Monitor recommendations. What's good?

I just got this and it is awesome with one hitch that it comes with component and vga but no hdmi cable
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...

It is bigger than in the picture but it is around palm sized and is native 1080p (up to 120" screen). Plus it is bright enough in a lit room. If you turn off the lights it is still bright enough in window light if the blinds are mostly closed. It has 50 degree vertical keystone. I couldn't be more thrilled with it.

It works with chromecast but when I mirror my laptop screen, there is mouse input lag. Apparently I need to plug in power to the wall rather than use usb power to fix it. I hope it is true but if not I will still be able to use an hdmi cable if/when I find one.

This is your probably-obvious reminder that RMA/return policy on big monitors is important. I got a Gigabyte G34WQC around the beginning of October. It was running fine connected to both my desktop and work laptop. One morning, it refused to display a video signal from any source. The backlight was on, but nothing displayed, including the OSD for the monitor itself. Being the enterprising individual I am, I went through a ton of troubleshooting steps, and came up empty.

The next day, I opened a ticket with their email support folks, which was the only option I could find. I had to create a login to do that. A week later, I got a reply saying to leave it unplugged overnight and try again (which is something I explicitly said I'd tried), and if that didn't work, I should go to this other site and request an RMA. I did that, which required me to create a new login (during that process, they sent me a temp password via email, in the clear, which was super swell).

Today, I got a reply approving the RMA, and saying that I'm responsible for my own packaging and shipping back to them. No indication of how long the turnaround time might be once they get it. Of course, I tossed the box for the monitor about two weeks before it died. So now I have to try and find a box big enough to ship a 34" curved ultrawide, and pay for it, and if shipping estimators are to be believed, it's gonna run me something like $80 to ship the stupid thing. On the one hand, I get that it's not unusual for the user to have to pay return shipping on an RMA. On the other hand, that'd be fine if it was basically any other piece of equipment, but the cost on something as big as a monitor is pretty crummy to pass on to the customer.

So I've been thinking about a new monitor, for the first time in a decade, and I've been perusing source after source, trying to filter down to something I really like.

It looks like what you really want for a monitor right now are the G-Sync Ultimate offerings, up in the $2K range. They're supposed to be absolutely dynamite, with superb HDR, high refresh rates, low latency, and outstanding brightness levels. (over 1000 cd/m^2 in full-brightness HDR.) From the description, it sounds like those suckers will tingle your toes a little. Their only drawback appears to be price.

An alternate idea would be a 55" OLED at about $1500.

But down in the cheaper seats, it seems like getting high refresh, HDR with reasonable brightness and color depth, and low latency is pretty difficult, and seems mostly limited to 27" monitors. Rock Paper Shotgun makes the AOC Agon AG273QX sound pretty good, and it's only $400ish if you can actually find it. Rtings doesn't have any specs on that model (they do on the AG271QX, but that's older). The lady at RPS has run a calibrator on hers, and it seems okay. But, damn, good luck finding one.

The Razer Raptor 27, on the other hand, has better HDR coverage, costs $700, and they have them actually in stock. Rtings doesn't like the default calibration, but they say it can be dialed in to be quite good, and the brightness levels, color gamut, and refresh rates all look downright decent. And it has DisplayPort 1.4, and is G-Sync compatible, albeit only from 48Hz+.

So, as a sanity check, am I missing some amazing competitor? Would I have to use the reportedly-awful Razer software with this screen?

edit: I went and actually looked at the specs on those super-high-end monitors (I wasn't seriously thinking about them), and the Razer and Agon both get reasonably close, albeit at lower resolution. And it looks like the $1500 OLED would probably be better in an absolute sense, with the caveat that it would take a little care to avoid burn-in, like using a black desktop background, no desktop icons, and a self-hiding Start bar. Also: the red line problem could really be an issue.

I don’t use a black background and have tons of desktop icons. No burn in whatsoever. Not sure what you mean by the red line problem.

