Flat Panel technology is still far from
perfect, at least in this Tech Journalist's eyes. Then
again, so is CRT technology. I guess we're a bit
spoiled here at HotHardware. However, let's face it,
the display you look at on your home or work PC, is easily
the most important piece of equipment in your setup.
If your monitor doesn't cut it, chances are you won't be
happy using the machine that is driving it.
Now, with this
in mind, I think it is safe to say that modern TFT LCD
displays are easily the best 2D Desktop image for the home
user and professional alike. The operative words being
"2D" and "Desktop" here. When you enter Multimedia,
DVD/Video and Gaming into the picture, that's when the line
blurs a little. No pun intended but literally, it can
blur. More on this later but it is safe to say that
Desktop imaging is only part of the story here.
What is ironic
with our showcase product in this article, is the fact that
this LCD specifically has been around since late 1998!
As we all know, that is a "dog's age" in computer gear.
Silicon Graphics 1600SW has garnered so many awards,
even recently, from industry press and analysts, that we
just had to see for ourselves what the buzz was about.
|Specifications and Features Of
The SGI 1600SW Flat Panel LCD
Wide angle fun, sleek,
stylish and pretty
Viewing area size
||17.3"(4 cm) diagonal (19"CRT
14.7"(37 cm) horizontal, 9.2"(23 cm) vertical
Maximum true resolution of 1600x1024 pixels at 60Hz
Supports 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, and 1280x1024
at 60Hz; BIOS modes 720x400, 720x350, 640x400, and
640x350 at 70 Hz;
ANSI/SMPTE 296M-1997 1280x720p HDTV resolution
(requires HD to RGB converter)
Scaled with retained aspect, scaled and stretched to
Dot pitch, dots per inch
mm, 110 dpi
Film Transistor (TFT) Active Matrix Liquid Crystal
On-screen display controls brightness, contrast,
color temperature, aspect ratio, and screen position
in English or Japanese
(2 -bit true color, no dithering)
horizontal, +45 °/-55 °vertical with antiglare
adjustable from 5, 000 K to 7, 000 K
Connectivity with MultiLinkTM
Video interface input
supporting analog VGA and digital DVI and DFP via
bundled cables, 720p HDTV
(with RGB converter)
Video interface output
Windows® , Mac OS, or Linux® systems with a VGA, DVI,
or DFP video connector
There is one thing for sure, if
the 1600SW's image quality is as good looking as its
exterior, we're in business. This is one great looking
LCD monitor. It has very sleek lines with a black and
cobalt blue casing.
When you first get
a look at this LCD, live and in person, your first
impression is that it is very wide and a little short.
Versus a standard 19" CRT, for example the glass on our
reference Sony GDM400PS measures about 11" tall and 14.25"
wide with an 18" diagonal.
The 1600SW is 9.2"
tall by 14.7" wide, so you lose about 1.25" inches overall
versus a standard 19" CRT. Or, if you are a "glass is
half full" type, it is significantly larger than most 17"
LCDs or CRTs. Either way, if you are use to a 19"
screen, the size of the 1600SW will feel a little tight at
first but it did grow on us, at least in a figurative sense.
If you are use to looking at a 17" display, the 1600SW will
seem huge. Finally, the 1600SW has an amazingly tight
.23 dot pitch and high "wide angle" resolution of 1600X1024.
Most 17 - 18" LCD displays in the market are anywhere from
.26 to .28 dot pitch and top out at 1280X1024 resolution.
This tight dot pitch makes for very crisp high resolution
interface input for the 1600SW is LVDS (Low Voltage
Differential Signaling) DFP. The DFP connection that
was designed for this display back in '98 is all but extinct
today. DVI is the standard now for digital flat panels
and of course analog as well. As a result, SGI has
decided to bundle in their "Multi-Link" adapter, which gives
you both a analog and DVI interface and is even HDTV
Height and position adjustments
for the panel, are made with a lever on the back of the
unit. The display also is detachable from the base
with two machine heads that can be loosened with an included
alan wrench. This allows the user to mount the display
on the wall or any surface for that matter.
When we pulled the 1600SW from
its box and packaging, our first impression was that this
was one very stylish display.
Good exterior looks are plus for
sure but on screen display is the real yardstick of
measurement for us, in this review. In the LCD space
versus CRTs, there is an entirely different metric for
judging image quality. We'll try and cover what we
feel is important in the pages to follow.
Get the SGI 1600SW At Computers 4Sure!
The Multi-Link Adapter and Setup