OLED quality 4k ~38" HDR600+ 120hz+ what are the chances?

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Considering an upgrade to my ultrawide, but I think I'm basically chasing the holy grail at this point.

Current monitor is a BENQ EX3501r (VA panel), previously had a Dell U3415w (IPS panel), and to be honest, neither were/are perfect. I changed from the Dell to the BENQ to get away from the IPS glow and for faster refresh and better contrast, but I miss the colours of the IPS.

The HDR on the BENQ is also somewhat underwhelming, so if that can be improved it would be great - so to be worth changing I'd want HDR600 or higher - OLED seems like it would be a potential option (e.g. the 42" LG which is coming "soon") but I also have concerns about burn in, e.g. from game UI and fixed windows elements, so maybe not the best choice? Not sure what would be the best option here since they all have downsides :(

Considering an upgrade to 4k, as it would be nice for productivity to be able to have 2 full 1920x1080 windows on screen, but I'd like to keep the physical size (width) of the ultrawide format - this basically means I'd be looking at 36"+ monitors in 16:9 ratio, but there doesn't actually appear to be anything between 32" and 42" (which is basically the largest which would fit my desk!).

Although my current monitor is 100Hz, I'll be honest - I didn't notice much of a "wow" in smoothness between my previous 60Hz... maybe my eyes are broken? :p So high refresh would be nice, but isn't a deal-breaker if there's an otherwise perfect monitor out there?

The 38" 3840x1600 ultrawides do look interesting, e.g. the LG 38GN950, as this would allow the 2 side by side windows, but these have fan cooling and I've read a few posts about fan noise?

TL;DR;

Looking for a monitor with the following:

  • OLED/VA quality blacks & contrast with IPS quality colours, but no IPS glow and no risk of burn in (good luck...)
  • HDR600+
  • Between 32-37" wide
  • 3840x???
  • No noticeable fan noise
  • 100Hz+ preferred but not required
 
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Do you want a 1440p ultra wide or a 4K UHD display?

I figure if I'm forking out for a new monitor I may as well go for something higher resolution than I currently have. I'd like the ability to have 2 1920x??? windows open side by side, so that rules out 1440p UW (unless there is a 3840x1440 option?)
 
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I figure if I'm forking out for a new monitor I may as well go for something higher resolution than I currently have. I'd like the ability to have 2 1920x??? windows open side by side, so that rules out 1440p UW (unless there is a 3840x1440 option?)


3840x1600 is WQHD+, so essentially a super wide 1440p display with extra vertical height.


OLED, as amazing as it is, isn’t cut out for PC displays due to:


  • Automatic Brightness Limiting
  • Uneven pixel wearing (“screen burn”)

To get the features you want, you’ll need a latest gen IPS display with a mini LED backlight.


As a result, you’re going to have to spend a LOT of money, if such a display even exists.
 
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Considering an upgrade to my ultrawide, but I think I'm basically chasing the holy grail at this point.

to cover first the title of the thread, there is no chance of that spec any time soon i'm afraid

The HDR on the BENQ is also somewhat underwhelming, so if that can be improved it would be great - so to be worth changing I'd want HDR600 or higher - OLED seems like it would be a potential option (e.g. the 42" LG which is coming "soon") but I also have concerns about burn in, e.g. from game UI and fixed windows elements, so maybe not the best choice? Not sure what would be the best option here since they all have downsides :(

I am not surprised you were underwhelmed by the "HDR" on the EX3501R, it doesn't offer any real benefits at all despite its heavy promotion for this area. There is no backlight local dimming at all, so actually no way to even improve the dynamic range / contrast beyond the panel native, which is moderate thanks to it being a VA panel. certainly shouldnt be going anywhere near the term "HDR" though as a result of this. it also doesn't have any increased peak brightness, another key part of producing an HDR effect, being limited to around 300 nits at max! there is also lack of support for 10-bit colour depth, another common requirement for HDR content, and only a moderate ~85% DCI-P3 colour gamut which should be higher to support HDR content and boost colours properly.

so in summary, the HDR on that BenQ is crap and doesn't work anyway. An OLED display would obv provide you massive benefits with HDR with basically infinite contrast ratio and per pixel dimming. thats a huge part of producing an HDR image. Modern OLED displays have reasonable peak brightness up to around 700 nits too, although you will find higher peak brightness from LED backlights. but then the local dimming becomes a challenge again.

