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BenQ XL2730Z Firmware Update V002

Discuss BENQ Blur Reduction (strobe backlight) and the Blur Busters Strobe Utility. For Z-Series monitors (V2 firmware) on XL2411Z, XL2420Z and XL2720Z.

Re: BenQ XL2730Z Firmware Update V002

Postby Bishi » 04 Sep 2015, 03:14

Yes Freesync and GSYNC are less noticeable the higher and more consistent your framerate is. You also cannot use them at the same time as Blur Reduction. This is why I am dumping my PG278Q for an XL2730Z even though I have nvidia cards as I find Blur Reduction preferable to adaptive sync as I have a very powerful system.
So unless you get a different result from trying the tests I did above (maybe you will over DVI?) the best custom resolution is none of them :) Just use the monitor at the standard 1440p res.
I don't know what BR 2.0 specifically is meant to feature but I can tell you what I have noticed: Blur reduction features 'area' and 'intensity' now to allow you to control the crosstalk 'zone' on the display and also set the strobe length. The things we used to use the Blur Busters tool for on the XL2720Z. It also seems to have much better overall brightness and colour retention / luminance when Blur Reduction is on, there is a small drop in colour quality / luminance but it is far better than older monitors I used and worth it for the great increase in motion clarity imo. The display is far brighter than a PG278Q in Blur Reduction mode or the old XL2720Z without tweaks.
60hz/100hz blur reduction are bugged afaik so dont use them. Use 120/144 or not at all.

In my experience while adaptive sync is a nice to have at all refresh rates it definitely becomes less noticeable the higher you go and especially if you don't experience frame drops. Yes, If you can maintain a framerate of 100hz then I would just use the Blur Reduction.
Blur Reduction on this monitor in BF4 is like night and day, especially with a good SweetFX profile to clean things up. :)
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Re: BenQ XL2730Z Firmware Update V002

Postby PanzerIV » 04 Sep 2015, 11:41

Bishi wrote:The display is far brighter than a PG278Q in Blur Reduction mode or the old XL2720Z without tweaks.
60hz/100hz blur reduction are bugged afaik so dont use them. Use 120/144 or not at all.

In my experience while adaptive sync is a nice to have at all refresh rates it definitely becomes less noticeable the higher you go and especially if you don't experience frame drops. Yes, If you can maintain a framerate of 100hz then I would just use the Blur Reduction.
Blur Reduction on this monitor in BF4 is like night and day, especially with a good SweetFX profile to clean things up. :)
Oh well that is great then if there is no more need to make a custom resolution to reach the full potential of the monitor. I guess you still recommand using the (Pixel Clock Patcher) as it simply cannot hurt to have it enabled? I agree it is really night and day in BF4 with Blur Reduction, my K/D ratio definitely improved when I started playing on my XL2420Z with it.

- As for SweetFX, it is a software which you can use on most games such as (Witcher 3, GTA 5, BF4), at least those where people have built profiles for them, then all it does is change the color temperature, brightness and it can "blur/smooth" the textures if you want? I've looked some before/after and it is often just different rather than better, and sometime even worse :?

- Wtf how come that new XL2730Z, even with the latest firmware V002 is buggy at 60/100Hz with Blur Reduction?! What you mean exactly by buggy as if it was already hard in big titles to maintain 100Hz or mostly 120Hz in 1080P then it is simply impossible to have at all time a fixed 120fps even with a crossfire of overclocked R9 280X and my i7 4770K @ 4.2Ghz, in games like Metro 2033 on maximum in 1440P! :| Hopefuly the 85Hz refresh rate + Blur combination is okay damn...

- Oh yea, what also about the 2 questions I had in my previous post?
A) What is the point of using HDMI 2.0 over Display Port 1.2a?
B) Is it me or Freesync works down to 44Hz/fps with DP1.2a but 50Hz with HDMI 2.0?

Thanks! :ugeek:
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Re: BenQ XL2730Z Firmware Update V002

Postby Falkentyne » 04 Sep 2015, 12:42

@Bishi:

Can you try turning OFF Instant mode and then trying the VT tweaks again? (see the end of this message for why).
(it's just a guess, though!).

