Originally Posted by repman244
The U2711 is an 8-bit panel (+FRC) so you don't have any problems, if it was a native 10-bit panel then you need a workstation graphics card.
This statement is not true.
A regular 8 bit card can drive a native 10-bit panel. It will still be better than an 8-bit panel. Why? Because you have contrast and brightness settings on the monitor that will give you extra headroom on the 10-bit panel - should you need it. So rather than adjusting in-game gamma and getting bloom-out, you adjust the panel for higher brightness/contrast. However, for FULL QUALITY and software control
, you need a 10-bit workstation card to drive it.
It is often said you need OpenGL to drive 10-bit and 12-bit output, and compatible application designed to drive that kind of output. A DX game might only offer 8-bit colour depth even with a pro workstation card. This point has no GENERAL answer and will be specific to each game engine and which DirectX pipeline is used. I believe DX10+ offers full colour depth, but the game engine might not.
Additional info that might help you make your decision.
An 8-bit GPU plus monitor means 8bit red, 8bit blue, 8 bit green. This gives you a total of 24bits of colour depth, or "16 million colours".
A 10-bit GPU plus monitor means 10bit red, 10bit blue, 10bit green. This gives you a total of 30bits of colour depth, or "1 billion colours".
You need special drivers for the 10bit output.
What about greyscale and B&W?
To get a pure grey, then all channels are set equally. With an 8 bit GPU plus panel you therefore only 8-bits of greyscale or 256 shades of grey! WHAT!
On a 10 bit GPU plus panel you get 10-bits of greyscale or 1024 shades of grey! WHAT!
As you can see, this is pretty crap especially if you are a doctor working with a digitised X-RAY. That is why professional GPUs and medical monitors are designed to work in 10bit and 12bit greyscale to get 1024-4096 shades of grey. This is really important on x-rays and still isnt that much really!
You need special drivers for the 10bit greyscale and a compatible 10bit greyscale monitor.
If you ever want to do B&W/greyscale work, then I recommend you find a 10-bit panel if you can. While your 8bit GPU might not be able to drive more than 256 shades of grey, at least the panel can help you by having manual controls on brightness and colour. Moreover, if you did get a workstation GPU, you would really see the improved quality especially in shadows and highlights. Combining highest performance and 10bit is expensive. However there are cheap 10bit GPUs out there... designed for 2D-desktop, just don't expect them to drive 3D. Not unless you want high end CAD at $$$$$.
Note that CHEAP CONSUMER panels aren't even 8bit. They are 6bit. And they "dither" from 6-bit to 8bit. That is why some people see "sparkle" on their cheap TFTs. Especially my cheap TN panel from Samsung that I want to replace with IPS for exactly this reason.