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XL2546 vs. XL2540? Which should I get?

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

XL2546 vs. XL2540? Which should I get?

Postby drmcninja » 14 Aug 2017, 18:00

Is the newer model (XL2546) the better one?

From what I've gathered by reading old threads, XL2546 has DyAc, a newer version of strobe-lighted blur reduction, on all the time? Even at 240Hz? How is that possible?

Has anyone yet confirmed whether it's possible to turn off DyAc or strobe-lit blur reduction for normal 240Hz operation? Which presumably the XL2540 allows you to do out of the box as it appears to be a traditional monitor.

Does using the BlurBusters' Strobe Utility for BenQ/Zowie monitors mean that XL2540 and XL2546 will have near identical operation (because you can set all the strobe lighting settings yourself) or will there still be some advantage to the XL2546? Can you use the utility to tune an XL2540 to look/behave just like the XL2546?

I have to make a decision on which to go with by the end of the week, I appreciate any advice.
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Re: XL2546 vs. XL2540? Which should I get?

Postby Falkentyne » 15 Aug 2017, 02:02

XL2540 supports adaptive sync (freesync) but only when Benq blur reduction is turned OFF in the service menu. This monitor ships with blur reduction off by default, and there is no marketing or even mention of it supporting blur reduction, except from what users found out here, that the setting is "hidden" in the service menu. The factory menu, aka service menu #2, has the Overdrive gain setting, which you SHOULD use to greatly improve the overdrive, which is extremely bad and excessive at default.

The XL2546 from what we can tell, seems identical to the XL2540, except Benq blur reduction is set to ON by default (once again, the setting is hidden in the service menu), and has been renamed and marketed as "DyAc". It is UNKNOWN whether Freesync will work on this monitor if you DISABLE DyAc. If it does (someone NEEDS to test this), the XL2735, which is the 144hz 1440p version of these monitors, using the same scaler, might also support Freesync if you go in the service menu and disable DyAc, but no one has tested this yet, and I'm sure not going to pay $600 to be the guinea pig to test it--I'm not rich.
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Re: XL2546 vs. XL2540? Which should I get?

Postby drmcninja » 17 Aug 2017, 16:01

I'm gonna get the XL2546 and guess I'll see for myself how DyAc looks at 240Hz out of the box. I figured it would have crazy strobe crosstalk.

Unfortunately, I don't have an AMD card to test FreeSync with, just Nvidia.
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Re: XL2546 vs. XL2540? Which should I get?

Postby Neoshinta » 18 Aug 2017, 16:38

drmcninja wrote:I'm gonna get the XL2546 and guess I'll see for myself how DyAc looks at 240Hz out of the box. I figured it would have crazy strobe crosstalk.

Unfortunately, I don't have an AMD card to test FreeSync with, just Nvidia.


Hi drmcninja. I'm wonder if finally you buy the xl2546? I'm in the same boat as you, and don't know if is there any real difference between the xl2540 and the xl2546. Here where I live, it's 150usd more the xl2546, so I need to know before I buy today :(. Thanks in advance!
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Re: XL2546 vs. XL2540? Which should I get?

Postby Chief Blur Buster » 18 Aug 2017, 17:24

drmcninja wrote:From what I've gathered by reading old threads, XL2546 has DyAc, a newer version of strobe-lighted blur reduction, on all the time? Even at 240Hz? How is that possible?

There's nothing technologically stopping a monitor from strobing at the monitor's highest Hz. The problem is there's a progressively worsening strobe crosstalk the closer you get to a panel's pixel response limit. So for every 1Hz you go up, the strobe crosstalk becomes ever-so-slightly worse, until it bothers some. For some people, 240Hz crosstalk doesn't bother them.

For others, it looks great up to, say, a certain refresh rate (e.g. 180Hz or thereabouts). Some manufacturers simply artificially limit higher-Hz strobe backlights because of unacceptable strobe crosstalk -- and also at the bottom end, most manufacturers block single-strobing at lower-Hz, due to the flicker hazard that produces.

I made a reply in another thread about the XL2546 that may also be relevant here:
Chief Blur Buster wrote:Any strobe-backlight monitor found in the Official List of Best Gaming Monitors will allow you to achieve the "2ms" or "1ms" clarity results (CRT motion clarity). However, they differ in how good they hit the "1ms" instead of "2ms", and they differ in strobe crosstalk.

What you want is an adjustable-persistence monitor (modern equivalent of LightBoost 10%->100%) with good brightness during short strobe lengths.

In 2013, Blur Busters single-handedly convinced NVIDIA to add the "ULMB Pulse Width" setting, thanks to LightBoost 10% vs 100% awareness, so you might be happy with a high-Hz GSYNC monitor with ULMB for good strobed motion clarity. NVIDIA is the gold standard in "easy ULMB strobe backlights" that don't need calibration, as long as you don't mind being stuck at 85Hz/100Hz/120Hz (without monitor-specific hacks).

