Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2019 - 01:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, g-sync, freesync, benq, asus, AOC, amd, adaptive sync, acer
G-SYNC is showing some signs of defeat as today NVIDIA announced that several Adaptive Sync monitors have been tested and rated as G-SYNC compatible. Adaptive Sync is the official VESA technology which is present in AMD's FreeSync monitors and it offers a definitive financial advantage over NVIDIA's G-SYNC as the module required for G-SYNC can add hundreds of dollars to the price.
So far only a dozen monitors out of around 400 tests have been rated as G-SYNC compatible, so don't expect to be mixing your monitors quite yet but it does imply in some cases the extra controller is not required for variable refresh rates with either NVIDIA's or AMD's GPUs. The results of this test give AMD bragging rights for implementing adaptive sync in the most attractive way but this change could hurt GPU sales as users can now opt for an GeForce card paired with a FreeSync display.
Even if your display is not listed in those models, you can try enabling adaptive sync over DisplayPort and see if it works, though your results may vary. Ars Technica lists the models here.
"Besides being unexpected good news for gamers who already own one of these FreeSync monitors, this is also great news for gamers that want to add VRR to their Nvidia graphics card setup without breaking the bank."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Marriott: Good news. Hackers only took 383 million booking records ... and 5.3m unencrypted passport numbers @ The Register
- Asus ZenBook S13 brings the display notch to laptops @ The Inquirer
- New side-channel leak: Boffins bash operating system page caches until they spill secrets @ The Register
- Vinyl and Cassette Sales Continued To Grow Last Year @ Slashdot
- 2018 review and 2019 outlook: Sharp price falls to boost NAND flash penetration @ DigiTimes
- Controlling Non-Googley Devices With Google Assistant @ Hackaday
- Huawei's 7nm Kunpeng 920 is 'industry's fastest' ARM-based processor @ The Inquirer
- The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Used Graphics Card @ Techspot
- ThunderX3 UC5 HEX RGB Gaming Chair Review @ NikKTech
BenQ EW3270U Review
The HDR craze continues to heat up in the PC display market, and while some manufacturers are aiming at the high end of performance and price, BenQ is targeting a much more attainable price point with the recent launch of the EW3270U, a 32-inch 4K HDR display.
The EW3270U touts support for HDR, FreeSync, and both DCI-P3 (95 percent coverage) and sRGB (100 percent) but its relatively low price of $699 means that buyers can expect some compromises. We tested the EW3270U to find out if its performance and limitations were worth the price, and discovered a display with very good color accuracy that may be just what mid-range 4K buyers are looking for.
Subject: Displays | April 18, 2018 - 03:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: benq, EL2870U, freesync, 4k, hdr10, TN
The BenQ EL2870U is a 27.9" 4K TN display that touts a 1ms gtg response time, supports HDMI 2.0a and DisplayPort 1.4, a FreeSync range of 40-60Hz and HDR 10 support. The proof is in the testing however, which Kitguru conducted in their review. The display suffers from an all too common flaw; it accepts HDR input but cannot properly display it so you should consider this a SDR display, more or less. The colour calibration is not good enough for professional usage but would certainly function perfectly for gaming. Check out the full details before considering a purchase.
"On paper, the BenQ EL2870U initially seems like the ideal entertainment and productivity monitor. It’s a stylish, flicker-free 28in 4K UHD display with a 1ms response time, AMD FreeSync and HDR 10 support, to list but a few of the highlights."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- AMD Radeon FreeSync 2 vs NVIDIA G-Sync @ [H]ard|OCP
- Philips Brilliance 328P6AUBREB 31.5in QHD Monitor @ Kitguru
- EIZO FlexScan EV2785 @ TechPowerUp
- Acer ProDesigner PE320QK @ Kitguru
- Buying Guide: 4K TVs You Can Use As A Monitor @ Techgage
Subject: Displays | January 19, 2016 - 04:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: XR3501, mva, benq, 2560x1080, 144hz
Benq made some interesting design choices on the XR3501 which some will love and some will absolutely despise. A 35" MVA panel at 144Hz is impressive to behold and one with "2000R Ultra Curve Technology" is even more so as it is a significantly higher curve than most other monitors. The 2000R is actually an industry standard and denotes the radius, in millimetres, of the circle this monitor would describe which in this case is 2 metres. Most other curved monitors are 4000-4500R, as in 4 to 4.5 metres radius.
