Samsung SyncMaster 710N & 711T LCD Display ReviewsFormer staff writer -
Pixel Pitch: similar to dot pitch, the pixel pitch refers to the size of one full pixel unit. However, since all transistors are currently similar, LCD monitors of similar size and max resolution will have similar (identical) pixel pitch. As with dot pitch, a tighter pixel pitch will produce a sharper image. At 0.264mm, both the 711T and 710N will have a basis for a sharp image at the standard size for pixel pitch in the LCD field right now
Brightness: This determines the maximum brightness of an LCD screen in candelas per metre squared. A higher rating helps with both image clarity and colour in high-brightness environments. The 710N comes in on top with a brightness rating of 300 cd/m2, with the 711T coming in behind at 250cd/m2. This was a pretty noticible difference, the picture on the 710N came across as better defined. Brightness is also related to Contrast Ratio, Viewing Angle and Response Time.
Contrast Ratio: "Contrast ratio, most often talked about with LCD monitors, is the measure of the difference of brightness levels between the brightest white and the darkest black. A good contrast ratio of 120:1 easily displays vivid colors, while ratios as high as 300:1 support superior grayscaling." (Source: NEC) The 711T actually comes in on top with this one, with a HUGE contrast ratio of 1000:1. The 710N comes in behind with a still more then adequate 600:1 ratio, sitting both monitors in the top of the class.
Viewing Angle: More people are getting to know this one, being the angle from side-on and top-down which the monitor is still viewable. Once again, the 711T comes in on top, with a viewing angle of 178°/178° , ousting the 710N with a still respectable 160°/160°
Response Time: This is where the truth lies for gamers. The rest is important, but largely inconsequential if the response time sucks. Luckily for us, Samsung is committed to making quality monitors. With the 710N coming in a huge lead with a miniscule 12ms response time, the 711T is left behind with a largely standard 25ms response time.
Another important part of LCD monitors is that every once in a while you'll see a monitor with a dead pixel. Not a huge problem, but a major annoyance over the long run, and largely indicative of the monitor's overall quality. As we've seen with all of the previous Samsung monitors, both the 710N and 711T came to me with no dead pixels (found through running solid-colour screens on the monitor). Once again indicating the attention to detail in production that is very important for monitors of this quality.
So, the numbers are great...what does this mean when you're playing Half-Life 2 or Doom 3 and the quickness of your trigger finger is sometimes all you can rely upon?
With this testing, it is unfortunately largely subjective, with there being no way to really objectively measure the quality of a gaming monitor other then looking at the numbers. But, I'll strive to do my best (meaning: I'll just have to play a lot of video games. I love this part of the job!).
So, after extensive gaming, and getting a number of outside opinions from people used to gaming, but on CRT as opposed to LCD, we've come to a large conclusion that:
The 710N is the better gaming monitor. Simply put, its the response time. In terms of extensive gameplay, and simply looking for a monitor that's going to allow the quality of gaming on a CRT monitor with the benefits of the smaller LCD screen (can anyone say LAN party?) the 710N came well ahead with virtually no ghosting whatsoever, whereas with the 711T ghosting often became visible in fast gameplay - especially the classic ghosting game CounterStrike (if you monitor can withstand the fast paced environments in this game, its good to go).