3840x2160 for Cheap!!
It has been just over a year ago when we first got our hands on a 4K display. At the time, we were using a 50-in Seiki 3840x2160 HDTV that ran at a 30 Hz refresh rate and was disappointing in terms of its gaming experience, but impressive in image quality and price ($1500 at the time). Of course, we had to benchmark graphics cards at 4K resolutions and the results proved what we expected - you are going to need some impressive hardware to run at 4K with acceptable frame rates.
Since that story was published, we saw progress in the world of 4K displays with the ASUS PQ321Q, a 4K monitor (not a TV) that was built to handle 60 Hz refresh rates. The problem, of course, was the requirement for a multi-stream connection that essentially pushes two distinct streams over a single DisplayPort cable to the monitor, each at 1920x2160. While in theory that wasn't a problem, we saw a lot configuration and installation headaches as we worked through the growing pains of drivers and firmware. Also, it was priced at $3200 when we first reviewed it, though that number has fallen to $2400 recently.
Today we are looking at the Samsung U28D590D, the first 4K panel we have seen that supports a 60 Hz refresh rate with a single stream (single tile) implementation. That means that not only do you get the better experiences associated with a 60 Hz refresh rate over a 30 Hz, you also gain a much more simple and compatible installation and setup. No tricky driver issues to be found here! If you have a DisplayPort 1.2-capable graphics card, it's just plug and play.
The Samsung U28D590D uses a 28-in TN panel, which is obviously of a lower quality in terms of colors and viewing angles than the IGZO screen used on the ASUS PQ321Q, but it's not as bad as you might expect based on previous TN panel implementations. We'll talk a bit more about that below. The best part of course is the price - you can find the Samsung 4K panel for as low as $690!
Subject: Displays | April 11, 2014 - 05:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: touch screen, philips, 231C5 SmoothTouch
If you are going to use Windows 8 as your OS you will find it is a better overall experience to use if you have a touchscreen. With mobile devices that is not a problem but for the most part desktop systems do not tend to sport a touchscreen. Enter the Philips 231C5 SmoothTouch a 23" IPS 1080p display with a built in webcam and microphone as well as multi-touch capability of course. The array of inputs are sufficient, two HDMI ports – one with MHL capabilities, DisplayPort, VGA, two USB 3.0 ports and stereo audio. Before you dismiss this display completely you should check out eTechnix full review.
"When Microsoft announced the imminent launch of Windows 8, one of the revolutionary aspects of the new operating system was its more streamlined integration into touch screen devices. Since that time we have seen touch screen capable notebooks and Ultrabooks swarm the market and the era of the touch screen computer has changed the way that many of us have interacted with our systems."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- NEC MultiSync PA272W 27" Professional Monitor Review @ Hardware Canucks
- ASUS MX279H 27-inch LED-Lit AH IPS Monitor @ Phoronix
- Choosing the Right Projector for your Needs @ TechwareLabs
- Nvidia G-Sync: My Impression @ Kitguru
- Samsung PN64F8500 64 Inch Plasma Smart TV Review @ Tweaknews
Subject: General Tech, Displays | April 6, 2014 - 02:41 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: vesa, freesync, DisplayPort, amd
According to French website, hardware.fr, the VESA standards body has accepted AMD's proposal for FreeSync into an extension of the DisplayPort 1.2a standard. FreeSync is the standards-based answer to NVIDIA's G-Sync, a process for allowing the monitor to time itself according to its driving GPU. At CES 2014, AMD claimed that the technology was already in development to be used for mobile devices to save power (less frequent monitor refreshes).
By presenting image to the user only when the work is complete, you can avoid "tearing" and latency. The tearing will be eliminated because the graphics card does not change the image being drawn by the monitor as it is trying to display it. The latency is eliminated because it does not need to wait until the monitor is ready (up to one-over-the maximum refresh rate of the monitor). It should also save power by reducing its refresh rate on slower scenes, such as an idle desktop, but that is less of a concern when you are plugged into a wall.
What does this mean? Nothing yet, really, except that a gigantic standards body seems to approve.
Ever since CES we have been expecting an onslaught of 4K monitors to make their way to the market. Today Amazon.com listed the Samsung U28D590D for pre-order for the price of just $699. This is a 28-in display with a 3840x2160 resolution and support for 60 Hz refresh rates courtesy of the DisplayPort 1.2 connection.
That's a hell of a deal for a 4K monitor, especially one capable of 60 Hz (likely through MST)! Worth noting is that the monitor is a TN panel so picture quality won't be as good as the IPS options still selling for over $2500, like the ASUS PQ321Q we reviewed previously.
The panel has a pair of HDMI inputs but both are listed as only supporting 30 Hz 3840x2160 resolutions without any mention of using them both simultaneously.
You can find the full specifications list on Samsung's website, and we are working to get a sample in for testing in the next two weeks!
