Samsung SyncMaster 2233RZ review

Why does this 22" Hertz so much?

Samsung SyncMaster 2233RZ
The SyncMaster 2233RZ is capable of displaying Nvidia's new 3D vision

TechRadar Verdict

Desperate for the apogee of smooth frame rates? Look no further. Anyone else shouldn't bother.


  • +

    120Hz LCD display


  • -

    Way too expensive

  • -

    Disappointing chassis/ports

  • -

    Default over-saturated colours

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Men love stats: whether they're talking football, cars, tiddlywinks or the advantages of the 716 bus route over the X39, there's always numbers: the bigger the better.

Computing is one of the worst areas for this but one aspect that has had little attention is LCD monitor refresh rates. They've simply been 60Hz, but once you start slipping past 16ms response times, reasons for locking panels to 60Hz start to become less clear.

The short answer: read the Technical Analysis; the longer answer is that hardcore gamers have always been frothing at the mouth for these things. While out-and-out refresh rate isn't the be-all for LCD, once you do drop to these low response rates, smoother frame rates are going to waste and this Samsung along with the Viewsonic VX2265WM are the first of a new generation to unlock them.

Standard features

Superficially this is a standard 22-inch panel. Standard 1,680 x 1,050 resolution, standard dynamic 20,000:1 contrast and an expected 5ms grey to grey response. It even only has a single DVI-D input, no PiP, no HDMI, no Display Port, no TV input.

Even the chassis is deeply mediocre, with a cheap stand that only offers forward tilt and no height or rotation adjustment, while the viewing angle is nothing to write home about either.

In use, it shines more brightly. A specific MagicBright mode makes full use of the dynamic contrast range at the expense of any user controls, not even brightness or contrast. The range is impressive from true blacks to eye-wateringly bright whites, but the colours are far too saturated and unnatural.

Even with plain movie viewing, the ramping lamp power tends to be off-putting and underpowered for dark scenes, despite generating pure darks. Custom settings help alleviate this, but you lose the dynamic aspect and blacks return to more unremarkable levels.

Its saving grace and primary reason for existing is its silky smooth operation, a combination of a 5ms response rate and its extra-high 120Hz refresh means gaming motion just feels liquid. Drop back to 60Hz it's still good but lacks that sense of solidity; if you have a fast enough graphics card to drive 1,680 x 1,050 at over 60fps you will benefit from this solid motion.

As a purchase the 2233RZ is a stretch: few will notice improved frame rates; for the same cash, we'd opt for one of the gorgeous 24-inch 1,080p panels offering the same contrast ratio and 5ms response rate. Unless you're slavering over the 3D possibilities offered by Nvidia's new 3D Vision glasses, then there's not much here for you.