Week In Tech: Decade-Long Monitor Marathon Is Over

You see that dinky little thing on the left? That, ladies and germs, is the once-mighty 30-inch Dell 3007. It’s taken 10 years of faithful patience. But at last it’s happened. I’ve seen the probable replacement for my trusty monitor. It’s none other than Philip’s new BDM4065UC. Poetic it ain’t, but never mind because this is the screen I have been waiting for this past decade. 40 inches, 4K, not TN, at least 60Hz and reasonably affordable (in this case circa £550, estimates vary for US pricing but sub $1,000 and possibly as little as $700 is the latest info).

Is this overkill, just a hulking great HDTV that has no business being a monitor? There is a whiff of truth in that. But there’s also method in my madness. I encourage the sceptical among you to roll with me for just a bit. I believe the new high-end default has arrived.

I’ve known this new 40-inch 4K format has been coming for a while. I had high hopes for reasons we’ll come to. Finally, it’s here. And very quickly I knew this panel is the one (or at least something very much like it) because it makes 30-inch monitors sitting next to it, the ones that hitherto had somehow been the displays that time forgot and had barely dated, look hopelessly quaint and immediately old fashioned. It’s as unnerving as it is unexpected.

The likes of the Dell 3007 and its 30-inch brethren have been my screen honeys for so very long. But now they seem like a grey-scale CRTs in a 50s sci-fi flick. A pastiche of what was once the future. My 3007 seems small and square and mean and dingy.

So, the Philips BDM4065UC. As I inferred, it’s 40 inches, it’s 4K (3,840 by 2,160 pixels in this case, as with most 4K PC monitors), it does 60Hz and its recommended retail price in the UK is £550. And here’s the thing. It’s a real PC monitor, but it’s also really a TV.

By that I mean its LCD panel is really made for TVs. What we have here is a 4K TV with the TV guff taken out and a proper PC interface in DisplayPort added back in to allow for 4K at that 60Hz refresh rate. You can buy a very similar Philips 4K HDTV with mostly the same chassis and stand. But it doesn’t have DisplayPort.

In the past, TV origins were a bad idea because that meant massive pixels. 1080p on a 40-inch panel just isn’t enough pixels not to look very, very ugly. But here, the TV thing means, firstly, that they’re banging out a tonne of these panels and suddenly 40-inch 4K is cheaper than 30-inch 2,560 by 1,600. Hurrah.

Meanwhile, the 4K bit means the pixel pitch on this panel is actually slightly tighter than on a 30-inch monitor. But critically it’s not so tight you have to adjust Windows’ completely broken scaling settings. You can run at 100% and have legible text and icons of sensible proportions.

I’ve included a standard-sized Dave(TM) for scale…but that really is a 30-incher on the left, doesn’t it look pathetic?!

On the latest 28-inch 4K monitors, either everything is stupidly small or you have to bump up the scaling and everything looks crap. As for the question of whether it’s just too big to be a monitor, for me the answer is a simple and unambiguous no. It’s big and it’s just brilliant.

But that’s in Windows, what about games? Here, the argument gets a little patchy. The obvious and immediate problem is that no single card can manage smooth 4K frame rates in each and any game, with everything maxed out.

But there are some saving graces on offer. For starters, 4K over 40 inches means things look pretty good without anti-aliasing enabled. Not perfect. You get some jaggies and creepy-crawlies on edges. But it’s pretty good.

Likewise, running interpolated at 2,560 by 1,600 looks pretty good, too. So you have those two fallback options for boosting frame rates. Even then, make no mistake, you’re going to want a serious graphics card. We’re talking Nvidia 970 or AMD 290 at minimum.

That said if you can play at native 4K, bloody well do. It’s a genuine whole new thing / I’ve just seen the future experience. That amount of detail over such a huge panel area is a sight to behold. The scale is simply vast. Hop over here to get an idea of just how much bigger it is than something like a 23-inch monitor.

In some ways it’s too good. Some of the textures in something like Shadow of Mordor look pretty ghastly and blocky. Few if any games will fully stand up to the full exposure that 4K brings. But that’s early adoption for you.

In the meantime, the highs are very high indeed. It’s also worth remembering that you can pick one of these things up for the long haul. Gaming with a decent GPU will be pretty darn nice right away. In a couple of years, you can hook up the latest graphics and really make the most of it. More than just future proof, it’s actually ahead of its time.

As for the specifics of this Philips monitor, they have me somewhat vexed. It’s a ‘VA’ or vertical alignment rather than IPS or TN, which has its pros and cons.

The black levels are really nice and the colours are decently vibrant. But the viewing angles aren’t great, which is a major flaw on such a large panel. There’s a noticeable drop off in brightness along the bottom inch or two of the panel due to the limitations of the viewing angles.

