Gigabyte M32Q Review

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Discorz
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Gigabyte M32Q Review

Post by Discorz » 28 Oct 2021, 15:44

Image


GIGABYTE M32Q Review


Table of Contents
  1. Specifications
  2. Responsiveness
    • Sample-and-Hold Performance
      • TestUFO - Overdrive 'Balance', 60-170 FPS
      • TestUFO - Overdrive 'Picture Quality', 60-170 FPS
      • TestUFO - Overdrive 'Smart', 60-170 FPS
      • TestUFO - Overdrive 'Speed', 60-170 FPS
      • Overdrive 'OFF'
      • Response Times
    • Blur Reduction - Aim Stabilizer
      • Hints
      • TestUFO - Middle Screen, Overdrive 'Balance', 100-170Hz
      • TestUFO - Middle Screen, Overdrive 'Picture Quality', 100-170Hz
      • TestUFO - Strobe Crosstalk, Overdrive 'Picture Quality', 100-170Hz
      • Duty Cycle
      • Animation - Aim Stabilizer Waveform Estimate 170-100Hz
      • Red KSF Phosphor
    • VRR Blur Reduction - Aim Stabilizer Sync
      • Hints
      • Smooth Frog - Middle Screen, Overdrive 'Picture Quality', 170 FPS
      • Smooth Frog - Middle Screen, Overdrive 'Picture Quality', 144 FPS
      • Smooth Frog - Middle Screen, Overdrive 'Picture Quality', 120 FPS
      • Smooth Frog - Middle Screen, Overdrive 'Picture Quality', 100 FPS
      • Smooth Frog - Middle Screen, Overdrive 'Picture Quality', 85 FPS
      • Smooth Frog - Middle Screen, Overdrive 'Picture Quality', 60 FPS
      • Smooth Frog - Strobe Crosstalk, Overdrive 'Picture Quality', 85-170 FPS
      • Animation - Single Pixel Line Panning Across the Screen, Strobe Crosstalk
      • Duty Cycle
      • Animation - Aim Stabilizer Sync Waveform Estimate, @170Hz 170-60 FPS
      • Animation - Aim Stabilizer Sync Waveform Estimate, @120Hz 170-60 FPS
      • Animation - Aim Stabilizer Sync Waveform Estimate, @85Hz 170-60 FPS
      • Animation - Aim Stabilizer/Sync at Fixed Refresh Rates, @170, 120, 75Hz
    • Input Lag
  3. Other
    • Uniformity
    • Boot Times


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Last edited by Discorz on 06 Nov 2021, 05:46, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Gigabyte M32Q Review

Post by Discorz » 28 Oct 2021, 15:46

1. Specifications
  • Size: 31.5"
  • Resolution: 2560x1440 (16:9)
  • Pixel Density: 93 ppi (0.273 mm pitch)
  • Refresh Rate: 165 Hz (170 Hz OC)
  • Panel Type: IPS (Innolux M315KCA-E7B)
  • Bit Depth: 8+FRC
  • Gamut: P3
  • Adaptive Sync: AMD FreeSync Premium (G-SYNC Compatible also works)
  • Blur Reduction: Aim Stabilizer, Aim Stabilizer Sync
  • Inputs: HDMI 2.0 x2, Display port 1.2 x1 (capable for HDR), USB Type-C x1
  • Price: $360-500 US (October 2021)
Last edited by Discorz on 28 Oct 2021, 15:56, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Gigabyte M32Q Review

Post by Discorz » 28 Oct 2021, 15:47

2. Responsiveness

  • Sample-and-hold Performance
    • Default VRR Range: 48-170Hz
    • Overdrive: 5 levels
      - OFF
      - Smart OD
      - Picture Quality
      - Balance
      - Speed

      Pursuits bellow are taken with FreeSync enabled. Fixed, VRR ON, VRR OFF refresh rates have the same overdrive behaviour! I used Custom Resolution Utility (CRU) for custom resolutions, automatic (PC) timing preset.

