Need a new monitor! 1440p or Ultrawide? G-Sync? 120hz? HDR? Aargh!

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TopCat88

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I had a search through the forums, but couldn't find a recent topic like this. Apologies if it's come up recently.

I need some advice.

My old 1080p 60z BENQ T2200HDA is starting to crap out on me. I doesn't display anything other than a grey mess the first few times I turn it on until it finally works at the 3rd to 5th attempt.

I have a fairly low budget of around £300 / $400 to spare for a new one.

I have a Nvidia 1070 from around the launch of the 10 series, and will not be upgrading for the foreseeable future. I've never had anything other than 1080p, and am happy with that resolution. Not interested in 4K at all. However 1440 could be a good upgrade for me, I'm pretty sure my 1070 can handle it.

I have a series S now, so the PC is likely to become secondary to that, so expect most new games to be played on the xbox. For gaming, it'll mainly be PC Gamepass games, and my backlog which I'm sure the 1070 can handle at 1440, maybe even at 4K, but like I said, I'd rather spend the 4K money on other features at 1440 or 1080p.

I also produce music, so the screen real estate of an ultrawide is tempting for that. I've heard that ultrawide can be a pain for games sometimes.

After all that preamble. I guess my questions are:

What are the budget/middle tier monitors of choice at the moment?

What features are worth prioritising?

Does the extra screen real estate of work applications at 1440p offset the gains from ultrawide?

*Also: I know people will be tempted to sell me on 4K. You can try, but I doubt you'll be able to. Consider it a challenge if you like :P

Thanks to anyone who takes the time to reply.

Happy New Year.

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timoneous

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I've got a Dell 24" 1440p 165hz as my main monitor with a Dell 1080p 144hz as a secondary for watching media with a 1080 card...4k won't do you much good unless you go with a much larger monitor. If you don't go nuts with a video card, 1440p with a high refresh rate is the sweet spot right now on a budget.

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Shibathedog

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I agree with you and don't care for/need 4K. If you want something large I'm pretty happy with my Dell S3220DGF. There are a few 27 inch models I could recommend as well that have better gsync/hdr support but I'm not really familiar with your current 22ish size at all. TBH with HDR if you don't have the full HDR1000 its just kind of okay so prioritize gsync/freesync maybe? I use ultrawides as a better option for when I would have went with two monitors as you avoid the bezel.

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NexivSelecaf

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To speak from my experiences with the Asus PG348Q for a year and a half: I'll vouch for 21:9. Having the extra horizontal space for graphic design and video editing makes 16:9 really hard to go back to for production purposes.

As for games: Yes, pillar boxing will be a thing for games. Seams between pre-rendered and in-engine cutscenes will be made very apparent since the majority of pre-rendered cutscenes are rendered in 16:9. I personally just deal with these "shortcomings" since most modern games support 21:9 in gameplay natively, and those that can some sometimes be made to run in 21:9 with mods.

That said, since you speak in £ while I speak in $ and I don't have much faith in a 1070 running 1440p at decent settings, feel free to check your preferred tech store of choice for panels that fit your budget, though you'll probably be looking more at 2560 x 1080 displays as opposed to 3440 x 1440, and things like G-Sync, HDR, and refresh rates above 60 depend on how much you're willing to invest; similar search queries for standard 16:9 resolutions.

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rorie

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#5 rorie  Staff

we talkin' monitors?

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ajamafalous

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Don't buy anything less than 1440p/144hz.

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Shibathedog

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yeah, and I think I would like to add that if you play games you really want more than 60hz even if its not gysnc/freesync. You're going to see it and wonder how you ever dealt.

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deathfromace

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#8  Edited By deathfromace

If you want a decent upgrade without paying a ton and want to just see the resolution bump and are fine with 60fps I recommend this. I bought it and it's perfectly fine and has a tiny bump up to 75hz....I feel like even from 60 to 75 I can tell the difference....but even if not whatever. I am sure 1440p 144hz is great but a monitor with that can be costly and unless you really care about the 144hz (and can run games at it) but it does not appear you do from what I can tell. People here are suggesting 1440p 144hz but I don't think they really read what you want and what you have as you would not be able to run games at that resolution and framrate with your current setup.

Acer VN277U

https://www.newegg.com/acer-v277u-27-qhd/p/N82E16824011270?Description=acer%20vn277u&cm_re=acer_vn277u-_-24-011-270-_-Product

I have a 2070S with an all around great computer and even playing games at max settings 1440p at 75hz can be a pain depending on the game. No point in buying a high HZ monitor if you can't run it...and from what I can tell and people calling it "budget" I don't think they are running anything that high...maybe Counter Strike?

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wchigo

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#9  Edited By wchigo

@topcat88 said:

After all that preamble. I guess my questions are:

What are the budget/middle tier monitors of choice at the moment?

What features are worth prioritising?

Does the extra screen real estate of work applications at 1440p offset the gains from ultrawide?

*Also: I know people will be tempted to sell me on 4K. You can try, but I doubt you'll be able to. Consider it a challenge if you like :P

Thanks to anyone who takes the time to reply.

Happy New Year.

