What is a IPS monitor?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by LeandrodaFL, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Ive heard about Apple display been IPS and that this was suposed to be something. Can someone please explain to me what IPS is? Out of curiosity, how do I find out if my current monitor is IPS? (I have Samsung and Haier monitors)
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Here is a pretty good explanation on Wikipedia. IPS gives much better viewing angles.

    I don't know of a good way to tell just by looking at your monitor, you would need to look up your specific model number on the manufacturer's web site and look at the specs to see if it is IPS. Just a general way to tell us price. If you paid $200 for a 23" monitor for example, it is not going to be IPS.
  3. gwerhart0800 macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    Loveland, CO
    I bought an LG 23" IPS display last weekend from BestBuy for under $200. So, it is possible to get an IPS display cheaper ... it just takes some hunting around. The LG display only has VGA and DVI-D inputs, so it is kind of unpopular because most come with an HDMI input these days.


    BTW, I like the display ... it works fine as a second screen to my 17" 2011 MBP.
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    That is a good price for an IPS monitor. Prices are dropping.
  5. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Two main benefits:
    1. Much wider viewing angles. Although manufacturers claim otherwise, TNs provide only about 70-90 degrees of usable viewing angle.
    2. 8-bit color depth for more than 16 million true colors. Cheaper IPS panels (such as eIPS mentioned by previous posters) and TNs are limited to 6-bit color depth that allows only about 260 thousand true colors. It dithers to simulate millions of color.
  6. blanka, Jul 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012

    blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Here is a small glossary:
    Twisted Nematic
    Fast cheap displays, mostly 6-bit colour per channel, simulating 8-bit by pulse width modulation. Narrow viewing angles, colours change rapidly under angles, especially from below colours can invert (solarizing effect). Great for gaming. Response time 2-5ms. Input lag 0-30 ms. Especially bigger displays have lots of lag because of the 8-bit simulation. Contrast 1:1000 (don't believe higher numbers)

    In Plane Switching
    More colour accurate and angle stable technology from LG. Superseded by S-IPS, H-IPS. Contrast 1:800 (IPS/S-IPS) to 1:900-1:1000 for H-IPS displays. Invisible with polaroid glasses. Most of the time 8-bit per colour, eIPS is 6-bit, some high performance screens offer 10 bit. White glow when viewing dark images from an angle. Contrast drops significantly. Little input lag: 10-20ms.

    Patterned vertical alignment
    Samsung technology. Very stable colours, similar to IPS, used in high end Eizo screens. 8 or 10 bit/channel. High contrast 1:1200-1:2500. Purple shift when looking at dark images from an angle. Response time +- 8ms. Usually steep input lag 20-40ms.

    Multi-domain vertical alignment
    AU Optronics technology close to PVA. Little less stable colours, but still much better than TN. With MVA delivering the deepest blacks. Contrast 1:1200-1:2500. Relative low input lag: 10ms.

    Because of all the IPS mambo-jambo, Samsung was getting less respect for its (for some even better) PVA technology. So they jumped the IPS wagon, with Super-PLS. It combines the best of IPS and PVA, and is probably the best LCD technology today.

    You can find any combination of panels above, and backlights below. The combination matters! An IPS display with crap white-led backlight can look ****!

    Regular CCFL
    Nowadays almost extinct, but very common on <2008 panels. Often close to 100% sRGB. Ages relatively stable, some tend to get a little pink over time. BEST CHOICE for acurate SRGB viewing. Eizo still uses it in their specialty Foris video displays.
    Max brightness 200-350cd/m2

    Wide Gamut CCFL
    Choice of the pro's. Most high end displays use Wide Gamut CCFL. They can deliver near 100% AdobeRGB. Note that WideGamut displays only show sRGB really well if they have a 3D LUT. Look for that in the specs of wide gamut displays if you are concerned about the option to have great sRGB too.
    Max brightness 300-500cd/m2. BEST CHOICE for EXTREME COLOURS and ADOBERGB working pros.

    White-LED (people call displays with this backlight simply LED displays/monitors)
    A blue LED with a yellow phosphor creates a 2 spike spectrum that is seen roughly as white. It has a very bad colour rendering index as ther is no native red in the spectrum, so the displays may look a little cold and unsaturated. Often close to 75-85% of the sRGB colour space coverage, which is quite dull. Apple is more critic on the white LED specs, and they manage to deliver just above 100% sRGB coverage, but you still have a way less even spectrum than CCFL delivers.
    Brightness: 200-300cd/m2. On tablets you sometimes see values up to 500cd/m2. Lower energy bill, but 80% of the lower energy bill is caused by lower brightness, not by LED per se. FL tubes are still the best lumen/watt for white light, but LED light is easier to send in one direction. Good for NON CRITIC COLOUR work.


    Extremely expensive and only in some high end displays. Usually rather dim.
    100-200 cd/m2. Extreme wide gamut and it can compensate for aging differences between the 3 types of LED's.

    Upcoming technique:
    Extreme wide gamut as it is the backlight elements of the RGB LED display being driven directly as single pixels. Still expensive, but the price comes down rapidly. Aging is still a problem, as the organic LED's fade more rapidly than regular semiconductor ones. OLED will deliver contrasts of 1:5000 or more, with near perfect viewing angles.

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