The Absurd Joy Of Playing Modern Games On A CRT Monitor

Unfortunately filming a CRT never provides results that represent the experience.

Unfortunately filming a CRT never provides results that represent the experience.

When you think of “modern gaming” what comes to mind, is it high frame rates, HDR lighting, 1080P or maybe even 4K? I am willing to bet however the last thing to cross your mind if at all is CRT's! That's right a CRT for modern gaming, absurd right? Well as it turns out, with the right kind of CRT, maybe it isn't as crazy as it sounds. In fact, this is how I have spent the last week playing most of my games! Again this is all dependent on having the right kind of CRT monitor as using your old tube TV from 2001 isn’t going to cut it here due to only being able to output 480i.

Meet the ViewSonic Graphic Series G75f+ VGA computer monitor from 2004. I originally picked up this monitor to accompany my dual Pentium 3 1.4 GHz Tualatin S retro PC build. Unfortunately, my PC is still in storage after our recent move and I have yet to go and pick it up. So rather than keep this monitor sitting idly by, I decided to see what random fun things I could do with it! Realizing the only device I currently had access to with VGA was my Sega Dreamcast, which worked amazingly, I decided to pick up an HDMI to VGA adapter at my local Best Buy for $20. Needless to say, I was quite surprised by the results I got!

This 16-inch monitor is capable of displaying resolutions up to 1600x1200 at 68hz. It is also quite capable of displaying Full HD 1080P also! Well, let me clarify that just a little, it is capable of displaying 1080P with some minor cropping along the sides of around 160 pixels per side. Now, this cropping might seem like a lot but in actuality, most games are built to account for cropping along the sides of the image due to some modern TV’s having a slight overscan. This cropping also only occurs at 1080P due to the monitors high resolution so playing widescreen content at a resolution of 1600x900 or lower is going to be displayed flawlessly.

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So far I have played Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and various retro consoles through the OSSC, which happens to output 1600x1200 as well for certain consoles! I have even had my 980 Ti equipped PC hooked up to this monitor as well for some authentic feeling emulation! Each experience somehow managed to leave me more impressed than the last as jumping around from games like Apex Legends to Mega Man X was met with lag-free performance. It was also really fun to see various pixel art or HD remasters of older titles with scanlines! With this being a Graphic Series monitor colors and clarity were absolutely top notch. To the point I could almost forget I was playing on a 15-year-old monitor! This wasn’t an out the door experience however and had to manually tune each resolution my devices supported to get optimal settings.

Now would I recommend everyone to run out and find a high-quality CRT computer monitor? Probably not, they are large for bigger screen sizes, exceptionally heavy and consume far more power than today’s displays. Not to mention if you can’t find one locally you are going to have to give up a kidney to get one shipped. But, for those of you who grew up in there era of the CRT and want that nostalgic experience, it is still a perfectly viable option in today’s gaming world! Especially if you would love to have an exceptionally low latency display on hand to really bring out your competitive side. It is also just fun to blow peoples minds to say you are playing HDMI games on a CRT. Now I know this isn’t the first time someone has brought up playing modern games on a CRT but until you see it in person, you can never really appreciate the results!