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RedKestrel

What to look for in a monitor

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I've started thinking about replacing my basic monitor on my set up and I'm running into a basic problem - I really have no idea what to look for.

There seems to be a lot of buzzwords and abbreviations out there and I can't tell if half of it is just fluff or if its technical specs that might be bad or good for a flight sim setup.

Anyone have a rundown on what features are important in a monitor for a game like Il-2, and what kind of things to avoid?

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I'm in the same boat! Right now I have 3 x 27" monitors (from 2011) for mainly racing games, but for flight simming I really only use one due to 3 screens on my favorite sims eat too many fps.

 

With VR becoming the norm going forward I'd love to get rid of the 3 screens and go with one really nice screen. I think if you have a beefy new video card gsync or freesync is a must to provide much smoother gaming...but I don't really know much about them either. Following this thread!

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I haven't used a > 60hz display, but a lot of people say they're awesome. I suspect for flight sims you'll get a benefit from going from 60 to 75 to 90 to 100, but you might not get a lot beyond 100hz, and you certainly pay for higher refresh rates.

 

Personally I think ultrawide 21:9 is where it's at for most gaming, rather than having a 2 monitor setup. I have a 21:9 ultrawide but it's only 1080 vertically. If I was buying again today I think I'd be looking for 100hz 21:9 ultrawide with 1440 vertical pixels.

 

For flight simming, input lag matters a lot less than for FPS / shooters. If you're just flight simming you might be fine just enabling vsync and choosing graphics settings that allow your GPU to pin the monitor at max refresh rate. I have an NVidia card so I might consider G-sync, but it adds a lot to the cost of a monitor. NVidia are increasingly allowing adaptive refresh rates on FreeSync monitors (the AMD/open version of G-sync) but I'm not sure how many models are compatible.

 

The CAD$550 model from my local supplier looks good. $100 instant savings, $30 mail in rebate taking it to $519.99 + tax, and for that you're getting 34in curved ultrawide, 100hz, freesync, and 3440 x 1440 resolution. And MSI claims it's Gsync compatible. That's the MSI Optix MAG341CQ.

 

Obligatory VR pitch: If you're buying a new monitor and have a GPU that can drive it, you could spend the money on a VR headset instead...

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1 hour ago, Alonzo said:

I haven't used a > 60hz display, but a lot of people say they're awesome. I suspect for flight sims you'll get a benefit from going from 60 to 75 to 90 to 100, but you might not get a lot beyond 100hz, and you certainly pay for higher refresh rates.

 

Personally I think ultrawide 21:9 is where it's at for most gaming, rather than having a 2 monitor setup. I have a 21:9 ultrawide but it's only 1080 vertically. If I was buying again today I think I'd be looking for 100hz 21:9 ultrawide with 1440 vertical pixels.

 

For flight simming, input lag matters a lot less than for FPS / shooters. If you're just flight simming you might be fine just enabling vsync and choosing graphics settings that allow your GPU to pin the monitor at max refresh rate. I have an NVidia card so I might consider G-sync, but it adds a lot to the cost of a monitor. NVidia are increasingly allowing adaptive refresh rates on FreeSync monitors (the AMD/open version of G-sync) but I'm not sure how many models are compatible.

 

The CAD$550 model from my local supplier looks good. $100 instant savings, $30 mail in rebate taking it to $519.99 + tax, and for that you're getting 34in curved ultrawide, 100hz, freesync, and 3440 x 1440 resolution. And MSI claims it's Gsync compatible. That's the MSI Optix MAG341CQ.

 

Obligatory VR pitch: If you're buying a new monitor and have a GPU that can drive it, you could spend the money on a VR headset instead...

My GPU is a GTX 1060. Not looking to get into VR,  can’t afford the unit or the rig to run it well. I guess I’m really looking for a monitor in the three to four hundred range with better colour, resolution and refresh than my current cheap one. Thanks for the tips!

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1 hour ago, RedKestrel said:

My GPU is a GTX 1060. Not looking to get into VR,  can’t afford the unit or the rig to run it well. I guess I’m really looking for a monitor in the three to four hundred range with better colour, resolution and refresh than my current cheap one. Thanks for the tips!

