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The color temperature setup is good in both versions of the monitor. The difference between the temperatures of white and grays is about 300K (except for the darkest gray that differs by 1000K from white in the newer model and even more in the older model). This setup isn’t perfect for processing colorful images, yet it’s close to that.

The color gamut of both monitors is standard with an extended green zone and a slightly displaced point of red as compared with the sRGB color space.


SyncMaster 971P, old modification


SyncMaster 971P, new modification

As is usual with PVA matrixes, transitions between darkest tones are problematic. On matrixes without RTC such transitions would take as long as 100 milliseconds and more, making *VA matrixes unsuitable for dynamic games and even for watching movies. RTC technology solved that problem and the two versions of the 971P are quite suitable for games/movies as well as for work. The average response time of the older model is 13 milliseconds. The newer model has a response average of 14.6 milliseconds. This is a good result for a PVA matrix, but the fastest of PVA matrixes have already got as fast as 10 milliseconds and faster! The maximums are still very high: 92 and 71 milliseconds on the older and newer versions of the monitor, respectively. These occur on just a few transitions in the area of darkest halftones. As a matter of fact, *VA matrixes have profited the most from RTC technology as it has transformed such monitors from purely office/work products into home/gaming monitors as well.


SyncMaster 971P, old modification


SyncMaster 971P, new modification

The level of RTC errors is low. The average is only 4.4% for the older model and 4.8% for the newer model. The maximums of errors are 29.6% and 26.6%, respectively. These are good results. Most users won’t notice any RTC artifacts on these monitors.

The max brightness is sufficient while the contrast ratio is far beyond the reach of TN matrixes, especially in the newer model. The level of black is very low, which is the reason why the resulting contrast ratio is so high. The calibrator could hardly measure it, giving out zero brightness of black instead.

The SyncMaster 971P is a stylish monitor in both its versions. Moreover, it is one of the few 19” monitors with a matrix other than TN, which means excellent viewing angles and a high contrast ratio. This model is going to look appropriately on a chief’s desk at an office, or at your home as a universal monitor for movies, games and work. The monitor is expensive, but I guess it is worth the money.

Considering the obvious superiority of the new version of the 971P in terms of setup quality, you may ask me how to tell the two versions apart. First, they have different full names. The older version is called SyncMaster 971P PXHV while the newer version is called SyncMaster 971P XXHV (full product names are sometimes written into price lists). And second, the newer version has a dynamic contrast mode which is missing in the older one. So, if the monitor description lists a contrast ratio of 3000:1 instead of 1500:1, this is an indication of the newer version of the monitor, too.

 
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