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Do all TN G-sync monitors have banding issues? Help me pick

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Do all TN G-sync monitors have banding issues? Help me pick

Postby lexebidar » 15 Sep 2017, 19:18

Hi!
I am reading about monitors for a very long time now and I have few questions but first let me start with my experiences.
I have gtx 1060 6gb btw. Currently I use amva+ screen and while it's good, it's a bit slow input lag and ghosting + dimming when in motion is very distracting. It's typical VA behavior that screen dims/flickers/smears in the darker areas when moving.
I also had TN samsung like 11 years ago and ips dell after that and back then. I hated the ips for glow and crushing/obstructing with glow all the dark areas of the image.

Ideally I am searching for Gsync 144hz monitor but I do not game competitively so input lag is not a concern. It's just for general use and gaming. Just not much multiplayer. I've seen many posts about Dell S24 and S27 bad looking bleeding. Then there is left asus PG24248Q which seems perfect(price, gsync, ulmb) for my needs.... but it's also said to have banding. is it as bad as on dell monitors?
In fact the issue seems to be with all 8 bit AUO panels in new monitors with g-sync from what I could gather.

So the real question starts now(sorry for very long intro :D)... If I were to exclude G-sync monitors(if all really have banding) and focus only on glorious blur reduction and 120 or 144hz, what monitor to get? I remember my old crt Eizo running at 120hz back in 2002 when I was a teenager hehe, so that memory really makes me get some nice blur free monitor over current VA.
But screen quality is also important for me. I do not expect VA contrast but I do watch movies, shows or play horror games now and then so I like good contrast/black depth.
Unlike 11 years ago when I had TN, now I have a better suited apartment and desk setup, so TN viewing angles should not be a problem. At least I will not have ips glow and va smearing...

With my weak gpu I am probably looking at 24" 1080p monitors only. Possibly only those with lowest possible strobing refresh rate as 1060 will not be doing 144hz in any game. Can I use monitor at 120hz strobing rate and play game at locked 60 with riva tuner or half vsync?
Some people recommended LG 24GM79G for it's screen quality(good contrast) compared to other tn panels but I don't know how it's blur reduction works.

Thanks and sorry for overly long post!
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Re: Do all TN G-sync monitors have banding issues? Help me p

Postby open » 16 Sep 2017, 01:14

Its ok man. Also the 1060 should be able to get up to and above 144fps in many titles with the right settings. But you say you are not as concerned about competitive gaming so i assume you like to have the games look nicer at the price of some frame rate.

As far as banding; you could be refering to a few things. The actual meaning of banding is when you see distinct steps across color or intensity gradients. Like if you had a picture of the sky just before darkness. There might be a faint blue to it that fades to black across the screen. The screen has limited shades of blue to use and with the fainter shades you can often percieve where one level of blue crosses to another level of blue and makes distinct bands. This is the true meaning of banding and it is most noticeable on 6 bit pannels because they have only 6 bits for each color (so 64 shades of red green and blue). 8 bit pannels have 256 shades. And there are hdr pannels that have 10 bits but those are still new and not many games support them. For many new high refresh rate pannels the pannel itself will be 6bit. But the monitor can display 8bit color by pulsing two close shades so they look somewhere inbetween eachother. This is called frame rate controll or FRC.

This brings us to our 2nd possible thing you might mean by banding. With FRC, the monitor can have a dithering pattern like alternating lines on the screen. That pattern is used for the pulsing colors so they dont all pulse at once the same way and make a faint brightness pulse that you would notice. These lines can be noticed durring fast animations because the images are not staying in place long enough for the FRC pulse cycle to complete. Also if you move your eyes quickly they can see a snapshot image each time they move. This can make the lines visible. I have this on my monitor and yes i do notice it but not alot and it is easily worth it to have a high refresh rate monitor with this.

Another thing people end up calling banding is the inversion pattern. Screens use voltages to change pixel colors and they alternate negative and positive voltages in lines sometimes. Sometimes you can see the results of this and it can look like faint lines or other things.

Another thing I have seen called banding is when a pannel literally has lines in it that show up on certain shades. People generally do NOT like this. My laptop has a pannel like this and it is a refurbished model. Most likely someone saw the screen and returned it. I have never heard of this with a stand alone screen but it could be possible just very unlikely.

Another thing people call banding is blacklight bleeding. The backlight can have distinct large bands of bright and dark that are mosy visible when showing black images. Backlight bleeding can vary from model to model and individual monitor to monitor. If you see reports of backlight bleeding on a model, be careful. You may want to buy one that you can return easily.

