Need to understand panels types. S-IPS? TN? Help...


Jul 22, 2006
What's the difference between these panels types:

What makes an ultrasharp different? Is it better? What reflects glare more?

I have used a 19" Sony Trinitron CRT for years, but it's on it's last legs.

I have a ViewSonic 19" Widescreen VA1912WB on my wife PC and it just sucks at native resolution 1440 x 900 for gaming at 18". Really distorted and jaggy screen. I play BF2, BF2142, and DDO and when you play for hours, the screens makes a huge difference.

My Dell 9300 Laptop with the Ultrasharp screen is a beautiful LCD on these games (have the optional Go6800 card in laptop) and I'm looking for the same level of clarity that I have on the Sony CRT or the Dell laptop on a 20+ inch screen.

I need some advice. Price is not really an issue. Screen quality is everything.

My Rig:
Core 2 Duo X6800 Conroe
Intel D975XBX-LKR
Thermaltake Big Typhoon HSF
2 GB Corsair Pro PC6400 4-4-4-15
74GB 10k Raptor
SB Audigy 2 ZS
NEC DVD OEM Burners (x2)
Ultra X-Finity 600w SLi Certified PS
Gigabyte 3D Aurora Case
What's the difference between these panels types:

What makes an ultrasharp different? Is it better? What reflects glare more?

Basically speaking:

TN = Twisted Nematic - These are 6-bit screens that cannot really reproduce 16.7 million colors. They can only reproduce 262,144 colors; 64 shades of Red, Green & Blue. Thats (2^6)^3 or 64^3. All the other colors are created through a process called dithering. These typically have fast response times (for gaming) at the expense of color accuracy. These are inexpensive monitors.

MVA = Multidomain Vertical Alignment
PVA = Patterned-ITO Vertical Alignment

MVA and PVA panel are the most common 8-bit LCD screen around. They are relatively slow compared to TN, but offers better color accuracy. Good viewing angles and contrast ratio. However not all MVA and PVA panels are 8-bit screens. S-MVA and S-PVA are typically the ones that are 8-bit panel from my research. S = Super.

8-bit LCDs can truly reproduce 16.7 million colors. That's because there will be 256 shades of each color (2^8 ); Red, Green & Blue. Therefore 256^3 = 16.7 million (actually, a little more).

S-IPS = Super In-Plane Switching. These are high end and really expensive LCD panels. All these panels are 8-bit panels and comes the closest to CRT image quality. From what I've read they also have very good response times as well. LCD monitors geared towards graphic artists who demands the most color accuracy are designed with these type of panels. That means the shades of color you see on the screen are the exact shades that will be printed out on a good color printer.

To give you a rough idea of the price of a 20.1" LCD monitor based on these different panels:

TN = $200-$300

MVA/PVA = $400 - $600

S-IPS = $1,000+


Apr 30, 2011

(In-Plane Switching) IPS Panel is one of the best panel these days,
It provides us wide viewing angle up to '178 degree', and produce bright images.
Its response time is faster as compare to any conventional panel.

More about IPS Panel...Just follow the link: