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  • ViperV990 - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    I'm not seeing any mentions of Lightboost (strobing backlight). IMO that is the most important selling point of this monitor. If you think the differences between 60Hz to 120Hz is huge, you'll be blown away by the differences between Lightboost on and off. Reply
  • ViperV990 - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    If you're not familiar with Lightboost, this is a good place to start reading up:

    http://www.blurbusters.com/zero-motion-blur/lightb...
    Reply
  • A5 - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    Strobing backlight is the same thing "240 Hz" LCD TVs use to achieve their effect.

    Is the difference noticeable in anything besides specifically designed motion resolution tests?

    Considering most games have motion blur shaders on these days anyways, I hardly see the point.
    Reply
  • chizow - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    No, it's not the same thing as 240Hz LCD TVs, instead of counting an inserted black frame or interpolated frame as a new "frame" to accomplish 240Hz, the backlight pulse ONLY strobes when an actual new frame is ready to be displayed, resulting in MUCH less image blur while allowing intermediate or transitional frames to clear.

    So instead of a constantly lit, muddy picture full of transitional ghosting and image retention, you get a crisp, true 120Hz image that pulses double-bright only when a true, new frame is ready to be displayed. Really a huge difference, it's why many fast-paced gamers won't go back to anything else but a 120Hz LightBoost panel, despite some of the trade-offs like 1080p limitation, TN panels etc.
    Reply
  • Galford007 - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    @A5, @Chizow:

    I initially thought this "lightboost" thing was a gimmick but I recently bought an ASUS 144hz lightboost-capable monitor (VG248QE, ~$300 on Newegg) and I'm now a true believer. It's capable of 3D but I prefer to use it in 2D lightboost mode. There ARE some tradeoffs such as loss of color accuracy and brightness, but it looks AMAZING, especially in games like Battlefield 3. In order to get the full effect, you need to match in-game FPS with the refresh rate, so even with a GTX 580 I have to turn BF3 settings to low and 100Hz. The graphics still look pretty good but it's worth the tradeoff IMO. I'd definitely recommend to check out the Blurbusters site for more info on the technology (as ViperV990 suggested). Basically this "lightboost" thing is a happy accident, but I'm sure it'll gain traction soon.
    Reply
  • chizow - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Oh and blur shaders are a huge part of the problem, designed to cover up the muddy ugliness that is the norm with 60Hz non-LightBoost monitors. You'll want to turn all that crap off if you're using a 120Hz panel with LightBoost, if you value a clear, fluid image anyways. Reply
  • mdrejhon - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    TFTCentral's Motion Blur Reduction Backlights (Including LightBoost)
    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/motion_blur.h...
    They said that LightBoost outperformed all scanning backlights they have ever tested.

    A good 60Hz vs 120Hz vs LightBoost image comparision is:
    http://www.blurbusters.com/faq/60vs120vsLB

    There's also a large LightBoost FAQ at:
    http://www.blurbusters.com/zero-motion-blur/lightb...

    Also, see the improved Battlefield3 score graphs at:
    http://www.blurbusters.com/zero-motion-blur/testim...

    You will notice that about 20% of amazon.com customer reviews for the ASUS VG248QE monitor (popular LightBoost monitor) have rave reviews about the LightBoost motion blur elimination. Go check out the rave LightBoost reviews:
    http://www.amazon.com/VG248QE-24-Inch-Screen-LED-l...
    Within that webpage, hit Control+F and find "LightBoost" in all the Amazon customer reviews!
    Reply
  • mutantmagnet - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    I clicked this article just to see if they were going talk about this as well. They talk about sacrificing color correction for smoother gameplay as a mundane thing which isn't the case. Reply
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    I've been testing Lightboost today after reading the comments and will go in and add some commentary on it. Using lightboost for 2D is undocumented (at least as far as BenQ is involved) and requires some messing around with settings, and never came up in my discussions with BenQ as something to be aware of with the display. I didn't notice any commentary on it online until now either, which is how it didn't get mentioned.

    Also, I have no idea how the stats didn't make it into the review, that's just a dumb mistake on my part that needs to be remedied here really quick.
    Reply
  • mdrejhon - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    BTW, great to recognize the attention needed because LightBoost apparently now sells a significant fraction of 120Hz monitors ever since the extreme enthusiast community figured out how to use it (without needing 3D).

