Summary: Sony 1304 vs NEC 3D: which monitor to buy?
rac at sherpa.uucp
Wed Jan 10 08:16:54 AEST 1990
I received a number of replies to my NEC vs Sony query, so due to the
apparent interest in the subject, below is a summary of the responses.
The majority recommended the Sony over the NEC for picture quality, but
several people mentioned reliability problems with it (Sony). You can
make up your own mind.
Thanks to all those who took the time to respond!
Roger A. Cornelius rac at sherpa uunet!sherpa!rac
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My original post:
> Does anyone have any opinions on the merits of the Sony 1304 or the
> NEC 3D multisync monitors? Has anyone compared the two? From what I've
> been told the Sony can do 1024*768 non-interlaced, while the NEC can
> only do 1024*768 interlaced. Sony also has a .25mm dot pitch vs NEC's
> .28mm dot pitch. How well does the autoswitching work in both models?
> Do both models do autosizing correctly when switching between modes?
> And last but not least, which one has the better picture while
> you're actually working in front of it.
> I'll be using this under SCO UNIX, so any applicable comments also
> appreciated. Suggestions for other brand monitors (1024*768) welcome
Following are the responses I received:
>From uunet!texbell!moray!siswat!buck Tue Jan 9 08:06:25 1990
A friend who sells and services equipment had to send make an entire
shipement of NEC 3D's because they had terrible convergence. Caveat emptor.
>From uunet!mtndew!friedl Fri Jan 5 09:55:53 1990
I am busy looking for the same kind of setup as you, and I
had selected the Orchid big VGA card because it is supported by
my UNIX vendor (Everex). I called Orchid tech support to ask
them about monitors, and the very friendly and knowledgeable tech
recommended the Sony over the NEC largely because of the
interlacing. He had one of these on his desk, and he said he
really preferred it because it didn't flicker. Also note that
not all 1024x768 VGA cards even support non-interlaced mode -
make sure yours does.
I have not really looked at either of these monitors, and
I don't know about the auto-switching concerns either.
>From uunet!elbereth.rutgers.edu!ssdesai Fri Jan 5 15:41:41 1990
I was also impressed with sony's specs and price. But a couple of computer
stores around here advised me against Sony. They said sony monitors needed
more repairs then any other monitors they sold. It might be a good idea to
ask people who have recommended sony monitor if they have had any probelms.
May be the store was trying to push me a monitor that would have given him
>From uunet!balkan!wgb Fri Jan 5 15:41:45 1990
Roger> Does anyone have any opinions on the merits of the Sony 1304 or
Roger> the NEC 3D multisync monitors? Has anyone compared the two?
Yes, and Yes. I've tried them both, using X-windows (unfortunately,
only in 800x600 mode, the current VGA driver is broke in 1024x768).
Roger> From what I've been told the Sony can do 1024*768
Roger> non-interlaced, while the NEC can only do 1024*768 interlaced.
This is my understanding also.
Roger> Sony also has a .25mm dot pitch vs NEC's .28mm dot pitch.
This is true.
Roger> How well does the autoswitching work in both models? Do both
Roger> models do autosizing correctly when switching between modes?
Autoswitching, and especially autosizing, are much better in the NEC,
from what I could see. The Sony required me to manually set the size
for graphics mode, which then compressed normal text mode to half the
Roger> And last but not least, which one has the better picture while
Roger> you're actually working in front of it.
The Sony has a slightly better picture.
Roger> I'll be using this under SCO UNIX, so any applicable comments
Roger> also appreciated. Suggestions for other brand monitors
Roger> (1024*768) welcome too.
I went with the NEC. The main reason was because the NEC
autoswitches/autosizes much better than the Sony. I notice the blacks
are not quite as good on the NEC. A friend, who is very sensitive to
flicker, says the NEC flickers a bit more than the Sony (actually,
he's the owner of the Sony :-). Another big advantage for me is the
NEC draws less power. My friend has a 3000W UPS, I only have a 450W
All in all, I'm quite happy with the NEC, and my friend is quite happy
with the Sony. If your priority is the best picture possible, go with
the Sony. If you're going to do much switching between graphics and
text mode, (for my money) the NEC is the way to go.