Completely non-adjustable stand is a potential deal breaker, unless a VESA mount comes to the rescue.

On the subject of input lag, I haven’t done any detailed testing but if there is any, it’s not acute. I couldn’t detect any next to a Dell 3007. Of course, there’s no 120Hz-plus refresh. No G-Sync. No FreeSync. How much longer before an affordable 40-inch 4K monitor with those features turns up? I suspect it’s a long way out, if ever. You simply cannot have it all in one monitor.

Then there’s the stand, which is entirely non-adjustable, betraying its HDTV origins. It does have a 200mm VESA mount at the rear. If I buy one, I’ll be making use of that VESA option.

On the other hand the bezel is super slim and the chassis is compact, which only adds to the up-to-the minute feel, making those 30 inchers look even clunkier.

Of course, one big worry is early adopter syndrome. The very first iteration of any new tech or form factor is usually a bad call. Wait for round two or three for bugs to be ironed out and prices to tumble.

The thing is, that doesn’t always apply to screens. Even today, 30-inch panels aren’t much cheaper than they were at launch. And the earliest 30 inchers aren’t all that far off the latest for overall performance.

Given the TV origins of the panel, maybe that’s not actually a relevant yard stick and we can indeed expect even cheaper 40-inch 4K monitors soon. But I doubt they’ll be dramatically cheaper really soon. And over six, seven, eight or more years, does it really matter if you paid £400 or £550 up front?

All of which amounts to something of a personal pep talk. I’ve been talking the 4K talk. Will I walk the 4K walk? 4K at 28 or even 32 inches isn’t for me. Windows and the web remains fundamentally bitmapped, putting a limit on usable pixel pitches. Those lovely new 34-inch super-wide panels don’t quite do it either, as spectacular as they are in some games.

But having seen this Philips screen, I’m certain 40-inch 4K is in my near future. Whether it’s this particular screen, well, watch this space…

If any of you are seriously considering this display, check out this HardForum thread for early adopter experiences.

Late addendum:
I’ve seen reports of non-square pixels on the Philips BDM4065UC. I cannot confirm or deny but if true, it again likely reflects the HDTV target market of its panel. For we mere gamers, it’s not a major issue. If you moonlight in design, it may be a deal breaker.

85 Comments

  1. ResonanceCascade says:

    Even with my GTX 970, I’m not able to truly max out a lot of games at 1080p and maintain an unwavering 60fps. I seriously do not understand how all these people out there are supposedly running at 4k and getting an acceptable framerate.

    • Big Murray says:

      Dual-GPUs.

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        Even then, you’re improving performance over a single GPU by what, 20 percent? 25 percent? Or am I grossly underestimating the difference that SLI/Crossfire actually makes?

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          You can expect at least 60% nowadays, even up to 90 on crazy resolutions and good scaling games.

          It’s still not always enough though, 1440 meanwhile is likely the new 1080 for big GPUs.

          • Old Rusty Dusty says:

            I have Tri-SLI GTX 680’s. Most AAA games have no problem scaling up to near 3x the speed of a single 680. I just only recently added the 3rd 680 as it was much cheaper than say buying 2 GTX 980s in comparison. Adding the 3rd card netted a 40-50% boost in most games… I game on a 1440p catleap @ 110hz for reference.

            SLI scaling in general is much better than the olden days, even with my cards that are now coming on 2 years old and 3 generations back. The only games that don’t really take advantage of SLI are those with proprietary engines such as some indie games, but most of those you don’t need the extra FPS anyway since we’re talking about simplistic 3d graphics.

    • Chuckleluck says:

      If you can afford a £556 monitor, I imagine you can afford the GPU(s) to light it up.

      • Cinek says:

        Not really. I can afford a new screen, but not two high-end GPUs, yet alone: buying both – GPUs and screen at the same time.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        I see this argument a lot, but i think it’s only true if you don’t really care about which monitor you’re using, which in my opinion is a rather weird as that’s ultimately your final output.

        Also this counts only if we ignore how a monitor can survive in the years even for an “enthusiast” that might change his/her GPU once in every 8-12 months, while not throwing away a good monitor for a long time. It’s an investment, that’s for sure, and as such the logic behind the budgeting is different.

    • bee says:

      Seriously? What are you doing wrong?! I have a GTX 970 running at 4k and my games run fine. Is there a bottleneck elsewhere in your system?

      • MercurialJack says:

        I’ve just bought a brand new rig with a 970 in it, and it runs Far Cry 4 at 1900×1280 with all settings at ultra at a mostly acceptable frame rate, but it still stutters a little at times. I’m not at all sure how you’re managing to run things at 4k without turning all the settings way down. As far as I can tell there’s no bottleneck in the rest of the system.

