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Manufacturer: NVIDIA

Quality time with G-Sync

Readers of PC Perspective will already know quite alot about NVIDIA's G-Sync technology.  When it was first unveiled in October we were at the event and were able to listen to NVIDIA executives, product designers and engineers discuss and elaborate on what it is, how it works and why it benefits gamers.  This revolutionary new take on how displays and graphics cards talk to each other enables a new class of variable refresh rate monitors that will offer up the smoothness advantages of having V-Sync off, while offering the tear-free images normally reserved for gamers enabling V-Sync. 

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NVIDIA's Prototype G-Sync Monitor

We were lucky enough to be at NVIDIA's Montreal tech day while John Carmack, Tim Sweeney and Johan Andersson were on stage discussing NVIDIA G-Sync among other topics.  All three developers were incredibly excited about G-Sync and what it meant for gaming going forward.

Also on that day, I published a somewhat detailed editorial that dug into the background of V-sync technology, why the 60 Hz refresh rate existed and why the system in place today is flawed.  This basically led up to an explanation of how G-Sync works, including integration via extending Vblank signals and detailed how NVIDIA was enabling the graphics card to retake control over the entire display pipeline.

In reality, if you want the best explanation of G-Sync, how it works and why it is a stand-out technology for PC gaming, you should take the time to watch and listen to our interview with NVIDIA's Tom Petersen, one of the primary inventors of G-Sync.  In this video we go through quite a bit of technical explanation of how displays work today, and how the G-Sync technology changes gaming for the better.  It is a 1+ hour long video, but I selfishly believe that it is the most concise and well put together collection of information about G-Sync for our readers.

The story today is more about extensive hands-on testing with the G-Sync prototype monitors.  The displays that we received this week were modified versions of the 144Hz ASUS VG248QE gaming panels, the same ones that will in theory be upgradeable by end users as well sometime in the future.  These monitors are TN panels, 1920x1080 and though they have incredibly high refresh rates, aren't usually regarded as the highest image quality displays on the market.  However, the story about what you get with G-Sync is really more about stutter (or lack thereof), tearing (or lack thereof), and a better overall gaming experience for the user. 

Continue reading our tech preview of NVIDIA G-Sync!!

Dell UltraSharp 24": Professional 4K (UltraHD) Monitor

Subject: General Tech, Displays | December 1, 2013 - 11:20 PM |
Tagged: dell, ultrasharp, UP2414Q, 4k

Dell Belize published an overview of the UltraSharp UP2414Q 24" 4K monitor. I must say, 3840x2160 in a 24" display would certainly look make text look "ultra sharp". The rest of the company still does not appear to be acknowledging its existence but I think this is a pretty safe rumor.

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One of the selling points of Dell UltraSharp monitors is its color gamut. It is not too difficult to find a monitor with 100% sRGB coverage, but Adobe RGB is quite larger; the UP2414Q claims to be able to reproduce 99% of it. This means that, if properly calibrated, the monitor can reach "further colors" instead of approximating them. Specifically, 100% Adobe RGB is roughly the gamut possible with color printers.

Put into perspective: my Wacom Cintiq 22HD claims 72% coverage of Adobe RGB.

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

Not much else is known about this display. It does not have a price. It does not have a release date. It does not even have an official announcement date. They do claim to calibrate the monitors before they leave the factory so that is some other information, I guess. It has four USB 3.0 ports and a 6-in-1 card reader.

But I can imagine the biggest omission for our audience is: there is no official announcement about refresh rates. Ian Cutress down at Anandtech assumes, based on the Dell UltraSharp 32" UP3214Q monitor, it will support 60Hz only using two DisplayPort 1.2a connectors in MST; otherwise, 4K will be limited to 30Hz.

I would be surprised if he is not correct.