On the other hand, you might want to consider the Zowie XL2546, a 240Hz monitor. I currently believe that the Benq XL2546 may now be the new gold strobe standard for strobe calibration fans, as it is:

  1. [To be measured] Reportedly extremely bright strobing -- claimed to be over 300 nits in strobed mode.
    To compare, LightBoost was usually only 50-100 nits.
    .
  2. It should be compatible with Blur Busters Strobe Utility
    .
  3. Supports adjustable strobe lengths & strobe phase & large vertical totals.
    The triple combination needed for good user tweaking without manufacturer-lockins like ULMB non-adjustabiity
    .
  4. Unlocked strobing at all refresh rates (75Hz-240Hz) in 1Hz increments. Strobing will be too crosstalky above ~180Hz but it is just a matter of user preference;
    The bonus is that it's an unlocked adjustment of an analog-like "refresh rate versus crosstalk" tradeoff as you step upwards 1Hz at a time. This gives users more choice on what strobed Hz they want.
    .
  5. 240Hz headroom makes "near-crosstalk-free" 144Hz strobing possible.
    More Hz headroom = better strobing at lower Hz

All the above, combined (if you don't need 60Hz single-strobe), with ultra-low strobe lag, kind of makes the XL2546 the golden standard in strobed gaming monitors.

NVIDIA are impressive wizards at what they do with ULMB/LightBoost, but when we really want to tweak, tweak, tweak, AFAIK, it's probably the Benq/Zowie XL2546 just simply by sheer brightness alone.

Note: I personally created Strobe Utility for free (no payment from BenQ/Zowie). Blur Busters is currently reliant on "Amazon affiliate" income to fund the further improvement of our tests, research, utilities, software. Although not yet officially tested, the Strobe Utility should support XL2546 out of the box (Albiet with one bug: The persistence slider behaves opposite what it should). In alternative to that, the Service Menu has the same adjustments.

Support Blur Busters: Benq/Zowie XL2546 on Amazon

If you want to wait for further confirmations you can, however Amazon does have a good refund policy, and you do have experience with the XL2411Z, so that is also a plus for you, so XL2411Z familiarity will help you with using an XL2546. The XL2546 monitor stand can be detached to reveal VESA 100mm -- for a monitor arm (I verified it does support it).

Thanks!
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Re: XL2546 vs. XL2540? Which should I get?

Postby Neoshinta » 18 Aug 2017, 20:35

Chief Blur Buster wrote:
drmcninja wrote:From what I've gathered by reading old threads, XL2546 has DyAc, a newer version of strobe-lighted blur reduction, on all the time? Even at 240Hz? How is that possible?

There's nothing technologically stopping a monitor from strobing at the monitor's highest Hz. The problem is there's a progressively worsening strobe crosstalk the closer you get to a panel's pixel response limit. So for every 1Hz you go up, the strobe crosstalk becomes ever-so-slightly worse, until it bothers some. For some people, 240Hz crosstalk doesn't bother them.

For others, it looks great up to, say, a certain refresh rate (e.g. 180Hz or thereabouts). Some manufacturers simply artificially limit higher-Hz strobe backlights because of unacceptable strobe crosstalk -- and also at the bottom end, most manufacturers block single-strobing at lower-Hz, due to the flicker hazard that produces.

I made a reply in another thread about the XL2546 that may also be relevant here:
Chief Blur Buster wrote:Any strobe-backlight monitor found in the Official List of Best Gaming Monitors will allow you to achieve the "2ms" or "1ms" clarity results (CRT motion clarity). However, they differ in how good they hit the "1ms" instead of "2ms", and they differ in strobe crosstalk.

What you want is an adjustable-persistence monitor (modern equivalent of LightBoost 10%->100%) with good brightness during short strobe lengths.

In 2013, Blur Busters single-handedly convinced NVIDIA to add the "ULMB Pulse Width" setting, thanks to LightBoost 10% vs 100% awareness, so you might be happy with a high-Hz GSYNC monitor with ULMB for good strobed motion clarity. NVIDIA is the gold standard in "easy ULMB strobe backlights" that don't need calibration, as long as you don't mind being stuck at 85Hz/100Hz/120Hz (without monitor-specific hacks).

On the other hand, you might want to consider the Zowie XL2546, a 240Hz monitor. I currently believe that the Benq XL2546 may now be the new gold strobe standard for strobe calibration fans, as it is:

  1. [To be measured] Reportedly extremely bright strobing -- claimed to be over 300 nits in strobed mode.
    To compare, LightBoost was usually only 50-100 nits.
    .
  2. It should be compatible with Blur Busters Strobe Utility
    .
  3. Supports adjustable strobe lengths & strobe phase & large vertical totals.
    The triple combination needed for good user tweaking without manufacturer-lockins like ULMB non-adjustabiity
    .
  4. Unlocked strobing at all refresh rates (75Hz-240Hz) in 1Hz increments. Strobing will be too crosstalky above ~180Hz but it is just a matter of user preference;
    The bonus is that it's an unlocked adjustment of an analog-like "refresh rate versus crosstalk" tradeoff as you step upwards 1Hz at a time. This gives users more choice on what strobed Hz they want.
    .
  5. 240Hz headroom makes "near-crosstalk-free" 144Hz strobing possible.
    More Hz headroom = better strobing at lower Hz

All the above, combined (if you don't need 60Hz single-strobe), with ultra-low strobe lag, kind of makes the XL2546 the golden standard in strobed gaming monitors.