    Some good news -- ToastyX is developing a new LightBoost utility (I'm beta testing) that makes it easy to enable/disable. No inf/reg files -- just an easy utility. Finally, it will be easy to enable/disable LightBoost -- with a hotkey shortcut! -- even on multiple monitor setups.

    Some tips:
    - If you don't have a Titan/780, then Lightboost often benefits older games a lot more (try source engine games, Quake Live, test with both VSYNC ON, and with VSYNC OFF), as it behaves like a 120Hz CRT and needs 120fps to make it sing.
    - XL2720T Lightboost color seems better with drivers 320.18
    - For picture adjustments, see LightBoost FAQ at http://www.blurbusters.com/zero-motion-blur/lightb...
    - I've sent you an email with a link to a new motion test
    Reply
  • chizow - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Glad to see you are revisiting the review of this monitor with a fresh outlook. Honestly, after you have your new results with LightBoost, you may consider just re-writing the entire review. It's a completely different market for this type of monitor that gets away from the muddy mosaics of finely pixeled high-res monitors. Reply
  • qiplayer - Saturday, November 09, 2013 - link

    The today's problem is comunication. Companies want to throw stuff on the market and us to buy. Actually they have no idea what is our need expectations and so on. They lack on ability to observe. ...Today I saw the graps of gtx 780 gtx780ti gtx titan clock behaviour during heavy load/gameplay. Clock is high and every 45 seconds it drops by 40% =every 40 second you get fps drops. Is it possible that they sell a card for 1000$ and haven't found a better solution? YES, they (nvidia) probably even didn't notice it. It would have been enough to let the max clock be 3-5% lower to avoid the needing to downcloack.
    So yes they produce and hope to sell, they found out the solution that many gamers aspire to have in a monitor by case, by looking for a better 3D.

    And if we look cell phones, I'm since years looking for something that is not an iphone, but I always felt I can't type half that fast with samsung htc and so on because the keys had a lag lighting up when pressed. For years this aspect hasn't been seen in reviews, then, one day "tadaaahhh" revelation: a test of touchscreen responsetime. Iphone was far better than the best samsung. So is it possible that no one of the thousands worldwide reviewers noticed it? No one engineer?
    Reply
  • cheinonen - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    I've added charts and data on Lightboost to the review, as well as commentary on the image quality of it. They can all be found on the gaming use and lag page. Reply
  • chizow - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    "One thing this does do it lock out all the picture controls except color and brightness."

    It only locks you out once you enable LightBoost, prior to that you can make any adjustments to presets, color, temperature, sharpness etc. At least that is how it worked on my 2 previous 3D Vision monitors.

    Also, you shouldn't lose any brightness, if anything, the image is usually too bright for those who are not accustomed to it as brightness is maxed out and locked and strobing at 2x brightness.

    Anyone interested in the truly important vitals of this monitor should follow mdrejhon's links as they give a much more accurate picture of this monitor's strengths.
    Reply
  • cheinonen - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    You're going to lose brightness because it's working with black frame insertion basically to mimic the performance of a CRT in that way. The lack of object permanence on-screen causes the eye to see motion as being more fluid when tracking something. This same behavior also means that instead of the backlight being on all the time, it's shut down every so often and that causes a measurable drop in light output. With the monitor at factory settings, other than Lightboost, and contrast set to the maximum level before clipping, I got under 130 cd/m2. Going higher requires clipping.

    As far as the user controls being locked out, at least on the BenQ when it went into Lightboost mode my previously set user color temperature settings were removed, leading to the blue image. Different monitors could easily have different settings, but on the BenQ they were all locked out.

    I've read all of mdrejhon's links, and he's providing his perspective. He, and many others, are after the least amount of blur no matter what, and that's fine. To me, the trade-off in brightness, color quality, and noticeable flicker are not worth it to me. But that's my opinion. However I think comments that color quality is unimportant compared to the 120Hz mode is giving BenQ a free pass. They could easily provide both, but choose not to due to cost or another reason. If color accuracy isn't important to you at all, that's fine, but it shouldn't be dismissed outright.
    Reply
  • sweenish - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    180-220 is a 10% range, is it not? Reply
  • brucek2 - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    Thanks Chris. I really appreciate direct, straight forward conclusions like yours. The most important part of most reviews to me is the part that says this product is either the winner for some specific use case, or if not here are the likely better options to consider. Far too many reviewers are afraid to be so blunt so I always appreciate it when I see it. Reply
  • mdrejhon - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    To be fair, SkyViper (a former CRT user) thought a 120Hz monitor was disappointing until he enabled LightBoost:
    http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1039591537#p...

