The Most Ridiculous PC Monitor I Have Ever Used

The Most Ridiculous PC Monitor I Have Ever Used

I got not one, but two monitors from LG for review last week. One was a specialised gaming monitor. The other was a lot more fun.

The gaming monitor, the LG 24GM77 (catchy!), made a lot of boasts, and included a lot of "gaming" features like promises to reduce response time, but I'll be honest, I didn't notice anything looking any smoother or faster. Aside from some punchier colours, I couldn't see much difference between its performance and my own cheap-arse Asus monitor.

The Most Ridiculous PC Monitor I Have Ever Used

It had a pretty decent build quality though, and could also easily rotate 90-degrees in case you wanted a vertical monitor for a secondary display (or you have a SHMUP fetish).

The other monitor, though, is the one I want to talk about. The 34UC97, aka the Curved UltraWide, it is the most ridiculous display I have ever played a video game on, and that's coming from someone who's played Halo in a cinema.

It is 34-inches. That's bigger than a lot of people's TV sets. It's also curved. And that real estate is stretched over a 21:9 display ratio, which on a TV set - where most content at 16:9 - is all but useless (only certain movies, like blockbuster epics, are filmed in 21:9), but on a monitor is a revelation.

The basic idea is that it allows you to perform functions normally reserved for a dual-display setup on a single screen. So during work hours, I could have Chrome open on the left hand side of the monitor, with Photoshop on the right, which made a lot of my work (especially the behind-the-scenes stuff) a lot easier to manage.

The Most Ridiculous PC Monitor I Have Ever Used

But whatever, that's boring, and it's the kind of stuff people who need two monitors probably already have two monitors for. Where the UltraWide shone was with media and games.

The first thing I did when I set the screen up was go to YouTube and fire up a movie trailer, see how it went. I chose the Force Awakens clip - yes, when it comes to the first look at a Star Wars movie, I am a hypocrite - and enjoyed the fact that it automatically defaulted to a fullscreen 21:9 display, with no cropping. While most 1080p content ended up a little blurry (the screen's native resolution is 3440x1440), higher-res stuff looked incredible. It's amazing the difference it makes seeing 21:9 video with no black bars.

The second thing I did was play some games. Games are the only thing you should consider buying this monitor for.

I've never bothered with a dual-monitor setup because the thought of monitor frames interrupting my vision makes my OCD burst into flames. The UltraWide, though, let me play games in 3440x1440 with no interruptions whatsoever, and it was glorious.

The Most Ridiculous PC Monitor I Have Ever Used

Far Cry 4 was cinematic (see above). Civilisation V was epic in the scale it could display. I'm not normally a fan of curved displays, because on TV sets - where you're sat at a distance - I think they're a stupid novelty. But here, at my standing desk, the screen was right in front of me, and the curves were wrapping around my peripheral vision.

It wasn't all a glorious improvement, though. In action games and shooters, the monitor does nothing but make a game more immersive and attractive, but in stuff like strategy games, it introduces its own sets of headaches. If a game needs you to be clicking through menus or responding to prompts, it can take an eternity to get your mouse from one end of the screen to the other, which slows you down and makes it a bit of a hassle. UPDATE - Yes, you can increase your mouse speed. Which I did (my Mionix lets me switch on the fly). But in testing I found that having to constantly switch between desktop, FPS and strategy speeds was a huge hassle. THAT SAID, I was testing! I guess if all you do is play Civ V all day, this isn't as big a deal!

That extended to my use of the display in more mundane tasks like using Chrome; accessing a tab at the top-left of the screen then responding to a pop-up on the bottom-right quickly became more trouble than the benefits of the screen size were providing.

Because of this, I actually found myself disconnecting the display for most of the day, and using it only for certain activities, like playing a first-person shooter or driving game.

Which at the end of the day leaves me torn on the monitor, which is very expensive (it retails for $US1300 in the US). For games, unless you prefer glass displays at this pricier end of the market (this has a regular matte coating) it's almost unbeatable. Every time I go back and play Far Cry 4 on my regular 16:10 23-inch display, I get a little sad. But given the hassles involved in using it for other tasks (and that price), I can't recommend it to everyone.

If you're an independently wealthy PC gamer with a penchant for first-person shooters, though, knock yourself out.


Comments

    I've considered monitors like this at times, but I often use my consoles through the extra HDMI inputs in my PC monitor, and there's usually weirdness if they're not 16:9. :(

    "It is 34-inches. That’s bigger than a lot of people’s TV sets."
    Huh?

    Last edited 18/12/14 1:17 pm

      I guess to be fair a 32" might be standard for some people. I have 2 32" TV at my place but one is in the bedroom and one is in a spare room, neither are my main TV's.

      they sell 50 inch tvs for like $500 these days lol

      It's not that far fetched a claim actually. Unless your house was built in the last decade, chances are your lounge room is of the more "traditional" layout and you have on of those large cabinets to store TV and everything else. Those things sort of limit the screen size you can have.