I posted it in the TV thread. Apparently LG plasmas use a four-subpixel format, and you get red lines on the edges of solid yellow and green areas. I'll repost the image here, spoilered again because it's quite large.

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://www.rtings.com/images/reviews/monitor/lg/48-cx-oled/48-cx-oled-red-line-pixel-large.jpg)

That solid red line on the left isn't supposed to be there.

I can honestly say in all the years owning LG OLED’s I’ve never noticed that.

You have to be driving it in 4:4:4 mode for it to show up, apparently. If you use 4:2:2, I gather that either it doesn't show or it's much reduced. But I would want to drive it in 4:4:4 most of the time (I think maybe that doesn't apply anymore in HDR mode, but I have oodles of SDR content), so I would probably see it, at least sometimes. And that's really bigger than I want, anyway.

I'm thinking pretty strongly that I'll probably buy that Razer soon, for the simple reason that it's actually available, where so many are not. I'd prefer a 30" panel, as that's just about the perfect size for a monitor IMO, but I guess 27" is where features and overall value peak.

Anyone see anything I'm missing? Monitors are hard to return, so I'm very interested in criticism before I make the mistake, instead of afterward. I know how to size a monitor, so I can give advice there, but I don't know a lot about HDR and high-refresh screens. I know that 1440p will be a pretty good match to an (eventual) 3070, although I may have to turn settings down a little to run it at 120Hz+, but I'm unclear on whether the specs I'm looking at will make it a good HDR screen.

My 48" LG OLED TV "monitor" is supposed to show up Saturday. I'm excited! I think it will be a great long term solution, especially once I get a 3080.

Malor wrote:

Anyone see anything I'm missing? Monitors are hard to return, so I'm very interested in criticism before I make the mistake, instead of afterward. I know how to size a monitor, so I can give advice there, but I don't know a lot about HDR and high-refresh screens. I know that 1440p will be a pretty good match to an (eventual) 3070, although I may have to turn settings down a little to run it at 120Hz+, but I'm unclear on whether the specs I'm looking at will make it a good HDR screen.

I don't have the knowledge or the eye for these things, but I've been happy with my purchase last year of an LG 27GL850 (1440p; 144Hz; Gsync), which had some strong recs, including from Hardware Unboxed's monitor guy. If you're looking for quality HDR or the kinds of upgrades announced for the 2021 sets at CES this week, this isn't it, but it's otherwise quite strong. Picked it more as a stopgap as an affordable primary display upgrade that could become my secondary if I make the leap to 4k or ultrawide at some point.

ubrakto wrote:
Malor wrote:

Anyone see anything I'm missing? Monitors are hard to return, so I'm very interested in criticism before I make the mistake, instead of afterward. I know how to size a monitor, so I can give advice there, but I don't know a lot about HDR and high-refresh screens. I know that 1440p will be a pretty good match to an (eventual) 3070, although I may have to turn settings down a little to run it at 120Hz+, but I'm unclear on whether the specs I'm looking at will make it a good HDR screen.

I don't have the knowledge or the eye for these things, but I've been happy with my purchase last year of an LG 27GL850 (1440p; 144Hz; Gsync), which had some strong recs, including from Hardware Unboxed's monitor guy. If you're looking for quality HDR or the kinds of upgrades announced for the 2021 sets at CES this week, this isn't it, but it's otherwise quite strong. Picked it more as a stopgap as an affordable primary display upgrade that could become my secondary if I make the leap to 4k or ultrawide at some point.

