Buying a monitor? Please refer to this post before purchasing.
August 8, 2018 at 8:18 am #49006Zhaegrak
hello! I have a pa328q and I’m very satisfied, 4k movies with madvr are almost perfect. but…too much glow and ofc no hdr
alternatives?August 8, 2018 at 8:22 am #49009PCM2
The BenQ PD3200U as mentioned in this thread (which I’ve merged yours with) is an alternative, but the ASUS uses a similar panel to the BenQ so I don’t think it would be much of an upgrade for you. I would advise keeping an eye on the upcoming LG 32UK950 which should offer support for VESA DisplayHDR 600. It is supposed to be launching over the next few months and we intend to review it at some point, although I can’t promise anything at the moment.August 8, 2018 at 1:02 pm #49017Zhaegrak
thanks, what about 32″+? still uhd+hdrAugust 8, 2018 at 2:38 pm #49030PCM2
It depends what your uses are. If it is mainly watching movies, maybe some gaming and you can sit a sufficient distance away from the monitor for desktop work then consider the Philips 436M6VBPAB.September 4, 2018 at 3:50 pm #49409supercat
I’ve been using a very old monitor for a long time that has recently become barely functional apparently due to some of its internal hardware breaking down, so I need to replace it with a new monitor.
I am interested in buy a 32 inch monitor.
I would like an IPS panel, and not wide screen, and not curved.
I live in Canada, so I’d prefer to buy from amazon.ca, because if I receive one or more dead and/or stuck pixels, I’ll have to return it, since I absolutely can’t stand them.
I will be using the monitor for gaming, and web browsing, and watching videos on my computer.
I will be using an Nvidia card so g-sync would be nice, but I could live without it. And I’d probably generally rather not have it, if I can find an equivalent monitor without it for significantly cheaper than one with it. But in cases where two monitors are otherwise equivalent and offered at the same price, then I’d opt for the one that does have g-sync.
I’ve been trying to research what monitor to buy on my own for the past few days and that has left me extremely confused & frustrated.
At my first bout of research, I determined that XB321HK might be my best option. But upon delving deep into information about that monitor, I realized that there was scandal about it where many unhappy customers who own it experience occasional instances of it blacking out and/or displaying an artifact. After many customers complained, an Acer employee locked the main thread about it on the official forums, and his “solution” was to have Acer set up a repair for the monitor when that issue occurs, which obviously is not ideal…and even then, many users complain that the issue was not solved even after they had Acer work on or replace their monitor with a new one.
Here is a video example of the problem I’m talking about:
Seeing that happen on my monitor would drive me absolutely crazy. I need a monitor that will never do anything that.
So I subsequently stopped considering to buy the XB321HK, even though I probably would have been happy with it, if not for that issue.
But when I searched for an alternative, I am found only slim pickings. Most of the monitors on offer seem to be 27 inches, and/or VA panels.
As well, I read some overclocking forums and the consensus of the knowledgeable users there is that panels made by AU Optronics tend to be bad because that company is very negligent about quality control. I tend to believe they are correct. Those same overclockers generally favor the LG brand for better panels with less issues.
Except LG doesn’t seem to offer any models that are equivalent in features to the XB321HK. Most of the products that LG offers seem to be ultrawide and/or curved.
I’ve also watched a video about the BenQ PD3200U, and in the comment under it, an engineer said: “I have tested this monitor lately for my engineering work. Negative rumors regarding vertical banding, color uniformity issues, common subpixels are 100% for me confirmed.” So that leaves me skeptical about trusting the BenQ brand.
Thus, I have the following dilemma:
1. I very much need to buy a new monitor soon.
2. All the monitors I can find either don’t have the features I want, or they are tied to problems that would leave me very upset if they happened to my monitor. So I feel like there are no good options for me.
I’d appreciate any helping for recommendations of a monitor that I can buy that will hopefully satisfy me and not have any major problems.September 4, 2018 at 4:02 pm #49413PCM2
Hi supercat and welcome,
I’ve merged your thread with this one as there is ongoing discussion that’s relevant to what you’re after.
