Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

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Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:28 am

Thanks to Kurotetsu I found out about the cheap Korean 27" monitors being sold on eBay. Since I was already debating ditching my Eyefinity setup of crappy TN panels for a $600+ HP I knew I was doomed when I found out about this alternative... Barely over a week later I am now the proud owner of an ACHIEVA QH270 (bought from bigclothcraft if you're curious). I was actually the cause of delayed shipping and no one was home on Wednesday for the first delivery attempt - but it is still scary impressive that it left Korea on the 29th and arrived at my door on the 30th (best. free. shipping. ever.) - even if I didn't actually take delivery of it until yesterday. :o

A little bit of detail, this is a bare-bones screen, there are lots of buttons on it but the only button that works is the power button, the only input is has is dual link DVI, there are no speakers behind the speaker grills and you will need to supply your own power cable for the 110-220 power brick (a standard PSU one will suffice). However the panel itself is the exact same LG model that goes into the 27" iMac! So if you're like me and all you care about is the panel and the price its a steal.

Mine came in with no dead pixels(!!!), some aren't so lucky but it seems the majority are. Different sellers have different policies but it seems that about 5 dead pixels are needed before they will take a return (you pay to ship it back) - unless they are in the center of the panel. My understanding is the since Apple only accepts "A" grade panels most of these screens are made from the rejected "A-" panels (but nothing worse) - but you wouldn't know it from looking at mine.

The only complaint I have is that the plastic bezel on the top of mine covers a row or two of pixels for about 6" in the center - its only noticeable when you bring a window or other line to the top and expect it to be the same thickness all the way across. Its annoying but considering I was psyching myself up to be disappointed by a few dead/stuck pixels I'm still thrilled. If I was more adventurous its also something I'm sure could be fixed by cracking open the casing and tweaking the panel's placement...

The colors, the colors! OMG, its just so beautiful, I had almost forgotten how good screens could look. Eyefinity who? :lol: I'll get some pics up after I've finished cleaning my desk. At this point I have to say its a little bit of a gamble but I can't argue with my results, highly recommended.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:28 am

Without working buttons - can you still change display settings like brightness, etc. ?
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:03 am

For anyone not wanting to gamble on Ebay (even though the risk is small, at this point), you can find monitors powered by the same panels if you have a Micro Center nearby (and if they're in stock, of course). Model EQD276W (make sure it's W, not L). They're $399, but they have a warranty and a working OSD (meaning your buttons actually work). I have one, with two more on the way for Nvidia Surround due at my door tomorrow :D I really can't think of a reason not to get one of these monitors right now, excepting of course for those that want stereoscopic 3D.

Edit: is there an award for longest span between posts? I think just shy of 5 years should put me in the running, if such an award exists.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:26 am

shaidarharan wrote:For anyone not wanting to gamble on Ebay (even though the risk is small, at this point), you can find monitors powered by the same panels if you have a Micro Center nearby (and if they're in stock, of course). Model EQD276W (make sure it's W, not L). They're $399, but they have a warranty and a working OSD (meaning your buttons actually work). I have one, with two more on the way for Nvidia Surround due at my door tomorrow :D I really can't think of a reason not to get one of these monitors right now, excepting of course for those that want stereoscopic 3D.

Edit: is there an award for longest span between posts? I think just shy of 5 years should put me in the running, if such an award exists.


I looked for a monitor fitting your description with no luck. What exactly is it?

EDIT: Ok, I found it. It is 'EQD EQ276W'.
Last edited by MethylONE on Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:28 am

FroBozz_Inc wrote:Without working buttons - can you still change display settings like brightness, etc. ?


Only in software. I should have mentioned that there are a number of different models you can get - some of them do indeed feature working buttons if you are willing to pay $40 more or so. There is even a model with tempered glass on the front - but I went for the absolute cheapest.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:31 am

That's the only thing that sucks about Micro Center, their website is like something out of the 90's and their search engine is garbage. I was able to find it by selecting my local store and choosing the pixel pitch size of .233mm. Here it is: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0384780
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:33 am

Cheap high res, high DPI S-IPS panels! Yay!

16:9. Rats.

No want 2560*1440. Want 2560*1600.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:46 am

:lol:

I look at it this way, it saves my GPU from rendering over 400,000 useless pixels of dirt and sky. ;) The most vertical pixels I've ever had until now was 1280 so I'm happy.

I'm afraid to mention that its glossy as well. :o
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:11 am

The stand looks short, so I think I'd need to buy an external stand. How tall is it fully extended? Is it fixed at the 18.85" height in the ebay specifications?

