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Achieva Shimian 27" Monitor Review - 1440p IPS Display at Under $350!

Author: Ken Addison
Subject: Displays
Manufacturer:

Overclocking

Besides the amazingly inexpensive price of these displays, there is also another reason that the Yamakasi Catleap in particular has become so popular with enthusiasts.

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Early consumers who received the "2B" revision of the Catleap PCB noticed that it could be driven at refresh rates up to 120Hz. This makes the Catleap an incredible product, because currently, it isn't a matter of money, there are NO other 1440p panels capable of over 60Hz on the market.

A higher refresh rate becomes extremely important when you are talking about gaming with V-Sync enabled. In order to avoid "screen tearing", some gamers enable V-Sync to lock their frame rate to the refresh rate of their monitor. For 99% of the displays on the market, that means your frame rate will never go above 60 FPS. While this is an acceptable frame rate for playing games, a lot of gamers crave more. By driving your monitor at a refresh rate like 120Hz, it should mean that games can run at twice the frame rate without any tearing.

Although these displays may be capable of running at higher refresh rates, it isn't as easy as just changing a setting in Windows to enable a faster refresh. One thing that you have to take into account is whether or not your GPU can actually drive that many pixels at a higher than standard refresh rate.

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Pixel clock, or the frequency which determines how much bandwidth a card has available for displaying an image, is a major concern for overclocking these displays. In a simple version for all that we are concerned with here, your needed pixel clock can be thought of as resolution multiplied by the desired refresh rate. This would mean for example, that driving a 1080p display at 120hz would require the same pixel rate as a 2k display at 60Hz.

The issue that many people ran into was that most graphics cards aren't capable of handling this type of bandwidth, due in part to 120Hz, 1440p displays not really being on the market. Beyond having a capable card, drivers need to be hacked to unlock these higher refresh rates in a lot of cases.

The good news is that most of this work has already been done for you. The excellent "Yamakasi Catleap Owner's" forum and overclocking subforum on 120hz.net are dedicated to these displays, and running them at the highest possible refresh rates.

However, the bad news is that it seems these displays aren't really being produced or sold in mass quantity anymore. There are a few sellers on eBay marking what they claim to be overclockable monitors upwards of $500, but there is even more risk when buying from a seller like that. Once again I will point towards 120hz.net, who has been organizing group buys of these overclockable monitors, currently at $555. This seems like it may be a more reasonable solution than eBay, but you really have to know that you want one of these displays to fork over the extra money.

Also be advised that your mileage may very even if you get a "2B" SKU. Things such as different GPU driver releases, and various anomalies with the displays themselves mean that you don't exactly know what refresh rate you will be capable of, but it seems to be a pretty safe bet that you will at least get around 95Hz.

July 13, 2012 | 11:05 AM - Posted by David (not verified)

I had mine die within three weeks of use. For those who care, I had it locked at 60Hz. The company that sells them through ebay refused to respond to my messages. Ebay had apparently been having this issue with the seller three times previously during the week and decided to refund my money in full.

TL;DR

Great monitor when it works, Terrible Support

July 13, 2012 | 12:06 PM - Posted by Tim (not verified)

Was about to hit "confirm buy" before I read your commend David... I'll wait a bit I guess. Let us know if your monitor dies Ken :S

July 13, 2012 | 12:24 PM - Posted by Ken Addison

I will definitely follow up if it does, but I sure hope not! :)

July 15, 2012 | 11:26 PM - Posted by PowerHungry (not verified)

What dealer on eBay did you pyrchase this monitor??? I see that Amazon offers some of the same monitors at about the same prices, would Amazon be a safer buy??
I'm interested in the Crossover 27Q-P.

July 14, 2012 | 03:01 PM - Posted by Brucethemoose (not verified)

As far as I know, I was the first English speaking person to buy one of these Korean monitors. I got my Shimian back in Febuary, have it running at 70hz, and it's been working just fine.