 

Well, I still like my 2560x1080 60hz ultrawide, it's just I'd rather have a 1440p version 😉

 

Here's a 60hz 1440 ultrawide for $399 off Amazon US. Here's a 200hz 1080 ultrawide for $300.

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11 hours ago, Alonzo said:

 

Well, I still like my 2560x1080 60hz ultrawide, it's just I'd rather have a 1440p version 😉

 

Here's a 60hz 1440 ultrawide for $399 off Amazon US. Here's a 200hz 1080 ultrawide for $300.

Thanks for your help here, I think I have a better idea of what I'm looking at.

Unfortunately I'm looking at a new desk, thirsting after some new rudder pedals, and also a monitor. How can I pick??? Fortunately for me none of it is at the immediate need stage, but that means justifying the expense is even harder! 

 

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The monitor is the toughest one to choose. The biggest dilemma. I'm in the process of creating a new PC companion and now I'm entering in the GPU stage (rx5700xt or rtx2070 super). But the monitor is what is hard one to decide. So my dilemma is whether I should go with a 24''/1080p@144Hz or sacrifice the higher refresh rate smoothness which I hear so much about and I've always wanted to see/feel and go with a 27''/1440p@60Hz. Also, I'm considering the pixel density which from what I've learned from researching online, both for gaming and everyday use such as browsing, is ideal at:  - 24 inch monitor @1080p = 91 ppi  and  - 27 inch monitor @1440p = 108 ppi.

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I have a LG 29" 2560x1080 75Hz ultra wide monitor and I would like to replace it because of the low refresh rate.

 

At nowadays I should recommend a LG model 34UC79G-B Ultrawide 144Hz 34" FullHD (2560x1080) IPS, Acer model Predator XB1 XB271HU Wide 165Hz (overclocked) 27" WQHD (2560x1440) IPS or Samsung 27´ Widescreen Curved, Full HD, 144Hz, LC27FG73FQLXZD VA. I don't tried 4k yet but I will not buy anything with less than 120Hz.

There are better monitors (such Alienware Ultrawide 120Hz 1440P Ultrawide curved) but they are too much expensive.

 

EDIT

 

GTX 1060 isn't strong GPU to run at 1440p but you, probably, will replace it (GPU) firstly than other monitor (after new one) so 1440p still a good option.

 

SCG_ErwinP

 

*English isn't my primary language. I still learning it.

Edited by 3./JG15_Eich_1

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My choice came down to the Samsung 24" 1080p@144hz. Decent monitor with good reviews. And it's also good for every day use not just for gaming/flight sim. The other monitor I considered was the Asus ROG Strix  but in the end I've decided to go with the Samsung (VA) not just for being cheaper but because I think it's better than the Asus (TN). Plus I like the curvature which comes natural to the eyes. I hope this helps for those who are having difficulties in choosing monitor.

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If you are not getting VR, go for an ultrawide monitor. It was the best decision that I made. The field of view is just amazing for simulators. A 16:9 monitor becomes a very tight shoe in comparison.

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While ultra wide 1080 ads to the screen area, it doesn't improve pixel density over standard 1080p. I'd rather do the jump to 1440p and get a solid boost in quality.

The difference in image quality between 1080p and 1440p is significant. 

10 hours ago, Hans_Landa said:

So in the end I went with the  ASUS TUF-Gaming-VG27AQ. Beauty!

 

 

That's a nice, future proof screen.:salute:

Edited by Jaws2002

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36 minutes ago, Jaws2002 said:

While ultra wide 1080 ads to the screen area, it doesn't improve pixel density over standard 1080p. I'd rather do the jump to 1440p and get a solid boost in quality.

The difference in image quality between 1080p and 1440p is significant. 

Well, there are ultra wide LCD 1440p (e.g. DELL Alienware)- IMHO very convenient for sim enthusiasts 😉

EDIT: sorry, did not noticed that SCG_ErwinP aleady mentioned this one in one of the previous posts...

