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Picking a New Monitor (whats with these prices and options?!)

1Kurgan1

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#1
My wifes monitor died last year so I gave her mine and then adopted our old 46" TV as a monitor. Well we had this for almost a decade and it's starting to go. So it's time to move on.

Now my dilemma is, the last time I bought a monitor (that 27"). The only real options was LCD or LED backlight and higher Hz. But now we got Freesync, G-sync, 21:9, 32:9, 1080p, 1440p, 2160p, and HDR.

Monitor prices have just gone insane. When I bought my 27" it was a top of the line and it was $330 and that was pricey for a monitor. Now that barely gets your feet wet with an entry level G-sync monitor. Anyways, I'm really leaning towards a G-sync monitor. My GTX 980 ti is more than enough for most 1080p games maxed out. But if I decided to go to 1440p it would be dipping under 60 for sure. So the move to G-sync might offset me buying a new card to keep over 60 always. Secondly 21:9 is starting to look really sexy. Sadly I'm use to at least the height of a 27" 16:9, which means a 34" or 35" 21:9 is probably where I'm looking.

The two options I find myself sort of stuck with are
Acer Predator 35" 2560x1080 G-sync and the LG 34" 2560x1080 G-sync

There's an AOC thats 3440x1440 for $799. It's tempting, but the 980 ti will just struggle more with that and it saves me some money (though I would love to go for that).

But the sad part is, HDR isn't there for G-sync. I been putting off a monitor purchase honestly for a year or two. Waiting till I could just get all the new features at once. And I feel at a cross roads, I can get 21:9 and G-sync (with higher Hz), but will miss out on HDR.

Is anyone else as disappointed with where monitors have gone? It also makes it hard to tell anyone about switching to PC. Sure they can use their TV or a cheaper monitor. But just to see the monitors that are recommended. Makes it hard to tell people that it's not that bad. That added on top of the mining videocard price boom.

Frustrating /end rant
 
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#2
Every part about computers almost has gone through the roof pricewise. Ram has more than doubled since I purchased my last set. Video cards, don't even get me started there,miners have KILLED stock/availability and in turn, pricing of what IS available. Monitors too, but to be honest I hadn't noticed they were that bad. It's not a good time to upgrade, unless your in the market for thermal paste, or possible a new cpu (which afaik) seem unaffected so far.
 
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1Kurgan1

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#3
I didn't realize RAM went up to. Looks like the DDR4 I bought back in 2014 is $40 more than it was then. So Monitors, Videocards, and RAM. As you said, processors seem to be fine as do mobo's and hard drives.

When the videocard market started going crazy in the summer I sold my old 290x. I sold it for the price I originally bought it for. Then upgraded to a GTX 980 ti for $10 more than I sold my 290 for. Then a week later after all the cheap GTX 1070's had been bought up the 980 ti's went up like $100. I'm glad I got my upgrade in then, I couldn't afford an upgrade now, especially since I actually do need a monitor.
 
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#4
Every part about computers almost has gone through the roof pricewise. Ram has more than doubled since I purchased my last set. Video cards, don't even get me started there,miners have KILLED stock/availability and in turn, pricing of what IS available. Monitors too, but to be honest I hadn't noticed they were that bad. It's not a good time to upgrade, unless your in the market for thermal paste, or possible a new cpu (which afaik) seem unaffected so far.
I'm not sure they are going through the roof so much as we are seeing the impacts of rampant inflation stateside.

That excluding videocard's of course. That is obviously miners doing. And Ram, which is its own story.
 
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#5
The question you should ask yourself is "Do I really need G-Sync" if you stick to an 1440p monitor with a high refresh rate 100Hz or more then probably no and HDR is like 3D it's pretty much a gimmick at the moment just like those wildly huge DCR (Dynamic Contrast Range) numbers of the past are full of shit
 

1Kurgan1

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#6
G-sync as far as I know shines while under 60 fps. I'm not really worried about cracking 144fps or 100fps to be honest. I play ARK a lot, it usually is under 60 FPS at 1920x1080. So I would see a nice benefit there. I'm of the school of thought that it's not maximum FPS that matters, but minimum. And thats where G-sync will shine. Those are the stutters the eyes pick up on. And not only that, but anytime the fps and Hz don't line up, there's room for issue. It doesn't need to be over 100 or 144Hz. It could be between 60 and 100. G-sync or Freesync aren't a mandatory thing of course, but their effect is a noticeable one to someone who has gamed for a long time.

