Headache and eyes strain with new 240Hz monitor

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Re: Headache and eyes strain with new 240Hz monitor

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 26 Nov 2020, 00:18

Near-Ultrasonic Audio Emitted From Certain Models Of Monitors Can Cause Headaches
CorvusCorax wrote:
24 Nov 2020, 04:43
Maybe it's coil whine... because when I switch from 120Hz to 240Hz I hear high sound from back of the monitor. But in other hand my problem still occurs in lower RR.
Bingo. Here's a possible cause.

It may not solve your problem, but please test it and report back if it solves your problem.

Coil Whine Does Not Need To Be Fully Audible To Create Headaches

Even when coil whine become so quiet (threshold of hearing), it can produce nausea. You did say you get less nausea at lower refresh rates, but that it's still there. It can modulate louder and quieter, especially during refresh rate changes, but it's still there, tickling your minimum whisper hearing threshold so you can't hear the sound, but it's a nauseating audio frequency for some.

Test #1: Spin Your Computer Chair 180 Degrees

Sit in completely opposite direction staring at real world 180 degrees away from the monitor, with the monitor only 1 feet behind your head.

Sometimes nausea only occurs with your eyes open staring at the real world (even if not staring at the monitor), so closing eyes while facing screen does not always work and may create wild goose chases of other monitor-nausea causes (bright flicker or blue light leaking through closed eyelids)

If you are still getting nausea even while staring away from monitor (with monitor 1 feet behind your head) -- then there is a VERY high probability of nausea from the near-ultrasonic noises of some monitor (coil whine). Some monitors makes a lot more than others.

Test #2: Glass-Insulate Your Monitor

Once you confirmed Test #1, you can progress to an additional verification test (seeing monitor) may be needed, which requires a bit more creative testing because not everyone has a glass box to test with:
  • Plywood Box with Plexiglass Front
    If you are a good DIY builder in a woodwork lab, this is obvious. Be creative! Don't forget to add cooling mechanisms since a closed box can overheat a monitor (cooling ideas such as a fan hole on the side, but you also have to find a way to sound-insulate the cooling fan holes!)
  • Aquarium Tank As Monitor Noise Shield
    Test your monitor in a glass box. A large aquarium tank put over the monitor, is one method of blocking most of coil whine. Purchase a sufficiently big aquarium from Amazon and briefly test with it upsidedown on the monitor (easiest) or create a custom lid if keeping tank right-side-up (harder). Thicker the glass, the better. Make sure to put the monitor on a rubber mat or mousemat-style thing, to prevent coil-whine transmission to the desk surfaces). Seal up gaps caused by power/DisplayPort cables. Once you've determined an aquarium tank solves your headache problem, you can turn the aquarium tank permanent. The aquarium box can be a permanent coil whine noise shield, as long as you find a way to ventilate the box; 50-100 watts of heat builds up really rapidly inside a glass box.
  • Opposite Side of a Window
    - Try putting your monitor at a house window, and going outdoors to try to view your computer monitor through your window.
    - If you have it in an office with glass walls somewhere, try that too (bring your monitor to work; some conference rooms have glass walls.
    - If you have a car, try putting your monitor on an outdoor driveway table/cart and facing it to a side car window. Sit inside your car while staring at monitor with all windows closed and outdoor vents sealed off (internal-circulate, like you usually use when highway-passing a soot-spewing diesel semi trailer), to make your car a noiseproof box.
    - If you have a French glass door, try putting on opposite side of door and seal the door cracks
Be creative to find a way to glass-insulate the coil wine in a test, and you'll instantly notice you no longer get headaches when staring at the screen.

WARNING/IMPORTANT/DISCLAIMER!
1. Be VERY CAREFUL of glass aquarium tanks, they can easily shatter, and sharp glass can be killer knives. But you knew that.
2. Be VERY CAREFUL when transporting the monitor, we disclaim responsibility for a broken monitor while carrying it around.

Some bad coil whine may break through, but it will be much less. Coil whine is a major nausea problem for some people. I've chased this ghost already; It's a frequent red herring & wild goose chase misappropriating TN defects and refresh rates, for mudane issues such as near-ultrasonic sounds emitted from monitors.

