Monitor advice thread / followup thoughts

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GammaLyrae
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Monitor advice thread / followup thoughts

Post by GammaLyrae » 28 Mar 2018, 01:59

I have an AMD card. I'd like a monitor that has some sort of motion blur reducing technology and freesync. Having to "hack" one of those functions through the service menu or through custom resolutions is fine. I spend a lot of time playing Rainbow 6: Siege and Vermintide II, both of which are first person shooters. I occasionally play fighting games or other games that are locked to 60hz refresh rates, and thus, the panel should also offer suitable performance at that refresh rate. I am sensitive to slow pixel transitions and overdrive artifacts (Have a VA panel monitor right now, really dislike how sluggish it is). My budget would in the range of $500.

I've dug up these models as potential options, but am largely ignorant to what else may exist.

LG 27GK750F - allegedly poor viewing angles, even for a TN panel,if hardware.info and their review is to be believed. Otherwise rock solid performance in terms of response time and features. Would be nice to see picture examples of motion blur tests, and the "poor" viewing angles in action.

BenQ XL2536 - almost no talk of this online. Can't confirm if freesync is available once you disable dyac.

BenQ XL2540 / BenQ XL2546 - seems to have adequate performance, the 40 variant is confirmed to have a service menu hack for dyac if you end up with a v2 firmware or later model. Mixed reports about coil whine while using 240hz refresh rates. Might also be a "first gen" 240hz panel? General reports that the first 240hz panels to market may have performed worse at lower refresh rates than a more mature 144hz panel.

Asus xg258q - completely overshadowed by its gsync counterpart. General concerns about it being an early 240hz panel, inconclusive concerns about 240hz frameskipping from these very forums. Can't find a quality review.
Last edited by GammaLyrae on 16 May 2018, 15:30, edited 5 times in total.

GammaLyrae
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Re: Trying to decide on a new monitor

Post by GammaLyrae » 30 Mar 2018, 16:22

Okay, well, I guess it was selfish to ask people to help me decide. After more carefully analyzing the hardware.info review of the LG 27", I went ahead and ordered it from Newegg. I thought long and hard about what I'm really looking for, and after taking some time to acclimate to a TN panel again by breaking out my 2011 era ctl lp monitor, I decided nothing about a TN display is a deal breaker.

I'll post some of my impressions when I get it next week. I don't have any professional measuring tools so it won't be precise, but yeah. My frame of reference is primarily going to be coming from using a Samsung cfg70, which has exceptional contrast, "quantum dot" colors, and looks nice in still images and video media, but is also fairly well known for having very sluggish pixel transitions (some of which are slow enough to cause smearing even at 60hz) and non-tunable overdrive, which for the early firmware version I have, is too aggressive and results in overshoot in the form of purple trails.
Last edited by GammaLyrae on 03 Apr 2018, 02:48, edited 2 times in total.

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lexlazootin
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Re: Trying to decide on a new monitor

Post by lexlazootin » 31 Mar 2018, 00:39

It's a difficult question to answer and the only real way we would know which free-sync monitors have low response times is by either having the monitor our self or seeing a review on tftcentral.co.uk

LG 27GK750F "allegedly poor viewing angles" is sort of BS, it uses the same 240hz panel all of the other 27inches use. Other 240hz are not going to be better.

Also if you want people to make u a recommendation you should probably be a bit more concise in your original post.

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Re: Trying to decide on a new monitor

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 31 Mar 2018, 18:30

GammaLyrae wrote:I'll post some of my impressions when I get it next week. I don't have any professional measuring tools so it won't be precise, but yeah. My frame of reference is primarily going to be coming from using a Samsung cfg70, which has exceptional contrast, "quantum dot" colors, and looks nice in still images and video media, but is also fairly well known for having very sluggish pixel transitions (some of which are slow enough to cause smearing even at 60hz) and non-tunable overdrive, which for the early firmware version I have, is too aggressive and results in overshoot in the form of purple trails.
The newer Samsung CFG73 fixes the purple trails, in case anyone is interested ...

The LG has had some good reception, although it is a TN panel with its disadvantages -- but as long as you're willing to put up with the disadvantages of TN, the 240Hz monitors have (on average) the best motion handling when viewing 240fps content at 240Hz.

