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Faint horizontal scan lines at 144/120 hz

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Faint horizontal scan lines at 144/120 hz

Postby WeGotParm » 05 Nov 2017, 18:27

Hoping I can get some advice on whether to return a monitor. I built a new gaming rig last week with a GTX 1080, and finally took a step into the 144hz world with an ASUS 24" VG248QE. The monitor looks great aside from some very faint horizontal scan lines in the bottom left quarter of the screen. They are equivalent in frequency, and seem to simply alternate rows with one row being a tad lighter/darker than the rest. At 120hz they become more faint, and at 60hz they aren't noticeable. I don't notice them a ton while gaming, but if I look at the bottom left corner of the screen at my HUD, I can definitely see it.
I'm curious if this is a consistent issue with 144hz monitors, and if some variation in these panels is to be expected?

For nearly $300, I was expecting a fairly perfect display, and don't know if I should try swapping this a second time to spin the monitor lotto wheel again.

Any thoughts on this? I did some searching and can’t determine if this is a defect or a known challenge I need to be okay with. When I sit back a bit it’s hardly noticeable, but definitely visible at normal viewing distances and more pronounced as you get closer.

Thanks!
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Re: Faint horizontal scan lines at 144/120 hz

Postby Chief Blur Buster » 05 Nov 2017, 19:28

The VG248QE came out in year 2013 and is one of the first popular LightBoost-capable monitors, has had shown that artifact on many samples. It's very common on VG248QE's as a panel lottery issue (you can try a return, but I've seen users get it 3 consecutive times, on different corners) and many older/entry-level 144Hz monitors, but this isn't always found on all "Better Than 60Hz" displays.

$200-$300 is very entry-level for the "Better than 60Hz" world and there are often more imperfections than a higher-priced G-SYNC monitor or a newer 240Hz / 1440p monitor. Panel issues, unfortunately, are par for the course. If you're picky about colors and willing to spend more for good colors, get an IPS 165Hz G-SYNC screen such as the much-more-expensive ViewSonic XG2703-GS ($700). To get the beautiful IPS color, G-SYNC, and high Hz all at the same time. Ouch, eh? Anyway, if you're fine with TN, read onwards.

Option A: Get cheaper 144Hz with the same quality panel
If you want bottom of the price range, Acer GN246HL (~$185) is all you need for basic 144Hz, and you save $100. And it even has LightBoost too! LightBoost for under 200 bux.

Option B: 240Hz for almost as cheap as 144Hz
Consider newer panels. My experience is that the much newer (2017) ViewSonic XG2530 has a much better picture than the older (2013) ASUS VG248QE -- that's 240Hz for only ~$385. You won't get G-SYNC with your GTX 1080, and you won't have the LightBoost found in your VG248QE, but you'd get 240Hz and a better picture (ViewSonic tends to calibrate default colors fairly well, even on TN). There is a known frameskipping but in the older firmwares, but that's fixable via an easy CRU tweak, and not a dealbreaker at all, considering for only $80 extra you get much better colors than a 2013 panel and the bonus of 240Hz!

Option C: Treat your GTX 1080 properly with G-SYNC
But.... you have a GTX 1080. Have you considered purchasing a G-SYNC monitor? For about ~$100 more (if you're in the states), you can add G-SYNC to some brands. I've seen ASUS PG248Q - 180Hz G-SYNC monitor for only ~$400 dollars new if you'd like that. Add $200 more and you've got ASUS PG258Q 240Hz G-SYNC. Remember, you get less input lag with 100fps@240Hz than 100fps@144Hz, so if competitive gameplay is your priority, then the extra Hz actually still helps! Either way, with G-SYNC, I think is really worthwhile to get more perfect motion because you have a GTX 1080. The panels will look better at 144Hz the variable refresh rate eliminate stutters caused by changing refresh rates. Even fluctuating 50fps-100fps looks perfectly smooth without framerate-change stutters (see animation example of stutterless framerate changes). If you want stutterfree fluctuating frame rates in your video games, that is G-SYNC or FreeSync can do very well.

Ignore the "240Hz is worthless" garbage you see elsewhere on the Internet. Jorim spent hundreds of hours testing 240Hz. We can really say it's worth it if you can afford a few dollars more and you don't care about LightBoost -- 240Hz is already available for less than $400.

Ideally -- if you decide to return your panel, I highly recommend spending $100-$200 more to get a higher-quality or newer monitor than a year 2013 "Better Than 60Hz" panel that's $100 more than other similar inexpensive 144Hz monitors.

