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TFT vs CRT monitor comparison

February 02, 2008 - 11:30

Quite a lot of our customers these days go for TFT monitors when they buy their computers. Most buy their TFTs because they look better than CRT monitors and because the price differentials are much lower than what they used to be. We try our best to convey to our customers the differences between CRTs and TFTs and the specific scenarios when one is better than the other. Some times we get through and some times we don't. Here we would like to bring out the differences between the two types of monitors and their pros and cons.

Traditionally all computer monitors used to be CRT monitors which are quite similar to the CRT televisions we have in our homes. LCD monitors were only used with laptops as the price differences were quite high. However as technology advanced and the price differences between CRTs and TFTs came down it became viable to sell computers with TFT (or LCD) monitors. The display device in a CRT monitor is a cathode ray tube which is inherently bulky and power-thirsty whereas the display device in a TFT monitor is a flat array of Thin Film Transistors which makes the TFT monitors much smaller in size and also less power consuming.

The major differences between the two are

1) CRT monitors are bulky and consume a lot of table space where as TFT monitors are thin and occupy less space.

2) TFT monitors are more easy on the eyes of the viewer than CRT monitors.

3) CRT monitors have much much faster response times than TFT monitors. Response time is the time interval taken by a pixel on the screen to transit from the on state to the off state or reverse.

4) TFT monitors consume less power than CRT monitors. A typical 15" CRT monitor consumes about 100W of power whereas a corresponding TFT monitor would only consume 30W of power.

5) TFT monitors looks more elegant than CRT monitors.

6) CRT monitors tend to have much better color responses than TFT monitors. In other words CRT monitors display colors much better than TFT monitors.

Based on the above differences we can easily make certain deductions about the scenario's where each of these types of monitors are ideal.

1) You save 70W when you use a 15" TFT monitor instead of a 15" CRT monitor. This would translate to around 1 unit of electricity every 14 hours of usage. So depending on your usage patter you can see how long it would take to break even on the cost differential through energy savings. Say 1 Unit of energy costs 8 Rupees (approx 20 cents) and the cost differential is Rs 4000 (approx 100$) and you use your monitor for 10 hours every day, you will break even in around 700 working days. The equation used is simple; No of days for breaking even = ((Cost Differential/Cost per unit)*14)/(Hours used per day). Based on your usage pattern and your budget you can use the above data to make an educated decision.

2) If you are a graphics artist and you require close to realistic representation of colors you will have to go for a CRT monitor irrespective of any other factors.

3) If you are a gamer then depending on the type of games you play you will have to choose between CRT and TFT monitors. If you play very fast moving games then response times of the monitors comes into play and you might end up having to buy a CRT monitor to get a smooth gaming experience. If however you play more strategy games than action or racing games then depending your other usage patterns you can decide between either a TFT or a CRT.

4) If you have to move your residence frequently as part of your job and you have to have a desktop, then a TFT monitor would make more sense. It should be noted that a laptop would make even more sense in such cases.

5) If you are running a software development center it might be wiser to select TFTs for your software developers and CRTs for your graphics guys. If you are running any other kind of office where your computers remain on most of the day then TFTs would pay for themselves in a few years and would be the ideal choice.

6) If you are running a retail outlet a TFT would give your POS counter a more professional look and also help you save on your electricity bills.

7) Small or restricted work areas also place a default preference of TFT monitors over CRT monitors.

If you need help in deciding between a TFT monitor or a CRT monitor, do get in touch with us using the comments form below and we will try to help you in making your decision.

Post your comments / questions

Its a good and accurate comparison. Thanks

I am looking to buy a new desktop with 19" TFT. I am confused as there are many TFTs. Some people say Samsung Myst is better and some say LG is better? Can any one suggest about the model I need to choose?

What are all the things we need to consider before making a decision ?

1) Customer service of the brand
2) Cost of the product
3) Your main use and correspondingly the response times
4) Market feedback about the brand.

i'd like to know that which monitor most suited i.e TFT or crt if i using a adobe photoshop software and i also owns a photo studio ,so pls sugest me about this


Dear Prasanth,
If you are primarily going to work on editing images or graphics design, I would recommend a CRT because the color representation on CRTs and LCDs still have lot of differences.
Anoop John
Team Zyxware


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