Just Picked Up: Samsung LS24F350 FreeSync Monitor

Subject: Displays | August 13, 2017 - 03:46 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, PLS

And, naturally, things break right when you make a big purchase. The day after I set up the Oculus, one of my monitors had a wobbly backlight and buzz, quickly going black-screen despite the on light showing it was connected. I revived it by turning it off and on again, but it was clear that it was dead. That said, I bought it back in ~2005-2006, so it lived a long life.

samsung-2017-ls24f350.jpg

Its replacement? A 24-inch mainstream Samsung PLS, 1080p display. It was surprisingly difficult finding a cheap (but solid) monitor that also had a wall mount, but this one was luckily $80-off at Staples ($169.96 CDN before taxes until August 15th). It was also compatible with FreeSync, but my GPUs are NVIDIA so it’s not a feature that I can comment on. It doesn't have a high refresh rate or anything, but it seems very good (for its price) so far.

One thing that I will note, however, is that you need to be careful with your wall mounts... there’s a stub for the stand that will not come off, and there’s not much room between it and the VESA mounts. Unless you have holes at pretty much the very bottom of your mount, which I luckily did, you will need to buy a new mount (or do some hacky thing with standoffs or whatever).

To blindly go where no monitor has gone before

Subject: Displays | July 31, 2017 - 03:58 PM |
Tagged: gsync, freesync

At recent AMD events, attendees were invited to try a blind sight test (an oxymoron if there ever was one) in which they had a chance to play on a AMD system with the new Vega GPU and Freesync as well as a machine powered by a GTX 1080 and G-Sync.  The two machines and monitors were concealed so you could not tell which was which.

Seeing as how many of us did not have a chance to attend these conferences nor see the difference between the two, [H]ard|OCP decided to replicate the experiment, albeit with a GTX 1080 Ti in the G-Sync system.  The two Windows 10 64-bit systems were powered by a AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPU with 16GB of DDR4-2666MHz; the only difference was the GPU and display.   The two displays were capable of up to a 100Hz refresh rate and the display settings were matched as well as humanly possible.  The two monitors were a $720 ASUS MX34V with FreeSync and a $1300 ASUS PG348 G-Sync display, something worth noting for those with a shopping list.

Check out the video of the subjective experiences of the participants here, remembering that this is not exactly a rigid scientific experiment.

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"Totally unscientific and subjective testing is scorned by many, so if that gets your panties in a bunch, I suggest you stop reading. We had the opportunity to preview AMD's RX Vega this weekend, and we put it up against NVIDIA's GTX 1080 Ti, both using 100Hz FreeSync and G-Sync panels, with our testers representing 223 combined years of gaming experience."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Affordable luxury, Viewsonic's XG2703-GS display

Subject: Displays | July 10, 2017 - 02:25 PM |
Tagged: AHVA, ips display, viewsonic, XG2703-GS, 1440p, 165hz, g-sync

ViewSonic's 27" XG2703-GS display hits at least three of the four marks that high end users are looking for; it is 1440p, it does not have a curve and the maximum refresh rate is 165Hz.  The disagreement on the perfection of the display will come from those who prefer Freesync to G-SYNC, for this monitor only supports NVIDIA's adaptive sync technology. The panel is an Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle (AHVA) IPS screen from AU Optronics, the standard for displays with a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz and higher.  Techspot ran this monitor though a few games to see what kind of performance you can expect on this display, check out their results here.

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"There is one type of monitor that ticks nearly every box for high quality PC gaming. One that provides a good mix of resolution and high refresh rate, while still being realistically usable on today's most popular gaming hardware. I'm talking about the latest 27-inch 1440p IPS monitors that hit a whopping 165 Hz with support for adaptive sync."

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Source: Techspot

Dell's 8k UP3218K display; good luck with the GPUs

Subject: Displays | June 14, 2017 - 03:06 PM |
Tagged: UP3218K, ultrasharp, dell, 8k

Ars Technica had the chance to test Dell's new $5000 UltraSharp UP3218K, a 32" 10-bit IPS panel with a resolution of 7680×4320.  It uses two DisplayPort 1.4 connections to drive this beast and as even the GTX 1080 Ti struggles with high graphics settings at 4k there are some performance problems.  Ars was able to test Rise of the Tomb Raider, Metro: Last Light, and GTA V and while they ran at 8K on a single GTX 1080 Ti; "they also crashed. A lot."  GTA V performed the best of the lot, reaching a high of 50FPS and a low of 15FPS, though they looked very pretty while doing so.  Drop by to download a screenshot and pan around to get a sense of what this screen can do.

