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Thread: Ultrawide Monitor?

  1. #1
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die

    Ultrawide Monitor?

    I've never used an Ultrawide screen. At work I have 2x22" widescreens, and at home I have 1x27" widescreen.

    I used to have 2x27" screens but one went on the blink.

    I'm not sure I need 27" monitors but I do like having a lot of screen space so I can have multiple documents/windows open at the same time (e.g. email, a browser, a pdf, word). I could probably cope with slightly smaller height than the 27" provides.

    So what does the panel (ho ho) think/recommend?

    One Ultrawide or 2 Widescreen monitors? And which ones?

    I don't play FPSs much anymore, though I'm planning on Dishonored 2 at some point.

  2. #2
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Really? No one has one?

  3. #3
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I saw one once. Looked pretty cool.

    Though RPS has been reviewing ultrawide monitors for a couple days now, framed around how well they hold up while playing FFXII, weirdly enough. You can read about them here.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Some people have started getting ultrawide monitors where I work. I think they are awesome. Having a single screen with a 21:9 aspect ratio is much nicer to work with than two separate 16:9 monitors side by side. The aspect ratio is more useful, and working with a single screen is easier. I want one.

    However... I don't think they're probably the best choice for gaming, especially if you like to engage in some legacy gaming like I do.

    A big 4K monitor is another option to consider. 4K monitors render sharper text, can play 4K video (obviously), and are better for viewing high resolution photos. The 16:9 aspect ratio is better for game compatibility. But the extra width of the 21:9 ultrawides makes it easier to work with more windows side by side. My advice is if your primary use for the monitor is web browsing and productivity, get an ultrawide. If you play a lot of games, watch a lot of video, or do a lot of photo work, get a 4K monitor.

  5. #5
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    I dunno about "productivity usage" but pretty much every AAA game release on PC within the last couple years has ultra-wide support. The exceptions are usually games from Japanese developers because of course they are.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    I rarely play new AAA games anymore, maybe one a year. When I can carve out time to play a game, it's usually an old favorite or an indie.

    One nice thing about 4K vs. ultra-wide is you can play games at 1920x1080 on a 4K display and they look as sharp as they do on a native FHD display (or very nearly so). That's nice if you have a midrange card that can't give you smooth frame rates at 2560x1440 or 3440x1440 on some games, or if you're playing older games that can't support those higher resolutions. It's also better for displaying 1080p video.

    Another thing I like about 4K for gaming is that if you do have a high end card and can run games at 4K, the pixel density is high enough that you can turn off anti-aliasing, and then things look really sharp. And one more argument for it is 4K gaming consoles.

    You'd have to trade that off against the benefits of a wider FOV.

  7. #7
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Will I'll keep my 16:9 27" that I run at 1080p so that's no issue.

    Any ideas on a good model to match it? Ideally I'd like them to be the same height.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    The screen of a 34" 21:9 ultrawide is only a few mm taller than a 27" 16:9. They're likely the same vertical resolution (1440p) and thus have about the same pixel pitch as well.

    If you're not going to use if for gaming, my pick would be the Dell U3415W or U3417W because of their color accuracy. The main difference between the two is the curvature. The U3415W is relatively flat while the U3417W is more curved. I think they are both 60 Hz monitors though, so if you have an interest in high refresh rates you'd have to look for a more gaming oriented model.
    Last edited by heywood; 12th Feb 2018 at 11:22.

  9. #9
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    I'll use it for gaming too so those aren't for me I guess.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    If you want to stay in the mainstream price range, my next choice would be the LG 34UC88-B. It does 75 Hz and supports FreeSync, and LG's higher end monitors are usually pretty good with image quality

    Another one I checked out in person was the Samsung C34F791. I wanted to like this one because it uses a VA panel, so it has deeper blacks and less backlight bleed. It's supports 100 Hz and FreeSync. The colors are blown out in its standard PC mode or game mode. It was better when I switched it to "Basic Color" (sRGB), but it still has a noticeably cool color temperature. I spent about 10 minutes faffing around with custom color temp and gamma settings, but couldn't seem to get accurate color out of it. I have the same problem with a Samsung TV in my bedroom, and it's a deal-killer for me since I do some photo editing and my current monitor is a very accurate Eizo prosumer model.