      View images in full resolution for detail! (3345 x 2250)

      Overdrive 'Balance'
      Image
      Image
      TestUFO at ∼960pps, Balance
      Heatmaps by HUB: 170Hz, 144Hz, 120Hz, 100Hz, 85Hz, 60Hz
      Heatmaps by RTINGS: 170Hz, 60Hz

      'Balance' is my recommendation for 100-170 fps gaming. This amount of overshoot is subtle and it won't be noticed in games. I would call this a perfect amount of overshoot.

      M32Q uses Low Framerate Compensation (LFC). So one trick you do could here to tame the overshoot at lower refresh rates is modify VRR range from default 48-170 to something like 85-170. With this modification as soon as fps dips bellow 85 the display driver starts doubling the refresh rate. Meaning internal panel refresh stays high where overshoot tuning is better. You can do this in program called Custom Resolution Utility (CRU by ToastyX).

      Overdrive 'Picture Quality'
      Image
      Image
      TestUFO at ∼960pps, Picture Quality
      Heatmaps by HUB: 170Hz, 144Hz, 120Hz, 100Hz, 85Hz, 60Hz
      Heatmaps by RTINGS: 170Hz, 60Hz

      'Picture Quality' is set and forget option for full 48-170 fps range with no overshoot.
      'Balance' and 'Picture Quality' are the only two reasonable overdrives on this monitor, other ones are basically useless. Something in between those two overdrives would be ideal.

      Overdrive 'Smart OD'
      Image
      Image
      TestUFO at ∼960pps, Smart OD
      Heatmaps by HUB: 170Hz, 100Hz
      Heatmaps by RTINGS: 170Hz, 60Hz

      Gigabyte seem to be the first to include Smart OD that is supposed to be variable overdrive but without using nvidia's overpriced g-sync module. Unfortunately they didn't do it right for M32Q. 'Smart OD' is just choosing between existing overdrive modes. For 170-120 fps range it uses 'Balance', for 120-75 fps 'Speed', 75-50 fps 'Balance', 50-37 'Speed'. This means if for example fps is limited to 120 you will see overdrive flickering because the display is trying to switch between one light and one very aggressive level of overdrive. Obviously this is very distracting and for that reason I wouldn't recommend using this. If they made 120-0 fps range use 'Picture Quality' instead it would make much more sense and look better. But I will give credit to Gigabyte for implementing such thing. It has some great potential. New firmware update would be great. I'd assume a good implementation of variable overdrive without a chip requires more levels of overdrive, preferably in 0-100 increments so that the transitions are smooth.

      Overdrive 'Speed'
      Image
      Image
      TestUFO at ∼960pps, Speed
      Heatmaps by HUB: 170Hz
      Heatmaps by RTINGS: 170Hz, 60Hz

      Gigabyte decided to include one setting with extreme amount of overshoot, just like majority of gaming monitors on the market. Avoid this one!

      Overdrive 'OFF'

      There is also option to disable overdrive, but I feel like nobody cares about panel's native performance so I left it out. For those who are interested it looks extremely similar to 'Picture Quality'.

      Heatmaps by HUB: 170Hz
      Heatmaps by RTINGS: 170Hz, 60Hz

      Response Times

      All data you see here is taken from Hardware Unboxed and arranged a bit different.

      Image
      M32Q response times and overdrive comparison throughout full refresh range, data taken from Hardware Unboxed, method 3-97% RGB gamma corrected

      Image
      Response times and overdrive comparison between multiple monitors, data taken from Hardware Unboxed, method 3-97% RGB gamma corrected

      If you'd like to know how these numbers look in real life use my TestUFO Collections for demonstration or comparison.

      This next bar graph shows MPRT + Average Response Times + Overshoot, what I would of prefer showing you is MPRT + Response Area + Overshoot Area but we don't have that data.

