Monitor Recommendation After Eyestrain Issues

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barewolf
Posts: 2
Joined: 25 May 2024, 08:06

Monitor Recommendation After Eyestrain Issues

Post by barewolf » 26 May 2024, 10:39

Hi guys, found this forum after Googling for eyestrain issues. Would like to seek some advice regarding my own sitch!

A little background about me, my eyes are slightly sensitive to brightness after I had my lasik operation few years back and there's some astigmatism as well :geek: .

Alright, so I've been using a BenQ XL2420Z for a number of years now and I figured it was time to change a monitor after realizing that most of my lag in games comes from the fact that there's no adaptive sync in this monitor (Initially thought it was an issue with my rig).

Did a bit of research and pulled the gun on a MSI MAG274QRF-QD E2, a 180Hz IPS (It's a BOE Panel apparently, and I saw another thread about them haha!) that was just released months ago. Monitor itself was awesome when it came to gaming (So smooth, what have I been missing out on!), but I just couldn't get used to it.

The vibrant colors and brightness gave me so much eyestrain. I switched to sRGB mode and reduced the brightness to like 10, but the colors were so dark around the edges that I was straining to look at the minimap in Dota 2. (I saw a Chinese video review, unfortunately, after I bought it, that stated that the brightness is wildly uneven. (I tried to post the youtube link with the timestamp here but I wasn't allowed. If there's a way to circumvent that, feel free to let me know!) Coupled with my personal eye issues, that might have been why things were particularly bad for me)
To compensate for that, I adjusted the gamma up to 1.3 through Nvidia settings and things improved, but still not great.

Things were even worse when I viewed websites, the whites hurt so badly that I was squinting most of the time to read.
The top left and right corners of the browser felt so dark to me, and it felt as though I had to shift my entire body to the left or right respectively to see them at normal colors.
Things were already best for me while I was in game, but even then, each time I looked away from my monitor, I felt my eyes relax almost immediately.

I didn't want to feel discontented each time I was on my desktop so when I had the opportunity to let it go at cost price, I sold it immediately and returned to the XL2420Z.
The settings on my XL2420Z are mostly default except for:
Brightness - 25
Low Blue Light - Max 10/10

I realized that the lower resolution of the 1080p was pretty comfortable for me. Perhaps it was the 1440p sharpness that was too much for my eyes to handle?
However, my eyes feel alright looking at content on my phone's OLED screen (iPhone 12 Pro). No issues with my sister's iPhone 15 Pro or my wife's Samsung S22+ too.

Also, just a side note, but I tried the Eizo Monitor Test on all monitors I could find, including my wife and my sister's work monitors(Wife's using a P2719H Dell and my sister's using some Lenovo ThinkVision(Not sure about the exact model)).
Sure, the white, red, green and blue screens to check for dead pixels were a little uncomfortable during the transition, but my eyes could adapt to them after a few seconds and they were still tolerable.
However, when I tested on the MAG274QRF-QD E2, the green especially was so bad that my eyes almost felt like they were burning just looking at the screen.

So here I am! I'm wondering if you guys had any suggestions on what is a good monitor I could try. Still keen on trying to move on to a 27-inch 1440p monitor if possible :(
The games I play are mostly Dota 2 and CS 2, unless there are some new games that my friends want to try. I used to do a lot of productivity work that involved a lot of text, but that has been reduced these days. Other than that, just standard web browsing and YouTube, watching movies et cetera. Basically, I use my desktop for everything haha.

I was reading up on the OLED monitors and I saw Chief mention in another thread that OLEDs resolved some issues for some other issues as well, so I was wondering if I could go that route.

For everyone who's read so far, honestly, thank you. It's been a long and probably quite tiring to read piece of text :/
I've never experienced eye strain on any other monitors, be it at my friends' places (Possible that I don't use the monitors long enough to notice) or work, and the thought about it never even crossed my mind until this incident.
Really appreciate all the help I can get, thanks in advance guys!

User avatar
kyube
Posts: 160
Joined: 29 Jan 2018, 12:03

Re: Monitor Recommendation After Eyestrain Issues

Post by kyube » 27 May 2024, 08:46

Troubleshooting tips:
- You're definitely not sensitive to PWM dimming or the brightness dip from display scanout, since you can use OLED on phones. They are really high PPI, meaning sharpness of resolution isn't what's causing your issues either.
- You could be experiencing issues with KSF phosphor layer from modern IPS panels.
- Instead of using the in-built low blue light mode, try manually setting blue to 0 or a low value such as 5-10 in OSD (this can also attenuate any particular RGB color you have issues with, which can be useful for pinpointing issues)
- You could be also experiencing issues with polarization, coating used on glass (making it "matte" or "glossy") etc.
Polarization orientation can be tested with a set of polarized sunglasses, just rotate your sunglasses until they turn completely black (this means the glasses are perpendicular to panel's polarization layer, blocking the electrons from LCD that result in a image)

As for recommendations:
- Since you don't have issues with OLED's and standard LED backlights, something like the new OLED monitors or the Q24G2A might be better (a panel with standard LED backlight, if budget option is of concern)

barewolf wrote:
26 May 2024, 10:39
Alright, so I've been using a BenQ XL2420Z for a number of years now and I figured it was time to change a monitor after realizing that most of my lag in games comes from the fact that there's no adaptive sync in this monitor (Initially thought it was an issue with my rig).
Oh and btw, lag does not come from lack of adaptive sync.
You have a hardware issue if you "lag", whatever the term "lag" would imply.

barewolf
Posts: 2
Joined: 25 May 2024, 08:06

Re: Monitor Recommendation After Eyestrain Issues

Post by barewolf » 28 May 2024, 00:20

Heys Kyube, thank you for the detailed reply, I learnt a lot from it!

I'll definitely give the blue manual setting a try when I get back to my desktop.

Unfortunately, I've already sold the MAG 274QRF-QD E2 so I won't be able to do the polarization test on it.
kyube wrote:
27 May 2024, 08:46

As for recommendations:
- Since you don't have issues with OLED's and standard LED backlights, something like the new OLED monitors or the Q24G2A might be better (a panel with standard LED backlight, if budget option is of concern)
Regarding this, do you think WOLED or QD-OLED might make a difference? I read some reddit threads that there are people experiencing eyestrain with the AW2735DF.
If so, should I wait for the new (3rd-gen?) WOLED or something?

Sorry, learning a lot of new knowledge recently after Googling so might not be all that knowledgeable about the details haha.
kyube wrote:
27 May 2024, 08:46
Oh and btw, lag does not come from lack of adaptive sync.
You have a hardware issue if you "lag", whatever the term "lag" would imply.
Ahh, I see! Usually, I just use lag as a broad term to describe everything, my bad haha.
I'm using a 3070Ti and my friend told me it should more than suffice. I get pretty good FPS in like Dota 2 most of the time, but there are times when the framerate really drops like crazy and everything was just so jittery on the old monitor.
This was especially pronounced in a custom game I tried recently and the lag could get so bad my mouse could hardly move.

Amazingly the adaptive sync helped a lot. In fact, I noticed that even when the FPS dropped (Surprisingly, not as much most of the time as well. Not sure if it's a confirmation bias but it felt as though the monitor was actually helping my GPU not work as hard too lol!) things were still quite smooth and I didn't experience the same issues from before.
Hence my assumption.

Just curious, in this case, what would be the appropriate term for what I was experiencing previously?
Again, thanks for all the help!

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