Edited by Tapi
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On 12/11/2019 at 3:07 AM, SeaW0lf said:

If you are not getting VR, go for an ultrawide monitor. It was the best decision that I made. The field of view is just amazing for simulators. A 16:9 monitor becomes a very tight shoe in comparison.

 

Does IL2 support wide format natively ? Does it stretch the image OR expands field-of-view ?

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Just now, WheelwrightPL said:

 

Does IL2 support wide format natively ? Does it stretch the image OR expands field-of-view ?

 

No, it works fine, even the HUD is aligned properly, like the chat window on the far left.

 

Below is a print I made of widescreens and regular monitors in ROF. They don't scale exactly like the print because the Alienware 3440X1440 for example has a smaller dot pitch, then the screen is a bit smaller than what is shown in the print. But you can see that the difference in between 16:9 and 21:9 is glaring. In game, it is from water to wine. Even with a 2560X1080 if the dot pitch is good, like IPS panels.

 

---

aspect-ratio-3.jpg

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I've asked a few times in other threads and never got an answer: can I use two monitors with BOX, a center view and a left hand view for example?

 

Two because it's cheaper than three until three is cheap enough.

 

Thanks.

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HDR is something to consider as well. Although this game doesn’t support it, many do. Looks fantastic and a good future proofing decision. 

Also any monitor capable of doing HDR will make a very good SDR display just due to its specs. 

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On 12/12/2019 at 5:30 PM, SeaW0lf said:

 

No, it works fine, even the HUD is aligned properly, like the chat window on the far left.

 

Below is a print I made of widescreens and regular monitors in ROF. They don't scale exactly like the print because the Alienware 3440X1440 for example has a smaller dot pitch, then the screen is a bit smaller than what is shown in the print. But you can see that the difference in between 16:9 and 21:9 is glaring. In game, it is from water to wine. Even with a 2560X1080 if the dot pitch is good, like IPS panels.

 

 

Thanks. Does it also apply to IL2 BOS ?

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3 hours ago, WheelwrightPL said:

Thanks. Does it also apply to IL2 BOS ?

 

Yup, I've been flying Il-2 Great Battles for a few years and it is the same as in ROF. No problems at all with my monitor.

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On 10/11/2019 at 1:58 PM, SCG_ErwinP said:

I have a LG 29" 2560x1080 75Hz ultra wide monitor and I would like to replace it because of the low refresh rate.

 

At nowadays I should recommend a LG model 34UC79G-B Ultrawide 144Hz 34" FullHD (2560x1080) IPS, Acer model Predator XB1 XB271HU Wide 165Hz (overclocked) 27" WQHD (2560x1440) IPS or Samsung 27´ Widescreen Curved, Full HD, 144Hz, LC27FG73FQLXZD VA. I don't tried 4k yet but I will not buy anything with less than 120Hz.

There are better monitors (such Alienware Ultrawide 120Hz 1440P Ultrawide curved) but they are too much expensive.

 

EDIT

 

GTX 1060 isn't strong GPU to run at 1440p but you, probably, will replace it (GPU) firstly than other monitor (after new one) so 1440p still a good option.

 

SCG_ErwinP

 

*English isn't my primary language. I still learning it.

Erwin I do not understand the necessity of more 60 FPS. Human eye can't perceive more than 30 FPS.

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I recommend 21:9 Acer predator but for high frame rates at 3440x1440@100hz you need good video card , like 1080TI . G-Sync can help with low frames.

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S! 

 

I use a curved screen monitor. It helps in flight sims if you use a TrackIR or equivalent. Your face is towards the screen when looking around. IPS panel brings good colors. GSync and 121Hz are a nice bonus. 

 

My screen is the Asus ROG Swift P349Q. Runs at 3440 x 1440 and is 34". A bit price, but not buying a new one every day :)

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The New LG OLEDCX48 would be a great choice. I will get one as soon as it will be released at the end of May. But I will buy it especially for my photography and video hobby, surely not only for sims, because then I would rather go for a 21:9 ratio monitor and not a 16:9 TV monitor. And... Nothing beats oled! 

