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Dell AW2518HF Low Motion Blur Alternative

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Dell AW2518HF Low Motion Blur Alternative

Postby hicksel » 17 May 2018, 13:12

Hello,

I am searching for an additional low motion blur gaming monitor to use for my second pc setup. Currently I am using a Benq XL2411T@120hz with Toastys Strobelight and the lowest brightness setting powered by an R9 390. In terms of Gaming I mainly play FPS Games like Battlefield, Fortnite or Insurgency.
So far I have been very happy with my Benq but since I needed a second monitor and the Dell AW2518HF got on Sale for 280€ I could not resist. But having the two monitors side by side I now know that the Dell is not the right option for me. Even though the Dell has the best TN panel I have seen so far and is just amazing in comparison to the miserable picture quality of my Benq the higher 240hz do not make up for the missing motion blur. Because after playing on a Motion Blur and Crosstalk free monitor(on the lowest brightness strobe crosstalk is only visible on the bottom three lines of the ufo test and ghosting is not noticeable) it just becomes apparent that the Dell is not even close to this level of motion clarity when running at 240fps.
This noticeable disadvantage wouldn´t necessarily be an issue but sadly this disadvantage in the ufo benchmark translates into my gaming experience since I can clearly notice that the whole image becomes blurry during fast 90° turns which are frequent in a Fortnite 1v1. So I am still looking for the best monitor with the following criteria:
  1. Motion Blur better or equal to my Benq(It has perceivably none so I doubt better is even possible)
  2. 24” preferably but 27” is also an option even though I prefer the higher pixel density over bigger size
  3. Image Quality better or equal to my Benq(Viewing Angles on the Benq are terrible and it has Clouding on the bottom half so I guess it can´t really get worse with newer TN panels)
  4. Price under 500€(I was actually aiming for 300€ but from what I have seen the options at that price range don´t look that good)
  5. Preferably easy setup(Even though I will probably figure out how to set the best setting in the CRU having these settings on the monitor side would be nice since custom software can go EOL like Toastys Strobelight and break with any driver update)
  6. Freesync would be nice to have but is in no way required even though I will be sticking with AMD
  7. VESA Mount
With the help of other forum threads I have already established a list of candidates:
  • ASUS ROG PG258Q(AUO Q250HTA00)-530€
    Seems like a solid monitor but I think you are additionally paying an ugliness tax for the ROG stand
  • Acer Predator XB252Qbmiprzx(AUO ?)-480€
    A friend of mine has this one so I have to check it out it in person
  • LG 27GK750F(Something unknown from LG?)-460€
    This monitor seems to have received a lot of praise in the forum but the 27” are slightly holding me back
  • AOC Agon AG251FG(AUO M250HTN01.0)-450€
    This seems like the cheapest option of getting a 240hz Panel+ULMB
  • BenQ ZOWIE XL2546(AUO M250HTN01.0)-430€
    This one seems to be my best choice for getting strobed 180hz@24” but lacks Freesync which the LG has
With all of this information in mind what do you recommend should I buy? I know that I will probably get good out-of-the-box strobed 144hz with all of the Nvidia ULMB Monitors but I don´t like paying the Nvidia Tax since I have some issues with their business practices and plan on staying with AMD. Also thanks to all of the people here since you have already helped my once deceide to buy my old Benq which I have never regretted. I hope you can help me again.
TL;DR I bought a monitor with too much motion blur. What is the best monitor to get at 24” with the lowest possible motion blur and highest Hz for under 500€?
hicksel
 
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Re: Dell AW2518HF Low Motion Blur Alternative

Postby Chief Blur Buster » 17 May 2018, 13:29

You've done quite a bit of forum research already, so your list is quite spot-on.

I've seen the Dell 240Hz GSYNC monitor (AW2518H) go for sale between USD ~$400 during timings like Black Friday and such. But you would have to purchase an NVIDIA card to get ULMB with this. No way around getting NVIDIA in order to get ULMB. It's worth the premium, but I understand not everyone may want to pay the premium.