Someone posted the strobe crosstalk on overclock.net. It's actually IDENTICAL to the XL2720Z WITHOUT the VT tweaks!!
The screenshots and description of the Area (strobe phase) settings of 000, 050 and 100 match up 100% exactly with how our older 24 and 27" Z monitors act, WITHOUT the vertical total tweaks.

it took me awhile to understand why.

It's because the panel is a 1440p panel instead of 1080p !!!!
Think about it (maybe I'm saying water is wet here, but it's logical).

Use the XL2720Z, or XL2420Z/2411Z with version 4 firmware.
Open the FACTORY menu.
(2420Z and 2720Z and 2430T): power off, hold button #3 and #4 for 5 seconds then power on then release button 3 and 4 after 5 seconds)
On XL2411Z it's either button 1 and 2, or button 2 and 3, which unlock this.

Then:
1) test a clean 120hz or 100hz resolution (much easier to just test 144 hz, MUCH faster as its already there) without a VT Tweak
Enter the factory menu. (this ONLY works on V4 firmware)
What does the SCALER (note that the scaler is DIFFERENT than the OSD resolution that the osd reports; the OSD reports the windows settings) say the resolution is?

1920x1080@144, right?

Now switch to a resolution with a 1500/1502 vertical total tweak.
Enter the factory menu.

What does it say the VERTICAL is?

..........it says..................
1440 !!!!

It actually messes up the horizontal also. it says the entire resolution is 1280x1440@60hz.
120hz without a vertical total tweak is also reported incorrectly (which is why the scaling options in the OSD At 120hz (WITHOUT the VT tweak active) are a bit bizarre in size when you switch to 17", 19" etc):
(it reports 1400x1050@120hz).

100hz without a VT tweak is reported correctly as 1920x1080@100
With a VT tweak its 1280x1440@60.
And this is on a 1080p screen!

THAT IS WHY THE VERTICAL TOTAL TWEAK LOWERS THE CROSSTALK!
Because the scaler is "Tricked" into working with a LARGER "working space" (think of having a small bucket, then changing to a larger bucket, but having the slightly larger bucket's "Extra" space compared to the original bucket painted a red color. The water and the original bucket size represent the vertical resolution. The red represents the resolution the scanner is working with (thus the part the water doesn't cover, is "off screen and not visible."

And the math is simple.
1125 to 1500 Vertical total is a 25% increase.
Crosstalk is reduced by 25%. Matches up.

Now on the XL2730Z, since the resolution is larger, the crosstalk area will also be larger (this is common sense), compared to 1920x1080. So yes, the XL2730Z needs VT tweaks just like our older monitors, but the tweaks don't work now.

So that's a problem. Not only do the tweaks not work, but 100hz and 60hz strobing don't work either.
I'm sure this is because of the change from the tested and fully fixed Mstar 8556T scaler, to the Realtek scaler.

Just fyi:
If you turn off "instant mode" on the older Z series monitors, this also stops VT tweaks from working. The persistence values still drop to 60hz persistence ranges (per point of Strobe Duty), the maximum strobe phase before the backlight turns off is still reduced greatly, but the VT tweak is ignored for strobing (and using 120hz with instant mode off and VT, causes the picture to go crazy.....).
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Re: BenQ XL2730Z Firmware Update V002

Postby Bishi » 07 Sep 2015, 11:32

Instant mode doesn't seem to make a difference. Here are some shots of the factory panel / nvidia custom resolution CP at standard settings and the max VT i could input (1449 -> 1849)

Image

Image
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Re: BenQ XL2730Z Firmware Update V002

Postby PanzerIV » 07 Sep 2015, 14:07

Bishi wrote:Instant mode doesn't seem to make a difference. Here are some shots of the factory panel / nvidia custom resolution CP at standard settings and the max VT i could input (1449 -> 1849)
Is there any improvements from using a higher (MAX VT) such as 1849 over 1449 at 2560x1440 ???
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Re: BenQ XL2730Z Firmware Update V002

Postby Falkentyne » 07 Sep 2015, 15:31

It doesn't and I know why now.
It's because of the scaler.