I know HDR isn't the be all. But I've seen some compelling picture comparisons of monitors (not those cropped and advertisement ones). So it would be nice to have. But it's not even an option, so it won't be. I hear in a few months it could be an option, but $1200+ for monitors, so no chance.
 
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#7
G-sync as far as I know shines while under 60 fps. I'm not really worried about cracking 144fps or 100fps to be honest. I play ARK a lot, it usually is under 60 FPS at 1920x1080. So I would see a nice benefit there. I'm of the school of thought that it's not maximum FPS that matters, but minimum. And thats where G-sync will shine. Those are the stutters the eyes pick up on. And not only that, but anytime the fps and Hz don't line up, there's room for issue. It doesn't need to be over 100 or 144Hz. It could be between 60 and 100. G-sync or Freesync aren't a mandatory thing of course, but their effect is a noticeable one to someone who has gamed for a long time.

I know HDR isn't the be all. But I've seen some compelling picture comparisons of monitors (not those cropped and advertisement ones). So it would be nice to have. But it's not even an option, so it won't be. I hear in a few months it could be an option, but $1200+ for monitors, so no chance.
While G-Sync certainly is a benefit under 60 FPS, there are many other ways (better ways) to just have a smooth experience:

- per-game tweaks, of which the vast majority isn't even noticeable while playing. In many cases, you'd already do this anyway if the experience is undesirable.
- Investing the GSync premium into a better GPU / budget for the next one. This will not only keep you above 60 fps more readily, it lowers the total cost of ownership in the long run. Because GSync premium once paid is never coming back, but you are guaranteed to keep upgrading your GPU. And trust me: you won't upgrade any slower with Gsync; demands dont change and Gsync can only hide so much before it becomes de-facto Vsync with its input lag penalty.

IMO the niche that Gsync serves is non-existant due to its price premium. Add on the fact that quality wise, a good monitor AND Gsync is a hefty sum of money, and I would much rather invest big in a GOOD monitor without Gsync but with a nice, quality panel, a high refresh rate (120-144 is fine, dont go higher, pointless), and desired diagonal/resolution/PPI.

There are more simple ways to maintain stutter free, tear free experience without Gsync, found here
https://www.blurbusters.com/howto-low-lag-vsync-on/

Bottom line, if you want my two cents, dont invest in all the useless crap surrounding your monitor, and invest in the monitor/panel. It will serve a much longer life in the end. This includes HDR too, its a big no-no to invest in that right now, none of the standardized content is real HDR by any stretch of the imagination and 95% of the panels can't even properly display it.
 

1Kurgan1

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#8
There's no point in saving any money for a videocard upgrade. I have a GTX 980 ti that's highly overclocked. The next step up from that which is a very small one is a GTX 1080. And with the price boom a used GTX 1080 is about $700 on ebay... I bought my card for $375 used in the summer. I'm not spending an extra $325 for a 5% performance gain. My eye was on a GTX 1080 ti, but those are $1000+ used now, there's no way I'm going there.

Anyways, most of those methods are talking about frame capping and pretty much being over 60 FPS and making it smooth. Which is all well and good, but I play max settings and that comes with frame dips. And I don't see any of those methods really addressing that. I know of these methods for making high FPS smooth or not tear. But that's not my concern. It's not like you can cap to a minimum FPS, just just have to raise settings. Though I may have missed something.

And I do think G-sync is too expensive. But sadly nothing AMD offers really even competes with my 980ti. Yeah sure the Vegas, but a Vega 56 is $980+ on ebay. So going Freesync to save money really makes no sense.
 
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#9
If you have a 980ti and you're at 1080p/1440p then its better to just wait tbh. But stating there is only 5% between a 1070 and a 1080 is simply wrong - its 25-30%.
 
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#10
It basically falls into what you are doing and what you expect to see. If gaming is your deal, then requirements will be higher than most.

1080p - At this price point shooting for G-Sync, high refresh rate IPS drives proces up to near 1440p levels so I would ay no hear. You have a 980 Ti so fps will be very high and I'd therefore recommend a TN monitor with 144 Hz such as the Asus VG248QE or BenQ equivalent (2411). I'd forgo G-Sync as refresh rates with the 980 Ti are higher than the range where G-Sync really shows its colors. Unlike Freesync, G-Sync also provides ULMB (Motion Blur Reduction Technology) and if you had G-Sync, you'd prolly turn it off and use ULMB instead. Fortunately you can use the toastystrobelight utility to eliminate motion blur ... Net Cost about $250.