For your "Switch-to-NVIDIA" choices, your choices are correct plus any others, I wholeheartedly recommend:
- Any of the 25" 240Hz GSYNC monitors. Generally best and brightest out-of-box strobe quality today.
- All of them are surprisingly similar in quality

So for your "stick-to-AMD" choices, are definitely correct, those are the best so far:
- LG 27GK750-B monitor. Only okay clor quality but the strobe quality is surprisingly good.
- BenQ XL2546. Color quality is similar to XL2411, brighter than LG 27GK750-B and XL2411

If you want to get the BenQ XL2540 (same brightness as XL2411), you will get FreeSync if you use the ToastyX hack to turn on FreeSync. It's a VESA Adaptive-Sync panel with a 48Hz-240Hz range, and is compatible with AMD FreeSync, even though BenQ does not advertise it as such. There is no VRR-tuned-overdrive support like GSYNC, so overdrive will essentially be so-so during 240Hz VRR, but perhaps not worse than your existing Dell (i.e. similar FreeSync to your Dell).

So if you can forget the increased brightness of XL2546, you can get the XL2540 instead and get FreeSync. You still get 180Hz strobing, too.

Obviously, compromises.

And the colors probably won't be as good as the Dell, but the main difference between XL2540/XL2546 is the improved strobe brightness and easier strobing on the XL2546, and the unadvertised FreeSync ability of XL2540. But both of the monitors are equally easy otherwise (just need to access Factory Menu to adjust strobing on XL2540, or use Blur Busters Strobe Utility instead). So you're downgrading from the Dell colors-wise, but upgrading from XL2411 features-wise -- and possibly upgrading from XL2411 colors-wise (after a proper color recalibration with colorimeter).

Gaining undocumented FreeSync in XL2540, the only downgrade of XL2546 -> XL2540 is really the strobing ease-of-access (main OSD menus) + strobe brightness from your perspective. Strobing darkens and often degrades colors anyway, so a colorimeter calibrated XL2540/XL2546 strobe (with a good 180Hz large VT) may actually look as good as ULMB -- it may be just be the non-strobed colors being a downgrade relative to the Dell AW2518HF. I can't guarantee it, having not seen the comparison, but strobed color comparisions versus nonstrobed color comparisions often ends up as apples-vs-oranges. At the end of the day, you'll be ending up with a possible compromise of a merger between AW2518HF and XL2411 that still ends up being an upgrade in every checkbox (after tweaking) compared to your XL2411. Tolerating a few downgrades relating to AW2518HF (or ULMB options) while getting a strobe upgrade, while keeping other features (e.g. 240Hz ability, FreeSync ability). If that's what you're hoping for, then the XL2540 is your baby.

P.S. Totally up to you, but if you decide to buy via Amazon thru Blur Busters (to support Blur Busters), use these links:
-- Select one of: Amazon UK | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | US | Canada
And then search for the monitor you want to buy! :D
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Re: Dell AW2518HF Low Motion Blur Alternative

