Is Super Ultrawide Too Wide? 

If you thought gaming on a normal, 21:9 ultrawide monitor was ridiculous, wait until you get a load of a 32:9 superwide.

Viotek’s SUW49C is a 48 inch curved “super” ultrawide display, capable of playing many games at 3840 by 1080 resolution. Too much?

Just when I thought my IKEA office desk was long enough, along comes this monster. I’ve long been a fan of ultrawide monitors.

Given a choice between a higher resolution, 4K display and a lower resolution ultrawide with a nice refresh rate, I’ll pick the ultrawide every time. I’d rather have more screen real estate without taxing my video card too terribly than try to push four times the pixels of standard HD. When Viotek offered me a chance to play with the even longer than ultrawide SUW49C, I jumped at the chance.

The SUW49C is essentially two 1920 by 1080 monitors squished together. A lot of people use two monitors while working and playing. This is that, only without the bezels and with a pleasant, 1800R curve.

It takes up a lot of desk space, being 46 inch across. Though it looks mighty imposing, it’s still smaller than two identical monitors would be.

It’s not 4K, but it’s got all the other bells and whistles folks look for in a gaming monitor. It’s one of the first super ultrawide monitors to support HDR (high dynamic range), though the effect isn’t very pronounced. It boasts a 144hz refresh rate, though in order to achieve a 4ms response time, the lowest a VA panel can achieve, the refresh rate has to be dropped to 120hz in the monitor’s menu.

It has Gameplus crosshair functionality, which means it can throw up a hardware crosshair (red dot, plus sign) on the display to help with aiming. Plus it comes with a remote, which is great for folks in massive electric wheelchairs who can’t reach the back of the monitor.

Specs

  • 48 inch 32:9 super ultrawide display

  • Ultra-thin, bezel-less design

  • AMD FreeSync

  • 144hz refresh rate

  • 3840x1080 resolution

  • 1800R curvature / 178° viewing angle

  • 1M:1 dynamic contrast, 16.7M colours, 99% sRGB gamut

  • 4ms response time

  • Gameplus crosshair functionality

  • Xbox ready

  • Remote included

  • VESA mountable

  • Internal speakers

First Impression

Holy hell is this thing long. I’ve used two monitors side-by-side before, but this long, uninterrupted field of pixels is something else. Most applications or websites I visit during my daily rounds pop up squarely in the center of the display. Others try to stretch, often with hilarious results.

(I thought my banner was high enough resolution. I was wrong.)

Watching videos on the SUW49C, I run into the same problem as I do with standard ultrawide, only larger. Big black boxes on the side of the screen, because no one makes super ultrawide videos.

It’s the same with most video game cutscenes. Even when the game I am playing supports 3840 by 1080 resolution, pre-rendered cutscenes never do.

The Division 2

Black, boxy sides are a plague on ultra and super ultrawide monitors, but when those boxes go away, damn.

The Division 2

I was surprised by the number of games that support super ultrawide resolution out of the box. The Division 2 handles the extra space smartly, keeping UI elements on the center of the screen, outside of the periphery.

The Division 2

Other games, like my beloved Final Fantasy 14, look spectacular but might require some user interface tweaking before being playable. Considering the UI-heavy nature of massively multiplayer online role-playing games, once configured with the right mods, the extra screen space could be a godsend.

Final Fantasy XIV

Speaking of MMOs, I was incredibly surprised to discover that one of my very first MMORPGs, 1999’s EverQuest, works perfectly at super ultrawide resolution. I’ve never seen the city of Freeport look like this. It’s kind of dizzying.

Everquest

It’s odd when a game from two decades ago has better display support than one released earlier this year. For instance, here is Devil May Cry 5 running on the Viotek monitor.

Devil May Cry 5

Ugh, so unfortunate and frustrating. Such a pretty game, I just wanted to see more of it. Fortunately, Capcom’s latest seems to be an exception rather than the rule. Plus, the ultrawide and super ultrawide gaming community is pretty quick to fix developer oversights when possible.

Gaming in super ultrawide is mighty impressive and very immersive. Sometimes too immersive, as the extra stuff on the sides of the screen in say, a competitive shooter, can be more distracting than helpful. But I don’t play many competitive shooters. Just cooperative ones, with other players to pick up the slack if I get distracted by the scenery.

Anthem

There’s also the SUW49C’s hidden talent: It’s got one DisplayPort port, three HDMI and a DVI port. Plug any two sources into those, say your PC and an Xbox One X, and you can run them side-by-side on the same monitor. It’s a beautiful thing.

