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Samsung Syncmaster 171B LCD Display

Samsung Syncmaster 171B LCD Display - PCSTATS
Abstract: The 171B shows of the new trend in spiffy silver monitors Samsung appears to be embracing fully.
 79% Rating:   
Filed under: Monitors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Samsung Feb 03 2002   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Monitors > Samsung 171B

TFT Display Evaluation Notes

PCstats TFT Display Evaluation Criteria:

We evaluate the quality of TFT displays with the help of a program called Nokia Monitor Test. The software application displays a range of colours and test patterns that can help diagnose just about any visual problems or defects a TFT display may contain.

It can also be a very useful tool for properly adjusting a display to the optimal settings. The software consists of eleven tests which can be run in steps as adjustments are made to the OSD. As the tests are run we look for the following problems, only one of which should be inoperable (broken pixel).

  • Broken Pixels: What we class as a 'broken pixel' can fall under any one of the following circumstances: Pixel always on (any colour), pixel always off, pixel unable to display a shade (red, green, blue, black, white), pixel shown colour gradient.
  • Pixel Clock: If the number of dot clocks within one horizontal synch are not properly configured the screen will appear to drift or vertical stripes may be generated. This should be correctable by the on screen menu.
  • Phase: If the phase of the display data and dot clock are not correctly tuned the screen can flicker, or text be displayed blurry. For example text may appear dithered, or when looking at a test pattern of a one-pixel black, one-pixel white checkerboard pattern the pattern may be distorted. This should be correctable by the on screen menu.
  • Response Time: We look for any streaking associated with moving a full page of text up or down quickly. Displays with slower refresh rates tend to show some degree of image streaking or text discoloration which can be distracting.
  • Stand Stability: TFT displays are fragile components and the stand should offer adequately stable support as well as be easily adjustable.

    We deduct marks for quality control if there are any predominant broken pixels in a display. While many manufacturers may consider a few broken pixels acceptable, we believe the high cost of TFT displays should translate into a clear and unblemished image.

  • Display Test System Configuration:
    Video Card: MSI GeForce 3 Ti200 (MS8850)
    Operating System: MS Windows XP
    Display Settings: Color Temp: 6500 Kelvin
    Resolution: 1280x1024 pixels
    Frequency: 60Hz
    Colour: 32 Bit
    Display Resolutions:
    Resolution Freq Hor. Freq Ver. Standard
    720X400 31.5 70 VGA
    640x480 31.5 60 VGA
    640x480 37.5 75 VGA
    640x480 43.3 85 VGA
    800x600 46.8 75 VESA
    800x600 53.6 85 VESA
    1024x768 48.3kHz 60Hz XGA
    1024x768 60.0kHz 75Hz XGA
    1024x768 68.7kHz 84Hz XGA
    1280x1024 63.98kHz 60Hz VESA
    1280x1024 79.90kHz 75Hz VESA

    LCD Display Test Overall Test Notes and Observations
    Geometry: 10

    Excellent picture geometry at the 171B's native 1280x1024 resolution. LCD displays as a general rule never have problems displaying straight lines unless they are badly misconfigured.

    Brightness and Contrast: 10

    Very subtle changes are visible from 1% to 9% white as they should be. The 20% to 100% shading bars are nicely transitioned and 100% white is very bright (400:1 contrast ratio remember). Pure black has always been difficult to reproduce on an LCD display, but the 171B manages it to the norm.

    HV Test: 10

    This test is more applicable to CRT displays than it is to an LCD. How ever since it forces the display to show a full screen of black or white, while maintaining a solid white line around the outside it is a good indicator of refresh rates on both the display and pixel levels. On test two, where a full screen of white is blinked on and off, the pixel response times are tested fully. If you watch this test for a minute or so, you can actually see the 60Hz timing blip move slowly down the screen. The pixel refresh rate is 25ms.

    Colour: 10

    The white test screen is bright and very consistent over the full screen real estate. There are no visible dark patches, or banding of any type at the edges. The red test screen is very bright and lush, the green is a bit pale, but bright, and the blue screen test is smooth and intense as it should be.

    Convergence: 9.8

    No monitor ever gets 10 out of 10 in this test on the vertical plane. The grid test patterns in RGB illustrate the worst case situations when different coloured pixels must work closely together, and since they comprise different parts of a pixel they do not line up exactly (see vertical line in image below). The purple test grid is pretty harsh, but the 171B fairs pretty well, even on close inspection. The yellow and light blue test grids are almost perfect, and the RGB is shown below.

    Focus: 10

    Excellent, all patterns are clearly visible and defined in both the horizontal and vertical axis.

    Resolution: 10

    Resolution was also excellent at the native 1280x1024 resolution. The image scaling algorithm was very good at non-native resolutions.

    Moire: 10

    Excellent, all test patterns were displayed properly and without interference or 'walking lines'.

    Other Evaluation Notes:


    The pixel refresh rate is 25ms, and there were no broken pixels in the unit we tested. The stand was very stable, and we didn't have any concerns about it tipping over. However, since it is adjustable in the vertical axis, the stand is spring loaded. Lifting up the unit allows the stand to extend fully, so it must be re-adjusted when placed back down. There were no problems with Phase at 60Hz.

    Final Evaluation Notes & Conclusions

    Compared to other displays in the 17" range we have reviewed, the 171B is one of the most economical options. Retailing for around $800USD, the 171B offers superb display attributes (400:1 contrast, 240cd/m2 brightness) and pixel response times.

    By removing all the extraneous features like DVI and integrating the power supply directly into the unit, Samsung have shown us that they can offer a very stylish silver monitor with an excellent LCD glass panel at relatively 'value' market prices.

    The are really no perks with this display other than an adjustable stand which offers users 90 degrees of rotation, and vertical height adjustments. Is this really a useful feature? Well, I wouldn't put it at the top of my list, but it does come in handy, especially if you look at a lot of webpages, or do a lot of typing. In realistic terms however, it is hard to break away from the conception that we must always look at displays from the landscape perspective.

    So where the user is concerned, there are some definite advantages to the ability to quickly tilt a display and look at longer uninterrupted pages. Where this feature will probably find the most use is in specialized business applications, where large spreadsheets, or demos need that extra vertical real estate. Anyhow, apart from the standard Kensington lock on the back of the panel there really isn't much in the way of extra features with this LCD display - and that keeps the price down.

    Personally, I'm most impressed with the LCD glass characteristics, as it is these which make the greatest impression with users over time. The excellent contrast and very good brightness ratings coupled with the 25ms pixel response and wide viewing angles are a welcome sight.

    In too many cases we usually see value market displays retailing for low prices, but still packing tons of features. The only way these prices are being supported is by going for lower quality LCD panels as that is the single most expensive component in a LCD display.

    Samsung have kind of turned that trait on its head and integrated a very capable LCD glass with a display short on features. While $800USD is still quite a lot of cash to spend on a 17" LCD display, it is comparably low in the overall price group. When you consider that, the great LCD glass used on the 171B, and the fact that this display is 65mm thick with the screen real estate of a 19" CRT, you can see Samsung make a good case for themselves. Bottom line, the 171B is an affordable display with very little in the way of unnecessary extra features.

    You tell us, do you think this LCD display is as good as we think it is? Come to the forums and let us know what you think about it.

    < Previous Page © 2018 PCSTATS.com Monitors News»


    Contents of Article: Samsung 171B
     Pg 1.  Samsung Syncmaster 171B LCD Display
     Pg 2.  The 171B Display Up Close
     Pg 3.  Analog Standard, USB Hub & New OSD Menu
     Pg 4.  — TFT Display Evaluation Notes

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