I have received sufficient negative user feedback about the Acer XB321HK that I don’t actively recommend it. The BenQ PD3200U, though, I do actively recommend and will continue to do so. I have received a large volume of positive feedback about this monitor and if you’re looking for negative feedback on any monitor you’ll find it. Just because somebody is an engineer, it does not qualify them as a display expert nor particularly experienced with monitors. You also can’t say from a sample size of 1 (I assume) that pixel defects are more common on average with that model than others. It’s utter rubbish. When there are ~8.3 million pixels and ~25 million subpixels on a monitor I’m afraid it isn’t unheard of for some of those to be defective in some way. The PD3200U is no more prone to that than any other model, however. Uniformity issues are also something that commonly affect monitors of any model. It varies between units of the same model and the BenQ is again no more prone to such issues than other models. Some users have a false sense that paying several hundred dollars for a monitor will guarantee excellent uniformity. It doesn’t – you need a proofing-grade product with guaranteed uniformity specification for that, not a normal consumer-grade monitor.
I think the BenQ would be more than adequate for your needs. By all means by from somewhere with a good returns policy and if you’re not happy consider asking for a replacement. And ultimately, if that fails and you’re still not happy, a refund. But you need to set realistic expectations for yourself. I have seen too many users setting themselves up for disappointment simply because their expectations are too high and unfortunately out of line with what is going to be delivered by models currently on the market. Until monitors do away with backlights you’re going to have to accept uniformity issues, ‘IPS glow’, less than ideal contrast and that sort of thing.
On the subject of LG monitors, there is some discussion earlier on in this thread on the 32UD99 and similar models. You might also keep an eye out for the upcoming 32UK950G. I intend to review this at some point, but I think a release is probably going to slip into November from most retailers. It seems to be one of those products LG showed off but is in no rush to release.September 4, 2018 at 4:35 pm #49414supercat
Thanks for the feedback. I’m feeling more confident now.
Are there any additional features that the LG model has which justify why it’s more expensive? At those prices, is PD3200U the better deal, in your opinion?
Other questions I have:
1. How do I test for things like color uniformity and banding? I have no technical knowledge about those things. Are there any software programs I can use to diagnose such problems, if they exist?
2. I’ve read tons of complaints that IPS monitors suffer from backlight bleed and IPS glow. When I receive my monitor, how, precisely, do I determine whether or not it is over the normal/acceptable thresholds for backlight bleed and IPS glow?September 4, 2018 at 4:59 pm #49415PCM2
The only ‘advantage’ of the LD 32UD99 would be the higher peak luminance of the backlight, a wider colour gamut and its ability to support HDR10 content. I use the word support very loosely, as it is more of an HDR emulation mode if anything. There is no local dimming support on the backlight, so it doesn’t give a contrast advantage with HDR – just universally raised brightness, which as you’d expect simply floods the image. The colour gamut is at least in line with the standard expected for HDR, but from what I’ve seen of LG’s monitors with similar HDR implemetations that doesn’t mean it’s going to produce attractive colour output for HDR. If you’re interested in HDR, it’s not a good choice. If you’re not interested in HDR then it won’t really bring you any advantage over the BenQ. Unless you prefer more highly saturated (oversaturated) colours.
Various pages of the Lagom website would be a good test for uniformity issues and banding. The viewing angles test can help highlight uniformity issues – particularly the background of the Lagom text test. Also screenfills on paint, Powerpoint or a similar program of various solid shades can be helpful. Users throw the term “banding” around far too loosely these days, though. I’ve seen people claim that a monitor has “banding” simply because it’s correctly displaying source material. They’re comparing to a monitor that wasn’t properly calibrated (gamma too high, generally) and therefore masked these little details in the source material. And then when they use a monitor that’s displaying the material correctly, with these imperfections visible, they think the monitor has a problem with ‘banding’. The BenQ offers a good factory calibration, good colour processing capabilities, high levels of gamma and colour consistency and good flexibility in the OSD to modify gamma. It really doesn’t have a ‘banding issue’ when set up correctly and viewing appropriate source material.