For some, super ultrawide might be too wide. It’s a lot to take in and takes up a lot of space. Someone who likes to sit up close to their computer monitor might want to stay away, lest they risk neck strain from constantly turning their head.

But me, I embrace this ridiculously long monitor. Super ultrawide is grand and glorious, and Viotek’s SUW49C is one of the most accessible, least expensive means of achieving it.


Comments

    The issue I see with niche products like this is that most developers simply won't design around or support that form factor.

    I'd like to see footage from a game that takes place from first person, indoors. I suspect that field of vision would really start to do your head in.

      Not really. All that's required is being able to set a resolution and ultrawide resolutions have been possible for quite awhile as that is how multi-monitor gaming works.

        Thats the problem though. Not everyone is making those ultrawide resolutions an option. When they do, they dont always work properly. Its definitely possible, but it needs the developers to actively design for it as well, or its rubbish.

        Its not the same as multi monitors.

          I've gotta say, we've generally come a long way from the bad old days of when Eyefinity first came out. A majority of titles will handle this fine, just due to how we handle resolution and ui scaling in the modern day.

          As someone who played maybe 50 games at wider than this over a period of 5 years, I have to disagree, wsgf does exist after all. And yes, it's exactly the same as multi-monitors when the number of monitors is 3 as in my case.

      Yeah that would be a concern for me too. I'd hate to try playing a shooter and wind up feeling sick because of the weird FOV.

      I think also that it's too big to effectively catch activity in the corners of the screen. I feel like a twitch shooter would be problematic on it. I think though, it'd be amazing for driving games and flight sims. And if you could get developers to write for it it could be cool for other games too. I'd love to have say a map on the left side of the screen while I have my "visible window" in front of me and stats or inventory on the right side. Be nicer than having to remember hot keys.

      The fact this is effectively two monitors side by side with no bezel is nice. But it has one downside, if you have two monitors and one fails you can buy another. Which of course leads to the price. We're talking $1000+ for this sort of thing and probably the "cheapest" one I'd buy is a Samsung that is about $1260. Two decent 1920x1020 monitors with similar performance is going to be much cheaper.

        I played over a dozen FPS games at wider that this and it isn't an issue. The middle 16:9 section of the screen will look the same regardless of how much wider the screen is beyond that (or in my case, an entire monitor each side). The FOV does get weird and stretched towards the sides but they are for your peripheral anyway, not looking at directly and using as if your character is turning their head. Then again, I also don't any sort of motion sickness from say reading in the car, 3D movies or playing VR so some might be sensitive to it even in their periphery.

          I don't get motion sickness but certain FPS games cause me sim sickness. So it's a definite concern to me. FOV tweaks are a common tip to help ease it, they don't work for me but they do for some people. So yeah I can see it being a problem with a monitor like this.

    I question how good it is for someone's health, sitting that close to such a screen, playing an intense games like Division. Thats not a complaint, I am merely intrigued.

    Never tried one so I can't really comment.

    Based off the screen shots though, that crazy amount of horizontal field of view just highlights the lack of vertical space, like eventually the length just shows the lack of height.

    That's all well and good, but did anyone else notice the BALL MOUSE? :o

    As someone who gamed on 3x27" monitors in surround at 7680x1440 (so, wider than this) for 5 years it's pretty easy to say, no, it isn't too much. It always felt great to play with, particularly in first person, and it's rare that wsgf doesn't have a fix for making the game work correctly at that size. I played older games like the original Bioshock and even Mount & Blade like that and it was fine.

    That being said, I've downsized to a single screen before buying an ultra-wide, and I honestly haven't been looking at super-ultra-wides. I don't think it makes that much difference compared to a normal ultra-wide and I won't miss the extra sides all that much. I would never ever go back to just a single normal screen like now however, it is utterly frustrating how limited the screen space is for productivity.

    I ran on a triple HD setup using a hd6990 and it was amazing. So much so these days I have an X34. Wider but shorter is tempting..

    The number of comments on the steam forums where prior are fucking livid that a game made by 12 person team doesn't support their weird 9 monitor setup is wild.

    I wonder how this would go in a sim racing setup instead of three monitors? I’m unsure it wraps around enough for the effect to work, but don’t know.

    Anyone?

    Looks like it would be pretty annoying for games that have important HUD elements on both sides of the screen. It would be like watching a tennis match.

    Owning a 3440x1440 34", I can say that, yes, 3840x1080 is too much, and not enough, at the same time.

    At times, my 34" is too wide, but usually it's very good. Anything wider is probably just going to be annoying, and not actually useful.

    Also the lack of height would be thoroughly frustrating.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now