Ultrawide monitor for casual gamer with reasonable price

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Buying a monitor? Please refer to this post before purchasing.

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      at first, I want to thank you for all the phenomenal, incredibly long and detailed reviews. I’m reading through them for last two days but there’s so much info I can not really remember and compare between all rather confusingly named monitors. And because it’s not, at least for me, small investment, I’ve decided to ask for an advice.

      Most of the time I use my PC for development of front-end for web apps (so I need at least somewhat color accurate display) and some casual gaming. I prefer slightly over saturated colors with deep blacks over perfectly accurate colors, so probably VA panel will be best for me?

      What I’m looking for:

      • 34″+ (max 38″)
      • 3440 × 1440
      • 100 Hz +
      • curved ~ 1500 R

      I don’t really care about viewing angels or ergonomics – I’m used to TN monitors with fixed stand and I don’t mind. I prefer subtle “professional” design but it’s not an important aspect at all. I don’t have strict budget, but I do not want to spend a lot of money on specs I’ll not even notice.

      I was looking on possible upgrade to ultrawide for last two years or so and release of AOC CU34G2X 34″ caught my attention. At first, it looked as best choice, when I was comparing it to my previous favorites Samsung C34F791/ C34J791 /BenQ EX3501R / AGON AG352UCG6. Then I stumbled on ridiculously cheap MSI MAG341CQ. What is it that there are so huge differences in price for, on paper, almost same monitors? What justifies two or even tree times higher price of, for example, LG 34GK950F? Does average guy notice any remarkable improvements or are we completely in territory of diminishing returns?

      Some monitors I was looking at with prices where I live:
      MSI Gaming Optix MAG341CQ for 370 €
      AOC CU34G2X 34″ for 550 €
      Samsung C34J791 or BenQ EX3501R for 650 €
      ASUS MX34VQ, AOC AGON AG352UCG6 or Samsung C34H890 all for around 700 €
      LG 34GK950F for 1100 €

      Also I’m in no hurry, so if there is any great new monitor, that should be released later this year, please let me know and I’ll wait.

      What do you think? Should I go with MSI MAG341CQ or it has too many compromises and AOC CU34G2X is worth + 50 % price? Or does it make sense to pay another 100 – 150 € more for a older way more expensive but now discounted monitors?


        Hi MrJ and welcome,

        The LG 34GK950F does lift itself above the VA options in some ways. It’s difficult to say whether “the average” person would notice, because in truth everybody is different and they have their own sensitivities. The pixel responsiveness is significantly better as you don’t have the distinct weaknesses for ‘high contrast’ transitions, which give you that ‘smeary’ trailing on the VA models. The colour consistency (even saturation of shades at different points of the screen) and gamma consistency (lack of ‘black crush’, dark detail levels at different points of the screen) are all superior on the IPS UltraWides like the LG. Although the VA models using the Samsung SVA panels (all 34″ VA models you listed) are quite good as far as the panel type goes and the models using the 35″ AUO VA panel aren’t too bad either. There’s still a distinct difference which to some would be very clear – to others, not so much. And you also have to factor in the stronger contrast with the VA options and a lack of ‘IPS glow’. All of these factors are explored in detail in our reviews, as you’re no doubt aware. They’re also summarised in this post.

        The older 34″ models you listed are not substantially different from the newer ones. Taking the AOC CU34G2X as an example of a model using the newer panel generation, the 144Hz capability and steeper curve is really the key difference there. Personally I enjoy the higher refresh rate and game at frame rates that take advantage of that. But if you’re coming from a 60Hz model, even 100Hz can be a nice boost in “connected feel” and reduced perceived blur. The VA models don’t really make full use of either refresh rate, due to some of the weaknesses in pixel responsiveness. But you can still distinguish between 100Hz and 144Hz at suitable frame rates; I’d advise reading the responsiveness section of the CU34G2X review for a more thorough exploration of that.

        I haven’t used the MSI MAG341CQ myself and don’t have any substantial user feedback to share. But bear in mind it uses the same panel generation as the ASUS MX34VQ. And that there aren’t substantial changes made more recently with the Samsung SVA panels. It certainly stands out given your local pricing, but you’d be sacrificing that 144Hz refresh rate and also have a narrower colour gamut (less vibrant) compared to some of the other options such as the CU34G2X. The 100Hz limitation might not be a big issue for you either, especially if you like to turn up your graphics settings and wouldn’t be exceeding 100fps in your games anyway. The 3440 x 1440 resolution is very rewarding either way and in my opinion works very nicely for immersive gameplay. I also think it would prove a substantial upgrade from your current TN model in many respects.

        Edit: Discussion on additional models such as the Dell S3422DWG, ASUS VG34VQL1B and a little on the Huawei MateView GT 34 can be found deeper into this thread (from page 4 onwards).


