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LG OLED C9 as a PC monitor - Yes, I'm crazy, Yes time to get some burn in.

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by aoaaron, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. aoaaron

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 2,462

    LG C9 Review as a PC Monitor

    I’ve had a journey through monitors. I’ve experienced VA ultra wides, VA super ultra wides, IPS ultra wides, FALD TV sets as monitors and edge lit TVs as monitors.

    This review is for PC gamers who are contemplating buying a 55’’ OLED LG C9 TV because they are crazy.

    We’re going to get out of the way the issue of burn in straight away. Its a risk you take for the best image quality available. You can mitigate the risk by running 100% black transparent start menu bar, disable the little website badges on the task bar and block any annoying elements like the youtube badge using adblock. Is it a risk? Yes. It is a con? Yes. There’s a chance in 2 years time of using an OLED panel you’ll have some visible burn in on a bright red screen or on a block colour. However, I do sometimes wonder if its THAT much of a big deal compared to seeing a constantly **** washed out picture, with haloing, back light bleed, banding, IPS glow, ghosting… which will always be there from day one and only worsen.
    Anyway I unboxed this LG set and straight away thought this is way too big for my desk. I situated the screen 1m away from myself. After using it for a few minutes, it induced clear headaches. This was secondary to two reasons:
    1. The screen was too tall
    2. The screen was too bright
    Yes, I followed the OLED hater’s advice that OLED panels must be super dim so I set the OLED light at 50 in a dark room.. and guess what? Its freaking bright. At 25-30. its much more comfortable. Also reducing sharpness to zero made the text go from looking horrible to awesome. Also disable true motion and enter game mode.

    Build quality wise, I mean its worlds ahead of anything we get in the PC monitor world. The panel is beautiful, it comes with a remote, the stand is substantially well built and it has this really nice glass to glass design which means you don’t have that annoying dead space which you have with a monitor.

    Anyway onto the size of it. Its big and at 55 inches its not usable for desk usage at its native 4k resolution. However, as us ultra wide gamers all want to do, we want a 21:9 aspect ratio. I custom resolutioned 3840x1400 and it worked well. I booted up a game and noticed I fancied a bit more vertical resolution, so i bumped it up to 3840x1600 and its felt nice. It only runs at 60hz until we get HDMI 2.1. However the ability to actually customise how much vertical real estate I want, and therefore be able to adapt my FPS to the actual resolution meant even high end games were easily playable at 60fps. Basically, ultrawide works and it works beautifully but at a cost of no high framerates for now.

    BTW, a mention of the black bars. The black bars are a non issue at the bottom as that would be space where a normal monitor’s legs would go. Instead you just get a seamless looking piece of black glass. It looks good. They just look like huge bezels because the pixels are actually off. But whats sweet is these are optional bezels that with an adjustment of a resolution slider, you can fill with goodness.

    For high refresh gaming, you have to run at 1440p@120hz. I tried this and due to the size of the screen, you can’t be a desk gamer and need to move a bit backwards (maybe 2m). With Nvidia sharpen activated, its beautiful.


    Adapative sync is still pending but its clearly coming in the form of Gsync compatibility as its now officially certified on Nvidia’s website.

    Onto colours, this completely destroys any panel I’ve used. The CRG9, AW3418DW, the Panasonic 902B FALD sets, the QLED panels i’ve trialled. They all pale in comparison compared to the near total control this panel has over colours and especially blacks. The SDR performance is perfect.

    Response rate is incredible. Despite being 60hz and having a 13ms input lag or 6ms input lag at 1440p, it manages to feel more responsive than my CRG9. Its probably the OLED pixel's ability to respond very fast and the fact that theres no visible artifacting from motion or blur. Smearing is just not here on this display. Its beautiful and fluid.

    HDR performance is worlds ahead of anything anyone else offers. The blacks are well controlled and the bright specular highlights are perfect. I have only seen the ABL kick in a few times when I maxed brightness and tried to type this on notepad.

    The resolution and PPI somehow feels sharp enough despite its huge display, again probably due to the amazing contrast and OLED subpixel layout.

