A Little About This Section
As mentioned on the previous page in my Closing section of the Omnis-System Guide proper, in the following sections I’ll go through the various peripherial systems that you may want to (or need to) connect to your amazing fancy new system!
I will not necessarily provide a Suggestion, Alternate, and Other Consideration in the following sections, and I will likely be far less in depth (and far more anectodal and casual), but based on my experience and knowledge I will try to provide you with as much information as I can so you can hopefully choose components that will fit your needs better than had you not read the content below (if that’s not a completely obvious statement!).
Additionally, I will try to bring you to information about components (or types of components) that you might not have otherwise been exposed to. I may outright fail in this if you’re already a hardcore power-user, but if nothing else I may provide reinforcement and agreeance to that which you already suspect or know!
In any case, enjoy and have fun!
Note: I will also be aiming to expand most, if not all, of these sections in the Mark 2 version of my guide (see my Closing section above for more information).
For my own display I run an older 46″ Samsung 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV. If you have the money for it, and if you plan on just running a single 1080p display for gaming, this can definitely be a good route to go (a large’ish, 1080p HDTV) as it will also serve wonderfully as a home theater display as well.
If you do go this route, be sure to figure out exactly what size of screen will best work for your home theater room. A THX Viewing Distance Calculator can be a huge help here. It can help you avoid getting too small or too big of a display for your chosen space. Too big may seem counter-intuitive, but as the display size increases the pixel size also increases, thus for the best possible picture quality heeding the recommendation of the calculator would be a good idea! With that said, I generally sit much closer to my display that the THX Viewing Distance Calculator would advise.
If the single big display isn’t quite what you’re looking for, or is outside your budget but you’re interested in NVIDIA’s upcoming enhancements to 3D Surround Vision, then be aware that you’ll need three of the same monitors (which meet all of NVIDIA’s requirements) to make this work! (See their guide here for more details).
For something like this I would definitely go with monitors in the 22-24″ size (at 1080p resolution each).
If you’re not familiar with 3D Surround vision, essentially what it does is expand your peripheral vision in any games that support it. Of course, adding 3D to the mix and this should be an immersion double whammy!
Personally, 3D Surround Vision will be a goal of mine for my next system. Not necessarily at first, but I will plan the system so that when I can afford it (likely a year or so after the initial build) I will be able to slap in another GPU (likely a GTX 670) and plug in two more monitors, and be in a whole new world of visual immersion!
Moving on from NVIDIA’s particular 3D options for gaming, if you are instead interested in multi-media 3D (cinema, television), you’ll generally want to aim for a monitor with 240 Hz or more. This is because the display needs to essentially run two images instead of just the one, as such each image would run at half of the display’s total speed (so 120 Hz each for a display that’s capable of 240 Hz). Unfortunately, at this point we still don’t have a standardized 3D technology (kinda like HD DVD versus Blu-ray, but even worse!).
As such, until we do you will need to research your particular display’s capabilities as much as possible. Also, the technology is evolving quickly so be careful before investing in a display that may not meet your desires in the not too distant future!
In terms of the display technology itself, LCD LED is currently the most popular offering. Be careful though, as the biggest benefits from LED LCD’s are their ability to improve the blacks of the display (something LCD’s are notoriously bad at). Most of the “cheaper” LED LCD’s do not have this ability. They will generally still consume less energy than the older LCD’s, but they generally do not offer the improved blacks that the more expensive LED LCD’s offer (for Samsung, look for the “micro dimming” feature)!
Other than that, make sure the display you get offers the latest connection standards. At bare minumum you’ll want HDMI 1.4a (ideally, 1.4b) and/or DisplayPort 1.2 (which has been out since 2009). Additionally, if you’re aiming for NVIDIA’s 3D Surround Vision you’ll need displays with Dual-Link DVI (again, see the guide linked above).
As far as brand names go, I’ve always been partial to Samsung since I spent a good amount of time traveling around and looking at as many displays as possible. Samsung has consistently looked the best to me. I would recommend doing something similar the next time you’re in the market for a display though. Hit up as many brick and mortar shops as you can, and see for yourself as many displays as possible.
That’s it for Displays. Next up, audio!