Some thoughts on Acer X32 FP (local dimming and screen surface)

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  • #74906
    Weissrolf

      Meanwhile I sent back a fourth unit (full price, not B stock) that had back backlight clouding, similar to the first unit. I noticed that the panel is *very* sensible to even slight touch/pressure that causes this kind of backlight clouding, so it may be related to how pressure is applied during assembly. Unit 2 (cheapest, B-stock) still offers the highest contrast and most uniform backlight (bleeding) distribution, where you get slighter bleed on both sides instead of stronger bleed on one side.

      A fifth unit (B stock, even cheaper than unit 2) is on its way. I am still hoping for a unit similar in to unit 2, but without the broken joystick and stuck sub-pixel (hardly visible anyway). Especially the joystick means that I have to send in unit 2 for repair to Acer, which means time without a monitor. But if unit 5 doesn’t beat unit 2 then I will keep 2 and consider the repair option.

      In between I also tried the Cooler Master GP27U and looked at pictures of the AOC PD32M‘s (1152 zones) IPS glow. Originally I thought that the *much* improved IPS glow of the Asus/Acer panel was due to using mini LED, but on the very *contrary*. The Asus/Acer AUO panel seems to be using an ATW polarizer to keep IPS glow in check. And after experiencing how IPS glow originates from *each* lit mini LED zone on the GP27U to cause a hazy glow that adds to the halo (especially at larger viewing angles) I would say that this polarizer is *mandatory* for mini LED panels to be enjoyable.

      #75015
      PCM2

        Nice comparison – thanks for sharing that. It really highlights how the lack of A-TW polarizer (or similar) creates a much more noticeable diffused ‘halo’ even with a tighter dimming zone density!

        #75017
        sblantipodi

          I love this forum, the best ones for gathering infos on monitors πŸ˜€

          in the mean time thanks of the PCM2 suggestions I am trying to understand how to fully enjoy the X32FP with it’s “difficult” overdrive mode.

          X32FP has a really fast panel but I need to be sincere, motion clarity is never enough. πŸ˜€

          I really appreciate the “motion clarity sharpness” added by overdrive while playing, specially at framerates below the 100FPS…
          For this reason I like to play with overdrive normal, in games the overshoot produced by the overdrive isn’t distracting to my eyes.

          The only scenario where I hate overdrive on this monitor is during web surfing on a white page with small text like on this forum.
          When I scroll the page, the overdrive causes a bit of overshoot on the text making it reddish during the scroll…

          I think that my favourite settings is,
          overdrive on in games, off for the rest of the things I do on the PC.

          Regarding the IPS glow, IPS Glow was one of the reasons why I sent the PG32UQX back.
          From the pcmonitors photos the difference wasn’t that big but on my unit the Asus panel had a very annoying IPS Glow (like on the photos posted by Weissrolf on the GP27U) accentuated by the bright bias… at the end I preferred the Acer… just a question of personal tastes…

          #75020
          Weissrolf

            The fifth unit went back. While it was the first one that would match unit 2 in overall backlight/clouding distribution (still a bit worse), native white-point and fullscreen brightness it had at least a rather bright red stuck pixel in the upper center and a less bright green one in the lower center. It also started with more lit sub-pixels before heating up compared to unit 2.

            (Explanation: when you view fullscreen black at high brightness settings – especially HDR – then some pixels start to let through more and more light the more they heat up, similar to stuck pixels.)

            There also was some rattling/vibration when monitor height was changed (aka something was loose inside). It was a B-stock (offered as promotional display units, but looked more like a retour) and I was offered to exchange it with one of their other two B-stock. But the replacement wouldn’t arrive in time to send back unit 2. So I now decided to keep unit 2 and send it in for the joystick repair once my ordered mobile 18″ monitors arrive to use during the repair time.

            I wish panel differences where a bit less pronounced between X32 FP units. All of them leak light through their upper frame + upper edges btw, but that’s more of a “what’s with that chassis built quality” than a real showstopper thing.

            At least I finally convinced the NVidia driver to create a proper custom uncompressed (DSC off) 120 Hz with full RGB timing profile to workaround the DSC + VRR dropout issues with my 2070 Super.