On the other hand, the monitor does not have adaptive sync technology and the resolution of 2560x1080 will cause some disappointment, as may the ~$1000 price tag. You can either check out Hardware Canucks' full review here or just scroll on in disgust.
"Massive curved gaming monitors seem to be the flavor of the day and BenQ's XR3501 may be one of the most insane. It boasts a 35" curved MVA panel with a 144Hz refresh rate."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- Philips Brilliance BDM3490UC Ultra-wide 21:9 Curved Display @ Kitguru
- Acer Predator X34 Review @ OCC
- Acer Predator XB270HU G-Sync Display @ Kitguru
- Dell S2716DG G-SYNC Gaming Monitor Review @ Hardware Canucks
- AOC U3277PQU 32-inch 4K display @ Kitguru
Subject: Displays, Shows and Expos | December 17, 2015 - 02:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: benq, VZ2470H, freesync, XR3501, XL2730Z, 144hz, CES 2016
BENQ sent out a teaser of three of the displays they will be demonstrating at CES 2016, the VZ2470H with a slim bezel and impressive contrast ratio, the huge, curved XR3501 and the XL2730Z with VESA Standard Adaptive-Sync, the technology once known as FreeSync.
The VZ2470H is a VA panel, with an impressive 3000:1 native contrast ratio, 4ms GTG response time and what BenQ refers to as ZeroFlicker which they claim will reduce eyestrain from LED backlight flickering. The picture shows this 23.8" 1920 x 1080 display will have a very thin bezel, we can hope that it is not an exaggeration as it would make this a good choice for multiple monitor setups in an office or even for a lower cost gaming system.
The BenQ XR3501 will be of far more interest to gamers, this 35" 2560 x 1080 monitor is curved to give you a great view. It also runs at a 144Hz refresh rate with a 4ms GTG response time. BenQ does not specifiy the panel type but it is likely to be VA as well.
Last but not least is the BenQ XL2730Z, a 27" 2560x1440 display that is fully VESA Standard Adaptive-Sync compliant, with a top refresh rate of 144Hz. It also has a 1ms GTG and is advertised as having no input lag, as you might expect this also means it is a TN panel, but remember, this is not the TN of a few years ago.
The monitor also has some other interesting tricks up its bezel, Display Mode and Smart Scaling allow you to virtually scale the monitor in a variety of sizes, 17", 19", 19"W, 21.5", 22"W, 23"W, 23.6"W and 24"W are defaults but you can create your own as well. The Auto Game Mode feature lets you save monitor settings specific to a game profile and even to export them to a USB drive to take with you if you so desire. All of those functions and more are controlled by the small device you can see on the stand above.
2016 is shaping up to be a very interesting year for displays.
They will also being showing off three different projectors, the HT4050, HT3050 and the budget-friendly HT2050, a portable electrostatic Bluetooth speaker called the treVolo and even even a fancy desk lamp.
Subject: General Tech | July 30, 2015 - 02:45 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, Intel, XPoint, nand, DRAM, windows 10, DirectX 12, freesync, g-sync, amd, nvidia, benq, uhd420, wasabi mango, X99, giveaway
PC Perspective Podcast #360 - 07/30/2015
Join us this week as we discuss Intel XPoint Memory, Windows 10 and DX12, FreeSync displays and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:28:34
We have been tracking the differences between AMD’s FreeSync and Nvidia’s G-Sync for some time now. The launch of FreeSync-capable displays started out a bit shaky, as some features we took for granted went missing. The first round of FreeSync displays we reviewed came with non-functional overdrive when the display / GPU pipeline was operating in FreeSync mode.