    If you have a high end NVidia card and want G-Sync, you'll have to spend a few hundred more. There are options from Asus, Acer, AOC, and Alienware with 100+ Hz refresh rates and G-Sync. I haven't really looked at any of them. To me, FreeSync/G-Sync and high refresh rates aren't worth the extra cost (monitor + higher end card). 60 Hz is smooth enough for the games I play.

  11. #11
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    I don't mind spending a few hundred more for a good monitor that will last me.

    I've an 8Gb GTX 1070 with G-sync. I'm looking at the AOC Agon AG352UCG right now because I fancy a curve to it. I've never heard of AOC before though. Are they new?

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2007
    I've had this one for over a year now.
    http://us.aoc.com/product_feature.php?id=25

    It'll have to be a really good deal for me to ever go back to standard widescreen format. Ultrawide is far more enjoyable for me. AOC is a good brand. Haven't confirmed it, but I think I read that they use panels from more expensive companies and slash the prices. So the guts are just as good as monitors twice the price.

    I currently have 277 games in my library and haven't had any issue getting them to run in 3440x1440. Worst case scenario, I manually change an ini file for it to work. Most games are natively supporting this format now.

    The productivity angle is good too. I Photoshop often so it's nice to split screen with YouTube on one side while I work on the other.

    No comparison if you watch movies/tv on your desktop. Ultrawide gives it a more immersive feeling.

    Your 1070 should be enough to run games at a 3440 resolution, but if you're going for 2560x1080 then it will be more than enough. Keep in mind I had to use 2 1070's (now have a single 1080ti) to run my games at max with a steady 60 fps at 3440.

    IDK if the monitor I listed is still for sale, but I will give a quick PRO /CON list.

    Pros
    Ultrawide (duh)
    IPS panel
    Slim bezel
    Not curved (cause photoshop)
    60 hz
    Paid $500
    Supports display port

    Cons
    No gsync/freesync support
    Does not support hdmi 2.0 (have to use dp to get 60 fps)
    Screen occasionally vertically desyncs (left and right side go out of sync, fixed by cycling power)
    AOC expects you to pay for shipping if it's defective (drawback to paying less up front)

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    AOC is a Taiwanese company who's been making TVs and monitors for a long time. Some history here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AOC_International

    My local Microcenter store had the AG352UCG on the floor for display. I took a look at it yesterday. Some quick impressions:
    + Good build quality
    + 1800R curve
    + Good black levels (typical of a VA panel)
    + Picture doesn't lose too much dynamic range as you turn the brightness down from torch mode
    + Color temp and gamma seem to be about right*
    - The styling has more gamer bling than I prefer
    - Colors are a little oversaturated for photo work

    * I did change the color temp to User per this review

    One knock against VA panels is that the picture varies more with viewing angle than with an IPS panel. I noticed this with the Samsung C34F791, which was noticeably brighter on-axis vs. off-axis. It wouldn't be an issue if you're viewing it from the sweet spot, but if you're viewing it from a distance in a dark room while watching a movie or something, it might be a downside. I looked for this with the AOC and didn't really notice it was any worse than the 34" IPS models they also had on display in the store.

    Based on Tom's review and some brief impressions in the store, the AOC is probably the one I would buy in that class, so I would say go for it.

    Keep in mind that with a GTX 1070, you might not benefit from G-sync too much in the latest games when running at that resolution. You might be looking for a new card next. I know I probably will. I have a GTX 1060 which was playable for me at 1920x1200 on High settings in every game I tried, though not butter smooth in some of them. But higher resolutions really drag down my frame rates. For example, Mankind Divided is unplayable at 3440x1440 and 3840x1600.

    EDIT: By the way, when I was at the store, I ended up purchasing an LG 38UC99-W. It was a bit more than I wanted to spend, but it was marked down a couple hundred $ so it wasn't that much of a stretch. I ended up choosing the larger size just because I'm getting old and my near vision isn't as sharp as it used to be.
    Last edited by heywood; 20th Feb 2018 at 07:28.

  14. #14
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    The 1070 supports G-sync so it should be okay. I don't do FPSs so for things like Company of Heroes 2 it should be fine.

    I'm really after a curved screen so I'll check out the AOC (Age Of Conan? lol) ones. Thanks for the info guys.

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