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"While Acer's 4K, HDR-ready, 144Hz Predator X27 gaming monitor is pretty hot, Dell has something even better: the 8K Dell UltraSharp UP3218K (buy here). This, if you're unfamiliar, is a display that sports a whopping 7680×4320 pixels spread over a 32-inch 10-bit IPS panel."

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Source: Ars Technica

E3 2017: Alienware Announces 240 Hz Gaming Monitors: AW2518H (G-Sync) and AW2518HF (FreeSync)

Subject: Displays | June 12, 2017 - 07:01 PM |
Tagged: g-sync, free sync, dell, alienware, 240Hz

Also at the E3 event, Alienware launched a gaming monitor with two SKUs: one with G-Sync and one with FreeSync. Otherwise, these displays are apparently identical. They also apparently have lighting on the back, although it’s unclear whether this is RGB or locked to the Alienware shade of teal. (I’m guessing it’s Alienware teal.) At first, I was wondering why you would even want a light behind a display at all, but I guess it would make sense if it was very low power and you could leave it on while the rest of the display is off, giving a slight glow to an otherwise dark room.

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As for the specifications: both of these displays operate at 240 Hz, native, not overclocked. To achieve this rate, its panel is 24.5-inch, 1080p, and TN. The structure itself has a thin bezel on the top, left, and right side, although the bottom has a bit more thickness for the Alienware typeface logo and buttons. Despite being otherwise identical, the G-Sync model (AW2518H) has an MSRP of $699.99, while the FreeSync model (AW2518HF) is $200 cheaper at $499.99.

Both models launch on June 13th.

Source: Alienware

Samsung Announces FreeSync 2 HDR Displays, includes C49HG90 49-in UltraWide!

Subject: Displays | June 9, 2017 - 11:24 AM |
Tagged: Samsung, hdr, freesync 2, freesync, CHG90, CHG70, amd

Samsung made a surprise announcement this morning, taking the wraps off of the first FreeSync 2 monitors to grace our pages, officially. These gaming displays come in three difference sizes, one of them incredibly unique, and all with HDR support and Quantum Dot Technology to go along with the variable refresh rate technology of FreeSync. 

All three displays utilize the QLED Quantum Dot tech first showcased in the QLED TV lineup launched just this past January at CES. It uses a new metal core and has some impressive color quality capabilities, going to 125% of the sRGB color space and 95% of the DCI-PE color space! I don't yet know what the peak luminance is, or how many backlight zones there might be for HDR support, but I have asked Samsung for clarification and will update here when I get feedback. All three displays use VA panels.

All three displays also become the first to pass certification with AMD for FreeSync 2, which we initially detailed WAY BACK in January of this year. FreeSync 2 should tell us that this display meets some minimum standards for latency, color quality, and low frame rate compensation. These are all great on paper, though I am still looking for details from AMD on what exactly the minimum standards have been set to. At the time, AMD would only tell me that FreeSync 2 displays "will require a doubling of the perceivable brightness and doubling of the viewable color volume based on the sRGB standards."

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The bad boy of the group, the Samsung CHG90 (part number C49HG90), is easily the most interesting. It comes in with a staggering screen size of 49-inches and a brand new 32:9 aspect ratio with an 1800R curvature. With a 3840x1080 resolution, I am eager to see this display in person and judge how the ultra-wide design impacts our gaming and our productivity capability. (They call this resolution DFHD, for double full HD.) The refresh rate peaks at 144 Hz and a four-channel scanner is in place to minimize any motion blur or ghosting. A 1ms rated response time also makes this monitor incredibly impressive, on paper. Price for the C49HG90 is set at $1499 with preorders starting today on Amazon.com. (Amazon lists a June 30th release date, but I am looking to clarify.)

