MAX7219 vs 74hc595

I was talking to someone here locally doing a massive LED project, and he said he was using "MAX7219s" and I was like, I thought you need a shift registrers instead, because he was complaining that there was some kind of issue driving the LED's or not enough current..

So i took the 74hc595 path along with Toshiba's UNL2803 darlington transistor arrays, so I was confident enough to not have any "current issues"

So then is there an instance where a MAX7219 can only be used and the 74hc595? can not? and visa versa?

The 7219 will do the matrix multiplexing without any help from the arduino, shift registers need constantly updating leaving you little time for anything else.

cjdelphi: I was talking to someone here locally doing a massive LED project, and he said he was using "MAX7219s" and I was like, I thought you need a shift registrers instead, because he was complaining that there was some kind of issue driving the LED's or not enough current..

So i took the 74hc595 path along with Toshiba's UNL2803 darlington transistor arrays, so I was confident enough to not have any "current issues"

A MAX7219 could use darlington transistor arrays too. If your friend has power issues it's because he didn't design it properly.

cjdelphi: So then is there an instance where a MAX7219 can only be used and the 74hc595? can not?

Yes - when you can't afford to dedicate 100% of your CPU to the job of lighting up the display. A MAX7219 is much more self-sufficient.

So then is there an instance where a MAX7219 can only be used and the 74hc595? can not? and visa versa?

None. A competent programmer can make both work.

However, that's not to say that the two are without cons: Max7219 is essentially multiplexing only. So under the same current levels, it is not as bright as a static display. HC595 can be both static and dynamic (multiplexing). However, the wiring and coding are more involved.

Yes.. but in the case where you can chose between a 7-segment LED array that's driven by either a MAX7219 or a 74HC595.. which is better (read, easier, less timing sensitive) to use? (assuming I use the appropriate/included arduino library).

Can't both avoid the "blinking" and timing issues (since the 595 has a "latch" feature)?

Use Case: Think.. kids doing coding for a digital clock or MP3 player display like this: |500x500

Tweeks

Decided to go with the TM1637 driven seven segmet displays: http://robojax.com/learn/arduino/?vid=robojax-TM1637 |500x277

The TM1637 even has brightness control (and zero flicker).

Tweeks