Comparison of overdrive response in first round FreeSync displays. Images should look like the ROG Swift (left), which was correctly applying overdrive.
While AMD apparently fixed a portion of this problem in a subsequent driver update, getting overdrive to function in these early displays would require a firmware update. Unlike what you may be used to with a motherboard or SSD firmware, displays are not typically end-user upgradeable. This meant that even if manufacturers produced a fix, owners would have to send in their display to be updated (and be without it for several weeks).
The only manufacturer to step forward and retroactively support overdrive in their first gen FreeSync panel was BenQ. In a statement issued via TFTCentral:
BenQ have confirmed that the FreeSync/AMA issue which affected their XL2730Z display has now been fixed. This issue caused the overdrive (AMA) feature to not function when the screen was connected to a FreeSync capable system. As a result, users could not make use of the AMA feature and benefit from the improved response times that the 'normal' AMA mode offered, as compared with AMA Off. See our review for more information.
A driver update from AMD is already available and should be downloaded from their website. In addition BenQ will be releasing a firmware update for the monitor itself to fix this issue. Current stocks in distribution are being recalled and updated with retailers so future purchases should already carry this new firmware. This is expected to apply for stock purchased AFTER 1st July, as V002 firmware screens should be shipped by BenQ to distributors in late June.
For those who already have an XL2730Z if you want to, you can return it to BenQ for them to carry out the firmware update for you. This only applies if the user is experiencing issues with the performance of the screen. There is no simple way for the end user to update the firmware themselves and it is not encouraged. Users should contact BenQ support through their relevant country website for more information on how to return their screen for the update.
The catch with the above is that the statement came from BenQ PR for Europe, and we nor TFTCentral have been able to confirm any equivalent upgrade process in place for the USA. We did note in various online reviews that those receiving their BenQ XL2730Z in the last week of June confirmed having the new V002 firmware.
If you have one of these panels, verifying your firmware is simple. Hold down the menu button while powering up the display (you will have to hold the power button for a few seconds before you hear a beep).
The display will power up and appear as normal, except that now pressing the menu button again will bring up the above service menu. Those with the update will have “V002” as the starting text of the ‘F/W Version’ result.
Overdrive functioning on the ASUS MG279Q IPS FreeSync display, showing an odd simultaneous ‘negative ghost’ outline of a slightly ghosted image.
We have been eager to retest the BenQ since hearing of this updated firmware revision. While we have seen overdrive functioning in the recent ASUS MG279Q, it was not a perfect implementation, and we were curious to know if BenQ’s implementation fared any better.
Ryan wasn't the only one to test BenQ's XL2730Z 27-in 2560x1440 144 Hz FreeSync Monitor, The Tech Report also had a chance to test one, as well as talk to NVIDIA's Tom Petersen about their competing technology. They also had a chance to discuss FreeSync in general with AMD's David Glen who is one of the engineers behind FreeSync. Their benchmarks and overall impression of the displays capabilities and FreeSync in general are a major portion of the review but the discussion with the two company representatives makes for even more interesting reading.
"AMD's FreeSync is here, personified in BenQ's XL2730Z monitor. We've gone deep into the display's performance and smoothness, with direct comparisons to G-Sync using 240-fps video. Here's what we found."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- AMD's FreeSync; A Long-Term Review @ Hardware Canucks
- AOC Q2778VQE @ Kitguru
- Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC @ Kitguru
- BenQ BL3201PT @ Kitguru
What is FreeSync?
FreeSync: What began as merely a term for AMD’s plans to counter NVIDIA’s launch of G-Sync (and mocking play on NVIDIA’s trade name) has finally come to fruition, keeping the name - and the attitude. As we have discussed, AMD’s Mantle API was crucial to pushing the industry in the correct and necessary direction for lower level APIs, though NVIDIA’s G-Sync deserves the same credit for recognizing and imparting the necessity of a move to a variable refresh display technology. Variable refresh displays can fundamentally change the way that PC gaming looks and feels when they are built correctly and implemented with care, and we have seen that time and time again with many different G-Sync enabled monitors at our offices. It might finally be time to make the same claims about FreeSync.
