Is ELMB-Sync Really That Bad? [Reviewer Consistency? / Model Differences?]

Ask about motion blur reduction in gaming monitors. Includes ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur), NVIDIA LightBoost, ASUS ELMB, BenQ/Zowie DyAc, Turbo240, ToastyX Strobelight, etc.
permaximum
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Is ELMB-Sync Really That Bad? [Reviewer Consistency? / Model Differences?]

Post by permaximum » 13 Mar 2020, 21:03

Some reviewers like rtings lists VG27AQ as the best gaming monitor while a few others think it's just behind LG 27GL850 which doesn't even have standard BFI. I have seen a lot of graphs about how that tech double strobes or even worse at certain refresh rates but in practice - at least for the IPS VG27AQ one - after playing games with ELMB-sync ON some reviewers like the one below can even't go back to other monitors to play games any more.

Timestamped:
phpBB [video]


When I look at the photos from sites like rtings or watch camera recordings from live games, all I see is incredible improvement.

Asus Optimal Overdrive Max Refresh Rate vs ELMB-Sync which was taken from techspot.com's review
Image

27GL850 FAST/144HZ VS VG27AQ 80/165HZ VS VG27AQ ELMB-SYNC which was taken from Rtings reviews
Image

Overwatch Cam Recording Asus Max Refresh Rate and Max Overdrive vs ELMB-Sync
Image

So, non tech-savy people don't know what they feel or see?

Dmoney405
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Re: Is ELMB-Sync Really That Bad?

Post by Dmoney405 » 14 Mar 2020, 00:51

I recently made a mini-review on the newest asus viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6386.

ELMB-Sync is absolutely fucking amazing......on about 1/3 of the screen. It brings crystal clear CRT like motion clarity. The issue is the other 2/3 of the screen are full of crosstalk images where they actually make motion WORSE than when it was off. Theoretically this could be a non issue in fps type games if the good part was actually dead center on the crosshair or could be calibrated. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. On mine I have crosstalk starting at about the crosshair location and up so a target I'm aiming at commonly has different corona type effects applied to the same model, which is....a bit distracting. If you get lucky you can maybe get one that has the butter zone a bit more centered although the top and bottom 2/3rds will still be full of horrible crosstalk.

Is it decent? Yeah, I use it when I play CS and disable it for all other games. Would I choose this monitor instead of a GL850 if I were to go again? No. The BFI significantly dims the screen where I find that I need to run on 1.8 gamma instead of 2.2, while also increasing the brightness in games, which washes out the scene quite a bit. This is why CSGO is the only game I can really do it since I am not seeking eye candy. Also for fps standards CSGO is a slow moving game focusing around holding angles. So this system kinda works. Playing a very fast paced game like quake or Apex exacerbates the crosstalk further to make the choice less cut and dry than simply saying FPS game + ELMB = Good. Also as FPS gets lower, even in the 120s the crosstalk gets worse. So to effectively use this technology you need 1. Washed out colors or have an extremely difficult time spotting enemies on dark backgrounds. 2. at least 144+ fps. 3. Even in best case scenario you WILL have crosstalk blur on at minimum half of your screen. So this is a lot to sacrifice just for smoother motion on a small part of the screen. Why not just buy a TN panel since after all these compromises a TN panel will probably end up looking much brighter and still have better motion blur?

You can reference the link to see my testing methods if you are curious.

permaximum
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Re: Is ELMB-Sync Really That Bad?

Post by permaximum » 14 Mar 2020, 13:07

It still has normal ELMB which GL850 doesn't have and TN monitors are nowhere near close to ELMB motion clarity if they don't have it. The image getting a bit darker is what you sacrifice, just like you sacrifice color accuracy and more with TN panels for worse motion clarity than what ELMB provides.

Also could this "2/3 of the screen is bad, 1/3 is perfect" thing be related to the XG version or your particular monitor? Because unlike you there are a lot of reviewers swear by VG27AQ's ELMB-sync tech when they live tested it on fast-paced games. Just like the one example I provided in the OP.

Dmoney405
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Re: Is ELMB-Sync Really That Bad?

Post by Dmoney405 » 14 Mar 2020, 17:13

I'm confused, are you looking for an argument or something? You asked for opinions on ELMB-Sync then kinda get a bit defensive about it when I gave you mine and started derailing by pulling basic ELMB datapoints up. The question and the answer I structured around it was solely based off of ELMB-Sync, which operates differently from ELMB standalone. If you have all that knowledge and experience with it and think it's super great why are you asking about it here? It seems like you should just go on out and buy it. I'm not here to judge you or anything, do whatever you feel is right. I'm not sure what else you are looking for dude.

If you bothered to check that link I put in (don't worry, its literally a link to this same forum) you will see that the monitor using ELMB without VRR enabled also had the same issues.