Use external speakers, since you no longer can use monitor internal speakers anymore, when you're sound-insulating your monitor from problematic coil whine.

Not All Monitors Have Bad Coil Whine

You may also try monitor lottery (RMA or switch brands) until you find one with little to no coil whine. But if you're in love with a specific screen, noise-insulating your monitor is a perfectly legitimate option.

Also, not everybody gets nausea from near-ultrasonic sounds such as coil whine. However, it is part of the troubleshooting box to avoid wild choose chases to visual red herrings (visual nauseas related to flicker / blur / stroboscopics / blue light / etc) since audio headaches is part of monitor ergonomics.
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Lauda89
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Re: Headache and eyes strain with new 240Hz monitor

Post by Lauda89 » 26 Nov 2020, 07:03

Chief Blur Buster wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 00:18
Near-Ultrasonic Audio Emitted From Certain Models Of Monitors Can Cause Headaches
[...]
Do you know if software updates (GPU driver or OS) can influence the coil whine? Maybe the sound frequency can change? Or is it a problem caused 100% by hardware, without any relation to software?

Because my problem is related to the software as I said in the previous post and I am trying to understand what the problem is.

I read something about LCD inversion and dithering that can cause flickering at low frequency:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/ ... cklit/?all
Post 22 and 25.

"The spectrum display is useful for finding all the frequency components, because it can seperate frequencies even if they are masked by a much larger waveform.
Most displays operate hat 60fps. The polarity inversion in displays happens at that rate, therefore the resulting display flicker is at half the framerate, so at 30Hz. In my case there also was a 15Hz flicker, caused by the framerate modulation alternating between two grayscale values to produce finer steps in between.
So only by measuring the light output from my TFT LCD, I could identify the panel as a 6bit panel displaying 8bits (but you need to be careful, some graphic cards also do framerate modulation when colour or gamma adjustment function is activated)."


Do you think it could be a problem related to the software (maybe the OS update can change the UI colors and with some gray the monitor start to flickering?!)? I noticed that in many monitor reviews they use an oscilloscope to verify the presence of PWM. Would it be possible to identify with this tool any flickering caused by dithering or LCD inversion at such low frequency?

If you didn't read my previous post my actual situation is that i can use my Alienware AW2518HF with RX 480 on W10 1903 but i can't use it with W10 2004 and i had problem also with the MacBook Pro 16" (i had problems even with its own monitor and also with my external monitor).

Thanks for your great contribution :)

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Re: Headache and eyes strain with new 240Hz monitor

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 26 Nov 2020, 07:36

Lauda89 wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 07:03
Do you know if software updates (GPU driver or OS) can influence the coil whine? Maybe the sound frequency can change? Or is it a problem caused 100% by hardware, without any relation to software?
It's certainly possible. Software updates can modify power management, which affects coil whine. You can also manually force GPU % by underclocking/overclocking your GPU.

Also, it may be a domino effect. Increased/decreased power consumption causing a cheap computer power supply to generate increased coil whine. For less coil whine, I highly recommend sticking to 80PLUS Gold/Platinum power supplies, don't cheap out -- the better power supplies tend to be better and also permits silent fanstop operations during non-gaming ops.

Even a Windows upgrade can increase/decrease power consumption that changes the coil whine emitted by a cheap computer's ATX power supply.
Lauda89 wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 07:03
Because my problem is related to the software as I said in the previous post and I am trying to understand what the problem is.
Do the coil whine tests. Figure out if your headache is caused by coil whine.
Lauda89 wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 07:03
I read something about LCD inversion and dithering that can cause flickering at low frequency:
Usually wild goose chases to red herrings.

A lot of it is gentle shallow-waveform flicker similar to AC lightbulb flickering, it's not a digital ON/OFF flicker. If you can't see inversion artifacts or visible flickering, it is usually not the problem, albiet some people are certainly sensitive to inversion.