Edited by simfan2015

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If you speak to gamers they will talk a lot about resolution and refresh rate.  I work as professional artist and have totally different priorities in terms of what makes  a good monitor, even for gaming.

 

What I will say is that most monitors can't accurately display all the information output in the signal from a basic graphics card, so those who spend a fortune on expensive GPU's but still use a basic monitor may be missing out on a lot. I may be in minority but I maintain that money spent on upgrading a monitor usually does more for image quality than money upgrading the GPU.

 

I've run direct and simultaneous side by side comparisons of my "main" monitor and cheaper "back up" screen and despite both displaying exactly the same signal output from IL-2 on maximum graphics settings running on the same PC/GPU at the same frame rate and same resolution, one looks stunning the other looks flat, poor and lacking in detail.

 

To me what makes a difference is a monitor's colour gamut and contrast ratio.  The poorest monitors out there may display only about 75% of the sRGB colour range making images look blocky, banded and posterized, and if they have a poor contrast ratios of just a few hundred to one between the lightest and darkest tonal values they lose information in shadows and highlights.

 

Most reasonable monitors should achieve more than 95% of the sRGB colour range and achieve contrast ratios in excess of 1000:1, but even that may not be enough to display all the information in the signal output by even a basic GPU.

 

Artists and photographers who care about image "quality" rather than image "quantity" want screens  that stretch to perhaps 120% or more of the basic sRGB colour gamut  and thereby offer most of the more extensive  Adobe colour range or the newer  HDR colour gamuts, they also want much greater contrast ratios, where dynamic contrast may be several million to one.

 

Sadly screens based around technology that offers good image quality tend to be the slower ones with low refresh rates that gamers won't even look at.

 

Also just as an aside as most people tend not to ever discuss it; but whilst gamers may "overclock" their CPU's and GPU's you rarely hear of folk overclocking their monitor. Both myself and my brother in law have 60HZ monitors which many gamers would say is too low a frame rate to be acceptable. We've both looked at overclocking and while I could only get my monitor up to 64HZ he now routinely runs his at 84HZ meaning he does actually benefit from a GPU that can deliver much more than  60FPS.

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

 

 

 

Edited by HappyHaddock
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If I was going to buy something today soley for flight sims it would be a 50" 4k tv with 120hz. I've had 21:9 but if you can get a bigger 16:9 that's just as wide then you're only gaining.

Edited by driftaholic

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8 hours ago, =BLW=Tales said:

Erwin I do not understand the necessity of more 60 FPS. Human eye can't perceive more than 30 FPS.

This is a delicate and subjective subject.

Have you tried a game in a 144Hz monitor with 120 or more FPS and with vertical sync technology (FreeSync or GSync)?

Edited by SCG_ErwinP

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3 hours ago, driftaholic said:

I've had 21:9 but if you can get a bigger 16:9 that's just as wide then you're only gaining.

Dunno about that !?

I only have had 16:9 monitors and HDTVs, but from most reviews from people who comment on 21:9 vs 16:9 (for IL-2 and DCS) I personally got the impression noone ever wanted to go back to 16:9 ... only consider VR an upgrade.

But I will go for a bigger 16:9 LG (48 inch OLED) monitor instead too ... mostly because of my photography and video needs.

6 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

Sadly screens based around technology that offers good image quality tend to be the slower ones with low refresh rates that gamers won't even look at.

Since you are a professional artist, going by the specs what dou you think about the new LG OLED48CX monitor that will be released at the end of May ???

That tv / monitor seems, to many people, a game changer for.. general use, professional use as well as gaming !?

Thanks.

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32 minutes ago, simfan2015 said:

 

Since you are a professional artist, going by the specs what dou you think about the new LG OLED48CX monitor that will be released at the end of May ???

That tv / monitor seems, to many people, a game changer for.. general use, professional use as well as gaming !?

Thanks.