          Thank you for your quick response.

          From what I’ve red, I decided to go with a VA panel – higher contrast and significantly cheaper. If I get the second paragraph correctly, any of the older VA monitors does not have superior image quality overall and are more expensive than the AOC CU34G2X (I don’t need Qi wireless charging, Thunderbolt nor USB hub etc.). I’ve watched both your ‘AOC AG352UCG Weaknesses in Pixel Responsiveness‘ and review of AOC CU34G2X videos and I’ve get feeling that the older Agon monitor is actually slightly worse in pixel responsiveness, ghosting/smearing and similar problems yet is still more expensive. Does that match your observations?

          I would just have last two questions for you. Have you got any plans on reviewing MSI MAG341CQ? Have you got any info about newer generation of monitors that would make sense for me to wait for?

          Thank you very much!


            Yes, the original AG352UCG was a bit weaker than the CU34G2X overall in terms of pixel responsiveness. The AG352UCG6 on the other hand is slightly stronger in terms of pixel responsiveness (albeit with more overshoot), but the overall image quality is not quite as good as the CU34. We don’t have any MSI press contacts and have more than enough to look at from other manufacturers who we do review products for, so we won’t be reviewing that or other MSI products for the forseeable future.

            There are no upcoming VA UltraWides I’m aware of within your price range that would be worth getting excited about. There are some more expensive 38″ and 49″ UltraWides with enhanced HDR capability on the way and some new products using existing panels. But bear in mind the current pandemic and the fact Samsung are planning to cease LCD panel production later this year. Unless AU Optronics have some currently unknown UltraWide panel in the works, you shouldn’t expect anything substantially better than the current offerings. And even if they did, you shouldn’t expect anything new for a little while anyway.


              I have reading through various posts on the subject and was hoping for some input or guidance.
              I’m currently trialling an AOC CU34G2 monitor which has really surprised me for the money. The only real issue I have with it is subtle brightness flickering using adaptive sync when fps drop below ~ 50fps. This is a VA panel with a sync range of 48hz – 100Hz and I’m fine with the slight flicker as things pass the 48Hz mark but I get pretty much constant brightness flickering below this. The main issue is I am running X-Plane 11 and in complex scenarios, ~ 30-40 fps is normal.

              Is this going to be an issue with most monitors? Would a G-Sync panel suit me better since I’m running an RTX 2070? I would prefer to stick with a FreeSync monitor if possible to give me more choice for future graphics card upgrades. Should I be looking at an IPS monitor instead? I’m fine with the colours of the VA panel and since my gaming is not usually frenetic, I’m not having an issue with VA smudging but it seems IPS panels are less sensitive to the voltage changes during the lower fps changes which may somewhat alleviate this brightness flickering.

              I’m looking for a 34/35″ 3440×1440 screen with adaptive sync. The AOC cost £400 which is a great price for the monitor and while I’m happy to pay more, I don’t want to get into paying double the price or more for what could be a temporary solution when graphics card upgrades will eventually take me clear of the problem fps range in the future. It would be nice to get the benefits now of course.

              Any help on this would be gratefully received.


                Hi donka,

                I’m afraid this sort of flickering is very common indeed on VA models, for reasons of voltage sensitivity as you indentified. It’s quite strange that it seems to apply over a broader range of refresh rates and usually in a more intense fashion on Nvdia GPUs (using ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’) compared to using AMD FreeSync. With Adaptive-Sync models, at least. With FreeSync you see this sort of behaviour during significant frame rate fluctuations, but not generally at stable low frame rates. The panel used in the AOC CU34G2 is the same used in the Philips 346B1C and we observed this same behaviour. At least you don’t get screen blanking as observed on the CU34G2X. This has possibly been fixed with newer revisions, according to user feedback, although you get that subtle flickering at relatively low refresh rates instead. I’m not aware of an Adaptive-Sync model that is similar in specification and avoids this sort of thing.

                Models with a G-SYNC module offer tighter control of voltage regulation for Nvidia GPUs. That doesn’t completely eliminate flickering, but it’s usually confined to the sort of conditions that would cause flickering for AMD GPUs when using FreeSync on Adaptive-Sync models. Significant fluctuations which occur the most significant voltage changes might set it off, for example. The comparable VA G-SYNC models I’ve used (such as AOC AG352UCG6) also showed some ‘inversion artifact’ type flickering in some instances for certain content, which could occur when frame rates are more stable. A similar thing was observed in slightly different situations for the Acer X35 and ASUS PG35VQ, before this was corrected with new firmware.

                Have you tried runnig the monitor at a static 60Hz? Does the tearing or stuttering bother you more than the subtle flickering? If you enjoy the monitor aside from that, I’d recommend just sticking with it and upgrading your GPU so you can get more consistent higher frame rates.