So you are interested in the pg248q. And what form of banding are you concerned about? You may want to find a monitor with an 8 bit pannel or check out a 6 bit pannel with the same technology as the monitor you want (either with FRC or without FRC). That way you can see if you notice the artifact and if it bothers you. For my 6 bit FRC screen it does not bother me but this is a vey personal thing.
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Re: Do all TN G-sync monitors have banding issues? Help me p

Postby lexebidar » 16 Sep 2017, 04:58

Thanks for answer.
I am talking about first type of banding You explained. So called banding on gradients visible when one color transitions into other very similar color. Mostly seen in dark scenes. Or in compressed/badly composed images.

Check here from post 4225.
http://www.overclock.net/t/1577511/dell ... hread/4220

The image posted does have some banding in it. It is either badly compressed or badly made. But some monitors show more and some less of it's defects. Dell monitors show it very very bright with this low gamma banding look to it and others better.
My amva iiyama screen shows some banding but mych less thann S27 and S24 seen on forum.
While my ips screens in work (newer dell models, mostly 6bit+frc I think) do not show almost any of banding on that image. Only very slight hints of it if I look closely.
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Re: Do all TN G-sync monitors have banding issues? Help me p

Postby open » 16 Sep 2017, 10:56

Yeah it looks like it is an issue with the monitor. I see people on rog formus trying to find a solution but not able to. Setting the gamma to 2.5 in the on screen menu seemed to help but its still a problem. I would avoid it if you dont like banding. I can say that the issue is SLIGHTLY the same with my pg258q but putting the gamma on 2.4 in the monitors menu fixes it for everything except movies on amazon prime and that is most likely due to a codec issue because movies with youtube and such look fine with no banding.

Side note the toms hardware reviews are SO BAD. Lol I wish I could trust their objective measurements but then they type the dumbest things and I just KNOW that I can't. The people here and at tftcentral are on point.
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Re: Do all TN G-sync monitors have banding issues? Help me p

Postby lexebidar » 16 Sep 2017, 11:11

I've noticed You cannot trust reviews anymore at all.

None of dell delkl S24, S27 or Asus PG248Q mentions banding or gamme. Most reviewers brush it off as "tn colors normal for tn".
But in fact this is not how tn looks. Normal TN looks pretty much like ips with a little bit less vivid colors and worse angles but no glow. Old TN panels looked worrse because they had ccfl backlikghting which got yellow over time.

How are normal 144hz lmb monitors looking without gsync? Any recommendations? Or is it a lost cause? I don't want to be forced to use shitty ips screens. ips is the worst
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Re: Do all TN G-sync monitors have banding issues? Help me p

Postby jorimt » 16 Sep 2017, 12:01

"ips is the worst" is a subjective statement. It really depends on your past experience, and what kind of IPS panel you've been subjected to.

I haven't had the opportunity to see a true 8-bit TN panel in person (which I hear is pretty comparable in color reproduction to an IPS, sans the gamma shift; which can be a big deal), but my 240Hz XB252Q 6-bit (dithers to 8-bit) TN panel literally pales in comparison to my 144Hz XB27H1U true 8-bit IPS panel picture quality-wise (the capability of picture depth just isn't there).

Modern high refresh IPS G-SYNC panels of equivalent features/HZ are also very comparable to TN in the motion clarity department, both for strobed and non-strobed, although TN can sometimes offer less ULMB crosstalk.

As for IPS glow, it depends on how close you sit to the monitor, how high you have the backlight, and if you game in the dark or not. So sure, if you pump the backlight to near max and game a foot from the screen in the dark, even on the modern AU Optronics IPS panels, you're going to see some corner glow. But with a proper calibration of the backlight, and gaming with a simple lamp off to the side, the glow is negligible.

Also, compared to an equivalently calibrated TN panel, IPS panels have a higher contrast ratio, lower black level, little to no inversion artifacts, and none of the gamma shift/viewing angle issues that plague TN (which results in more accurate gamma tracking, and thus better color reproduction).

As for backlight bleed/uniformity, it's actually worse on my TN, though this will vary from panel to panel (more dependent on the way the backlight is mounted usually), regardless of the panel type used.

Personally, I don't prefer VA (typically poor motion clarity, primarily), but that doesn't mean others aren't happy to use it, and that it doesn't have its merits (contrast ratio among them).

That all said, there are quality TN gaming panels, but if you're looking for best picture, just be sure to get one with a true 8-bit panel to avoid the color reproduction limitations of 6-bit TN panels (unless you're looking to buy a 240Hz, where I believe 6-bit + FRC to 8-bit is all that is currently available in that Hz).