There are lot of wild goose chases to red herrings. A Windows 10 upgrade won't change inversion (unless the Windows upgrade is changing refresh rates unbeknownst to you, since different refresh rates can have different inversion artifacts).
Lauda89 wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 07:03
"The spectrum display is useful for finding all the frequency components, because it can seperate frequencies even if they are masked by a much larger waveform.
Most displays operate hat 60fps. The polarity inversion in displays happens at that rate, therefore the resulting display flicker is at half the framerate, so at 30Hz. In my case there also was a 15Hz flicker, caused by the framerate modulation alternating between two grayscale values to produce finer steps in between.
So only by measuring the light output from my TFT LCD, I could identify the panel as a 6bit panel displaying 8bits (but you need to be careful, some graphic cards also do framerate modulation when colour or gamma adjustment function is activated)."
Yes, dither/FRC can occur. It rarely produces headaches/nausea due to the shallow GtG-softened flicker between adjacent greyscale shades (e.g. 1/64th modulations -- a few-% flicker shallower than the AC waveform flicker found in an incandescent lightbulb). But some people are indeed unusually sensitive. My experience is coil whine is a bigger factor. And also, Windows 10 upgrades don't affect inversion algorithms.
Lauda89 wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 07:03
Do you think it could be a problem related to the software (maybe the OS update can change the UI colors and with some gray the monitor start to flickering?!)? I noticed that in many monitor reviews they use an oscilloscope to verify the presence of PWM. Would it be possible to identify with this tool any flickering caused by dithering or LCD inversion at such low frequency?
It is possible, but there's a huge universe of other causes too so it is easy to do wild goose chase to lots of red herrings, going down dead ends. You might find flicker but might not be able to prove it's your cause of eyestrain, for example. An incandescent bulb flickers a bigger waveform than most inversion/FRC. Have you ever experienced discomfort with DLP projectors or electronic cinema? (it has 1000x more harsh pixel-flickering than FRC, since DLP is binary pixel-flicker) Have you ever experienced discomfort with CRT/plasma or other impulse-driven technologies? Have you tried the motionblur tests? Have you tried the ULMB tests? Sometimes precision-timed flicker decreases eyestrain when there are bigger causes (e.g. increased sensitivity to motionblur, only solvable by a flicker-based motion-blur-reducing strobe backlight). But, it all depends on what you are sensitive to.

But if you've seen my other forum threads, there's a big universe of causes of eyestrain wit monitors.
Lauda89 wrote:
26 Nov 2020, 07:03
If you didn't read my previous post my actual situation is that i can use my Alienware AW2518HF with RX 480 on W10 1903 but i can't use it with W10 2004 and i had problem also with the MacBook Pro 16" (i had problems even with its own monitor and also with my external monitor).
That's an interesting datapoint. I'd love to figure out what is the cause (audio or video).

Precision Measuring Equipment, If You Can Afford To Test
In this case, precision measuring equipment that allows you test W10 1908 versus W10 2004 (both audibly AND visually), could help you hone down the cause. There are potential obscure auditory and visual causes of your predicament, like a GPU-FRC enable/disable (plus unusual sensitivity to temporal dithering).

Coil Whine Test
You can try the coil whine check. Try W10 1908 and test W10 2004 with your computer chair spun 180 degrees facing away from your computer. You're sitting at your computer but with your head facing 180-degree away. So that it's not vision related. Since the different version of W10 may be changing power management in ways that hits power wattages that hits the resonant-frequency spot of your power supply (coil whine can be loudest at an exact power wattage). If you're still feeling sick with W10 2004 but not W10 1908, you've probably discovered a potential coil whine issue (i.e. changed power management)

AMD GPU Temporal Dithering Feature
You can try How do I turn off temporal dithering in an AMD graphics card?, which might have been OFF in W10 1908 but ON during W10 2004. It might indicate an unusual temporal-dither sensitivity, including to software-based/GPU-based temporal dithering. Temporal dithering also occurs on Linux and Mac, you can Download a PDF with Instructions to Disable Temporal Dithering on Macs.

Temporal dithering is pretty harmless to the vast majority, since it's shallow-cycle pixel flickering that is shallower than the 120Hz AC-crossing brightness modulation of an incandescent lightbulb, however, an ultra-small subsegment of human population have a high sensitivity to temporal dithering behaviors (sensitivity to DLP/plasma displays will usually occur before the person is sensitive to LCD-based temporal dithering -- it's much fainter).

