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Acidicheartburn
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Bad eye strain with new monitor

Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:07 pm

So I bought that Dell S2716DG (https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-27-gaming-monitor-s2716dg/apd/210-agjr/monitors-monitor-accessories) that was on sale from Best Buy a few days ago, and I now have had the monitor for a couple of days and I can't seem to get passed having a lot of eye strain when I use the monitor even for a few minutes.

It's a 27 inch TN panel at 1440p and 144hz. My old monitor is a 23.5 inch LG W2353v (https://www.lg.com/ca_en/desktop-monitors/lg-W2353V-PF-lcd-monitor) at 1920x1080 60hz TN that I've used for nearly 10 years now. I'm not sure what's causing my eye strain other than size or maybe brightness. Even at low brightness (as low as 15%) it feels like I'm staring into a huge wall of bright light. I've got background lighting in the room so it's not a bright screen against a pitch black room. I've tried moving the monitor as close as an arm's length away and as far as nearly twice that distance and nothing seems to help. I've got the monitor at a good height so that my eyebrows are centered around the top 1/4 of the screen. I put the Windows app scaling at 150% as I don't like straining to look at small text and apps. Even in fullscreen games I'm getting eyestrain that makes it impossible to use this screen for more than 30 minutes at a time.

Has anyone experienced this with moving to a larger screen size? Am I screwed and will need to return this screen and stick with a 23 inch screen?
 
jihadjoe
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:16 am

Maybe you just need to drop the brightness some more. According to TFTCentral's review your monitor would be outputting 100nits at 20% brightness, and is still close to 70nits even down to 10%.

It seems the W-LED backlight Dell used is just really effin bright! If you need more help then run a program like F-Lux to make the colors a bit warmer which could be easier still on the eyes.
 
Acidicheartburn
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:37 am

jihadjoe wrote:
Maybe you just need to drop the brightness some more. According to TFTCentral's review your monitor would be outputting 100nits at 20% brightness, and is still close to 70nits even down to 10%.

It seems the W-LED backlight Dell used is just really effin bright! If you need more help then run a program like F-Lux to make the colors a bit warmer which could be easier still on the eyes.

I have it at 15% and just dropped it down to 10%. Seems fairly dark now.

I actually moved the monitor closer to me (back again at about arm's length) and it seems better, but it's just super close (pretty much in the middle of my desk now).
 
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:59 am

Could be the brightness, Dell has always offered crazy-bright displays. Moving it closer will only make the brightness stronger though.

Have you verified it is displaying at 144hz? If the problem continues you can drop it to 120 or 90hz and see if that helps any. Especially if you are playing games where the GPU cannot maintain a steady framerate.
 
Acidicheartburn
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:00 am

Kougar wrote:
Could be the brightness, Dell has always offered crazy-bright displays. Moving it closer will only make the brightness stronger though.

Have you verified it is displaying at 144hz? If the problem continues you can drop it to 120 or 90hz and see if that helps any. Especially if you are playing games where the GPU cannot maintain a steady framerate.

My eyestrain is irrelevant to the framerate. I had it on 60hz before I got my display port cable so I could run it at 144hz and still had just as much eyestrain. Besides, it wouldn't matter when I'm looking at a static image on the screen such as web browsing where I still have the eyestrain.
 
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:00 am

Most monitors' color temperature seems to err on the cool side from the factory, and TFT Central says this is one of them. F.lux / Redshift / etc would be the heavy-duty ways to fix that, but they usually aren't so good for precision and small tweaks. A couple ticks of blue reduction in the monitor's OSD might help significantly, especially if it's still on the edge of being too bright in general.

I don't know enough of the theory behind it to even say if it's relevant to your panel, but my EDG 27 is very harsh on the eyes when displaying whites at 50 contrast (especially certain patterns of horizontal lines), and the problem disappears at 40 contrast. It's apparently a strobing problem (coming from the panel rather than the backlight), and the effects were something like what you're describing. If it's still a big problem in gaming, it can't be the exact same problem I had, but I think something along these lines is more likely than strictly a brightness or color problem if you can't even use it for half an hour at 15% brightness.
 
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:00 am

I don’t know how this works in monitors specifically; but LEDs sometimes strobe when their brightness is lowered and that can cause eye strain. Have you tried it at 100% brightness?
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jihadjoe
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:21 am

OP's monitor is good in that regard. Pure DC voltage to control backlight, and absolutely no flicker at any brightness level. I think my first reply should have a link to the TFTCentral review.

Edit: guess it didn't. Link here http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_s2716dg.htm
 
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:27 am

I tend to run my screens on the dim side; My HDR monitor is currently set to 12% brightness and the old Spyder Colorimiter claims it's 90 nits like that which is more than adequate for evening use.

