UltraWide G-Sync Arrives
When NVIDIA first launched G-Sync monitors, they had the advantage of being first to literally everything. They had the first variable refresh rate technology, the first displays of any kind that supported it and the first ecosystem to enable it. AMD talked about FreeSync just a few months later, but it wasn't until March of 2015 that we got our hands on the first FreeSync enabled display, and it was very much behind the experience provided by G-Sync displays. That said, what we saw with that launch, and continue to see as time goes on, is that there are a much higher quantity of FreeSync options, with varying specifications and options, compared to what NVIDIA has built out.
This is important to note only because, as we look at the Acer Predator X34 monitor today, the first 34-in curved panel to support G-Sync, it comes 3 months after the release of the similarly matched monitor from Acer that worked with AMD FreeSync. The not-as-sexyily-named Acer XR341CK offers a 3440x1440 resolution, 34-in curved IPS panel and a 75Hz refresh rate.
But, as NVIDIA tends to do, they found a way to differentiate its own products, with the help of Acer. The Predator X34 monitor has a unique look and style to it, and it improves the maximum refresh rate to 100Hz (although that is considered overclocking). The price is a bit higher too, coming in at $1300 or so on Amazon.com; the FreeSync-enabled XR341CK monitor sells for just $941.
Subject: General Tech | October 22, 2015 - 02:12 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: yoga 900, xr321ck, western digital, video, valve, ultrawide, steam link, Steam Controller, sandisk, podcast, Lenovo, freesync, acer, 3440x1440
PC Perspective Podcast #372 - 10/22/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the Steam Controller and Steam Link, Acer XR321CK Ultrawide Freesync Display, and more!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano, and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:29:18
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Specs, Physical Design
Over the past 2 years or so we have noticed a trend in PC gaming: more and more gamers are realizing the importance of the display in the total gaming experience. Having been in the reviews game for nearly 16 years, I am just as guilty as most of you reading this of falling into the trap of "good enough" monitors. Steam surveys and our own data from readers shows that most of you have found some form of 1920x1080 screen and have stuck with it. But the truth is changing your monitor can and will dramatically impact how you game, how you work and just how impressed you feel each and every time you sit down in front of your PC.
Today we are looking at one of the monitors that promises to change how you view productivity and gaming. The Acer XR341CK continues the momentum of a new aspect ratio of monitors, 21:9. Otherwise known as UltraWide displays, they are available in both 2560x1080 and 3440x1440 resolutions, though our testing model today uses the latter, larger option. This Acer has a slight curve to it as well, just enough to be enjoyable without changing viewing angles for the primary user. With a 34 inch diagonal measurement, IPS panel technology and AMD FreeSync variable refresh rate support, the Acer XR341CK is likely to be our new favorite monitor for AMD Radeon users.
This doesn't come without a cost though: the XR341CK retails for just over $1,000 on Amazon. For many of you that will be a breath-taking price, and not in a good way. But consider the length of time that users tend keep monitors, I think we can make the case that type of investment is actually worthwhile.
Subject: Displays | October 13, 2015 - 12:24 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: acer, Predator X34, gaming monitor, 34-inch, ips, g-sync, curved lcd, 3440x1440
The new Acer Predator X34 claims a “world's first” as a curved 34-inch IPS G-SYNC gaming monitor, and from appearance to specs the new display looks very impressive.
- Curved 34-inch IPS 21:9 ultra-wide QHD display
- 3440x1440 @ 60 Hz resolution
- 4 ms response time
- 100,000,000:1 max contrast ratio
- 300 cd/m2 brightness
- 1.07 billion colors (10-bit)
- 100% sRGB
- Panel supports overclocking to 100Hz
- NVIDIA G-SYNC technology
- Two 7W speakers enhanced with DTS Sound
- Zero frame design maximizes viewing area
- Tilt from –5 to +35 degrees, height adjustments up to 5 inches
- Connectivity includes HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, and 4x USB 3.0 ports
The 60 Hz native refresh rate might cause comment, but the adjustable overclocking up to 100 Hz should satisfy those looking for a better high FPS experience, though at 3440x1440 it would be difficult to max out even 60 Hz with the newest games at ultra settings if you're running a single GPU. And if you do play at the highest settings the included NVIDIA G-SYNC variable refresh technology will certainly help with those moments when the game is outputting much less than 60 FPS.
So how much will the new Predator X34 set you back? Acer says the monitor will be available “at leading online retailers in the United States” for a cool $1299.
Subject: Displays | September 3, 2015 - 08:58 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: ROG Swift, PG348Q, monitor, ips, IFA 2015, gaming monitor, g-sync, asus, 3440x1440, 21:9, 100Hz
The latest ROG Swift monitor from ASUS is the PG348Q, which features a curved 34-inch IPS 21:9 display.
The ROG Swift PG348Q offers 3440x1440 resolution from its 100 Hz IPS panel, and includes NVIDIA G-SYNC technology. The new ROG Swift is said to have a "frameless curved design", but as we saw with the recently reviewed ASUS PB258Q monitor this might not be quite as frameless after all, but we shall see.