    For media consumption, of course this destroys any monitor because it’s 55 inches of pure goodness which you can manipulate with aspect ratio after aspect ratio to play films, 21:9 content or 16:9 content.. and the black bars just blend into the dark at night. This is ignoring the built in speakers (which are nothing special) and the built in media integration of a Netflix and Amazon Prime app.
    I played Gears of War 5 on it, and it was INCREDIBLE. The dark scenes in act 1 were visibly pitch black, with beautiful specular highlights from gun fire and light sources providing an awesome impact. Its akin to going from a crappy 2004 acer laptop to a MacBook Pro Retina display. The jump feels similar, except this just feels like perfection.

    This screen plus some good headphones like the AKG 712s gives you a phenomenal visual and auditory experience which feels expansive yet intimate at the same time.

    So, this has been a really nice surprise. I thought I would HATE this TV as a monitor, but instead its given me a real issue as I plan to return this to get a 65 inch version for my home theatre room. I'd only say this experience is bettered by my Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 setup which will probably be the reason why I return it.

    So, I’m sure people will now ask or wonder how does this compare to the top tier panels. We’re talking about the £1500+ FALD monitors and the CRG9.

    The biggest cons of the LG C9 as a monitor are its desk space usage and sheer size, it being poor for productivity due to OLED’s inherent risk of burn in/IR and the fact it doesn’t have higher refresh rates at higher resolutions (YET) due to no HDMI 2.1 sources (which will be addressed next generation). If you’re using your PC 50/50 for adobe premier, lightroom photo editing and then gaming, this isn’t the screen for you. Likewise if you’re a competitive gamer who wants 165+ fps, its not for you.

    At higher resolutions, I think the current FPS cap at 60fps is not THAT much of an issue. Its definitely a negative, but when using my CRG9 it wasn’t exactly destroying games in the 100fps mark.. but moreso hovering around 60 due to my RTX 2080 not being that strong at near 4k.

    The next question is comparing it to the CRG9? Well I love the CRG9 but its clear this monitor/TV probably has it beat. The 32:9 aspect ratio is nice, but having a 21:9 aspect ratio spread across the same physical distance actually feels better. There is far less fish eye effect, the HUD feels closer, and there’s less shifting or elements or pop in secondary to the game just not being made with 32:9 in mind.

    In terms of image quality, the CRG9 is at this point on its hands and knees, asking for the C9 OLED to not destroy it anymore. In terms of refresh rate, the CRG9 has the C9 OLED beat until HDMI 2.1 graphics cards becomes available. In terms of responsiveness, I’m sorry but this C9 OLED in game mode felt more responsive. This is also ignoring the perfect HDR performance and the fact it doubles as an actual freaking TV which would compete and beat most people's home theatre/lounge setups in a dark room. Also, this screen is missing the curved screen of the CRG9 and it hurts as the curve made looking at the peripheral edges of the screen more comfortable and natural.

    For the LG 38 inch UW, again unless you NEED to be hitting 144 FPS in ultra wide games today, and can’t wait until the next GPU refresh, I just can’t imagine getting the 38 inches over the C9 OLED.

    So, do I recommend this monitor? If you have the money, and the desk space, or can wall mount it, and you’re prepared to mitigate usage habits to avoid IR/Burn in, YES. Its just in a different stratosphere in regards to image quality compared to the current monitors, and for those that get close, it provides a sheet amount of value the others don't when you take into account this can easily be an actual TV for your PS4 Pro/Switch without looking silly like other ultrawide monitors.

    If you use your PC for productivity and video editing, no.

    If you split your usages going towards moreso media and films, then please just buy a secondary screen for productivity work and enjoy your games/videos in the best possible way with this screen; or just get something else.

    The beauty of this monitor is the further away from it, the better it gets. Getting far away enough to unlock the visible comfort to go 1440p/120hz with Nvidia sharpen is like god mode.