(Note: V4 firmware reported the scaler resolution in the factory menu, also known as the burn in menu. The OSD reported the physical horizontal and vertical resolution values directly)

The older Mstar scaler could be tricked into thinking it was running at a higher *RESOLUTION* vertically increasing the vertical total, but keeping the physical screen resolution the same. This forced the monitor to use 60hz backlight strobe pulse widths (persistence) values of 0.167ms to 5ms in 0.167ms increments, which is the reason the brightness got brighter, but the main thing that is far more important is that using a VT 1500 tweak on our older 1080p monitors made the scaler think it was working with a 1440p screen size, even though the display area (which was used to actually calculate pixel position) was still the same (1920x1080). But because the scaler thought it was working at 1440p vertical, the strobe crosstalk got moved DOWNWARDS relative to the amount of the vertical increase. I guessed this when version 4 firmware first came out and the FACTORY menu reported 1280x1440 at ANY refresh rate at native resolution, when a VT 1500 was being used. When a vertical total 1350 tweak was being used, wait I'll check real fast:

Ok just did VT 1350. The scaler reports the vertical resolution as 1280 (it actually says 1600x1280 which is a bizarre resolution, but the scaler reports weird stuff when the vertical total does not match the expected value. For example: At 1920x1080@120hz, the default VT is 1144. Using a VT of 1125 reduces both the horizontal and vertical values to the scaler causing it to report a VERY bizarre resolution: 1440x1050@120. (The OSD itself reports 1920x1080@120). I'm not sure why the horizontal decreases so drastically with such a tiny decrease in VT (19), but it's the vertical that matters when dealing with blur reduction, as the scaler uses this to set where the crosstalk is.

So using a VT tweak of 1500 sets the scaler to strobe an area of 1440 vertically instead of 1080, thus moving the crosstalk down the actual physical screen. This is why our legendary vertical total tweaks work!

oddly enough, at 100hz, default VT is 1133. using a VT of 1125 instead of 1133 stops the videocard from downclocking the memory at idle, but the scaler still reports 1920@1080@100. However sometimes it switches to the 60hz backlight pulse widths (this will limit the maximum Strobe Phase (Area) to 059 instead 100; 60+ shuts off the backlight.

Another side effect of this scaler stuff with the MSTAR Scaler is being able to downsample resolutions that are higher than native:
Example using the VT tweak we all know of and entering a custom resolution allows us to do this:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2423

2560x1440.
The monitor OSD reports 2560x1440(@60hz even though its 100hz)
Guess what the scaler reports?

1280x1440 !!!

Image

You can see the VT is 1500. anything higher than 1502 goes out of range. And anything lower than 1496 is also out of range (some values show a display with an out of range popup that can be closed by re-selecting displayport, but the main OSD is not accessible).

And I think you guys can figure out, the crosstalk at this downsampled resolution (2560x1440 on a 1920x1080 physical panel) has the EXACT same crosstalk as 1920x1080@100 without a vertical total tweak, since now, the actual vertical that the scaler was working with (before, with a VT tweak) is now part of the entire screen (instead of partially off the screen).

Hope this makes sense.

Since the XL2730Z changed scalers and moved to the Realtek scaler, the realtek scaler handles strobing differently. Besides the broken 60 and 100hz strobing, VT tweaks don't work on this monitor (it seems like the realtek scaler is scaling the physical screen size) making this NOT an ideal monitor for strobing compared to the XL2720Z V4 ! Because there is no way to deal with the crosstalk now, and you're limited to 120 and 144hz blur reduction :( TBH I'm really not sure why there is this "junction" separation between the vertical total and vertical resolution; I guess we will never know...

