Posts Tagged ‘4K’

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ review: 4K HDR has arrived, but good grief, HOW MUCH?

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

When I first saw the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ a couple of weeks ago, I thought the future of monitors had finally arrived. After 18 months of waiting, false starts and an increasingly dizzying array of HDR standards, infuriating Windows 10 options and simply not being able to have as good a time as our console box friends with their fancy pants 4K HDR TVs, both the PG27UQ and the Acer Predator X27 (a review of which will be coming soon) promptly blew me away with their 1000cd/m2 bright, 4K IPS screens, 384 dynamic backlight zones, 144Hz refresh rates and Nvidia G-Sync HDR support (or high dynamic range, to you and me).

A month later, that rush of excitement hasn’t faded, and every moment I’ve spent with the PG27UQ has been – for the most part – an absolute delight. That is, when Windows 10’s playing ball and I’ve spent at least fifteen minutes fiddling around with the settings making sure the brightness level’s set correctly, followed by the same amount of time again in-game tweaking luminance levels to ensure the Fat Chocobo Triple-Decker sandwich in Final Fantasy XV isn’t a blown-out mess of white highlights and oversaturated colours. I was almost ready to crown it our best gaming monitor of all time. Then I found out how much it actually costs. Brace yourselves.

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Asus’ new 49in curved 144Hz monitor to take on Samsung’s CHG90

Asus VG49V

If a crate load of new TUF Gaming peripherals wasn’t enough hardware news for one day, Asus have also announced a brand-new 49in curved gaming monitor at this year’s Computex show to take on the likes of the stupidly wide Samsung CHG90. Much like its extra long 32:9 rival, the Asus VG49V comes with a curved 49in display with a 3840×1080 resolution and a super fast 144Hz refresh rate, giving you as much room as two 27in 1920×1080 monitors without any pesky bezels getting in the way.

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Best gaming monitor 2018: Top 1080p, 1440p and 4K HDR displays

Monitor buying guide header

When it comes to upgrading our PCs, we so often forget that one of the most important parts of our system is the big black box sitting right in front of us, which is why we’re here to help you find the best gaming monitor to suit your needs and budget. Let’s face it – buying a new monitor is hard. It’s one thing to look at the specs, but trying to judge whether that screen actually produces a good picture or not is nigh on impossible to do from the comfort of your own home.

Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you, as below you’ll find a list of all our top recommendations across a multitude of different screen sizes and resolutions. Tried and tested at Castle Shotgun itself, the only monitors you’ll find here are the ones we’ve had sat in front of our own eyeballs and measured with our trusty X-Rite Display i1 Pro calibrator. Naturally, this means we’ll be updating this list as and when new gaming monitors come in that we think deserve a place on our coveted hot list. Case in point: BenQ’s new EW277HDR, which sits newly-crowned as our best 27in 1080p monitor.

We’ll also take you through everything you need to know about screen sizes, resolutions, refresh rates, panel types, inputs and adjustable stands. By the time you’re done here, you’ll be fully equipped to find the best gaming monitor for you. Let’s begin!

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Nvidia’s G-Sync HDR monitors are the real deal and will be here in just four weeks time

The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is one of Nvidia's upcoming G-Sync HDR incredi-monitors

HDR, or high dynamic range, has been around for a while, and you’ve probably heard countless barks from your console box friends about how amazing that new Dad of War looks on their giant OLED telly, or how they can never go back to a ‘normal’ screen after experiencing the wondrous glory of Final Fantasy Toast (even we’re a bit guilty of that last one, Alec and I, so please accept our belated apologies for all our Ignis-related food ramblings). PC monitors, on the other hand, have been much slower on the uptake.

Now, however, Nvidia have finally got their butts in gear and are about to release two of their long-awaited G-Sync HDR monitors: the Acer Predator X27 and the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ. I went to see them earlier this week and I’m happy to report that they’re both bloody amazing. HDR on PC is finally here. Read the rest of this entry »

Prepare to be blinded by Philips’ 1000nit 4K FreeSync 2 monitor

Philips FreeSync 2

Who knew late April was the time for oodles of monitor announcements, eh? Well, if yesterday’s news of the FreeSync 2-equipped AOC AGON AG322QC4 didn’t make your eyes pop out of their sockets, then the jumbo Philips 436M6VBPAB almost certainly will thanks to its blinding max brightness of 1000cd/m2.

This giant 43in VA panel is the first of a new line of Momentum monitors from Philips, and is the first in the world to get VESA’s DisplayHDR 1000 certificate rating, essentially giving it lots of the same high-end credentials you’ll find in Ultra HD Premium TVs but in monitor form. This includes that aforementioned 1000cd/m2 brightness, 97.6% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, and a sort-of 10-bit colour depth panel.  Read the rest of this entry »

BenQ EL2870U review: 4K HDR on a budget

BenQ EL2870U

4K monitors have been around for a while now, but 4K monitors that also come with built-in HDR support are still few and far between, making BenQ’s brand-new EL2780U something of a rarity.