The ROG Swift PG348Q features full tilt, swivel, and height adjustments, and offers a couple of ASUS-specific features including GamePlus, which "gives users four different crosshair options, an in-game timer and an FPS counter for an added advantage in first-person-shooter and real-time-strategy games", and GameVisual, which "provides six preset display modes for optimized gaming visuals".
Pricing and availability of this latest ROG Swift has yet to be announced.
Subject: Displays | April 16, 2015 - 10:26 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: 3440x1440, XR341CKA, ultra-widescreen, gaming monitor, g-sync, acer, 21:9, ips
Acer's upcoming ultra-widescreen 34-inch G-SYNC gaming monitor, the XR341CKA, will have multiple inputs according to a report published by TFT Central, which indicates possible changes to the G-SYNC V2 module as previous displays only provided one input.
The Acer XR341CKA (Credit: TFT Central)
The Acer XR341CKA is a variant of the XR341CK, a FreeSync monitor that contains an identical panel. The IPS panel in both monitors is rated up to 75Hz refresh with a resolution of 3440x1440, and a contrast ratio of 1000:1 with 8-bit + FRC (effective 10-bit) color depth. The big story here is of course the G-SYNC module, and though we don't know the specific implementation yet is will be interesting to see what the input support of version 2 G-SYNC displays will be. According to TFT Central the FreeSync (CK) variant of the XR341 offers "HDMI 2.0 (MHL), DisplayPort, Mini DP and DP out connections," and "it will support daisy chaining via the DP out port and also PiP and PbP functions".
The original G-SYNC module (Credit: NVIDIA)
In contrast the G-SYNC variant (CKA) of the XR341 offers "DisplayPort, but also an additional HDMI 1.4 video connection...(and) will also support ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur)." TFT Central points out that this detail "would mark the first G-sync screen we've seen with more than one connection, so we will be interested to see how this works." If indeed this is a single module solution it is possible that NVIDIA has made changes with the second-gen G-SYNC module to allow for more than one input. We will have to wait and see, unless more details about this V2 module are forthcoming.
A monitor for those that like it long
It takes a lot to really impress someone that sits in front of dual 2560x1600 30-in IPS screens all day, but the LG 34UM95 did just that. With a 34-in diagonal 3440x1440 resolution panel forming a 21:9 aspect ratio, built on LG IPS technology for flawless viewing angles, this monitor creates a work and gaming experience that is basically unmatched in today's market. Whether you need to open up a half-dozen Excel or Word documents, keep an eye on your Twitter feed while looking at 12 browsers or run games at near Eyefinity/Surround levels without bezels, the LG 34UM95 is a perfect option.
Originally priced north of $1200, the 34UM95 and many in LG's 21:9 lineup have dropped in price considerably, giving them more avenues into users' homes. There are obvious gaming advantages to the 34-in display compared to a pair of 1920x1080 panels (no bezel, 20% more pixels) but if you have a pair of 2560x1440 screens you are going to be giving up a bit. Some games might not handle 21:9 resolutions well either, just as we continue to see Eyefinity/Surround unsupported occasionally.
Productivity users will immediately see an improvement, both for those us inundated with spreadsheets, web pages and text documents as well as the more creative types with Adobe Premiere timelines. I know that Ken would definitely have approved us keeping this monitor here at the office for his use.
Check out the video above for more thoughts on the LG 34UM95!
Subject: Displays | January 5, 2015 - 12:08 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: uwqhd, ultrawide, philips, ips, curved lcd, ces 2015, CES, 3440x1440, 21:9
Philips is showing a new 34-inch, 21:9 monitor at this year's CES, and the ultra-wide monitor will feature a curved IPS panel with 3440x1440 resolution.
The BDM3490UC monitor has a 60 Hz IPS panel with a native response time of 14 ms, though this can be adjusted down to 5 ms using the "SmartResponse" control. This model also features MultiView technology which enables two active connections to be used simultaneously, allowing multiple devices to share the screen.
- Panel Type: AH-IPS
- Backlight: W-LED
- Panel Size: 34.1"
- Resolution: 3440 x 1440 @ 60 Hz
- Response time (typical): 14 ms (Grey to Grey)
- SmartResponse (typical) 5 ms (Grey to Grey)
- Brightness (typical): 300 cd/m²
- Contrast ratio (typical): 1000:1
- Viewing angle: 178° (H) x 178° (V) @ C/R > 10
- Display colors: 1.07 billion colors (8-bits + FRC)
- Display inputs: DisplayPort 1.2 x 1, HDMI 2.0 x 1, HDMI 1.4 (w/MHL) x 1, HDMI 1.4 x 1
- USB: USB 3.0 x4 (1 with BC 1.2 Fast Charging)
- Audio in/out: PC audio in, headphone out
- Built-in speakers: 7 W x2 with DTS sound
- Tilt: -5/20 degree
- Power supply: External
- Color: Black
No word on pricing or availability just yet.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!