Apart from the refresh rate, my impressions about this monitor can be expressed in one line: it is an ordinary TN-based modern monitor with acceptable colors, good horizontal and passable vertical viewing angles. Its image is not affected by the fact that it is meant for 3D glasses. You can go to any shop and take a look at any other TN-based monitor from Samsung to get a notion of what the SyncMaster 2233RZ looks like when working at 60Hz.
It was easy to switch to 120Hz: the appropriate refresh rate was available in the monitor’s system settings.
And my impressions about the 120Hz mode are highly positive.
First of all, the difference between 120 and 60Hz is perceptible even in the OS interface. The movements of the mouse pointer and application windows get much smoother, especially in Windows XP and Windows Vista Home Basic. The polished-off Aero interface of Windows Vista Home Premium is visually smooth even at 60Hz.
Second, the RTC artifacts are reduced considerably. I could clearly see white trails behind text in a moving window at 60Hz but there were almost none of them at 120Hz. The response time proper remains subjectively the same as at 60Hz, but dynamic visual content looks much better.
Third, 120Hz makes a difference for games if your graphics card is able to render so many frames per second. I wouldn’t say that it is a dramatic breakthrough (although hardcore gamers may talk about a few milliseconds’ advantage over the opponent), but it is much more fun to play at 120Hz than at 60Hz thanks to the smoother motion and the lack of RTC artifacts.
Frankly speaking, I had not expected the difference between the refresh rate of 60Hz and 120Hz to be so conspicuous. It is indeed clear to a naked eye and is always in favor of the higher value. Smoother motion and the lack of RTC artifacts leave a highly positive impression, making you unwilling to return to 60Hz.
Generally speaking, I think this is one of the key features of the future success of the GeForce 3D Vision. With other stereoscopic vision technologies you need to buy a special monitor that does not work well in ordinary 2D mode (at least, I was not impressed with the image quality of the Zalman Trimon or iZ3D) but it is just the opposite with the GeForce 3D Vision. It makes sense to buy the monitor compatible with these glasses even if you don’t care about the glasses proper just because the monitor is better than ordinary ones!
I won’t be surprised if many gamers and even ordinary users will soon buy 120Hz LCD monitors for home even though they won’t even care about purchasing stereoscopic glasses. And it will be odd for the manufacturers to tout such monitors only as accessories to Nvidia’s 3D glasses, omitting to note their advantages in 2D mode.
But now let’s proceed to objective numbers. I will test the monitor according to our standard methodology and check out its speed and image quality in comparison with ordinary 60Hz monitors.