I would also be concerned personally with the size of a 42" screen as a desktop monitor, its not very practical or comfortable. Better than current 48" options (smallest OLED panels today) for sure, and if you are doing lots of gaming, movie viewing, console gaming from a distance etc it could be a good choice. But i dont think many people will find it great for office/general/productivity/desktop monitor type work still. the concerns about image retention and burn in, along with measures that limit the brightness or change the screen appearance on OLED TV's are also an issue. all in all, they aren't very well suited to being a desktop monitor still imo.

additional stuff worth a read:

Considering an upgrade to 4k, as it would be nice for productivity to be able to have 2 full 1920x1080 windows on screen, but I'd like to keep the physical size (width) of the ultrawide format - this basically means I'd be looking at 36"+ monitors in 16:9 ratio, but there doesn't actually appear to be anything between 32" and 42" (which is basically the largest which would fit my desk!).

You can get some 40 and 43" 16:9 screens with a 3840 x 2160 resolution, but imo those are too large still for desktop monitor usage. You'd probably be better considering an ultrawide. maybe a 37.5" 3840 x 1600 like the LG you mentioned, or perhaps even Samsung's 49" 5120 x 1440 mega ultra wide. those are far more suited to desktop productivity work and as a replacement for multi monitors than a single large TV-like screen.

Although my current monitor is 100Hz, I'll be honest - I didn't notice much of a "wow" in smoothness between my previous 60Hz... maybe my eyes are broken? :p So high refresh would be nice, but isn't a deal-breaker if there's an otherwise perfect monitor out there?

the jump from 60 to 100Hz isn't massive, and you will have been held back here somewhat by the slower pixel response times of a VA panel like the BenQ. i expect you'd see nice motion clarity benefits if you moved to a modern, IPS based ultrawide with a high refresh rate - most will be 144Hz or above now.

The 38" 3840x1600 ultrawides do look interesting, e.g. the LG 38GN950, as this would allow the 2 side by side windows, but these have fan cooling and I've read a few posts about fan noise?

some of them have fan cooling like the LG 38GL950G because of the added NVIDIA G-sync module, but i'm not sure if that 38GN950 (Without module) does have a fan? i'm not sure it does tbh. I wouldn't be overly put off by the inclusion of a fan tbh, unless you have a super quiet system? you should be able to find some ultrawides that fit your requirements without fans anyway
 
Soldato
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3840x1600 is WQHD+, so essentially a super wide 1440p display with extra vertical height.


OLED, as amazing as it is, isn’t cut out for PC displays due to:


  • Automatic Brightness Limiting
  • Uneven pixel wearing (“screen burn”)

To get the features you want, you’ll need a latest gen IPS display with a mini LED backlight.


As a result, you’re going to have to spend a LOT of money, if such a display even exists.

to cover first the title of the thread, there is no chance of that spec any time soon i'm afraid

Sadly this is what I thought, hence the holy grail comment :p

I am not surprised you were underwhelmed by the "HDR" on the EX3501R, it doesn't offer any real benefits at all despite its heavy promotion for this area. There is no backlight local dimming at all, so actually no way to even improve the dynamic range / contrast beyond the panel native, which is moderate thanks to it being a VA panel. certainly shouldnt be going anywhere near the term "HDR" though as a result of this. it also doesn't have any increased peak brightness, another key part of producing an HDR effect, being limited to around 300 nits at max! there is also lack of support for 10-bit colour depth, another common requirement for HDR content, and only a moderate ~85% DCI-P3 colour gamut which should be higher to support HDR content and boost colours properly.

so in summary, the HDR on that BenQ is crap and doesn't work anyway. An OLED display would obv provide you massive benefits with HDR with basically infinite contrast ratio and per pixel dimming. thats a huge part of producing an HDR image. Modern OLED displays have reasonable peak brightness up to around 700 nits too, although you will find higher peak brightness from LED backlights. but then the local dimming becomes a challenge again.