1440p - Here I recommend 165 Hz, IPS w/ G-Sync. The $700 price point is not that far above 1080p so if this is the tech you want, start at 1440p. With the 980 Ti, you won't be able to stay above the optimum G-Sync range (30 - 70- fps ... 40 - 70 for Freesync) in all games so the feature will provide significant benefit ... BTW, both sync technologies continue to work above 70 fps but theimpact of what it does diminishes the higher fps is and many G-Sync folks, myself included) will switch over to ULMB. The Acer XB271HU bmiprz is my 1st choice followed by the Asus PG279Q. They both ran about $700 when released a coule of years ago and production slowed in anticipation of new DP 1.4, 144 Hz HDR 4k IPS displays. But as the 4k ones have been delayed, demand is still string and prices have risen to $750 - $800

2160p - Here I'd wait for the 4k 144 hz HDR screens which were again shown at CES (were also shown last year) ... but I haven't seen a potential drop date since the fall when Jan 18 was expected.

VG248QE https://pcpartpicker.com/product/rkphP6/asus-monitor-vg248qe
XB271HU https://pcpartpicker.com/product/ttnG3C/acer-monitor-xb271hubmiprz
PG279Q https://pcpartpicker.com/product/XvfmP6/asus-monitor-pg279q

BTW, according to TPU testing .... @ 1440p
https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_1080_Ti/30.html

980 Ti = 57%
1070 = 64%
1080 = 78%
1080 Ti = 100%
 
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#11
I'm not sure they are going through the roof so much as we are seeing the impacts of rampant inflation stateside.
you can call it "through the ceiling" if you like? :laugh: the cause is moot, since it is what it is, regardless of cause. Im not interested at placing blame, as it wont resolve the matter, rather im just pissed its happening. , at the end of the day, Ram, GPU's on theyre own make it pretty tough to upgrade currently, not to mention the fact that you couldnt even find the GPU if you WERE willing to spend Rent on it. Ofc other factors are at play, but im less interested in currency rates, and inflation, and more interested in PC's and PC components.

On the other side of this issue, has anyone else noticed SSD prices have seemed to drop? I was dicking around on Amazon the other day, and i noticed that the Samsung 850EVO 500Gb was back down to the price i paid 3 years ago, $140 for 500Gb, and $80 for 250Gb! atleats thats some good news. i confirmed it by checking 4 different sites, and ALL were at the same price, newegg, amazon, breast buy, and another store i forget now.
 

1Kurgan1

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#12
If you have a 980ti and you're at 1080p/1440p then its better to just wait tbh. But stating there is only 5% between a 1070 and a 1080 is simply wrong - its 25-30%.
I didn't say the difference between a 1070 and a 1080 was 5%, in fact I didn't mention a 1070 at all except for to say they had already gone up in price so I didn't buy one. I said that was the performance difference between a high OC'd 980 ti and a 1080, and I'm not wrong. Plenty of people have even had their Ti's perform equal with their 1080's. This is of course not OC'ing the 1080. But my point is, it's not worth it for me to spend $325+ to find only a performance gain when I OC my new card.

And I'd love to go 4K, but with all these new monitor features and the size of a monitor I want, that's far outside the price range. So yeah, that's why I'm mostly worried about a monitor, it's just not worth it to upgrade my card right now.

All great advice. Problem is though, I'm not really looking for a 16:9 monitor. Which is what G-Sync has me interested. I know the 980 ti is great for 1920x1080 at max settings. Not many games it dips down to 60 with. But 2560x1080 I think that threshold will crack since some games already push that limit.

1920x1080 = 2,073,600 pixels
2560x1080 = 2,764,800 pixels
2560x1440 = 3,686,400 pixels

That $700 price point is what gets me like a Acer Predator x35 (1080p version). Sure I could go for the Predator 27" with higher resolution for the height in pixels. But it's 7" smaller and has a worse field of view. They both got G-Sync and both their Hz are high enough to not matter. And I think both with the res increase will push me down. I just think the x35 is so much sexier for that price. Though I could go with a 35" Curved 21:9 monitor without G-Sync for less. But then it becomes tempting to get a 3440x1440 one (be able $100 - $150 cheaper. But then I'm back to an FPS problem which rules that out, lol.

Also those TPU charts are for stock clocks. Remember that the card in those charts is 1000mhz core and like 1750mhz ram. I'm running my card at 1400mhz core and 2000mhz ram. Which is a 40% OC, so that 31% difference between the 980 Ti and the 1080, that's gone. The 980 Ti is a nasty overclocker. But like I said above i nthis post, sure could OC a 1080 too. I'm just saying that there is no point in spending $325 to upgrade my card to only get a card that gives me a performance increase once I OC it. I didn't even this it was worth spending $325 to move to a 1080 Ti back when they were $700. There's no way I'd spend that on a non-Ti 1080.
 
