Massdrop’s Vast 35″ VA display lives up to its name

Thanks to the ready availability of VR headsets as nerdy toys, there's been a huge uptick in the number of discussions about field of view. I don't know a lot about VR, but I can tell you that filling your view with a huge monitor is a great way to improve immersion in video games. One such display is Massdrop's Vast 35" ultra-widescreen monitor with FreeSync.

The site requires registration to see the goodies, but we have the info in hand. The display has a 35" VA panel with a 3440×1440 resolution and a 2500:1 static contrast ratio. Maximum brightness is 300 cd/m², and the FreeSync range goes from 49 Hz to 100 Hz. A 35" ultra-wide display has around the same height as a 28" standard widescreen monitor, but the extra width can really improve immersion in first-person games.

That feeling of immersion is further improved on curved displays, and the Vast is bent in the ever-popular 1800R curvature. As an owner of an 1800R monitor myself, I can assure you that even if the curvature doesn't improve your gaming experience, it certainly won't look any worse. Massdrop describes the monitor's frame as "bent aluminum" and also notes that it has a 3H anti-glare coating. There are no onboard speakers, which is probably a good thing.

Owners will be able to hook up to the Massdrop Vast at its full resolution and refresh rate using HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2. There are also a pair of HDMI 1.4 connections that can drive the display at 60 Hz. Massdrop members—which could include you as registration is free—have ten days left to join the drop and pick up a Vast monitor for only $550. The company expects to ship the monitors by January 18 next year.

Comments closed
    • Phartindust
    • 2 years ago

    Linus’s review of this monitor:

    [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPZCvL_Hooo[/url<] Hardware Canucks take: [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVn_9uXKuFg[/url<]

    • Jigar
    • 2 years ago

    Call me old school but i like my screen’s aspect ratio to be either 16:10 or 16:9.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 2 years ago

      Hah, how about 4:3?

      Young people these days…

        • DeadOfKnight
        • 2 years ago

        16:10 is closest to the golden ratio, and I would say it’s a pretty golden balance for both productivity and entertainment.

        Of course, I don’t care about productivity unless I’m at work so it’s 21:9 for me.

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 2 years ago

          Yeah 16:10 is pretty pleasant after using 16:9 … I can hardly remember what 4:3 was like anymore!

          • Voldenuit
          • 2 years ago

          Nah, all screens should be √2:1 so you can infinitely bisect the screen and maintain the same display ratio (although rotated each time). :p

          EDIT: So put screen in portrait mode for 2-player splitscreen and landscape mode for 4-player splitscreen. Make local multiplayer great again!

    • Kougar
    • 2 years ago

    The spec and price are impressive, but isn’t sRGB on the weak side? I thought Adobe RGB was base level for good color gamut these days?

      • caconym
      • 2 years ago

      The vast majority of imagery you are going to consume on a monitor is prepared with sRGB in mind.

      Adobe RGB’s gamut has something like 40% more area (mostly in green and cyan, to better represent what’s possible with CMYK printing), but stretching an 8-bit display to cover that much color space can actually lead to banding.

      For Adobe RGB to be beneficial to you, you really need to work in print, and have a video card and monitor that both support more than 8-bits-per-channel.

        • Kougar
        • 2 years ago

        While true, it still minimizes banding in regular everyday games and applications. Banding severity is considerably lessened on my 10-bit Adobe RGB display, as opposed to the old 6+2bit dithering VA sRGB next to it. But if I can still see banding on a 10-bit display then my guess is it will look even worse on an 8-bit panel. I don’t have a true 8-bit panel to test with but I’d be very curious to try one just to make the comparison. If the Vast 35″ panel is the same as the AG352UCG then it is true 8bit.

        Steam is a good example of banding. Maximize any chat window and there will be considerable banding, though it looks 4x worse on the 6+2-bit VA panel than it does on the 10-bit IPS panel next to it. Stardew Valley also shows banding at the blue menu screen as well as the purple loading screen. On the 6+2-bit panel it is extremely bad and, worse, distractingly uneven, yet on the 10-bit display with the Adobe profile it is evenly blended and minimized to the point it is barely noticeable.

