CRT vs. LCD

CRT vs LCDThere are two primary types of computer monitors in use today: LCD monitors and CRT monitors. Over the last 5 to 7 years, LCD monitors have taken over as the predominant monitor to be used with a computer. In this document we will cover the pros and cons of both the CRT type displays and LCD or flat panel type displays. You'll quickly discover that the LCD or flat panel displays pretty much sell themselves and why they are the primary display used today.

Topic CRT LCD
Size Because of the CRT in a CRT monitor the physical size of these displays is much larger than an LCD and usually awkward on small desks. LCD monitors are much thinner than CRT monitors, being only a few inches in thickness (some can be near 1 inch thick). They can fit into smaller, tighter spaces, whereas a CRT monitor can't in most cases.
Dead pixels Although a CRT can have display issues there is no such thing as a dead pixel on a CRT monitor. Many issues can also be fixed by degaussing the monitor. LCD monitors can encounter dead pixels, which causes small black or other colored dots in the display.
Weight A CRT monitor can weigh 40 pounds or more depending on the size of the monitor. LCD monitors can be pretty light, weighing as little as 8 to 10 pounds.
Price Because of the popularity of LCD monitors the price of most CRT monitors is very cheap. You can also usually pick up a used CRT for next to nothing. LCD monitors are a newer technology and have more demand so will be more expensive than a CRT.
Viewable area The frame around the glass screen of the monitor causes the viewable area of the screen to be smaller than an LCD. LCD monitors have a slightly bigger viewable area than a CRT monitor. A 19" LCD monitor has a diagonal screen size of 19" and a 19" CRT monitor has a diagonal screens size of about 18".
Picture Because of the older technology most CRT monitors will not have as good as quality as picture as most LCD displays. Depending on the quality of the LCD monitor, the picture quality can be quite superb and amazing, almost like looking out a window.
Viewing angle Almost every CRT have a better viewing angle than many LCD displays. Not all LCD monitors can be viewed at every angle, which makes it difficult for anyone who is not in front of the monitor to see the screen.
Glare Most monitors have a glass screen, which can cause much more glare than an LCD. An LCD monitor doesn't have a glass screen, virtually eliminating any glare.
Burn If the same image is left on a CRT for days the image can burn into the display causing a permanent ghost image to appear on the screen. Unlike a CRT an LCD monitor does is not affected by a burn in or ghosting problem.
Flicker Some people can see the flicker in a CRT monitor, which is due in part to the refresh rate of the screen refreshing the image. On an LCD monitor, screen flicker is very minimal if noticeable at all because of the higher refresh rate.
Response The response on early LCD monitors was not as good as most monitors at the time, making games and movies not as enjoyable to play. Any LCD made within the last 5 years have no refresh rate issues. Making the display just as enjoyable as CRT monitors.
Power A 17" CRT monitor will use as much as 80 watts, depending on the age. LCD monitors are very energy efficient. A 19" LCD monitor only uses about 17 to 31 watts on average.

Additional information

  • See our CRT and LCD terms for additional information related pages.