 

Well nobody is going to complain about such a good screen resolution or fast refresh rate so they are potentially positives in terms of gaming. Pixel density  may not be so great on massive screens meaning with each pixel being quite large the image may still look pixelated unless you sit a long way away, though at larger screen sizes this tends to be necessary simply to see all of the screen at once, even so you may theoretically get a sharper image on a basic HD screen of much smaller dimensions if each pixel is smaller.  I personally wouldn't go above about 32" for a 4k screen, at 48" I'd want about 8k resolution but then you'd be looking at HUGE price tags and not having a computer capable of running IL-2 at that resolution. 

 

OLED tends to give really good black definition so should have a good contrast ratio and being "HDR ready" sort of implies it will have a decent colour gamut, though I've encountered some HDR screen that still fail to deliver all of the full sRGB whilst still delivering colours outside of this range. What is not so much of a negative more just a grey area is the fact that being marketed foremost as a TV the really detailed technical specs that enable you to reliably judge aren't provided in the way a top notch monitor may well give more detail... though that detail may come from third part reviews once they hit the market. Also if it is aimed more as a TV it may lack the features that allow you to properly calibrate the colour/lighting balance meaning you may have to accept it's "out of the box" performance.

 

In short it may be a screen to keep in mind but I'd defer judgement until more info is available, however I am very fussy about colour/lighting reproduction, many folk can't even differentiate what I consider a problem from what I consider acceptable, so it's what looks good to you that matters!

 

Again this may be a controversial opinion but consider that the more you chase high resolutions and fast refresh rates the more you have to turn down graphics settings so that your GPU can keep up. A high quality 24" 60Hz 1080HD screen with good colour reproduction and contrast  may cost less than a budget 32" 4k 144hz gaming screen, but on the slower low res screen you can turn up all the graphics settings to maximum and potentially end up with a much better image on that screen. It's about balancing the amount of info in the signal sent to the monitor against how much of that information the monitor can actually display. So perhaps it is sensible to work out what you PC can do well and then buy a monitor to match that.

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9 minutes ago, HappyHaddock said:

So perhaps it is sensible to work out what you PC can do well and then buy a monitor to match that.

Thank you for your feedback !

 

I plan to use that OLED-TV-Monitor for all applications, more than sims/games.

But if ever this would turn out to be a valid compromise I would be very satisfied.

I am no graphics expert and can only ever tell people I do like this ... or not.

But I can fully agree that the 32 inch 4K-gaming monitor I have now is big enough and offers a rather  good immersion but still I *hope* that bigger would still benefit me even more, especially for my other hobbies photography and 4K videos.

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7 hours ago, simfan2015 said:

Dunno about that !?

I only have had 16:9 monitors and HDTVs, but from most reviews from people who comment on 21:9 vs 16:9 (for IL-2 and DCS) I personally got the impression noone ever wanted to go back to 16:9 ... only consider VR an upgrade.

But I will go for a bigger 16:9 LG (48 inch OLED) monitor instead too ... mostly because of my photography and video needs.

Since you are a professional artist, going by the specs what dou you think about the new LG OLED48CX monitor that will be released at the end of May ???

That tv / monitor seems, to many people, a game changer for.. general use, professional use as well as gaming !?

Thanks.

 

 

http://www.displaywars.com/29-inch-21x9-vs-32-inch-16x9

 

Now with more real estate you can zoom out further and have more SA. Difference gets even bigger with bigger monitors. There is something to be said for pixels per inch though.

 

I've had all the aspect ratios, to me it's more like cutting some of the top and bottom off then adding more to the sides.

 

For the people on the topic of monitor refresh rate. You would need 1000hz monitor to even come close to real life perception. So yes more is better. Especially when it comes to motion blur https://blurbusters.com/faq/60vs120vslb/ This can be the difference between identifying a friend or foe as they streak across your canopy in game. 

 

https://blurbusters.com/blur-busters-law-amazing-journey-to-future-1000hz-displays-with-blurfree-sample-and-hold/

Edited by driftaholic

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14 hours ago, driftaholic said:

I've had all the aspect ratios, to me it's more like cutting some of the top and bottom off then adding more to the sides.

Isn't that game-dependent ?

In some sims/games we can determine the Field-of-View so in those cases 16-9 is indeed no problem ... more so because we get more pixels with 4K on 16:9 UHD monitors ... compared to something like 3.7 K on even the highest-end 49 inch 32:9 gaming monitors !???

