Before we discuss the types of monitors, we must first have an understanding of a few factors that can affect the overall usefulness of a monitor to a user. First and easiest to determine is size. Monitor sizes today generally range between 17 and 21 inches. The size of the monitor has no direct bearing on the quality of the image displayed. Thus, when deciding upon a monitor size, the only thing that should be considered is cost and how large of a monitor the user needs/desires. The other key factor that should be looked at is refresh rates supported by the monitor. The refresh rate of a monitor is how many times the monitor cycles through pixels in one second. For example, a refresh rate of 72hz means the monitor cycles through pixels and displays 72 frames per second (abbreviated FPS.) Now that we know about the major factors to be considered in monitors, we can now explore the differences between the 2 major types of monitors.
There are two main types of monitors, Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) and Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD).
A CRT works by moving an electron beam back and forth across the back of the screen. Each time the beam makes a pass across the screen, it lights up phosphor dots on the inside of the glass tube, thereby illuminating the active portions of the screen. By drawing many such lines from the top to the bottom of the screen, it creates an entire screen of images.
LCD displays use two sheets of polarizing material with a liquid crystal solution between them. An electric current passed through the liquid causes the crystals to align so that light cannot pass through them. Each crystal, therefore, is like a shutter, either allowing light to pass through or blocking the light. Refresh rate on an Lcd is measured differently than Crt, which is given in hz which is times per second the screen refreshes. Lcd gives you response time, time for the screen to refresh and given in milliseconds, to get times per second or hz divide 1000 by the response time. So if you are given a response time of 8 milliseconds, divide 1000 by 8 and you get 125 hz.
In general, for performance activities such as gaming or multimedia editing or viewing, CRT monitors are generally recommended over LCDs. However, due to advancements in LCD technology, LCDs can offer an image as clear as a CRT with refresh rates as high as needed. The human eye can only discern up to approximately 60 frames per second, and LCDs are already offering refresh rates higher than this threshold. One major benefit of LCDs over CRTs is obviously their size and weight. LCDs take up very little room on a desk compared to a CRT and are much lighter and thus preferred for the convenience factor.