As with uniformity assessment with lighter shades, I don’t suggest you go out of your way to test for backlight bleed. It’s really quite simple. If you don’t find it problematic during normal use of the monitor, then it isn’t a problem. Backlight bleed affects models of any panel type, but IPS models are generally quite prone to it. They also have ‘IPS glow’, but that doesn’t vary between units in isolation (it can be ‘carried out’ by strong backlight bleed, however). So use the monitor normally. If you like to sit in a dark room then do so, but I’d suggest at least some ambient lighting as it’s better for viewing comfort and certainly better for perceived contrast on an IPS-type model. Also try to set the brightness to a sensible level, the lower the better in terms of reducing how obvious any backlight bleed or ‘IPS glow’ would be. If you find a setting too dim, let your eyes adjust. Further details on this in our article on viewing comfort.September 4, 2018 at 10:52 pm #49433supercat
I spent a lot of time today researching about the BenQ PD3200U and consequently I’m feeling deflated again. I found things like this:
…where someone said:
I’m liking the BenQ aside from one little thing. A couple of times a day I’ll see a graphical glitch–usually a pink/green vertical stripe that’s about the width of 1/5th of the screen. BenQ has replaced the monitor twice and all 3 have had the problem. I’ll probably end up living with it if there’s no fix
All of that seems to corroborate the idea that all these AUO panels have the same defect inherent in them as evidenced in the video that I linked to in my initial post. It makes me wonder if the many users who gave you good feedback about the BenQ PD3200U have that problem too, but decided to overlook it and “just live with it” because it doesn’t bother them that much. In contrast, if I bought that monitor and it did that to me, I’d be infuriated. I’d feel like I’ve been scammed.
Then when I was researching the LG 32UD99-W, I saw lots of complaints that it overly suffers from backlight bleed.
It seems like no matter what monitor I buy, I’m being forced to the roll the dice on a huge gamble with many hundreds/thousands of dollars. I hate gambling and would never do it under any other circumstances. The only reason I may do it on this matter is because at the end of the day, I need a monitor.
Why does buying one have to be a nightmare?
Why don’t these companies get their act together and stop selling products that contain massive defects?
Isn’t there any reliable/trustworthy monitor company in the world? Not even one?September 5, 2018 at 6:56 am #49435PCM2
This flickering issue is covered in the review and also earlier in this thread. And as noted in the review, I didn’t observe it via HDMI 2.0 and it was more persistent on the AMD GPU I tested. And yes, some users have noticed this but still find the monitor very good, because the issue is actually quite minor in the grand scheme of things. There’s no perfect monitor, it’s just one of those quirks which may not even occur if you use HDMI 2.0 anyway.September 8, 2018 at 9:49 pm #49473supercat
I’m really not sure what to buy now.
For me, the flickering issue on the PD3200U is a dealbreaker. In regards to your statement that it might not happen with HDMI, a reviewer on newegg.com claims that it does, he says:
I did all the usual tests with the first unit: I swapped cables (started with the supplied DP-to-miniDP, tried the supplied HDMI-to-HDMI, tried a known-good DP-to-DP). No difference in flickering. So the problem is not cables or connectors.
I decided against buying the 32UD99 because I realize it’s going to be obsolete soon when 4K 144Hz IPS monitors come out, so therefore I’d feel foolish spending over $1000 on it.
All this led me to conclude I must go down to 27 inches before I might have any hope to find a somewhat suitable monitor for me. So I bought LG27UK650, which had a dead pixel, and based on your feedback, probably also ghosting/overshoot. Ghosting/overshoot is a dealbreaker for me too. And I wasn’t especially happy with going down to 27 inches instead of 32.
I wish I could buy a monitor that is on par with the PD3200U, and similar in price (i.e. no more than $100 over the PD3200U’s price), and 32 inches, but does not have any issues with flickering/banding/artifacting.
Does such a monitor exist?
Am I going to have go back to considering 27″ monitors – even though what I really want is 32″ – because there are no 32″ that either a) will refrain from having the defects which are dealbreakers for me and/or b) are reasonably-priced to be on par with the PD3200U’s price.
Note: I acknowledge what you said before, that no display is perfect, but I want a display that is imperfect in other ways, as opposed to ones whose imperfections are flickering/banding/artifacting/ghosting issues.September 8, 2018 at 9:58 pm #49475PCM2
So have you tried adjusting the response time setting on your LG 27UK650 as suggested? What did you find?
The flickering on the BenQ is potentially annoying, although it seems to depend on the GPU. It’s a bit of a lottery in that respect. It was unbearable on my AMD GPU, didn’t occur at all via HDMI 2.0 on my Nvidia GPU and was too infrequent to bother me via DP on my Nvidia GPU. An odd issue, much better if it wasn’t there. I’d still suggest you give it a go and see how you find it. Amazon has an excellent returns policy, so if you don’t get on with it on your system then return it. That’s why we still recommend it inspite of this potentially annoying issue.September 10, 2018 at 6:49 am #49485supercat
I did not try changing the response time on the LG, because before I came back to this thread and read that suggestion, I happened to end up packing up the monitor & accessories back into the box. And then I didn’t feel like unpacking it all again, only to have to re-pack it later.
