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On the one hand, the angle is smaller if the difference between the initial and final states of the pixel is small. On the other hand, the speed of the crystal’s turning is proportional to the applied electrical field. LCD panels are controlled by voltage, so we need less voltage to turn a cell by a small degree, and the electric field is weaker. Thus, there are two controversial tendencies: the rotation angle is smaller, but the speed of rotation is lower, too. Different matrix types arrange crystals in different ways, so the manufacturing technology determines what tendency wins in this particular case. The maximum response time of TN-Film matrixes falls on average rotation angles, and this time is the smallest when the pixel is turned by the smallest or biggest angle. The PVA technology produces a higher response time as the rotation angle diminishes. The following graph is a good illustration of the fact:

The contrast ratio proved to be good, above 400:1. However, this is no record for PVA matrixes, which can show a twice higher contrast ratio. When working with a bright screen in a dim room, you may notice that the black color is really dark-gray. On the other hand, this result is very good compared with what we get from typical monitors with TN+Film matrixes.

I’d like to turn to the response time measurements once again. As you see, the pixel rise and fall times are about equal by SyncMaster 172X. On the one hand, this produces a high total response time, but if you compare this to a typical monitor with a 25msec matrix (22msec rise and 3msec fall), the PVA matrix will surely look visually better. For example, if we had a thin line moving around a screen that has the pixel rise time much higher than the fall time, one end of the line (which switches on) would be blurred, while the other wouldn’t be blurred at all (3msec is too low to be perceived by the human eye – that’s closer to CRT monitors). As a result, the width of the moving line would change greatly. On a monitor with equal pixel rise and fall times, both ends of the moving line would be blurred and the line would keep its width, only by changing its brightness (for example, a black line on white background would look dark-gray). The latter effect looks subjectively better than the changes of the width, as it is closer to the natural “blurring” of fast-moving objects.

Quite contrary to the manufacturer’s claims at the company website, this monitor is unsuitable for dynamic computer games as it uses a PVA matrix. If you are into 3D shooters such as Counter Strike or Unreal Tournament, you will hardly like this monitor: the image will become blurred at sudden movements, and if the action goes on indoors, with low contrast, the blur will become simply unacceptable. Keeping this in mind I can conclude that SyncMaster 172X with its PVA matrix becomes a perfect choice for working with text, images, drawings, especially now that 17” LCD monitors on MVA and IPS matrixes have nearly left the market. Excellent viewing angles and contrast ratio, good color reproduction and response time on “black-to-white” transitions are the key advantages of the PVA matrix over TN+Film matrixes in the above-enumerated tasks. And those features are packed into the beautiful case of SyncMaster 172X here.

It may turn out, though, that Samsung starts putting fast TN+Film matrixes into the 172X series monitors and this will change them completely. SyncMaster 172X will become yet another gaming model. You can easily distinguish between TN+Film and PVA matrixes when shopping. Just look at the screen from below: the top of the TN+Film matrix will become dark, while PVA matrixes will provide a pure picture.

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