Also here is the main man Marc, himself, talking on how it's impossible to have no crosstalk using his own endorsed monitor that is considered the best in the market right now. 4th post down on this page viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5998&hilit=xg270+cr ... &start=220.

His monitor uses single strobing to get such good clarity. ELMB-Sync uses at minimum dual strobing which guarantees a massive amount of double and triple images and the lower the refresh rate goes, the more strobing you get up to I think 8 images. This is outlined very clearly in this excellent and extremely detailed review of the VG27AQ you keep referencing. I timestamped it at the elmb part but if you are interested in that monitor I recommend you watch the whole thing, it's extremely well done.

https://youtu.be/6Ki7z_zJn9k?t=844

The problem with ELMB-Sync is the multi strobing. There is no fixing it on the user end or with vertical size adaptions. If any fix comes forward it will be from a firmware update of some sort, or by fixing the issue mechanically on the next series. Seeing some dude on youtube that plays Winston (a character in Overwatch that auto locks your aim on the closest target, requiring the player to simply walk around holding MB1 to be effective) praise this monitor while only specifically showing results for the dead center of the screen with very little tangible data doesn't really excite me, ESPECIALLY since the best case scenario dead center shots STILL showed multiple layers of crosstalk. So you can imagine how bad the top and bottom of his screen looked. There is a very good reason why the crosstalk test on this site specifically states to make it full screen.

Now, I have spent far more time on this than I should have because all of this information is already available for you to find yourself so I'm not going to go any further into it so I recommend you check out these things I've shown you and use them as data points to continue to form your own conclusion on if this is something you want, or not. There is no wrong or right answer, the matter is entirely subjective. Just like 60 vs 120+ refresh rate is subjective. By now most people agree that there is a massive difference between 60 and 120hz but you will still find people that swear it makes no difference. In this situation I am personally sensitive to the artifacts that this technology introduces and the artifacts can still be seen and measured even in the best case scenarios, even on your hand picked example. Perhaps those reviewers are just like the ones that swore up and down for years and years that 60hz is perfect. Further evidence supporting this fact was the video opened by essentially downplaying the gaming monitor market and how they are all the same. Then the end of the video his test subject said he didn't even notice a difference because he is so used to higher response times and didn't find a conclusion until he played with it for a long time then turned it off. People on this forum specifically are going to be much more sensitive to changes like this, which is why we are here discussing it.

Dmoney405
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Re: Is ELMB-Sync Really That Bad?

Post by Dmoney405 » 14 Mar 2020, 17:37

I want to state something else as well that I forgot to address earlier. That last picture in your original post seems....faked? If not faked then it seems specifically intended to get the viewer to form an opinion already prechosen by the narrator. ELMB or any other BFI is to fix ghosting. The picture on the left that they are showcasing isn't even ghosting. Ghosting is a trail that blurs behind objects, you don't see multiple crisp objects like the one above, that image is obviously some sort of artifacting. This is most likely a multi corona effect from having the overdrive setting way too high or some other issue. *EDIT* this is probably wrong, it was just the first thing that crossed my mind in the moment, after further review it seems more likely to be an issue caused by caused by incorrect testing methods or camera shutter or possible panning the in game camera at such a high rate of speed that would result in an unintelligible image in person, regardless of settings, and only a high speed camera could capture these effects (if this is the reason then in person both ELMB on and ELMB off would appear the same). Neither of these are proven and are both speculation from me and are my own opinion and not something that necessarily represents the thoughts of Mark or any other Moderators on this site. If anyone else has an opinion on what caused these artifacts please share them *EDIT* So their comparison of how good ELMB-Sync is up against max overdrive settings that are never recommended at all for this exact reason. I am going to assume that they don't know any better with how inexperienced they seem because doing this on purpose would be malicious.

Look at your own example of ghosting with the spaceship. Don't you agree that looks nothing like what they presented? You do know that they have links in the video description that takes you to their amazon page that pay them for each order that they create? So don't you think it's possible that all these reviewers that swear by this monitor (and the last big one, and the one before that, and the one before that....etc) are perhaps trying to push products so they can keep the lights on?

*EDIT* I had two amazon links for the same item below, one of them was an affiliate link from their video. I did not know it was against the rules so they have been removed. This was just to show that they, indeed, receive money for products they push but keep in mind that Affiliate links or paid reviews DO NOT necessarily implicate that they are malicious or ill-willed. It was just to point out that if a reviewer were to intentionally mislead potential buyers it would probably be from a channel that receives kickbacks from units sold. Reviewers without monetary gain would obviously get little out of misusing audience trust. This DOES NOT mean paid reviewers = bad, independent = good. Most of the paid reviewers are paid because they have grown a large audience and SHOULD have a good credibility history, but this isn't always true. Just like an independent reviewer may not get funding because he is just really bad at it and has no idea what he is talking about. This just means you should diversify your product research to maybe include multiple sources on each side of the spectrum to make sure you, a potential buyer, do not end up getting caught up in a $600 regret. *EDIT*
Last edited by Dmoney405 on 15 Mar 2020, 14:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is ELMB-Sync Really That Bad?