    "I felt like I may have wasted $300 bucks on a monitor that is full of compromises. The next thing I tried of course was using the Lightboost hack."
    [...Enables LightBoost....]
    “SWEET MOTHER OF GOD!
    Am I seeing this correctly? The last time I gamed on a CRT monitor was back in 2006 before I got my first LCD and this ASUS monitor is EXACTLY like how I remembered gaming on a CRT monitor. I was absolutely shocked and amazed at how clear everything was when moving around. After seeing Lightboost in action, I would have gladly paid twice the amount for something that can reproduce the feeling I got when playing on a CRT. Now I really can’t see myself going back to my 30″ 2560×1600 IPS monitor when gaming. Everything looks so much clearer on the ASUS with Lightboost turned on.”
    Reply
  • Panzerknacker - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    Agree with your conclusion Chris, TN monitors are just completely worthless for anything, looking at them makes me puke. Many years ago I used to be a hardcore gamer, but when my CRT died and I was forced to purchase a LCD monitor, that completely spoiled the fun I had in gaming. Everything suddenly looked like complete crap, especially the dark atmospheric games I used to enjoy like Doom 3 and Splinter Cell. Displays like this are maybe only good for one thing, and that is proffesional gaming tournaments where nothing matters but respons. Even while practicing at home though I would prefer the better looks of a IPS over the faster respons of the TN.

    offtopic:
    How do modern IPS screens do in terms of allround gaming vs CRT's? I still use to think all LCD's just suck, I just bought a phone with the best display on the planet and everybody and every review says it has the most awesome black levels ever in a LCD, but imo it still sucks compared to CRT.
    Reply
  • Insomniator - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    TN panels ruined gaming for you? Give me a break. Reply
  • Panzerknacker - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Yes they did, TN panels just produce such mediocre image quality that there is no immersion anymore of any kind. Lighting effects are just colored spots on a TN, black levels are non existant, if you move from CRT to TN you will just give up on gaming, trust me. Plasma is the best of the currently available displays, good respons and superior image quality, but they start at 40 inches which is too big and you cannot comfortable use them for still images such as desktop due to burn in problems. Reply
  • qiplayer - Saturday, November 09, 2013 - link

    See my 5800x1080 fast gaming on youtube channel qiplayer. Im here looking for 120hz, I actually own 3 asus ve278, the image is great the only downside is blur image when moving fast. But whatch the vid, you'll see that you can actually game quite fast also on 60hz monitors. Reply
  • bji - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    The retina display in my macbook pro looks better than any CRT I ever saw, hands down.

    Also I put an older Mitsubishi Diamondtron 21 inch next to a fairly old Dell 24 inch IPS panel and I didn't find that I favored one over the other.
    Reply
  • BillyONeal - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    The retina is an IPS panel, so I don't see what point you're trying to make here. Reply
  • A5 - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    You must only be remembering the good CRTs. Bad CRTs were really, really bad.

    Not to mention heavy, power inefficient, giant bezels, expensive, etc. I sure as hell wouldn't be able to afford 2 1080p+ CRT monitors, and they probably wouldn't fit on my desk, either.
    Reply
  • mdrejhon - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Panzerknacker, have you tested LightBoost? Google "LightBoost:
    They give you perfect CRT quality sharp motion on an LCD:
    -- Fast panning as perfectly sharp as stationary images.
    -- I can read text even during fast scrolling
    Reply
  • zehoo - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Perhaps you should try one of the Korean IPS or PLS 2560x1440 panels that overclock to 120hz if you want better colour reproduction than a TN panel while still having low input latency (models with OSD bypass) and a decent refresh rate. I haven't been able to go back to a 1080 TN 120hz panel since using one.

    Of course 120hz TN lightboost hack panels is where it's at for the moment if you need low input latency and fast refresh rates for competitive gaming. The trade off being superior colours. By the way I moved from CRT to LCD and didn't stop gaming. Though I only moved when 120hz TN panels first became available.
    Reply
  • EnzoFX - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    Processing lag. I would think this would still be #1 priority for a gamer. I'm surprised it's so high. Reply
  • Guspaz - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    The first page is called "INTRODUCTION, DESIGN AND SPECS", but there are no specs on the page. I don't even see any mention of the resolution. Is it 1920x1080, 1920x1200, 2560x1440, 2560x1600? There should be a table on this page listing all the details: manufacturer, model, size, resolution, panel type, price, inputs, etc. Reply
  • metril - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    The first thing I looked for was the monitor resolution and other necessary information. I found nothing. How am I supposed to trust this review if none of the relevant information is presented? Reply
  • metril - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    Now that others have pointed out, I see the 1080p tag. I agree that a table would have been beneficial. I guess, I'm so used to see tables like in the other reviews that I've come to expect one in any review. It provides a quick overview before I go and read the review. Nonetheless, thanks for the review. :) Reply
  • brucek2 - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    The list of tags right under the article's title includes "1080p", and then there's the discussion on the next to last page how all current 120hz monitors are 1080.

