives me nuts.
 

RESTfulADI

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maybe it's because my TN is 5:4 but I really don't have a problem with the angles, I'm almost never looking at it from the side. The only thing that slightly bothers me is the vertical if I slouch and my eyes drop too low then the top looks bad. Is that what people complain about all the time with TN because I don't really see the horizontal being a problem unless you really have to look at from an angle.
 

10e

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The black level at 200 cdm/2 of .21 cdm/2 is fine. The important part is that the contrast doesn't fall appart when 100 cdm/2 is selected, and that the backlight is doing the bulk of the brightness regulation, not the actual electronics putting out darker colors to "simulate" lowering of brightness.


According to this site: http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.php?ty=6&ma1=120&mo1=61&p1=689&ma2=36&mo2=452&p2=4461&ph=13 this monitor does indeed average 12ms input lag which isn't bad at all.

It also measured 0.21 cmd/2 black level (Link) which is OK but still leaves a lot of room for improvement in comparison to a CRT. The 0.1 cmd/2 reading isn't a likely scenario being the monitor's brightness is turned way down for that test.

If only it wasn't a TN panel... I cant get past the viewing angles, my bro has a Samsung 2232BW+ and it drives me nuts.
 

RESTfulADI

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The black level at 200 cdm/2 of .21 cdm/2 is fine. The important part is that the contrast doesn't fall appart when 100 cdm/2 is selected, and that the backlight is doing the bulk of the brightness regulation, not the actual electronics putting out darker colors to "simulate" lowering of brightness.
how do you find out and why the hell wouldn't it always be the backlight? cost cutting 'feature'?
 

theystolemyname

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Now they just need to sell these things. I'm not paying $600 for a bundle - they can keep their 3D glasses.

Just how long are we going to have to wait to purchase a 2233rz?
 

Bo_Fox

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Nice review.. the site shows that at 100cd/m^2 brightness, this monitor has only 0.1 cd/m^2 black level, which is VERY nice. 0.2 is still rather nice.

I heard that Samsung is working on a 24" 120Hz model, to be released very soon.

When there's a 24" one that supports 1920x1200@120Hz so that I can enjoy full 1080p (1920x1080) TV and movies, I'd be sold. When there's one that also has LED backlighting, I'd be blown away! When there's one that's S-IPS based with zero input lag, I'd be knocked dead!
 

dz.Doze

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I played with it for a few more hours today. I would describe the scaler as 'tolerable.' As with most LCD's, everything looks soft and fuzzy when you move away from the native resolution. Personally I didn't find it enjoyable gaming on it at non-native resolutions. I also tried pushing the refresh higher than 120hz without any success. The bandwidth is there so I figured I'd give it a shot.

I put the 2233rz and FW900 side by side and flipped my gaming sessions back and forth between them for a while to try and get a better subjective comparison between the two. I'd say the gap between the 2233rz and the FW900 is now slightly wider than my initial impression. Don't get me wrong, it still blows the doors off of any other panel. But the FW900 is perceptibly smoother to me in fast FPS games (Quake, UT). In slower FPS games (CS, TF2) the difference was still present but less noticeable. If I had to subjectively rate the monitor using the FW900 as the gold standard, it would go something like this:

FW900: 10/10
2233rz: 8/10
60hz TN (e.g. 226BW): 4.5/10

So in summary, it's much better for FPS gaming than the best 60hz TN gaming panels - almost twice as good - but it's still ~20% worse than the best CRT ever created.

I also tossed Vista onto a spare HDD so that I could take the 3D stereoscopic glasses for a spin. In short, it's cooler than I thought it would be. If I were really into single player games or online RPG type games then I could see myself using these. However for online multiplayer deathmatch, they're pretty much useless. Everything looks amazing, but you're back down to 60hz and vsync is required so the resulting input lag is nasty.
 

RPGWiZaRD

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First of all thank you very much for posting this as I've been eagerly waiting for a response about these 120Hz LCD monitors from some1 who knows that refresh rate is a day a night difference for games when we talk motion smoothness and what's better than getting feedback from a FW900 user even. xD I even registered to this site only because of this.

