Buying a computer system/1 more follow-up


QUESTION: Greetings:

I think I ran out of follow-ups. I often use headphones and really like the ASUS VK248H which is just a bit larger then the viewsonic (23 versus 24"). Small things are sometimes helpful...I have gone near crazy hooking up headphones from flat screen rear audio outs as we travel the globe...for lack of urrrgghhh a headphone jack. Save that 50 cents etc. Soooo nice to see the ASUS has one and learned the View Sonic does not. You had me researching a new one...Display Port. Sort of like an all in one and you likely use an HDMI cable adaptor to it (per YouTube)... BUT alas though you mention this ASUS has a Display Port all the specs I have seen seem to say no display port though no problem since they say it has all the desired HDMI, VGA, DVI inputs. Also some settings that I think will auto adjust for such as HDMI video input. So this one is now on the top of my list. Super THANKS.
Steve T.

ANSWER: Yes, I believe the AE software unfortunately only allows for 2 or 3 follow-ups. Regarding headphones - there's many options there, including USB devices that will provide an amplified headphone jack. Like this:

It would work independently of the monitor and other peripherals, so that regardless of what you upgraded, that device would always be available. The downside is that the KVM previously suggested does not have enough USB ports to connect that device, and a mouse and keyboard (unless you were using a wireless setup like Logitech's Unifying system, which will use a single wireless adapter to connect both). So you could either replug it to the VAIO if you wanted audio there (I'm assuming the new Lenovo will be used the majority of the time), or connect the VAIO's line-out to the Lenovo's line-in, and send the audio that way (this should just require a single TRS cable).

Just food for thought though - not anything essential.

DisplayPort itself is relatively similar to HDMI in concept (more specifics:, the "gotcha" is that it allows for daisy-chaining of displays and other computer-tailored operations (like sending USB). I do not remember seeing a DP output on the new Lenovo (but there may be; it's not entirely rare as an interface, but it isn't that common either), but remember that to use the KVM you will need to stick to VGA, based on the VAIO. If you aren't taking advantage of DisplayPort's more advanced features, there's no reason to go that route over HDMI, and if you don't need audio on the same carrier, VGA and DVI are just as acceptable. Regarding the ASUS 248, it would appear that you are correct - it does not have a DisplayPort connection ( Sorry for any confusion this may have caused; must've mis-read from another monitor's product page.

Here's an example of what DisplayPort is "good" for: (multiple displays can be "linked" and a single connection to the PC made, simplifying setup)


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

I intended this as a final big thank you but managed to come up with one more question. I purchased the Lenovo K450 super packed as described. Frys price matched Tiger Direct (who has awful customer reviews) so paid $825. They suggested and I purchased the ASUS VN247H which has all the inputs. Hooked up speakers I already had. Have yet to hook up the lenovo. Forgot that I had some time ago hooked up a monoprice 2 way video splitter 400Mhz to view my screen in the my next door exercise room with large flat screen using a remote gyration mouse. works great. I order the KVM and can remove the Monoprice for now OR would this work? Install the KVM and run the monitor out into the Monoprice with its two monitor outs to the new ASUS and my next door flat screen. So 2 PCs to 2 monitors/screens??? Oh forgot that using the headphone plug on the ASUS cuts off the sound so not practical but as you know my Sony speakers with headphone plug ..much better! Again thanks for all the great help. Will be sure to do my rating. Oh the ASUS is like 1ms rather then 5 or 3v3n 2 which I was told is best for all the video I will be using.

You should be able to use the VGA splitter on the KVM's output, yes - it will mirror the video feed to both monitors as desired. I would not expect there to be any problems (if the KVM were also an amplifier, you would likely have issues due to the signal being so heavily amplified, but most KVMs are fairly "dumb" devices that just switch A to B). Keep in mind that your input devices will still be separate (so the Gyration will need to be connected separately to a single machine, unless you have spare USB connections available on the KVM).

The Asus cutting its speakers when devices are plugged into it is likely to do with the monitor's internal design. Nothing that can be done about that. If you connect your stand-alone speakers separately to the PC (or via KVM, if you bought the model with audio) you will bypass this. If you still want to use the audio feature from the Asus as well, get a 3.5mm TRS Stereo to 2x 3.5mm TRS Stereo "y-splitter" and fork the output from the PC (or KVM) to both your stand-alone speakers and the monitor. Shouldn't cost more than a dollar or two via Monoprice; like this:

Regarding the "1ms" comment - I'm not entirely following what you're trying to describe here, but quoted display latency on modern LCDs is usually VASTLY inflated (just like contrast ratio). The 6-8ms GTG range is generally where most monitors will fall when measured fairly, and this will produce a fine image. Roughly 16ms is the "requirement" for 60hz (if field rate is at 60hz the screen refreshes every 16.667ms from source, so if the panel can redraw 16ms or faster, it will conform to the desired field rate; frame rate and shutter speed are independent of this, and will be determined by your source media). For a great explanation of this:
And: (note that there are some technical inaccuracies of this article - the mention of "600hz LCD televisions" for example; Motion Interpolation is a separate concept and does not directly relate to the panel's response time - also keep in mind that MI generally incurs 200-400ms of input latency while the DSP is working, which is perfectly fine for multimedia playback (e.g. watching a movie), but generally unusable for any sort of direct-input usage (e.g. playing a videogame) because the latency is higher than the average human response time, so the system will feel "sluggish" in response to its controls).

Ultimately modern displays tend to be free of the "ghosting" issues that were commonly associated with LCD monitors a decade ago, as the technology has improved dramatically (both in terms of their input processing, but also in terms of the panels themselves). Unfortunately the marketing has run quite a bit ahead of the technology, so you get displays marketed with absolutely ridiculous specifications like billion-to-one contrast ratios or sub-ms response times. This is mostly a side-effect of display designers doing such a fantastic job over the last few years (LCDs have been "perfected" for probably 5-6 years, but it's hard for the sales guys to sell the same product at the same price year-on-year, so the marketing guys come up with "improvements"). When it comes to the "ideal display system" for video (or photo work), color accuracy is generally a bigger concern than redraw (because most video runs at a relatively low frame rate, and pull-down or interlacing are generally a non-concern if you aren't working with actual film). Basically the "benefit" is that you have a more accurate rendering of what you're working on, and have a better idea of how it actually looks. Calibration products exist, and may be worth looking into. For example Datacolor's Spyder hardware:

Calibration is especially helpful if you use multiple monitors when editing video/photography, because it makes it produces are more seamless workspace (as opposed to each monitor having a slightly different brightness and white balance). Here's more technical information about that: (the first example picture, with the flower, is a good illustration of the same image with different white balance - this is not an uncommon phenomenon with uncalibrated monitors running in a multi-display environment).

Finally, regarding Tiger Direct (and Systemax, their parent, as a whole) - I've heard the same complaints about how "terrible" they are over the years, however I have never personally experienced that (nor has anyone I've worked with or known). In general they seem to be a fairly reputable company, if a bit slow to ship or respond to customer inquiries (in the era of Amazon, however, many other retailers will likely appear "slow"). This is not to say that Fry's is a bad choice (and generally price-match guarantees also carry a few % discount, so you probably got the best possible price for the new machine - which is what I generally suggest people look for), I just have never seen the complaints regarding Tiger Direct "validated" by real-world experience.


Buying a computer system

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.


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