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 14 Mar 2020, 18:39

Dmoney405 wrote:
14 Mar 2020, 17:13
The problem with ELMB-Sync is the multi strobing.
Multistrobing is bad, but:

ELMB-Sync is not necessarily multistrobing on ALL models.

The ELMB-Sync on different models are unique, different versions of ELMB-SYNC.

Right now, it is important to not assume that Monitor Model #1 ELMB-SYNC is representative of Monitor Model #2 ELMB-SYNC

I've heard enough information that more tests are required.

Therefore, ELMB-SYNC not equal ELMB-SYNC when comparing two models of ASUS.

It's like ELMB-SYNC I versus ELMB-SYNC II versus ELMB-SYNC III

No need to make assumptions on Model One versus Model Two.

ASUS is improving/iterating really fast from what I heard.

Apples vs Bananas.

TL;DR: More Detailed Tests Are Needed By The Same Tester On Multiple ELMB-SYNC Models
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Dmoney405
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Re: Is ELMB-Sync Really That Bad?

Post by Dmoney405 » 14 Mar 2020, 19:16

Yeah that's a good point and should be remembered, but in this specific example where I compared my monitor to the one he was speaking of, the "VG27AQ", my monitor displays the exact same issues as the one in question. Even tho I haven't seen a test in the same manner on this one, the end result is the same. Massive crosstalking. If multistrobing isn't the issue on mine then they must have broke something else that produced the same end result. People with the Tuf monitors are reporting the same thing as well. As of now I don't know of any ELMB-Sync iterations that have gotten approval from a reputable, non paid, source.

If you know of any iterations of this technology that you think are ready for gamers picky enough to be on this forum then I'm sure tons of people would jump through the roof in excitement to hear it. There are like 10 ELMB-Sync posts on the first 2 pages of this so it's obviously a hot topic. So would you like to offer an endorsement for one?

If you don't feel comfortable with that then maybe it's time to admit that the tech isn't quite ready even though Asus is doing great and I am really excited to see the final form.

permaximum
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Re: Is ELMB-Sync Really That Bad?

Post by permaximum » 14 Mar 2020, 21:08

Dmoney405 wrote:
14 Mar 2020, 17:37
I want to state something else as well that I forgot to address earlier. That last picture in your original post seems....faked? If not faked then it seems specifically intended to get the viewer to form an opinion already prechosen by the narrator. ELMB or any other BFI is to fix ghosting. The picture on the left that they are showcasing isn't even ghosting. Ghosting is a trail that blurs behind objects, you don't see multiple crisp objects like the one above, that image is obviously some sort of artifacting. This is most likely a multi corona effect from having the overdrive setting way too high or some other issue. So their comparison of how good ELMB-Sync is up against max overdrive settings that are never recommended at all for this exact reason. I am going to assume that they don't know any better with how inexperienced they seem because doing this on purpose would be malicious.

Look at your own example of ghosting with the spaceship. Don't you agree that looks nothing like what they presented? You do know that they have links in the video description that takes you to their amazon page that pay them for each order that they create? So don't you think it's possible that all these reviewers that swear by this monitor (and the last big one, and the one before that, and the one before that....etc) are perhaps trying to push products so they can keep the lights on?

https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Gaming-VG27 ... B07WQ4FXY9
I don't know if they're paid or not. Honestly, I don't care. Just like I don't care about how the tech happens and what it does behind the scenes. I don't even bother checking those graphs although I pretty much have an idea about how this works and I exactly know what you're talking about.

What I was trying to say was yes, you're probably correct. But when I look at photos, videos etc. I prefer what VG27AQ's ELMB-sync provides by a long shot compared to faster monitors without bfi and vrr at the same time.

When I look at the pictures, let's take the the spaceship one you pointed out, I prefer the ELMB-sync version easily without a doubt. It looks like a vast improvement to me. I can see 5 ghost copies of the image that probably happens because of poor VRR syncing without getting into double strobing, quadraple strobing details but still it's a great improvement and in the real world scenerios those duplicates won't even really be noticable unlike true motion blur.

As for the last picture, come on, let's be real. It's very obvious it's not fake. The photo on the left has blur and overshoot artifacts at the same time while the right one has some VRR sync problems that's barely noticable along with darkened image because the black frame insertion tecnique lowered the brightness a bit.