I would also be concerned personally with the size of a 42" screen as a desktop monitor, its not very practical or comfortable. Better than current 48" options (smallest OLED panels today) for sure, and if you are doing lots of gaming, movie viewing, console gaming from a distance etc it could be a good choice. But i dont think many people will find it great for office/general/productivity/desktop monitor type work still. the concerns about image retention and burn in, along with measures that limit the brightness or change the screen appearance on OLED TV's are also an issue. all in all, they aren't very well suited to being a desktop monitor still imo.

additional stuff worth a read:
You can get some 40 and 43" 16:9 screens with a 3840 x 2160 resolution, but imo those are too large still for desktop monitor usage. You'd probably be better considering an ultrawide. maybe a 37.5" 3840 x 1600 like the LG you mentioned, or perhaps even Samsung's 49" 5120 x 1440 mega ultra wide. those are far more suited to desktop productivity work and as a replacement for multi monitors than a single large TV-like screen.

the jump from 60 to 100Hz isn't massive, and you will have been held back here somewhat by the slower pixel response times of a VA panel like the BenQ. i expect you'd see nice motion clarity benefits if you moved to a modern, IPS based ultrawide with a high refresh rate - most will be 144Hz or above now.

some of them have fan cooling like the LG 38GL950G because of the added NVIDIA G-sync module, but i'm not sure if that 38GN950 (Without module) does have a fan? i'm not sure it does tbh. I wouldn't be overly put off by the inclusion of a fan tbh, unless you have a super quiet system? you should be able to find some ultrawides that fit your requirements without fans anyway

Agree with a lot (basically all) of your points

The 38GN950 seems to tick a lot of the boxes, but concerns about IPS glow (and it's not exactly cheap :p)
 
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Soldato
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Sadly this is what I thought, hence the holy grail comment :p

The 38GN950 seems to tick a lot of the boxes, but concerns about IPS glow and the fan noise :/

Trade off is worth it in my opinion.


Bear in mind, though, that HDR 600 isn’t worth using HDR at all. It’ll lack any ability to adjust local contrast properly, and so the only effect you see is just a brighter image and better colours, and unless you’re reasonably exposed to larger colour gamuts, you likely won’t notice any difference other than brightness.


Biased lighting will also improve perceived contrast, and help with IPS glow- by making the surrounding light around the monitor brighter, it increases depth of blacks you see :)
 
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From what I've read, HDR400 is the "token" certification which isn't really worthwhile, whereas 500+ enforces things like local dimming etc. so gives a far better result?

Bias lighting - the GN model has this (the LED ring on the back which is the "Sphere Lighting 2.0" advertised on the product page?)

Looks pretty good from a couple of Youtube clips. I actually currently have the NZXT lighting strips on the back of my monitor which as you say help with PQ, but I've had quite a few issues with the software not playing nicely, so a hardware solution integrated into the monitor seems ideal!
 
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From what I've read, HDR400 is the "token" certification which isn't really worthwhile, whereas 500+ enforces things like local dimming etc. so gives a far better result?

Bias lighting - the GN model has this (the LED ring on the back which is the "Sphere Lighting 2.0" advertised on the product page?)

Looks pretty good from a couple of Youtube clips. I actually currently have the NZXT lighting strips on the back of my monitor which as you say help with PQ, but I've had quite a few issues with the software not playing nicely, so a hardware solution integrated into the monitor seems ideal!