            #75030
            PCM2

              IPS glow comparison images moved over to their own thread – https://forum.pcmonitors.info/topic/ips-glow-comparisons-extra-polarizer-on-low-glow-panels/.

              #75107
              sblantipodi

                is there someone who tried the Asus PG32UQXR here?

                @ PCM2, do you think that you will ever review that monitor?

                #75111
                PCM2

                  It’s unlikely as ASUS are very selective about the models they offer for review and that isn’t one of them. It also seems a bit poorly executed, shall we say, based on user feedback given in this thread from forum member Weissrolf – which you also replied to. And earlier in this thread another user echoed some of those findings. I’ve received further feedback via email that the ‘flickering halos’ were too noticeable as well, so that seems to be a widespread complaint.

                  #75121
                  Weissrolf

                    The PG32uqxR has both worse hardware and firmware than the Acer X32 FP. It’s local dimming algorithm is a step more aggressive than the X32’s “Fast” (most aggressive) level. It not being dark biased can be an advantage and personally I would accept more halo over the dark biasing. But on the other hand it aggressively turns off the backlight in zones where very dark grays are still present, so it effectively does more black crush than the X32. And at the same time it increase black levels in areas that are fully black just because dark grays get (not so) close to them.

                    Here is a video demonstrating both:

                    https://imgur.com/ge509eb

                    #75134
                    sblantipodi

                      Hardware should be the same, why do you say that it has worse hardware?

                      I need to be sincere, I had very bad experience with Asus in the last 10 years, if there is a comparable product between Asus and Acer I would choose Acer no doubt.

                      #75139
                      Weissrolf

                        The panel is the same, the rest is not:

                        The Asus emits a *constant* hum around 400 Hz from its permanently running fan, on top of the fan’s air noise. The lack of enough ventilation holes may or may not be the reason for the fan, but there is no NVidia hardware Gsync module present to justify it.

                        When HDR mode is enabled in combination with local dimming it emits high frequency coil whine noises. Both of the fan and the whine can be heard from across the room in a quiet environment. I could blindly tell whether the monitor was turned on and if it was in SDR or HDR mode.

                        The OSD control wheel + 2 buttons are more accessible on the center front, which is an advantage especially when you put two monitors side-by-side. But the wheel control itself is an abomination. Here is what changing the brightness looks like in a video:

                        https://imgur.com/Nlk4mmc

                        The firmware is worse, with one dealbreaker being that you cannot change brightness while local dimming is enabled, neither in SDR nor HDR mode (enabling brightness changes in HDR mode disables local dimming, in SDR the brightness is just blocked when LD is enabled).

                        #75142
                        sblantipodi

                          I love my X32FP if not for the fact that it doesn’t remember the local dimming state between SDR and HDR mode.
                          Accessing the OSD with the back joystick every time you want to switch between SDR and HDR is very unconvenient for me…

                          I don’t like to upgrade the monitor too often but I can’t find a monitor that I like 100%
                          OLEDs are a no go for me for all the issues, current MiniLEDs are the ones I like most but there are big room for improvements

                          #75144
                          Weissrolf

                            The local dimming setting cannot be put on a button as “favorite”. An unfortunate oversight.

                            #75167
                            Weissrolf

                              I bought a DP80 (16k) cable to check whether it makes a difference to my 2070S + DSC + VRR dropouts, but it does not. So back to 120 Hz uncompressed output for me.

                              #75169
                              PCM2

                                πŸ™

                                #75316
                                Weissrolf

                                  So I am running the Acer X32 FP connected to a Nvidia 40 series card now and there still are some DSC compression related issues to be aware of:

                                  – When I first enabled DSC after changing GPUs I had massive image dropouts for at least 2 minutes, even just displaying the desktop and after trying to switch VRR (Freesync) on/off. Then the dropouts stopped and (likely) didn’t return.

                                  – Enabling DSC disabled the monitor’s Multiplate Overlay (MPO) feature, dropping from 4 planes to 1. Some applications (fullscreen browser) and games (Total War: Warhammer 3) switch from “Independent Flip” to “Composed Flip” then, loosing both VSync control (always on) and especially VRR (always max refresh-rate).