These are not the only possible reasons. There are many other obscure reasons for nausea with a display; being Blur Busters namesake; it does attract people who's concerned about monitor ergonomics (including motion blur nausea).
Head of Blur Busters - BlurBusters.com | TestUFO.com | Follow @BlurBusters on Twitter

       To support Blur Busters:
       • Official List of Best Gaming Monitors
       • List of G-SYNC Monitors
       • List of FreeSync Monitors
       • List of Ultrawide Monitors

sndhck
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Re: Headache and eyes strain with new 240Hz monitor

Post by sndhck » 08 Dec 2020, 01:16

CorvusCorax wrote:
16 Nov 2020, 06:34
Hi,

I recently bought new display panel Dell Alienware AW2521HF. It has good specification and reviews says it is flicker free and it's good for eyes. But sadly my eyes and head wants to explode after 1h of using this monitor. I feel pressure between my eyes and it's very uncomfortable. When I switch to my old monitor (Dell 2209WA) the symptoms dissapear.

FYI:
1. My brightness/contrast settings are 35/42.
2. I checked other cables, ports and even graphic cards.
3. When I play games with 60Hz (with G-sync on) I'm sure I see screen slightly flickering.
4. The probblem occurs in 60/120/240Hz modes.

I don't know where the problem is. Is there anyone who can explain me what's wrong with me and what should I pay attention to before I buy new monitor?

Sorry for my english.
I feel the same with my msi mag251rx. And it's, as I know, same panel with AW2521HF. So for me culprit was color settings. Normal settings are terrible, custom colors with 100 100 100 - terrible, ~97 97 93 (for example) - terrible. 85 85 78 - 24/7 ready for everyday use with no headache. Brightness btw ~30.

alapsu
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Joined: 18 Jul 2019, 17:33

Re: Headache and eyes strain with new 240Hz monitor

Post by alapsu » 11 Dec 2020, 13:08

After suffering from semi-regular headaches for several months that I thought were related to looking at my strobing-enabled XL2546, I maybe went a smidge crazy trying to understand why.

I tried turning off the strobing feature. Seemed to work...maybe? But over the course of several days it became apparent the headaches had not gone away. I thought maybe it was something about the monitor itself (maybe its TN panel or low PPI), so I stopped using it for a week or so and instead did my computing on a 4k IPS panel (27UL650) with no strobing option. Again, at first I thought it maybe made some difference but over time I realized any improvement I at first "realized" was likely placebo.

So next I thought it maybe had something to do with light exposure. I tried filtering blue light, running everything in dark mode, lowering the brightness, etc. Again, it at first seemed like it maybe-kinda-worked, but time only made my "finding" more equivocal. I tried the dark-mode, low-brightness, blue-light-filter option with my office lights turned off...same result. It seemed like I was even getting headaches from reading dead-tree books.

I eventually went to an eye doctor for the first time in my life. Turns out I have a very common eye condition (astigmatism) that can be corrected by glasses. Took a few days for my prescription reading glasses to come in, but once they did I started wearing them when I use my computer. After several weeks, I can confidently report this is the first change that's genuinely ameliorated my headaches. My monitors were fine; I'm just getting old.

Moral of the story: go to an eye doctor. You may find it's easier, cheaper, and more effective than many of the (wonderfully creative and entertaining) solutions discussed in this thread.

TTT
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Joined: 28 Jul 2018, 14:17

Re: Headache and eyes strain with new 240Hz monitor

Post by TTT » 11 Dec 2020, 13:55

Have you tried lowering the gamma as well as the brightness/contrast and then altering the ingame brightness?

I had the XB252Q TN and at any brightness it felt like it was burning my eyes and sometimes made my eyes twitch, I ended up playing on 0 brightness most of the time.

I upgraded to the Xb253Q IPS and that looks much better but brought other problems, the blacks were way too black but also having it bright was way too bright for my eyes, I've ended up lowering it from default 2.2 to 2.0 gamma and I can up the brightness but then I need to up the ingame brightness higher than I usually would.

It seems to stop messing my eyes up so much and I get good game clarity at the same time.

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