    Of course the table is a good idea. I feel like there usually is one? Maybe something got lost in the editorial pipeline?
    Reply
  • thwaak - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    I agree, this was a major oversight. I had to skim the article till the second last page to determine that it was 1080p, and even then it's really not even directly stated. Reply
  • Rob94hawk - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    Yeah had to read it a few times to figure out what the resolutions was. Reply
  • r3loaded - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    Are there any 120Hz IPS monitors? I'm sure many people would want one. Reply
  • jackstar7 - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    Overlord is one of the places you can get the closest thing to 120Hz IPS (at 1440p). Takes some gfx horsepower, but is worth it. Reply
  • Rob94hawk - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    No offense but 2560x1440, 2560x1600 gaming is where it's at. Reviewing a 1080p monitor is like reviewing socket 775 all over again. Reply
  • birru - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    That's a complete exaggeration. High resolution gaming is awesome, and there's real value there, but 1080p is absolutely relevant. Especially when you factor in trying to maintain 120fps or 144fps to keep up with these high refresh LCDs while avoiding tearing. Even with my GTX 780 I've found that with some recent titles I have to scale back the eye candy a touch to keep the experience at a solid 60fps. And that's at 1080p. So with a top of the line single GPU you'd certainly have to reduce visual fidelity a bit more at higher resolutions. And of course it gets worse with triple screens if you want to go that route. 3x1080p is feasible with one GPU. 3x1440p and you're looking at SLI or Crossfire.

    Resolution costs money; how sharp do you want to go?
    Reply
  • sxr7171 - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    Same issue here. 780GTX and I need to turn settings down in Crysis 3. This is at 1080p. Can't imagine how that would work out at 1600p. I guess SLI is a must with those resolutions along with all the problems. Reply
  • brucek2 - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    Per Steam, 1080p and under is something like 98%+ of all gamers (and this is billed as a "gaming monitor" review.)

    Sure I'd expect that the percent of newly purchased monitors may be somewhat higher, but I bet it's still well south of 10%.
    Reply
  • althaz - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    What an absurd thing to say - the vast majority of people have 1080p monitors and it's not just because they represent good value for money.

    As a gamer and a worker I have a trio of 1080p monitors for several reasons:
    @ 1080p I'll be able to run games at maxed settings for a while (and I haven't upgraded for over a year).
    Dual monitor > than one big monitor (by a very long way). Triple monitor is of varying degrees of usefulness to most people, but I find two landscape and one portrait monitor is basically perfect for all tasks (some people find three monitors overwhelming however).
    Reply
  • mutantmagnet - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    We can downsample a lot of games these days. Until strobe backlighting is possible on the IPS panels settling for TN is fine since they are already cheaper and achieving 100+ FPS consistently isn't easy above 1080. Reply
  • tackle70 - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    Yeah I could never go back to TN panels after making the jump to IPS, and I play tons of games. I am guessing that 99.9% of gamers are not good enough for the 120 Hz to make any real difference other than as a placebo effect, and so I don't see the point.

    I wish we could get some new technologies out there other than this TN garbage :\
    Reply
  • TesseractOrion - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    I have a Yamasaki Catleap (IPS) and a Qnix Q2710 (PLS) , the latter at 120Hz, the former @ 60Hz (only due to DVI restriction on the 7950 GPU, had it up to 116Hz on the DL-DVI port). Hard to go back to TN and 1920x1080 now... very stripped down monitors, no scaler, OSD or multiple inputs, resulting in low input lag as compensation... Reply
  • Jedi2155 - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    Thanks Chris for your review. I believe it would be a better format in future reviews to add a table of specifications describing the important aspects of the product during the introduction. It took me multiple pages of skimming in order to find the information that this was in fact a standard TN panel at 1920x1080 resolution (I was hoping for a 27" IPS 120 Hz, or at least 2560x1440).