At 28in, this 4K HDR screen may not be the biggest Ultra HD monitor money can buy, but at just £329 / $500, it’s arguably one of the cheapest that does HDR. It’s not on sale yet in the UK, sadly, but should you be considering the BenQ EL2870U for games like Final Fantasy XV or Assassin’s Creed Origins over some of the other best monitors I’ve tested so far? Let’s find out.
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8K non-gaming and the importance of pixels

Philips' new 8K wonderscreen

Yes, yes, I know 8K gaming is an utter irrelevance. Frankly, 4K remains a niche gaming resolution. But hang with me. 8K monitors are popping up from major manufacturers and with them the build-it-and-they-will-come logic of gaming at a preposterous resolution of 7,680 by 4,320 pixels. The fact that gaming at 8K isn’t really viable with current hardware is, up to a point, a separate issue. The mere possibility of gaming at a resolution fully four times higher than 4K begs the question of how much resolution matters and indeed how much it matters compared to other factors including refresh rate, response, colour quality, panel size and more. How important, truly, are pixels?

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Are the latest UHD TVs any good for PC gaming?

Occasionally, it falls upon me to make solemn sacrifices in the name of empirical endeavour, the advancement of science and the betterment of mankind. It is very much in this altruistic spirit that I recently embarked upon an exhaustive and forensic investigation into the merits of the latest UHD / 4K / HDR TVs as PC monitors. Yes, I’ve been playing games on TVs. This is what I learned. Read the rest of this entry »

HDR Gaming And The PC: It’s Complicated

There was a time when all you had to worry about with an LCD display was whether you cared enough to pay extra for a monitor with an IPS panel. Well, that and its size. And resolution. And maybe its native colour depth. And brightness. And contrast. And pixel response. And inputs. OK, it was never that simple. But it’s certainly not getting any simpler: the last few years have added further unfathomables including frame syncing, higher refresh rates, new display interconnects and the 4K standard.

Now there’s more for you to worry about in the form of HDR. Or should that be UHD Premium? Or Rec. 2020? Or BT.2100? Maybe SMPTE 2084 or HDR10? Whatever, it’s mainly about colours, lots and lots of lovely colours. This is already a big thing in HDTVs. It’s coming to the PC. But what’s it all about and is there any chance of making sense of what is, currently, a bit of a mess?

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No Man’s Sky Shows Off 4k Shots, PC Settings Revealed

I say “revealed”. What I really mean is “soon visible to any of the 18 quintillion humans who are currently downloading the game.” But I can’t fit that in a headline. Anyway, Nvidia has already posted some screens of what settings can be changed in the space exploration adventure, as well as giving the world some snaps of what it looks like in 4k. Come see, it’s quite pretty.

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Just Cause 3 Trailer Shows High-Res 4K Explosions

Oh aye, you enjoy your pottering around a nuclear wasteland, if that’s what you want. You know what’s cool? The fiery immediate consequences of giant explosions. You know what’s not cool? The grim long-term consequences of giant explosions. So you enjoy your fortnight in Fallout 4, just be ready to cause a billion cool-as-heck explosions yourself on December 1st when Just Cause 3 [official site] launches. A new trailer exists purely to show big explosions in 2160p resolution (or 4K, if you favour that misleading term). “Hey, we have explosions,” it’s here to remind you. “Look at them in high-resolution video. Aren’t explosions nice?”

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To 4K Or Not 4K? The Pros & Cons Of Ultra-HD Gaming

With Laird Towers currently undergoing major renovations, RPS’s hardware coverage has been forced to retreat to the vaults. But that hasn’t stopped me. No, I’ve battled through the dust, the rubble, the builders lumbering about the place at ungodly hours of the morning (I regard consciousness before 9:30am as rather uncivilised) and the relentless tea-making to bring you some reflections on 4K gaming. We’ve covered several interesting alternatives to 4K of late including curved super-wide monitors, high refresh rates, IPS panels and frame synced screens. So does that experience put a new spin on plain old 4K, aka gaming at a resolution of 3,840×2160? Read the rest of this entry »

See Homeworld Remastered At 5K Resolution

They should have sent – hey, no, don’t interrupt me with your obvious, tired pop culture quote. I was going to say they should have sent someone with a triple SLI setup and a 4K monitor. Instead they sent me, with a single graphics card and a 1440p monitor. Even so, I was able to get a preview build of the Homeworld Collection Remastered [official site] running at a preposterous beyond-4K 5120×2880 resolution, via the dynamic super resolution stuff in drivers*. Take a below. It is… well, yeah, maybe I do need that poet after all.

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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.

