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Samsung SyncMaster 2233rz

Roundup: 22-Inch LCD Monitors
The idea

Instead of using 120 Hz for a single image, the graphics card sends two images at 60 Hz. The glasses, which are made up of two LCD screens, mask one eye, then the other.

Its then up to your brain to handle the image like it would any real object and mix the images to get the 3D effect.

The Samsung SyncMaster 2233rz is a bit of a mouthful to say, but shouldn’t have much trouble in making itself known as it joins a select group of 3D monitors. Take note: here we have a new legendary screen, a monitor that turns the world on its head, introducing a real technological change and even, let’s not be afraid to say it, a true revolution in terms of LCDs.

The 2233rz is the first 120 Hz LCD on the market. A real 120 Hz, not interpolated. If the graphics card can handle it, it will display 120 images per second in games, with zero image ghosting and improved fluidity.

If you have a recent NVIDIA card, you will be able to get yourself the wireless 3D glasses so you can play games in 3D. In fact, NVIDIA is recycling an old technology here, making the most of the technical advances of the last 10 years. In the meantime, game quality has improved considerably, 3D cards are much more powerful, and LCDs have moved ahead of CRTs. The whole editorial team gave them a try as did quite a few other people who just happened to be around. Verdict: everyone was knocked out and had a great time blasting zombies that are even more scary as they come at you in 3D.

Gettting back to the tests: we start with response time.

The 2233rz is the most responsive LCD we’ve tested in the last 8 years. To recap, we haven’t been measuring reactivity in terms of miliseconds for a few years as we don’t see this as an accurate way of judging, but rather in terms of the average number of residual frames. That’s to say in terms of colored and light images that ghost behind a moving object. It is these images that create a blurred impression (colored residual images), and white ghosting (transparent residual images). The first score proves much higher than the second, which causes only very slight problems.

The 120 Hz mean that it has half the ghosting of the fastest LCD that we’ve previously tested. Impressive! The second plus point in terms of gameplay is the display delay remains under one frame, a boon for gamers.

120 Hz or a move to 3D?

For those who are willing to pay, the screen gives access to a whole new way of experiencing games: 3D. Apart from the 120 Hz screen (real 120 Hz, not interpolated as on televisions), you also need to have an NVIDIA graphics card higher than a 9600GT (at the moment ATI does not have a 3D solution) and the pair of glasses that go with this technology.

3D in practice

315 games are already compatible with this technology to a certain degree, and we focused on 6 of them:

Race Driver GRID

The 3D effect is already good in this game without the glasses. Using them increases the 3D sensation without revolutionizing the gameplay. Alternating with and without glasses gives a nice variation in effect. If you look at the image of the inside of the cockpit you can see some of the limits in terms of development. Not all the instruments are in 3D.. The steering wheel, for example, or some of the measures on the dashboard are not in 3D on all the cars.

Left 4 Dead

The 3D functions perfectly in this game. Everyone had a great deal of pleasure with this, including the non-gamers in the office. The depth effects are impressive when you go down the escalators or jump in holes from which gangs of zombies appear.

We did note some bugs (even if they didn’t stop us from playing): flashes of white light in some lighting (particularly visible in the metro), and white shadows on your teammates.

Far Cry 2

Very good again, we prefer the 3D to the 2D version of the game. Once you’ve had a taste of the 3D with glasses, it’s difficult to go back.

There are nevertheless a few things that need correcting. The main problem is how the sight is placed. The sighting crosshair is not in 3D but stays on the surface of the image. This is a bit disturbing in the game as you’re constantly refocusing on it. Either you see the cursor in the foreground, or in the back of the screen. This juggling makes your eyes tired, not because of the glasses themselves but because 3D hasn’t been fully implemented into the game. Everything else was very good and we are waiting for this problem to be resolved so we can fully enjoy the game.

World Of Warcraft

There are still a few WoW fanatics in the editorial team, so we had to give WoW a shot on the 2233rz. Unfortunately, the selection function doesn’t appear in 3D. We hope there will be a patch to correct this point, which is a problem when you look to click on an enemy in the back of the image field. Blizzard has produced a special patch that should help with the 3D imaging.

Call of Duty 5

Call of Duty has a 3D sight like Left 4 Dead. Overall, the experience is agreable with just one bug that we noticed: the sight jumps and is doubled when the arm is placed in sight mode and you take aim at an enemy.

Civilization 4

In Civ4, the 3D is functional, but there is no real point to it. Apart from playing with the zoom function, the glasses give nothing extra. This type of game doesn’t yet lend itself to 3D.

Overall rating

With the exception of WoW, 3D is only generated in the deep part of the image. Objects that come out of the screen and move towards you are not handled. Players arms also do not have any physical existence. For example your gun goes through fences and is not affected if you move it to the side through the bars. In the future, provisions will have to be made for this so that clipping isn't as rampant.

Keep in mind that these games were developed before the 3D NVIDIA solution became available. We hope that games under development at the moment and in the future will be able to take this new dimension into account and correct the faults noted here. 3D is without question the future of video games (probably without glasses one day, but that will be much later…) What’s more, this technology, in contrast to the solutions by Hyundai or Zalman, causes very little eye fatigue, or none at all in some cases.

Design and colors

In terms of design, this screen has a similar design to the 2233BW, but without the VGA socket. There is a DVI socket at the back, a base on a platter and flowers stencilled into the back.

The colors are not well set. Both blue and orange come out a bit too much, which is why you get the dominant violet within the greys. Unfortunately we weren’t realy able to sort this out with the manual settings. At best you get a deltaE or 6.9 which isn’t great obviously.

The contrast is higher than 950:1, which combined with its excellent response time, limits flickering in videos. You therefore get a better image than average for films.

Samsung SyncMaster 2233rz
  • Excellent response, the best on the market
  • New game experience with 3D glasses from NVIDIA
  • High contrast
  • Better than average on films
  • Color rendering modes are poor
  • Weak design
  • TN panel = closed angles of vision
  • Expensive

The 2233rz is currently the most responsive screen on the market and by far gives the best performance in 3D. This makes it the reference point in terms of screens in these two domains and gets it a 5-star rating from us. Nevertheless, the design and color quality leave something to be desired.

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