I'm actually about to (I think) pick up the LG 27GN850, which is a refresh of the GL850 without the USB hub. I finally got Gigabyte to agree to cover shipping my dead ultrawide back to them for warranty service, so I've been using an old 1080p display as my secondary. That one seems to be on the edge of failure, and does some other weird stuff, and the 1440p one I'm using as my primary is borrowed from work, and only has a single input that I can use for full resolution. After building my new PC, I've still got half of my ebay funbux left over, so I figure I may as well get a nice 1440p monitor to use as primary now, secondary when I get the ultrawide back.

ubrakto wrote:
Malor wrote:

Anyone see anything I'm missing? Monitors are hard to return, so I'm very interested in criticism before I make the mistake, instead of afterward. I know how to size a monitor, so I can give advice there, but I don't know a lot about HDR and high-refresh screens. I know that 1440p will be a pretty good match to an (eventual) 3070, although I may have to turn settings down a little to run it at 120Hz+, but I'm unclear on whether the specs I'm looking at will make it a good HDR screen.

I don't have the knowledge or the eye for these things, but I've been happy with my purchase last year of an LG 27GL850 (1440p; 144Hz; Gsync), which had some strong recs, including from Hardware Unboxed's monitor guy. If you're looking for quality HDR or the kinds of upgrades announced for the 2021 sets at CES this week, this isn't it, but it's otherwise quite strong. Picked it more as a stopgap as an affordable primary display upgrade that could become my secondary if I make the leap to 4k or ultrawide at some point.

Your musings got me onto a slightly different track. I went to look carefully at the monitor you're enjoying, and in comparing and re-thinking things, I really started to dig into the rtings subsections. Those led me to the Samsung CHG70, and in turn led me to its successor, the Samsung Odyssey G7.

I really like the looks of that one. And it comes in 32" for $800, which seems pretty reasonable to me. It's a VA panel, so it gets darker than IPS, and has excellent color, but trades off viewing angle. That's a trade I'm happy to make, because I'm the only one using the monitor most of the time.

Unfortunately, it's only compatible with GSync down to 80Hz in the 32" size, which is suboptimal. I can probably work with it, but I wish it went lower. An awful lot of older games peak at 60Hz and only go down from there.

I picked up a LG 34GN850-B just before Christmas and am loving it. Just waiting for EVGA to get to my name for a 3080 to actually drive it properly. My 1060 just doesn't have the legs to drive this monitor so I'm running most everything in 75-85% scale and medium settings. With as much as I love it now I can't wait to get the GPU to properly put it through it's paces, and flip that scaling to 125% and Ultra.

Redhawk, I was in the same boat as you. I got a monitor the same size you did, and my rx 480 couldn't drive it. Then it conked out in mid December. Now I've got the new machine built that can run it, but no monitor to actually show it off. Eventually, I hope to actually get both things connected to each other and working at the same time.

Its bewildering to me how you folks can put a 40"+ monitor less than 3 feet to your face. I have a 55" LG OLEDs in the living room and I'm at least 8 feet away and I think I'm good. I don't think I could get 5 feet closer and not have my eyes melt.

The last few models mentioned were the LG 27GN850, which is 27", the 34GN850-B, which is 34", and the Odyssey G7, which is 32". They're a quarter to a third the size of your 55" model.

Carlbear95 wrote:

Its bewildering to me how you folks can put a 40"+ monitor less than 3 feet to your face. I have a 55" LG OLEDs in the living room and I'm at least 8 feet away and I think I'm good. I don't think I could get 5 feet closer and not have my eyes melt.

You would be surprised how fast you get used to it. Issue now is of course even a 32” Monitor seems tiny when I sit down in front of one. As well with such a large screen you can actually run it at 100% and not need super vision.

Carlbear95 wrote:

Its bewildering to me how you folks can put a 40"+ monitor less than 3 feet to your face.

For the larger curved ultrawide monitors (mine is 38"), it's very immersive for gaming. For productivity, it's really nice to be able to have multiple documents up with each essentially getting a normal screen's worth of real-estate.

For web-browsing...it's total overkill.

My new 28" is nice but where I was worried about something 32 or greater so close to my face, I now could see the benefit. Though greater than 34 seems like getting into the way too big range.