      Image
      Best overdrive at max refresh rate and few non-native 60Hz, data taken from Hardware Unboxed, method 3-97% RGB gamma corrected
Last edited by Discorz on 06 Nov 2021, 09:50, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Gigabyte M32Q Review

Post by Discorz » 28 Oct 2021, 15:47

  • Aim Stabilizer
    • Phase Adjustment: NO
    • Pulse Width Adjustment: NO
    • Maximum Brightness: ∼100 nits | Brightness Adjustment: NO
    • Overdrive Adjustment: 5 levels
    • Refresh Rate Range: 100-170Hz

    View images in full resolution for detail! (3345 x 2250)

    Overdrive 'Balance'
    Image
    M32Q TestUFO at ∼960pps, Aim Stabilizer at middle screen, overdrive 'Balance'

    Overdrive 'Picture Quality'
    Image
    M32Q TestUFO at ∼960pps, Aim Stabilizer at middle screen, overdrive 'Picture Quality'

    Strobe Crosstalk
    Image
    M32Q TestUFO at ∼960pps, Aim Stabilizer fullscreen strobe crosstalk, overdrive 'Picture Quality'
    • Duty Cycle:
      1. Baclight ON for 1.0-1.6 ms, main pulse
      2. Backlight OFF, KSF phosphor decay
    Image
    M32Q estimated Aim Stabilizer pulse
    I can't be sure if timing is correct here.
    • Red KSF Phosphor

      So how does the slow KSF phosphor look in games? Well it kinda looks like faint red overshoot, not very pleasant, but it's not too bad either. It's just unnecessary.

      Sometimes you can notice it if you blink or look around the screen or when powering monitor on/off. Here is High speed camera footage of strobed KSF display at "960" fps. I think it should be less distracting on higher refresh rates like 240Hz+ since phosphor decay is shorter due to faster update.

      Note that slow phosphor in only visible with blur reduction enabled (Aim Stabilizer/Sync).

      Image
      Slow red phosphor with Aim Stabilizer/Sync at @170Hz 170 fps, middle screen, Call of Duty 2 in Smooth Frog, pan right-left at ∼1920pps

      One interesting fact about M32Q is that Aim Stabilizer turns on instantly, I mean no black screens whatsoever, fast as a toggle. I've never seen that before. But enabling Aim Stabilizer Sync (FreeSync enabled) takes about 2 sec. Still very fast.
Last edited by Discorz on 09 Nov 2021, 08:50, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Gigabyte M32Q Review

Post by Discorz » 28 Oct 2021, 15:47

  • Aim Stabilizer Sync

    Hardware Unboxed comment on Aim Stabilizer Sync in their M32Q review got me real excited. Although not perfect, it was still the main reason why I bought it.

    HUB said:

    "Both Aim Stabilizer and Aim Stabilizer Sync appear to deliver similar results. This is the first monitor that appear to use the same strobing technique at a fixed or variable refresh rate...
    It does work with adaptive sync enabled and does strobe appropriate to dynamic refresh rate...
    However it's not without it's flaws. There is still some strobe crosstalk at pretty much all refresh rates leading to a faint double image and small amount of blur...
    It's not a perfect implementation..."


    They also warned about red KSF phosphor.

    • Phase Adjustment: NO
    • Pulse Width Adjustment: NO
    • Maximum Brightness: ∼100 nits (OSD brightness ∼15) | Brightness Adjustment: NO
    • Overdrive Adjustment: 5 levels
    • Variable Refresh Rate Range: 80-170Hz
    • Fixed Refresh Rate Range: 75-170Hz

    To test VRR properly we need to use an actual game or something like Smooth Frog.

    View images in full resolution for detail! (3345 x 2250)

    170 FPS
    Image
    M32Q Aim Stabilizer Sync middle screen, @170Hz 170Hz/170FPS, Smooth Frog, overdrive Picture Quality

    144 FPS
    Image
    M32Q Aim Stabilizer Sync middle screen, @170Hz 144Hz/144FPS, Smooth Frog, overdrive Picture Quality

    120 FPS
    Image
    M32Q Aim Stabilizer Sync middle screen,@170Hz 120Hz/120FPS, Smooth Frog, overdrive Picture Quality

    100 FPS
    Image
    M32Q Aim Stabilizer Sync middle screen, @170Hz 100Hz/100FPS, Smooth Frog, overdrive Picture Quality

    85 FPS
    Image
    M32Q Aim Stabilizer Sync middle screen, @170Hz 85Hz/85FPS, Smooth Frog, overdrive Picture Quality

    60 FPS
    Image
    M32Q Aim Stabilizer Sync middle screen, @170Hz 60Hz/60FPS, Smooth Frog, overdrive Picture Quality

    Below minimum range of 80 fps Gigabyte decided to disable strobing. It goes back to VRR sample-and-hold mode while keeping the brightness consistent. Sometimes it can hold down to 75Hz when testing in Smooth Frog. This toggle shift can be noticed in games. I assume they did this to avoid flickering at such low framerates.

