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Toss that old monitor!


Toss that old monitor!  Out with the CRT, in with the LCD.

        written on 5/20/04

        As I sit here typing this article, I am being slowly cooked alive!  The digital thermometer located above my monitor reads 121.9 F, but I've seen it even higher.  My office is usually about 4-5 degrees warmer then the rest of the house.  I've got a 19" energy wasting, desk hogging, thermal heat wave producing factory CRT monitor.  As if you really needed an excuse to buy that cool little flat panel LCD monitor you've been coveting at your local electronics store.

        When I connect my Kill-a-Watt meter, I find that my monitor draws between 85-95 watts running and about 6W in standby. LCD's draw between 1/3 and 1/2 as much.  There are several 17" models which draw as little as 30 watts.  In addition the LCD draws less on "power up" and typically use only 2-3W in standby mode.

        OK, so 55 watts x hours per day used x days per year / 1000 x cost of electricity, equals a grand savings of about $20 a year.  But there is a little more to it.  A cathode ray tub runs very hot.  Just put your hand on the back of your monitor and feel for yourself.  To keep the monitor from burning up, all of this heat must be dissipated.  This undesired heat just increases the load on your cooling equipment.  In contrast, a LCD monitor runs much cooler, and doesn't add near as much heat to the cooling load. 

        LCD technology has progress rapidly in the last few years, and cost has dropped steadily.  You can now buy a flat panel monitor which performs as well as your trusty CRT and has better image quality.  Detailed specs are beyond the scope of this article however look for high contrast ratios of over 450:1, brightness levels of 250 and more, response times of 20ms or less, and a low computer power consumption of 40W or less.

        So you ask, "Why am I still using a CRT?" it's only because my LCD is still in the mail.  May it arrive soon!

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