BenQ’s XL2420G G-Sync monitor reviewed

Variable-refresh displays are one of the most exciting developments in PC gaming lately. For the first time, we’re not forced to choose between the lesser of two evils: ugly screen tearing or sluggish vsync. We get to enjoy a smooth, responsive experience with unmarred visual fidelity, often at frame rates that would make a console gamer blush.

Nvidia teamed up with display makers to bring us the first variable-refresh monitors last year, under the G-Sync umbrella. Since then, the open Adaptive-Sync standard has been added to the DisplayPort spec, and AMD has introduce its FreeSync initiative, which promises to endow Adaptive-Sync monitors with an extra layer of certification. AMD’s and Nvidia’s efforts bode very well for the adoption and democratization of variable-refresh monitors this year and beyond.

Of course, right now, Nvidia’s G-Sync is the only game in town. It’s the only port of entry into the wonderful world of variable-refresh goodness. And that means we’re still very interested to see what G-Sync displays are out there.

Today, we’re turning our attention to BenQ’s XL2420G, a 24″ offering that’s currently selling for about $580 at Newegg. This display is a little smaller and more affordable than some of the other G-Sync monitors we’ve looked at, but it’s not lacking in functionality or connectivity. Quite the opposite.

  BenQ XL2420G
Diagonal 24″
Panel type TN (8-bit)
Backlight type LED
Resolution 1920×1080
Max. refresh rate 144Hz
Response time 1 ms (gray to gray)
Luminance 350 cd/m²
Contrast ratio 1000:1
Color gamut 72% NTSC
Viewing angles 170° horizontal

160° vertical

Inputs 1x DVI-DL

2x HDMI

1x DisplayPort 1.2

1x USB (Type B)

1x Mini-USB

Outputs 2x USB 2.0

1x headphone

Stand adjustments Height, pivot, swivel, tilt

BenQ outfits the XL2420G with a 1080p TN panel capable of refresh rates up to 144Hz and gray-to-gray response times as low as 1 ms. That high refresh rate makes the XL2420G perfect for G-Sync, and it also enables support for Nvidia’s 3D Vision stereoscopic technology, provided that you bring your own 3D Vision active-shutter glasses (another $150 at Newegg).

According to BenQ, the XL2420G can display eight bits per color channel and a 16.7-million color palette. The luminance and contrast ratings are more than respectable, as well, and the input selection is generous: dual-link DVI, DisplayPort 1.2, and dual HDMI. The monitor even doubles as a two-port USB 2.0 hub, and it can pipe HDMI audio through a 3.5-mm headphone jack. Then there’s the stand, which supports a full range of adjustments—assuming you don’t forgo it for a VESA mount, which the XL2420G also supports.

Going by the specs, the only sore spot seems to be the viewing angles. 170°/160° seems a little narrow in an age when IPS monitors are so ubiquitous. However, those angles are par for the course among TN panels, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find non-TN monitors that support refresh rates and response times as rapid as the XL2420G’s. More to the point, I’m only aware of one IPS display that supports G-Sync, and it’s not even out yet.

The BenQ XL2420G has one other notable trick up its sleeve. It’s equipped with two scalers: an Nvidia one for G-Sync and an additional scaler that drives what BenQ calls “Classic Mode.” The G-Sync scaler enables variable-refresh capabilities, while the Classic one offers more elaborate adjustment options and profiling capabilities. Switching between these scalers is done via the on-screen menu, and the inputs are partitioned between them. The DisplayPort input only works in G-Sync mode, while the DVI and HDMI ports are Classic Mode exclusives.

Despite the intriguing dual-scaler mojo, BenQ hasn’t forgotten about little ergonomic touches. The XL2420G’s stand has a carrying handle and a headphone hook, so you can hang your gaming cans without taking up unnecessary space. Below the hook is a cable-management hole with the same glossy red finish.

The monitor also ships with the S Switch, a rodent-like contraption that plugs into the monitor via Mini-USB and allows the user to control the on-screen display (OSD) menu and choose between profiles without holding their arm up at a 90-degree angle. Sadly, the S Switch is only usable in Classic Mode, so G-Sync users will have to leave it in the box.

 

Adjustments and ports

Before we test image quality and G-Sync gaming, let’s take a closer look at the BenQ XL2420G.

The stand allows the display to tilt forward 5° or back 20°, and it offers roughly 5.1″ of vertical adjustment wiggle room. The shots above show the monitor in its lowest position tilted as far as it can go, first forward and then back.