Hey there, I recently went down a tech rabbit hole researching stuff like monitors, motherboards, GPUs and computer cases to prepare for my recent build, and monitors was likely one of the areas that I spent the most time looking at.

Ultrawide compatibility with games has improved a lot from my understanding, and 21:9 gaming is actually pretty good right now, it can be a disadvantage in more competitive games as you have to pay attention to a lot more in your peripheral vision, especially if you're gonna go for something even wider than 21:9.

  • I suppose it depends on the size and features you're looking for, but one that is supposedly quite good is the Viewsonic VX2758-2KP-MHD (absolutely terrible name though). It's a great value option around $299 right now (according to Amazon) if you're looking for a 1440p 144hz monitor that has reasonable good performance. A few of the higher end 1440p 144hz options that are great are the LG 27GL850, Dell S2721DGF (which also uses the same LG panel) and the MSI MAG274QRF-QD which are all more around the $450-500 range depending on if there's a sale going on. I personally went with the Dell S2721DGF myself for the slightly better performance vs the LG.
  • Different strokes for different folks. You of course have the panel types of TN, IPS and VA, where IPS are probably the most prevalent now especially for 1440p 144-165hz monitors, whereas ultrawides are currently more in the domain of VA, though you'll find some IPS displays in there too, usually from LG (which also cost a fortune!) Then you have things like GtG (Grey to Grey) response times, colour gamut, refresh rates, resolution, some people won't buy a panel that doesn't have a USB hub built-in for example. So this part is really up to you. I'd say a good baseline is a good IPS or VA panel with decent to good GtG response time, then choose your resolution (1080p, 1440p or Ultrawide) and then probably 144hz which has kind of become the standard now.
  • You'll get more pixels from an Ultrawide, but from my research some content creators aren't a fan of less vertical real estate because of the way the sizing works. There was one monitor (I forget the name) that was 21:10 and the guy using it was in love because he had some more vertical space to work with, which was great when trying to encode videos as he had more space to see the preview. So I guess you win some and you lose some?
  • Nah, ignore those folks. Anyone pitching a 4K monitor likely won't be keeping your budget in mind anyways.

If you have the time, try looking up some stuff on Youtube. Hardware Unboxed was a great source and pretty much how I eventually settled on the Dell unit for my monitor of choice, as they do pretty in-depth reviews and kind of cover the full spectrum of 1080p all the way up to 4K, and will even review budget models. I'd say check them out if you're interested to learn a bit more and maybe you'll find the monitor for you from something they've covered.

Oh, and it seems like a wild @rorie has appeared, lured out by the siren's call that is monitors. ;)

Edit: Forgot to even cover g-sync and freesync... So if you're planning to go with a high refresh rate monitor, I'd highly recommend getting a monitor that works with these features. It's gonna make a ton of difference unless you are willing to play with settings so that you can always hit 120/144 fps in every game you play, otherwise things are gonna feel off. Of course if your game can't hit those marks you could also turn on v-sync and change your monitor's settings to 60hz, but who wants to do things manually these days?! It's so much easier and satisfying to turn on adaptive sync options like a g-sync, set your monitor to 120/144hz and know that everything will just work without you having to spend hours tinkering to get everything just right.

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TopCat88

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#10  Edited By TopCat88

Thanks to all for your input so far, I'll have a look at Hardware Unboxed and the models mentioned by everybody so far. If I have any further questions, I'll add them to the thread. Enjoy your weekends :)

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flatblack

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I really like my Acer Nitro XV272U. It's 27", 1440p, and 144hz for $299 on Amazon. I had some initial issues with backlight bleed, but was fortunately able to keep swapping through amazon until I got a panel that was just right.

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Justin258

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As far as I'm concerned, refresh rate is high priority over everything. EVERYTHING. If the monitor you're getting isn't at least 120Hz at that price range, then go look at something else.

That is followed by resolution. If you're not working on some kind of visual art form, then 4K on a computer monitor isn't going to do all that much for you. 1440p is a great resolution and a 1070 can still support that resolution well, especially since you say your Series S is going to be your primary gaming platform for a little while.

Currently, the computer monitor price/performance sweet spot is 1440p144Hz - you should be able to find a decent one of those in your price range.

1080p isn't a bad choice either. However, as someone who has been using a 1440p monitor for a while now, 1080p isn't a high enough resolution to really support all the details that modern games tend to throw around. Everything looks aliased, smaller details around the world tend to get swallowed up behind other textures, especially at a distance. Hardly unplayable and definitely doesn't look bad, necessarily, but I think a 1440p monitor is going to scale a whole hell of a lot better over time and is certainly worth the extra money. By the time you get around to upgrading your graphics card, or buying a whole new PC, 1440p will likely still be an acceptable resolution and 1080p will be the new 720p.

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#14  Edited By frytup

As someone who's been running 1440/144Hz on a 1070 for over a year, I can tell you that getting a stable frame rate at reasonably high settings with most AAA games is a struggle. You're definitely going to want Gsync.

I paid $600 for an Asus PG279QZ last autumn, but if I were in the market now I'd be taking a hard look at the LG 27GL850. Doesn't quite have the contrast ratio of the higher end models, but for gaming it's a popular option at a much more reasonable price.