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Opinions on monitors

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Lesthegringo, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. Lesthegringo

    Lesthegringo

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    Gents, knowing that this is a subjective issue with no 'right' answer, I want to get some feedback on your thoughts on monitors.

    I'm looking at a number of monitors for use exclusively as a gaming monitor, and within that it would be 90% racing sims, with perhaps some flight sim use. Ultra HD seems to not be worth the extra expense, so I've discounted those. In terms of size, the 32 - 34" screen size seems to be about right for me

    The monitor types I am looking at are the following

    32" 2560 X 1400 16:9 ratio
    34" 2560 X1080 Ultrawide
    34" 2560 X 1080 curved ultrawide144hz

    The first two monitors I believe are 60hz, although there are freesynch versions available I am intending to use an Nvidia GPU so that I believe discounts that. So, assuming that I am using a system capable of supporting the various formats above, what are your experiences with these?

    Cheers

    Les
     
  2. Jeremy Ford

    Jeremy Ford

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    I'm guessing you've never used a 144mhz monitor, as you wouldn't consider 60mhz if you had. If your GPU can push past 60 fps then you're wasting it's potential. The visual difference between 60mhz and 144mhz is like the GPU has been upgraded by having the extra frames rendering, smoothing out the visuals.

    If you don't have chance to try a faster monitor, then a good comparison of having half the mhz is to force your 60mhz monitor to run at 30mhz in the Windows settings and then run a game.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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  3. Beef36

    Beef36

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    I agree with Jeremy. If you're are unsure of the benefits of a higher Mhz monitor then make sure you try it before deciding to purchase a 60Mhz monitor as in my opinion it makes a huge difference.

    Resolution is a compromise between performance and visuals and everyone is different on what is acceptable.

    If it was me, for single screen I'd go for an ultra-wide G-Sync 1440p monitor as today's high end PC's can push all of the pixels and take advantage of higher refresh rate.

    For triple screen I'd go for a ultra-wide G-Sync 1080p monitors as today's hardware will struggle to push out all the pixels whilst taking advantage of the higher refresh rate.

    Additionally I highly recommend G-Sync monitor for your Nvidia graphics card. Some people will cite tech specs and say certain games can run at certain high frames per second and thus adaptive refresh rate isn't required. In theory my PC setup (i7-8700K / GTX-1080Ti) should sit in this category, but in reality once you start upping the number of other cars and track detail, frame rates drop.

    For example my triple monitor (7680*1080) setup can run Automobilista at a consistent 200fps with every graphical options maxed out on an official Reiza created track and an single official Reiza car, as these cars and tracks are well optimised.

    But when running modded cars and tracks with lots of other cars, my frame rate can drop to sub-60 fps. This is where G-Sync really shines and the game remain very playable at lowish frame rates.

    I run X Plane 11 too and that is very hard on the PC, at least for triples. I struggle to get more than 25fps on medium graphic settings at an airport or when low to the ground and based on this I'd select the 1080p over the 1440p for triples. I can't comment on performance on a single ultra-wide.

    In relation to curved vs straight, this is very low priority. I run 3*35" (curved) on one rig and 3*27" (flat) on another. I don't have a preference for either.

    Finally monitor technology is moving very fast. Better VR/AR, HDR, higher refresh rates, large G-Sync TVs etc are not far away. Whatever you buy today will be superceded in 2-3 years. Therefore my recommendation is to not over-spec your monitor and buy what works for your PC setup today, because in a few years you may be seeking to upgrade.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Lesthegringo

    Lesthegringo

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    Thanks guys

    Unfortunately I've seen no G-Synch monitors here (Hungary) and very few vendors ship here. Likewise no ultrawide 1440 monitors, only 32" 16:9 monitors, so my buying choices are frustratingly limited.

    If I knew I was going to the UK soon by car I could probably get better then, but I have no plans this year at least. I may ring up overclockers and the like and see if they were willing to ship here; that may change the options depending on the cost of the shipment.

    Cheers

    Les
     
  5. RasmusP

    RasmusP
    AC Stuff and G27 help Staff

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    A friend of mine bought a freesync ultra wide from LG earlier this year and I was hyped as I've never seen gsync or freesync in real life.
    Turns out his freesync wasn't activated but I didn't see any tearing or stuttering or anything while the fps were happily fluctuating. I could see the fps differences but no stutter or anything like I would've imagined. Even when locking to sub 60 fps, everything was smooth.