FYI, this commotion all started on Overclock.net

July 17, 2012 | 01:08 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

if you buy another one to replace it, you've still spent less than the HP

sincerely,

Owner of a flawless 4 month-old Catleap

July 13, 2012 | 12:09 PM - Posted by Neil gilroy (not verified)

Seem like a bargain to me. I notice that some sellers offer a 'perfect version' with a higher grade panel but then it costs more like 500 dollars.

February 3, 2013 | 09:30 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

read the fine print of these some of these perfect pixel versions still have a reasonable amount of dead pixels that they consider ok and will not accept a return if you don't have more than so many dead pixels.

December 14, 2013 | 01:14 AM - Posted by Jeramy (not verified)

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July 13, 2012 | 02:04 PM - Posted by dwolvin

have one of these, bought through the http://120hz.net group buy (for guaranteed overclocking). There is also a great thread about these at HardOCP (Hardforum). These are great monitors, mine was $50 more but hits 120Hz without issue. The colors are great, backlight bleed is not bad, and unnoticeable in games or any movie not set in the Nostromo… Overall, it’s a great monitor but make sure you read up on who to buy from.

I am not affiliated with anyone from 120hz, they are just a great place to see the different models and who is safe to buy from… ;)

September 12, 2012 | 04:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Could you please send me whom you purchased this monitor from along with the model and approx price. Don't know if I really want to go through 120hz.net

Thanks

July 13, 2012 | 03:00 PM - Posted by pastyface (not verified)

I have had the catleap for 3 weeks now and have been very impressed. Paid $286 and got free international shipping. This monitor is really unbelievable for the price and my only gripe is the response time. The good thing is that its usable for fps, just wouldn't recommend it for the hard core competitive people.

As of now I would recommend this monitor to everyone who can afford to take a chance on this things survivability. If you are the type who needs a warranty just stay away. For everyone else, this is excellent value.

July 13, 2012 | 03:24 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Just a FYI it seems that SquareTrade will warranty these screens.

July 14, 2012 | 12:12 AM - Posted by DumpsterJ (not verified)

Ive had my catleap monitor for a few months now and I love it. its amazing in every way including the price. Still no dead pixels or any problems.

July 14, 2012 | 04:42 AM - Posted by timmyisme22

I'd be all for getting one or more, but my computer wouldn't handle it and even if it could, I have no desk space :(

The nice thing is that you could spend the same amount of money on multiple monitors here for the same price as one from our leading dealers (even the HP deal). That's always a nice thing if you get one perfect (and even better with multiple in great to perfect condition).

I just wish I had money.

*EDIT*
Awww man. Now I just want to buy this solely for Total Annihilation! You guys are killing me!

July 14, 2012 | 06:16 AM - Posted by DisasterArea (not verified)

Remorse on the yamakasi Multi-input.

I have been testing the $400 AUD multi input model all day.
No faulty pixels, excellent colours, which make my 120hz Alienware AW2310 look like it was done in crayons.

The input lag is horrendous....

I've been running some clocks on the AW2310 / a Dell 2407WFP and the Catleap and unfortunately it's around 90ms behind the Alienware, despite having scalers turned off - the multi-input card screws everything. Totally unusable for competetive games.

July 15, 2012 | 04:36 PM - Posted by Shahab (not verified)

Yeah, I don't think the multi-input models are worth it, unless you won't be gaming on them or only playing games like RPG or strategy games.

July 14, 2012 | 10:23 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Amazon offers a number of these monitors by the same company's. What's the advantage going to eBay?? Amazon would seem safer.

July 14, 2012 | 11:43 AM - Posted by Mechromancer (not verified)

For this little amount of money, if it dies I will open it up and replace any blown capacitors myself!

I want 3 for a badarse Eyefinity setup.

July 15, 2012 | 04:35 PM - Posted by Shahab (not verified)

I ordered a Yamakasi Catleap for $350 shipped. I have had it for probably 4 or 5 months now. It came with no dead pixels, no stuck pixels, and is a beautiful display.