      • MacPoedel says:

        No, some people just see that AA slider and think that it’s supposed to go all the way to the right (or wherever the maximum MSAA setting is situated). Apparently it’s too much effort to try some AA settings and seeing which influence they have on performance and visuals.

    • MacPoedel says:

      By maxing out a game, do you mean you want to use the heaviest form of AA included in the game? MSAA might look good but it’s so inefficient that it can halve the framerate without a meaningful visual improvement compared to shader based AA (like FXAA). You’re just not supposed to use MSAA x8 with a current gen video card on current gen games.

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        I’m very well versed in the various forms of AA, thanks for the concern (and unwarranted condescension above). Even with FXAA (which I find pretty bad looking), Crysis 3 delivers me about 45fps average on max settings at 1920 x 1200. Playable? Sure. Confidence inspiring for a 4k setup? Hardly.

        A perusal of 4k benchmark stats of 980s in SLI leads me to believe that people who insist their games run just fine in at 60fps/4k with a single 970 either A.) have many bells and whistles turned off B.) aren’t getting nearly the framerate they think they are or C.) are lying.

        (note: these benchmarks do use 4xMSAA)

        link to pcgamer.com

  2. Chuckleluck says:

    Important question: did Jeremy coy and paste the name “BDM4065UC” every time, or does he have it memorized?

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Philips naming policies are being trolled on any single review of each monitor they release, it’s hilarious.

      • MacPoedel says:

        My girlfriend’s uncle works at TPV (~Philips, the monitor/TV department isn’t an actual part of Philips anymore but they can still use the brand name), I’ll see him tomorrow, that reminds me what I can tease him with.

        But to be honest, there are hardly any monitors/TVs out there with a name that makes some sense. At least BDM4065UC has the screen size in the name.

  3. kael13 says:

    Same PPI as my 34″ LG34UM95. I don’t mind so much! Also this monitor is already a bum to drive at native on the newest games.

  4. Ryuuga says:

    I’d like a 40-45″ screen… but not 4k! My computer is nowhere near driving that sorta thing, and anyway, I am rarely, if ever, closer than 2.2 meters from it. I’ve only really seen IPS screens meant for stores in that size, tho, and I’ve been skeptical, thinking they might be darn laggy.

    Dear RPS, is there hope for me, or should I just buy me a suitable 42″ TV instead? Really tho, I never TV, I would use it as a computer screen 100% of the time. I dont even own a TV, I haven’t owned one for 5 years, and didn’t have one hooked up for 5 years before that..

  5. stringerdell says:

    Riotously expensive and completely impractical for most people. Looks nice though

    • Jeremy Laird says:

      I don’t think it’s that expensive taken in the context that it could last you five years or more. £100 a year or less for a fabulous monitor is excellent value if you ask me.

      I spent £800 nearly 10 years ago on the Dell. That was good value as a long term proposition if you ask me. I’ve had immense value out of it.

      • Ashrand says:

        Degrees of value though, i spent less than a hundred on my last 2 monitors (both of which lasted for about 5 years) and were decidedly middle of the road.

        this monster no doubt pays for itself to the discerning eye, but reasonably that just not going to be enough.

        I’m sure in a decade or so though i will be happy to replace with something that redefines middle-of-the-road at 4K but for now this kinda emphasizes just how little headroom there is for screens to improve.

      • Cinek says:

        Problem with 4k screens though is that it’s almost never just a cost if the screen alone that you need to take in account.

        • Jeremy Laird says:

          Like I tried to explain in the post, there’s an argument for taking the long term view. You’re going to need a GPU upgrade at some point, and over time GPUs become capable of driving higher and higher resolutions.

          So that GPU upgrade in two years could find you with something that can drive this thing pretty well. The one two years after that almost certainly will.

          So the idea is to compromise somewhat right now in the knowledge that your future GPUs will drive it natively. It’s a little hard to get your head around as with most PC components, they’re usually at their best when new, they don’t normally ‘bed in’!

          In terms of size and pixel grid, you’re probably not going to get anything dramatically better turning up for years (big OLED screens seem years and years away, too). And I personally doubt that 40-inch 4K with 120Hz will appear any time soon (and even if it does, it will push the GPU problem out even further).

          This kind of screen is definitely not for everyone. But if you’re willing to make a few compromises, it’s a very interesting long-term proposition.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Oh, there are some OLED screens, you “just” have to drop like 5-8 grands for them!

            But yeah, size and resolution would still be an issue.

          • Cinek says:

            So that GPU upgrade in two years could find you with something that can drive this thing pretty well.” – problem is that games don’t sit in place. They evolve and increase the requirements pretty much all the time.

            So with 4k screen I will have to buy high-end GPUs right now, AND on top of that when upgrading in future – I will also be forced to high-end GPUs if I want to play games in ultra details like I do now. It really does not get any cheaper if you are into playing a new titles.