Also on the docket is the CHG70, available in two sizes, a 32-in (C32HG70) and a 27-in (C27HG70) model. Both are 2560x1440 resolution screens with 16:9 aspect ratios, 1ms response times and FreeSync 2 integrations. That means the same 125% sRGB and 95% DCI-P3 color space support along with the Samsung Quantum Dot technology. Both will sport a 144 Hz refresh rate and an 1800R curvature. The specifications are essentially identical between all three models, making the selection process an easier choice based on price segment and screen real estate. The C27HG70 will be on preorder from Samsung.com exclusively for $599 while the C32HG70 will be on preorder at Newegg.com for $699, just $100 more.

All three displays will feature a Game Mode to optimize image settings for...gaming.

Samsung’s CHG90 extends the playing field for virtual competitors, with its 49-inch design representing the widest gaming monitor available. The monitor delivers a dramatic 1,800R curvature and an ultra-wide 178-degree viewing angle, ensuring that content is clearly visible from nearly any location within a given space. As a result, gamers no longer need to worry about the logistics, expenses, and bezel interference that occur when combining multiple smaller monitors together for an expanded view.

The new CHG90 monitor includes a height adjustable stand (HAS), allowing flexible height adjustment for improved viewing comfort. Designed for the most demanding games, the CHG70 monitor goes a step further with a dual-hinge stand that provides users more precise control over how the display panel is positioned.

In addition to Game Mode, a feature that optimizes image setting for playing games when connected to a PC or a game console, each of the new monitors include a game OSD dashboard, designed to blend seamlessly into game interfaces.

A full table of specifications is below and trust me on this one guys, I am already up in Samsung's and AMD's face to get these monitors in here for review!

monitor-spec.png

Now all we are missing is the power of a Radeon RX Vega card to push this high resolution, high refresh rate HDR goodness!!

Source: Samsung

HardwareCanucks on a Computex HDR vs SDR Demo

Subject: Graphics Cards, Displays | June 6, 2017 - 06:06 PM |
Tagged: hdr, sdr, nvidia, computex

Dmitry Novoselov of Hardware Canucks saw an NVIDIA SDR vs HDR demo, presumably at Computex based on timing and the intro bumper, and noticed that the SDR monitor looked flat. According to his post in the YouTube comments, he asked NVIDIA to gain access to the monitor settings, and they let him... and he found that the brightness, contrast, and gamma settings were way off. He then performed a factory reset, to test how the manufacturer defaults hold up in the comparison, and did his video based on those results.

I should note that video footage of HDR monitors will not correctly describe what you can see in person. Not only is the camera not HDR, and thus not capable of showing the full range of what the monitor is displaying, but also who knows what the camera’s (and later video processing) exposure and color grading will actually correspond to. That said, he was there and saw it in person, so his eyewitness testimony is definitely valid, but it may or may not focus on qualities that you care about.

Anywho, the test was Mass Effect: Andromeda, which has a native HDR profile. To his taste, he apparently prefers the SDR content in a lot of ways, particularly how the blown out areas behave. He claims that he’s concerned about game-to-game quality, because there will be inconsistency between how one color grading professional chooses to process a scene versus another, but I take issue with that. Even in standard color range, there will always be an art director that decides what looks good and what doesn’t.

They are now given another knob, and it’s an adjustment that the industry is still learning how to deal with, but that’s not a downside to HDR.

Computex 2017: The ASUS ROG Swift PG35VQ Is an UltraWide, 200Hz Display With HDR and G-Sync

Subject: Displays | May 31, 2017 - 04:36 AM |
Tagged: ultrawide, hdr, gaming monitor, g-sync, computex 2017, ASUS ROG, asus

After first teasing HDR monitors earlier this year at CES, ASUS is using Computex to announce a new high-end gaming monitor that incorporates nearly all of the latest display technologies into one impressive package. The ROG Swift PG35VQ is a 35-inch curved UltraWide display with a 3440x1440 resolution, HDR support, a 200Hz refresh rate, and NVIDIA G-Sync technology.

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ASUS is using Quantum Dot technology to power the PG35VQ, which results in a display that handles the DCI-P3 color space, conforms to the HDR10 standard, and can reach a "retina-searing" 1000 nits maximum brightness. Thanks to an array of 512 individual LED backlights, the PG35VQ can also utilize local dimming for significantly better black levels than you'll find on previous generation displays. This is the same approach ASUS utilized on the 27-inch PG27UQ that it announced back at CES, there are just more LEDs to accommodate the larger screen area of the PG35VQ.