As for the reason why I posted this thread, I wanted to ask, is there a chance you guys made an error calculating the tradeoff between motion blur and multi strobing artifacts in a real world setting? More specifically, do you think you could have overestimated multistrobing and technical details behind the scenes instead of actually testing the monitor in a real world setting and have a better idea about elmb-sync artifacts vs motion blur tradeoff?

But I also do get you, you say that's not your experience with ELMB-sync. Then I asked could it be because your model was different and thankfully the site admin answered that part.

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Re: Is ELMB-Sync Really That Bad?

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 14 Mar 2020, 23:28

What I'm hearing on the grapevine -- unconfirmed -- is that the ELMB-SYNC on the 280Hz model is improved over the earlier ELMB-SYNC.

That's the model I'm especially the most interested to analyze.

Though I don't currently mass-test monitors (to avoid competing against the users of my Blur Busters test inventions like TestUFO and pursuit camera) -- I do commission special edition tests like GSYNC 101 by Jorim. Thus, I might ask ASUS for a sample of the 280 Hz IPS monitor in the coming weeks.
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Dmoney405
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Re: Is ELMB-Sync Really That Bad? [Reviewer Consistency? / Model Differences?]

Post by Dmoney405 » 15 Mar 2020, 00:24

I don't know if they're paid or not. Honestly, I don't care.
You do know because I spoon fed the evidence at your feet, denying it any further is just you intentionally being obtuse about the matter. Knowing that a reviewer is being paid is an extremely important tool you need to take advantage of to help you remain skeptical. Purposely ignoring this information is neither chivalrous nor endearing. It makes you just seem gullible and naive. Not only did I lay it out for you, it even says they are being paid for it in the description on the exact video you shared.

"Review unit provided free of charge by ASUS. This video is sponsored by Be Quiet. As per Hardware Canucks guidelines, no review direction was received from manufacturer. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases."

Since you are basing your entire view solely on images from these sources you need to know these things. "Are they just pushing product" "How did they create these images" "What equipment did they use for X test". Openly admitting to not watching any of the tests and refusing look at the charts or other data then basically saying you know exactly how all of this works is just ridiculous. Is your last name Trump by chance?
When I look at the pictures, let's take the the spaceship one you pointed out, I prefer the ELMB-sync version easily without a doubt. It looks like a vast improvement to me.
I agree let's review them again. We can start off by how Techspots review shows DRASTICALLY more ghosting at "Tracefree 80" than RTINGs same example. Why are they so different? I have a hard time believing techspot labeled this correctly because it looks like the example they used has zero overdrive applied. Either that or they did not use the standard 960 pixels per second as a baseline test. One thing they DO have in common, though, is neither one of these ELMB free example have such horrible artifacting as the Overwatch image comparison that you showed us.

So we need to ask ourselves, why is there again such a difference in the visual quality. Well if I were a betting man I would assume it's because they are not using the pursuit camera correctly which is resulting in a false representation of what you would actually see in person and the multiple images on the ELMB off side are from the shutters of the camera and not at all from the monitor itself. Luckily Marc was smart enough to find a solution to this and created the pixel trackers so we can find the answer to this very quickly.....https://youtu.be/LRTFZMdn714?t=342 clearly shows the recording to be out of sync supporting my theory. Now compare that to when they actually had it in sync here https://youtu.be/LRTFZMdn714?t=347 and you can see a huge difference. I believe this the same reason why the 'ELMB off' overwatch comparison photo you provided is so bad looking.

This is not even remotely close to what it would look like in person. This is either intentional to push product, or unintentional due to lack of experience. Either way it just shows that you should not take data points from them to form an educated decision.
But I also do get you, you say that's not your experience with ELMB-sync. Then I asked could it be because your model was different and thankfully the site admin answered that part.
No, this is another attempt to validate your original agenda. Marc said nothing along the lines confirming that a different model would not have the issues you asked about. Your exact words were; "Also could this "2/3 of the screen is bad, 1/3 is perfect" thing be related to the XG version or your particular monitor?" Which has nothing to do with what he was addressing. The 2/3 bad 1/3 good thing is NOT tied only to multistrobing. In fact every single BFI mode available right now has this issue including his own calibrated and endorsed version as shown in the link I provided. All he was saying is we do not know what is causing the issues on ALL of the ELMB-Sync sets and we should not lump them in one category while simply slapping a 'multiframe strobing sucks' sticker on them as the cause and they should all be tested individually, ideally by the same person. There are multiple testimonies on this very forum that you could find easily where people have stated these same issues over and over.

At this point this is becoming a bit silly and this topic should probably just be deleted to stop any future buyers from seeing your "evidence" and thinking it's legitimate because it's on this website. There should probably just be an informative sticky post where we can discuss it as a group.

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