            This kind of screen is definitely not for everyone. But if you’re willing to make a few compromises, it’s a very interesting long-term proposition.” – I got high-res screen at work (not 4k, but close), so I’m very much into them, but for my gaming at home it simply looks like a very expensive investment – mostly because of the GPUs. Screen themselves are not such a big problem as supporting them in a long term.

            Then there’s another argument against 4k screens: With 1080p screen is much more bearable as most of the games are optimized for working in 1080p (cutscenes, interfaces, etc.) and that’s something that will not change in next 10 years or so – at least till current generation of consoles is replaced with something that doesn’t suck so hard.

  6. HothMonster says:

    So as a pleb with two sub 30 inch 1080p 60hz monitors thinking about an upgrade this holiday season I would love some peoples opinion.

    Which is better for gaming and why? 120hz vs 4K

    I keep flip flopping on which I want every time I look to buy a monitor. I need someone to put me in my place.

    • Serpok says:

      120 or 144
      For gaming the fast response TN will be better than IPS/VA.
      A 4k (2160p) IPS makes sense if monitor’s primary use is graphic design work, movies, and non-action games.

    • Jeremy Laird says:

      You need to try before you buy if you possibly can. As much as I love 120Hz+, I love big surface area and big pixel grids more.

      But you may be the other way.

    • mattlambertson says:

      Must have 120hz. Cannot game without 120hz. I accidentally addicted myself by buying one of the original nVidia 3DVision monitors, for the glasses-based 3D, only to realize I absolutely loved the way games looked so smooth and felt so instantly responsive in regular 2D at 120hz. That was 6-7 years ago and I have only PC gamed on 120hz ever since. I would seriously choose a 19 inch 120hz monitor over a 40 inch 60hz monitor even if they were the same price. The slower frame rates and slightly longer response times* of 60hz, even on a fast card, just ruin the immersion for me, because my brain starts wondering why it looks choppy, even if I’m not actively trying to nitpick.

      *if your game is running at less than 60fps and you think it wouldn’t make a difference, that’s not necessarily completely true, because your game has twice as many chances to sync up with the monitor refresh at 120hz so you will have a smoother experience even with same frame rate, or so I understand it.

  7. TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

    I’ll chime in since i used to love AMVA but i really wanted to try something different and, thanks to Amazon’s no hassle return policies, i had the chance to try a truckload of IPS monitors.

    Not that i did it completely out of a poor sense of ethics, mind, it’s just that i really couldn’t stand to keep either one of them.

    First it was a Dell UH27-something, good price but terrible uniformity, backlight bleed, factory calibration and the most dreaded monster in the history of monitors: IPS glow. Nothing stinks for me more than that ( reason why i used to have AMVA even with it’s problems ), so i had to go for a polarizer.

    News are the new Eizo EV2736 incher uses a PLS with huge contrast and some form of polarizing. It was true, the blacks were great and IPS glow was absent along with a proper gamma curve, but it’s a panel lottery with uniformity and backlight bleed yet again. Not worth 700 euro.

    Sent back that too and now there’s the 900 euro HP dreamcolor, impressive display, hardware calibration with 14 bit lut, the polarizer is there so it’s all well and good, uniformity was better but still not ideal, the coating was decent but with a sparkly tendency and the overall presentation felt harsh.

    Out of desperation i went with the 1300 euro route, the Eizo CX271. Extremely great professional display, best colors i have ever witnessed, making an Apple monitor look like a crap toy, hardware calibration with 16 bit LUT, perfect factory calibration ( which never happens outside this price range, no matter how much Dell insists ), uniformity compensation without a flaw, deep black, no glow, no anything.

    Perfect experience without a single flaw, plus it looks amazing with it’s bulky ( 14 kg ) look. i’m a photographer aswell so buyer’s remorse is at bay, but long story short what i learned is that this sort of quality wins over anything else ( at least for me ), when you can expect the entirety of your screen to be uniform, the colors perfect and the grayscale evenly reproduced without even a single crippled shade, everything just has a new life and that awesome 3D look. The wide gamut also helps even for games, in case you have some that look dull in sRGB.

    Tl;Dr that screen looks interesting, but let’s be honest, such level of compromise is probably going to backfire in more than one single scenario. I didn’t use to be so uncompromising about this sort of stuff but few are at first, it all happens when you start ramping things up and notice how it’s impossible to go back.

    But yeah, it all comes down to priorities, pixel count, DPI and size over other matters, i’m just putting there a different perspective. Let’s also add that i can only stand using native resolutions and that 4k is currently a little issue to use, otherwise i’d probably re-evaluate my opinion.

  8. Arbodnangle Scrulp says:

    I will wait until 120hz thanks. In the meantime I have my DK2 :p

  9. El_MUERkO says:

    Mine is with the courier, it’s a replacement for my U3011.

