ViewSonic XG2530

A sump­tu­ously smooth dis­play gamers will love thanks to its 240Hz refresh rate, but not with­out faults

PC Pro - - November 2017 Issue 277 - CHRISTO­PHER MINASIANS

Not long ago we con­sid­ered 120Hz the pin­na­cle for gamers. Then came 144Hz, 165Hz, 180Hz... and now 240Hz. ViewSonic is one of the lat­est manufacturers to pro­duce a mon­i­tor with this huge refresh rate, but will you no­tice the dif­fer­ence ver­sus a 144Hz mon­i­tor?

Even if the an­swer to that ques­tion was no, you’re bound to fall in love with the de­sign and build qual­ity of the XG2530. Thin bezels make the screen feel big­ger than its 25in di­ag­o­nal, and al­though the stand is made from plas­tic, it’s sturdy and al­lows you to tilt, pivot and fully ro­tate the dis­play. The black and red colour scheme is a lit­tle boy racer, with even the XG logo rem­i­nis­cent of Volk­swa­gen’s GTi brand­ing, but if you want to change the stand or wall-mount the XG2530 then it’s VESA 100 x 100mm com­pat­i­ble.

Around the back, there’s a re­tractable head­phone stand and a carry han­dle. It of­fers Dis­playPort 1.2, HDMI 2 and HDMI 1.4 in­puts, along with two USB 3 ports and a 3.5mm au­dio out­put jack. The stereo 2W speak­ers aren’t pow­er­ful enough to pro­duce an im­mer­sive sonic at­mos­phere, but they’re fine for Win­dows no­ti­fi­ca­tions.

One dis­ap­point­ment is the on-screen dis­play. It’s ac­cessed via a set of poorly la­belled but­tons at the bot­tom of the mon­i­tor, and the menu sys­tem is a morass of con­fus­ing sub-menus. On the pos­i­tive side, if you per­se­vere, there’s a vast de­gree of cus­tomi­sa­tion on of­fer.

What you won’t get – due to the choice of TN panel tech­nol­ogy rather than IPS – is a stun­ning con­trast ra­tio. I mea­sured an 844:1 con­trast ra­tio (with a 0.4cd/m2 black level), but found this didn’t de­tract from the vis­ual ex­pe­ri­ence. With 348cd/m2 max­i­mum bright­ness in cus­tom mode and 300cd/m2 in sRGB mode, the panel is bright enough. Uni­for­mity is good, too, with a vari­ance of only +4.62% at the ex­trem­i­ties. Colour cov­er­age and ac­cu­racy aren’t up to pho­toedit­ing stan­dards but are still re­spectable: I mea­sured 90.3% sRGB gamut cov­er­age and an av­er­age Delta E of 2.74 in sRGB mode.When it comes to movies, I have no com­plaints: colours are rich, with none of the drab­ness that’s some­times as­so­ci­ated with TN mon­i­tors.

But what re­ally mat­ters is what this screen of­fers gamers, and it head­lines with sup­port for AMD FreeSync over Dis­playPort 1.2. If you use a com­pat­i­ble AMD graph­ics card, this means the mon­i­tor’s refresh rate will dy­nam­i­cally fol­low the frame rate of your game. In prac­tice, you’ll see no more tears and frame skips.

The Blur Busters’ frame skip­ping test con­firmed that it was con­sis­tently able to dis­play ev­ery frame at the full 240Hz rate – un­like the com­pet­ing AOC AGON AG251FZ, which skipped frames. To ex­pe­ri­ence a 240Hz refresh rate, you’ll nat­u­rally need a graph­ics card that can con­sis­tently out­put 240fps. Un­less you have a high-end GPU, you might need to dial down the res­o­lu­tion or de­tail op­tions to get the smoothest ex­pe­ri­ence.

Is it worth it, though? Hav­ing tested some of the best

“Even if you can’t spot the dif­fer­ence be­tween a 144Hz and 240Hz panel, the added frames mean less tear­ing and no blur­ring”

gam­ing mon­i­tors on the mar­ket, I found the ViewSonic pro­vided min­i­mal ben­e­fit over a com­pa­ra­ble 144Hz TN dis­play. Play­ing Coun­terStrike: Global Of­fen­sive, the ex­tra 96Hz didn’t make much of a vis­i­ble dif­fer­ence, with en­e­mies ap­pear­ing only a few mil­lisec­onds ahead of an equiv­a­lent 144Hz panel. Next to a 60Hz IPS panel, though, the com­par­i­son is like night and day.

Even if you can’t spot the dif­fer­ence be­tween a 144Hz and 240Hz panel, the added frames mean less tear­ing, a more ac­cu­rate mouse trail and a blur-free ex­pe­ri­ence.

Still, the truth is that XG2530 won’t make you a bet­ter player as you’ll also need su­per-hu­man reaction times to ben­e­fit from the higher refresh rate. See­ing the enemy a frac­tion of a sec­ond ear­lier might help you, but only if you can re­act quickly enough to shoot them. A fi­nal is­sue worth men­tion­ing is in­put lag. While the panel is one of the most re­spon­sive I’ve come across, the same can’t be said for its in­put lag. You might find that fa­tal in fast-paced shoot­ers.

If you’re look­ing for the fastest refresh rate pos­si­ble, the ViewSonic XG2530 is a good choice. How­ever, at £400 it’s ex­pen­sive for a 1080p dis­play. For most games, the 144Hz, 1440p Acer XF270HUA ( see is­sue 276, p69) is a bet­ter bet for around £480.

ABOVE & LEFT Safe to say that this red and black mon­i­tor is de­signed for gamers both in­side and out

BE­LOW Note the handy carry han­dle on the rear of the stand

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