I was also going to mention that a favourite compromise is one of the 165 Hz IPS 1440p LCDs for a colors-and-response tradeoff, but the 240Hz LCDs have even better motion response.
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GammaLyrae
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Re: Trying to decide on a new monitor

Post by GammaLyrae » 03 Apr 2018, 19:32

First impressions, with these qualifiers: I am sensitive to pixel response time-based motion blur. I have used a high refresh VA panel in the past, and found that even a 60hz IPS panel offered better motion clarity, since VA pixels are sluggish. Specific to the VA I was using (an early Samsung CFG70), it also exhibited fairly significant overdrive artifacts when transitioning from dark colors to medium or light colors, which is another visual artifact I am sensitive to. Issues like stuttering in backlight strobing modes associated with running games at a framerate that doesn't match the refresh rate, I am much less bothered by.

The usual problems with a TN panel can be exacerbated by the larger panel size at 27". You will not be able to sit close to this screen and immerse yourself in the game without making the usual viewing angle problems worse. Viewing angles do seem to be worse than older generation TN panels at a smaller size. The viewing angles are noticeably worse than my (very old) CTL LP2361. The CTL exhibits much less color shifting at horizontal angles, and the gamma degradation when viewed from above is not as harsh. I am sure that the viewing angles are average for the panel and class (ie: no other 27" 240hz monitor will perform much better, at least as of the time of this post), but the downgrade in visual clarity thanks to worse viewing angle performance is noticeable, relative to other TN panels, even older ones.

Crosstalk is evident in the strobing mode. My results about exactly match k2viper's from the thread for this monitor. The strobing mode does not allow you to adjust the length of time for which the backlight is "on" for its strobe. I find the image overall brighter compared to the CFG70's strobing mode, which seems to suggest that the backlight strobes 'on' for a longer duration. Given the amount of crosstalk that's visible, it might even be brushing up against the 4.16~ms refresh time of the screen at 240hz. Higher vertical totals change where the cross talk happens, which can let you more cleanly center the image, but this may exacerbate crosstalk at the top and bottom edges of the screen.

Motion clarity is fair, even with the pixel overdrive set to off or normal. Normal introduces some relatively minimal overdrive artifacts, which with my monitor settings tends to appear as a pink / purple hue trailing the object. In some cases, given the right circumstances, the color of an entire moving object can shift to this overdriven color hue, and the only way to bypass it is by turning overdrive off entirely. While hardware.info's review doesn't cover this as comprehensively as I'd like, you'll see that even with no overdrive, the panel stays fairly fast. I don't know where their 3% overshoot figure with optimum overdrive ("Faster") comes from, as overdrive artifacts are immediately apparent while browsing forums, where black text on light backgrounds is common. It is less noticeable in games, as that type of transition isn't as common, but once you learn to spot the pink / purple hue of an overdrive artifact, you'll immediately notice it in games, and likely start tuning the overdrive setting lower and lower. At a measured 9~ms response time for some intermediate transitions, this can introduce ghosting and blurring from slow pixels transitions that will be apparent even with a "fixed gaze" viewing preference common amongst esports gamers. Reducing the refresh rate or turning overdrive back on or to a higher level can mitigate this, but now you're either not using the 240hz potential, or you're going to have to accept some harsher overdrive artifacts from time to time.

Getting the monitor to look the way I wanted gamma and color wise took some huge changes to the RGB settings and a gamma adjustment within windows. The gamma curve is on average very near 2.2 out of the box, but there's significant deviation as colors become more saturated, starting at about 70%. Red and blue take a dive, while green shoots up significantly. If you don't mind some red or blue push on the lower colors, you can drop the green channel - but you are basically just taking the significant deviations that occur at 70%+, and averaging it out over the entire gamma curve. A professional calibration tool can fix this, but not everyone has access to one.

Final verdict (keep in mind my only frames of reference for this are from using a 144hz Samsung CFG70 with a VA panel, and a 60hz "no-name" TN monitor from 2011):

This is a 240hz TN panel, you are buying this for one specific purpose - gaming. Some fairly significant sacrifices are being made in terms of color accuracy to achieve this level of motion clarity, at least on this specific monitor from LG. Pixel performance seems adequate for 120hz-144hz even with overdrive off, or bumped to the first level "Normal", however, if you can consistently achieve 240fps or "close enough", you will need to have the overdrive settings on at least "Fast" in order for the pixels to change quickly enough to match the refresh rate. This starts to introduce more extreme overshoot that threatens to become noticeable in games. You'll need to decide for yourself whether or not the overshoot artifacting detracts from the benefits of enhanced motion clarity, and also understand that your CPU is more likely to be the limiting factor in achieving such a framerate in a game.