    SUCH EXCITE >.<

  10. Premium User Badge

    steves says:

    “Of course, there’s no 120Hz-plus refresh. No G-Sync. No FreeSync. How much longer before an affordable 40-inch 4K monitor with those features turns up? I suspect it’s a long way out, if ever.”

    I doubt “ever”. Of course if VR takes off it might not happen quite like that, but for now I’m happy with 27″ 2560×1440@144Hz with those features. I am currently having an enormous amount of fun with Bulletstorm and the original Crysis (thanks to the ‘Have you played…’ articles here) at over 120FPS, with zero tearing or stuttering. For me the near perfectly smooth movement is more important than the size, especially for twitchy FPS games. Also, I’d need a bigger desk!

    For work though – oh yes! 40 inches & 4K, with Windows using all the pixels, I totally want that. Although one can’t help thinking 50″ at 5K might be a thing soon…

    And totally off topic, but just noticed that your comment system not only replaces whatever the thing is you get from shift+2 is with proper curly “quote” characters, whilst at the same time getting the correct prime symbol (″) for inches. Hats off for that, and major typography nerd approval!

    • green frog says:

      The part that justifies the “if ever” is the 40″. That’s a TV size, not a monitor size, so if you want that size you’ll need a TV. 28″ and 31.5″ 4K monitors are just going to keep coming, though.

      120Hz at 4K is already possible with DisplayPort 1.3. It’s only a matter of time before monitors and graphics cards implement the spec into actual products. And it’s not at all unlikely that some of those products will support G-Sync or FreeSync, too.

      Now, I don’t know how “affordable” it’s all going to be, but if you want a monitor that “has it all” feature-wise instead of having to pick and choose, all you need to do is wait. Give it a couple years and I bet you can have that dream display. Well, if you’ve got the cash, anyway.

    • Baboonanza says:

      Surely now is not a good time to buy a 40″ 4K screen though. I would at least wait until FreeSync is released as it should see wide adoption and make gaming at 4K a bit more accessible (40-50fps would be more pleasant than currently).

      I can’t help feeling that if I bought this for gaming right now I’d be kicking myself next year.

  11. montorsi says:

    Ehhhh, rather not have to push that many pixels. Would lock me into upgrading my GPUs every year to support new gaming tech instead of buying a couple 980s and forgetting about it for a few years.

  12. Joshua Northey says:

    I get a lot more mileage out of multiple 23″ screens, but then I use my computer for work as much more than for gaming.

    • Timbrelaine says:

      Maybe, but this is the equivalent of four 20″ 1080p screens glued together, and it feels like it. Maybe you have a dozen awesome monitors, but for most people this is quite a bit more screen space than they are used to. It is a huge productivity win.

      That’s pretty much the only reason I’m tempted to buy it, as 40″ 4K prices are taking a dive right now. In a year equivalent monitors will likely be much cheaper.

  13. golem09 says:

    Gotta say, 4K doesn’t really matter to me at all for games.
    Downsampling from higher resolutions to 1080p turns out to be really, really pretty, so I’m not after higher monitor resolutions yet.
    What I’m really waiting for is this:

    30″ minimum (I’ll probably wait for even higher though)
    1080p
    60Hz
    G-Sync

    That’s not my “If I have unlimited money” wish, it’s my reality wish. I won’t hit 60fps all the time, even with my overclocked 970, since I like fancy effects and downsampling. I don’t care for huge sizes or 120Hz, since I won’t even reach 60 reliably, instead I want smoothness at all times. And I don’t want it to cost a fortune.
    The currently new 28″ gsync monitor seems interesting, but the price is too high, and the size too small.

    • Colthor says:

      I used a 32″ 1080p TV as a monitor for a while; it was pretty bad. The PPI was so low that at normal monitor distances the size of the pixels obscured the image. Everything was low-res pixel art.

      When I switched back to a 20″ 1600×1200 panel it was like night and day. Suddenly I could tell characters apart in DOTA 2! 27″ 2560×1440 is even better.

  14. rexx.sabotage says:

    that monster makes a standard-sized Dave™ look like a miniature-sized Doug™ !

  15. caff says:

    Hi Jeremy, I’ve been watching this monitor too. Do you have one of these yet or are you waiting for more reviews like me?

    I am put off the new 21:9 superwides because I use my PC for a lot if video content and lots of the providers only do 16:9.

    I’d like 4K UHD at this size (i.e. good PPI) but I hope it can upscale 1080p TV well. For me that’s important.

    • Jeremy Laird says:

      I’ve spent time with one, I’ve not got one yet.

      The panel isn’t perfect, but I could live with it. The main stumbling block is the craptastic stand. I’d require a VESA mount of some kind, adding to the cost.

