Monitors & VRAM
For seven years Information Systems & Computing (ISC) has recommended a 17-inch cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor as the desktop standard. However, there are a number of special considerations that may modify your specific requirements.
Penn's administrative systems (e.g., BEN, Data Warehouse, and future systems in support of research and student services) based on Oracle's Network Computing Architecture (NCA) are best used at high display resolutions (1024 x 768 or higher) that will support the large window sizes without scrolling. When choosing monitors be sure to specify a size that will support these resolutions comfortably for your users (17-inch minimum, as high as 21-inch recommended for users who are particularly sensitive to display characteristics).
CRT vs LCD?
Advantages of conventional CRT monitors:
- CRT monitors are still considerably less expensive than LCDs. The price differential is narrowing slowly, but paying twice as much for the same screen space is not uncommon.
- One of the mistakes often made with LCDs is to assume that their significantly greater expense equates to high color fidelity. This is not true: a $500 17-inch desktop CRT monitor has better color fidelity than a $1,000 desktop LCD of the same size. Users who perform graphic design or desktop publishing need to be aware of these limitations.
- CRT monitors can switch between multiple resolution without a significant loss in sharpness, while LCDs have only one natural or 'native' resolution. This means that users should be sensitive to whether the native LCD resolution is comfortable for them. See this chart for a comparison of size, resolutions, and dpi: any resolution above approximately 100 dpi may be uncomfortable for some users.
Advantages of LCD displays:
- Space Considerations; In tight quarters, a 17-inch or 19-inch CRT may prove too large. Using a 15-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) may be an effective alternative. As an example, Sony's current business-class 15-inch LCD is 0.8 cubic feet and 10 pounds while their equivalent 17-inch CRT monitor is 2.5 cubic feet and 44 pounds.
- CRT monitors are quite succeptable to electromagnetic interference (such as testing equipment, medical machinery, electrical equipment conduits, and microwave ovens) which bends the rays inside the cathode tube and adversely effects the picture. In general, LCDs are far more resistant to these effects.
- LCDs use significantly less power than CRT monitors.
The Computer Connection offers monitors by Apple, Sony, and Viewsonic. Apple and Dell monitors are also available in build-to-order configurations.
Apple's Studio Display web site.
Sony's VAIO Displays web site.
Viewsonic's web site.