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#13
It not a common recommendation but I picked up a Dell S2716DG. 27" 1440p 144hz Gsync $460 prime shipped. I got mine for $450 last year and I saw $410 around black Friday. I've been very happy with mine paired with a gtx 1080.

What really made gsync worth it for me was how much it impacted the badly optimized/badly ported games. I play a mix of AAA titles and games that should get crushed by any modern GPU but seem to fall on their face fps wise due to how their engines are coded (Looking at you Grim Dawn and Guild Wars 2), Also played a few PS3/PS4 ports like Tale of Zestria that are 30 and 60 fps locked and gsync really helped smooth them out. Can't always judge a monitor saying a bigger cpu/gpu will get you to the point where you don't need adaptive sync because some game engines just won't do it. It really depends on what you like playing.
 
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#14
If your TV was good enough get a real nice 1080P HDTV.
 
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#15
I didn't realize RAM went up to. Looks like the DDR4 I bought back in 2014 is $40 more than it was then. So Monitors, Videocards, and RAM. As you said, processors seem to be fine as do mobo's and hard drives.
I got most of my current PC somewhere in June. RAM went up by 50% since then.
Same for GPUs: I bought my 1050 just days before the prices went up. And even though they're back down again, it still costs 10% more than I paid - half a year later, with next generation around the corner.

So despite buying KL just few months before CL came out (with a half of cores more), I'm pretty happy with the purchase. I'd have to pay more for the same set now (even with i3-8100 being much cheaper than my i5-7500).
I'm not a huge fan of LG monitor design, but one thing has to be said: they have a visible lead in panel technology right now. This makes LG a safer choice in my book. And it's a solid IPS, which possibly means better colors and more comfortable general use. Acer's panel seems fairly random by comparison.
 
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#16
All great advice. Problem is though, I'm not really looking for a 16:9 monitor. Which is what G-Sync has me interested. I know the 980 ti is great for 1920x1080 at max settings. Not many games it dips down to 60 with. But 2560x1080 I think that threshold will crack since some games already push that limit.

That $700 price point is what gets me like a Acer Predator x35 (1080p version). Sure I could go for the Predator 27" with higher resolution for the height in pixels. But it's 7" smaller and has a worse field of view. They both got G-Sync and both their Hz are high enough to not matter. And I think both with the res increase will push me down. I just think the x35 is so much sexier for that price. Though I could go with a 35" Curved 21:9 monitor without G-Sync for less. But then it becomes tempting to get a 3440x1440 one (be able $100 - $150 cheaper. But then I'm back to an FPS problem which rules that out, lol.

Also those TPU charts are for stock clocks. Remember that the card in those charts is 1000mhz core and like 1750mhz ram. I'm running my card at 1400mhz core and 2000mhz ram. Which is a 40% OC, so that 31% difference between the 980 Ti and the 1080, that's gone. The 980 Ti is a nasty overclocker. But like I said above i nthis post, sure could OC a 1080 too. I'm just saying that there is no point in spending $325 to upgrade my card to only get a card that gives me a performance increase once I OC it. I didn't even this it was worth spending $325 to move to a 1080 Ti back when they were $700. There's no way I'd spend that on a non-Ti 1080.
1. That would have been good to know up front but as long as your prepared for the issues associated with wide screens, ya gotta get what ya like. I got nothing bad to say about G-Sync other than it's useless on a 980 Ti at 1080p... if you're over 70 fps, and you have G-Sync, you'dlike;ly prefer turning it off and using ULMB. And you can get MBR w/o the hardware cost of the G-0Sync hardware module. Using MBR on a Asus VG248QE costs ya $250. A decent 1080p 144hs monitor doubles that. If Im gonna spend that much money on 1080p, I;ll invest 4200 more ina 1440p IPS.

2. Bigger screens is **NOT** always a good thing, Adding inches brings down pixel density and image quality. Acer Z352560 x 1080 w/ 35" screen has only 79.39 pixels per inch ... the average human eye can distinguish individual pixels at below 96ppi. gaming monitors are usually > 100. Im 63 years old and find such monitors "grainy" in appearance. So yes, it looks sexier sitting on a desk and is impressive too look at ... but then you turn it on and use it and, for me, it disappoints. My son has a 27" Acer IPS 144 hz 1440p and his college roomie had the LG equivalent of the Z35 ... I sat down at the LG and was 1st impressed with the sense of immersion of the wide curved screen, but going back to the 27' 1440p Acer, the image was sharper and the color quality far greater ... the 35' looked "washed out" by comparison.