      • El_MUERkO says:

        I’ve been looking at mounts too, still totally worth it for 550 quid, compared to some of the 27-32″ monitors it’s insane value.

  16. GC says:

    Probably bad with the current web design trend : e.g. this website does not even use one half of my FullHD screen’s width, so with a 4K screen it would be as if the Internet is living in the margin of the page…

    • Premium User Badge

      steves says:

      Then have two or three internets, side by side!

      Or maybe turn the thing 90° and have a very tall internet, if you hate scrolling or something. Seriously though, portrait orientation is awesome for working on long documents/code/images, etc.

    • alexheretic says:

      Just ask the site to use the space ;) link to userstyles.org

      • Jeremy Laird says:

        This only works up to a point. Bitmapped images of a given size are bitmapped images of a given size. Page formatting doesn’t help with that unless the site it coded with that in mind and there are images to suit. Most sites aren’t like that.

    • Caerphoto says:

      You mean the current trend of having paragraphs actually be a sensible width, and not ‘whatever size the window is’?

      Also, you know you don’t have to have the browser window maximised, right? On my 27″ work monitor, having the browser take up exactly half the screen (1280 pixels horizontally) works perfectly well, and leaves the other half for other stuff (in my case a text editor, since I’m a software developer).

      Even on my 24″ home monitor, I don’t have the browser window maximised – it takes up 2/3 of the screen horizontally, with the rest of the space used for Twitter, Spotify, IMs, or whatever else.

  17. povu says:

    With technologies like Freesync and Gsync and all that cool stuff right around the corner this seems like a bad time to purchase a ‘future proof’ monitor. Might as well wait a bit.

  18. digby5000 says:

    I bit off topic from that glorious monitor/tv/whatever it is…

    I recently tried a 40″ Samsung 1080p 60hz TV with a low input lag as a monitor and it made me sick. Literally. Within 5 min It gave me a horrible headache and nausea to the point that I couldn’t look at it anymore. Does anyone know what causes that? Is it the strobing of the backlit LED? My cheap 29″ hanspree monitor gives me no issues like that!

    Will these new 4k TV/monitor hybrids have similar problems for people?

  19. Jahooba says:

    I love the size, but after going 144hz there is absolutely no going back for me. I’d maybe go back to 120hz, but that’s it.

  20. essentialatom says:

    All I want for Christmas is G-sync.

  21. vahnn says:

    I have the same monitor I got when I first bought this PC. From Best Buy. And “this PC” is a little misleading. I started with a $500 PC bought from 10 years go, and it came with this beautiful 24″ 16:10 monitor. I have upgraded and replaced every component on this beast. In fact the only last original component was the 540gb HDD which I just replaced 2 months ago (not because it was faulty, I just wanted more space.)

    I couldn’t tell you the brand or model number of this monitor if my life depended on it. I’ve never even actually looked. But this beast displays a perfectly crisp 1920×1200 resolution absolutely perfectly. There are no bad pixels, no faded areas or anything of the sort. This thing still performs beautifully. I just bought a 28″ monitor which should arrive any day now, but I’m still holding onto this beast unit for dual-monitor set up.

  22. LittleJP says:

    Buuut, can I use three of them a la eyefinity/nvidia surround?

  23. noodlecake says:

    What’s “not TN”?

    None of my monitors have ever been Ted Nuggent and I’m very glad of that fact!

  24. Radiant says:

    But how is this gaming related?

    Pushing any game to 4k and have it run acceptably is nearly impossible even if you are willing to spend £2k+.
    Granted what’s “acceptable” is subjective but there’s maybe 1-2 games that have 4k textures.

    And you still do not talk with any kind of testing about how badly this monitor suffers from display lag.
    Which is incredibly more important to me as a game player then “oooh new expensive thing”.

    I can’t believe you are recommending we buy this when all the key points for it are not related to us as video games players.

    • Asurmen says:

      Because these articles never have necessarily been about gaming and only gaming. But as it happens he does briefly cover lag and it’s relevant to gaming because 4K is the future and this is bloody cheap for that making it reachable for the ordinary person. It says it’s a replacement for him, and not as a recommendation for everyone.

    • Jeremy Laird says:

      Actually I did mention lag. It doesn’t suffer from significant lag. I can say this because I have used the monitor and experienced the absence of significant lag. I’m quite sensitive to lag.

      That said, you say it suffers badly from lag. I take it you’ve bought one or tried one out? Obviously you wouldn’t have a crack at me based on something third hand you read on the internet…

      • zdeno84 says:

        While we are on the topic of input lag, at what ms does it get noticeable in your experience?
        Really thinking about buying a 4K TV (need sizes around 49-55′), but only Sony gets somewhere around 30ms. LG is usually 60ms and I am unsure if that is noticeable or not. Feels like it could be.

        My 42′ plasma I use for gaming the last 3 years doesn’t have any lag I noticed, but then plasmas were always better on that field than comparable LCD.

