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Are Ultrawide 21:9 Monitors the Future of PC Gaming?



/ 4 weeks ago

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Introduction


Are Ultrawide 21:9 Monitors the Future of PC Gaming?

A couple of years ago we took a look at the up and coming format that was 21:9 ultrawide. Since then, more and more displays have been hitting the market, as have many new display technologies that are becoming more commonplace, and more powerful graphics cards are allowing desktop users to enjoy bigger resolutions than ever before without sacrificing graphics quality. So what is it like being a 21:9 ultrawide gaming fan in 2017? Let’s find out!

There’s quite a few 21:9 ultrawide monitors on the market today, some of them are even quite affordable at just £250 for something like the LG 29UM68-P, which comes with a resolution of 2560 x 1080. For me personally, that’s a little low, but you can get good quality IPS panel monitors with a 3440 x 1440 display for around £500 and up. It’s that “up” part that I want to stick with today, as I’ve got one of the biggest and boldest monitors money can buy at my disposal today; the ACER Predator X34. This monitor comes with a massive 34-inch panel, clocking a resolution of 3440 x 1440 with its IPS panel, promising 100% sRGB colour reproduction. It also comes with a 100Hz overclocked panel and support for Nvidia G-Sync. That’s just naming a few of its features, and you can dive right into our full review of this incredible display right here. Those eager to pick on up will find them in stock for a little under £1000, ouch. OK so ultrawide gaming can be affordable, but like with 4K, the best of the bunch are going to cost you around £500-1000.


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  • Zealot

    What frustrates me is that many of these panels are artificially overpriced because of G-Sync, which adds £150-£200 to the price. Nvidia should cut the crap and bin gsync and adopt Freesync for good. Users should also wise up and realise that gsync is not a technology that they should be paying for, and demand Freesync instead.
    Anyway, it’s hard to go for these monitors when Freesync 2 is coming out. I would also prefer to have an UWUHD resolution (aka ultrawide 4k), which doesn’t exist yet. Sure, graphics cards would struggle with that many pixels, but I would be set for years.
    No one wants to buy a second hand monitor that costs many hundreds of pounds, unlike a second hand graphics card or second hands CPU. And that puts me off upgrading to a monitor which doesn’t tick all the boxes, because I’ll be stuck with it.

    • Serpher

      If NVIDIA’s GPU’s would support Freesync properly then no one would even look at G-Sync monitor, but there’s company’s lead.

    • Rick

      Just bought an X34 this week and it’s incredible. I had a 1080p 144 hz, that i upgraded to a 4k 60hz which i just upgraded to the X34, the X34 is bar far the winner. Gsync is incredible btw

  • Uncle Gamer

    Good article, there is no doubt in my mind that Ultra-Wide beats 4K for gaming experience hands down. The cool thing is you do not need to do a massive card upgrade to jump into UW gaming. 2560×1080 is actually a sweet spot of UW gaming. It gives the benefit of the 21:9 aspect ratio but does it without the GPU tax that the 1440 variant extracts.

    You can use something like a 470 or 480 and get amazing game play with the 180 UW variant, this means a lot of people would not need to consider and upgrade to go UW other than buying a monitor.

    As for 34″ monitors at this lower resolution, your own observations reveal that for gaming the lower res is not an issue. The further back from a monitor you sit the less impact a lower pixel density has. The larger monitor will force people to move the screen further back. at 90cm, in my opinion a comfortable range, the 1080 UW resolution looks great.

    As for the curve panel, which is the craze, my experience has shown on anything less than a 34″ panel the effect is minor at best. A 29″ panel can still easily fit into most peoples field of vision. Physically a 29″ panel is only a little wider than a 27″ panel. However at 34″ you are now talking about a VERY large display and the gentle curve added to the increased viewing distance makes for a nice gaming and video viewing experience.