I can't imagine that 48" that everyone is high on because that is 20 more inches than my current monitor. Which would nearly be 4x the screen.

I returned my projector mostly due to the focus dial being too stiff and hard to get the picture without a little blur. But its other drawback was that distance is the only way to adjust screen size. So while the picture was about 8 more inches away than my current monitor, the screen size was probably 55-60". It was just too big. I found myself using only a tiny fraction of the screen.

The good news is that it was a 1080p native resolution for a reasonable price for being such a portable projector. The bad news is that it was 1080p so when I shrunk my browser to a manageable 1/6th of the screen, it was pixelated. This is why I was seeking out a 4K resolution monitor.

So far it is working great. My RX 580 is getting good performance in 3D games in a window but I may replace it because I would want something that isn't working so hard. The fans get really loud. It is sporadic in Diablo 3, more often in WoW and was almost constant in Borderlands 3 on a 1080p monitor.

I've been digging more into that Odyssey G7, and it just has too many problems for me to be comfortable buying it. A lot of them have been fixed (the flickering being the biggest issue, which is apparently gone as of firmware 1.09), but I keep reading about other new problems popping up, like displaying certain images totally fouling up the display. It just sounds like the decoding chip in that system is either buggy or poorly programmed, and I'm not willing to risk it.

Also, the super-aggressive curve would, I think, end up being annoying. I could live with a little curve, but that one is crazy bendy, for no good reason on a 32". I could maybe see that much bend in the double-wide G9, which is about equivalent to two G7s, but there's really no reason to bend it that hard when it's that small, VA panel or no.

If I could have gotten it in flat format, I'd have chanced it, but between the sharp curve and the many, many firmware issues, I think I'm gonna pass on that one. It looks like a monitor with fantastic specs that doesn't actually work that well in practice.

So, from there, the other 30 to 34" screens all kind of suck for one reason or another, often price... you can get decent ones, but at $1200+. At that point, I might as well go big to the LG CX OLED ($1500), or drop back to something smaller and cheaper. $1500 is just too much, so now I'm thinking pretty seriously about a basic LG 27GN850, like the one Chaz has. It should last for a few years, and at that point HDR on PCs should be pretty well shaken out, with Display Port 2.0 and HDMI 2.1 being both ubiquitous and debugged. It'll be a little smaller than my HP 30", but it should be dramatically better, and it supports some HDR. It's not great, but it does some.

I kept looking at that Razer, and it might be slightly better than the LG, but it's not worth $700, when the LG is just $450.

I went ahead and ordered it. It's supposed to show Wednesday. Will report back with impressions.

Looks like quite a good monitor for the price. ($450+tax, free shipping.) My budget was substantially higher, but there just don't seem to be any choices in the $750-$850 range that are worth the extra money. Actual improvements start at about $1200, and those monitors would be a bad pick, what with the vastly superior LG CX at $1500.

edit: well, the Samsung Odyssey G7 is hypothetically better. On paper, it looks first-rate. But it sounds like the firmware sucks, and the strong curve is just stupid.

For you or anyone looking at that LG, Best Buy has it on sale for $400. It's been on sale at that price something like every two weeks, so it'll probably get that cheap again if now isn't the time.

I kind of suspected it would go on sale again soon, within the price match window, which is why I bought at full price. Now I just want need to hop on chat with their support and get them to refund me the $50.

Thanks, I think you just saved me $50. In chat with them now.

edit: they refunded me $100+tax. I told him he was giving me too much, he said it was policy. I told them about the mistake, so I don't feel bad.

I got the monitor for a net price of $350, with a time investment of about 20 minutes in chat, slow enough that I could web browse while waiting.

Nice!

I remain super happy with mine, especially as an affordable stopgap. I think I still want to go ultrawide at some point, but I'm happy to be patient as the market evolves to better tech for it.

I mean, there's nothing besides desk space saying you can't do both. Which is what I'm doing.