I am willing to wager that more gamers will be happy with a 144hz monitor - the panels are simply much more mature, exhibit fewer overdrive problems, and the lower refresh rate opens the door to increased resolutions. Some more recent DX10/DX11/OpenGL titles will struggle to run at framerates in excess of 200, due to the limitations of burdening a single core with the entire rendering pipeline to the GPU. Even DX12/Vulkan titles can exhibit this problem, if the CPU-side of the rendering process has not been adequately distributed amongst your CPU cores.
Last edited by GammaLyrae on 07 Apr 2018, 21:40, edited 4 times in total.

GammaLyrae
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Joined: 28 Mar 2018, 01:44

Re: Trying to decide on a new monitor

Post by GammaLyrae » 07 Apr 2018, 13:56

Chief Blur Buster wrote:
GammaLyrae wrote:I'll post some of my impressions when I get it next week. I don't have any professional measuring tools so it won't be precise, but yeah. My frame of reference is primarily going to be coming from using a Samsung cfg70, which has exceptional contrast, "quantum dot" colors, and looks nice in still images and video media, but is also fairly well known for having very sluggish pixel transitions (some of which are slow enough to cause smearing even at 60hz) and non-tunable overdrive, which for the early firmware version I have, is too aggressive and results in overshoot in the form of purple trails.
The newer Samsung CFG73 fixes the purple trails, in case anyone is interested ...

The LG has had some good reception, although it is a TN panel with its disadvantages -- but as long as you're willing to put up with the disadvantages of TN, the 240Hz monitors have (on average) the best motion handling when viewing 240fps content at 240Hz.

I was also going to mention that a favourite compromise is one of the 165 Hz IPS 1440p LCDs for a colors-and-response tradeoff, but the 240Hz LCDs have even better motion response.
Are there any newer high refresh IPS displays on the road map? I see models like the Asus PG279Q or Acer Predator XB271HU received near universal praise at their time of release (minor issues with the OSD for the Acer, typical IPS glow or black light bleed problems common to all IPS panels were exceptions, of course), but they also appear to be 2016 models. The competing 165hz overclockable IPS displays also appear to have come out around the same time, or use the same panel anyway. I don't think that necessarily makes them a bad buy, but if we're looking at monitors that launched with a $700-800 MSRP, I'd be weary of dropping that kind of cash if a newer model is coming later this year.


For the time being, I find that the additional motion clarity on offer through 240hz vs 144hz to be difficult to achieve. For typical browsing (where black text on white or other light backgrounds is common), I've found that I have to turn off the pixel overdrive completely in order to avoid noticeable overshoot artifacts, but this also introduces ghosting from response times that can't keep up with the refresh rate. In gaming I largely can't notice overdrive artifacts, but having become acutely aware of what it looks like on this particular LG panel I'm using, seeing that overdrive hue pop up anywhere is a dead give away and sticks out like a sore thumb. Not as common as it is with browsing, but it has taken me out of the experience on occasion.

Dropping the overdrive can fix it, the exact level it has to be reduced to depends on the game, though. The lower the overdrive has to be, the more overall ghosting takes over, which robs you of motion clarity. I think, for a panel that reportedly had fast response times with minimal overshoot, I hadn't expected to compromise on overdrive settings so quickly. I'm also seeing that the limiting factor in achieving 200+ FPS in many of the games I play is my CPU, which has no more room to overclock. Most of my games sit more comfortably at a locked 60fps (console ports, fighters, shmups, etc) or tend to settle more around 100-170 for the FPS games I play, which makes much more sense for a 144hz panel.

lexebidar
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Re: Trying to decide on a new monitor

Post by lexebidar » 07 Apr 2018, 16:06

Going TN is not a bad thing really. TN monitors can look very good color wise and I think the viewing angles issues are usually overblown. Just sit normally at You desk with eyes at abouit 2/3rd level of a monitor and it's all good.
+ TN have best response times(so least ghosting), fastest input lag and do not have silvering or ips glow. I think that's a fair trade for uncomfortable viewing conditions and most importantly - less backlight bleeding problems (although it's not every unit).

Nice review. I have additional question if You don't mind.

Could You test this:
-Set brightness to lowest and set black screen as wallpaper. Then switch to 60hz and to 240hz and check if gamma changes,if contrast gets worse and if more backlight bleed(or clouding) appear at 240 than 60. You could test the same with cfg70 if You still have it.

I did had AOC ag251fg and it did not changed 60 or 240hz. But the currect 23,8" LG I have does change dramatically 60hz to 144hz, to the point that I am not willing to sacrifice picture quality and stay at 60hz most of time.