Subject: General Tech, Displays | March 28, 2014 - 04:21 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: VR, valve, Oculus, facebook
Today, Oculus VR issued a statement which claims that Michael Abrash has joined their ranks as Chief Scientist. Abrash was hired by Valve in 2011 where he led, and apparently came up with the idea for, their wearable computing initiatives. For a time, he and Jeri Ellsworth were conducting similar projects until she, and many others, were forced out of the company for undisclosed reasons (she was allowed to take her project with her which ultimately became CastAR). While I have yet to see an official announcement claim that Abrash has left Valve, I have serious doubts that he would be employed in both places for any reasonable period of time. With both gone, I wonder about Valve's wearable initaitive going forward.
Abrash at Steam Dev Days
This press statement comes just three days after Facebook announced "definitive" plans to acquire Oculus VR for an equivalent of $2 billion USD (it is twice the company Instragram was). Apparently, the financial stability of Facebook (... deep breath before continuing...) was the catalyst for this decision. VR research is expensive. Abrash is now comfortable working with them, gleefully expending R&D funds, advancing the project without sinking the ship.
And then there's Valve.
On last night's This Week in Computer Hardware (#260), Patrick Norton and I were discussing the Oculus VR acquisition. He claimed that he had serious doubts about whether Valve ever intended to ship a product. So far, the only product available that uses Valve's research is the Oculus Rift DK2. Honestly, while I have not really thought about it until now, it would not be surprising for Valve to contribute to the PC platform itself.
And, hey, at least someone is not afraid of Facebook's ownership.
Subject: General Tech, Displays, Shows and Expos | March 22, 2014 - 01:04 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: oculus rift, Oculus, gdc 14, GDC
Last month, we published a news piece stating that Oculus Rift production has been suspended as "certain components" were unavailable. At the time, the company said they are looking for alternate suppliers but do not know how long that will take. The speculation was that the company was simply readying a new version and did not want to cannibalize their sales.
This week, they announced a new version which is available for pre-order and expected to ship in July.
DK2, as it is called, integrates a pair of 960x1080 OLED displays (correction, March 22nd @ 3:15pm: It is technically a single 1080p display that is divided per eye) for higher resolution and lower persistence. Citing Valve's VR research, they claim that the low persistence will reduce motion blur as your eye blends neighboring frames together. In this design, it flickers the image for a short period before going black, and does this at a high enough rate keep your eye fed with light. The higher resolution also prevents the "screen door effect" complained about by the first release. Like their "Crystal Cove" prototype, it also uses an external camera to reduce latency in detecting your movement. All of these should combine to less motion sickness.
I would expect that VR has a long road ahead of it before it becomes a commercial product for the general population, though. There are many legitimate concerns about leaving your users trapped in a sensory deprivation apparatus when Kinect could not even go a couple of days without someone pretending to play volleyball and wrecking their TV with ceiling fan fragments. Still, this company seems to be doing it intelligently: keep afloat on developers and lead users as you work through your prototypes. It is cool, even if it will get significantly better, and people will support its research while getting the best at the time.
DK2 is available for pre-order for $350 and is expected to ship in July.
Subject: Displays | January 17, 2014 - 06:35 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: vg248qe, nvidia, gaming, g-sync, DIY, asus
NVIDIA's new G-Sync variable refresh rate technology is slowly being rolled out to consumers in the form of new monitors and DIY upgrade kits that can be used to add G-Sync functionality to existing displays. The first G-Sync capable monitor to support the DIY upgrade kit path is the ASUS VG248QE which is a 24" 1080p 144Hz TN panel. The monitor itself costs around $270 and the you can now purchase a G-Sync DIY upgrade kit from NVIDIA for $199.
The upgrade kit comes with a replacement controller board, power supply, HDMI cable, plastic spudger, IO shields, and installation instructions. Users will need to take apart the VG248QE monitor, remove the old PCBs and install the G-Sync board in its place. According to NVIDIA the entire process takes about 30 minutes though if this is your first time digging into monitor internals it will likely take closer to an hour to install.
The NVIDIA G-Sync DIY kit below the ASUS VG248QE monitor.
For help with installation, NVIDIA has posted a video of the installation process on YouTube. If you find text and photos easier, you can follow the installation guides written up for PC Perspective by Allyn Malventano and reader Levi Kendall. Both DIY kit reviews stated that the process, while a bit involved, was possible for most gamers to perform with a bit of guidance.
You can order the DIY upgrade kit yourself from this NVIDIA page.
Alternatively, ASUS is also releasing an updated version of the VG248QE monitor with the G-Sync board pre-installed in the first half of this year. This updated G-Sync monitor will have an MSRP of $399.
With the G-Sync kit at $199, will you be going the DIY path or waiting for a new monitor with the technology pre-installed?
Read more about NVIDIA's G-Sync display technology at PC Perspective including first impressions, installation, and more!
Subject: Graphics Cards, Displays | January 8, 2014 - 04:01 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: pq321q, PQ321, nvidia, gsync, g-sync, CES 2014, CES, asus, 4k
Just before CES Allyn showed you the process of modifying the ASUS VG248QE to support NVIDIA G-Sync variable refresh rate technology. It wasn't the easiest mod we have ever done but even users without a lot of skill will be able to accomplish it.
