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10 Reasons to Use CRT Instead of LEDs for Retro Games

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How about I told you an old CRT monitor from your childhood is selling twice and thrice the price of the new OLED you bought for your living room?

CRTs like these aren’t one-of-a-kind or collectible but rather normal ones from a few years ago. CRTs provide the most authentic experience for retro gamers who want to play their favorite retro games.

As technology changes and how we interact with our devices changes, monitor technology has also undergone several changes. Since monitors changed from S-Video to DVI and now HDMI, LEDs with HDMI inputs have become the new standard for TVs.


In this article, we will explore why you might still want to use a CRT monitor over an LED monitor, given the benefits that CRT monitors provide and why retro gamers are buying them for several thousand dollars.

Who Are Retro Gamers?

The majority of retro gamers played video games on CRTs as children. Having spent hours in front of the television playing games they enjoy, they value the immersive experience these systems provide. When it comes to retro gaming, CRT monitors are the best way for gamers to experience their favorite games.

retro games

Over the last few years, CRT monitors have gained a lot of popularity, mostly because they offer an authentic gaming experience that’s hard to find elsewhere. Consequently, many companies are now producing high-quality CRT monitors designed specifically for retro gamers, which are affordable even for those on a budget.

Why are CRT Monitors a Necessity for Gamers?


If you are serious about gaming and want your retro gaming experience to be as good as it can be, then CRT monitors are the way to go. In comparison to flat panel monitors, CRT monitors offer better picture quality and a more immersive gaming experience. The contrast and color saturation of flat panel monitors tend to be lower than those of CRT monitors.

Playing games on flat-panel monitors makes them seem less vivid and lifelike. Furthermore, flat panel monitors tend to have slower response times, and their image reproduction is less accurate than that of CRT monitors. When it comes to playing retro video games on your PC, a CRT monitor is your best option.

Features that Give CRT Monitors an Edge over LED Monitors

Today, LED screens are the norm, but CRT monitors have some features that LED monitors lack. Here are a few of them, along with a brief description

Better Image Quality

All of us have heard that LED monitors are better and brighter than old-school CRT monitors, but is that really true? According to a study published in Display Technology, CRT monitors produced better image quality than newer models.

While color accuracy was slightly improved on more recent models, most of the new displays had lower resolutions. Researchers used a variety of tests to compare different types of monitors. For an excellent display with outstanding image quality, an old-school CRT monitor might be the way to go.

retro games

An older monitor’s image quality is typically better than that of a newer LED monitor for a variety of reasons. To begin with, CRT monitors use better quality and more expensive components than new LED monitors.

CRT monitors also have larger screens and higher resolutions, which means they can display more details and images with less pixelation. Finally, designers can create and optimize graphics and display settings for CRT monitors using Windows or Mac OS.

Wider Viewing Angles

In spite of the fact that CRT monitors have been around for generations, they are still used in computer monitors today. Why is that? The reason is that they have a wider viewing angle and better colors.

Due to their backlight system, CRT monitors usually have a wider viewing angle than LCD monitors. Compared to traditional monitors, which typically have a viewing angle of about 135 degrees, this monitor comes with a much wider view.

retro games

CRT monitors, also known as cathode ray tube monitors, have a wide viewing angle because an electron beam bounces off the screen surface to create the images. As a result, you can view the image from any angle without distortion.

Several factors contribute to the popularity of wide-angle monitors. You can work on multiple projects simultaneously when you use a wide-angle monitor, which makes it best to play multiplayer retro games.

More Durable Screens

In a world where LED screens are becoming more and more prevalent, many people may not be aware that CRT screens are much more durable than their LED counterparts. CRT screens have been around for many years and have proven durable – even in the face of heavy wear and tear.

One of the main reasons why CRT screens are so durable is because they use heavier glass panels that are thicker than those used in most LED screens. This extra thickness means there is less likelihood of broken or cracked boards, even when the screen is subjected to a lot of pressure and stress.

Some experts believe CRT screens may be more resistant to damage than high-end LED displays. Overall, CRT screens are likely to last longer than most LED displays, providing users with a more sturdy and reliable experience. A CRT might be perfect if you’re looking for a screen that will withstand a lot of wear and tear.

Additional Customizable Settings


In computing, a monitor mode is a set of options for a display device. Methods allow users to select different settings for color depth, resolution, refresh rate, and other features. A monitor mode can also change how the monitor behaves concerning various tasks or software.

Different modes can provide additional benefits. For example, the high-resolution way may benefit sharp images and fine text, while the normal resolution mode may be more suitable for general use. Different methods can also improve comfort or usability.

For example, if you are working on a project that requires you to stare at the screen for long periods, using a high-resolution mode can reduce eyestrain.

