Looking for a new IPS monitor (focus on gaming)

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Buying a monitor? Please refer to this thread. We appreciate your support!

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  • #30244

    Hello,

    We are on the lookout for a new monitor. We have narrowed our choices down to the Dell P2314H, P2414H / Samsung S24D390HL / ASUS VX239H, VX229H & LG 22EA63V, 23EA63V and are looking for opinions with regards to any of these or comparable products.

    We have no preferences when it comes to aesthetics, bezel, stand quality, swivel, pivot or connection options.
    The monitor needs to fulfill some requirements (in order of importance):

    – IPS panel
    – 22-24” size
    – Gaming suitability
    – Colour/glow reproduction and uniformity
    – Free of flicker
    – Acceptable anti-glare coating

    We have primarily been looking at the Dells and Samsungs, which seem to garner universal praise for their price. We are uncertain with regards to the ASUS and LG models and the 23” P2314H due to a lack of reviews.

    The Samsung model seems to offer the better out-of-the-box experience and higher contrast but worse glow uniformity than the Dell models.

    Between the P2314H/2414H and the S24D390HL the one factor which may come into play in our decision is the availability of DisplayPort on the Dell and implications for “Adaptive VSync” via a possible future firmware upgrade.

    We wonder if there is any possibility on the hardware/firmware side of the Dell models to provide A-VSync.

    We’re curious how the LG/ASUS models and the P2314H compare to the Samsung and Dell models and if there are any other options for a general purpose IPS monitor with a focus on gaming.

    #30245

    Hi Kitty,

    A warm welcome to the forum! Thank you for providing such a well-structured and well thought-out post. At this point I would usually merge this thread with another one on the topic which covers those models. But to be honest some threads are too long and confusing with fragments of ‘non IPS’ discussion. I feel you’ve narrowed your choice down very well, so I’ll try to give some impressions on each of the model groups in your list.

    Samsung S24D390HL

    I’ll start with the Samsung as it’s my personal favourite and currently featured as a recommended model. As noted in the review this monitor is very nicely set up out of the box with only a few simple tweaks required to get things right. Actually I’ve already had several users buy this model and they were completely happy once they’d turned down the brightness (and for Nvidia users, once they’d corrected the HDMI colour signal as per the review). This model offers the best ‘out of the box setup’ of the models you’re considering and is also visually very comfortable to use. It has a flicker-free (PWM-free) backlight which goes down to an increadibly dim 26 cd/m2 without losing contrast. Contrast performance is slightly stronger on this model than the others and the screen surface of the AD-PLS panel is just slightly lighter (lower haze/less matte) than on the AH-IPS alternatives. Responsiveness is as good as you’ll see on a 60Hz LCD – no problems there.

    Dell P2314H/P2314H

    I grouped these ones together as they perform very similarly. The only real appreciable differences are screen size and the sub-pixel layout. The P2414H uses the usual RGB (Red, Green and Blue) subpixel order for each pixel. The P2314H uses BGR (Blue, Green and Red) more commonly. For Windows users this isn’t a problem, they have ClearType. But for Mac users it’s an issue as the OS only really offers proper text clarity on RGB displays. These monitors aren’t technically as ‘accurate’ or ‘well set up’ in their colours as the Samsung, but for gaming and general purpose use they’re really good in that regard. Responsiveness is again as good as you can expect from a 60Hz monitor and you have a flicker-free backlight to look forward to on these as well. There is a more detailed comparison between the P2414H, S24D390HL and Dell U2414H (another model I’d consider) in this thread – http://pcmonitors.info/forum/topic/samsung-s24d390hl-or-dell-p2414h-u2414h.

    ASUS VX229H/VX239H

    I’ve again grouped these models together due to them being very similar apart from screen size. The VX series are undeniably stylish. They also offer a rich and visually pleasing output. The colour reproduction isn’t technically as accurate as on the Samsung in particular, the gamma curve deviates a fair bit from where it should, but for your uses I don’t see this is a problem. Colours are still nice and varied and your games and desktop environment should look visually quite pleasing. A couple of reservations I have about these models are that they have a fixed pixel overdrive solution, unlike the ASUS MX series that featured the usual adjustable ‘Trace Free’ grey to grey acceleration. The VX models have the equivilent level of acceleration that the MX series had at ‘Trace Free 60’ (the default), a setting at which some users will notice some inverse ghosting (overshoot) artifacts. Sensitivity to this varies, but it’s worth bearing in mind. Another potential issue that could be carried over from the MX series is that the design offers little protection to the panel and causes undue pressure at some points, making uniformity a bit of an issue in general.