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Fans of RGB lighting will happy to hear that the PG35VQ also offers support for the ROG Aura lighting platform, allowing users to control and sync RGB lighting effects between all of their compatible devices. Want the RGB lights on your new UltraWide monitor to pulse in sync with your keyboard, motherboard, and headset? ASUS has you covered.

ASUS has not yet provided an official release date, but a blog post over at NVIDIA's website claims that the PG35VQ will hit retailers in the fourth quarter. As for pricing, don't expect this flagship display to come cheap. ASUS's current high-end UltraWide gaming monitor, the ROG PG348Q, retails for about $1200, but is an inch smaller diagonally, has half the refresh rate (100Hz), and lacks local dimming and HDR support. So plan accordingly and expect to pay a premium for these cutting edge features.

Source: ASUS

Acer Announces Predator X27 Gaming Monitor: 4K and HDR at 144 Hz

Subject: Displays | April 28, 2017 - 07:25 PM |
Tagged: acer, Predator, Predator X27, monitor, display, hdr, 4k, UHD, 144 Hz, g-sync, nvidia

Acer announced a number of products at their next@acer press event in New York yesterday, but this new monitor might take the cake: a 4K HDR display with a 144 Hz refresh rate. The Predator X27 combined just about every conceivable feature for a gaming monitor and combines it into one product, but don't expect this 27-inch monitor be released at a budget price (pricing has not been announced).

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"Acer’s Predator X27 portrays astonishingly vibrant visuals without motion blur thanks to a high 4K (3840x2160) resolution at a 144 Hz refresh rate, a fast 4 ms response time and a 1,000 nit peak brightness. Featuring Acer HDR Ultra technology, it offers the best possible contrast quality of the high dynamic range with advanced LED local dimming in 384 individually-controlled zones that shine light only when and where it is required. It not only delivers a broader, more deeply saturated color gamut, but a luminance range several times greater than that of traditional dynamic range monitors. By dimming the backlight behind parts of the screen displaying black, blacks appear deeper and darker on those parts of the panel, a significant bonus for people who play games with darker scenes."

Acer has posted a video about the Predator X27, imbedded below:

Acer also announced a new curved gaming monitor with the Predator Z271UV, which offers a 1800R curve from its 27-inch display, but for HDR you'll need to stick to the X27. Quantum dot technology is incorporated into both display for wide color, and both feature NVIDIA G-SYNC variable refresh-rate tech featuring ULMB (ultra-low motion blur) along with with Tobii eye-tracking.

"Acer’s Predator Z271UV provides WQHD (2560x1440) resolution on a curved 1800R panel that puts every corner of the screen at the same distance from the gamer’s eyes – this creates more immersive gameplay with a wider field of view and increased perceived area of peripheral vision. It features a ZeroFrame edge-to-edge design perfect for use in multi-monitor setups, and provides spectacular color breadth covering 125% of the sRGB color space. It’s extremely fast with up to a 1 ms (3 ms native) response time that nearly eliminates motion blur and supports overclocking up to 165 Hz."

We await pricing and availability information for both monitors.

Source: Acer

Samsung's other QD ... the CF791 quantum dot display

Subject: Displays | April 26, 2017 - 06:33 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, quantum dots, freesync, CF791

Over the past several years we have discussed the technology behind quantum dots, the new display technology which will provide greatly improved colour representation and gamuts on the next generation of displays.  Samsung are one of the first to deliver to market with their CF791 and Kitguru were given the opportunity to review the display.  The display is ultrawide, allowing a resolution of 3440x1440 on its 34" screen which has a 1500R curvature.  The monitors response time may be unremarkable at 4ms however the refresh rate can reach 100Hz and it is FreeSync compatible.  Their testing showed the monitor capable of 100% of sRGB and 84% of AdobeRGB, so this monitor could be effective for either gaming or content creation.  Drop by to see the full story.

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"Quantum is one of those technology words that seems to generally be associated with good things in computing – like “fuzzy logic” used to be with washing machines. But where the Samsung CF791 is concerned, quantum means something. This is the first screen we have seen with “quantum dot” technology, which is an improvement on regular LCD technology that promises better colour."

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Source: Kitguru