        • Jeremy Laird says:

          So, I did quite a bit of testing input lag a while back. The slight confusing factor is that I didn’t test vs a CRT, so my numbers were the lag on top of whatever lag the test LCD screen had.

          That said, I would say 30ms of absolute lag you’ll probably be OK with. 20ms and below is definitely fine. 60ms is a worrisome number.

          • Radiant says:

            Hey jeremy.

            I haven’t got one no. When I said “how badly” I meant how badly if it all.

            To test that don’t use a crt they lag too. Use one of these:
            link to leobodnar.com

            My main gripe with these articles is that a lot of the information has no relation to gaming.

            4k on a gaming rig is pointless until games are made for that resolution and textures are created for that resolution.
            Otherwise all your talking about are upscaled textures or non native resolutions which look no better or worse than a standard xbox or playstation.

            All a super high res monitor will do is show you how poor your source image is and you’ve spent thousands of pounds on gfx hardware to do it.

            My opinion on 4k aside.
            The key points for buying a gaming monitor are the display lag and how well it shows the image for current gaming resolutions [which aren’t going to change anytime soon based on the specs of current gen console hardware and the economics of going above that].

            Display lag is crucial for gaming.
            A 60+ms delay turns a 3 frame jab interrupt into a 5 frame shitshow and has you firing at ghosts in a shooter or turning a crisp platformer or racer into a spongy mess.

            It /is/ a nice monitor but this is still a gaming website! [wasn’t taking a crack just having a moan]

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            You also might have turned slightly unsensitive to input lag as that Dell you have is one of the worst offender in the PC monitors space, both the old and the new model, although the new one has a “game mode” that almost cuts it into non-existence, but i’m not sure i want to know how it manages.

            There surely is a current trend with the newest and fanciest 4k panels to increase input lag, i wouldn’t be too much surprised if this one falls into the same trap, possibly a matter of the needed electronics still being a little unpolished and more complicated than needed.

            Then there’s the matter of how input lag is measured, TFT central and other websites started adding pixel response times with it as sort of weighted sum, so we obviously get larger numbers and in that case 20-30 ms is indeed not that bad, but this wasn’t the case previously when only the lag was tested with the CRT trick, in which case even 20 ms would be considered quite high.

            The reason these two different methods are so different in numbers instead of just a couple more milliseconds is because properly measured pixel response time is sadly not even close to what the manufacturers claim. They get away with it because they still tell part of the truth, the best figure they get in the best scenario. Sometimes not even that, they just use the “expected” number for any given panel type.

          • Jeremy Laird says:

            The 3007 isn’t even nearly one of the worst offenders re input lag and does not suffer from significant lag. There is no ‘new’ one. There’s a 3007 and a 3007HC. Both are very old and EOL’ed years ago. I have both. Neither lag.

            If you want to see bad input lag, check out the video I made that’s on the RPS Youtube channel (made years ago, actually years before it was even uploaded to Youtube) using a 3007 and a Samsung PVA.

            The lag on the Samsung is brutal. The rest Timbrelaine has kindly addressed already. I’m not sure where you get your info from, but it’s patchy at best. Being bold and opinionated is fine. But you need to have your facts water tight to avoid looking a bit silly if you’re going to go on the attack.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            My mistake, all these model numbers are killing me and i mistaken it for the wide gamut version.

            Then again, i don’t know how you could say i went for the attack anyway. Aside from my mistake, if there’s a “problem” ( there is none, but let’s assume there is ) and you get used to it, your standards change and you become less sensible to it, especially if use the very same thing for so many years.

            Not sure if i’m the bold one ( i probably am, i’ll admit ) or if someone else is overly defensive there.

    • Timbrelaine says:

      He addressed just about all of your points in the article. But to recap:

      1. Monitors last a long time, and in a few years driving 4k won’t require mortgaging your house.
      2. It looks pretty good in 1440p as a fallback.
      3. Input lag is, subjectively, low. Since it is new, nobody has test results yet.
      4. He didn’t recommend we buy it, and didn’t even commit to buying it himself, and in fact pointed us to an early-adopter forum so that we don’t get burned if it has major as-yet undiscovered flaws.

      The monitor clearly isn’t for you, but for a lot of us, the amazingness of 4k outweighs the many flaws you pointed out, particularly for gaming.

  25. Geebs says:

    Re: display scaling in Windows: on a positive note, the scaling in 8.1 plays rather nicely with my shiny new rMBP (apart from Origin, which is more Vanishing Point on this display); on a negative note the UI in Windows 8.1 is terrible and all of the Win8 apologists were lying out of their butts about it being as usable as 7.

  26. Continuity says:

    I’m on a 24″ screen currently and frankly I’m worried 30″ might be to big. 40″ is just absurd.