    While this information could be found with some googling, I've always come to expect AnandTech to provide very poignant and useful information very quickly and easily. Good review and I hope you will continue to refine your skills in the future!
    Reply
  • chizow - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Questionable results and questionable competency with this review. Main concerns below:

    1) Was this monitor tested with LightBoost always enabled? Main benefit of these 3D Vision Ready panels is their ability to always be in LightBoost mode if you trick the Nvidia driver to set the 3D Vision mode to "Always On".

    2) Input lag results are questionable given this is a 120Hz input panel and the results indicate 3 frames worth of input lag. Highly doubtful on a 120Hz TN. Did you set the panel to gaming mode to see if there is a difference?

    3) I'd like to see comparisons against the Asus VG278H or even VG278HE, which have become the standard for 120Hz TN LightBoost panels.
    Reply
  • mdrejhon - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    The input lag is because the Leo Bodnar input lag tester is limited to 60Hz and HDMI. So it's not an accurate measurement of input lag. Reply
  • chizow - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Wow, nice catch. I didn't even bother reading the testing methodology, but if true that's a pretty epic fail on reviewer's part. Not only is it probably going through the built-in video scaler/processor at that point and introducing additional latency, but it also effectively cuts refresh rate in half while doubling response times.

    Really needs to be re-done over DVI and at 120Hz with and without LightBoost.
    Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    My last (and only) two BenQ monitors broke. I should have learned for first time after the second one caught fire. Reply
  • jigglywiggly - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Why did you pick the worst 120hz display? Pick the vg278 or vg248qe
    both are 144hz and much better
    Reply
  • mdrejhon - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    The XL2720T has better color quality than the VG248QE.
    Someone owns both monitors, and reported this.
    The VG278H is actually pretty competitive to the XL2720T, despite its age.

    What makes them really worth it, is the LightBoost.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Wow, this review badly needs a table of the specs on the first page. Reply
  • brandonicus - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    I hate to be "that guy" but I found it really annoying you assumed we knew what the resolution was... unless I'm blind the only place it was mentioned was in the "Posted in" header and the seventh and eighth page. I feel like something that important should be mentioned upfront. Reply
  • blackoctagon - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the review, Chris, but WHY exactly did you choose to measure input lag using the Leo Bodnar test? Apart from the fact that it cannot measure the screen's performance at 120Hz (the refresh rate at which this screen is designed to be played), the test itself seems to not have undergone the same verification as, say, PRAD.de's use of an oscilloscope has...for a review that starts out with a discussion about input lag, and even mentions that you were "still in search of" the ideal test, I expected to hear your reasoning for choosing this methodology over others. Reply
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    I actually talked to TFT Central about this, as they have an oscilloscope method as well (which is beyond my means, unfortunately). They've tested multiple ways and feel the Leo Bodnar winds up as the most accurate version out there right now as well, other than a scope method. SMTT was working relatively well, but it has a license, and he stopped selling them. Our license expired, so I can't use it anymore.

    Searching for a totally accurate, and affordable, lag measurement device continues. I'll look into the Audrino solution that was mentioned here and see how that looks.
    Reply
  • blackoctagon - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    Thank you for the reply. Looking forward to seeing where this search leads you Reply
  • mdrejhon - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    I'm the inventor of the Arduino Input Lag Tester, which runs via a USB cable connected to the computer.

    It features:
    - Sub-millisecond accuracy
    - Works at all computer resolutions and refresh rates.
    - USB cable latency compensation (subtracts calculated USB cable latency)
    - Costs only $40 to build.

    It's currently undergoing beta testing, with custom software I have created.
    Contact me at mark[at]blurbusters.com for more information about the Arudino Input Lag Tester.
    Reply
  • blackoctagon - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    Interesting. But is it 'Audrino,' 'Arduino' or 'Arudino' test? :)
    I see all three (mis-?)spellings on this page
    Reply
  • mdrejhon - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    Apologies. It's a hard word sometimes.
    The correct spelling is Arduino, which refers to an easy-to-program hobbyist microcontroller:
    http://www.arduino.cc/

    It's a home made input lag meter involving (1) Almost any Arduino with a USB port, (2) a photodiode, (3) a resistor, and (4) some wires. It's an open source input lag circuit I've developed that is very easy to build (easier than building a computer -- no soldering iron required!). I'll be publishing some software that makes everything run as an accurate input lag tester (including USB cable latency/jitter compensation), since the assembly is connected to a PC displaying flashing squares.
    Reply
  • Pastuch - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Honestly, this review is a huge let down. When I started reading this website 10 years ago the articles were always informed and well researched. This review is sorely lacking in that regard. The only reason people are still buying 120hz displays is for Lightboost capable 2d gaming. The CS, BF and Quake communities LOVE the CRT like motion response of Lightboost and this is one of the better models to have that capability. http://www.blurbusters.com/ has all the relevant info, Mark is an invaluable resource and I implore you to contact him for more info.