Did your homemade triple-monitor stand accomodate it without problems?
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:20 am

The stand is short (and fixed except for tilt) but with my chair at the height I like the center of the screen is just below my eyes so its comfortable and I don't plan on replacing it at this time. I didn't disassemble my Eyefinity setup, just moved it for now but I can tell you it probably isn't cut out to work with a screen that large but with some work it could be adapted (it would need to be taller and the left/right arms extended with stronger clamps).
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:26 am

Forge wrote:Cheap high res, high DPI S-IPS panels! Yay!

16:9. Rats.

No want 2560*1440. Want 2560*1600.


I see it more as an upgrade/replacement for people with 1920x1200 monitors who want to jump to 16:9. Mine cost about $250 when I got it, and these are at the same price point.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:11 am

Thanks for the heads up! What kind of graphics should I look into to drive this many pickles?
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:31 am

Anything with a dual link DVI output should do the trick but there is a list of recommended cards in eBay link. I have a pair of 2GB 5870s and they are doing ok but it depends on the game of course. One of the reasons I wanted to ditch Eyefinity was to extend the useful life of my GPUs but reducing the number of pixels they had to render by about 40%. :P

The monitor I bought will NOT work if you use an adapter so if your card only has DP, or mini-DP, or HDMI or VGA it won't work. You'll also have to rely on your GPU to do any scaling as it will only display pixels 1:1. None of those things are problems for me.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:39 am

The unit I bought has a scaler so I can do different resolutions no problem.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:43 pm

Chun¢ wrote:Thanks for the heads up! What kind of graphics should I look into to drive this many pickles?


If you don't want to game on it, it doesn't really matter too much. For gaming I guess a minimum would be the 2GB HD6970 or an old GTX570 on special offer somewhere. They'll give you reasonably fluid graphics at high detail.
The HD7870 or GTX 670 will be noticeably quicker, but also noticeably more expensive - probably something you wouldn't be interested in if you're prepared to strip your screen to the bone to get the price down to $300.

Whilst a 560Ti or 6950 might seem pretty close in most benchmarks, they both nosedive quite spectacularly once you crank the resolution above two megapixels with the details still set high.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:18 pm

shaidarharan wrote:For anyone not wanting to gamble on Ebay (even though the risk is small, at this point), you can find monitors powered by the same panels if you have a Micro Center nearby (and if they're in stock, of course). Model EQD276W (make sure it's W, not L). They're $399, but they have a warranty and a working OSD (meaning your buttons actually work).
Microcenter has them? Damn!

If I could get a matte finish one... tempting. (sadly I also really, really want the extra vertical pixels of 2560x1600.. but at this close-enough price + local buying at Microcenter ...damn...)
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:39 pm

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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:32 pm

are these those "cat" things? idk what the name is i just know cat is somewhere in it
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:36 pm

:o Man, wish I had the extra money right now.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:45 pm

How's the response time? My only concern was people over at hardocp complaining there was enough of a delay to be notable during FPS gaming. Someone claimed it was due to the scaler (which makes sense) but it wasn't resolved whether the OP was running at native or not.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:52 pm

It seems great to me though I'm not really equipped to measure it. I can't complain in any case - BUT my screen basically doesn't have ANYTHING in between the panel and the GPU except for the cable.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:34 pm

Kurotetsu wrote:
Forge wrote:Cheap high res, high DPI S-IPS panels! Yay!

16:9. Rats.

No want 2560*1440. Want 2560*1600.


I see it more as an upgrade/replacement for people with 1920x1200 monitors who want to jump to 16:9. Mine cost about $250 when I got it, and these are at the same price point.

I always felt that a 16:9 1080p display robbed me of the vertical pixels I had when I was coming from a 1600x1200 CRT - that is why I was fixated on 16:10 (1920x1200). I'm more than happy with the number of vertical pixels a 2560x1440 27" display provides.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:47 pm

drfish wrote:The monitor I bought will NOT work if you use an adapter so if your card only has DP, or mini-DP, or HDMI or VGA it won't work.
You probably need an $88 Mini-DisplayPort to dual-link DVI active adapter rather than the $28 Mini-DisplayPort to single-link DVI active adapter that you were using with your smaller monitors.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:18 pm

I got mine so early that the only option I had at the time was an active dual link adapter (back when they were out of stock everywhere). It is now retired. I wondered if an active adapter would be ok but according to the sellers no adapters will work. :-? They might just be saying that to avoid confusion though.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:41 pm

Besides the Achieva Shimian, this are exactly the same:
1. Crossover 27 LED
2. Yamakasi Catleap Q270
3. 3view PCBank

All these Korean monitors use the same panel, the LM270WQ1, which is the same panel used by Apple in its 27-inch Apple Cinema displays as well as the Hazro 27-inch (which is the favorite monitor of photo editors who want absolute color accuracy). So why are these loads cheaper than the premium models?

First, the panels used in these Korean monitors are classified as "A-" panels, which means these are the panels which Dell and Apple did not use for their monitors. (Keep note of "A-" because it will be mentioned again later).