We have a list of the best gaming monitors here by the way:
http://www.blurbusters.com/faq/120hz-monitors/

Oh, and in regards to color banding, I'm sure it can be worse on certain monitor models, but it is highly dependent on the source. That, and 8-bit color simply bands. Heck, I own a 10-bit OLED LG TV, and even 10-bit color can still band; it's not until you get to 12-bit and up (then downsample to a 10-bit display) where you start getting zero visible banding (on displays that don't introduce any banding of their own, that is).
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Re: Do all TN G-sync monitors have banding issues? Help me p

Postby open » 16 Sep 2017, 13:35

Yes I have actually looked at some of the response time measurements of modern gaming IPS monitors like the XB270HU and been quite impressed.
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Re: Do all TN G-sync monitors have banding issues? Help me p

Postby lexebidar » 16 Sep 2017, 14:39

Thanks @jorimt

I am just looking for something that would have reasonably good picture quality and reasonably clear picture during movement. My current VA does not do any of that. But it does good contrast and viewing angles. The uniformity on my panel is still bad as far as va goes.
I am pretty sure those 144hz ahva panels would drive me insane with QC of backlight bleeding... and all of those monitors use exactly the same AUO panel so there is no escaping it really.

I was almost decided to at least get clear motion by going TN with 144hz and strobing... but gsync again have poor quality panels and nongsync I don't know yet... Maybe I really should just get some good ips then and be done with it. That way or another, recommendations are welcome :)
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Re: Do all TN G-sync monitors have banding issues? Help me p

Postby jorimt » 16 Sep 2017, 15:05

Depends on your budget and expectations; if you clue me in on both, I can help you narrow it down.

There is no one "perfect" option though.

One thing I'd like to clear up here, is AU Optronic panels, are, if anything, as good or better than other/older panels. I'm not sure how it became the general view they are somehow inferior to older/other display tech. In fact, they are the only thing that has allowed a push in resolution + Hz levels for all display types; other panels can't hit 144Hz or higher with the res/GtG transitions required, which is why AU Optronics has a monopoly on this in the first place.

Anyway, a lot of the backlight bleed issue have come in because of the switch to edge-lit/near borderless monitor designs, not so much the change in panels. I've owned a couple high-end non-G-SYNC Dell IPS monitors (including one intended for professional use), and they suffer from the same backlight issue (in fact the two that I had were far worse than my 1440p IPS G-SYNC display).

So for the "gsync again have poor quality panels and nongsync I don't know yet" comment, you'll find they're all about the same, as most are prioritizing super thin designs and no longer have actual backlights, but edge lighting instead.

Also, while TN panels are great for motion clarity, I'll tell you that going from a VA to a TN, the raise in black level, and the drop in contrast ratio will be jarring, if picture quality is your primary aim at least.
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Re: Do all TN G-sync monitors have banding issues? Help me p

Postby lexebidar » 16 Sep 2017, 15:55

I understand and sorry if we are going a bit too off-topic (this is a 144hz+ monitors forum after all).

The budget is around 400$. I could spend more if it was worth it but I would prefer to spend less really as it seems redundant to spend crazy amount on a monitor. I am never going to sell it at a good price anyway and who knows what comes in a year or three. Also, I am not one of those people who buys one monitor and use it for 10 years. It would be great to do so but I only imagine it happening if 16:9 crt displays were suddenly produced. I would reinforce my desk immediately :D

-I expect good nice colors. Seeing it as developer/movie director intended. But some saturation and vibrancy can go a long way to make image pop and look great. My va lacks that. Everything is bland and nothing pops out. It's not the worst I've seen though.
-Minimize or at least do not enhance banding in gradients.
-I use monitor at about 100-120 luminance(about 20%-40% brightness on most monitors I had). When I play at night, there is usually a 600/800lumen standing led lamp in another corner of the living room turned on.
-Less ghosting/shimmering than va. It is really a problem with VA and first time I've noticed ghosting really. It's not unusable or anything but You can't see anything on the screen when moving a window, rotating in game and so on. Screen shimmers only on some patterns but ghosting makes games almost harder to play since You have to stop mouse movement to take a shot. Again - it's not maybe as important in single player games I play... I don't even have much of a problems in pugb.
-1920x1080 24". I would love to have bigger screen but my 1060 would not keep up and I don't want to drop below 60fps. I hate aliased edges. I am doing anything I can to apply some aa or use dsr if there is fps to spare.
-I am watching Youtube/movies/shows/reading forums a lot and so on. Right now more than gaming but I kinda hope to game again some more after I change a monitor.
-I have ikea malm desk, so adjustable height stand is a must.
-monitor design does not matter much. It should just be black. I just would prefer it to be matte with light coating. The U2312HM I had years ago was grainy as heck.

By listing those points I am not even sure what I want. Probably good ips or good motion clear TN. But that would require running at high framerates which my 1060 will not do probably and gsync monitors are debatable.

edit: in short - picture quality over else but not at the cost of excessive ghosting or shimmering
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