          • caconym
          • 2 years ago

          So, I’m a little behind the times in better-than-8-bit output for PCs. In order to see true 10-bit output, you obviously need your OS, your graphics card drivers, and your monitor to all support it. Is that the case for most Windows systems these days (monitor excluded)?

          IIRC, a few years ago nVidia was limiting 10-bit output to their Quadro line, and I think you also had to have Windows 7 Pro … but like I say, I’m way behind the times. I’m a digital artist but everything I do ends up on 8-bit displays so I haven’t yet tried to assemble a 10-bit pipeline at home (I’ve used them at work, for feature film stuff, but that was 7 years ago).

            • RAGEPRO
            • 2 years ago

            I’ve got 10-bit output working on Windows 10 Enterprise right now using a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. It also worked on my Radeon R9 290X before that. Seems like those requirements might have relaxed thanks to the onset of HDR content.

    • XTF
    • 2 years ago

    Since when does Massdrop produce monitors (or things in general)?

      • cynan
      • 2 years ago

      I suggest you sign up and navigate to the “massdrop made” group. There are numerous massdrop branded items (probably started with the “audiophile” stuff). With the exception of the new $300 massdrop IEMs, all of the “massdrop made” branded products are rebranded OEM stuff.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    Anyone else triggered by the fact that the curvature of the panel and the curvature of the foot stand aren’t matched?

    It looks like it’s Samsung made, or at least [url=https://www.overclockers.co.uk/samsung-s34e790c-34-3440×1440-va-widescreen-super-wide-curved-led-monitor-mo-211-sa.html<]Samsung are supplying the desk stands[/url<] at least. I wonder why it's not specifically touted as a Samsung model.

      • shank15217
      • 2 years ago

      Do you regularly view your monitors from a bird’s eye view? Jokes aside, if the base had the same curve at that protrusion it would probably tip over the monitor.

        • DPete27
        • 2 years ago

        You could pull the midpoint of the radius back to match the screen without affecting the width of the stand. That would have no effect on stability.

    • TravelMug
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]The company expects to ship the monitors by January 18 next year.[/quote<] This requires a great deal of patience.

      • Phartindust
      • 2 years ago

      Yes, I have been thinking of ordering one of these, but that waiting period ouch. Still, I have a feeling that to get a monitor with theses same specs, I would have to pay quite a bit more than $550.

    • Delphis
    • 2 years ago

    60Hz. womp womp….

      • zaeric19
      • 2 years ago

      Except it is FreeSync 49-100Hz, just that the HDMI 1.4 only supports 60Hz.

      • mudcore
      • 2 years ago

      It has a 49Hz – 100Hz Freesync range. It’s only limited to 60Hz on the HDMI 1.4 connections.

      • cynan
      • 2 years ago

      It’s 100 Hz over DP without Freesync

    • JosiahBradley
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]I can assure you that even if the curvature doesn't improve your gaming experience, it certainly won't look any worse[/quote<] This is false. Curved displays distort the 3D to 2D projection and make lines curved that were straight before. It's marketing garbage and needs to stop.

      • chµck
      • 2 years ago

      so it’s better for media consumption rather than graphical creation?

        • JosiahBradley
        • 2 years ago

        Why would you consume distorted media?

      • RAGEPRO
      • 2 years ago

      You should try using a curved display. I assure you that you will never even notice.

        • willmore
        • 2 years ago

        So they’re not like the first flat screen CRTs where my brain tried to invert itself as it attempted to compensate for the curvature as it had been doing forever?

        That was a painful few years. Finally they were all flat. Now we’re curving them the opposite direction…..

        • JosiahBradley
        • 2 years ago

        If I won’t notice why spend extra for the tech to curve the panel in the first place? So confusing.