Source: Dell Belize

AOC brings the hertz

Subject: Displays | November 14, 2013 - 11:58 AM |
Tagged: AOC, 144hz, G2460PQU

AOC's G2460PQU is a 24" 1080p display at 144Hz which should give you a smoother experience when gaming.  It supports DVI-D, DSUB, HDMI and DisplayPort and has four USB ports on the sides including a power boosted one for recharging.  The overall look is rather nice but the power button is oddly placed on the underside alongside the inputs.  eTeknix tried out this display and you can see what they thought in their full review.

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"Recently I took a look at one of these new 144Hz panels from AOC, namely the G2460PQU and on the whole I was impressed with the quality of the build and the feature set on offer, but most importantly, the difference that the faster refresh rate made to not only game play but also during day-to-day usage."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

Source: eTeknix

PCPer Live! NVIDIA G-Sync Discussion with Tom Petersen, Q&A

Subject: Graphics Cards, Displays | October 20, 2013 - 11:50 AM |
Tagged: video, tom petersen, nvidia, livestream, live, g-sync

UPDATE: If you missed our live stream today that covered NVIDIA G-Sync technology, you can watch the replay embedded below.  NVIDIA's Tom Petersen stops by to talk about G-Sync in both high level and granular detail while showing off some demonstrations of why G-Sync is so important.  Enjoy!!

Last week NVIDIA hosted press and developers in Montreal to discuss a couple of new technologies, the most impressive of which was NVIDIA G-Sync, a new monitor solution that looks to solve the eternal debate of smoothness against latency.  If you haven't read about G-Sync and how impressive it was when first tested on Friday, you should check out my initial write up, NVIDIA G-Sync: Death of the Refresh Rate, that not only does that, but dives into the reason the technology shift was necessary in the first place.

G-Sync essentially functions by altering and controlling the vBlank signal sent to the monitor.  In a normal configuration, vBlank is a combination of the combination of the vertical front and back porch and the necessary sync time.  That timing is set a fixed stepping that determines the effective refresh rate of the monitor; 60 Hz, 120 Hz, etc.  What NVIDIA will now do in the driver and firmware is lengthen or shorten the vBlank signal as desired and will send it when one of two criteria is met.

  1. A new frame has completed rendering and has been copied to the front buffer.  Sending vBlank at this time will tell the screen grab data from the card and display it immediately.
  2. A substantial amount of time has passed and the currently displayed image needs to be refreshed to avoid brightness variation.

In current display timing setups, the submission of the vBlank signal has been completely independent from the rendering pipeline.  The result was varying frame latency and either horizontal tearing or fixed refresh frame rates.  With NVIDIA G-Sync creating an intelligent connection between rendering and frame updating, the display of PC games is fundamentally changed.

Every person that saw the technology, including other media members and even developers like John Carmack, Johan Andersson and Tim Sweeney, came away knowing that this was the future of PC gaming.  (If you didn't see the panel that featured those three developers on stage, you are missing out.)

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But it is definitely a complicated technology and I have already seen a lot of confusion about it in our comment threads on PC Perspective.  To help the community get a better grasp and to offer them an opportunity to ask some questions, NVIDIA's Tom Petersen is stopping by our offices on Monday afternoon where he will run through some demonstrations and take questions from the live streaming audience.

Be sure to stop back at PC Perspective on Monday, October 21st at 2pm ET / 11am PT as to discuss G-Sync, how it was developed and the various ramifications the technology will have in PC gaming.  You'll find it all on our PC Perspective Live! page on Monday but you can sign up for our "live stream mailing list" as well to get notified in advance!

NVIDIA G-Sync Live Stream

11am PT / 2pm ET - October 21st

PC Perspective Live! Page

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We also want your questions!!  The easiest way to get them answered is to leave them for us here in the comments of this post.  That will give us time to filter through the questions and get the answers you need from Tom.  We'll take questions via the live chat and via Twitter (follow me @ryanshrout) during the event but often time there is a lot of noise to deal with. 

So be sure to join us on Monday afternoon!