    Monitor Review Summary
    PROS:

    1. Best in class black levels
    2. Best in class contrast
    3. Best in class SDR performance
    4. Best in class HDR performance
    5. Great responsiveness and motion
    6. Best in class real estate for a monitor
    7. Great for media playback, including supporting multiple aspect ratios and having built in applications
    8. No Halo effect, No banding, No BLB, No IPS glow, No ghosting,
    9. Adaptive sync pending
    10. Built in speakers (they’re not amazing but none of my high end monitors come with them)
    11. Better compatibility with games as it can support 16:9, 21:9 and still give a decent sized image
    12. Amazing build quality
    13. Doubles as a TV/Media centre
    14. Best in class dark room performance
    15. For PC monitors, also best in class bright room performance
    16. Future proofing. It's OLED with awesome HDR performance, infinite contrast ratio and 2.1 HDMI ports; and a 4k resolution. I don't see this getting outdated for a LONG time.
    17. Great for local co-op due to sheer size
    18. Provides great longevity as down the road, it can be used as a TV instead and comfortably used as either a home theatre screen, console gaming screen etc.
    Cons:
    1. Needs workarounds to avoid IR/Burn in which is still not unavoidable
    2. Bad for productivity due to IR/Burn in
    3. No high hz modes for 4k/ultrawide resolutions (yet)
    4. Its huge and therefore impractical for many
    5. Its expensive
    6. Not for competitive gamers
    7. Reflective when its just a black screen
    8. No curved Screen
    Photos will be uploaded later but it looks ridiculous on a desk basically but beautiful for whoever sits infront of it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
  2. nomadd

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 27, 2008

    Posts: 763

    You lost me at line 1: Logitech C9 Review as a PC Monitor.

    EDIT: OK, you've fixed it now. ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  3. aoaaron

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 2,462


    Ah crap!!! LG... omg!
     
  4. sideways14a

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 31, 2017

    Posts: 1,812

    I am running a 65" b8 as my main screen. Its great.
     
  5. Nexus18

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jun 4, 2009

    Posts: 23,431

    Response rate is incredible. Despite being 60hz and having a 13ms input lag or 6ms input lag at 1440p, it manages to feel more responsive than my CRG9. Its probably the OLED pixel's ability to respond very fast and the fact that theres no visible artifacting from motion or blur. Smearing is just not here on this display. Its beautiful and fluid.



    Most underrated thing about OLED
     
  6. TNA

    Capodecina

    Joined: Mar 13, 2008

    Posts: 14,104

    Location: London

    Lol at Logitech C9. Haha.

    Nice review. You get a lot more for your money with OLED in my opinion. I would get one for my desktop also if they made 32’ TVs for under a grand. I know undress I ended up with a dud, that I could use it just fine without burn in as a monitor.

    It is painful spending a lot of money on all these monitors out there knowing that they don’t even come close to the image quality of OLED. That is why I decided to just keep the monitor I have until microled monitors come out at a decent price. I was considering getting one of these Logitech C9s as a monitor myself in the past, but as you say they are just too big and would not even fit on the ikea desk I recently got.

    Right now I am just waiting for the price of the C9 to drop so I can pick it up for the living room to upgrade on my again 1080p Plasma. That will then be moved to my bedroom behind my sliding door wardrobe mirrors. The only thing missing then would be having the mirrors operate by a controller to open and close :p
     
  7. tyler_jrb

    Mobster

    Joined: Aug 24, 2013

    Posts: 3,961

    Location: Lincolnshire

    I run mine at 70 olight day and night and it has never given me issues with burn and that’s with some hundreds of hours of sdr and hdr gaming. Plenty bright enough in my opinion.

    For me it is just the perfect gaming and media screen. No blur, no ghosting. At 60hz it’s extremely smooth. And obviously gives you a great film + tv experience.

    I probably use it more than my current monitor. Hense I don’t really own anything overly special in that regard.

    The only thing it can’t so much replace is my high refresh and K+M for fps games and that’s really only what my monitor gets used for, depending on the game.

    I often put games up to compare on my monitor and it just looks dull and flat compared to the OLED. It’s amazing how much of a difference contrast and the viewing angles make.

