# 6-bit, 8-bit: How to tell?

## Recommended Posts

How does one go about determining LCD bit depth? I've got a Viewsonic 1912wp at

home, a Dell Ultrasharp (with no obvious markings of actual model), and another

Dell of a different model at work. I'm unsure of any of their bit-depths.

about it, which leads me to believe that unspecified bit depths of less than

~12ms are likely 6-bit. Any way to tell for sure?

Heck - while I'm at it, what's the trick to finding Dell's actual model numbers?

Thanks!

##### Share on other sites

A great search engine to plug your panel into...

and scroll to header that says "What Does This Mean In Real Use - Does It Matter?" and you will find a link to see if your panel has dithering, a 6 bit trait.

##### Share on other sites

<I>which leads me to believe that unspecified bit depths of less than ~12ms are likely 6-

bit. Any way to tell for sure?</I><P>

There's no really good way to tell for sure as there's a lot of misinformation floating

around on this subject. For example, it's been conventional wisdom that fast-response

panels are good for gamers (very true) but bad for photo editing. Then, you look at a

recent review of panels and the <a href= "http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/03/27/

the_spring_2006_lcd_collection/page25.html">Samsung 970P</a>, with a claimed 6 ms

response panel, is reviewed as having great photo reproduction/editing performance and

the best black levels that have ever been tested. Also, there's the notion that all TFT-TN

panels are 6 bits. Not true. There's nothing tying the panel technology to a particular bit

width - especially today. Other than the notion that less expensive TN panles (over PVA)

must automatically use 6 bit D/A converters. On the other side, touting 16.7M colors,

does not necessarily equate to 8 bit D/A converters, even though 16.7M = 2^(3 x 8bits).

Best to do evaluations with your own eyes, and or read actual performance reviews from

sources you trust.

www.citysnaps.net
##### Share on other sites

Well, you can email the manufacturer and ask them if it's 6- or 8-bit.

You can check their web sites for detailed specs.

If you already have the monitor, you can use the image in this thread to view a grayscale ramp that should pretty clearly show you if it's 6- or 8-bit: http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00GkGu

To tell which monitor you have, attach it to the computer and right-click My Computer. Select "Manage" from the menu. Select "Device Manager" and then click on "Monitors." If it's a fairly recent plug-and-play compliant device, the model will show there.

The web site Eric mentions is a great resource too.

##### Share on other sites

"is reviewed as having great photo reproduction/editing performance"

Tom's hardware tests of image quality are close to being completely useless, starting with their "Delta E tracking" which is utter nonsense.

##### Share on other sites

Thanks for all of the responses, particularly the article on TFT Central - interesting reading!

I used the Colour Gradients test app from TFT Central and I can see the gradation changes, but it doesn't look dithered. I'll have to try it on my monitor at home to see what I get.

No luck in the device manager. It shows up as a generic plug & play monitor.

##### Share on other sites

If that's a Viewsonic *VA* 1912, Viewsonic says it is 6bits + 2 FRD dithered bits.

##### Share on other sites

It's at least similar to that monitor. The US site that has the exact model doesn't specify its color depth: http://www.viewsonic.com/products/desktopdisplays/lcddisplays/valueseries/va1912wb/

I would assume it's the same panel, as other sources point to a 6-bit answer as well.

Now if I could only find out what model these Dells are.

Thanks!

##### Share on other sites

"Heck - while I'm at it, what's the trick to finding Dell's actual model numbers?"

Even then, Dell browses the parts bins too often. That's why I switched to Viewsonic. Unless the manufacturer is willing to be clear about the specs, I don't have time or interest to spend hours or days browsing opinions and guesses on forums.

Good Luck,

Don E

## Create an account

Register a new account