You've seen the specials on Dell's new U3014, now see the review

Subject: Displays | September 13, 2013 - 10:27 AM |
Tagged: dell, U3014, 30 inch, 2560x1600

Hardware Canucks have been thoroughly enjoying themselves with the new Dell 30" display, the UltraSharp U3014.  The 2560x1600 display might be expensive but if you can afford the asking price it will not disappoint.  If you look very carefully during fast paced action you might see a hint of ghosting but not enough to distract you from your game.  Professionals will appreciate the 10-bit colour capability and the numerous colour settings will help you while creating content.  Take a look at the full review here.

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"Dell's new flagship monitor, the UltraSharp U3014 is everything we could possibly want. It uses a 16:10 AH-IPS panel, boasts one of the best color rendition scores around and simply outpaces nearly everything else out there."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

LG V960 All-In-One PC Announced at IFA 2013

Subject: General Tech, Displays, Systems | August 31, 2013 - 12:25 PM |
Tagged: LG, AIO, 21:9

HDTVs have an aspect ratio, the proportion between width and height, of 16:9. This, more noticeably rectangular, format was seen as a suitable compromise between 4:3 tradition and the many widths of theatrical releases. Computers, high resolution since the 90s (give-or-take) to fit more stuff on screen, first adopted many HD innovations.

Widescreen, however, was firmly resisted. Internet video was not popular or even known to the general public. Vista, with its sidebar optimizations, was expected to make 16:10 tolerable. 16:9 was too wide to even be considered an effective option for documents and websites.

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I must say: I don't know how I'd live without Sidebar making my monitor feel wastefully narrow and...

... normal.

Now that the public is comfortable with 16:9, because at some point it ceased to be scary for display manufacturers, some are experimenting with even wider niches. 2560x1080 has about a third more width than a "FullHD" panel to add another side-by-side-by-side document to edit or snapped website to refer to. At this point, if people want to buy it, do it.

LG, at IFA 2013, unveiled their V960 all-in-one (AIO) desktop. This computer is housed inside a 29" 21:9 (technically 64:27, but those numbers are big and scary) IPS display. Despite lacking a touchscreen, and despite OSX screenshots for its also announced plain monitors in its promo image, the AIO comes with Windows 8 pre-installed. It houses a mobile GeForce GT 640M GPU and... well that is about all we know of its internals.

The company believes that you might use some screen width for picture-in-picture TV browsing. LG is not too clear on what functionality will be available to the V960. Other monitors in the line contain a TV tuner, but they never specified whether the AIO would have a tuner or just an HDMI input. Also unclear, whether video inputs are accessible to the computer for DVR functionality or whether it is delivered straight to the display.

The LG V960 was on display at IFA 2013. No pricing and availability information has been announced by LG.

Source: LG

Higher than High Definition ... we need a better name for 2560 x 1440

Subject: Displays | August 22, 2013 - 11:40 AM |
Tagged: hd, 2560x1440, asus, dell, eizo, fujitsu, hp, LG, Iiyama, philips, Samsung

Hardware.info had a chance to review 14 different 2560x1440 displays of which all but three they could find for sale; prices ranged from $500 to $950.  That price range is interesting as all of the displays reviewed were 27" models, so the disparity is not caused by larger screens.  Gamers may want to head straight to their findings on Response Time and Input Lag but you should spend the time to read the whole round up if you are more interested in the colour accuracy.

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"Most IT product categories tend to evolve rapidly, but developments in computer monitors have been decidedly slower. Although larger screens are slowly becoming more affordable, the most common resolution remains 1920x1080 pixels. Nonetheless, this year we're seeing more and more manufacturers release WQHD monitors. Hardware.Info collected 14 different models of these very impressive monitors and tested them to find out which is the best one to get."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

When you think monitors, do you think Lenovo?

