LG 34UC79G

Can fewer pix­els ac­tu­ally add up to more gam­ing fun?

APC Australia - - Contents -

Choose: pix­els or per­for­mance. That’s the new LG 34UC79G’s core propo­si­tion. At 34 inches and with a 21:9 as­pect ra­tio, you might ex­pect LG’s gam­ing panel to pack 3,440 x 1,440 pix­els. In­stead, it rocks a mere 2,560 x 1,080, a res­o­lu­tion we’re more used to see­ing on 29-inch su­per­wide mon­i­tors.

The per­for­mance im­pli­ca­tions of that lower res­o­lu­tion are twofold. It al­lows the 34UC79G to crank out a 144Hz re­fresh rate over a stan­dard Dis­playPort 1.2 con­nec­tion — 3,440 x 1,440 at 144Hz re­quires too much band­width. Then there’s the mi­nor mat­ter of GPU per­for­mance. The more pix­els you have to pump, the more load you put on the GPU. 3,440 x 1,440 is al­most dou­ble the num­ber of pix­els of 2,560 x 1,080. Fewer pix­els mean less load and more frames.

There are, of course, down­sides. That’s ob­vi­ous the mo­ment you fire it up. The coarse­ness of the pixel pitch is im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent. As a corol­lary, you don’t get a lot of desk­top real es­tate, ei­ther, de­spite the gen­er­ous 34 inches. The 1,080 ver­ti­cal pix­els feel es­pe­cially stingy, and re­sult in a lot of scrolling around web pages and other doc­u­ments. At this price, there are far bet­ter op­tions for pure pro­duc­tiv­ity.

It’s not the most stel­lar mon­i­tor when it comes to im­age qual­ity. Yes, it’s an IPS panel, but it won’t blow you away with its punch and vi­brancy. The back­light lacks zing, and the stan­dard cal­i­bra­tion crushes some de­tails in darker tones. A lit­tle dither-re­lated pixel fizz is also vis­i­ble in gra­di­ents.

As for pixel re­sponse, it’s good enough for the gam­ing re­mit and to cash in on that 144Hz re­fresh rate, but it’s not go­ing to scare the best TN pan­els. The gen­tle curve is also a lit­tle per­plex­ing. If you like the idea of a curved mon­i­tor, you’ll be dis­ap­pointed here. If you don’t, well, you won’t want any curve at all. That said, the IPS tech does de­liver fan­tas­tic ver­ti­cal view­ing an­gles and a nice colour bal­ance over­all.

If you have a pow­er­ful GPU, the 34-inch widescreen panel zip­ping along at 100+ frames per sec­ond is a sight to be­hold. In terms of re­sponse and flu­id­ity, there is no beat­ing a high-re­fresh panel. On a re­lated note, if you have an AMD graph­ics card, LG in­cludes sup­port for the FreeSync adap­tive re­fresh tech­nol­ogy. There’s also no doubt­ing that adding pix­els would some­what un­der­mine that sense of slick, lag-free per­for­mance.

Else­where, you get a good­look­ing dis­play in terms of the de­sign of the stand and chas­sis. The 34UC79G sports very thin bezels on three sides, plus a small chin along the bot­tom. As this is a gam­ing panel, it es­chews the white-and-sil­ver aes­thetic for black and red. It’s very nicely put to­gether and as­sem­bles neatly.

The 34UC79G’s on-screen con­trol menu will like­wise be fa­mil­iar to LG fans. There are lots of op­tions, though ac­cess­ing them through the sin­gle joy­stick-style but­ton on the base of the lower bezel can be tricky.

All of which makes LG’s lat­est a niche propo­si­tion. As a pro­duc­tiv­ity tool, it’s lim­ited by the rel­a­tively mod­est 2,560 x 1,080 na­tive res­o­lu­tion. How­ever, for gam­ing, the 34UC79G has to be worth a look. It’s well priced for such a large IPS screen, and the 144Hz re­fresh and FreeSync sup­port make for a fan­tas­tic gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.


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