If you’re all about verticality, the XL2420G can also be used in portrait mode. Just remember to adjust the display to its maximum height before rotating it. I made the mistake of skipping that first step, and I wound up leaving a nice gash in the monitor’s base. Oops.

Not pictured: the stand’s ability to swivel 35° left or right, for a total range of movement of 70°. Swiveling can be helpful, but it’s not crucial, since grabbing hold of the base and turning the whole thing works well enough in a pinch. That fact holds especially true for the XL2420G, which is a relative featherweight at only 13 lbs.

Here are the inputs. That big, squarish one on the right is the USB Type-B port that powers the monitor’s built-in hub. On the very left, next to the DVI connector, is a Mini-USB port for the S Switch contraption. All of these ports are labeled on the monitor’s back surface, so you don’t (necessarily) need to poke your head under the thing to see what you’re doing.

Rounding out the XL2420G’s connectivity are the USB 2.0 hub and headphone jack, which sit on the left side of the display, about 3.5″ from the bottom edge. I rarely run out of front-panel USB ports on my PC, but it’s nice to have options. Interference-prone wireless dongles might work better in this spot than under a desk, too.

The OSD controls

BenQ has given the XL2420G some unusual controls for its on-screen display.

Instead of buttons, this monitor has six touch-sensitive contacts, all recessed slightly. Five of the contacts control the OSD functions, while the sixth is a sleep/wake toggle. Below that toggle is an infrared transmitter for synchronizing with Nvidia’s active-shutter 3D Vision glasses.

You’d expect these controls to be hard to see and operate in the dark, but they’re not. That’s because the buttons automatically light up when your finger gets within about a quarter inch of them, or as soon as you touch the lower quarter of the screen’s right edge. Move your hand away, and they go dark again. The contacts also beep when touched, which makes up for the lack of tactile feedback to some degree. In practice, this system feels seamless and works very reliably. Nice job, BenQ.

Then there’s the S Switch. It’s too bad this device doesn’t work in the G-Sync mode, because it really is an interesting and unique alternative to the default OSD controls. It latches on magnetically to either side of the display’s base, and it lets you scroll through the OSD with the red wheel. A wheel click activates a selected option, while the back button takes you up a step in the menu tree. The 1, 2, and 3 buttons call up the custom profile slots.

The S Switch works rather well, although I should note that it doesn’t have an optical sensor underneath, despite what its mouse-like shape might suggest. The wheel and buttons are all she wrote.

 

The OSD interface

The XL2420G actually has two OSD interfaces: one for the G-Sync scaler and another for Classic Mode. The screenshot below shows the G-Sync OSD, but you can use the buttons underneath to see the Classic Mode OSD.


The two interfaces look and behave a little differently, and they each expose a different set of features. This chart from BenQ’s website breaks down some of the differences:

Notably missing from the G-Sync OSD are Display Mode, which lets the XL2420G simulate smaller display sizes through a clever application of black borders, and Smart Scaling, which gives the user control over how big simulated display sizes appear on the screen.

BenQ’s Windows software is also out of bounds to the G-Sync mode. That software comprises Display Pilot and the Game Mode Loader.

Display Pilot is a substitute for the OSD with a number of extra features, such as desktop partitioning. The Game Mode Loader, meanwhile, allows third-party profiles to be downloaded and saved into the display’s memory. The XL2420G has three custom profile slots, which can also be filled with custom settings defined through the OSD, the old fashioned-way.

Other Classic Mode exclusives include Instant Mode, which is supposed to cut input lag, and Smart Focus, which lets you zoom in on a portion of the screen, like a YouTube video. We didn’t dwell on either those features—or the Windows software—since we were more interested in the G-Sync side of the XL2420G.

One OSD setting that’s present in both G-Sync and Classic modes is AMA, or Advanced Motion Accelerator. BenQ says this feature raises the voltage applied to the panel’s liquid crystals in order to improve gray-to-gray response times. The OSD presents three AMA settings: Off, High, and Premium. Here they are in action in Blur Busters’ UFO Test:

Leaving AMA off clearly increases visible ghosting, so objects moving across the screen appear sort of smeared. The effect is somewhat subtle, though, and I honestly can’t see much of a difference between the High and Premium settings. I wound up leaving the display on the High setting, the default, throughout testing.

Our testing methods

We’ve changed our testing methods up a bit since our last monitor review. Or, rather, I took some creative license to get around a small logistical problem.