Local dimming on an HDR 600 display will be, at best, a combination of algorithms and slight adjustment of the backlight.


Still a far cry from 300+ zones or pixel level control on OLEDs


Even on my OLED, HDR is nice, but I could live without it.


Quicker pixel response times, resulting in better motion clarity, and increased contrast offer a much better experience IMO :)




The light on the back of the monitor would suffice as long as it’s bright enough, but a proper LED strip or two would offer a better effect, and help with eye strain in the evening :)
 
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Local dimming on an HDR 600 display will be, at best, a combination of algorithms and slight adjustment of the backlight.

Still a far cry from 300+ zones or pixel level control on OLEDs

Even on my OLED, HDR is nice, but I could live without it.

Quicker pixel response times, resulting in better motion clarity, and increased contrast offer a much better experience IMO :)

Are you suggesting to ignore the HDR certification completely and just look at screen tech?

There's also this at (not quite) half the price...

https://www.overclockers.co.uk/sams...led-32-9-curved-gaming-monitor-mo-23u-sa.html

Better HDR (1000)
120hz vs 160hz

Main noticeable difference being it's VA rather than IPS, so I guess that is potentially going to be worse? (slower, not as good colours).

Also would require some... rearranging of furniture :p
 
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Soldato
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Are you suggesting to ignore the HDR certification completely and just look at screen tech?
I would say 'yes' to that and this has been the message I wish people would pick up for a long time now, HDR certifications that are lower than HDR 1000, so HDR 400 and HDR 600 really aren't worth the virtual paper they are printed on, not if you use it as a measure of HDR capability at least, all it tells you for sure is ...that monitor isn't really going to offer you a proper HDR experience, it can't because those standards are too low to meet what is required for HDR really, it's just marketing guff in reality. It can give you an indication of the brightness level available however, but we already have a measure of that of course with cd/m2 or nits. All I would say is, if a monitor has an HDR 600 logo on the box ...it's going to have fairly decent brightness at least, that's about all I would expect though.

When you've seen an OLED do HDR properly, the way it's meant to look, just forget LCD tech entirely really, it's just not going to do it, mini-LED or OLED can but a traditional LCD that is either edge lit or has a limited number of backlit dimming zones perhaps ...no, just no. There have been some pretty expensive LCD's with a lot of dimming zones and very powerful backlights that have done a decent job, but given the nature of LCD dimming zones, these do come with caveats aswell, depending on exactly how you use it, such as bright halos following your mouse cursor etc.
 
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Soldato
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Thanks, sadly OLED is pretty much out of the picture due to the size and burn in issues as mentioned above, and I don't really have £3k+ to drop on a mini LED panel :(

Worth waiting a bit longer then potentially I guess
 
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Current VA = Good overall colour + contrast but crap response time so to slow for gaming. Overdrive is used to speed things up but you are flogging a dead horse here.
Current IPS = Low contrast so crap HDR + can't do decent blacks. Decent response times.
OLED = Better in all regards but potential burn in and screen size. I really don't think burn in is an issue if you take sensible precautions. By the time you do get any burn-in if any then you would have probably got a different screen by then.

The only screen I was interested in was the Auros FV42U which despite being a VA panel ticked all of the boxes but have heard it's just not fast enough response wise. To much ghosting and black smearing so put me off.

Ended up getting the LG C1 and loving it. Can't go back to VA or IPS no chance.

Hopefully OLED will be available in reasonable size screens or maybe even ultrawide. Main problem is going to be the price.
 
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The 48" OLED is around the same price as the 38GN950 I mentioned above, so doable, but 48" is way too big to use 2ft away (basically 30% wider than I already have).

42" would be just doable at ~4.5" wider, although the extra height would mean having to move my head up down to see the whole screen.

Price wise where are we expecting it to sit?