Postby hicksel » 19 May 2018, 17:23

First of all thanks for the detailed answer. I think I can safely exclude the ULMB options since I could only justify a switch to Nvidia when the new GTX1170 becomes available and even if that were to happen I would have to pay the no-amd-alternative premium until they unveil their new generation. Because I need my monitor somewhat now(in the next month) I think I will be sticking to AMD.
So for me this means choosing between the following 2,5 options:
  • LG 27GK750-B
  • BenQ XL2546/XL2540
  1. Even though I am not really a fan of 1080p at 27” this monitor is somewhat interesting because I have the option of getting a Iiyama Xub2792qsu-b1 for only 220€ as my Office monitor and then I would have two equally sized monitors for my setup. But as far as I understand it while XL2546 and the LG seem to share some hardware(viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3937&start=20#p32192) I will be missing out on the Strobe Utility since it does not support the LG(and probably will not in the future?). Does this mean that that I can only use CRU to change my Refresh Rate to 180hz and hope for better Strobing Quality or can I somehow achieve the same Motion Clarity that the Benq Options offer but at 27”?
  2. Also you mentioned that the color quality on the LG is “only okay” so how do the LG and the XL2546 compare in terms of color quality with both tweaked for minimal Strobe Crosstalk? I know that both won´t stand a chance to a good non-strobed TN panel like the Dell or even an IPS but my strategy is to buy one monitor aimed at gaming and another one for office anyway. If they are both one the quality level of my old 2411T then both are good enough since I never bothered turning off strobing on that one.
  3. With the Benq options is it certain, that the XL2546 does not support Freesync since according to these threads(viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3369&p=26101 ; viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3944&p=31515) apparently no one has actually tested it? The information from ToastyX(https://www.monitortests.com/forum/Thre ... 35#pid6635) seems to indicate that forcing Freesync over Displayport won´t work since apparently the info on how Vesa Adaptive Sync Signaling works is unknown and as such tied to the 5000$ VESA membership fee. But even If this is the case shouldn´t 1080p@120Hz with forced Freesync be possible using HDMI 1.4b? Because the only use I have for Freesync is playing Singleplayer games like TW3 or RotTR at ~60FPS while avoiding Tearing.
  4. So even though I don´t mind lower strobe brightness since I am already playing on lowest brightness I have a hard time choosing the “older” 2540 as the 24" option since they are both available for 440€ here. Is there another downside other than the probable lack of Freesync?
hicksel
 
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Re: Dell AW2518HF Low Motion Blur Alternative

Postby Chief Blur Buster » Today, 14:44

hicksel wrote:[*]Also you mentioned that the color quality on the LG is “only okay” so how do the LG and the XL2546 compare in terms of color quality with both tweaked for minimal Strobe Crosstalk? I know that both won´t stand a chance to a good non-strobed TN panel like the Dell or even an IPS but my strategy is to buy one monitor aimed at gaming and another one for office anyway. If they are both one the quality level of my old 2411T then both are good enough since I never bothered turning off strobing on that one.

Both the LG and BenQ ZOWIE are the best strobed 240Hz options available, but I'm not sure which are better than the other at max Hz with max VT tweaks.

If you need strobed refresh rate flexibility (e.g. 180Hz strobed), the BenQ ZOWIE is better but for 240Hz strobing, some people feel that the LG has an edge since it actually managed to accept a Large Vertical Total during 240Hz. Most 144Hz monitors are unable to accept a large VT at 144Hz, so it's borderline miraculous it worked on the LG at 240Hz. I have not seen the LG personally so I can't make an assessment, but it has had good strobe feedback by other Blur Busters Forums members. It's still a TN panel, but it's a worthy 240Hz strobe contender.

hicksel wrote:[*]With the Benq options is it certain, that the XL2546 does not support Freesync since according to these threads(viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3369&p=26101 ; viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3944&p=31515) apparently no one has actually tested it? The information from ToastyX(https://www.monitortests.com/forum/Thre ... 35#pid6635) seems to indicate that forcing Freesync over Displayport won´t work since apparently the info on how Vesa Adaptive Sync Signaling works is unknown and as such tied to the 5000$ VESA membership fee. But even If this is the case shouldn´t 1080p@120Hz with forced Freesync be possible using HDMI 1.4b? Because the only use I have for Freesync is playing Singleplayer games like TW3 or RotTR at ~60FPS while avoiding Tearing.

I have heard people tried at 240Hz and FreeSync didn't work on the XL2546.

I am currently unaware if this will work (forcing FreeSync).

However, my HDMI works at 240Hz on my ViewSonic XG2530, so I might try (later) forcing FreeSync with a Radeon RX580 in my other system -- and seeing what happens.

hicksel wrote:[*]So even though I don´t mind lower strobe brightness since I am already playing on lowest brightness

Please note: Reducing brightness via "Pulse Width" (or "Strobe Length") is the better way to reduce brightness than via the "Brightness" setting in OSD. They don't function in the same way (pulse width versus pulse height). Only pulse width adjustment gives you a motion clarity improvement at dimmer brightnesses.
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