I also find that a whole weekend on my laptop makes my eyes tired and a little bit red. It's a 14" 1080p display and I have zero problems of discomfort focusing on anything, it's just obviously closer to the limit of what my eyes can actually focus on so the muscles have to work harder and that manifests in fatigue that I simply don't get at longer viewing distances and lower dpi/ppi.

Acidicheartburn wrote:
I actually moved the monitor closer to me (back again at about arm's length) and it seems better, but it's just super close (pretty much in the middle of my desk now).


Arm's length seems about right for a 27" desktop monitor. If you feel that it looks silly in the middle of your desk, try getting a VESA mounted monitor arm that clamps onto the back of your desk. It's a win-win as you get your desk surface back and can put your keyboard where you want it. I could be weird but I've always liked to rest my entire forearm (including elbow) on the desk and type at arms length. Removing the monitor stand from the equation means that I don't need to put the monitor further back that is comfortable just to get my keyboard where I want it.

PWM flickering affects some people and not others, and although I do not know for sure I believe the defining factor is not PWM flicker itself, but the interaction between PWM flicker and other sources of light, such as LED spotlights or flourescent tubes. The flicker may be at frequencies two fast to be percieved but the phasing effects of monitor PWM and overhead lighting could cause brightness shifts that your iris simply can't handle quickly enough to allow the 'comfortable' amount of light in to your retinas.

Edit because of Jihadjoe
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:03 am

jihadjoe wrote:
OP's monitor is good in that regard. Pure DC voltage to control backlight, and absolutely no flicker at any brightness level. I think my first reply should have a link to the TFTCentral review.

Edit: guess it didn't. Link here http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_s2716dg.htm


I agree. You might be able to prove this by setting the monitor to max brightness (contrast) and turning down the gamma on your video card, and see if that helps.
 
Acidicheartburn
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:13 pm

synthtel2 wrote:
Most monitors' color temperature seems to err on the cool side from the factory, and TFT Central says this is one of them. F.lux / Redshift / etc would be the heavy-duty ways to fix that, but they usually aren't so good for precision and small tweaks. A couple ticks of blue reduction in the monitor's OSD might help significantly, especially if it's still on the edge of being too bright in general.

I don't know enough of the theory behind it to even say if it's relevant to your panel, but my EDG 27 is very harsh on the eyes when displaying whites at 50 contrast (especially certain patterns of horizontal lines), and the problem disappears at 40 contrast. It's apparently a strobing problem (coming from the panel rather than the backlight), and the effects were something like what you're describing. If it's still a big problem in gaming, it can't be the exact same problem I had, but I think something along these lines is more likely than strictly a brightness or color problem if you can't even use it for half an hour at 15% brightness.

I have to say I agree that this screen is definitely pretty harsh on the eyes color-wise. It gives a very cold looking picture. I did in fact lower the blue (and green a bit) to warm up the picture. I may have to try and warm it up some more but the whites are already starting to grow a slight reddish tint so I'm not sure how much more I want to go. I'm just not sure how much I'm really enjoying this monitor. The resolution, refresh rate, and G-Sync are all pretty awesome and the screen does give a much more clear and accurate picture than my old monitor but it's a rather cold and harsh looking screen for my preferences, and coupled with the eyestrain problem I'm not sure it's something I'm going to keep. I'm going to keep trying some suggestions and try to find a balance that works before I return it, though.

@Chrispy, arm's length just seems crazy close to me, despite all the recommendations for that distance on all the monitor placement guides I've seen. I always ran my old 23" screen at around 34 inches away from my head and that was perfect for me.

Anyone ever try and put up a web browser page on your large TV at normal TV watching distances? Trying to read anything on the screen like that (even at 55" in my case) is a literal pain, even when increasing the zoom on the web page. It always made me feel like I needed to sit far closer to be able to read anything on a web page comfortably on such a large screen. Using this 27" monitor feels just like that, except it still hurts my eyes even when the screen is very close. I feel like there could be something going on with the way my eyes are trying to focus on the screen that's straining them.
 
synthtel2
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:29 pm

How's it handle http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/inversion.php? Do any of those patterns look particularly harsh?
 
Acidicheartburn
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:36 pm

synthtel2 wrote:
How's it handle http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/inversion.php? Do any of those patterns look particularly harsh?

6a and 6b are a nightmare to look at. I wouldn't say any of it is flickering except when I scroll the page up or down.
 
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:48 pm

Acidicheartburn wrote:
6a and 6b are a nightmare to look at. I wouldn't say any of it is flickering except when I scroll the page up or down.