    Strobe Crosstalk
    Image
    M32Q Aim Stabilizer Sync fullscreen strobe crosstalk, @170Hz 85-170Hz/FPS, Smooth Frog, overdrive 'Picture Quality', 6690 x 4500

    By inspecting pursuit shots of single pixel white line panning across the screen we can see what is Gigabyte really doing here.

    Image Frame by Frame
    M32Q Aim Stabilizer Sync fullscreen strobe crosstalk, overdrive OFF
    single pixel line panning across the screen at ∼1440pps (right-left), RGB 63-255-63,


    And with a little help of our monitor specialist Ashun we managed to estimate what's the pulse logic behind Gigabyte's Aim Stabilizer Sync.

    Quote Ashun (from Aperture Grille):
    "Gigabyte is doing something very similar to ASUS’s first attempt with ELMB-Sync like on the VG27AQ, but they’re doing it backwards. They begin with a very high frequency PWM backlight fill that expands/contracts based on the current framerate, and then they add in the “primary” or “real” backlight pulse, which has the same duration for any framerate. The PWM fill is just there to keep the brightness consistent from frame to frame. Otherwise the screen brightness would be constantly changing. This strategy might work OK-ish for really high framerates, where you might not notice the PWM fill, but at lower framerates, it becomes very visually distracting and unacceptable."


    What this means is Aim Stabilizer Sync is a single strobe, but when its combined with high frequency PWM backlight fill it looks just as bad as double strobe. And on top of all this you get the annoying red KSF phosphor.
    • Duty Cycle:
      1. Variable high frequency PWM backlight fill (0-6.6 ms)
      2. Backlight OFF for 1.7 ms, KSF phosphor decay
      3. Baclight ON for 1.0 ms, main pulse
      4. Backlight OFF for 3.2, KSF phosphor decay
    @170Hz
    Image
    M32Q estimated Aim Stabilizer Sync pulse @170Hz

    @120Hz
    Image
    M32Q estimated Aim Stabilizer Sync pulse @120Hz

    @85Hz
    Image
    M32Q estimated Aim Stabilizer Sync pulse @85Hz

    Quote Ashun (from Aperture Grille):
    "But a good question is: why is the red fringing in front of the pulse? Think of the KSF phosphor as a secondary backlight that stays on and keeps emitting even after the backlight strobes are finished. So at the beginning of where the blue LCD response starts rising, the glowing red KSF phosphor begins to show. That’s why it leads the main image!"

    Image
    Single pixel line panning across the screen (right-left) at ∼1440pps, @170Hz 120Hz/120FPS, Aim Stabilizer Sync middle screen, overdrive OFF

    M32Q can do single strobe @75Hz minimum, but this is achievable only with fixed Aim Stabilizer Sync refresh rates. Basic Aim Stabilizer will do down to only 100Hz. If you use this and your fps drops bellow 75 Aim Stabilizer will disable it self permanently since it is already bellow minimum (80 fps) value, this seems to be a bug. Current (fixed) refresh rates you set your monitor to will always be single strobed.

    This leads us back to Hardware Unboxed confirming it strobes appropriate to dynamic refresh rate. They must of tested this with TestUFO which can't work with adaptive-sync, only with fixed refresh rates.

    Image
    Single Pixel Line at ∼1440pps, Aim Stabilizer/Sync Middle Screen, Overdrive OFF

    Notice how primary pulse gets a little wider as fixed refresh rate decreases. I measured around 1.0ms @170Hz, 1.2ms @144Hz, 1.3ms @120Hz, 1.5ms @ 100Hz, 1.6ms @85Hz and 1.7ms @75Hz.

    If you wondered why all the photos above have a reddish tint, it's not my bad camera. Slow red phosphor really does add red tone to the image and you can't do much about it.
Last edited by Discorz on 09 Nov 2021, 08:51, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Gigabyte M32Q Review

Post by Discorz » 28 Oct 2021, 15:48

  • Input Lag

    Since I don't have any devices to measure input lag I've used humanbenchmark reaction time test to see what numbers say. I got surprised by how good input lag is. Very close to VG279QM, they are in the same category. These are an average number of many many tests, around 50-60 tests per result, so it should be accurate enough. Here is how that looks. For me ∼200 ms is bad, ∼150 ms is best it can get.