    You complain loudly about IPS color quality in a gaming review but you admit yourself that gaming isn't a hobby you’re interested in. Your conclusion argues that the money could be better spent on an IPS 2560 display. Do you know how many video cards it takes to run Planetside 2 at 2560 at 80FPS+? You need two Geforce 780s! Can I borrow $1200?

    I used to own a 2560x1440 IPS for desktop work but I couldn’t play CS on it due to slow pixel response and horrible input lag. Once you try lightboost there is no going back. The motion clarity at 120fps + on a LB capable display genuinely changes the gameplay experience. I don't own a LB display yet but I've tried it at a lan party. I was blown away and I was hoping that Anand would provide a comprehensive review of the Benq 2720T. With the latest Nvidia drivers and LB enabled, gamers are reporting almost 1000 contrast ratio on the 2720 which is better than any other LB monitor. Lightboost is a genuine boon to the gaming market, there are Sony FW900 owners that say the motion clarity of LB is BETTER than the FW900. Do you have any idea how amazing that is? People have been waiting 10 years for a monitor that can replace the FW900 for twitch-gaming.

    If you want to read solid monitor reviews go to http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/
    Reply
  • Pastuch - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    "The input lag is because the Leo Bodnar input lag tester is limited to 60Hz and HDMI. So it's not an accurate measurement of input lag."

    If this is true you need to change your testing method completely. 120hz displays should be tested for input lag at 120hz with a dual link DVI cable preferably with Lightboost enabled in gaming mode!
    Reply
  • mdrejhon - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Input lag should be measured with and without LightBoost.

    There's a very interesting phenomenon with LightBoost with input lag testers including my Arduino Input Lag Tester (google "Arduino Input Lag Tester"; contact me if you want to be on the beta test list). My input lag tester, that I am designing at Blur Busters, supports all refresh rates on all inputs.

    LightBoost is an all-at-once strobe backlight (flashes only on fully-refreshed frames) so the input lag is identical for the top and bottom edges of the screen. The top of the screen has more lag relative to non-LightBoost, but the bottom edge of LightBoost has almost identical lag to non-LightBoost.

    I am very impressed that so many people here know about LightBoost & are gently nudging the reviewer for forgetting to test this very important monitor-selling feature (as evidenced by mentions of LightBoost by end users in Amazon and NewEgg reviews)
    Reply
  • mdrejhon - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    UPDATE:

    -- The LightBoost HOWTO is now updated -- http://www.blurbusters.com/zero-motion-blur/lightb...
    Easier method. No .reg and .inf files needed anymore! (Completely removed from HOWTO)

    -- ToastyX informs that the new utility is coming by July that makes enabling LightBoost as easy as pressing a hotkey!

    Good news indeed!
    Reply
  • mdrejhon - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    P.S. For those wanting motion clarity matching the Sony FW900 CRT, reduce the LightBoost percentage setting via the monitor on-screen menus (On the XL2720T, you have to find the Brightness/Contrast setting then, scroll down to below the bottom of the menu).

    This takes a slight hit to light output, but eliminates even more motion blur because the strobe flash lengths are shorter (motion becomes even sharper). The best motion clarity occurs at the LightBoost=10% setting -- the backlight is strobing for a mere 1.4 milliseconds; resulting in 92% clearer motion than a 60Hz monitor. This works great in dark rooms at night, when the higher brightness modes are too bright anyway.
    Reply
  • blackoctagon - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    "The only reason people are still buying 120hz displays is for Lightboost capable 2d gaming."
    -As exciting as the (NVIDIA-ONLY) LightBoost hack is, it is not the "only" reason people buy 120Hz monitors. Plenty of people buy then for...drumroll...120Hz. If your argument was correct, monitors like the Catleap 2B and Overlord Tempest OC would have magically stopped selling as soon as the LightBoost hack was revealed.