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      You do realise that a flat display distorts the 3D to 2D projection as well right? It’s just that you’ve been seeing flat screens for so long that a [i<]different[/i<] projection seems wrong to you. Your brain adjusts remarkably quickly, to the curved projection if you actually use these things, and the curvature is negligible in the first place if you angle it at your face properly. Flat screens have the added disadvantages of increasing the viewing angles at the edges, and also increasing the focal range. One is bad for colour/gamma/contrast accuracy, the other is tiring on your eyes. I'm back on a flat screen again but I miss the curve of my Z1.

        • GrimDanfango
        • 2 years ago

        You do realise that whether you’re looking at a flat or a curved panel, you’re invariably looking at content that uses a planar projection? There are no cylindrical camera sensors (that I’m aware of) and the only 3D that can even use a cylindrical projection is highly technical raytracing (where it invariably isn’t used outside of unusual niche applications). GPUs can’t do it at all.

        So a flat screen displays all standard 3D content correctly. A curved screen warps it.

        Sure, you can get used to it, if you don’t specifically require it to be correct for work purposes, but the fact remains – given essentially all current applications, a curved screen displays content incorrectly.

        For whatever minor advantages, it’s still just a marketing gimmick – manufacturers can concentrate less on getting good viewing angles, and package it as “the next big thing!”

          • strangerguy
          • 2 years ago

          Panel manufacturers would rather put more lipsticks on their LCD pigs and it’s not like OLED is exactly expensive on a per screen area basis when I already can buy a LG 4K 55″ OLED TV for like $3000.

          • synthtel2
          • 2 years ago

          That’s what I came here to say, glad someone’s on top of it. I’d add though that when gaming the projection’s FOV very rarely lines up with the monitor’s FOV in your vision – the in-game FOV is usually wider. That stretches the angular gap between near-edge pixels in game-world space more than they’re stretched in real-world space, and correcting for that would if anything require some kind of inverse curve as in CRTs.

            • Chrispy_
            • 2 years ago

            This is what I’m getting at. As a gaming monitor, nearly all rendering engines distort the image anyway,

            Pick any first or third-person game of your choice, find an object that is round like a wheel or a ball, then look away from it so that it’s at the edge of your screen. It’s distorted. If you look away and up/down it’s even worse. Having a totally flat screen doesn’t help with that.

            Your brain adjusts and accepts massive levels of image distortion all the time, even on a flat screen. The extra level of distortion added by a curved screen is trivial/negligible compared to the distortion your brain is already dealing with and ignoring in the background.

            • synthtel2
            • 2 years ago

            If I use a narrow FOV matching the FOV my monitor occupies in my field of vision (or sit way too close to the monitor), no, stuff isn’t distorted. That just isn’t much FOV. For me, setting in-game FOV tends to be a matter of balancing how much in-game peripheral vision / situational awareness I have against how much distortion I can tolerate. Curved monitors increase the amount of distortion at any particular FOV and hurt this tradeoff.

            • jihadjoe
            • 2 years ago

            [url<]https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/UI/LevelEditor/Viewports/Basics/[/url<] In just about every 3D engine the viewports are as flat as a camera's CMOS sensor.

            • jensend
            • 2 years ago

            Actually, companies have been working on curved sensors for a long time. A couple earlier attempts even hit the consumer market (e.g. Sony KW1, 2014). The research seems to have accelerated in the past year or so – searching for “curved cmos sensor” comes up with a bunch of recent stuff – and it could become mainstream on cell phones in the not-too-distant future.

            For fixed focal length cameras, it should allow for smaller, simpler, brighter lenses as well as sharper images (no Petzval field curvature aberration), a large win all around. Only tradeoff is manufacturing complexity.

          • ronch
          • 2 years ago

          ^ Dis.

          • Takeshi7
          • 2 years ago

          False. Not everything is a planar projection. For example, Nvidia cards can do curved projections. Although Ideally in those cases you’d want a concave monitor that is curved in both directions, rather than just being curved on one axis.