Yeah, that's the same thing I ran into then. At 144 Hz they don't obviously flicker, but I guess it's still slow enough to be a big problem.

Reducing contrast fixed it for me, but I don't recall enough of the theory to be much help beyond that. Surely someone else here knows more about it.
 
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:42 pm

f.lux is pretty great, but it does rely on your monitor being somewhat neutral in calibration (color-wise). Just setting the monitor to "standard" instead of warm or cool is a good start.
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Acidicheartburn
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:08 pm

synthtel2 wrote:
Acidicheartburn wrote:
6a and 6b are a nightmare to look at. I wouldn't say any of it is flickering except when I scroll the page up or down.

Yeah, that's the same thing I ran into then. At 144 Hz they don't obviously flicker, but I guess it's still slow enough to be a big problem.

Reducing contrast fixed it for me, but I don't recall enough of the theory to be much help beyond that. Surely someone else here knows more about it.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean but there may be a problem with this monitor and pixel inversion that might be causing me my eye strain.

I searched for "Pixel inversion" and three separate Youtube videos showed up from people with this monitor showing the problem. You can see it here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa45z0BuwZg) and here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7kY_0Ugv7U). What concerns me the most though is a comment on this video by Shady Brady: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzCOaqLo0jU

This person mentions seeing a sort of "mesh effect" when things are moving on the screen. I have noticed this in a couple of games. It's almost like some sort of screen door effect happening on screen. I wasn't sure I was really noticing it at first but it's become more apparent as I've used the monitor, and seeing this comment complain about it confirms my suspicions that it's real.

Could there be something wrong with the way this screen is working that could be causing me eyestrain? I still get the eyestrain even when looking at static images. The more I look at this screen the more kind of odd it seems. I'm not sure if I'm imagining it, or that it's some visual quirk of eyes in general, but if I look really closely at the pixels on the screen they almost sort of shimmer or wiggle. I might even describe it as the pixels are sort of dancing, but it's just so subtle, especially because of the small size of the pixels at this resolution, that I'm not sure it's real or if I'm imagining it. I can't really explain it well.
 
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:16 pm

Acidicheartburn wrote:
Could there be something wrong with the way this screen is working that could be causing me eyestrain? I still get the eyestrain even when looking at static images. The more I look at this screen the more kind of odd it seems. I'm not sure if I'm imagining it, or that it's some visual quirk of eyes in general, but if I look really closely at the pixels on the screen they almost sort of shimmer or wiggle. I might even describe it as the pixels are sort of dancing, but it's just so subtle, especially because of the small size of the pixels at this resolution, that I'm not sure it's real or if I'm imagining it. I can't really explain it well.

Whatever you're seeing, it doesn't sound right at all. I'd return the monitor if I were you.

I was in a somewhat similar situation earlier this year and made a spot purchase of a 27" monitor with good specs on paper, but when I got it home it simply looked odd, as if the pixels had colored shadows behind them. It instantly drove me bonkers and I couldn't stand it. I took it back the next day and swapped for a different monitor and another $40 to cover the cost difference, and it was absolutely worth it. I assume that you're going to be looking at that screen a lot; don't settle for something that's going to give you a headache and eye strain.
 
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:23 am

My dad was having trouble with eyestrain and found this.
 
Acidicheartburn
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:39 am

Gyromancer wrote:
My dad was having trouble with eyestrain and found this.

This monitor uses DC voltage adjustment for the LED backlight instead of PWM, eliminating any potential flickering from that.
 
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:08 pm

The inversion thing is that each pixel flickers a bit at half the screen's refresh rate, but half the pixels are 180 degrees out of phase with the other half, so it hopefully all works out and isn't noticeable on average content. If your monitor has bad flicker in the first place and you use it to display a pattern that lights up half the pixels that are all in phase with each other, that's going to be "a nightmare to look at."

I wonder if both our monitors are more likely to look harsh with typical content due to coarse inversion patterns. Tests 6a and 6b (the coarse ones) are the worst on mine too. Even with the problem "fixed", if I stare at one of them for 15 seconds my visual processing gets confused about something and anything else I look at takes on a vertical blur of the distance between the lines in the test for a few seconds. :-?
 
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:05 pm

When I get a new monitor, I generally start with TFTCentral's calibration settings and adjust from there. It's not going to be EXACT because each panel is a tiny bit different, but IMO it's a better place than guessing. For your particular model it looks like they used....


