Cathode ray tube (CRT) and liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors provide high-resolution video outputs for personal computers. Although they connect to computers in a similar fashion, both types of screens function very differently.
A CRT monitor functions in the same manner as a tube television by using rear projection to display images. An LCD display features a set number of pixels that are lit in different colors as needed, much like the display on a digital watch.
A CRT provides a crisp display that can quickly switch between resolutions. As a CRT requires a rear projector, it takes up a large desktop footprint. An LCD display is more versatile because of its smaller size and ability to auto-fit the resolution being displayed.
A CRT screen provides faster response times than an LCD, which is useful for frequent gamers or those who do lots of video editing. On the other hand, an LCD display uses less power and provides a truly flat viewing surface that reduces glare.
Although CRT screens employ older technology and are larger than LCDs, they are not completely obsolete. CRTs are less expensive and beneficial for gamers.
An LCD monitor is the best choice for most computer users. Not only are LCD monitors more versatile, they also fit in smaller spaces. Before purchasing a monitor, test it at a store so you can see how well it performs in different applications and lighting conditions.