 

I am going for a big UHD monitor anyway (LG OLED48CX) ... price of those are, in most cases anyway, less than what we have to pay for 21:9 as well as those UW 32:9 gaming monitors.   

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12 hours ago, simfan2015 said:

Isn't that game-dependent ?

In some sims/games we can determine the Field-of-View so in those cases 16-9 is indeed no problem ... more so because we get more pixels with 4K on 16:9 UHD monitors ... compared to something like 3.7 K on even the highest-end 49 inch 32:9 gaming monitors !???

 

I am going for a big UHD monitor anyway (LG OLED48CX) ... price of those are, in most cases anyway, less than what we have to pay for 21:9 as well as those UW 32:9 gaming monitors.   

 

That's an interesting point. I'm not sure if this game handles FOV differently in a way that you would get a wider field of view with a 21:9. When I played this on a 21:9 it was 2018 but I don't remember seeing much more at once. On other games you have complete control of the FOV so it's really irrelevant. I would argue that with track IR the FOV difference between 16:9 and 21:9 is largely negated and having a bigger screen to spot targets is more of an advantage. Bigger pixels mean bigger dot's at long range :P. I must say that new curved Samsung 32:9 does look very cool though.

 

Personally I prefer the immersion of VR over the competitiveness of a monitor for this game, even online.

Edited by driftaholic

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S! 

 

I would happily go VR if their clarity would be anywhere near a good screen. So far the closest thing to that has been the Varjo VR-2 Pro, but the price is way too steep at the moment and needs a few tweaks to be perfect for gaming. Steep the immersion was out of this world.. 

 

I am happy with the 34" curved screen by Asus. For me the use of tracker is so easy with it, could not go back to a flat screen anymore. And it made a difference going from 2560x1080 VA panel to 3440x1440 IPS panel, while size remained the same. Colors, clarity and all that. HDR might have been a nice bonus, possible help spotting against ground. It is better now though. 

 

Sorry if derailed the thread. 

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5 hours ago, driftaholic said:

I would argue that with track IR the FOV difference between 16:9 and 21:9 is largely negated

AFAIK In most sims/games of today the FOV can indeed be set ... either in-game or in a settings file.

My personal issues

 - even today some games don't offer proper support for 21:9 / 32:9 monitors, although they do allow FOV to be set for 16:9 screens

- IMHO 21:9, even more so a 32:9, ratio screens are not so nice for most video or photography applications (with black borders or that terrible ... zoom option) 

  (FWIW even the latest 21:9 smartphone screens with 21:9 photography/video options make big 21:9 monitors somewhat more usable for other purposes since even blurays sometimes still offer 1.85:1, even UHD 1.78:1 ratio content) 

 

I do agree of course that (surely next gen-) VR options are extremely tempting and may be(come) *the* prefererred way to enjoy sims and games.

Edited by simfan2015

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Resurrecting this thread for some further advice. Nvidia cards seem to support Freesync now, so is it worth it to get a gsync or Free-sync monitor for Il2? My understanding is it removes the need for vsync and works better for smoothness and avoiding screen tearing. Does it function well in Il2, or will I end up using vsync regardless?

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12 hours ago, RedKestrel said:

Resurrecting this thread for some further advice. Nvidia cards seem to support Freesync now, so is it worth it to get a gsync or Free-sync monitor for Il2? My understanding is it removes the need for vsync and works better for smoothness and avoiding screen tearing. Does it function well in Il2, or will I end up using vsync regardless?

My gsync works very well in Il-2. It's a 100Hz monitor and I see no tearing with 100fps or when it drops to 90fps.

 

I don't know about Free-sync.

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A gaming PC building friend of mine said a year ago, get some expensive Dell monitor. But i went for a far cheaper (4k) LG on sale.

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3 hours ago, Remontti said:

My gsync works very well in Il-2. It's a 100Hz monitor and I see no tearing with 100fps or when it drops to 90fps.

 

I don't know about Free-sync.

Do you turn vsync on in game or do you leave it off?

 

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