    I expect my next screen, when I build a new PC in the next 24 months, will be 30″ gsync, maybe 4k depending on how pricey a decent graphics card to drive it would be. Frankly I don’t think graphics card are really at the place they need to be for 4k screens.

  27. Olero says:

    I’m curious about the size vs. a regular desk. I have a 27″ monitor at home and a desk that’s 120 cm deep. And a lot of the time I struggle to be able to get the full view of everything on the monitor, and this makes me sometimes even regret having a 27″, and not a 24″ (sounds silly, eh?). Wouldn’t a whopping 40″ be completely messing up the view distance with a standard 100/120 cm deep desk? Or am I just an old-timer that is unable to keep up with the new tech? (aka “my body is not ready” ;). 40″ seems like sitting right in front of your television in comparison, which is something the old folks always warned against :-P

    • AshRolls says:

      I also worry about the mechanics of a 40″ screen used as a monitor…. surely that’s too large to sit directly in front of? If you are gaming and your health/ammo is in the bottom right / minimap in top left, you would have to physically move your head around to read the UI?

      On that note I remember going to the largest IMAX cinema in the southern hemisphere located in a shopping centre in KL, Malaysia. It was disconcerting for the same reason as you actually had to move your head around to take in the different parts of the screen. I always watched ‘Clash of the Titans’, which was shit.

    • Continuity says:

      120cm deep? that’s huge, I think you’ll find that’s far from standard. My desk is 100cm across, never mind deep.

  28. Love Albatross says:

    Looks nice ‘n’ all but that crap stand is a real letdown. Seems a bit rash to jump in on something like that when there’ll probably be more options next year with better stands and other features, and perhaps at a lower price.

    Far more excited by the forthcoming 34-inch, 21:9 AOC U3477PQU. Superwide is beautiful for games (that support it) and 34-inches gives more horizontal space so you don’t feel like you’re staring at the display through a letterbox.

    Speaking of which, LG were among the first to come out with a 34-inch 21:9 and like this Philips it had an awful stand. But the AOC has a far better stand and is half the price.

  29. Dave says:

    Looks nice. Might be tempted to go for something like this if I continue working at home a bit. Prices seem a bit higher than RRP at the moment though – cheapest I’ve seen so far is £615 and Amazon are even more.

  30. VODO says:

    What sort of graphics card do you need just to drive Windows and non-fps critical things like strategy games? I’d image the size of maps you can see on one of these things is pretty immense…

  31. golem09 says:

    Now that I’ve finally for the first time read up on TN and IPS, I’m wondering about one thing:

    What panels do LCD HDTVs use?

  32. Moraven says:

    That large of a screen is a bit much for me.

    Asus did announce the PB279Q. 27-inch. 4K. 3840 x 2160, 163 ppi, IPS, 5ms gtg response time, 60 Hz. 100% sRGB 10-bit color. $799.

    Of course, I would need the power to drive that resolution, but something to keep in my sights when I upgrade in 1-2 years.

  33. mactier says:

    My 23″ Eizo FS2333 still looks gigantic on my desk. But I’m not a potential buyer anyway.

    Frankly that image doesn’t look like 40 inch to me at all. I imagine 40″ would be almost twice as on this picture. Actually the impression is not dissimilar to my 23″, except for width (but mine stands slightly higher). But that aside, I couldn’t actually imagine using a 40″ monitor comfortably or usefully – that is, unless it is used at a distance like a TV. It certainly must have a particular function like work which requires a lot of windows or super-hadrcore gaming (as a lifestyle rather than a thing one does in free time).

  34. Piffle says:

    Well this is blooming interesting!

    Sounds like it would be OK for games, but can anyone tell me what it’s like for colour accuracy? I would be interested in it for photo and video editing work, the working space, especially working with video and all the required tools would be fantastic, not so good if the colour is way off though!

    Also I note the late addendum of “non-square” pixels, does anyone know what that means in real world terms?

  35. Toupee says:

    I’m very interested in this. Thanks for writing it, Jeremy. I’ve decided to buy a 40″ panel for PC use, and I was really, really close to buying a 1080p just because the technology is proven and I know my PC works well with it and all that.

    But then I do get to use a Macbook with a retina screen for work, and I do a lot of design work. Those extra pixels REALLY make a difference when it comes to designing print materials.

    Then I saw a 4k panel by Seiki on Amazon for $339. Too good to be true? Maybe — it IS only 30hz in 4k mode, but I know my GPU won’t be able to push 4k resolutions anyway, and it’s supposed to do 120hz in 1080p. And that’s fine for now. I think. I’m actually more comforted by this article in hearing that Windows can work fairly well at 4k res.

  36. Toupee says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention I did purchase the Seiki, so I’ll update this if anyone is interested in my impressions when I get it!