Second, these monitors are what one might call OEM or barebone, the basic models only come with a Dual Link DVI port (DVI-D).

"A-" Panel
Given the fact that the panels used in these monitors is "A-" you should know a couple of things, as already stated above, you might get 1-4 dead/stuck pixels or none at all. A friend of mine has one of these monitors which I inspected when I visited him in Korea, the dead/stuck pixel is very difficult to notice unless you purposefully look for it.

These monitors may suffer from uneven backlighting when the brightness setting is set to 0-5 clicks (I don't know anyone who would set the brightness to that low a setting). the screen will look brighter on the left and gets a little darker going to the right, this is fixable though with a help of a little wire switching and basic soldering skills. This is not that big of an issue since hardly anyone sets their brightness level that low. Fortunately, the unit I got doesn't suffer from any of these problems.

IF you do decide to buy one of these monitors, contact the seller and ask him/her to test the unit first and ensure that there are no dead/stuck pixels before he ships the unit to you (to ensure the unit isn't dead-on-arrival), that's what I did.

Different Models
Achieva offers different models of the ShiMian:

a) QH270-Lite - the most basic model only has the power jack and one DVI-D Port.

b) QH270-IPSB - same as Lite version but comes with an additional layer of tempered glass (I don't advise getting this model as you run the risk of having dust particles stuck at the back of the tempered glass which is very difficult to remove).

c) QH270-IPSBS - has a superior panel to the previous two models, it comes with two 5watt speakers at the back (does its job but not all that great) and has no tempered glass.

d) QH270-IPSMS - same as the IPSBS but comes with additional input ports; 1 HDMI port, 1 DVI-D port, Audio In/Out ports, and a VGA (D-Sub) port (I also don't advise getting this model since additional inputs means more input lag, which is not ideal for gaming).



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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:29 am

Has anyone had any luck with the "OBO" option when buying one of these?
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:01 am

I wouldn't use the OBO option. Most of the ebay listings are from people who will open the box, test the panel - check for dead pixels and backlight bleed, then reseal the box and fill in the export/customs paperwork. If you're nipping into their profit margin, they'll probably spend less time and care doing the things I just mentioned.

Anyway, glad to see that Scott has posted his review - and like me, he got lucky with no dead pixels.
For the record, I ordered a Shimian Q270-IPSB (tempered glass, no speakers or scaler) and was actually shipped the ISPI model, which seems to be the successor to the ISPB. At first I was going to complain, but then I realised that I much preferred the look of the ISPI over the ISPB, and that the bezel meant I could move it around on my monitor arm without fingerprinting the edge of the screen, like I do with the Thunderbolt displays we have at work here. My panel seems to have very minimal backlight bleed, it's way better than either of my Samsung 245's and I can't say I've noticed any brightness uniformity problems, though I admittedly don't do any graphics work at home.

Of all the Korean brands using this screen, the two with the best track record are Achieva and Catleap. Each brand offers a few variants with combinations of the following options:

  • Tempered glass in front of screen
  • Speakers
  • A scaler to support things like Displayport, HDMI, and an OSD
Having read or skimmed through the entirety of the Overclock.net thread, here's the summary of what I picked up before ordering mine last month:

  • Achieva has the better speakers and a VESA mount.
  • Catleap offers a better stand in the box, but it prevents you from using a VESA mount
  • Both potentially have the same issues with dust trapped between the tempered glass and the panel if you choose that option
  • Achieva seems to have slightly better build quality
  • Catleap offers higher refresh rates, at least 85Hz if you create custom timings
  • You have a 79% chance of a pixel-perfect screen with Achieva, and an 86% chance with Catleap (based on a survey of 362 buyers)
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:12 am

I just pulled the trigger on this monitor from this buyer I will report back

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 584wt_1163

This is the one without glass, HDMI, DisplayPort or any other frills, the seller is the official ACHIEVA dealer and has a 3 dead pixel max deal...better than newegg.com :-)

BTW I am using a HD6950 driving 3 x 1080P monitors with no trouble I am not concerned at all using this card with this monitor. I played the new Deus Ex, BF3, Metro 2033, CSS all beautifully well.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:18 am

mi1stormilst wrote:BTW I am using a HD6950


Yep, was using a 2GB HD6950 myself for a while @ 2560x1440. Seemed fine, even for badly-coded games like Crysis2.
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Re: Happiness: 2560x1440 S-IPS for $300

Postposted on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:01 pm

I got the Yamakasi Catleap Q270 as well for $309 :)

I must say I'm pretty happy with it.. thank you drfish and TR for the reviews.. otherwise I would have blown $800 on a Dell monitor..

No dead pixels, although I get some weird banding whenever I shutdown my machine.. It could be a graphics card issue, since I'm driving this puppy with an 8600GT :D

As soon as I can, I'm getting a new graphics card and really unleash the power of this beast..
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