LG 32QK500-W melds a 32″ display with FreeSync on the cheap

There's a proverbial rash of big-and-affordable monitors these days, and we can only be thankful for it. The latest player to join the field is the LG 32QK500-W. Let's take a good look at this 32" display.

The monitor's resolution is 2560×1440, and its pixels are spread across an IPS panel with a 1000:1 contrast ratio and 300 cd/m² average brightness. LG says the display's color gamut ought to cover 72% of the NTSC space, or roughly around 100% of sRGB. The product page remarks that the display can reproduce 10.7 billion colors, leading one to think it uses either a 10-bit or an 8-bit + AFRC panel.

So far so good, but the 32QK500-W also has a 75-Hz refresh rate and FreeSync support. LG doesn't spell out the FreeSync range, but the above-average refresh rate could mean that figure goes higher than the commonly found 48-to-60 Hz. The sleek included stand includes tilt functionality, and there's also screen-splitting capability working in tandem with the generous selection of two DisplayPort and two HDMI inputs.

While one could be forgiven for thinking "so what" when reading the specs list, Japanese website PC Watch points out that the LG 32QK500-W is expected to cost ¥34,800, or around $307. That price makes it an enticing bargain for a solid gaming or multimedia monitor. Thanks to Anandtech for the tip.

Comments closed
    • PixelArmy
    • 10 months ago

    Subjective, but I’d take the 32UD59-B that regularly goes on sale for $330 over this (though I’m comparing sales vs MSRP)…

    4K vs 1440p
    VA vs IPS
    60Hz vs 75Hz
    5ms vs 8ms pixel response time

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    • 10 months ago

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      • 10 months ago

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    • End User
    • 10 months ago

    The 32″ displays resolution of 2560×1440 is terrible at any price.

    • Chrispy_
    • 10 months ago

    Historically, LG’s 75Hz monitors have a freesync window of 40-75Hz, which is sadly not enough to support LFC out of the box.

    However, the ease of custom refresh rates from the AMD drivers means that you can most likely overclock this to the 80Hz necessary to support LFC. When Freesync required a 2.5x difference between max and min refresh ranges, I managed to get one of their ultrawides to handle it by reducing the low end of the range to 32Hz (32*2.5=80).

    The only thing that puts me off about this is that IPS panels just don’t look that great when they’re big. It’s fine for daytime use, or if you always game in a brightly-lit room, but the minute you turn the ambient lighting down the inevitable corner glow from such a physically large screen is inevitable, combined with IPS’s typical inability to display deep blacks in the first place.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 10 months ago

      That’s the easy fix: Turn on a lamp in the room. It doesn’t take much additional light to make your eyes adjust so that your IPS LCD monitor’s blacks will look black instead of grey. That’s where we’re at until OLED is price competitive with LCD.

        • Chrispy_
        • 10 months ago

        I’ll still take the darker blacks of a VA panel over IPS for that scenario. There’s a reason that gaming is better in a darker room, same reason that movie theatres aren’t lit up during the movie 😉

        The age-old problem of OLED not being a competitor is still here though, you have to chose VA’s response time or IPS’s glow/poor black performance. Which of those two evils you pick is situational and subjective. By the time you get IPS panels that are good enough to work in the dark, you’re pricing yourself near OLED anyway, and when it comes to VA response times, there are still some 2018 panels with terrible pixel response *COUGH* (Samsung) *COUGH* and it’s not easy for your average Joe to work out if a monitor he’s interesting is any good.

          • JustAnEngineer
          • 10 months ago

          Movie theaters are dark because projecting a picture that is both big and bright is hard. Your typical modern LCD monitor has more than sufficient backlight to be bright enough to compete with ambient lighting.

    • Johnny Rotten
    • 10 months ago

    I cant wait until sub 100hz panels disappear entirely (sadly not for awhile yet i’m sure). Even if you’re not a game player the difference on the desktop is huge and just such a much nicer experience.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 10 months ago

      For business users, I can’t imagine it makes that much of a difference. So I don’t see that ever happening.

        • EzioAs
        • 10 months ago

        Yeah. I mean, like it’s nice to raise the standard but I think it’s gonna be sometime before sub-100 Hz panels go obsolete.