    Then he activated freesync and I could see that the image smoothed out a little bit again but nowhere near the difference between 60hz and 144hz!

    So my advice: get 144 Hz, without gsync. Then you cap the fps at a value below 144 and you should have a massive improvement anyway!

    To the ratio: for single screen get ultra wide! The said LG of a friend looks awesome! No comparison to my 16:9 screen! You'd think it's not that much more you get but it's a big difference! No comparison to triples though but if you go single screen, definitely ultra wide!

    To the resolution: if you are someone who uses a lot of anti aliasing and is bothered by flickering edges and Pixel crawling, I would recommend to get 1440p!
    If you think Assetto Corsa looks fine with only 2x MSAA at 1080p on 27"+, then just get a 1080p monitor and save money :)

    And btw guys, I'm not someone who criticizes a lot but it's Hz, not MHz! 1Hz=1/second. 1 fps = 1 frame/second. Now M for mega, means 1 million. So your monitors would out-factor your fps by one million.
    Sorry, but as someone who has to know all the SI - units, it did hurt :barefoot:
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018 at 07:42
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  6. sjb266

    sjb266
    Premium

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    Well said..
     
  7. AntoN_CheZ

    AntoN_CheZ
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    @Beef36 that rig is awesome bro, love it :)

    I'll put some context to this. I went from triples 1080p 27" 60hz, to a single 35" 1080p that, to my surprise, was capable of running at 75hz. I noticed IMMEDIATELY. Without even knowing that it was running at 75hz, I knew something was different. Then I saw in the settings the refresh rate and it all made sense. That's an extra 15hz, that the monitor is capable of actually displaying. Sure you can run 150fps on a 60hz monitor (I do like 300 on my 60hz 4K the odd time I play Counter Strike) but it cannot physically sync the frames so all you get is screen tear and lower input lag.

    I can only imagine what 120/144hz looks like when running on an appropriate monitor. I can even tell in YouTube vids when screens are filmed from an outside camera if they are running high refresh. Everything looks different. Much better and much smoother.

    For resolution, I wouldn't worry too much. With nVidia DSR, you can down-sample the image to render at 4K while your monitor outputs the 1080p signal. It's not 4K, but it's MUCH better than 1080p native. I run a 4K monitor and I am astonished at how well DSR (4.00x factor, resulting in 3840x2160 rendering) displays the image on a 1080p screen. In a racing title, it's more than sufficient in supplementing the relatively ancient 1080p image to get to a decent level of image quality. This allows you the option of running really high frames at 1080p or down-sampling and settling for lower frames, should you choose to go that way.

    Another key point is, depending on your monitor and its scaler, you might be able to get a higher resolution screen, say, 1440p, and then run the image at 1080p if you aren't getting enough frames. I had a 1440p screen that I tried running at 1080p when resources were being maxed and it was acceptable. I now run 1440p on my 4K monitor with absolutely no noticeable blurring or loss of image quality, save for the reduced pixel count, obviously. This is amazing for me because my main use for that monitor is fighting games and they normally are able to run maxed at 2160p. But if I try something a little more demanding, I can reduce resolution and gain a heap of frames back with no impact to the image. Again, depending on the ability of the scaler in the monitor.

    Plenty to think about, but tl;dr for me would be get a big screen (32" + ) if getting a single, capable of many frames. Your sim racing experience will benefit greatly from it over higher resolution, to which there are methods to counter the lack thereof.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018 at 11:19
  8. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

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    Some nice new displays coming but Im sure they will not be cheap.....
    Dont forget TV Size Nvidia based displays for 4K HDR 144Hz are coming as well.

    Their is a competitor to Samsungs 32:9 Super Ultra Wide 144Hz shown in this video below.
    Though I expect it to have the same panel?


    More about it here...
    The problem is so many nice monitors are FreeSync and not Nvidia's overpriced G-Sync.
    Even some 4K TVs are coming with FreeSync.

    Its a hard decision as nearly with every option it has pros/cons
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018 at 11:47
  9. Lesthegringo

    Lesthegringo

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    Thanks again for all the detailed answers

    So two more questions, probably both dopey ones...

    Freesnyc monitors will not give any benefit using an Nvidia card, correct? I imagine you just set the refresh rate cap to meet the monitors max frame rate however I don't actually see frame rate limits quoted on the freesync monitors

    for a curved screen, is there software correction for the curvature, or would there be an element of image distortion due to the projection of a flat image on a curved screen?