                  Many thanks for your reply- much appreciated.
                  I have two other sims, one runs high FPS so I have it capped at 96 using nvidia control panel, the other at a stable 30 FPS so I don’t get fluctuations so it seems to avoid any flickering. I have disabled g-sync using nvidia control panel for X-Plane now and just run the monitor at 100hz. I get tearing when panning the camera but otherwise the image is perfectly stable so I think I’ll just run with that until the new Vulkan release comes out of beta which should see higher frame rates or a new gpu upgrade in the future, whichever gets me consistently in the sync range.
                  Thanks again.


                    I thought I’d post in this thread instead of making a new one as my question is quite similar. My brother is after purchasing a new monitor after the 4K 43 inch TV he was using for PC gaming broke. He mainly plays racing games and truck sim so I suggested an ultra wide might be a decent option, but he only has a budget of £400. Is it possible to get a decent ultrawide at that price point or would he really need to extend his budget?

                    Are the AOC CU34G2 and the AOC CU34G2X exactly the same apart from the AOC CU34G2X being 44hz faster? If I understand correctly the CU34G2 is the exact same panel but is locked at 100hz? It seems like the CU34G2 is available for £430 and I’m wondering if it’s going to be a good buy.



                      Good call expanding on this thread instead of creating a new one, I think it’s a good addition to the thread to bring in the AOC CU34G2 as a good budget option. It is indeed the same as the CU34G2X, aside from refresh rate and lack of HDR support. The HDR support is certainly nothing to shout about on the ‘G2X’, but some users still like having it. The CU34G2 uses the same panel seen in the Philips 346B1C, but with the AOC’s styling and featureset and somewhat more effective pixel overdrive implementation. I’ve received a few comments on the YouTube video from people who purchased the 100Hz variant and they found the video very helpful and enjoyed the monitor even with 100Hz limitation. Which in many cases was just fine for the frame rate they were getting or games they were playing anyway.


                        Thank you for the reply. Is there anything else worth considering if the budget is increased to £500? I know from the above post that you don’t have any experience with the MAG341CQ, although it did look interesting, however not knowing anything about how it handles motion and things like that makes it a very difficult purchase


                          Not really, there are some suggestions earlier on in this thread but even most of the ‘cheaper’ options would exceed that budget. Incidentally, the CU34G2X is supposed to retail below that price and did when we reviewed it. But the current pricing and availability is all over the place.


                            Hi everyone!

                            Recently I’m looking for a new monitor as my old one is too small for my needs. Right now I own this one -> AOC I2481FXH, but as I mentioned is too small, so I’m considering going into 21:9 monitor. It’s going to be used as my main and only monitor for work (I’m a web and mobile app developer). Sometimes I will also use it for gaming (RDR, Valorant, Chess), but most of the time it’s going to be work (95% – work, 5% – games). For work, I’m using Macbook Pro 2018 and for gaming PC with Windows (RX580 8GB, 8GB RAM, i3 7100 – it’s not that good, but it’s enough for me 🙂 ). My budget after converting to USD (I’m from Poland) is about 625USD. Can you please recommend something based on my usage and budget? Also, I’ve found some interesting options that I’ll list below. Can you please let me know what do you think about them? Oh and I almost forgot, I’m a little bit worried as my desk is 60cm deep. Do you think it’s going to be optimal for 34″ ultrawide monitor?

                            AOC CU34G2X Curved
                            Iiyama G-Master GB3461WQSU Red Eagle


                              Hi younglion,

                              I’ve merged your thread with this one as it’s a suitable place. I don’t cover or review Iiyama models as they don’t serve our primary user base (North America). That isn’t to say I don’t gather user feedback on their models, but in this case I have none to share. I can however recommend the AOC CU34G2X for your uses, it will work nicely with your GPU and I feel you’ll get plenty of enjoyment out of it. As explained in this thread I think it’s the best bet unless you’re prepared to pay significantly more for one of the alternatives with an LG Nano IPS panel. And given your budget that’s out of the question. For your uses I don’t feel it’s necessary either.

                              As noted in the review, the stand of the CU34G2X is ~25cm deep and the screen centre would be ~19cm from the rearmost point of the stand. That’s actually a relatively shallow stand base for an UltraWide. Assuming your eyes were a little way back from the front edge of your desk (they usually would be, if sitting normally). So you would be quite close but not extremely close to the monitor. Some people sit as close as ~45 – 50cm to monitors like this and that gives them a really nice immersive feel. It’s all down to personal preference. It can take some getting used to, but people will usually adapt to it. What I’d recommend is bringing your current monitor so the screen’s surface is ~19cm away from the far edge of your desk. See how you find it. Although it’s smaller, if you find that fine you should find a larger UltraWide screen fine from such a distance in terms of comfort. It will fill up more of your visual field but you shouldn’t, in theory, find it feels uncomfortably close to your face if you’re happy to have your current monitor at that distance. You might want to lower your brightness a bit if this is much closer than you usually sit from your monitor, at least initially.