The more I look, the more the 38" ultrawide seems like a good middle ground, but then there's the compromise in display tech - 38" ultrawide OLED... wonder how many years away that is :p
 
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It's a tricky one if you really want the best performance and if you can afford an OLED or whatever else, the question is, are prepared to pay out for a new one possibly every year ?

I have a 55inch CX OLED in my living room, which I do play games on fairly regularly and it's magnificent (I have a second gaming PC connected to it specifically for that purpose), but it's too big for a desktop display and so would the 48" be really, but more than the size is just the question marks around the lack of suitability for them to be long lasting desktop monitors that are ok with static content on them and without having to baby them at all, having to switch between different displays of the size we are talking about on a desk, is I don't think practical for most people and annoying in any case.

Unfortunately there isn't a one display for all occasions still really, well there is but it just wont be as good as the OLED at some things, I think the best alround desktop monitors these days are still just IPS panels of various sizes and flavours, the 38" Alienware with the LG nano IPS panel would be my first choice really.

From my perspective though, I love 4K gaming on my OLED ...but I got used to ultrawide gaming over years and actually I do like the 21:9 aspect ratio more for a lot of the things I play (lot of simulation games and then 4X, RTS and MMO), the other consideration is I do play games with a lot of static HUD and action bar elements to them so I wouldn't want to do that for too long on the OLED every day, I try and not do it for more than 2 hours.

I have toyed with the idea of just buying the 48" version of my OLED, the C1 now I guess and put that on a VESA floor stand a bit behind my desk and call it quits and use it for everything and just use a custom resolution to get 21:9 when I want it ...but, recent reports from various parts of the internet really put me off doing that, it would seem if I did that, especially using it to work from home aswell so using lots of Windows on it snapped to the screen edges ...I would probably end up getting 12-18 months out of it, which just isn't acceptable to me for something that costs around £1k. I suppose it may not actually turn out that way in the end, we don't really know yet, but I would generally have it on for work and play a good 12 hours a day, sometimes more. So I think sticking to LCD is the way to go for my main desktop for now, I just use the OLED as a monitor every so often (also I have a little 'desk' I cut down specially to size I pull out to do that and sit on the floor much like a Japanese height sitting table, just with a mouse and keyboard on, it's good for my back, hips and such to do that for a bit every so often anyway but also it's not comfortable to do that for too long, so it works well to actually limit how long I do that for in a way, I tend to get a sore bum after an hour or so of floor sitting like that.

I mention this as I have been 'trying' to upgrade from variety of 34" ultrawides for years now, I think the 38" is the place to go for a do-it-all desktop monitor and while the price is about the same as the OLED ...I do at least know I wont need to throw it away and buy another in 18 months so ...cheaper to run shall we say.
 
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It's a tricky one if you really want the best performance and if you can afford an OLED or whatever else, the question is, are prepared to pay out for a new one possibly every year ?

I have a 55inch CX OLED in my living room, which I do play games on fairly regularly and it's magnificent (I have a second gaming PC connected to it specifically for that purpose), but it's too big for a desktop display and so would the 48" be really, but more than the size is just the question marks around the lack of suitability for them to be long lasting desktop monitors that are ok with static content on them and without having to baby them at all, having to switch between different displays of the size we are talking about on a desk, is I don't think practical for most people and annoying in any case.

Unfortunately there isn't a one display for all occasions still really, well there is but it just wont be as good as the OLED at some things, I think the best alround desktop monitors these days are still just IPS panels of various sizes and flavours, the 38" Alienware with the LG nano IPS panel would be my first choice really.

From my perspective though, I love 4K gaming on my OLED ...but I got used to ultrawide gaming over years and actually I do like the 21:9 aspect ratio more for a lot of the things I play (lot of simulation games and then 4X, RTS and MMO), the other consideration is I do play games with a lot of static HUD and action bar elements to them so I wouldn't want to do that for too long on the OLED every day, I try and not do it for more than 2 hours.