GammaLyrae
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Re: Trying to decide on a new monitor

Post by GammaLyrae » 07 Apr 2018, 17:50

lexebidar wrote:Going TN is not a bad thing really. TN monitors can look very good color wise and I think the viewing angles issues are usually overblown. Just sit normally at You desk with eyes at abouit 2/3rd level of a monitor and it's all good.
+ TN have best response times(so least ghosting), fastest input lag and do not have silvering or ips glow. I think that's a fair trade for uncomfortable viewing conditions and most importantly - less backlight bleeding problems (although it's not every unit).
The issue I am having with my LG right now is after I dialed in the colors to eliminate severe green push and get acceptable colors when viewed straight on, even while sitting approx. 2ft away from the monitor, I can see slight red push near the top of the panel, and slight blue push towards the bottom. Reds, Greens, and Blues appear mostly fine, but combinations of Red and Green (particularly for yellow images) still have some green push. Attempting to correct for this reduces color saturation and also introduces a lot more red / blue push that is visible even while viewed straight on. It is most distracting while browsing, and I feel it detracts heavily from the overall image quality. Left / Right viewing angle problems are pushed all the way to the edges of the screen and are barely visible to me at this distance. But moving my neck or changing my seating position at all causes the red / blue vertical push to become more visible, as described earlier. The no-name 60hz TN I was doing a trial run on exhibited typical gamma issues for vertical angles and color problems if viewed too closely for horizontal angles, but didn't push towards different colors at opposite vertical edges like my LG is doing now, so I am quite surprised (and disappointed) in this behavior. Professional calibration tools could probably eliminate this, but for something that is $500-600 before shipping, I'd expect better out of the box performance.
lexebidar wrote:Nice review. I have additional question if You don't mind.

Could You test this:
-Set brightness to lowest and set black screen as wallpaper. Then switch to 60hz and to 240hz and check if gamma changes,if contrast gets worse and if more backlight bleed(or clouding) appear at 240 than 60. You could test the same with cfg70 if You still have it.
I turned the light off in my room and went to http://www.lightbleedtest.com/ , as it was the quickest way I could think of accessing a full black image. I viewed it at both 60hz and 240hz. I could not perceive any difference in the presence of glow or the quality of the blacks. For sanity, I tried to take some pictures using my cell phone camera, but the ISO and shutter speed settings are poor and I couldn't dial them in to a level where the white of the mouse cursor stopped glowing. I don't think they're really worth sharing. But even comparing the two pictures, the level of mouse cursor glow and backlight bleed / black level was identical between the two shots.

I then went to lagom.nl and checked out the black level test. It appeared the same at both 60hz and 240hz, with some slight crushing in the first two black boxes due to my monitor OSD and windows settings. The only difference I could perceive was in input delay, it is noticeably worse than the Dell U2414H that I have set up right next to it - but I already know this is due to how the scanout functions on this particular LG 240hz monitor. I don't feel like setting up my CFG70 again just to perform the blacks / contrast / glow tests, but I only ever drove it at 144hz, 120hz, and 100hz, and I don't recall seeing any changes in contrast / color performance at the different refresh rates. Most reviews tested it at 144hz and the reports on color performance / contrast ratios are from that mode anyhow.

I am still interested in hearing feedback about the 165hz 1440p IPS panels, or information about an upcoming refresh. I'm starting to think that an IPS might provide the balance of viewing angles, response times, and color balance I'm looking for. It's a shame they're so expensive.

lexebidar
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Re: Trying to decide on a new monitor

Post by lexebidar » 08 Apr 2018, 03:50

Thanks. This confirms that new 240hz panels at both 24.5 and 27" posibly do not change depending on 60 vs 240hz. So maybe that is only a thing of 23.8" monitors.

Anyway - aside from refresh rate. Do You see any edge lit bleed on this monitor aside from color shifts?

GammaLyrae
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Re: Trying to decide on a new monitor

Post by GammaLyrae » 08 Apr 2018, 13:00

lexebidar wrote:Thanks. This confirms that new 240hz panels at both 24.5 and 27" posibly do not change depending on 60 vs 240hz. So maybe that is only a thing of 23.8" monitors.
Someone posted in the LG thread that they saw a very slight gamma shift when switching modes. I am not sure if they measured that with a tool or are just more sensitive to it than I might be. But as I said, even looking at it back to back with a full black screen and lagom's contrast tests, I couldn't notice a difference with the naked eye.
lexebidar wrote:Anyway - aside from refresh rate. Do You see any edge lit bleed on this monitor aside from color shifts?
I saw a tiny bit on the lower right corner of the panel. Light uniformity seems good; I can't even notice it unless I switch to a full black background and go hunting for it. I've never known TN panels to be bad in this regard.

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