    I’ve had OLED for some years now. Would never go back. They are not without issue, but for the most part perfect in comparison to other display types.
     
  8. JediFragger

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 22,079

    Location: y0 Momma's a$$

    "Reflective when its just a black screen"

    This is the only part I couldn't get on with :(

    When they can do 4k/120hz with VRR via HDMI 2.1 (I'm expecting it on the next nVidia cards) then I might give one another go :)
     
  9. NZXT30

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 3, 2010

    Posts: 2,031

    There are laptops with oled screens now so burn in can't be that bad. Approximately how many hours a week will you be using the oled tv as monitor if you don't mind me asking? Also will you be doing any productivity work on it (video editing, coding etc)?
     
  10. aoaaron

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 2,462

    Yup, still it is better than having grey rather than the colour black hahaha! At night, you really can't notice it AT ALL.
     
  11. aoaaron

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 2,462

    I probably use my monitor 2-3 hours a day and hopefully that will reduce with time. I'm trying to do less productivity and web browsing and more fun stuff on my monitor/TV. I'm actually contemplating a move to lounge gaming now rather than at my desk because I find gaming at my desk in my bedroom, I seem to game less and browse/type more.
     
  12. JediFragger

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 22,079

    Location: y0 Momma's a$$

    No that's true, daytime is a bit of a bugger though (my window is behind me)
     
  13. tyler_jrb

    Mobster

    Joined: Aug 24, 2013

    Posts: 3,961

    Location: Lincolnshire

    You get used to it and I actually find the reflection handling fine to be honest. Mine doesn’t see much sun apart from the very early hours of the morning. Other than that I can’t really say I’ve noticed a great deal of reflections even gaming with the light on which I usually do anyway.

    I also think that the slight glossy nature gives it improved image quality. Making it look and feel almost like a window. Certainly better than a grainy matte surface I think.
     
  14. aoaaron

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 2,462


    I agree with you completley. I hate glossy so much.. until I use one for a while and then look at a matte one. The perceived loss in contrast is strange and the graininess is really apparent.

    Whats shocked me the most is this C9 feels the shame sharpness at my CRG9 despite the fact its 80 vs 100ppi.
     
  15. b00merang69

    Perma Banned

    Joined: Sep 27, 2019

    Posts: 2,578

    Glossy like glass on CRT always will give better blacks contrast and depth, it gives it that pop/

    For media like movies etc I would be in a dark room so prefer gloss but know it would not be suited to trying to do work in daylight or a lit office.
     
  16. TNA

    Capodecina

    Joined: Mar 13, 2008

    Posts: 14,104

    Location: London

    Yeah, I prefer glossy, but there days nearly all monitors seem to have some layer of anti reflective coating. If it was more simple to remove without voiding warranty I would remove mine in a heart beat.

    For me it is easy, I just pull the curtains in my man cave/office and job done :D
     
  17. jommy999

    Gangster

    Joined: Nov 13, 2014

    Posts: 447

    Location: London

    I want to get OLED as my monitor also but only need to use a bit more caution with contents on the tv regarding of burn in problem .

    This tv will be great with next GPU release with HDMI 2.1 support.
     
  18. iakhtar

    Gangster

    Joined: Oct 29, 2009

    Posts: 145

    I'm deffo going this route on my next upgrade with pretty much the same attitude, if it burns in, not too bothered about it, the protections are decent on them these days. Anyways, the trade off is more than worth it.
     
  19. Legend

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 31, 2006

    Posts: 6,988

    LG have a 48" OLED coming next year, but do you reckon it would be that much difference to 55"? 48" is still very large after all.
     
  20. b00merang69

    Perma Banned

    Joined: Sep 27, 2019

    Posts: 2,578

    Only looks large a few days then you feel you should have got larger.

    Today if buying I would be looking at 65" min but look up the ideal viewing distance for 4k in my room its like 100", most are sitting too far way for their screen sizes so may as well be 1080p, same as when 1080p came out as I grew up when we sat across the room from a 20-32" SD CRT.