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Week in Tech: Random Screen Round Up

Never before in the history of mankind have so many PC display options emerged in such a short space of time. At least, that’s the way it feels right now and in the time-honoured journalistic tradition I’m certainly not going to let fact checking get in the way of a mediocre narrative. It’s, er, monitormageddon people! In all seriousness, it’s enough to keep up with all the 120Hz, G-Sync, FreeSync and 4K nonsense. But now the mix of panel sizes, types and resolutions is beginning to spin out of control. I’m rapidly approaching the point where I haven’t a clue what I would personally plump for. Things will settle down in the next 18 months or so as the sweet spot emerges, no doubt. But that’s no help in the here and now. If you’re in the monitor market today, what the devil are you supposed to do?
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Week in Tech: Nvidia’s Gaming Tablet, No More Moore

Nvidia has wheeled out its second effort at the obviously-not-actually-a-PC-but-does-interesting-things-with-PCs Shield gaming device. And this time it’s a tablet. Which is what it should have been in the first place. But doesn’t actually mean it’s automatically good idea. Still, it’s hard to imagine Shield the Second doing much worse than Shield the First, which ended up being given away in boxes of Cheerios (ish) and even then only escaped landfills on account of being handed out by the sackful to shameless media types addicted to freebies. Meanwhile, there’s more confirmation that Moore’s Law is really no, er, more, some interesting screens get priced up, another interesting screen turns out to be an epic dud…it was ever thus.
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Week in Tech: Buy A Decent Screen, That’s An Order

While I slave away gathering all the bits for our upcoming home-build vs factory-built PC comparo extraordinaire, here’s something to think about and even get on with in the meantime. Buy a decent screen. I’ve touched on this before, but some recent shenanigans with 4K monitors and Laird Minor (little brother) being in need of a new screen have reminded me of something. My main PC display is seven years old. My secondary PC display is eight years old. And it’s only now that I’m beginning to even think about upgrading. Imagine trying to game on an eight-year-old CPU or graphics card. Nasty. Meanwhile, the skinny is out on Intel’s new anniversary-themed CPUs and the rumour mill is building up for the next wave of high-end graphics cards.
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Week in Tech: Ultrawide Monitors, DDR 4 & New Intel CPUs

Utterly pointless, but ooh it's purty: Asus's Hoth-spec mobo

Christ, it is Computex again? I can’t keep up. Surprisingly, we’ve never had a round up from what remains the greatest show of PC hardware on earth. But let’s pretend we’re old hands and ponder what another 12 months has bought us barring an incremental uptick in cynicism and one step closer to cold, infinite oblivion? Quicker, cheaper SSDs (yup, that again). Yay! A properly cheap and fully overclockable Intel CPU. Huzzah! The fastest optical mouse sensor ever. Haroo! Super-wide, beyond ultra-HD monitors. Argh! DDR4 memory that will revolutionise gaming (allegedly). Er, zorg?! And even an Hoth-spec tundra-camo motherboard. Mother. Of. God. Oh, and I’ve finally clapped eyes upon one of those cheap TN 4K panels and can confirm that they’re damn good and put an end to the need for anti-aliasing – yes, really. Ride your rodents for the round up.

UPDATE:
Thanks to an AMD Freesync demo, the possibility, albeit still remote, of firmware Freesync updates for existing monitors has emerged…
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Week in Tech: Cheap 4K, Adaptive-Sync, DP1.2a, Screens!

Sammy's £500, 60Hz, 4K monster

4K, 6-bit, 8-bit and 10-bit panels, G-Sync n’ FreeSync n’ Adaptive-Sync, 120Hz-plus refresh, DisplayPort 1.2 and 1.2a, backlight modulation, multi-stream vs single-stream and IPS vs PLS. The PC display market is completely out of control. But in a good way. Things are developing faster now than at any time I can remember since getting into this game. And I am incredibly, astonishingly, implausibly old. The Atari 2600 was still on sale (just) when I achieved something approaching sentience. I still haven’t truly recovered from the 2600’s piss-poor Pac-Man port. Anywho, the last week or so has seen some really interesting developments in the monitor market, including the announcement that AMD’s FreeSync tech is moving into the mainstream courtesy of official VESA status and the appearance of a cheap Samsung 4K monitor with 60Hz support. High time, then, to pull together the state of play in PC monitors into something we can all understand. Well, hopefully. Read the rest of this entry »

Week in Tech: Ask Oculus, Cheap 4K, Other Stuff

Happiness is an ultra-HD, low-latency VR headset

The Oculus Rift. You ask. They tell. Everything you want to know. That’s the plan, anyway. They’re busy chaps, but I’ll dust off my boxed copy of Windows 98 and do my best to beat some answers out of them. In the meantime, there’s been some movement in the 4K display arena. Dell has announced a couple of new 4K PC monitors, including a 24 incher (think of the pixel pitch, oh my science the pixel pitch) and what looks like a bargain priced 4K TN monitor. Oh, and some other stuff including an update on AMD Radeon R9 290s with better cooling in time for Xmas and a solution to one of the last great challenges in modern life, plugging in USB devices. Read the rest of this entry »