Many of us get a perfect view of our computer screens due to the vast range of CRT monitor modes. However, LED monitors have a much shorter mode variety and don’t have many customizable features.

Great Contrast Ratio

Contrast ratios are a big deal when it comes to monitors. Most people don’t think about it, but contrast ratios are essential in how comfortable you feel using a monitor. When you’re looking at a monitor, your eyes need to be able to adjust to different brightness levels and colors.

If the brightness level or color is too bright or too dark, your eyes will have difficulty adjusting. Contrast ratios help make everything easier to see by making the colors and brightness levels more evenly distributed on the screen.

Monitors use two types of contrast ratios: static and dynamic. Fixed contrast ratios are the default on most monitors and stay the same throughout the entire screen cycle.

Dynamic contrast ratios change with each screen cycle, which makes them more active and helps improve the overall viewing experience. The higher the dynamic contrast ratio, the better. Keep in mind that not all monitors have both types of contrast ratios, so make sure to check before you buy.

CRT displays have a better contrast ratio than their LED counterparts. This is due to the way they are made. However, this difference isn’t nearly as noticeable as it used to be because these days, HDTVs and plasma screens have very high contrast ratios that cover up the difference between them and CRT monitors.

More Immersive Experience

When it comes to technology, there are always two sides to a story. On one side, you have proponents of LED monitors who claim that they offer a more immersive experience than CRT monitors. These proponents argue that LED monitors produce deeper blacks and brighter colors, making movies and games look better.


On the other side of the argument, you have people who swear by CRT monitors because they say they offer an immersive experience that is superior to any other type of monitor out there. These people argue that CRT monitors give a genuinely cinematic feel when watching movies or playing video games, providing an overall more prosperous and realistic experience.

They also believe that LED screens can sometimes appear too pixelated for some users, while CRT displays offer a level of sharpness and clarity that any other type of monitor cannot match.

The reality is that CRT monitors are more immersive than LED monitors because the image on a CRT monitor is created with a large amount of light that is shone directly onto the screen.

This causes the image to be more vivid and colorful than on an LED monitor, which uses smaller light particles to create an image. CRT monitors also have a more realistic picture because they use a phosphor coating that makes colors different from LEDs.

Less Ghosting or Image Retention

Ghosting and retention are two common issues with LED monitors. With ghosting, the image on the monitor will constantly change, usually appearing as if a person or object is moving across the screen.

Retention refers to the problem of the image on the monitor staying on for an extended period after the monitor has been turned off. Both issues can be very frustrating and lead to decreased productivity.

Both ghosting and image retention can be caused by several factors, including improper assembly and calibration, dusty environments, and outdated software.

LED monitor users face this problem a lot. But whether or not the CRT monitor has this issue is still unclear. There is a lot of discussion about CRT monitor use and whether or not it causes ghosting and image retention.

Some people say it does, while others argue that technology is harmless and has no adverse effects. I think it’s important to do your own research and experimentation before deciding whether or not to keep using your CRT monitor.

Better Response Time

CRT monitors have a better response time than LED monitors since they have a front-back arrangement rather than a side-by-side layout, as most LED monitors do. Hence, there will be less color bleeding between the different parts of the screen, and the image will be displayed more quickly.

Furthermore, CRT monitors tend to have more powerful graphics cards than LED monitors, which means they can display images more quickly than LED monitors.


Old Computers Compatibility

CRT monitors are the best option when it comes to older computers since they use less power from the CPU. On the other hand, LED monitors require more CPU power, which means they will take longer to process than you might think, and they may even cause your computer to freeze up if they take too long to process.

Less Prone to Screen Burn-in

Almost everyone thinks LED monitors are the future of technology if they are like most people. Their energy efficiency, lightweight, and portability make them ideal for a wide variety of environments and conditions. Before you purchase an LED monitor, however, you should know about some hidden dangers.

The most common issue with LED monitors is screen burn-in, which is caused by continuous use over an extended period of time. On the other hand, CRT monitors do not have this problem as the image is displayed on a rotating CRT screen, which ensures that the image will appear stable. As retro games usually have numerous stagnant segments in their visuals, CRTs become an obvious choice for playing such games.


There is something about CRT monitors that make them irresistible for gaming. People love the nostalgia associated with these old-school displays and are happy to stick with monitors that look like they came straight from an arcade in the 1980s.

While LED monitors offer their own advantages – namely, a more consistent image across the screen – for many retro gamers, nothing beats the vibrancy and color of a CRT monitor.

Which one should you buy? The answer depends on your needs; if you are a gamer who wants an authentic retro gaming experience, a CRT would be your best shot. However, a typical LED would make much more sense if you are a modern AAA player.

Now, you may read about some cool games to play on Apple Arcade.

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