I'm on Best Buy chat now, and while I'm getting the price match, I'm not getting the bonus $50 that malor did. I guess I didn't say the magic words.

ubrakto wrote:

Nice!

I remain super happy with mine, especially as an affordable stopgap. I think I still want to go ultrawide at some point, but I'm happy to be patient as the market evolves to better tech for it.

Yeah, that's kind of my overall thinking, too. The whole monitor market seems really messed up right now. We're in a transition to full 4K and HDR, and the tech isn't fully there yet. You can spend a great big pile of money and still end up with something that doesn't work very well.

Once DisplayPort 2.0 and HDMI 2.1 settle down and become ubiquitous, it'll be worth revisiting. That'll probably take 2 or 3 years, and this monitor should keep me happy at least that long.

Chaz wrote:

I mean, there's nothing besides desk space saying you can't do both. Which is what I'm doing.

I'm on Best Buy chat now, and while I'm getting the price match, I'm not getting the bonus $50 that malor did. I guess I didn't say the magic words.

Honestly, I think the rep probably just made a mistake. I pointed it out first thing when he said $100, so I don't feel even a little bit guilty.

edit: I went and looked at the transcript, and I even said upfront that I was looking for a $50 refund, so I think he just blew it.

Ugh why is the ultrawide version of that never on sale? I've had my eyes on the 34GN850-B for a while now, but not at $1K.

*Legion* wrote:

Ugh why is the ultrawide version of that never on sale? I've had my eyes on the 34GN850-B for a while now, but not at $1K.

There's an Acer Nitro ultrawide that's not horribly expensive, and does okay in the ratings. It doesn't have enough of a color gamut for real HDR, but if ultrawide and fast refresh rates are enough, that would be an option at about $450.

Malor wrote:

There's an Acer Nitro ultrawide that's not horribly expensive, and does okay in the ratings. It doesn't have enough of a color gamut for real HDR, but if ultrawide and fast refresh rates are enough, that would be an option at about $450.

I've seen that one, and it's good, but it doesn't match the exceptional motion performance of the LG.

It's definitely priced right, and if I were starting from zero, I would probably give it strong consideration. But I don't really NEED to upgrade from what I have now (ViewSonic 27" 1440p G-Sync 165hz). But if I could get the LG at a significant discount, though, I would say to hell with need and take the plunge. I really like fast response times, and the Acer would be a slight downgrade from my ViewSonic, while the LG would shave like 40% off the response times of my current display.

Ah, see, I'm coming from an 30" 60Hz IPS display. It was very low-latency for the era, as the monitor has no scaler... that's explicitly why I bought it. But that was, geeze, at least ten years ago, maybe fifteen. It has served me well, but pretty much anything modern is a massive upgrade in every respect.... refresh rate, latency, motion blur, and even some HDR gamut as a nice bonus on some units. That Nitro looks pretty sweet coming from a base that old, even without HDR.

It's weird that there's such a big price gap above $450 to get to monitors that are genuinely better. And if you're going to sink that kind of money into a monitor, might as well go whole hawg and get an OLED. I don't remember seeing those in ultrawide, but the screen quality is so good that I wouldn't miss it too much.

edit to add: I mean, I bought the HP when gamers were just realizing that monitor latency was a thing. Nobody had any tools to measure it yet, really, so you couldn't just look it up on a site somewhere. So I bought a big, high-quality IPS screen with no scaler, crossing my fingers that the latency would be low. It ended up being very pleasing for an exceptionally long time, so I guess it was.

Malor wrote:

And it looks like the $1500 OLED would probably be better in an absolute sense, with the caveat that it would take a little care to avoid burn-in, like using a black desktop background, no desktop icons, and a self-hiding Start bar.

The current LG OLED TVs have a specific functionality to avoid burn-in (pixel shifting, I believe). If the monitors have the same, then you shouldn't need to worry about it.