I'm sorry to say, but I won't be able to provide v7 firmware. I couldn't arrange meeting up with a friend who has a Ubuntu laptop before I had to return this monitor and give up on the 2430 entirely. Nobody's really missing out on anything though, I haven't observed anything different compared to what I've read about v4 and newer. They never fixed a terrible profile bug or the Color Vibrance setting (I'll get to these later on in the post) or anything relevant, really. I don't think they even changed anything other than adding the word "Zowie" to the factory menu.
I had to give up on it because it had visible horizontal scanlines at 120hz and 144hz. I've compared it to another unit in the store today and I was shocked to find out it too had the same problem, although slightly less visible. At first I thought I could get used to these and I even found them kind of cool, but I soon realized they're just plain annoying. I've asked for my money back and will probably be returning to the 24GM77 and giving up on strobing.
At this point, I'm beginning to believe all new monitors with this panel are RMA'd panels repackaged and sold because the industry is finally moving on to new panels. I've recently seen a BenQ employee confirm they're releasing new monitors very soon with higher than 144hz refresh rates which only raises my suspicion.
Here are the summary of my findings on the XL2430. Perhaps somebody will find this info useful:
- This monitor is completely useless without an ICC profile. Unless you enjoy completely lethargic, pale colors. You cannot use the "Color Vibrance" feature to fix this because it severely crushes the tail end of dark and bright shades. While this is kind of cool for certain games, it's clearly a big issue and I can't really buy that it was intentionally designed this way. With Gamma mode 5, a correct ICC profile and Color Vibrance set to 10 (off) the picture quality is actually very good (within that small head-on cone that TN viewing angles permits -- and of course, within the constraints of poor TN black levels), but not all games will dance correctly with ICC -- or at all. This in mind, I think not allowing more control over color calibration via OSD is a huge mistake on BenQ's part. The panel has what it takes, they just need to let you unleash it's power.
- With Blur Reduction enabled, the monitor uses a unique AMA High setting that is less severe than the same setting with BBR off. This is no different from any other XL monitor from what I've heard. What is unique about the 2430 is that this setting is even less severe than the XL2411z for example. Perhaps the new "Zowie" XL2411 sees the same improvement. I've considered taking a photo of this, but djriful already did some time ago:http://i.imgur.com/MZCvJtN.jpg
The photo is very accurate and it does look like this in real life. I think this is why the "AMA Low" toggle mode doesn't really do anything perceptible - the bug that caused it to trigger on earlier models will net you the same value the XL2430 features by default. Or roughly the same, in any case. In practice, I really had to go out of my way to look for any ghosting while playing Overwatch and when I did notice it, it was really a non-issue. I will compare this to the 24GM77's Motion 240 mode, where ghosting was clearly visible. In addition (on the LG), the colors banded together with Motion 240 on giving a weird painted-on look. Crosstalk was a huge issue as well because you couldn't change it's position because the strobe is not configurable. And finally, you can't do any VT tweaking on the LG to improve crosstalk. It's kind of useless, really. BBR is amazing in comparison.
You can use the AMA setting for BBR off by exploiting the profile bug as described in Falk's sticky.
- Any "Picture Mode" setting other than Standard causes severe banding of low and high shades, even if you set "Color Vibrance" to it's default "10". Only under Standard, with "Color Vibrance" set to 10 will you get a proper picture.
- You can save and load profiles like you would on any other BenQ XL, but loading a profile will cause the same banding described above. So whenever you load a profile, you have to manually set the "Picture Mode" to Standard again. As far as I know, this is an issue unique to the 2430. So much for the convenience of the S Switch.
If you are considering this monitor, only do so if you really, really care about BenQ Blur Reduction. Because if you're not going to be using this feature, you're better off with a monitor like the 24GM77 which looks good out of the box (within TN limits) without the need for an ICC profile -- *and* it allows very detailed color calibration via OSD so you'll never need to resort to calibration via ICC/Windows. If you go for the XL2430, be prepared for scanlines and return the monitors until you can't see them at 144hz. The faint scanlines I saw at 120 and 144hz became glaringly obvious with clock increases necessary for VT tweaks.
In Overwatch, I found BBR allows for a much better oversight of the situation -- sometimes, in the thick of it, it's possible to get lost in this game. With BBR on, this never happened to me, I always knew exactly which character is which and where they are and I could clearly read their animations to determine exactly what they are doing. However, I found my aim, especially with McRee was simply better at 144hz with BBR Off. Keep this in mind, because you can't really use BBR under 144hz. Sure, you can try, but the crosstalk is too severe which defeats the point of BBR. Also, I think the slight increase in input lag inherent to BBR at any setting other than Intensity=25 may be contributing to a less fluid feeling. I can't claim this with complete confidence though.