But I’m skeptical if that suggestion would make a difference anyway, since this semi-broken, very old TN panel that I’m using now doesn’t have that streak-of-light ghosting-type issue that my new LG has, and yet this TN panel has an 8ms response time. I’m presuming the LG’s response time would have been no higher than 8ms at whatever factory setting that it was set to, yet I still saw that issue with it anyway.
Now I’m torn about whether I should try the 3200U or not. I feel like it’s a bad idea, yet at the same time, I need a new monitor, but there don’t seem to be any good options on the market which meet the criteria I want.
I watched an interesting review of the 3200U tonight that complained about brightness uniformity with it and showed video proof.
What do you think of that brightness uniformity problem? That’s a big deal, isn’t it?September 10, 2018 at 6:55 am #49486PCM2
Overshoot has nothing whatsoever to do with panel type or specified response time. In fact it’s caused by pixel overdrive being too aggressive, so is more likely on a monitor with lower specified response time. If you don’t understand this concept, I would advise reading the relevant section of our article on the topic – https://pcmonitors.info/articles/factors-affecting-pc-monitor-responsiveness/#Response_time.
So if you still have it, unpackage the LG and try what I suggested (I suggested it very soon after your initial post). Or give the BenQ a try instead, as suggested. This is the last I’m going to say on the matter. Stop putting yourself off a perfectly good product. Uniformity issues can and do affect units of any model, you can’t get past that and if you look for reported issues with any product (especially a monitor) you’re going to find them. Your plan was to get it from somewhere with a good return policy, so you wouldn’t be stuck with something you’re not happy with.
P.S I’ve removed your video link for a few reasons. I don’t want to get into it in too much detail, but I’m not allowing you to link to that rubbish here. Notice how he just complains about uniformity with some fancy-looking test. But doesn’t go through the actual figures or allow you to see them? And he applies some stupid colour-coding system which is massively misleading to exaggerate the issue. It’s a completely flawed, unscientific and misleading approach. This is how you test for brightness uniformity without misleading or hiding things from people. Some of his other work I’ve had the displeasure of wasting my time watching is similarly vague and misleading.October 28, 2018 at 9:51 am #50393outinaustin
I am upgrading my PC and want to get a 32 inch 4k monitor. I want to use the on board graphics of my motherboard, a Z370M Mortar along with an i3 8300. The Z370M Mortar puts out 3840 x 2160 at 60 HZ over display port. My main considerations are: I want to aid my bad eyes, don’t game, and don’t watch movies on my PC. I will be doing basic office work, surf the web, and watch YouTube videos. I presently use a 27 inch IPS HD display.
My locaL retailer offers the Benq PD3200U and the LG 32UD99-W which both look about right, and are similarly priced. My question mainly is will the on board graphics of my motherboard do a good job for my application, and which display would be best for my application?October 28, 2018 at 9:58 am #50397PCM2
Both of those models are discussed in this thread, so I’ve merged yours here. The current recommendation is the BenQ PD3200U. From a viewing comfort perspective it ticks plenty of boxes; generally agreeable screen surface, nice pixel density (scaling may be required, but that will be fine for viewing comfort), flicker-free backlight, no big issues with pixel responsiveness, good brightness adjustment range and good easily accessible Low Blue Light (LBL) settings.
I’m a bit out of touch with the capabilities of integrated graphics solutions, but they can be a bit hit and miss for the 3840 x 2160 resolution. They will certainly ‘support’ it, but sometimes even more graphically-rich websites can slow things down. It may not be the case with your particular chip or with your intended uses, perhaps you’ll find it fine. But do understand that a dedicated GPU upgrade may be in order. Nothing too fancy or flashy and it might not be required, but keep it in mind as a possible additional expense.
When you say “bad eyes”, do you mean you experience discomfort or do you mean you have an issue with your eyesight? You should perhaps consider a model with lower pixel density as well, because that may cause less strain on the eyes. You could have something between your current model and the ‘4K’ UHD model you had in mind but retain the large screen size. The AOC Q3279VWFD8 being a fine example. It would make more sense economically than going for a ‘4K’ model if you’re just going to end up using a high degree of scaling anyway. If you feel you’ll make full use or good use of the desktop real-estate of a 31.5″ UHD model without scaling then fine, otherwise consider it as an alternative. Your integrated graphics solution should perhaps find the less demanding resolution more comfortable as well.