I REALLY wanted this monitor. I was ready to buy it on day one from newegg but I didn't have enough money at that time. Now that I see and knew all these new things< I'll be avoiding this monitor. Yes it has fresync and a much nicer image quality, but higher strobe crosstalk (like the old ones without VT tweaks) and blur reduction only working at 120 and 144hz makes this no different than the Nvidia equivalent of ULMB+Gsync :(
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Re: BenQ XL2730Z Firmware Update V002

Postby PanzerIV » 07 Sep 2015, 21:29

Wow that is super lame... stupid BenQ that changed a good scaler for a crappy one, what a good idea! So that exchange they're gonna do with me pretty much look like a poisoned gift. There's no way even with an high-end system that you can have at all time 120-144fps at 2560x1440 if it was already hard enough in 1920x1080 even with an overclocked i7 4770K + 2xR9 280X :x

So pretty much, no more blur reduction and I won't even be able to use the freesync with my 2 expensive video cards unless I buy new cards again!
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Re: BenQ XL2730Z Firmware Update V002

Postby Bishi » 08 Sep 2015, 04:17

Its fine for me since im on 980ti sli and a 5960x but yeah i wouldn't really recommend the monitor for the blur reduction if you have a weaker system and they don't fix the issues
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Re: BenQ XL2730Z Firmware Update V002

Postby Falkentyne » 12 Sep 2015, 13:14

PanzerIV wrote:Wow that is super lame... stupid BenQ that changed a good scaler for a crappy one, what a good idea! So that exchange they're gonna do with me pretty much look like a poisoned gift. There's no way even with an high-end system that you can have at all time 120-144fps at 2560x1440 if it was already hard enough in 1920x1080 even with an overclocked i7 4770K + 2xR9 280X :x

So pretty much, no more blur reduction and I won't even be able to use the freesync with my 2 expensive video cards unless I buy new cards again!


I don't think it was because they changed a 'good' scaler for a crappy one. I personally don't even think Benq KNEW why vertical total tweaks worked in the first place. The older Lightboost "T/TE" series monitors used the same scaler and accepted the same vertical total tweaks. Why? I don't know. Since using a VT of 1502 on the older Z series monitors caused a faint horizontal scanlines effect to appear on the screen, and the same scanlines effect also appears in Lightboost mode (Nv2D),

I suspect the entire reason the VT 1502 tweak works with our older (2720Z-) and 24" monitors was entirely because of Lightboost mode. Lightboost mode uses per-line overdrive that has a much lower overdrive strength than Benq's AMA high (which benq blur reduction mode does not, attempting to use SoftMCCS to access the Benq AMA settings overwrites the lightboost setting and gives LB mode the inverse overdrive artifacts we hate from BBR mode), however I did compare 100hz lightboost VERY carefully with 100hz Benq blur reduction mode with VT 1502. The crosstalk looks *identical* in both. So most likely, the accelerated scanout feature of Lightboost mode just forces the equivalent of this 1502 VT to the scaler, which is why the older T Series monitors accepted this vertical total. But this VT did not enter lightboost mode directly; 1138, 1143 and 1149 VT signaled a Lightboost request (if it was unlocked).

there's really no other explanation for why the older T series accepted these vertical totals.
And Benq simply didn't realize this "beneficial side effect" of this when they made the XL2730Z with the realtek scaler. The crosstalk "Area" strobe calculations were set the same as on the XL2720Z, but without the scaler using the VT to calculate the vertical screen size to strobe. The problem with having this accelerated scanout set by default is image degradation (as I said above; the faint horizontal scanlines pattern).

P.S. I'm 99% CERTAIN the XL2430T has lightboost mode circuitry probably still in it; the scaler is the exact same Mstar scaler; most likely only the DDC Nvidia specific unlock was disabled. Does anyone have an XL2430T firmware dump?)
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Re: BenQ XL2730Z Firmware Update V002

Postby sungsenn » 15 May 2017, 08:18

Hey,

I bought a very early model of the XL2730Z with firmware V001. I only recently learnt that there's a bug in the firmware which prevents me from using AMA while freesync is active.

Does anyone know a trick how to make this work without a firmware upgrade?

I'm out of the 2 year warranty by 2 months (I'm in Europe) so I was wondering if it's still possible to have the firmware upgraded for free? The BenQ customer support told me "no it costs 70 euro + tax". I find that hard to believe that a company like BenQ would do this especially since the XL2730Z is such a premium product.
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