3. Yes Im well aware that they are the stock clocks but we wanan talk apples and apples. If you look at any of the AIB card, you can't do an apples and apples comparison since the review compares the factory overclocked card with all the other reference cards. Getting what ya want however is very simple. In each review of an AIB card, we can compare the manually overclocked AIB card with the reference card, usually around page. I'll use the manually overclocked numbers for the MSI Gaming X OCd fps = 214.3 / Refence card stock = 186.9 for 1080 Ti

980 Ti = 57% x 130.5 / 102.6 = 72.50
1070 = 64% x 139.7 / 117.9 = 75.83
1080 = 78% x 159.9 / 137.9 = 99.44
1080 Ti = 100% x 214.3 / 186.9 = 114.66

leaving the MSi 1080 Gaming X about 37% faster than the 980 Ti Gaming X. I am not saying that it may not be concidered worth it fo spend XXX Dollars to get a YY.Y increase in performance, but the Card A overclocked ~ Card B stock is a false equivalency
 

1Kurgan1

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#17
What really made gsync worth it for me was how much it impacted the badly optimized/badly ported games.
That's what I'm getting at. I play ARK, it is horribly optimized. Plus even well optimized games have their dips and issues too.

1. That would have been good to know up front.
My OP says 21:9 is where I am looking and I linked two 21:9 monitors in it.

2. Bigger screens is **NOT** always a good thing, Adding inches brings down pixel density and image quality.
Well I'm playing on a 1080p 46" right now, so it won't be worse than this. But I do know what you mean, it's why I would rather go like 3440x1440. The AOC 35" is where I would like to land, but that's another $100 and it will most likely kick my 980's ass.

Yes Im well aware that they are the stock clocks but we wanan talk apples and apples. If you look at any of the AIB card, you can't do an apples and apples comparison since the review compares the factory overclocked card with all the other reference cards. Getting what ya want however is very simple. In each review of an AIB card, we can compare the manually overclocked AIB card with the reference card, usually around page. I'll use the manually overclocked numbers for the MSI Gaming X OCd fps = 214.3 / Refence card stock = 186.9 for 1080 Ti

980 Ti = 57% x 130.5 / 102.6 = 72.50
1070 = 64% x 139.7 / 117.9 = 75.83
1080 = 78% x 159.9 / 137.9 = 99.44
1080 Ti = 100% x 214.3 / 186.9 = 114.66

leaving the MSi 1080 Gaming X about 37% faster than the 980 Ti Gaming X. I am not saying that it may not be concidered worth it fo spend XXX Dollars to get a YY.Y increase in performance, but the Card A overclocked ~ Card B stock is a false equivalency
That's missing my entire point. Price matters, you compare what is cheapest. If that's AIB vs Reference, that's what you compare. Because if I was insane and decided to throw the money, it would be for the cheapest used card on ebay, which will most likely be reference, which makes it a real world comparison and that's all that matters to me. I understand you want to compare apples to apples. But I've said it like 4 times in this thread. I don't want to spend $325 to get a card that is only faster once OC'd. And that price would get me in the door for a reference card most likely, so that's what I will compare to. I'm not doing a review of cards and don't need to compare them AIB to AIB, I'm doing a review of my wallet and bank account.

The price gap is too large to only see a performance gain after overclocking. It simply is not worth it. When 1080 ti's were the price of 1080's that was tempting. Get a card way faster out of the box than mine then OC it. But when my card still kicks ass, it doesn't matter if the 1080 will be faster once OC'd the gap is too large. Like I said I know a 1080 OC'd is faster, I never ever argued that point once, so I don't really know whats the point in throwing around numbers. Nothing I said was wrong.
 
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1Kurgan1

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#18
Well, after talking about PPI and looking around I ended up deciding to move up to 3440x1440 and decided that a VA panel with it's ghosting wouldn't do. I had someone offer me a Alienware AW3418DW for $850 and I probably should have bought that. But oh well. I ended up snagging a Acer Predator x34 with a warranty till 12/20/2020 for just $740. So I got 3440x1440, G-Sync, 8bit + FRC (close as I'm going to get to 10 for now), 100Hz (with overclock), 21:9, and 35". So I pretty much ticked every box on what I was looking for. Just took a while to find one for the right price.
 
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