    "Do you know how many video cards it takes to run Planetside 2 at 2560 at 80FPS+?"
    - Do you realise how inappropriate it is to cite such a poorly optimised code in order to back up your argument? You might choose a 1080p monitor over a 1440p one just for one poorly made game, but that is NOT a valid why a 1440p IPS monitor is money badly spent

    "I used to own a 2560x1440 IPS for desktop work but I couldn’t play CS on it due to slow pixel response and horrible input lag."
    - And I own a 2560x1440 IPS screen overclocked to 120Hz and with minimal input lag. It's not and will never be as snappy as a LB-enabled LCD or a CRT, but it holds its own a hell of a lot better than pretty much any other IPS in a gaming environment, and subjectively feels about as responsive as my old Samsung S27A950D (120Hz TN) monitor did.

    "I don't own a LB display yet but I've tried it at a lan party. I was blown away and I was hoping that Anand would provide a comprehensive review of the Benq 2720T"
    - I agree with you, but at the same time would like them to review a 1440P IPS monitor overclocked to 120Hz. Given that the latter has been around longer than the LB hack, I doubt either of us are going to get our wish anytime soon. Looks like review sites are only reviewing monitors in a condition that is approved by the manufacturer (i.e., not tinkered with). If you want that, you need to rely on independent reviewers and forums.

    "If you want to read solid monitor reviews go to http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/"
    - Yes, they specialise in monitor reviews, so they should be better than AT. But btw, PRAD.de is quite a bit better than TFT Central, not least as regards input lag.

    "Honestly, this review is a huge let down. When I started reading this website 10 years ago the articles were always informed and well researched. This review is sorely lacking in that regard."
    - The review is only a let down because of your expectations, and I'm not convinced those expectations were reasonable (much as I can empathise with what you would have liked to see reviewed)
    Reply
  • Pastuch - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    Lightboost hacks for AMD video cards already exist and are improving all the time.

    While Planetside 2 is a bit of a pig, it's far from the only game that is difficult to run past 60fps at 1440P. Metro 2033, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, etc. The point of that argument was that Chris suggested spending $150 more for a 1440P monitor was all that was required but that doesn't include the additional video cards necessary to drive almost DOUBLE the pixels.

    I'm not against 1440P gaming, I also love the 120hz Korean 1440P monitors and for Civ 5 they are bloody brilliant. I may even order the semi-gloss Qnix 1440P 120hz Qnix with the Samsung panel to go next to a lightboost display.

    Prad.de does have excellent monitor reviews but TFT has recently revamped their Input lag testing and provided a solid test of Lightboost. Prad is largely ignoring lightboost.

    You're right that my expectations are a little high but I still think Chris didn't give the 2720T a fair review. Testing input lag over HDMI on this monitor is totally unfair and his conclusion is that of a non-fps-gamer who are the target market for the product.

    P.S. I too would enjoy a test of a Catleap or a Qnix at 120hz 1440P.
    Reply
  • blackoctagon - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    I didn't realise LightBoost hacks for AMD existed...got a link? I remember reading recently that ToastyX is working on something to simplify the BlurBusters method, but I can't remember if that includes AMD functionality. The BlurBusters how-to still says that this is NVIDIA-only

    Take your point about 1440p, but 150 beans to upgrade from this BenQ to 1440p refers to an upgrade from 1080p@120Hz to 1440p@60Hz. If memory serves correct, about the same approximate GPU processing power is required in non VRAM-bound situations to drive 1440p@60fps as is required to drive 1080p@120fps. 1440p@120fps is of course another story, but that's not what I believe Chris is referring to. P.S., 1440p is 77.7777% more pixels than 1080p (not quite 'almost double'), but that's just a detail.

    Regarding possible improvements to TFTCentral's input lag testing, I'm no expert so you may well be right. However, I'd understood from this little thread that many of TFT's results are way off compared to PRAD's oscilloscope testing: http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1751100

    In any case, I agree that this review would have been better with comprehensive testing of the monitor's performance when running at 120Hz. Input lag testing at 60Hz is certainly incomplete. It seems to be a question of AT determining the best (affordable!) methodology and then implementing it. To that end, I would certainly love it if this review could be updated in the future...(hint hint!) :)
    Reply
  • Pastuch - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    The guys at Hard forum managed to make it work with AMD cards. Blurbusters won't include information on the AMD hack because they don't want to piss off Nvidia (I don't blame them). Overclockers.com forum also has some info, I believe it involves swapping the DVI cable between and AMD and Nvidia card. I run Nvidia at the moment so I didn't look into it much.