The colorimeter on hand at TR’s northern outpost is EyeOne’s Display 2, whose bundled calibration software is close to a decade old and no longer supported. Rather than use deprecated software, I installed dispcalGUI, a calibration and characterization utility powered by the open-source Argyll Color Management System. dispcalGUI is a little more daunting and less user-friendly than consumer calibration software, but it’s very powerful and quite a bit more feature-packed. Not only that, but it features more complete characterization functionality than HCFR, the tool we’ve used to test displays in the past.

So, I’d call this change a win-win.

Using dispcalGUI and our trusty colorimeter, I’ll be comparing the XL2420G to my daily driver, the 24″ HP ZR24W. The ZR24W retailed for around $400 when it came out roughly five years ago. Because it has an IPS panel and a 60Hz non-variable refresh rate, it’s obviously in a very different league than the BenQ XL2420G. However, it should provide a helpful frame of reference on the image quality front. If the XL2420G can come close to the same level of color accuracy as an IPS monitor, then we’ll know BenQ has a winner on its hands.

Luminance and contrast

We’ll start by measuring black and white luminance at each display’s minimum and maximum brightness settings. We can then compute contrast from those numbers. Note that we’re testing the XL2420G in both G-Sync and Classic modes, and we’re taking an additional set of readings at a normalized luminance setting of 120cd/m².

Thanks to its powerful LED backlight, the BenQ XL2420G runs circles around the CCFL-backlit HP monitor, be it in terms of peak brightness, contrast, or even black level.

Curiously, though, the BenQ monitor is measurably brighter—and has a measurably higher contrast ratio—in Classic Mode than it is with the G-Sync scaler enabled. The G-Sync mode isn’t murky by any means, however, and 442 cd/m² seems almost blindingly bright to me in an indoor setting.

 

Color gamut, temperature, and gamma

For this section, we’ll run both the BenQ and HP monitors through a gauntlet of tests first in their default, uncalibrated state, and then after calibrating them with dispcalGUI. Luminance will be normalized at 120 cd/m² throughout.


Both displays stick pretty closely to the sRGB color gamut, which is represented by the dotted triangle in the middle of the image. However, the HP ZR24W’s gamut coverage is narrower, and its color temperature is way off in its uncalibrated state. (The color temperature is indicated by the white cross. Ideally, the white cross should overlap with the gray X, which stands for a 6500K color temperature—roughly equivalent in practice to the sRGB standard’s D65 illuminant.)

Even uncalibrated, the BenQ panel does a fair job of sticking to the 6500K sweet spot. For the most part, anyway. My old ZR24W is another story: uncalibrated, with OSD set to the 6500K default, its color temperature is closer to 5500K.

Early reviews of the HP ZR24W, like this one by TFT Central, show a default color temperature above 6500K at the same setting, so I can only conclude that my unit is a victim of old age. According to this NEC whitepaper, as CCFL-backlit monitors age, their white point shifts “toward a yellow hue.” I guess it’s time to retire the old workhorse . . . but not before we run more tests.

Gamma readings are all pretty close to the 2.2 sweet spot, both before and after calibration.

That said, the BenQ XL2420G needs a fair amount of warming up to get to that point. Here are gamma readings taken just 30 minutes after the two displays were powered on:

The ZR24W is already at 2.2 after half an hour, but the XL2420G is around the 1.9 mark, which translates into a paler, more washed-out image. The BenQ monitor’s gamma inches slowly toward 2.2 as the panel continues to warm up, but it’s a little jarring during the first 45 minutes of use.

Color accuracy

I’m not going to get into the weeds of explaining the delta-E metric, since there’s some serious math involved. All you need to know is that delta-E figures help us quantify the difference between the colors our displays produce and the colors they ought to produce, according to the sRGB standard.

dispcalGUI defines “nominal” delta-E 2000 values as no more than 1.5 on average, with an absolute maximum of 4.0. “Recommended” values are no more than 1.0 on average and 3.0 at most.

I’m not sure why the blue readings are so high across these two displays. Perhaps we need to pony up for a better calibrator here at TR North. In any case, these numbers show the XL2420G compares very well to the aging, IPS-based ZR24W. The XL2420G achieves lower average and maximum delta-E values both calibrated and uncalibrated in G-Sync mode. The uncalibrated readings in Classic Mode are a fair bit higher, though.

 

Display uniformity

To see how uniform the BenQ XL2420G’s backlight is, we’re going to use dispcalGUI to grab luminance readings at 15 spots across the panel, with the center normalized to 120 cd/m².