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 10 months ago

        If my Excel spreadsheets and Outlook e-mails start moving so fast that I need a higher refresh rate monitor, maybe I should switch to decaf.

      • Chrispy_
      • 10 months ago

      I agree.

      120Hz is the sweet spot, IMO. Every 144Hz monitor I’ve encountered is better at 120Hz. Better performance on video because of the 5:1, 4:1, and 2:1 conversion to 24fps, 30fps, 60fps content.

      Additionally, if you’re streaming or recording on the fly, you’ll be using a codec that by default will convert to 30fps or 60fps and anything outside of 30/60/120fps is going to result in a jerky, uneven recording.

      For those of us running multi-monitors, having a 120Hz monitor alongside a 60Hz monitor is much nicer than having a 144Hz monitor alongside a 60Hz monitor. It’s hard to explain, but GPU drivers seem to manage alt-tabbing between fullscreen applications on either screen without a mode-switch if the refresh rates are integer-divisible.

      • Krogoth
      • 10 months ago

      Not going to happen. It is basic economic at work and support for legacy interface standards.

        • Voldenuit
        • 10 months ago

        I’m surprised 60 Hz monitors still exist when the electronics industry is so heavily selling 120 Hz TVs (half of which aren’t even true 120 Hz).

        Just market it as the new must-have feature for productivity, gaming, health and lifestyle.

        Also, the sooner 75 Hz monitors die a grisly death, the better.

          • Krogoth
          • 10 months ago

          Most of so-called 120hz TVs are really just 60hz/120hz units.

          Unless HDMI, DVI, VGA interfaces along with legacy peripherals associated with them get completed phased out. 60hz panels are going to around for long time.

      • gerryg
      • 10 months ago

      I cant wait until sub 100fps games disappear entirely

        • EzioAs
        • 10 months ago

        Why do you hate old games?

        • Krogoth
        • 10 months ago

        >convinced that 100FPS+ makes a difference for all forms of media and is totally worth the cost

          • Voldenuit
          • 10 months ago

          That and VRR. I have a couple of oddball 48 fps movies that wreak havoc on my eyes at 120 Hz, but was able to get GSync working with MPC-HC, and they immediately looked much better.

            • Krogoth
            • 10 months ago

            VRR is what needs to be commonplace. It solves almost all of the motion issues with animation on monitors.

            • gerryg
            • 10 months ago

            I can’t wait until games and tech are so fast that VRR discussion disappears entirely

            • Krogoth
            • 10 months ago

            VRR is far superior then super-fast framerates which doesn’t solve screen tearing and moition shuddering from hic-ups.

    • ptsant
    • 10 months ago

    I recently bought a 32″ with similar specs (1440p75, 98% sRGB, VA, 10bit FRC, FreeSync). It’s just too big. I only use it for films. You really need some distance to enjoy it and unless your desk allows you to put a bit further away, I wouldn’t recommend it.

      • LostCat
      • 10 months ago

      You do? I’m like a foot away from mine.

      Planning to upgrade to having all my systems on a 55″ Freesync TV next year.

        • ptsant
        • 10 months ago

        I would consider a 32″ comfortable at approx 4 feet (a bit over 1m).

        If you are indeed sitting 30cm away from a 32″ screen, it probably extends beyond your field of vision. Which may be good if you are playing a driving game, but sucks for FPS or desktop use.

      • Jigar
      • 10 months ago

      I use 42″ TV as monitor since past 7 years, i can’t go smaller and thinking of going 55″

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 10 months ago

        42″ at 3840 x 2160 is a reasonable monitor size (at about 105 DPI), as long as you don’t find the field of view too wide. The very popular 27″ monitor size at 2560 x 1440 is about 109 DPI.

    • mieses
    • 10 months ago

    Very interesting. But why are there still only 3 or 4 HiDPI (aka “retina”) displays on the market? Dude, some of us read and draw stuff on our screens.

      • EndlessWaves
      • 10 months ago

      LG’s HiDPI ultrawide is finally out at least. It’s just around three times the price it should be.

      Hopefully the successor to the 3WK95U is quick in coming and drops the price substantially.

