Dell 2005FPW LCD panel

So I finally decided to give an LCD monitor a try after hearing SA goons sing the praises of the Dell 2005FPW and it’s non-widescreen sibling the 2001FP.

Apparently there are some production problems where some of these monitors have backlight leakage but Dell is really good about letting you exchange the monitor until you get one you’re happy with. They also have the same policy towards dead pixels. In fact, I’m going to have to give Dell support 4 out of 5 stars in my dealing with them.
This monitor retails for $750. I got it on sale for around $530 but ONE day after I ordered it some more coupons came out that knocked an additional $100 off of the price. On the off chance that they’d do something about it I called Dell and they offered to credit me the $100! The worst part about dealing with Dell is that they outsource their phone support to EXL Service in India and everyone you talk to has an accent that I find hard to understand. That problem aside they were very courteous and helpful.

Anyways, about the monitor. The one I got has no backlight issues and zero dead pixels. The whole unit seems very sturdily constructed. The stand for the monitor has a base that is made of aluminum and is quite heavy. This allows you to adjust height/tilt/rotation of the monitor without pushing it all over your desk.

I spent a lot of time thinking about which I would prefer: the 2001FP or the 2005FPW. Pretty close to the same monitor but the 2005FPW is a widescreen monitor instead of a regular 4:3 monitor like the 2001FP. While they are both 20″ screens the 2001FP has more screen space because of it’s closer to square dimensions. (A rectangle with a 20″ diagonal is smaller than a square with a 20″ diagonal) I really couldn’t make up my mind. So I decided to just go with the widescreen because…well…widescreen looks cooler (also the 2005FPW has an improved response time of 12ms vs 16ms for the 2001FP). I’m glad I decided to go with this.

The widescreen lends itself well to movies, of course, but some other pluses include the ability to view two full documents side-by-side. This monitor also rotates so you can have a tall, narrow screen. This works out well for many web pages and I find myself using it from time to time. The greatest thing about this screen is gaming.

Some people are more sensitive to the transient response time of LCD’s than other people. I’ve always been one of the more sensitive people. However, when I decided to try this screen I told myself to just give it time to see if it will grow on me. To tell you the truth, this panel looks so good in games that the different “feel” of it as compared to a regular CRT didn’t take long to go by the wayside.

Several aspects of the monitor make it superior to others in my opinion. One thing is it’s 12ms response time. This is pretty low, but not the lowest out there. However, the monitors out there marketed to gamers with 8 or even 4ms response times are what they call 6-bit panels. This means their color-rendering abilities are sub-par to a true 8-bit panel like this one. They can’t display as many colors and it shows in many circumstances. The 8-bit panel in this monitor, the bright and vibrant nature of LCD panels in general, and the wide screen make games just seem beautiful. I’ve been pretty busy so I’ve only had a chance to play Warhammer 40k and HL2 but both looked fantastic.

Additionally, widescreen gaming gives you an advantage over your opponents in on-line play. Games that properly support widescreen don’t just chop off the top and bottom of a 4:3 display to fill the screen, they actually increase your peripheral vision, giving you the advantage.

All is not perfect though. The main issues arise when it comes to games. Not all games fully support widescreen. For example, Warhammer 40k almost supports widescreen. You can set the resolution correctly, but the FOV is off so you can’t zoom out as far as you can normally…not a deal-breaker. You can tweak configs and the like to get most games that don’t natively support widescreen to work. The majority of new games coming out will support widescreen out of the box because such things are becoming more and more common. (FYI: BF:1942 and BF:V support widescreen with a few config file tweaks, Valve’s Source natively supports widescreen, CoD supports widescreen with some tweaks, and if I understand correctly BF2 will natively support widescreen) If all else fails, you can “sidebar” non-widescreen-supporting games….have black bars running down the sides.

Now, the final problem with gaming on this monitor. LCD monitors support only one native resolution. Anything below this resolution is basically scaled to fit the screen (like zooming in on a photo, it gets grainy) or is shown in the center of the screen with black bars all around. So you want to play your games at the panel’s native resolution. This monitor’s native resolution is 1680×1050. My poor little 9600 Pro struggles at that resolution. The fix? By a better video card. So I’m probably going to have to drop a bit of dough on a new vid card.

In conclusion, this monitor is so beautiful to look at that I am willing to deal with the widescreen gaming issues.

  1. Contriving » Monitor problems - pingback on May 30, 2005 at 1:04 pm

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