93.6 cd/m²

(78%)

100.7 cd/m²

(84%)

107.2 cd/m²

(90%)

108.2 cd/m²

(91%)

107.9 cd/m²

(90%)

101.4 cd/m²

(85%)

110.8 cd/m²

(93%)

119.4 cd/m²

(100%)

116.8 cd/m²

(98%)

108.3 cd/m²

(91%)

104.6 cd/m²

(88%)

110.1 cd/m²

(92%)

111.9 cd/m²

(94%)

113.2 cd/m²

(95%)

104.8 cd/m²

(88%)

As always, note that these are luminance numbers measured with a colorimeter. The subjective impression of brightness one gets from looking at the screen is a little different. With the naked eye, the XL2420G seems pretty darned uniform when displaying a solid white image—though there is a very slight shadow in the upper-left corner. That’s not going to bother you when you’re immersed in a gaming session, though.

This overexposed photo shows the XL2420G rendering a black screen. The idea here is to get a sense of backlight bleeding:

There’s a teeny bit of unevenness along the left side, plus some slightly lighter spots at the top and bottom edges. But man, this is nothing compared to some of the backlight bleeding we’ve on some other displays. I’d say BenQ did a pretty stellar job here.

Viewing angles

Our viewing angle test involves snapping pictures with the display facing the camera, then leaning forward 10°, leaning back 10°, and turned 20° toward the side. Our test image is a scene from new zombie parkour extravaganza Dying Light.

 
 

Those viewing angles aren’t great, but this what we’ve come to expect from TN panels. Besides, narrow viewing angles aren’t much of an annoyance on desktop monitors. On a notebook, the user’s position relative to the screen is liable to change frequently. But on a desktop, the user is likely to sit in the same spot at all times, unless he’s, like, really terrible about slouching.

Input lag

I unfortunately don’t have a CRT monitor on hand to act as a baseline for input lag measurements. However, I can compare the XL2420G to the ZR24W using our high-speed camera and the Lagom response time test.

Left: HP’s ZR24W. Right: BenQ’s XL2420G in G-Sync mode.

The XL2420G is noticeably more responsive than my old IPS monitor.  I measured the delta between the two panels at 13-15 ms. Using XL2420G for the first time was kind of a throwback to the olden days, when I upgraded from a 1GHz Athlon to an Athlon XP 2500+. Objects on the screen responded to input so much more quickly that they almost seemed to do so before being clicked. I guess one should expect no less from an ultra-fast gaming monitor, but it’s nice to know the XL2420G delivers.

Power consumption

As always, we’re taking power consumption readings at the wall outlet using a P3 Kill A Watt power meter.

We saw earlier that the XL2420G’s Classic Mode is brighter than the G-Sync mode. It’s therefore a little surprising to see that the Classic Mode also has lower power draw. If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on Nvidia’s G-Sync FPGA chip being more power-hungry than the Classic Mode scaler, which is likely a smaller ASIC.

 

Subjective impressions

Aside from brief glimpses, I’d never taken a really good look at a G-Sync monitor before the BenQ XL2420G hit my lab. I’d heard all the hype and read Scott’s primer on the subject, and I was reasonably sure the excitement was justified. However, I’d had plenty of fun playing games on 60Hz monitors. I was therefore curious to see whether G-Sync could improve my gaming experience enough to make it seem indispensable.

The answer is a pretty unequivocal yes. But the reasons are a little hard to explain, unless you’ve physically used a G-Sync monitor yourself.

Videos like the one above show how G-Sync eliminates screen tearing, but they don’t convey a sense of what G-Sync feels like when you’re playing a game. The best analogy I can come up with is this one: it’s like watching The Hobbit at 48 FPS. You get a very clear sense of extra fluidity from the 144Hz peak refresh rate, and the lack of either screen tearing or vsync-induced slowdowns means the animation is always perfect—or as perfect as the GPU can make it.

The result is something much less abstract than usual. There are fewer kinks, in other words, to make you go, “Oh, this is a video game running on a computer.” Depending on how good the graphics are in whatever game you’re playing, the effect can be a little jarring at first. You’re less liable to overlook artistic flaws, just as people watching The Hobbit had trouble overlooking obvious makeup prosthetics.

You get used to it, though. After a while, the immediacy of the input response and the flawlessness of the animation make G-Sync kind of intoxicating. Going back to a 60Hz monitor feels a bit like digging up a 15″ CRT from 1995. The sense that you’re missing out is obvious and kind of heart-wrenching.

