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Monitor Recommendations

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I had a power outtage this week that fried my 3-year old LG UM95... 34" monitor.  Not sure why, as it was protected by a very good surge suppressor.  Anyway, I'm looking to replace it with a similar size for under $1,000 USD.  The newer models from LG have horrendous reviews and still function at a 60Hz refresh rate.  I've been looking into a Samsung of the same size with a 75Hz refresh which is much cheaper than the comparable LG; however, not much is said about accurate color reproduction.  I definitely do not want a curved monitor which seems to be the trend right now.  Has anyone got any advice based on recent research/purchases?  Thanks, Kevin

There is not a single professional or prosumer Monitor with more than 60Hz except one upcoming unit from ASUS (the 32" FALD IPS with 1120 zones and 4000 Euro pricetag). Every single other one has 60 Hz.

Is you find Samsung that's comparatively cheap, it will probably use VA panel, which is easier to driver faster (although with smeared blacks), has much better contrast, generally poor viewing angles (the angles are very good for VA TVs...but the PC panels are of inferior quality) and because this are always marketed towards gaming or general media consumption, they never come with good factory calibration even if they have good gamut coverage. Since they won't have hardware calibration either, it's best to avoid them for color-critical work.

Regarding the reviews... that depends. Some of their top models have very good reviews on sites like RtRatings and TFTCentral. If you look at Amazon reviews, that's just disgruntled people who ended up with faulty unit, no one's QC is perfect.
With that said... people don't tolerate well the quirks of expensive monitors. 1000 Euro IPS monitor is still IPS monitor, it will have backlight bleed and poor blacks, that's just the reality of technology. Even the 6000 Euro Apple XDR has static contrast of 1000:1 (when not accounting for dynamic contrast with FALD which isn't used outside of HDR content) and backlight bleed. And 60Hz ;- ).

If you want more than 60Hz, you have to make peace you are not buying monitor suited for color-critical work. That's how market segmentation ended up. It's either 4k/60Hz/Good calibration or <3k/144-240Hz/Random calibration. Nothing in-between sadly (except that one ultra expensive Asus which isn't on market yet).

Juraj could you name your top three monitor choices for color critical work, as of this writing?


--- Quote from: cjwidd on 2020-08-29, 11:25:32 ---Juraj could you name your top three monitor choices for color critical work, as of this writing?

--- End quote ---
I second this. Been looking at the LG ultrafine 4k made for macs. Really dig the design and picture quality


--- Quote from: lassefriis on 2020-09-02, 12:48:32 ---
--- Quote from: cjwidd on 2020-08-29, 11:25:32 ---Juraj could you name your top three monitor choices for color critical work, as of this writing?

--- End quote ---
I second this. Been looking at the LG ultrafine 4k made for macs. Really dig the design and picture quality

--- End quote ---

Ultrafine 4K for Mac is only two models though, old 21.5", and newer 24". Both are really small for any CGI work.

If you mean Ultrafine 5K for Mac, in 27", that is excellent monitor with few caveats:

- You need nVidia 2xxx or upcoming 3xxx card because to get 5K, you need DSC compression via DisplayPort and then USB-C to DP cable to connect it (it natively uses Thunderbolt which won't work for PC GPU connection).
- Hack-install bootcamp drivers to be even able to select brightness and color-space. It's 500 NITs, 99perc. DCI-P3 panel, so without native control in Windows...that's trouble. This workaround might not work forever, but it does right now.

And finally to my personal recommendations: Any price level? Since I recently bought RazerBlade laptop with 144HZ refresh rate... I've become addicted to refresh rate. Not for gaming, for work! It's fucking brutal, it's amazing beyond measure. Everything is so smooth. Scrolling websites, rotating 3D models. Just moving your cursor around the screen. It's glorious. So with that said, my ideal monitor is:

- 4K+ Absolute must. At least 130 PPI (in 32", it's ok, not great, not terrible), ideally 160+ PPI (which alligns with 27", very crips, nice). We can only dream on Apple's 220PPI...oh well.
- 120/144HZ Right now, the only 4K/120-144HZ monitors on market are in 27" size and most of them will come in Q4 towards the end of year. EVE Spectrum will be one of them using the LG panel. Other right now on market look bit too gamery...
- 99+ perc. of DCI-P3. Corona is not color-managed right now, but won't be without forever. All the content consumption will be moving away from purely sRGB we are right now. Like 90perc. of mobiles support wide-gamut colors and that's where people watch content.
- IPS and IPS-like (Samsung LPS, Sharp's IGZO, AU-Optronics AHVA-IPS,..). I already described why VA panels in monitors (to not be confused with high-end TV VA panels) don't quality for any color-critical work...or any work at all.

I am not writting unrealistic things like OLED screen or 1000-zone FALD IPS because we simply aren't getting that (or not any soon (1-2 years) or cheap (will be 4k+ Euro).

So right now I don't like any monitor on market anymore. 4K/60HZ just doesn't make me happy anymore :- ). I would buy the Eve Spectrum in 27"/4k/144HZ. You will need Turing (DisplayPort compression DSC) or Ampere (both DSC and HDMI 2.1) GPU to drive such monitor though, Display port 1.4b alone without DSC or HDMI 2.0 don't feature enough bandwidth.

Now 32"/4k/120-144HZ...most of those will come in Q1 2021. Seems like LG had trouble with such panel, and Innolux likewise, don't know of anyone else who was planning such panels.

If you need something really good right now in 32" size, 4K res and 60HZ, I still stand by BenQ models. 3220U for newer look, wider gamut,etc.. older 3200U for budget conscious. Or one of the top LG ones ( LG 32UL950-W or older 32UD99-W ) in ultra-fine category (not to be confused with ultra-fine for Mac, which are different).


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