>From uunet!shorty.cs.wisc.edu!thaler Thu Jan 4 20:05:15 1990
I have the Sony 1304 and love it. It has a really crisp picture. Best
monitor I have every owned. It has a little trouble resizing to certain
resolutions, and I have to tweek the sizing on the side controls (at
least they are not in the back!) but otherwise, it is great. Really an
improvement over my old Nec.
I mostly do Desktop Publishing, so my monitor is very important to me
and my eyes.
>From uunet!mips.com!brian%apt.uucp%daver Thu Jan 4 16:21:24 1990
You are correct about the NEC being interlaced, and the SONY
being non-interlaced at 1024x768. Buy the SONY, interlaced
video on a monitor with normal to medium persistance phospers,
like the NEC, looks like garbage.
I've owned both. I returned the NEC and got another SONY.
Now as to keeping the picture in the right place. Using a
Tseng VGA with 1024x768 non-interlaced, the 1024x768 mode
tends to get shifted over to the left too far. Sony
publishes a spec for 1024x768 which keeps the picture in the
right place, but I haven't found anyone using it.
However, this little inconvenience is far less of a problem
than the unacceptable flicker of the NEC. The shift problem
can be corrected with a flip of a switch, or the twist of a
knob on the SONY, the NEC flicker you just have to live with.
>From uunet!quiche.cs.mcgill.ca!jbm Thu Jan 4 20:05:20 1990
I've got a Sony 1304 with a Micron Technology 512K VGA board. The 1024x768
resolution is stunning, with the sharpest image I've ever seen on a color
monitor. (I have never seen the NEC 3D.) I got mine from World (Los Angeles)
for $625 + $15 UPS. There is a drawback however.... The Micron VGA card
uses double scan for CGA and Hercules modes, giving 30Khz horizontal sweep
rates that look great... However, EGA mode is not doublescanned, and the
21.8 Khz sweep is too low for the 1304 monitor to lock up. The 1304 can
handle horizontal sweep rates from 25 to 50 Khz. I'm going to call Micron
and see if the VGA card can be tricked or programmed to double scan the EGA
mode to get a 44Khz sweep rate... I hope that when the new HDTV VCR/Tuners
come out, they will have RGB outputs that I can feed to this monitor....
>From uunet!mips.com!freeptos%max Thu Jan 4 16:21:16 1990
I looked at both about 3/4 months ago when I was putting together my
386-system. Basically what I found out was:
1) The Sony has a better picture (color/clarity/etc)
2) The NEC is alleged to be far more reliable.
I choose reliability.
The source of info about the bad Sony reliability was from a friend of mine
who is a VLSI design consultant. He said he had been to multiple companies,
and saw multiple Sonys die in action. At his last company they had NEC
monitors. Left them on 24 hours a day. None of them ever had a problem.
That was good enough for me.
I have been very happy with the NEC. I use an ATI Wonder vidio card and have
had no compatibility problems with my no-name-clone 386.
I'm sure you'll get responses saying just the opposite. Hopefully you'll get
enough datapoints to give you a good feeling about whichever you choose.
>From uunet!plains!schrein Thu Jan 4 16:21:20 1990
I can't say anything about the Sony, but my new NEC 3D has one annoying
habit: when the card switches modes and the monitor has to autoswitch,
there is a whine and a torn, out-of-sync screen until the monitor locks in.
This lasts only a fraction of a second, maybe 300-400 milliseconds, but I
was expecting a faster lock. It does size the image correctly--if you
don't like the size you can change it, and from then on the monitor
remembers "when in this mode, do this size". A nice monitor, if you don't
watch it during autoswitching.
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