                                Thanks for your quick response and thanks for merging my thread (you’re right it’s suitable in here 🙂 )! Oh, I didn’t know that Iiyama is not available in NA. However, I think I will go with the mentioned AOC as I think curved screen is a better fit for 34″ ultrawide than the flat one, and based on your review it seems that this is a great deal at this price. Also, I wanted to ask if you maybe know if there are any upcoming monitors that can compete with the mentioned AOC in this budget? I see that MrJ already asked you about that, but that was in April and I’m curious if anything changed since then.

                                By the way, I wanted to thank you for your reviews! You’re doing a really great job out there! 🙂


                                  I’m not aware of any upcoming model that would be a better fit than the AOC. I agree that the curve is a nice addition to UltraWide models and it would be more appropriate than a flat model as you’re sitting quite close. I also appreciate your kind words about the reviews, it’s nice to have the work appreciated. 🙂


                                    One last question! I just found out that Iiyama is also releasing a curved version of GB3461WQSU. I know that you don’t cover Iiyama models, but I just wanted to ask you as an expert about specifications. It seems that this curved version (G-Master GB3466WQSU-B1 <- they’ve got pretty weird naming there 😀 ) it’s going to be almost the same VA panel as the AOC, but it’s going to have some improvements compared to AOC one. It will have brightness at 400 cd/m², FreeSync Premium Pro, HDR400. Taking into consideration that AOC is 300 cd/m², when it comes to brightness, FreeSync Premium and that it doesn’t have HDR400 is it worth to wait for the Iiyama or it will not make such significant difference?


                                      The Iiyama GB3466WQSU-B1 uses the same CELL (panel minus backlight) as the CU34G2X, hence the maximum luminance being different. VESA DisplayHDR 400 is the lowest standard VESA certifies for. It’s far from a ‘full-fat’ HDR experience and doesn’t mandate local dimming or any enhancement to contrast. So all the Iiyama will really do for you is give you higher brightness under HDR. Still not particularly bright by HDR standards and with no local dimming you’ll get a raised black point and worse depth and atmosphere for dark scenes as well. Hardly seems worth plumping for what’s a completely unknown and unproven product for the sake of slightly higher brightness, which you may not actually want to use anyway. Just because it uses the same CELL as the AOC doesn’t mean the pixel response tuning, input lag or calibration will be as good (it might be, but this is what I meant by unknown and unproven). And it could potentially have other issues.


                                        Thanks again! I’ve ordered today CU34G2X 🙂



                                          Thought it would be a good idea to ask my question in this thread seeing as i’m in about the same situation as above 🙂

                                          I’m currently looking for a new monitor to replace my 27″ 1440p 144 Hz TN monitor, and I have been looking into some Ultra-wide 1440p monitors. Right now i have set my sights on the above mentioned AOC CU34G2X going for around 500-600€, and seeing as it is an affordable and well-performing monitor it is currently my number one pick.

                                          After watching your review on the monitor i got a bit worried about the pixel responsiveness and the smeary trailing that you described in your review, and have been concerned that it would bother me too. Therefore i have also been looking into some used monitors, and can get a used ASUS PG348Q which has been used for about a year for about 400-450€. My only problem with this one is that the monitor is native 60 Hz overclocked to 100 Hz, which I have heard some bad things about, whereas a native 100 Hz option would have been better. I’m also a bit concerned about the fact that it is only 100 Hz as i’m used to gaming at 144 Hz and that the difference would be noticeable, though some people say it isn’t.

                                          Would you recommend going for the IPS panel and sacrificing the 144 Hz for a better pixel responsiveness, or going with the VA panel sacrificing the better pixel responsiveness and trailing for the 144 Hz?


                                            Hi Laurbergsen,

                                            That’s a good question, but not one that has a simple or conclusive answer. Even with its pixel response weaknesses, especially the standout ones for some transitions, the CU34G2X brings you some benefits from its 144Hz refresh rate. You get an increase in ‘connected feel’ and decrease in perceived blur due to eye movement, as described in the review. Provided, that is, you’re actually running >100fps and ideally 144fps or close to take full advantage of that. There are plenty of pixel transitions that provide a decent performance at that refresh rate, but there are certainly those that will stand out as weaknesses – that ‘smeary’ trail as you mentioned. Whether or not that sort of experience is preferable to 100Hz but with stronger pixel responses without such strong pixel response weaknesses is entirely subjective. Of course, if your frame rate is closer to 100Hz or below you’d lose any benefit in ‘connected feel’ or reduced perceived blur to to eye movement from CU34G2X and you’d just have the disadvantages of the pixel response time weaknesses.

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