    TFTCentral has updated their input lag test in the last two months but like Chris said below it's still not perfect. The truth is that no one has a perfectly accurate input lag test yet so I definitely criticized Chris unfairly in that regard. Sorry Chris.

    The only other thing I would suggest for future monitor reviews is a short paragraph describing the type of AG used on the monitors. I know this is a difficult thing to describe but after the horribly thick AG coats on the Dell U2311 and other similar LG IPS panels it can be a rude awakening. I know a couple people that returned their monitors based only on the AG coating being so thick it looked like dirt on the display. I love the new Semi-gloss a lot of the manufacturers are using, perfect compromise between reflective and AG. Benq has it on the cheap GW2750HM and a lot of other VA panel monitors have it too.
    Reply
  • Pastuch - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    NCX posted a pretty excellent review of the Korean Qnix PLS here:
    http://wecravegamestoo.com/forums/monitor-reviews-...
    Reply
  • cheinonen - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    "Looks like review sites are only reviewing monitors in a condition that is approved by the manufacturer (i.e., not tinkered with). If you want that, you need to rely on independent reviewers and forums."

    No one provides limitations or restrictions on how a display can be reviewed. The only restriction that ever comes up is "We need this back in X weeks for someone else to review" but nothing for testing, or I wouldn't do it. Why didn't Lightboost initially get tested? Because it's an undocumented, unsupported features that requires registry tweaks and only works with a specific video card. Basically, because it passed my attention in reading up on the display, and BenQ didn't think to mention it either.

    As far as the 1440p, 120Hz monitors you mention: I'll review it if someone can get me one. I don't have the resources to spend a few hundred dollars on a review for a display, so unless I can get a sample, I can't do it. Most forum/independent reviews are from people that have bought the product themselves and so aren't subject to this limitation, but also are subject to a different set of biases. I'd love to review one of them, but since they're all imported without a company or PR firm to loan me a sample, it won't happen I don't think.
    Reply
  • blackoctagon - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Thank you for the clarification Reply
  • Draconian - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    Why do they make these gaming monitors so big? 1080p at 27"? The pixel size is huge.

    Make a 23" version and I'd be interested in it.
    Reply
  • birru - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    They make 24" versions too, the XL2420T and XL2420TX. Reply
  • chizow - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - link

    The original 1080p 120Hz models were 23", too small, especially for 3D. I upgraded to a 27" 1080p and the pixel size is fine, small price to pay for the huge increase in screen size. Reply
  • mdrejhon - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    I just noticed charts being posted for LightBoost measurements.
    Good for you AT -- much needed tests.

    Which drivers did you use? People reported better LightBoost color quality from nVidia 320.18 drivers than older drivers -- so we're curious which driver you tested with.
    Reply
  • cheinonen - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    I used the most recent drivers from NVIDIA. I'd have to double-check the version, but I try to keep them up-to-date as much as possible. Reply
  • mdrejhon - Friday, June 28, 2013 - link

    Good news. The easy LightBoost system tray just came out.
    http://www.blurbusters.com/easy-lightboost-toastyx...

    -- It works great on surround 120Hz setups;
    -- It allows you to turn ON/OFF LightBoost via an easy hotkey.
    -- It also allows you to adjust LightBoost percentage settings.
    Reply
  • qiplayer - Sunday, November 03, 2013 - link

    This is a gaming monitor please review it as that. There are thousands of monitors that are good for else and a few 27 that are good for gaming. If I and others are here it's probably to know about that. Reply
  • qiplayer - Sunday, November 03, 2013 - link

    So 1ms response time and 22ms of imput lag ... it appears you are not the only one that has no idea of what performance it should have. To make a comparison 22ms is also a good ping, but ping isn't interferring with the coordination hand-eyes. A good input lag would be less than 10ms.
    It is relevant and you notice it in game when you turn fast from one side to the other, the image turns later than what you do with the mouse. About expensiveness I own a rig worth about 5-6000$, and I'm looking for 3 120hz screens. Too bad there aren't any 2500x1600 one's. The problem isn't about money but about stuff that works, like a cpu overclocked that it doesn't bottleneck 3titans. And by reading reviews of 10, 1or 2 have sense, for example there are people that test a 1000$gpu on a 1280x720 monitor and all kind of such staff

    Going back to the imput lag, my monitor has one of 18 seconds and 60hz. So I'm disappointed because when they go down with pixel responsiveness and double the hz it would only have sense to work much also on the input lag. This is needed when making 2 kills in a second and not wanting to be killed from the 3rd player ;)
    Reply

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