VOGONS


CRT Displays Choosing for DOS

Topic actions

First post, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I have the choice of two CRT displays one is a 2001 17" Flat Screen with .25 - .28 dot pitch the other is a 1999 15" with .28 dot pitch seeing as both are the same price which would strictly be better for Dos gaming? does the size matter at all like it does for LCDs or is it simply choosing the one with the better but variable pitch.

Not sure the models matter here as information is pretty dang scarce on 20 year old CRTs and both of them are rebranded, both can do 1024x768@85hz but the 17" can run to 1600x1200@60hz.

The 17" appears to be better but its also a good bit bigger and a lot heavier, the 15" is smaller and weighs quit a bit less its only 14KG.

Still trying to decide which would work better for DOS or if I should just stick to the Dell 2007FB im currently using, I dont need a CRT but these are cheap enough I wouldn't mine grabbing one.

Im crazy not stupid, well not stupid enough to make claims that are total nonsense.

Reply 1 of 36, by Byrd

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

What PC would you run the CRT? If purely DOS (eg. 486/Pentium), the 15" would be fine and lower resolution games will look better. Go the 17" if you are also running Windows and if it's a later system like a Pentium 2 and above. If you can, test both.

Reply 2 of 36, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Byrd wrote on 2021-12-19, 07:33:

What PC would you run the CRT? If purely DOS (eg. 486/Pentium), the 15" would be fine and lower resolution games will look better. Go the 17" if you are also running Windows and if it's a later system like a Pentium 2 and above. If you can, test both.

It'll be a floating monitor honestly, I have a number of systems ranging from DOS/win9x through to Pentium III and early P4, I cant test the CRTs myself as they are a State over but the Seller has sent me a video and pics of each running and both are bright, sharp and no weird noises, colours look to be nice too.

Im crazy not stupid, well not stupid enough to make claims that are total nonsense.

Reply 3 of 36, by AlexZ

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I have 19" AOC 9GlrA for DOS/Windows 98 and I find it perfect. 15" is way too small nowadays. It can also do 1600x1200 at 75Hz. I would definitely pick 17" in your place. 15" would be more appropriate for 386-486 which cannot take advantage of higher resolutions than 640x480.

Old CRTs can make high pitched noise in certain resolutions. My AOC 9GlrA makes it sometimes after being turned on in standard DOS text mode, however it goes away after about one minute. It seems to be temperature related. Seller sending you a video of the monitor in operation cannot rule it out. It isn't a problem if it is merely temporary.

Pentium III 900E, ECS P6BXT-A+, 384MB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, Voodoo 2 12MB, 80GB HDD, Yamaha SM718 ISA, 19" AOC 9GlrA
Athlon 64 3400+, MSI K8T Neo V, 1GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT 256MB, 250GB HDD, Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 4 of 36, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
AlexZ wrote on 2021-12-19, 08:48:

I have 19" AOC 9GlrA for DOS/Windows 98 and I find it perfect. 15" is way too small nowadays. It can also do 1600x1200 at 75Hz. I would definitely pick 17" in your place. 15" would be more appropriate for 386-486 which cannot take advantage of higher resolutions than 640x480.

Old CRTs can make high pitched noise in certain resolutions. My AOC 9GlrA makes it sometimes after being turned on in standard DOS text mode, however it goes away after about one minute. It seems to be temperature related. Seller sending you a video of the monitor in operation cannot rule it out. It isn't a problem if it is merely temporary.

Oh im aware of that high pitch squealing of the monitor warming up, I remember it well 🤣, used to have a 21" Trinitron that would do it for the first minute of operation till it got warm, wish i still had that monitor as it was kitted out with nearly a dozen input/output types but younger me was a dumb ass and threw out a monitor worth several thousand back in the day.

Im crazy not stupid, well not stupid enough to make claims that are total nonsense.

Reply 5 of 36, by Ydee

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
TrashPanda wrote on 2021-12-19, 06:08:

but the 17" can run to 1600x1200@60hz.

This resolution on CRT is useless unless you want to cry bloody tears - the absolute minimum for CRT is 75Hz, 85Hz is sure and 100Hz comfortable. But if you have a room, I'd vote 17" here.

Reply 6 of 36, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Ydee wrote on 2021-12-19, 09:53:
TrashPanda wrote on 2021-12-19, 06:08:

but the 17" can run to 1600x1200@60hz.

This resolution on CRT is useless unless you want to cry bloody tears - the absolute minimum for CRT is 75Hz, 85Hz is sure and 100Hz comfortable. But if you have a room, I'd vote 17" here.

1024x768 @ 85 is my perfect sweet spot really, 1600x1200 at any refresh rate on a 17" I cant read in any case .. the text be too damn small, even on the 20" LCD 1600x1200 has the same issue and honestly the GPUs im using with this CRT wont do 1600x1200 60 FPS in any case.