NVIDIA are impressive wizards at what they do with ULMB/LightBoost, but when we really want to tweak, tweak, tweak, AFAIK, it's probably the Benq/Zowie XL2546 just simply by sheer brightness alone.

Note: I personally created Strobe Utility for free (no payment from BenQ/Zowie). Blur Busters is currently reliant on "Amazon affiliate" income to fund the further improvement of our tests, research, utilities, software. Although not yet officially tested, the Strobe Utility should support XL2546 out of the box (Albiet with one bug: The persistence slider behaves opposite what it should). In alternative to that, the Service Menu has the same adjustments.

Support Blur Busters: Benq/Zowie XL2546 on Amazon

If you want to wait for further confirmations you can, however Amazon does have a good refund policy, and you do have experience with the XL2411Z, so that is also a plus for you, so XL2411Z familiarity will help you with using an XL2546. The XL2546 monitor stand can be detached to reveal VESA 100mm -- for a monitor arm (I verified it does support it).

Thanks!


Chief, hi! You don't know yet if it's the same monitor the xl2546 and the xl2540? Here are a expensive difference between them, like I post before...150usd :(
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Re: XL2546 vs. XL2540? Which should I get?

Postby Chief Blur Buster » 18 Aug 2017, 22:29

Neoshinta wrote:Chief, hi! You don't know yet if it's the same monitor the xl2546 and the xl2540? Here are a expensive difference between them, like I post before...150usd :(

There's no official strobe quality test comparison between the two models at this time by any reviewer.

That said, the advantages are similar, except for strobe brightness. AFAIK, the XL2540 has no brightness boosting for its strobe backlight -- that's a DyAc-only feature, I believe. And on the XL2540, you have to use the Service Menu or the Utility to turn on strobing.

-- Zowie XL2540 on Amazon
-- Zowie XL2546 on Amazon
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Re: XL2546 vs. XL2540? Which should I get?

Postby Neoshinta » 18 Aug 2017, 22:35

Chief Blur Buster wrote:
Neoshinta wrote:Chief, hi! You don't know yet if it's the same monitor the xl2546 and the xl2540? Here are a expensive difference between them, like I post before...150usd :(

There's no official strobe quality test comparison between the two models at this time by any reviewer.

That said, the advantages are similar, except for strobe brightness. AFAIK, the XL2540 has no brightness boosting for its strobe backlight -- that's a DyAc-only feature, I believe. And on the XL2540, you have to use the Service Menu or the Utility to turn on strobing.

-- Zowie XL2540 on Amazon
-- Zowie XL2546 on Amazon

Thanks! I didn't know of the brightness lock in the xl2540. So, that's is the real difference between them it seems. Now I have to think tonight, if that worth the 150usd more than the cousin without DyAc haha. Thanks so much Chief!
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Re: XL2546 vs. XL2540? Which should I get?

Postby drmcninja » 22 Aug 2017, 12:16

So, I just got the XL2546.

There seems to be little difference in strobe crosstalk between 144Hz and 240Hz out of the box. 240Hz actually looks better, imo.

The strobe crosstalk is visible across the entire monitor, very slightly worse on the top and bottom edges.

The brightness feels like a normal monitor.

The OSD has a DyAc setting which has the options 'OFF', 'High', and 'Premium'. Premium is checked by default. I can't tell much difference between High and Premium. Off is the same as no strobelight mode on a normal monitor. Anyone know what the difference is?

AMA is on 'High' by default (other options are 'Premium and 'OFF'). Instant Mode is on by default.

Anyone have recommendations for any other settings, like Black Equalizer, Color Vibrance, Brightness/Contrast/Sharpness/Gamma/Color Temperature/etc? Gamma is on 'Gamma 3' by default (out of Gamma 1 through 5). Brightness is 97 by default, Contrast is 50 by default, Sharpness is 5 by default, and Temperature is on 'Normal' by default.

Color Vibrance is 10 by default, Black eQualizer varies depending on picture setting. In "FPS" mode it's turned up, in Standard it's off.

I haven't installed the Blurbusters utility yet, about to do that.
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Re: XL2546 vs. XL2540? Which should I get?

Postby drmcninja » 22 Aug 2017, 12:19

This is the strobe crosstalk test at 240Hz (with and without flash): http://imgur.com/a/JpCHV

This is the test at 144Hz: http://imgur.com/a/B9cME

These are the default out-of-the-box settings, btw (with DyAc set to 'Premium', the default setting). In the picture you can clearly see there's still some motion blur-type effect at 144Hz compared to 240Hz, interesting!
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