Anyway I've been waiting for like 5 years+ for 100Hz+ LCDs, I've tried bunch of LCDs and I would always go back to the CRTs simply cuz the motion wasn't as fluid and then it struck me how important 100Hz gaming was for me, being used to that for a couple of years when I kept running 1280x960 @ 100Hz on my 19" trinitron monitors and 1024x768 @ 85Hz back in the earlier years on shadow mask 17" CRTs. I'm particularly a fan of UT series and in UT the 100Hz+ gaming really pays off, I immediatly feel the difference when I try 60Hz/FPS, it just feels so horribly wrong but it's not for FPS games only, I enjoy all games, especially also racing games like FlatOut a lot more the more smooth motion there is, feels more realistic.

Like Bo_Fox said according to a person on another forum who spoke to a Samsung rep at CES said that Samsung is working on a 24" 120Hz LCD monitor too but it will probably arrive a couple of months later. Personally I prefer a 22" size cuz of the bigger pixel size ratio and 1920x1200 gets too demanding GPU-wise IMO for 100+ FPS gaming but in future when I'd start working I'd enjoy a 26~27" 1920x1200 120Hz monitor with sufficient GPU power to drive it. I think for me the transition from my rather bad 19" trinitron CRT @ 1280x960 @ 100Hz would be easier and it looks like response time and input lag is very good on this monitor too but I'm gonna wait for the ViewSonic VX2265WM to be released to see which of them is better before I jump the gun. I expect the ViewSonic to arrive in February/March and Samsung without any 3D bundle in March/April. Samsung has officially announced April for it but since NVIDIA already ordered 10.000 2233RZ monitors of Samsung after CES I don't see how they wouldn't be able to start selling these in March at least.

I'm very picky about motion smoothness, yesterday I spent some time looking at LCD TVs at the local warehouse and I quickly noticed one of the TVs had a lot better motion smoothness when I got my eyes on it and went closer to it and it was a Philips that had that 120Hz interpolation trick enabled most likely which it also supported. It's got a bit similiar effect as going to 100/120Hz on a comp screen but the difference of course it isn't a true 120Hz signal. Anyway my parents still have an excellent ~30" widescreen CRT TV and it's a very excellent TV I may add as well (haven't seen any better in person). To get similiar picture quality you'd have to spend around 1500 EUR on a FullHD 40" LCD TV or so, so I always keep telling my parents to keep that TV a bit longer, I always get amazed by the colors and suprisingly sharp picture to be CRT. It's funny how long it has taken LCDs to only catch up on CRTs.
 

10e

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how do you find out and why the hell wouldn't it always be the backlight? cost cutting 'feature'?

Panel manufacturers put in very bright backlighfts and the monitor manufacturer sometimes wants to go below the lower backlight level. My NEC does this, and it's expensive, so it's not a cost-cutting measure. It's just panel manufacturers using "marketecture" instead of thinking before they make panels.

A Bo Fox says below, this is how you can tell. If a screen shows much lower contrast at 100 cdm/2 than at 200 cdm/2, it's because the backlight stopped lowering the black level, and the contrast suffered. If the contrast ratio stays close between 100 cdm/2 and 200 cdm/2 there is absolutely no panel blocking. 100 cdm/2 is actually quite low to achieve with a backlight, so Samsung did some good planning here.

Also it's standard sRGB gamut. Lovely.

Nice review.. the site shows that at 100cd/m^2 brightness, this monitor has only 0.1 cd/m^2 black level, which is VERY nice. 0.2 is still rather nice.

I heard that Samsung is working on a 24" 120Hz model, to be released very soon.

When there's a 24" one that supports 1920x1200@120Hz so that I can enjoy full 1080p (1920x1080) TV and movies, I'd be sold. When there's one that also has LED backlighting, I'd be blown away! When there's one that's S-IPS based with zero input lag, I'd be knocked dead!
 

Snowdog

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Oddly when I look at Samsungs pages, they don't seem to mention DUAL link requirements for cabling and cards.

This would be necessary to drive that refresh and resolution combination.
 

Druneau

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Oddly when I look at Samsungs pages, they don't seem to mention DUAL link requirements for cabling and cards.

This would be necessary to drive that refresh and resolution combination.