    Image
Last edited by Discorz on 28 Oct 2021, 15:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gigabyte M32Q Review

Post by Discorz » 28 Oct 2021, 15:48

3. Other
  • Uniformity

    Normal viewing distance, IPS glow and backlight bleed
    Image

    Backlight bleed only, realistic
    Image

    Backlight bleed only, exaggerated
    Image

    There is some amount of backlight bleed but I never noticed it in normal use scenarios.

    Pixel Structure and Anti-Glare Coating
    Image Image
    .
  • Brightness
    • Maximum Brightness: 354 nits
    • Minimum Brightness: 62 nits
    Since Hardware Unboxed tested maximum brightness of 354 nits at setting of 100 and minimum of 62 nits at 0, we can try to assume what is the brightness at other settings.

    Image
    -
  • Color Performance

    I don't care too much about colors and don't have any tools to do proper measuring.
    Watch these reviews for color performance:

    Hardware Unboxed: https://youtu.be/tS7HYqepUZI?t=635
    RTINGS: https://www.rtings.com/monitor/reviews/gigabyte/m32q
    .
  • Boot Times

    Here is a benchmark you've never seen before. VG279QM's annoyingly slow boot times inspired me to do this. In fact VG was so slow that it was a bottleneck to my fast M.2 SSD and windows boot times. Windows would boot a couple seconds faster than monitor. This led to win boot logo being completely skipped. M32Q doesn't have such issue and it was a refreshment.

    Image
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Verneclover
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Re: Gigabyte M32Q Review

Post by Verneclover » 14 Nov 2021, 19:08

Hello, nice review!
Did you notice some problems with inversion artifacts? I am considering this monitor to buy, but I have worries about inverse artifacts problems, because I have seen post of M32Q owner on Reddit about inverse artifacts problem.

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Re: Gigabyte M32Q Review

Post by Discorz » 16 Nov 2021, 12:14

Verneclover wrote:
14 Nov 2021, 19:08
Hi

From which monitor are you upgrading?

TN panels are much more prone to inversion, but you shouldn't be worried too much about this with IPS. To notice you really need to look for it. For example refresh rate would have to be at anything bellow ∼120Hz and mouse movement needs to be extra slow (1ppf) to start noticing inversion in games.

I tried to capture it with camera but couldn't so I simulated exact amount for you. It actually turned out spot on.
Note that this is worst case scenario at 60Hz, as refresh rate increases it disappeares. At 120 its already gone plus its only visible at parts of the screen, mainly middle.

Watch in full resolution for true 1:1 pixel
ps 60hz inversion simulation m32q crop.png
ps 60hz inversion simulation m32q crop.png (864.62 KiB) Viewed 1017 times
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Re: Gigabyte M32Q Review

Post by Verneclover » 16 Nov 2021, 20:54

Discorz wrote:
16 Nov 2021, 12:14
Verneclover wrote:
14 Nov 2021, 19:08
Hi

From which monitor are you upgrading?

TN panels are much more prone to inversion, but you shouldn't be worried too much about this with IPS. To notice you really need to look for it. For example refresh rate would have to be at anything bellow ∼120Hz and mouse movement needs to be extra slow for you to start noticing inversion in games.

I tried to capture it with camera but couldn't so I simulated exact amount for you. It actually turned out spot on.
Note that this is worst case scenario at 60Hz, as refresh rate increases it disappeares. At 120 its already gone plus its only visible at parts of the screen, mainly middle.

Watch in full resolution for true 1:1 pixel

ps 60hz inversion simulation m32q crop.png
Hi! Thank you for your answer with the excellent illustration. I am updating from AOC q3279vwfd8 (it is also 31.5", 1440p, IPS, but only 75hz) - it doesn't have inverse artifacts. Do these lines appear only during movement or u can see them on static image too? And if u can notice them on static image, do they have dynamic or static nature? I mean , if you watch on static image, could u notice that these lines have some movement/walk ?

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