Gaming screens are certainly a major focus in the monitor market right now, spurred on by the arrival of new variable refresh rate technologies from NVIDIA (G-sync) and AMD (FreeSync). During the last year we’ve seen fast TN Film gaming screens released with new 27″ 2560 x 1440 panels. The Asus ROG Swift PG278Q and BenQ XL2730Z pop into your head as two excellent gaming screens built for this resolution, and combining it with variable refresh rate support. Together with developments in the TN Film gaming space we’ve also finally seen the release of high refresh rate IPS-type panels, in the kind of models just like the Acer XB270HU and Asus MG279Q – again with G-sync and FreeSync respectively. These have caused some positive changes in the gaming space, finally allowing users to see the benefits associated with IPS technology from a gaming display.
Also in the last year we’ve seen a reliable upsurge in new ultra-wide screens offering 21:9 aspect ratios plus some large screen sizes up to 34″. Normal flat models just like the LG 34UM95 were accompanied by a new variety of curved 34″ screens just like the Dell U3415W for example. The ultra-wide screens have attracted a whole lot of interest from users as an excellent replacement for dual-screen operation, while also supplying a very interesting likelihood for multimedia and gaming because of their format and high 3440 x 1440 resolutions. Curved screens provide some immersion improvements (inside our opinion) and feel a bit more comfortable than flat models given their size and width.
A few manufacturers are actually starting to spend money on 34″ screens which are especially being directed at gamers. The first ever to be released was the Acer Predator XR341CK, a 34″ curved screen built around an IPS panel and supporting AMD FreeSync variable refresh rate technology and a maximum refresh rate boosted to 75Hz. We tested a couple of months ago although it’s still to be released in the united kingdom during writing this. We’ve their G-sync equivalent around for a complete review, to create the Predator X34. Some areas of the design have already been changed, and the refresh rate has even been boosted from the 75Hz offered on the XR341CK, to a reported 100Hz maximum. That is an “overclocked” refresh rate function which we will investigate during this review. The X34 supports NVIDIA G-sync rather than AMD FreeSync, so the retail price is just a little greater than the XR341CK as a result of the excess G-sync module which is made into the monitor. There is sadly no ULMB mode or 3D vision support upon this model, but G-sync V II has allowed Acer to include an HDMI input at least where older G-sync screens were limited by DisplayPort only.
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The Predator X34 offers a restricted selection of connectivity options given the consumption of a G-sync module. However, these have improved because the early G-sync capable screens which only featured an individual DisplayPort interface. This model offers DP 1.2a and yet another HDMI 1.4 input aswell which pays to. The digital interfaces are HDCP certified for encrypted content and the video cables are given in the box for DisplayPort and HDMI, plus a USB cable. Unlike the FreeSync XR341CK model, this X34 will not feature PiP or PbP options as a result of limited video interfaces.
Panel and Backlighting
Just like the XR341CK FreeSync model, the Predator X34 features an LG.Display LM340UW2-SSA1 AH-IPS panel which is with the capacity of making 1.074 billion colours. As we understand it the panel provides an 8-bit colour depth with additional Frame Rate Control (FRC) stage put into support 10-bit content. Take into account whether that is practically useable and whether you’re ever likely to truly use that colour depth. You must have a complete 10-bit end to get rid of workflow to take good thing about it which continues to be quite expensive to accomplish and rare available in the market, certainly for your average user. This consists of relevant applications and graphics cards aswell, so to many persons this 10-bit support could possibly be irrelevant. The part is confirmed when dismantling the screen. Incidentally it is the same panel we saw found in the Dell U3415W display aswell.
The screen coating on the Predator X34 is a light anti-glare (AG) offering, exactly like that featured on the XR341CK model aswell. It is not a semi-glossy coating, nonetheless it is light as seen on other modern IPS type panels. Thankfully it is not a heavily grainy coating like some old IPS panels feature and can be lighter than modern TN Film panel coating, including popular gaming screens. It retains its anti-glare properties in order to avoid too many undesired reflections of a complete glossy coating, but will not produce an too grainy or dirty a graphic that some thicker AG coatings can. There have been some very slight cross-hatching patterns obvious on the coating if you looked very closely, but nothing very obvious.
Backlight Type and Colour Gamut
The screen runs on the White-LED (W-LED) backlight unit which includes become very popular nowadays. This can help reduce power consumption weighed against older CCFL backlight units and results in some environmental benefits aswell. The W-LED unit offers a typical colour gamut which is approximately add up to the sRGB colour space. Anyone attempting to use wider colour spaces would have to consider wide gamut CCFL screens or the newer selection of GB-r-LED type displays currently available. If you want to learn more about colour spaces and gamut then please have a read of our detailed article.