I have toyed with the idea of just buying the 48" version of my OLED, the C1 now I guess and put that on a VESA floor stand a bit behind my desk and call it quits and use it for everything and just use a custom resolution to get 21:9 when I want it ...but, recent reports from various parts of the internet really put me off doing that, it would seem if I did that, especially using it to work from home aswell so using lots of Windows on it snapped to the screen edges ...I would probably end up getting 12-18 months out of it, which just isn't acceptable to me for something that costs around £1k. I suppose it may not actually turn out that way in the end, we don't really know yet, but I would generally have it on for work and play a good 12 hours a day, sometimes more. So I think sticking to LCD is the way to go for my main desktop for now, I just use the OLED as a monitor every so often (also I have a little 'desk' I cut down specially to size I pull out to do that and sit on the floor much like a Japanese height sitting table, just with a mouse and keyboard on, it's good for my back, hips and such to do that for a bit every so often anyway but also it's not comfortable to do that for too long, so it works well to actually limit how long I do that for in a way, I tend to get a sore bum after an hour or so of floor sitting like that.

I mention this as I have been 'trying' to upgrade from variety of 34" ultrawides for years now, I think the 38" is the place to go for a do-it-all desktop monitor and while the price is about the same as the OLED ...I do at least know I wont need to throw it away and buy another in 18 months so ...cheaper to run shall we say.

This is almost exactly my line of thinking and "various parts of the internet"... yes I saw that Linus video as well XD

I certainly wouldn't be spending £1k+ with the intention of replacing after 18 months, spending that much on a monitor would be intended to last a good 5 years or so (e.g at least 2, maybe even 3 PC refreshes).

You mention the 38" Alienware (I assume the AW3821DW) - any reason why you'd pick that over the LG 38GN950?

Prices are similar, as far as I can tell it's the same panel?
The Alienware has a GSync Ultimate module, so has a fan - what's the freesync support like? (I have a 6800)
LG seems to be a bit faster, and I also like the ambient lighting on the back
The LG also gets slightly better scores on rtings

The main benefit appears to be the 3 year warranty vs 2 year on the LG
 
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I was looking at the 38GN950 for a while but the problem with IPS is the low contrast with grey blacks. The glow it gives off on the blacks just puts me off. Now I'm with OLED I just cant see any other monitor tech that can match it. The deep blacks are a game changer.

I have an LG IPS ultrawide also to compare and it just looks so flat and the blacks are washed out. Playing games with deep blacks change the game completely.

48" is big but trust me, after a couple of weeks it's normal.
 
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I can well believe that, I thought 34" ultrawide was crazy big for the first few weeks, but then it became normal (and as you can tell now I want bigger :cry:)

I think 48" is still going to be too much though. I guess i'm probably best at least waiting to see how the 42" is priced and what it offers before jumping into anything
 
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You mention the 38" Alienware (I assume the AW3821DW) - any reason why you'd pick that over the LG 38GN950?

Just two reasons mainly, Dell's support is generally considered to be much better than LG's and the build quality is better on the Alienware, also you can swivel it, not so with the LG. They are the same panel and performance is much the same, the LG does have one clear advantage though, an sRGB gammut clamp, which could be of use to some people. I have an RTX 3070 so the native Gsync monitor is nice to have, although that's not a deciding factor it's more the build quality and support.

I actually have an LG 27GN850 aswelll as an AOC VA Ultrawide and I don't really have any issues with the nano IPS contrast ratio tbh, it's motion handling and colour reproduction are very good, much better than my VA's. While contrast isn't amazing it is 'ok' and it's quite a bit better on the 38" pannels it seems anyway. The LG I have also has the same stand as the 38" model, the newer more angular one it's a good stand, but I do like to have swivel ideally, at times anyway. Compared to the LG though the VA panel I have is quite blurry when you move about rapidly in a game and look at a fixed point, but I do love 21:9, how much better the motion handling is on the LG nano IPS panels is quite startling when you see it side by side for the first time ...obviously the OLED is even better but we've already been there :p
 
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