So, yeah. Totally worth it.

Before I render my final verdict, a few words about the panel’s overall image quality. As many of you know, using a TN panel often feels like something of a downgrade if you’re used to IPS panels. The XL2420G largely mitigates that with great color reproduction, high contrast, and good panel uniformity. The issue of the narrower viewing angles does rear its head more often than with an IPS panel, and that can be mildly frustrating. The fact that the XL2420G takes a long time to warm up and pull the gamma out of bizarro world adds to that frustration. But after you’ve been gaming for a couple of hours, my impression is that the downsides are easily forgotten.

Conclusions

There you have it, then. The BenQ XL2420G is an excellent little monitor, and I definitely enjoyed my time with it.

Sure, the thing isn’t absolutely perfect. I’d have preferred if BenQ lopped off the Classic Mode and cut the price by a few bucks, for starters. (I doubt the target audience for this display cares about features that are off-limits in G-Sync mode.) The narrow viewing angles and long warmup time can be annoying, and it’d be nice if the built-in USB hub was of the SuperSpeed variety.

At $580.99 shipped, however, the XL2420G is a nice entry point into the world of variable-refresh monitors. Its only competition in that price range seems to be Acer’s XB270H Abprz, which spreads the same 1920×1080 resolution across a larger 27″ panel. I don’t know about you, but I’m not thrilled about the relatively low pixel density that arrangement entails.

All things considered, I see no reason not to give the XL2420G our TR Recommended award. If you have a G-Sync compatible GeForce graphics card, and you don’t mind paying a premium for a variable-refresh panel, this is a no-brainer—unless you can afford something larger with a higher resolution.

Comments closed
    • Terra_Nocuus
    • 5 years ago

    The non-G-Sync variant is on sale right now for [url=http://flash.newegg.com/Product/N82E16824014370?icid=WP_5_02092015<]$329.99[/url<] (normal price shown at $499, so only an $81 dollar G-Sync premium?)

      • Chrispy_
      • 5 years ago

      I think you’ll find that $580 minus $330 equals a $250 G-Sync premium.

      C’mon Freesync, where are you?

    • Chrispy_
    • 5 years ago

    1080p TN panel

    Perfect for the bargain bin, undesirable at any price over $300

    • VincentHanna
    • 5 years ago

    Why am I paying 500 bucks to [u<][b<] upgrade [/b<] [/u<] to a 1080p monitor? I don't think so.

    • CaptTomato
    • 5 years ago

    MORE TN SHIT.

    • CreoleLakerFan
    • 5 years ago

    I’d rather have this:

    [url<]http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=113&cs_id=1130703&cp_id=11307&p_id=11996&seq=1&format=2&cl=res&utm_source=150206_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=11996&utm_campaign=150206_q1_Friday[/url<]

    • kravo
    • 5 years ago

    I’m just way too confused to get excited.
    Despite the memory-gate, I’d buy a gtx970, but I don’t want to pay a premium for a g-sync monitor , and even though the new lineup of freesync monitors makes me curious, I just don’t feel like buying an amd graphics card. I’m not an nvidia fanboy, I just don’t find the r9 series that much appealing as nv’s maxwell lineup.
    But there will be more freesync monitors… uhhh…
    ….must…..buy…….stuff!!!

    • mcnabney
    • 5 years ago

    The display really should be compared against a 144hz display. For the same money you can get 1440p, 144hz, IPS, and 27″. This display has a lot of negatives to go along with being locked into a tech that will likely not be the standard in 2-3 years. Monitors last a long time, invest for the long haul.

      • MathMan
      • 5 years ago

      I wonder where you can find a monitor with all those specs.

      Even the Korean ones don’t go this high.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 5 years ago

    That HP ZR24W is a really good monitor. My brother plays CS on it, and I don’t notice any ghosting or artifacts. Makes me wish I had bought one when it was being sold.

      • Airmantharp
      • 5 years ago

      The bar for me to replace my ZR30W- or more likely, to complement- is very high 🙂

      • Vaughn
      • 5 years ago

      Ditto my friend.

      I’ve owned one since 2010 and typing this on it. I was happy to see him include the HP in the review. Because the HP is also a business class monitor which came with 3 year warranty and onsite service so at $400 it was a great value. Plus 1200p has allowed me to keep my 7970Ghz card without upgrading so another win. I’m not sure where I will go next after this monitor dies I prefer 16:10.

      One thing though portrait mode and TN view angles usually equal fail.