I had a Dell 3007WFP-HC but it got so hot that I have actually made this my new main monitor. At some point I would like to do some sort of dual display incorporating the Dell, who knows.

In any case, LOVE my monitor, the price can NOT be beat in the US. If you are interested in this monitor but worried about buying from abroad, don't worry. The good sellers seem to be very good about defective units and the various Korean companies DO offer a warranty, you will have to ship it back to Korea to get it honored but there is a warranty.

So don't wait anymore! These are awesome monitors and you haven't lived until you've played your favorite games at 2560x1440 on a 27" S-IPS panel monitor.

July 16, 2012 | 04:32 PM - Posted by Isaac Church (not verified)

I really want one of these displays, but I want the 16 x 10 30 inch, instead of the 16 x 9 27 inch. Any info on those? I've seen them on eBay but not sure if they are worth the extra cost.

July 19, 2012 | 10:35 PM - Posted by Coming120Hz (not verified)

This is in regards to the Yamacasi Catleap Q270 2B.
I got a reply back from TA planet saying that the Yamakasi 120Hz are out of stock, however for the ones that can wait he said "Another brand, Shimian 120Hz overclock version will be released after one month."
I will look forward to talk to him again next month, hopefuly they are display port only.
By that time they will have AsRock X79 Extreme 11 motheroard. Maybe 7990 will release & will support 120hz & should give me plenty of time to research AMD for 120Hz or cheaper 2x690 & the next quadro 5000 desktop kepler & tesla. All of them freaking waterkooled of course. And be ready for world domination or learn about lots of game/cg movie making so I can justify buying all of that crap then.

July 20, 2012 | 07:07 PM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

I bought the Auria EQ276W from Microcenter yesterday. It was $399.99 USD and came to ~$414 after NJ tax. It’s a stunning multi-input (HDMI with HDCP, DVI dual Port, DisplayPort, VGA and mini audi jack) 2560x1440 display and looked great with out of the box settings. It had no dead pixels / stuck pixels or light bleed. Gloss screen but hardly noticeable IMO.

The stock picture above of the Auria EQ276W doesn’t do the outer esthetics justice as it as it really looks nothing like the picture.

I haven’t tested lag but I also don’t intend to use it for much if any gaming.

It comes with a 1yr warranty and I still have the option of returning it to Microcenter is I so whish it but I would probably be more apt to buy another one.

Presumably Microcenter will ship the Auria EQ276W so it doesn’t necessarily matter if you don’t have a store location near you.

Its price competitive with the other Korean models (specifically the multi-input models) without the risk.

July 23, 2012 | 03:39 AM - Posted by saskia (not verified)

can you please share the color calibration file you generated?? thanks!

August 10, 2012 | 04:20 PM - Posted by Markon101

I just bought one of the Catleap's. Thanks for the review, this wave of cheap Korean monitors is awesome!

December 17, 2012 | 09:13 AM - Posted by android120hz

I think this 27 inch 120hz monitor is the best monitor for people who use it for design or watching movie, but it's not the best choice for people who want use it playing games.

April 23, 2013 | 05:55 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

http://www.2560x1440monitor.com
In here, price of monitor from $279

August 16, 2013 | 06:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Here is the Amazon link for the product

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Achieva-Shimian-QH2700-IPSMS-Edge-2560x1440/dp/B...

They claim a One Year warranty which, because it is on amazon, surely must have to be honoured.

Any thoughts from anyone?

Great Review.

September 10, 2013 | 12:01 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I was about to buy a crossover to place beside my 27" Apple Cinema Display until I heard that these monitors have calibration issues. Is that something to worry about? Can someone tell me how to get this new monitor to match the color to my Apple?

October 30, 2013 | 08:31 PM - Posted by Super (not verified)

Yes, there are calibration issues. With the newest Achieva Shimians. For example, you CANNOT have the backlight dimmed. By changing brightness the backlight IS NOT CHANGED and contrast is killed. Which is pretty bad if you use your monitor in a dark room. Expect, eye strains in this scenario.

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