    LG 22EA63V and 23EA63V

    Grouped together, again, these offer similar performance but different screen sizes (21.5″ vs 23″). I tested the 23″ model a while back, one of the original revisions. This had a ‘sharpness bug’ which caused the monitor to constantly reset its sharpness to a clearly sub-optimal (overly sharp) setting. It also offered pixel overdrive settings that were either a little too weak for optimal 60Hz performance or a little too strong with some obvious overshoot, without a comfortable medium. The default image setup was quite decent, although not as good as the Samsung in particular. This model uses a PWM-regulated backlight so is not flicker-free, something that is worth bearing in mind. Fortunately LG’s newer models are flicker-free, a feature LG dub ‘flicker-safe’. This is good for viewing comfort and also eliminates ‘PWM artifacts’ during motion which would cause duplicated trails rather than smooth trails to appear in motion. The video below shows these PWM artifacts on an older Samsung AD-PLS model which uses similar backlight regulation to the LG EA63V series. I’d recommend watching 1080p full screen:

    When it comes to backlight bleed there is considerable variation between individual units of the same model. Some design characteristics can also heighten bleed – from the relatively small sample I’ve seen, the Samsung seems strongest in terms of uniformity in general. In terms of IPS/PLS glow, these models are all very similar. That’s really a panel characteristic than varies very little between individual units and depends on screen size, brightness, viewing distance and position. The only way to significantly reduce this is to use an ‘A-TW polarizer’ which LG seems to be adding to one of their upcoming 23.8″ panels. It isn’t clear when this will be used on monitors but probably not for several months yet.

    Adaptive Sync (a variable refresh rate technology available on DisplayPort1.2a and possibly1.3 for those not familiar with it) is something you could be waiting a little while to see. I understand wanting a monitor with DP 1.2a for ‘future proofing’ etc. and the Dell models do offer that, but it’s actually an optional part of the specificaiton and having DP 1.2a does not mean FreeSync compatability. I don’t think the technology is hugely useful on a moderately powerful gaming system, though, on a 60Hz 1080p monitor. It lends itself better to higher resolutions and refresh rates where it is really very difficult to maintain even 60fps.

    #30251

    Adaptive Sync (a variable refresh rate technology available on DisplayPort1.2a and likely 1.3 for those not familiar with it) is something you could be waiting a little while to see. I understand wanting a monitor with DP 1.2a for ‘future proofing’ etc. and the Dell models do offer that.

    Wait, is this similar to Gsync ? There is a DisplayPort in Dell U2713HM (not sure what version it is), does it mean that in the future it can run sth similar to Gsync ? Do I have to own an AMD card to be able to run this ?

    #30252

    It is similar in principle to G-SYNC, yes. It’s something AMD has pushed with what they dubbed ‘Project FreeSync’ and now VESA has agreed to make variable refresh rate support part of the DP standard for DP 1.2a and beyond. More information on this here in the variable refresh rate section.

    It isn’t yet clear how it will play out in practice and what sort of GPU requirements there will be for the technology. It isn’t necessarily something that existing GPUs will support automatically and will require some driver tweaking by both parties for support – whether Nvidia will do this given their push for G-SYNC is also uncertain at the moment. On the monitor side of things the U2713HM came out before the DP 1.2a standard was in place and uses regular DP 1.2 – no possibility of Adaptive-Sync support there unfortunately.

    #30253

    Thank you very much for your very helpful reply!

    We have now narrowed our choices down to the Samsung or one of the Dells.

    One thing we are still curious about is overclockability on the Samsung. The Dell models seem to run without issues at 72/75Hz. You did mention in one of your forum posts that the Samsung will happily run at 72/75Hz, but does it do so without incurring frame skipping?

    The monitor we are looking to replace ran fine at 75Hz but would skip every 4th frame.

    #30254

    That would be this post I assume? Yes that was without any frame skipping. I have just added that into the original post to ensure that readers know that is the case.

    #30255

    Is it safe to overclock the monitor’s refresh rate ? Does it make any difference in term of fluidity or motion blur reduction ?
    Also, if the game framerate is below 60 fps, do we notice any motion blur reduced when we use 120Hz/144Hz ?

    #30256

    Thank you once more for your continued support!

    We will order the new monitor at some point next week and then report our findings here.

    #30257

    @ vuminhduc

    Up to a point. If the monitor can achieve a refresh rate without any timing adjustments and without skipping frames and can be pushed at least a few extra Hz without doing so then that’s what I call a ‘comfortable overclock’. This criteria applies to all monitors I mention in this thread. It is unlikely to have a negative impact on the lifespan of the monitor or cause extra strain. Once you start pushing things further, needing to adjust timings manually to bypass blank screens or on-screen messages telling you a frequency is not supported then that’s a bit of a grey area.

    There is certainly motion blur reduction if the frame rate can keep up and ideally if the response times are fast enough as well. Regardless of refresh rate there is no reduction in motion blur on a normal ‘sample and hold’ display unless the frame rate exceeds 60fps (the more the better). The response times of even fast modern IPS-type panels are not good enough for optimal 120Hz performance but are fast enough on the whole for good 72-75Hz performance. It’s also worth remembering that sometimes individual overclockability varies between individual units and different graphics cards.