                                  – HDMI 2.1 enforced DSC to be enabled with no option to switch it off (grayed out in the OSD). I tried to trick the monitor by switching DSC off via Displayport connection first, but with HDMI 2.1 “On” this makes no difference. And with “Auto” it even leads to a black screen recoverable only via using a DP or HDMI 2.0 connection to get back into the OSD.

                                  I reported the DSC vs. MPO and HDMI 2.1 issues to my local (German) Acer support and their reaction was to ask me to send the monitor in. I refused that and made it abundantly clear that I do not intend to always send in my unit for several weeks just for firmware feedback/bug-reports. In return I was told that my firmware report was (already) forwarded.

                                  #75319
                                  PCM2

                                    Thanks for sharing your experiences with the monitor following the upgrade to a RTX 40 series GPU. I agree with your decision not to send in your monitor, that seems extreme for something(s) they should be able to diagnose with another unit and likely applies to all of them. Maybe it means somebody else will have to do a bit more work on their end, but that’s how it should be!

                                    #75321
                                    Weissrolf

                                      In the end this means that I am still using 120 Hz without DSC compression. For anyone interested how to do that on a NVidia GPU using full RGB 8-bit (10-bit in HDR mode) without being forced to use 422 limited (which the monitor or maybe driver always defaults to for 120 Hz only):

                                      1. Disable DSC via monitor OSD.
                                      2. Set the refresh-rate to 60 Hz.
                                      3. Add a 4K custom resolution via NVcontrol panel’s “Customize” button at 119 or 121 Hz, *not* 120 Hz. *
                                      – Set Timing Standard to “CVT reduced blank” first.
                                      – Switch to Timing Standard “Manual”.
                                      – Change “Total Pixels” to 3960 horizontal and 2180 vertical.
                                      – Press the Test button and have the new custom resolution saved. It must be listed as “32-bit”, not “64-bit”.
                                      4. Switch to the new custom resolution via NVcontrol, it’s at the *top* of the resolution list under “Custom”.
                                      5. Switch back to 60 Hz.
                                      6. Use the “Customize” button and then the Edit button (small pencil icon) to change the custom resolution to 120 Hz. Test and overwrite the old setting.
                                      7. Switch to the edited custom resolution which should read 120 Hz now. At the same time the old 120 Hz refresh-rate under “native” will vanish.
                                      8. Check if “Output Color Format” is “RGB” and not “YCbCr422” and that “Output Dynamic Range is “Full” and not “Limited” (the latter being visible as Cleartype fringing).
                                      9. If this didn’t work, switch back to 60 Hz and edit the custom setting back and forth again (this time adding or subtracting 1 Hz in the other direction 119/121).

                                      Bonus hint: if you ever find yourself with “64-bit” entries that cannot be removed via the delete button then you have to reinstall the NVidia driver using the “Clean installation” option. (the software CRU is not able to remove these)

                                      _______________________________________________________________________________________________
                                      *Edit: If the above steps don’t work then add the following to step 3:

                                      – Drop “Front Porch (pixels)” from 48 to 24 and “Sync Width (pixels)” from 32 to 16.

                                      #75329
                                      sblantipodi

                                        @ Weissrolf, is there any benefit in using a 160Hz display at 120Hz just for removing DSC compression?
                                        As far as I understood DSC does not bring any visibile problems…

                                        #75332
                                        Weissrolf

                                          I didn’t look into DSC artifacts myself, but understand that you usually need special footage to make them visible. My own reason to disable DSC is purely to workaround firmware problems of the monitor, mostly connected to VRR (Freesync, Gsync). So it’s more about being forced to disable DSC and then cramp 120 Hz over DP1.4a, not aiming to do so.

                                          #75364
                                          sblantipodi

                                            Alan Wake II is one of the best HDR game I played on X32FP, that games is pretty jawbreaker on X32FP…
                                            never toughts that X32FP would be able to reproduce such a huge quantity of dark shades with such a great detail…

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