      There are plenty of people who a) don't live in McMansions, and thus don't need home jumbotrons, or b) last purchased a TV when 32in was the most common size.

    I'd rotate it 90 degrees for far cry 4. Got to keep one eye on the sky for those damn eagles.

    Describing this as a 34" monitor is a bit problematic, it's hard to compare that with other existing monitors. How tall is it, for the vertical resolution of 1440?

    I've seen these ultrawide monitors around for years now, but the resolution has always worried me. I don't want a 30" TV, 6" away from my face, with a 1080p resolution....

      A 34" monitor with a resolution of 3440x1440 = Screen size of 13.13" vertical height & 31.36" horizontal width.

      Since this model is curved, the width edge to edge with a straight ruler would be slightly less.

    I would love something like this.

    However I upgraded to a 27 inch 1440p monitor and currently two 970s isn't good enough. Well Yes for basically everything but Crysis 3 it is fine, but it really is quite borderline for a bunch of games running them maxed out.

    So I would not consider this unless I was dropping a lot of money on a new PC with an insane graphics card set up.

      Two GTX970s struggling with one 1440p?
      Must be something wrong. My two GTX670s run fine with triple monitor 5870x1080, both base clocks with 2GB RAM.

        You must be playing some rubbish games then, I'd love to see decent framerates out of a pair of 670s at that resolution on current games.

          I would lean more towards current games being rubbish. I built a new PC for someone the other day and BF4 runs smooth as silk but COD:AW which looks far worse runs like crap and takes 10 minutes to load.

          Nop. Play all sorts of games, many current. Sure these days you can notice a frame rate drop on ULTRA setting, but I never go below HIGH, even on the latest games. And if anything, it's purely because the cards don't have enough RAM.

            Ah yes, so you're playing on lower settings.

            I can play anything in 1440p with good frames at lower settings. Some games like FC4 and AW I can run on one card as the SLI doesn't work properly.

            There's plenty I can run max. Games I can run with DSR on. However there are some stuff I simply can not run with out tweaking AA, or turning it down.

            I like maxing things out though.

      Yeah I have a 2560 x 1440 with two OC 680s and have all current games running half high half Ultra

        I'm running 2560 x 1600 on an HPZR30w monitor, with the original EVGA GTX Titan single card, eats everything from the original Guildwars to Bioshock Infinite and BF4, would like to check this one out though, and the matte finish is a nice touch too...

    I am a bit overdue for a major computer replacement, this may be on the cards. got myself a benQ I can rotate 90deg and can use it for web browsing etc.

    I'd rather have the Asus ROG Swift with 144hz and G-Sync

    On their YouTube Channel, Linus Tech Tips did a tri-monitor set up with those 3440x1440 LG monitors, they powered it with 3x 8GB R9 290's. Was pretty fucken insane to say the least.

    Yeah I had the non curved version of this LG monitor. My monitor before is was a 120hz alienware. I saw a review for it and was blown away.... So I snapped it up and started trying out games with it.... Heed my warnings:

    1. This is not a gaming monitor. The refresh rate is only 60hz and that's through direct connect. The other connection option is Hdmi and while this is a lot less finicky then the direct cable it's only 50hZ. While playing fast paced games I noticed major input lag.

    2. It's also almost a 4k monitor in resolution so you need a beasty beast to run things on full settings. I have a dual top of the line Gpu system I built recently and it still couldn't get a decent FPS with everything maxed on some games (2x290x).

    3. Most games don't have a 16:9 option... This might not be obvious but it was really annoying trying out games from my huge library and most of them had to be shrunk down with huge black bars on the side.

    I would suggest picking a monitor with a better refresh rate if you're a serious gamer (also require beasty gpus lol)

    Last edited 18/12/14 2:20 pm

    pretty sure you meant 21:9... i can't actually think of a recent game that doesn't support 16:9...

    either way it sounds exactly like my experience with nvidia surround... i ran 3 x dell u2711's... the lack of support shocked me... so i sold them all and got a 27" 120hz screen and never looked back

    I own one of the curved 21:9 monitors that are in the article.
    I've had it for about a month.
    I use it mostly for gaming. It's a complete dream to use.
    For pretty much the first 3 weeks I found my self saying "wow" every time I woke it from sleep.
    I use it for elite dangerous, planetside 2, Battlefield 4, among other games and it is a blast.
    A thing I thought I'd call out.. I used to have a three monitor setup (5760x1080). Obviously the old monitor setup was more taxing on my single GPU, however it provided a larger peripheral view.
    The curved 34" doesn't wrap around me as far as the triple display, but it keeps the part I used the most (the area immediate left and right) and loses the far right and left. I don't even miss it.
    Overall, only one regret: I didn't get it sooner.

    Last edited 18/12/14 11:29 pm

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