I think 1680x1050 @ 120hz can run on 1 dual link DVI cable/port
 

dz.Doze

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Correct, "dual link DVI" does not mean two DVI cables. It's a single dual link cable. The 2233rz comes with one included in the box.
 

Snowdog

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Correct, "dual link DVI" does not mean two DVI cables. It's a single dual link cable. The 2233rz comes with one included in the box.

I know what Dual Link is. I had a Dell 3007 for a while. When something needs Dual like like this, they specs say Dual Link everywhere. Dual link cable. Dual link card required for optimum use etc..

Samsung doesn't say anything in their specs. A dual link cable isn't going to help unless you hook it up to a dual link card and there are plenty of cards without dual link or with one dual link and one single link port.

While in Contrast if you look at Samsung user manual/guides/specs for the 305t, every time they mention the DVI connector or cable they explicitly state (dual link). Something funny is going on here...

http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/...ors&subtype=lcd&model_cd=LS30HUXCB/XAA&mode=C

http://www.samsung.com/us/support/d...del_nm=2233RZ&mType=UM&vType=L&disp_nm=2233RZ
 

10e

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looks like the vx922 is still the best lcds for fps:

http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.php?ty=6&ma1=41&mo1=74&p1=794&ma2=36&mo2=452&p2=4461&ph=12

I will be sticking with my crt until the technology improves.

Thanks for that. I'll take the wide screen:

http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.php?ty=6&ma1=41&mo1=74&p1=794&ma2=48&mo2=304&p2=2943&ph=12


Correct, "dual link DVI" does not mean two DVI cables. It's a single dual link cable. The 2233rz comes with one included in the box.

I'd say try an HDMI cable, but that will apparently work. See below.

I know what Dual Link is. I had a Dell 3007 for a while. When something needs Dual like like this, they specs say Dual Link everywhere. Dual link cable. Dual link card required for optimum use etc..

Samsung doesn't say anything in their specs. A dual link cable isn't going to help unless you hook it up to a dual link card and there are plenty of cards without dual link or with one dual link and one single link port.

It's because it's not required. It will work in either mode, but the 120hz technology doesn't work in single-link and HDCP doesn't work in 120hz dual-link. I wonder where that leaves 120hz "judder free" BluRay? In the hands of pirates methinks.
 

MaZa

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looks like the vx922 is still the best lcds for fps:

http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.php?ty=6&ma1=41&mo1=74&p1=794&ma2=36&mo2=452&p2=4461&ph=12

I will be sticking with my crt until the technology improves.


Honestly, that small difference is no way noticeable even by fastest reacting humans. And even measuring results are far from that accurate so VX922 and this samsung is most likely on same level in input lag.


So 120Hz LCDs are out! This is sweet, I miss 3D stereo gaming from my CRT days. (Though this does me no good either as I am ATI user nowadays, but anyway...) Now, I just have to wait that there will be *VA version or perhaps even IPS version (unlikely for long time) of this monitor and its instabuy. Smoothness of 120Hz alone is so worth it. And 100% stutter free movies!
 

dr.stevil

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nice review... these look really interesting. Too bad they come at such a premium though :(
 

Snowdog

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It's because it's not required. It will work in either mode, but the 120hz technology doesn't work in single-link and HDCP doesn't work in 120hz dual-link. I wonder where that leaves 120hz "judder free" BluRay? In the hands of pirates methinks.

You know this, or you are assuming this? I could see them not saying it is absolutely required, but it shouldn't be like it is a secret.

Look at the owners manuals for the two samsungs.

They must say Dual LInk about 10 times in the 305t manual.

Not even a ONE mention in the 2233rz manual. It seems rather remiss if you require dual link card/cable to work at 120Hz and it isn't even mentioned once.
 

RESTfulADI

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I'm pretty sure that someone who is a die hard FW900 user plays at refresh rates even higher than 120hz can tell if the screen is 60 or true 120, especially if windows says 1680x1050@120 and you can barely see the tearing with vsync off.

A dual link cable IS required and IS included.

HDMI type A and C (almost everything uses A) are single link but 1.3 allows up at a 340mz pixel clock on single link and still could do this resolution at 120hz, but the problem is that the second dvi link on the dvi side of a dual link dvi to single link hdmi cable isn't connected to any pins on the hdmi side so there is no way to get the signal from a dvi video card into an hdmi input.