The other thing is that you have mentioned what is available at a local store. I understand the appeal, but also be aware of how you can support our work. Because that’s not something your local store does. It doesn’t give anything back to that guy patiently spending his Sunday morning responding to your individual needs.November 12, 2018 at 3:23 pm #50571PCM2November 12, 2018 at 3:42 pm #50570Crocodil
My current 27 inch LG monitor (LG M2762D) has been dutifully doing it’s job for over 10 year and even though it’s still working, I’ve decided it’s time for a change. The screen is used quite universally (reading websites, watching movies, some gaming), but due to my job, I spent a lot of time programming.
I own a GeForce 1080 Ti and I think the time is ripe to try a 4K resolution but at the same time I wouldn’t like to be left with an empty wallet 😉 After a fair bit of researching I’ve come to 2 favorites, both of which have been reviewed by PC Monitors:
* AOC U3277PWQU
* Philips 328P6VUBREB
AOC U3277PWQU is much older but it’s very affordable (around 1800 PLN) and has good opinions. On the other hand Philips 328P6VUBREB is just premiering and has all the latest features (HDR, USB type C) but costs fair bit more (around 2700 PLN). Both use VA screens that I’ve only experienced in TVs so I’m not sure how well they would do for my needs.
I’m also contemplating trying a 21:9 curved screen like Philips 349X7FJEW. The resolution is lower but from what I read the experience is great…
I would be very glad for any suggestions and pointers 🙂
Best regards from Poland,
CrocodilNovember 12, 2018 at 3:53 pm #50574PCM2
I’ve merged your thread with this one as I like to keep things together and it’s an appropriate place. As you’re considering cheaper VA models (vs. the more expensive IPS-type options primarily discussed here) it offers some nice balance to things and a different perspective.
There are plenty of things that I, personally, dislike about both of those monitors. They share a very similar panel, with the backlight being a key difference (and that being coupled with decent HDR capability on the Philips). But monitors are very subjective and these issues that I have don’t mean that some users wouldn’t find the experience great. And indeed there is a lot of positive user feedback on the AOC and similar models and I’m sure there will be on the Philips once more people use it. The contrast is clearly a lot stronger than the IPS-type models discussed in this thread and the generous colour gamut helps deliver a decent vibrant look to the image overall. But they’re weaker in other areas as highlighted in the review. Some issues I have personally:
– The screen surface is too grainy. Not everyone minds this.
– The input lag is too high. Not everyone minds this.
– The AOC lacks an sRGB emulation mode. Not everyone needs this, although the Philips has a good sRGB emulation mode I wouldn’t use it anyway and most users wouldn’t as they would prefer the more vibrant image using the native colour gamut.
– Uniformity issues are common on models using these panels. Although I didn’t observe anything too extreme (for me or most users) in that regard and individual units vary.
– The colour consistency is weaker than other VA models of this sort of size I’ve used. If you don’t have that comparison in mind then that’s perhaps not a big deal, but as a reviewer it’s something you notice quite quickly.
Now the HDR performance of the Philips is far from perfect, especially when considering dark scenes. But you have an Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti and you do some gaming. The HDR performance of the Philips 328P6VUBREB is really the one reason I still have the monitor connected to my system and I’ve delayed Philips collecting the sample for a bit. Well, that and the fact my own monitor has a lower resolution and I rather enjoy the ‘4K’ resolution for productivity. I feel that a decent HDR implementation really does breath life into games (and movies that support it, although they’re few and far between currently). So that for me is a crucial bonus point for the Philips over the AOC. Would I pay the difference between two for that feature alone? Yes, probably. But that’s not really relevant when I wouldn’t part with my own money for either screen, just because it doesn’t suit my own needs or preferences.November 12, 2018 at 9:24 pm #50582Crocodil
@ PCM2: I don’t mind merging with this thread at all 🙂 Thank you for your suggestions, Philips 328P6VUBREB does look like a better choice.
I’ve selected the 2 options because they seemed like the best “bang for the buck” but as monitor is something you don’t buy all that often and I use it for work, I wouldn’t mind spending some more money, say even up to around £700.
I can see that IPS screens are more recommended here, would you please care to explain shortly why and if they would be better in my case? I can see that BenQ PD3200U is a very strong contender, though not without it’s problems.
Maybe it’s worth to wait some more, for example for the mentioned LG 32UL950 or for some other models coming soon? This would test my patience some more as I’ve already waited almost 2 months for the Philips to become available 😉
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