But at the NVIDIA booth at CES this year the company was truly showing off G-Sync technology to its fullest capability. By taking the 3840x2160 ASUS PQ321Q monitor and modifying it with the same G-Sync module technology we were able to see variable refresh rate support in 4K glory.
Obviously you can't see much from the photo above about the smoothness of the animation, but I can assure you that in person this looks incredible. In fact, 4K might be the perfect resolution for G-Sync to shine as running games at that high of a resolution will definitely bring your system to its knees, dipping below that magical 60 Hz / FPS rate. But when it does with this modified panel, you'll still get smooth game play and a a tear-free visual experience.
The mod is actually using the same DIY kit that Allyn used in his story though it likely has a firmware update for compatibility. Even with the interesting debate from AMD about the support for VRR in the upcoming DisplayPort 1.3 standard, it's impossible to not see the ASUS PQ321Q in 4K with G-Sync and instantly fall in love with PCs again.
Sorry - there are no plans to offer this upgrade kit for ASUS PQ321Q owners!
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Displays | January 6, 2014 - 04:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: phillips, PhilipsUltraClear, CES 2014, 4k
Graphic artists won't feel left out at CES with the new 4K 28" PhilipsUltraClear Display that was just announced. This is not a gaming monitor but a full 10-bit colour display at a 4K resolution which will be wonderful to create content on.
LAS VEGAS - Jan. 6, 2014 - The PhilipsUltraClear Display debuts today, combining 4K UHD high resolution with a color depth of 1.07 billion colors to deliver brilliant performance, screen clarity and detail with four times the resolution of Full HD. Whether you require extremely detailed information for CAD-CAM solutions, use 3D graphic applications or are a financial wizard working on huge spreadsheets, this Philips display will provide UltraClear 3840x2160 pixel images to meet the visual demands of the most sophisticated power user. The 28-inch monitor (model 288P6) is also ideal for those seeking superb onscreen clarity and color accuracy for personal applications, and includes built-in stereo speakers for multimedia and MHL technology for easy mobile device connectivity.
Designed with the user in mind, the PhilipsUltraClear Display provides a plethora of connectivity options and comes equipped with HDMI, DisplayPort, Dual-link DVI and VGA SmartConnect ports, enabling the enjoyment of high resolution uncompressed video and audio content. USB 3.0 ensures super speed data transfers and smartphone charging while having global connectivity. Additionally, an integrated MHL port allows users to connect compatible phones and tablets directly to the monitor to mirror content to the widescreen display while charging the mobile device at the same time.
The Philips UltraClear Display also features MultiView functionality. This technology enables active dual connect and view so that users can work with multiple devices like PC and laptop side-by-side simultaneously, making complex multi-tasking work a breeze. With the Ultra HD Philips MultiView display, you can now experience a world of connectivity in a comfortable way whether at office or at home.
Another people-friendly feature is the advanced SmartErgoBase, which allows the monitor to be lowered down almost to desk level for a comfortable viewing angle. Low bezel-to-table height is the perfect solution for those who use bifocals, trifocals or progressive lens glasses for computing work. Additionally, the adjustable base allows for users of greatly different heights to use the monitor in their preferred angle and height settings, helping them reduce fatigue and strain. The SmartErgoBase’s height, swivel, tilt and rotation angle adjustments position the monitor for maximum comfort, while its cable management function reduces cable clutter and keeps the workspace neat and professional.
- LCD panel type TN
- Backlight type W-LED system
- Panel size 28-inch
- Aspect ratio 16:9
- Optimum resolution 3840 x 2160
- Brightness 300
- Color 10-bit
- Viewing angle 170º (H) / 160º (V) @ C/R > 10
- Signal input VGA (Analog )x1; DVI-D dual link x1; MHL-HDMI x1; DPx1 USB USB2.0 x2; USB3.0 x2; + fast charger
- Audio 3W x2
- Power supply Internal
- Cabinet color Black
The Philips UltraClear Display will be available in spring 2014 for $1,199.99 MSRP.
PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: General Tech, Displays, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 6, 2014 - 04:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: projector, DLP, CES 2014, CES, asus
And now, for a much different display.
This one has nothing to do with 4K or G-Sync. This is a relatively tiny DLP projector with a built-in rechargeable battery. It is designed to be portable and even connect to MHL-compliant tablets and smartphones. The enclosed battery is expected to last three hours on a single charge or, if using the phone has more need for power than the projector, it can charge your mobile device from its battery.
The projector is capable of producing a 41-inch image with only 3 feet of throw distance. It also has an integrated speaker. The SBW-S1 Blu-Ray drive is a companion product to playback high-definition optical disks with the projector (and maybe other devices?). It includes a Xonar sound card and headphone amplifier although I am not sure the use case for a playing Blu-Rays on a 41-inch projector wearing headphones.
The S1 Projector has an MSRP of $319. No availability information yet. Also, no pricing or availability on the Blu-ray drive, either.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!