      • Chrispy_
      • 10 months ago

      Because Windows and application support for HiDPI still has a long way to go before it’s as nice as native resolution, and the market will only bear what is profitable:

      The vast majority of buyers aren’t interested which makes the market demographic small, which makes the production volumes low, which removes economies of scale, which drives the prices up and value down, which reduces the likelihood that buyers are interested, which reduces the size of the market demographic.

      Economics 101 or chicken-and-egg; Call it what you want, it’s not going to change any time soon :\

        • sweatshopking
        • 10 months ago

        Sell a kidney and buy a surface studio?

    • sweatshopking
    • 10 months ago

    CAN I USE FREESYNC WITH A 1070 OR A 1060

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 10 months ago

      Don’t get me started.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 10 months ago

      It’ll fall back into standard mode. 😉

        • Voldenuit
        • 10 months ago

        Also, APU passthrough on a Ryzen w APU…

          • albundy
          • 10 months ago

          …Nahasapeemapetilon.

      • Shobai
      • 10 months ago

      WAIT I THOUGHT IT WAS “DOES THIS MAKE MY ITUNES FASTER”?!

        • sweatshopking
        • 10 months ago

        IF THIS DOES MAKE MY ITUNES FASTER THEN IT’S DOUBLE GOOD

        • End User
        • 10 months ago

        Stop using Windows 10 on ARM.

          • gerryg
          • 10 months ago

          Oh, NOW you tell me not to [url=https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fi.guim.co.uk%2Fimg%2Fstatic%2Fsys-images%2FGuardian%2FPix%2Fpictures%2F2014%2F7%2F2%2F1404300976982%2F692dd6ca-4af0-4f49-8c03-0b3b291d56e1-bestSizeAvailable.jpeg%3Fwidth%3D300%26quality%3D85%26auto%3Dformat%26fit%3Dmax%26s%3Dd1bdb93882ab4edc541526a87e05407e&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fartanddesign%2Fgallery%2F2014%2Fjul%2F02%2Ftechnology-tattoo-body-art-sega-myspace-apple-facebook-google-in-pictures&docid=4pdnRtT4M6ZjjM&tbnid=WaDZ9WMp5ygFVM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwiVh_qElajfAhWo0FQKHXbeBNcQMwhMKAAwAA..i&w=300&h=225&safe=images&client=firefox-b-1&bih=1100&biw=1963&q=windows%20logo%20tattoo&ved=0ahUKEwiVh_qElajfAhWo0FQKHXbeBNcQMwhMKAAwAA&iact=mrc&uact=8<]run Windows on my arm[/url<]...

    • UberGerbil
    • 10 months ago

    That’s what, about 92ppi? While I’m sure that seems laughably low in this era of squint-to-see-your-icons 4K displays with much smaller physical dimensions than this, it’s actually pretty nice for the gaming crowd who don’t have the budget for a GPU that can drive a 4K screen at >60Hz frame-rates.

      • Airmantharp
      • 10 months ago

      I’m running a G-Sync version with a much higher refresh rate and VA panel, and I quite like the PPI with it sitting a bit further back.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 10 months ago

        I’ve only used 1440P on Dell 2515H and 2716dg. The 25 was nice, but i prefer 27″. I think 4k at 32″ is the best balance at the size for my uses.

          • Airmantharp
          • 10 months ago

          I have good eyesight, and I have to sit very close to my 32″ 4k panel for it to be comfortable.

          I honestly don’t think that there’s a ‘good’ non-scaled resolution for 32″. I’d prefer a 16:9 38″-40″ 4k panel, but I’m not sure if that would be too big.

          I also found 27″ 1440p to be a bit too high DPI without scaling set a little further back.

            • UberGerbil
            • 10 months ago

            Yeah, I find right around 100-105 ppi to be the sweet spot for me as far as font size vs viewing distance without scaling. Which means for 4K I’d be looking at a 43″ and, for desktop use, that’s… challenging. A 40″ (110ppi) I’m sure I’d adjust to, but at 32″ 4K comes out to 138 ppi or so, which is like 1440 on a 21″ screen or 1080 on a 15.6″ laptop (which you’re also usually sitting closer to).

            I may have just talked myself into a screen with specs very similar to this one. And it’s a good price. Hmmm.

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 10 months ago

            I felt 25″ 1440p was too much theni got used to it. For dual monitor workstation it was nice.

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