Subject: Displays | July 30, 2013 - 02:42 PM |
Tagged: Lenovo, thinkvision, ips display, LT3053p

The Lenovo ThinkVision LT3053p is an 30" IPS LED backlit display with a 2560×1600 resolution and a hefty price tag of around $1500.  For that price you do get some interesting input choices including a mobile high definition link port, which looks like an HDMI input except for the MHL label as well as both DisplayPort 1.2 in and an DP 1.2 out to allow you to daisy chain another monitor to the Lenovo.  As well a single USB 2.0 and four USB 3.0 ports were installed, including a dedicated charging port like is seen on many laptops now on the market.  For professionals this monitor is able to display 30bit colour and 99% Adobe RGB gamut.  Benchmark Reviews also demonstrated how the monitor can be split and accept sources from two different computers and have a mouse and keyboard hooked up directly so that it can act as a sort of KVM switch.  The features are interesting but it is hard to get over the sticker shock.

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"In the past year or so flat panel monitor prices have entered free-fall, with massive 27″ displays widely available for under $300. Given that, why would anyone even consider spending over $1,500 on a somewhat larger 30″ display? Lenovo has lent Benchmark Reviews one of their ThinkVision LT3053p units to review, so let’s see what all that extra money buys you."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

Extreme Windows, Extreme Eyefinity, 11,520 x 2160 Gaming

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Displays | July 25, 2013 - 04:32 PM |
Tagged: eyefinity, crossfire, 4k

Sharp recently sampled a few of their 32" 4K monitors to Microsoft's Extreme Windows. The blog, known for editorializing what enthusiasts can do with Microsoft products, combined three 3840 x 2160 monitors into a 3x1 Eyefinity configuration at 60 Hz; the screen, itself, measures about 7 feet diagonally. This configuration, unlike the already-supported three-display 30 Hz and single-display 60Hz 4K modes, required AMD to develop a customized driver before Sharp's repo-team reclaimed their $15,000 worth of monitors.

They had a day until their door was to be knocked.

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The system, three Radeon HD 7970s in Crossfire, successfully drove... they were playing Dirt 3, by the way... the three monitors at 60 Hz with between 62 and 70, of software recorded, FPS. 11,520 x 2160, at 60 Hz, requires 1.5 billion colors to be calculated within a second of animation; that is 1.5 gigapixels. Ignore, for a moment, stutter caused by including Crossfire with an Eyefinity setup. Every calculation, whether properly drawn to the monitor or not is, and must be, performed; 1.5 gigapixels is impressive and an accomplishment for Radeon hardware.

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Lastly, I need to call out drama as I see it: power supplies. It is not hard to find a PSU which can support a three-GPU system and no reason for it to be hanging outside the case. It might give off the bleeding-edge appearance, but this is not arc welding. If they really were concerned, they could have picked up a higher capacity device from the shelf of a local component reseller.

Dell Unveils UltraSharp 32 Ultra HD Monitor With 3840x2160 IGZO Panel

Subject: Displays | July 24, 2013 - 12:59 PM |
Tagged: ultrasharp 32, ultrasharp, ultra hdtv, UHD, igzo, dell, 4k

Dell showed off a new Ultra HD (UHD) monitor called the UltraSharp 32 at SIGGRAPH 2013 this week. The new monitor has a 32" IGZO, or Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide, panel, which is a technology developed by Sharp that allows for smaller pixels or faster reaction times. (A similar panel is used in the ASUS PQ321Q that Ryan recently reviewed.). The panel has a 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 and comes with a matte finish. Dell claims that its new 4K monitor supports up to 1.07 billion colors.

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The monitor is fitted to an aluminum stand that allows for height ajustment. The monitor itself is rather thin, but still manages to fit an SD card reader on the left-hand side. The rest of the ports are located on the rear of the monitor, however. IO on the Dell UltraSharp 32 includes:

  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x Mini DisplayPort
  • 3 x USB
  • 1 x SD

Unfortunately, other specifications such as refresh rate are unknown. Dell has not yet released pricing information, but has stated that the UltraSharp 32 will be available in Q4 of this year. I think this is good for consumers as it should help bring 4k monitor prices down as competition heats up between the various manufacturers using these IGZO panels.

Engadget was on hand at SIGGRAPH and managed to snap several photos of the new monitor which are worth checking out.

Source: Engadget