          [url<]http://wccftech.com/heres-how-nvidias-simultaneous-multi-projection-can-benefit-4k-gaming/[/url<]

            • the
            • 2 years ago

            nVidia’s simultaneous multiprojection was a technique originally targeted toward multimonitor setups where the flaking displays would be moved inward a bit. Not true curve but this corrected the effect and conceptually could be applied to a typical curved display.

            The real winner was of course VR where much of the work can be recycle between view ports for each eye. This is a pretty big efficiency win if VR developers use it.

            • Takeshi7
            • 2 years ago

            Yes, but the point remains that GrimDanfango’s statement that they are all planar projections is false. And while Nvidia’s simultaneous multiprojection is currently limited to 8 or 16 projections (i don’t remember the exact number), you could theoretically extend it so that each pixel gets its own discrete projection, which would result in a perfectly curved projection.

          • just brew it!
          • 2 years ago

          I wouldn’t say that GPUs “can’t do it at all”. It just isn’t done in general, because most screens are flat (or nearly flat), and the additional complexity and computation it would require in the game engine and fragment shaders isn’t worth the trouble except for niche applications.

      • Kretschmer
      • 2 years ago

      I’ve used both at 34″ and 3440×1440 and prefer the flat screen. The monitor isn’t wide enough for a curve to add immersion, but the curve definitely screws up any graphics or layout work that you do.

      • Duct Tape Dude
      • 2 years ago

      Curved screens lessen the effects of off-angle TN/VA color shifts and IPS brightness shifts. No screen is perfect, but I will take slight content distortion in exchange for uniformity.

    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    Same panel as the [url=https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAC4Z5CF3110<]Samsung C34F791[/url<] but for $200 less.... Interesting. I wonder if the massdrop monitor has quantum dot backlight?

      • cynan
      • 2 years ago

      How is a 35″ panel the same as a 34″ panel? Pretty sure the Panel is an AUO.

      Edit. But the stand (which is height adjustable and rotates – not normally found on budget monitors) pretty much looks to be identical to the [url=http://www.samsung.com/us/computing/monitors/curved/34-ultra-wide-curved-screen-monitor-ls34e790cns-za/<]Samsung 34" SE790[/url<].

      • Kretschmer
      • 2 years ago

      It’s probably the same panel as the Omen X 35 and AG 352UCG…so a big VA panel with lots of ghosting.

        • Laykun
        • 2 years ago

        Are you saying ghosting because those monitors are notorious for it or because it’s using a VA panel? It’s good to rememberer that these VA panels aren’t the mva panels we saw 10 years ago, I have one in my Acer 27″ 144hz gsync monitor and it’s one of the best screens I’ve ever seen, especially in terms of ghosting. VA these days tends to refer to AHVA rather than the ancient MVA, the former is an IPS like tech that seems to be performing very well in gaming monitors.

          • RAGEPRO
          • 2 years ago

          AHVA is “Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle.” It doesn’t have anything to do with Vertical Alignment, which is the “VA” of (A)MVA or (S)PVA displays. AHVA panels are essentially the same as IPS. They do not provide the excellent contrast ratio of a real VA display.

          Real VA monitors do have much slower transitions (that is, real-world, not the nonsense GtG numbers paraded around by manufacturers) than IPS or TN monitors. You can make the difference moot by using a strobe backlight like the ULMB function built into every G-Sync monitor. (There’s also BenQ DyAc, Asus ELMB, Samsung Blur Reduction, and others.)

          Without using blur reduction I don’t recommend a VA monitor for gamers playing fast action games. However, a VA monitor with a high refresh rate and blur reduction combined with Nvidia FastSync or [url=https://techreport.com/review/32295/radeon-software-crimson-relive-edition-17-7-2-boasts-refinements-galore<]AMD's Enhanced Sync[/url<] is pretty much the best of all worlds. Of course, that requires that you're able to keep your game above the monitor's refresh rate at all times, so it's not for everyone on every game. Still, it's the "holy grail" so to speak, combining high contrast and rich colors with a clear-motion, tear-free, and low latency gameplay experience.

          • Kretschmer
          • 2 years ago

          The 35″ VA panels empirically have lots of ghosting.

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