    Cheers

    Les
     
  10. RasmusP

    RasmusP
    AC Stuff and G27 help Staff

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    This is a bit different and I need to really get down into the details to make a scientific accurate statement but:

    Imagine it like this:
    60 Hz Monitor: (fps numbers)
    0-29: stuttering / low tearing
    30 vsynced: stuttering, no tearing
    31-50: getting fluent / low tearing
    50-59: fluent / high tearing
    60 vsynced: fluent, no tearing
    61-120: fluent / tearing depending on the coefficient
    120+: fluent / tearing borders so small that you barely see them

    144 Hz Monitor:
    0-120: equal to 0-50 on a 60 Hz Monitor. Only low tearing as the refresh rate is high enough in relation to the fps.
    120+: tearing borders are so small that you barely see them

    And now comes the magic: due to the refresh rate being so high, you get a similar effect to 120+ fps on a 60 Hz Monitor, but the fps don't matter for that!
    The Monitor refreshes so quickly, that you can barely see the tearing borders at low fps.
    At high fps the tearing borders are very small anyway so they become more or less invisible.

    To your question: No, you don't set the cap to the refresh rate. You set the cap where the game doesn't fluctuate in it's fps anymore so you get a consistency! Vsync etc don't matter anymore.
    To cap each game specifically I can recommend MSI afterburner + Riva Tuner. It's the best limiter out there from my experience.

    Freesync and G-Sync are the same. They would smooth out the last bit of tearing but in my opinion, they are only really needed when you have a monitor with only 75 Hz or 100 Hz. At 144 Hz it's a waste of money.
    Now Freesync doesn't cost the manufacturer anything at all so they implement it in almost every monitor. G-Sync has some enormous licensing costs and needs a little hardware thing inside the screen afaik. That's why they are so expensive and also barely available.

    Hope that clarifies it all a little more :)

    Well, I smiled a little reading that. The thing is, a flat screen is the distortion and a curved screen tries to get rid of it.
    Problem is that you are used to flat screens everywhere and the "flatness" is always the same. Curved screens on the other hand have different radii which means that they are calculated for a certain view distance. Too far away and the curve is way too much. Too close and the curve is not enough to be "correct".
     
  11. Lesthegringo

    Lesthegringo

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    Thanks Rasmus

    There's a stockist here selling the LG 34UC79G-BAEU monitor, a 2560 X 1080 144Hz curved unit for about 500 Euros, so It's probable that it's worth the nod from what you are saying. Probably not the latest and greatest but reading above it sounds like it will allow me to max out all the levels due to the lower resolution, while still getting a good smooth image

    Cheers
     
  12. RasmusP

    RasmusP
    AC Stuff and G27 help Staff

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    Sounds like a good decision! :)
    I just checked and the friend of mine has exactly that monitor! It definitely looks awesome!
     
  13. Lesthegringo

    Lesthegringo

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    that's a good bit of positive feedback!

    Will get it tomorrow, I suspect the price is to clear the two remaining units they have

    cheers
     
  14. maelstrom

    maelstrom

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    Vsync does matter unless the FPS cap you set is either at your monitor's refresh rate or some even fraction of it (1/2 or 1/4 for example). Say you have a 120Hz monitor and you cap at 60FPS. The monitor can show one whole rendered frame every two refresh cycles and it would look smooth. If you then set the cap to 105, the monitor has to show some partial frames in each refresh cycle and you'd see this as tearing. The only way to prevent the tearing is to use vsync.
     
  15. RasmusP

    RasmusP
    AC Stuff and G27 help Staff

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    Yes and no. Vsync needs to be off to make the fps stay where the cap is set and not where vsync caps them.
    In my experience you don't get visible tearing anymore with 144 Hz. At least I couldn't really see it. A little jumping edge here and there but really not noticeable without trying really hard to see it.
    Freesync was set to off in the amd driver and the monitor settings and I capped the game overwatch to everything between 40 and 150 fps. Vsync was off too of course and really, I couldn't see any tearing! I saw some mini jumps on some edges when turning the camera quickly but compared to a 60 Hz monitor it basically was non existent!

    To confirm that freesync really was off, we then changed the monitor to 60 Hz without touching anything else and boy, the tearing was insane (like expected)!

    When I get time during my next holidays I will figure out, scientifically accurate how much smaller the partial frames get due to 144hz.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018 at 14:36