Edit - Managed to find a tech manual for it and it'll run up to 140hz on the vertical refresh so it should do 1024x768 above 85hz

I went and grabbed the 17", since itll be used for Win9x and XP too

Im crazy not stupid, well not stupid enough to make claims that are total nonsense.

Reply 8 of 36, by maxtherabbit

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Ydee wrote on 2021-12-19, 09:53:
TrashPanda wrote on 2021-12-19, 06:08:

but the 17" can run to 1600x1200@60hz.

This resolution on CRT is useless unless you want to cry bloody tears - the absolute minimum for CRT is 75Hz, 85Hz is sure and 100Hz comfortable. But if you have a room, I'd vote 17" here.

absolute tripe - I run all my CRTs at 60Hz and don't give a shit

Reply 11 of 36, by clueless1

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
TrashPanda wrote on 2021-12-19, 10:14:

I went and grabbed the 17", since itll be used for Win9x and XP too

Newer too, so potentially more reliable.

Pure DOS, I'd go 15in. VGA resolution games look better.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 12 of 36, by aitotat

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I really like 15" CRTs. They are perfect for DOS. New enough for OSD and no black borders (but 14" with large dot pitch can look nicer for games). 17" have too noticable scanlines and usually too sharp image for DOS resolutions but they are better for Windows. If scanlines and sharpness does not matter, then better to go for 19" instead of 17"
However good quality 17" is always better than cheap 19" because 19" CRTs suffer from geometry errors much more than 17". Also the 19" CRT monitors can be very large, much larger than you would expect from two more inches.

So size is not everything. Good colors and no geometry errors are the most important.

Reply 14 of 36, by dionb

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

One thing missing here (though implied) is what kind of mask the CRTs have. The two options are shadow mask vs aperture grille. The former is basically a plate with holes, the latter a grid of wires. All things being identical, aperture grille gives a sharper, more angular picture, where aperture grille sort of anti-aliases everything. In some ways the image produced by aperture grille CRTs looks 'too' sharp, the way TFT does too. Particularly at lower resolutions, many people prefer the 'more authentic' look of shadow mask.

Chances are that the flat screen CRT is an aperture grille, and that the 15" 0.28dp is a shadow mask.

Irritating issue is that certainly by the later years of CRT monitors, almost all high-end screens were aperture grille (mainly Sony Trinitron or Mitsubishi Diamondtron tubes), so getting a good-quality shadow mask screen is very difficult, and a lot of the drawbacks of screens you can get have more to do with low-spec, low build quality designs than shadow mask as such.

I for one would kill for a good 17" 0.25dp shadow mask screen capable of >90kHz horizontal scan rate so that it's great for DOS but if I use it for Windows, it doesn't make my eyes explode. Unfortunately I'm not sure such a screen ever existed, let alone that I could find one now. So I make do with my 17" 0.25db Iiyama Diamondtron instead. And given that OP also wants to run Windows desktops, he's definitely made the right choice here for that very reason.

Reply 15 of 36, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

This one caps out at 86khz horizontal and 140hz on the vertical with 180 MHz pixel clock. the tech manual for whatever reason doesn’t list mask type but at .25 pitch and being flat I think it’s safe to assume a shadow mask.

Found more info on a forum, it’s a shadow mask crt, not quite a trinitron but a very good screen overall.

Last edited by TrashPanda on 2021-12-20, 01:11. Edited 1 time in total.

Im crazy not stupid, well not stupid enough to make claims that are total nonsense.

Reply 16 of 36, by maxtherabbit

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

A 21" trinitron with a fine grille pitch at 60Hz is peak CRT in all use cases and you cannot change my mind. (Unless you can find a larger one) 😀

Reply 17 of 36, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
maxtherabbit wrote on 2021-12-20, 01:08:

A 21" trinitron with a fine grille pitch at 60Hz is peak CRT in all use cases and you cannot change my mind. (Unless you can find a larger one) 😀

I would love another trinitron but they are like finding hens teeth, at least here in Australia. I would hate to see the shipping costs to get one from the US, the 21” I used to have weighed a metric ton.

Im crazy not stupid, well not stupid enough to make claims that are total nonsense.

Reply 18 of 36, by dr.zeissler

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

By far the best monitor for dos-gaming in VGA 320x200 is my IBM 8513.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 19 of 36, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
dr.zeissler wrote on 2021-12-20, 08:15:

By far the best monitor for dos-gaming in VGA 320x200 is my IBM 8513.

True purists use Hercules Orange Monochrome or CGA 😜

That said I spent a few years using CGA for gaming back in the day, in some ways it was better than VGA but that might just be nostalgia talking too.

Im crazy not stupid, well not stupid enough to make claims that are total nonsense.