But what exactly is FreeSync? AMD has been discussing it since CES in early 2014, claiming that they would bypass the idea of a custom module that needs to be used by a monitor to support VRR, and instead go the route of open standards using a modification to DisplayPort 1.2a from VESA. FreeSync is based on AdaptiveSync, an optional portion of the DP standard that enables a variable refresh rate courtesy of expanding the vBlank timings of a display, and it also provides a way to updating EDID (display ID information) to facilitate communication of these settings to the graphics card. FreeSync itself is simply the AMD brand for this implementation, combining the monitors with correctly implemented drivers and GPUs that support the variable refresh technology.
A set of three new FreeSync monitors from Acer, LG and BenQ.
Fundamentally, FreeSync works in a very similar fashion to G-Sync, utilizing the idea of the vBlank timings of a monitor to change how and when it updates the screen. The vBlank signal is what tells the monitor to begin drawing the next frame, representing the end of the current data set and marking the beginning of a new one. By varying the length of time this vBlank signal is set to, you can force the monitor to wait any amount of time necessary, allowing the GPU to end the vBlank instance exactly when a new frame is done drawing. The result is a variable refresh rate monitor, one that is in tune with the GPU render rate, rather than opposed to it. Why is that important? I wrote in great detail about this previously, and it still applies in this case:
The idea of G-Sync (and FreeSync) is pretty easy to understand, though the implementation method can get a bit more hairy. G-Sync (and FreeSync) introduces a variable refresh rate to a monitor, allowing the display to refresh at wide range of rates rather than at fixed intervals. More importantly, rather than the monitor dictating what rate this refresh occurs at to the PC, the graphics now tells the monitor when to refresh in a properly configured G-Sync (and FreeSync) setup. This allows a monitor to match the refresh rate of the screen to the draw rate of the game being played (frames per second) and that simple change drastically improves the gaming experience for several reasons.
Gamers today are likely to be very familiar with V-Sync, short for vertical sync, which is an option in your graphics card’s control panel and in your game options menu. When enabled, it forces the monitor to draw a new image on the screen at a fixed interval. In theory, this would work well and the image is presented to the gamer without artifacts. The problem is that games that are played and rendered in real time rarely fall into a very specific frame rate. With only a couple of exceptions, games frame rates will fluctuate based on the activity happening on the screen: a rush of enemies, a changed camera angle, an explosion or falling building. Instantaneous frame rates can vary drastically, from 30, to 60, to 90, and force the image to be displayed only at set fractions of the monitor's refresh rate, which causes problems.
Subject: Displays | February 6, 2015 - 03:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: XL2420G, NVIDA, g-sync, benq, 24
On Amazon the BenQ XL2420G is $540, or $529 from B&H Photo, not inexpensive but within the grasp of more people than some of the larger and more expensive G-SYNC monitors. It has a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz as you expect from this style of monitor and it does indeed support Nvidia's 3D Vision, although some may be deterred by the 1080p resolution and the fact that it is a TN panel. Some features do need to be sacrificed to bring the price down and the simple fact is that there are no IPS G-SYNC monitors currently for sale and TN is the faster type of monitor and this display is all about speed. The Tech Report tried it out and were very impressed, check the full review to see why.
"Today, we're turning our attention to BenQ's XL2420G, a 24" G-Sync monitor that's currently selling for about $580 at Newegg. This display is a little smaller and more affordable than some of the other G-Sync offerings we've looked at, but it's not lacking in functionality or connectivity. Quite the opposite."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- BenQ XL2420G G-SYNC Monitor Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Nvidia G-SYNC: A New gaming experience seen on the ASUS SWIFT PG278Q Display @ Bjorn3d
- ASUS PB279Q 4K Monitor @ Kitguru