(For reference, default brightness is 75 lol OH GOD MY EYES)
Monitor OSD Option Default Settings
Preset mode Custom Color
Brightness 26
Contrast 75
RGB 97, 99, 96

You can also try their ICC profile(s) for things that actually use them: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/icc_profile ... 2716dg.icc (warning: direct download)
TFTCentra's ICC database: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/ic ... e_database
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Acidicheartburn
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:09 pm

DancinJack wrote:
When I get a new monitor, I generally start with TFTCentral's calibration settings and adjust from there. It's not going to be EXACT because each panel is a tiny bit different, but IMO it's a better place than guessing. For your particular model it looks like they used....


(For reference, default brightness is 75 lol OH GOD MY EYES)
Monitor OSD Option Default Settings
Preset mode Custom Color
Brightness 26
Contrast 75
RGB 97, 99, 96

You can also try their ICC profile(s) for things that actually use them: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/icc_profile ... 2716dg.icc (warning: direct download)
TFTCentra's ICC database: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/ic ... e_database

I already used TFT Central's review.
 
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:19 pm

Acidicheartburn wrote:
I already used TFT Central's review.

I dunno, dude. Your monitor isn't particularly bright or anything. I have heard the colors are pretty decent for a TN, too. Maybe try hanging out at 1080p and see if it's the upped resolution that is your issue? FWIW, I know you have moved the distance to screen around a bit but maybe resolution will help since nothing else has thus far. Have you messed with the pixel response time in the OSD?

Maybe RMA it to see if there is something really weird going on with your particular panel (though I don't really think this is the issue)?

/shrug
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Acidicheartburn
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:11 pm

DancinJack wrote:
Acidicheartburn wrote:
I already used TFT Central's review.

I dunno, dude. Your monitor isn't particularly bright or anything. I have heard the colors are pretty decent for a TN, too. Maybe try hanging out at 1080p and see if it's the upped resolution that is your issue? FWIW, I know you have moved the distance to screen around a bit but maybe resolution will help since nothing else has thus far. Have you messed with the pixel response time in the OSD?

Maybe RMA it to see if there is something really weird going on with your particular panel (though I don't really think this is the issue)?

/shrug

This screen is far brighter than my old one. Even at 50% brightness it's crazy bright. Jihadjoe seems to think it's a pretty bright screen at even moderate settings (https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=121554&view=unread#p1395952). The colors are certainly better than my old screen but it's a very cold look IMO. I turned down the blue and upped the red a bit to warm up the image some. I tried 1080p on this screen and that didn't help, and only made it look like crap (why can't someone make a screen that doesn't look awful at non-native resolutions????).

If you read TFTCentral's review a bit more you'll see that changing the response time to the only other setting (Fast) barely decreases the response time and introduces some pretty bad overshoot.

I think I'm going to return this screen and hold out for something with a fast VA panel to go on sale.
 
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:29 pm

Acidicheartburn wrote:
This screen is far brighter than my old one. Even at 50% brightness it's crazy bright. Jihadjoe seems to think it's a pretty bright screen at even moderate settings (https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=121554&view=unread#p1395952). The colors are certainly better than my old screen but it's a very cold look IMO. I turned down the blue and upped the red a bit to warm up the image some. I tried 1080p on this screen and that didn't help, and only made it look like crap (why can't someone make a screen that doesn't look awful at non-native resolutions????).

If you read TFTCentral's review a bit more you'll see that changing the response time to the only other setting (Fast) barely decreases the response time and introduces some pretty bad overshoot.

I think I'm going to return this screen and hold out for something with a fast VA panel to go on sale.

Your new Dell is ~350cd/m. Your old screen is ~300cd/m. That's....not a huge difference. Of course your old monitor's backlight likely has worn out a bit so it's not quite as bright as it used to be, but 350cd/m isn't amazingly bright. ESPECIALLY when you consider you have it on 10-20 percent of total brightness. That's just not bright any way you look at it.

Yeah, I read most of the TFTCentral review, but you're describing things that most of us have never come across before so I was just trying to make suggestions. Either your monitor is wacky, or your eyes are (no offense meant - I'm likely far, far worse off in the eye department than anyone in this thread). If you don't like it though, return that bad boy. Maybe try getting down to your local shoppe and look at some stuff in person if possible.
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:37 pm

If it’s not working for you, return it. Don’t try to just live with it.
 
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Re: Bad eye strain with new monitor

Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:15 am

Two things drastically reduced my eye strained from my monitor:

1. F.lux: This little piece of software changes your screen brightness in accordance with the amount of light in your location (based on sunrise/sunset times). It really transforms the computing experience to the point that I can't work on any screen without it.

2. UV + Blue light filter glasses: I got these for cheap when I was in Thailand on a vacation and they're great for reducing eye strain. I don't know if its pseudoscience, but they claim to block out blue light . Might be placebo effect, but they've greatly reduced eye strain for me

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