The VG248QE was an amazing monitor, kicked off the LightBoost revolution, and has had a long run, but we no longer recommend any 144Hz panels from year-2013 anymore unless you're looking at the $150-$250 price range and tolerate more panel-lottery imperfections.
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Re: Faint horizontal scan lines at 144/120 hz

Postby WeGotParm » 05 Nov 2017, 19:33

Chief Blur Buster wrote:The VG248QE came out in year 2013 and is one of the first popular LightBoost-capable monitors, has had shown that artifact on many samples. It's very common on VG248QE's as a panel lottery issue (you can try a return, but I've seen users get it 3 consecutive times, on different corners) and many older/entry-level 144Hz monitors, but this isn't always found on all "Better Than 60Hz" displays.......


Wow, this is *incredible*. Of all the forums I've visited, you've single-handedly provided the best info on this topic that I've been able to find. Thank you for all of those recommendations!

I was actually considering moving to the 1440p Dell S2417DG, and wonder if you've heard anything about that? I realize with my 1080 I probably won't be running 144hz at high settings all the time, but it does have G-sync, and looks to get good reviews. If not, that ASUS you linked to for $400 looks incredible.

Thanks again my friend!
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Re: Faint horizontal scan lines at 144/120 hz

Postby Chief Blur Buster » 05 Nov 2017, 19:44

Both are currently superior choices to the VG248QE.
And both has G-SYNC too.

If you're looking to enter the 1440p G-SYNC world as cheaply as possible, the DELL SD2417DG gives you 165Hz G-SYNC 1440p goodness for a mere ~$400. It is extremely popular on Amazon with hundreds of positive reviews that you can scroll through. Default picture calibration is not as good as ViewSonic's but on the DELL it is still very easy to adjust to look similar as just any perfectly fine 1440p TN monitor -- TN flaws included such as more limited viewing angles (panel looks faded from above/below). I cannot guarantee that there are no "panel lottery" factory defects but fortunately I have not heard of the scanlines-problem as much as I've heard from the VG248QEs.

If I had choice between higher frame rate 1080p non-GSYNC and lower frame rate 1440p G-SYNC then I personally would get 1440p G-SYNC.

This is because G-SYNC 70fps visually looks better than 110fps non-G-SYNC. G-SYNC does a pretty good job at making lower framerates better looking by removing the erraticness of the stutter. It gives you the "permanent perfect smooth VSYNC ON look-and-feel" during random fluctuating framerates, and without the stutters/tearing, and without input lag of VSYNC ON. As an additional bonus, you will also get ULMB which is much easier to adjust than LightBoost -- no hacks needed.

And in those rare cases, you can always turn off G-SYNC and instead use VSYNC OFF, like for 500fps CS:GO gaming (where sheer framerate is sometimes favoured by CS:GO players -- but it's a personal preference).

One common Blur Busters tip: Cap your frame rate slightly below refresh rate on all VRR monitors, whether FreeSync or G-SYNC. So use an approximately ~140fps frame rate cap on a 144Hz FreeSync or G-SYNC monitor. This avoid input-lag-varying effects of fluctuating framerates randomly hitting against your max Hz (VSYNC ON lag appears and disappears). Use an in-game frame rate limiter, or if not available, then use a utility such as RTSS
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Re: Faint horizontal scan lines at 144/120 hz

Postby WeGotParm » 05 Nov 2017, 20:04

Chief Blur Buster wrote:Both are currently superior choices to the VG248QE.
And both has G-SYNC too.


Thanks for all that info. I decided to snag that Dell S2417DG with G-Sync! Hoping it'll be a great monitor for years to come. I can always turn down some settings to really crank the FPS out, or use the lower FPS and G-Sync to play with higher settings.
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Re: Faint horizontal scan lines at 144/120 hz

Postby Chief Blur Buster » 06 Nov 2017, 12:38

Let us know how it goes -- it would be good to hear your impressions!

That is some good pixel density, which gets taking some used to.

For 24" 1440p, use a lower-density DPI setting for Windows to make text almost "Retina-like" resolution, and you can easily turn down/off AA to get more framerate since the extra pixel density makes AA a little less necessary in some games.
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Re: Faint horizontal scan lines at 144/120 hz

Postby WeGotParm » 07 Nov 2017, 18:38

Chief Blur Buster wrote:Let us know how it goes -- it would be good to hear your impressions!

That is some good pixel density, which gets taking some used to.

For 24" 1440p, use a lower-density DPI setting for Windows to make text almost "Retina-like" resolution, and you can easily turn down/off AA to get more framerate since the extra pixel density makes AA a little less necessary in some games.


Monitor just arrived. Looks perfect. No dead pixels, definitely no scanlines. I'm very thankful I didn't settle for the ASUS. My 1080 is running Destiny 2 at 100-120 FPS with near max settings and it's absolutely glorious. Thanks for urging me toward spending a little more on a better monitor. The difference is worth way more than the extra $100 I spent. Cheers!
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Re: Faint horizontal scan lines at 144/120 hz

Postby RealNC » 07 Nov 2017, 19:13

Don't forget to give the G-Sync 101 article a read. It will tell you how to get the most out of g-sync.
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