The minimal difference in input lag between this monitor and the vx922 does not make the viewsonic better, no LCD still running at 60hz could ever be better (unless the 120 samsung was worse in every other way but it isn't). 120hz trumps everything, panel type, viewing angles, colors, backlight bleed, bla bla, nothing is more important. If more people had owned a quality CRT at one point they would understand this.

I'm surprised this thread is still only 2 pages, you would think people would jump at the idea of a true 120hz lcd (I guess the bundle isn't helping get the word out) but they seem to be more interested in wide gamut bullshit like that IPS HP.
 

RPGWiZaRD

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I'm pretty sure that someone who is a die hard FW900 user plays at refresh rates even higher than 120hz can tell if the screen is 60 or true 120, especially if windows says 1680x1050@120 and you can barely see the tearing with vsync off.

A dual link cable IS required and IS included.

HDMI type A and C (almost everything uses A) are single link but 1.3 allows up at a 340mz pixel clock on single link and still could do this resolution at 120hz, but the problem is that the second dvi link on the dvi side of a dual link dvi to single link hdmi cable isn't connected to any pins on the hdmi side so there is no way to get the signal from a dvi video card into an hdmi input.

The minimal difference in input lag between this monitor and the vx922 does not make the viewsonic better, no LCD still running at 60hz could ever be better (unless the 120 samsung was worse in every other way but it isn't). 120hz trumps everything, panel type, viewing angles, colors, backlight bleed, bla bla, nothing is more important. If more people had owned a quality CRT at one point they would understand this.

I'm surprised this thread is still only 2 pages, you would think people would jump at the idea of a true 120hz lcd (I guess the bundle isn't helping get the word out) but they seem to be more interested in wide gamut bullshit like that IPS HP.

QFT! A LCD monitor that is limited to 60Hz is worthless to me even if it's the best IPS panel out there with next to no input lag and superb colors etc. Then I'd rather be hunting old CRTs forever if I'd so have to travel around the world to get one. :D

If any1 will see any new info regarding availability or a review or user review etc of the upcoming ViewSonic VX2265WM then please post here, I'm sure it should be available quite soon (February). Need to find out which of the 120Hz screens are better. Hope it will be measured at Digitalversus.
 

10e

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I saw the HDCP thing in the user manual, not their useless quick start guide.

Here's a link for ya:

http://downloadcenter.samsung.com/content/UM/200901/20090106142742765/BN59-00834A-Eng.pdf

If you do a search on HDCP in the PDF it should be the first result that pops up.

The dual-link is required for the 1680x1050 due to the higher pixel clock of 245mhz and 218mhz for 120hz and 110hz respectively. You can find that under the specifications in this particular manual, near the end.

I was curious about this as well because I saw conflicting reports about the requirement, so I dug up that 165mhz is the highest published limit of single-link DVI which I found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Visual_Interface#Clock_and_data_relationship

To exceed this pixel clock, a second link is required, thus needing a dual-link DVI connection. There was some info circulating around that dual-link was needed for the 3d glasses (in regards to the new Viewsonic 2265) and not 120hz @ 1680x1050, but it seems that just the 120hz display capability requires dual-link.

I also don't understand why they wouldn't just outright stipulate this in any documentation and explain the requirement as such. To even find the manual I had to search the site, which I think is also kinda silly. I don't remember seeing it in the "desktop monitors" products drop down.

Very strange.

You know this, or you are assuming this? I could see them not saying it is absolutely required, but it shouldn't be like it is a secret.

Look at the owners manuals for the two samsungs.

They must say Dual LInk about 10 times in the 305t manual.

Not even a ONE mention in the 2233rz manual. It seems rather remiss if you require dual link card/cable to work at 120Hz and it isn't even mentioned once.
 

SH1

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"0.1 cd/m² are close to perfection" ...unfortunately, perfection, it certainly is not...but still, this monitor looks very good for what it is...

And is 100 cd/m² at the lowest brightness I wonder? Maybe it goes even lower...(80 cd/m² for many would probably be just fine for example. Maybe this thing can go even lower with the black level...)

In any case, 3d was one of the coolest things ever...glad to see it coming back...
 
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