    Overclocking monitors is not something I’m currently comfortable mentioning in reviews specifically as I don’t want to encourage people to do it and perhaps push things too far. I don’t want to mislead people if they come across a unit that doesn’t overclock as well as ours or the manufacturer has made a revisional change that affects overclockability. I also don’t feel it’s fair on the manufacturers who provide the review samples to push things in this ‘unofficial’ way beyond the specified native refresh rate. Privately I feel overclocking these monitors to around 72Hz can be done easily and with little consequence and it can be beneficial, however. 😉

    @ kitty

    That would be much appreciated, I hope you enjoy your chosen monitor.

    #30259

    So if I buy a 144Hz monitor and my framerate cannot reach 144fps, there will be no blur reduction at all ? If it is true, I think that is pretty crazy since no way in hell I can obtain 144fps in next gen games at native 1440p res without possessing a monster card (or multiple of them).

    #30260

    Sorry I wasn’t clear at all, I edited my post. At 60fps and below there is no motion blur advantage to a 144Hz monitor over a 60Hz monitor such as those discussed in this thread. There is a reduction in motion blur compared to a fast 60Hz monitor at anything above 60fps. The greatest reduction in motion blur occurs at a frame rate matching the refresh rate, but there is still motion blur reduction as the frame rate rises above 60fps compared to a 60Hz monitor.

    #30759

    Hi Kitty – did you end up getting the monitor? If so how are you finding it? 🙂

    #30814

    Not yet, sadly. Still waiting for it to be in stock where we live.

    #32805

    Hello again fellow felines and humans,

    The kitties have finally managed to order and thoroughly test the Samsung S24D390HL!

    Before ordering we encountered an oddity. The preview pictures on Samsung’s website and various retailers (at the time) were showing 3D renderings of the stand rather than actual pictures. Not only that but also stands of different shapes (exhibit A, exhibit B).

    Thus we were about to play a round of stand-roulette.

    The monitor arrived in a compact yet sturdy card box circa one week after ordering. Thankfully the box contained the square rather than the round stand!

    Assembly of the monitor was quick and painless and took no more than a minute.

    We decided on using a DVI-to-HDMI cable to preserve ZeroCore functionality (which may get disabled in some cases for HDMI-to-HDMI connections) on our AMD graphics card and to ensure correct black levels.

    The monitor is very thin owing to its external power supply. A good idea we think, the screen remains cool to the touch, there is no audible whirring or noise of any sort. The connectors at the back extend horizontally outward from the case. A matter of taste, but we would’ve preferred if the connectors were angled downward.

    The tilt can be adjusted without applying too much force. Even small shocks to the desk translate to the monitor swinging left and right, something to keep in mind for owners of less sturdy tables.

    After turning on the monitor for the first time we exclaimed „Meow!“ and made our way into the OSD. Navigating through the menus is fast and responsive; options are grouped together logically, settings which do not apply to your chosen type of connection are greyed out.

    The picture was a bit washed out, too sharp and had a slight red tint. Dropping sharpness to a more reasonable setting of 51, lowering red and green intensity to 49 and setting gamma to „Mode3“ resulted in a very pleasant picture.

    After some more adjustments to brightness and contrast we were satisfied with our results. Colours were vibrant and looked natural. Banding was not detectable at all. Purr!

    The picture presented by the screen feels steady, stable and overall very „calm“. Viewing angles are nice and wide and considerably better than for a TN panel, but not spectacularly so.

    Samsung’s predefined modes feel like pointless additions when compared to what can be achieved using custom settings, we believe less post-processing is always preferable.

    When testing the monitor under very dim light conditions, IPS glow/backlight bleed becomes apparent, making a minimum level of light advisable.

    Next we tested the monitor’s ability to refresh the display at a higher rate than the 60Hz preset. There was no visible frame skipping/image degradation at 74Hz. This will, however, disable power saving mechanisms on AMD graphics cards (nVidia might be different in this regard), so we settled on 72Hz.

    After using the monitor for more than a month for games, movies, office work and cat pictures we can say we’re happy with the results. Games feel just as responsive as on a TN panel (we are using the „Faster“ preset), text is sharp and legible, pictures are very natural and vibrant.

    We’re very happy with our purchase and would like to thank Adam for the review and the forum felines for helping us decide!

    Purr.

    #32807

    Haha!

    Kitty, thanks for raising a smile and providing some information that I’m sure will be of use to other prospective buyers. Although no monitor is purrfect (I couldn’t resist), I’m glad to see this monitor is very pleasing once set up correctly. I completely agree about the presets – quite useless in practice and you’re much better off making a few little tweaks manually as you did.

    The stand images are indeed confusing, when I was first writing about these monitors in the initial news article my head almost exploded! After asking Samsung about this, apparently the round stand design is used in Asia, but outside of Asia things become more square. Maybe something to do with different tastes, or maybe Samsung just doing some sick little social experiment? Who knows!

    And I can also confirm a stable 72Hz on the model I tested on both an AMD and Nvidia GPU. 🙂

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