      There is no shifting of colour on my HP ZR24W when in portrait mode would it be the same for this monitor?

      You can still find them used.

      [url<]http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1311.R4.TR6.TRC1.A0.H0.XHP+ZR&_nkw=hp+zr24w&_sacat=0[/url<]

    • LoneWolf15
    • 5 years ago

    G-Sync is nice.

    But aside from that, six years ago buyers paid a similar price for a 24″ 1920 x 1200 S-PVA panel with two DVI, HDMI, Displayport, VGA, component in, and a USB hub with a 9-in-1 memory card reader to boot. Height and angle adjustable. That’d be the Dell 2408WFP –still love mine.

    (citation)
    [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/2518/4[/url<] I'm trying to figure out why I'd pay the same price for something now that has one better feature, but poorer blacks, colors, and viewing angle. Does a G-sync scaler really cost that much on top of what appears to be a pretty standard display?

      • funko
      • 5 years ago

      That’s my mental struggle as well. A low latency VA monitor with adaptive sync technology, and above average color accuracy and viewing angles would be most ideal, in a 16:10 package.

      but i’ll even give you the 16:9 ratio.

      adjustable height stand, is a huge benefit. I agree with you there.

      If that was available at $750. it should sell to mainstream PC gamers.

      • Meadows
      • 5 years ago

      Not necessarily, but high refresh rates have always come at a premium.

      More to the point: if you can’t justify the price, then just don’t buy one.

      • Luckyo
      • 5 years ago

      No, but licensing costs to Nvidia do, as does their desire to vendor lock you to their cards. People are known to defend the brand they are invested in, and this is very much an investment at that price point.

      • Prestige Worldwide
      • 5 years ago

      I would say that 144hz is equally important as G-Sync featurewise.

      That said, an IPS version of this will probably be out later this year so I wouldn’t bother.

    • Voldenuit
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]Today, we're turning our attention to BenQ's XL2420G, a 24" G-Sync monitor that's currently selling for about $580 [/quote<] And it's TN, too. PLEASE STAHP.

      • Meadows
      • 5 years ago

      With pretty precise colour reproduction, according to the tests.

      • Luckyo
      • 5 years ago

      TN is the only game in town for high refresh rate LCD monitors. IPS cannot (yet?) compete in that regard, and VA is just junk for refresh rate though beats both of former on image quality.

    • Prestige Worldwide
    • 5 years ago

    Great review. I have what is essentially the non-gsync version of this, the XL2420T. 120Hz (XL2420Z is a newer 144hz model), and I am with Cyril on the statement that going back to a 60hz screen is like going back to a 15″ CRT. I had to RMA my first one (tons of stuck pixels that were stuck only in some games but not in others) and using my old 60hz monitor was painful.

    Yes, TN viewing angles are not the best, there is no reason to debate this in my opinon. We can all agree that IPS does colours and viewing angles better.

    But when I’m playing multiplayer shooters, I’m not going for colour accuracy and viewing angles. I just want it to respond quickly and be able to have all of my enemies be as visible as possible.

    I use BenQ’s Black Equalizer feature to jack the gamma / contrast up and can see people in the shadows that other players won’t be able to see. I will see you before you see me, and then you’ll be dead. I win. GG.

    That said, I would DEFINITELY like to have an IPS G-Sync monitor, or if Freesync proves to be just as good after a proper analysis, Freesync.

    In single player games I would still like to feel immersed with better colours and viewing angles, but IPS G/F-sync monitors are going to be too expensive when they first hit the market. I will gladly pick up a 24-27″ IPS adaptive sync 1440p monitor once it drops under $400. For the meantime, my 120Hz TN will do just fine for the games I play.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 5 years ago

      It seems like gsync keeps you from using features like the Black Equalizer, so waiting for adaptive sync would be the way to go. Lower prices, better features. Depending on how much async monitors are, I might switch to AMD, especially since their 290 cards are pretty cheap. Won’t bother if NV can fix support with a driver update though.

      We’re getting there, but $400 is the highest I’d pay for something like this. Way too expensive for a TN panel.

        • Prestige Worldwide
        • 5 years ago

        Black Equalizer is still available in G-Sync mode.

        [url<]https://techreport.com/r.x/benq-xl2420g/modes-chart.png[/url<] All of the useful features (ULMB, Low Blue Light, Black EQ, Zero Flicker) are all still available. The features you lose in my experience are all useless, except for the S-Switch, which I do find rather handy. - Game loader - there are no useful settings that can be downloaded, this is in a sense vaporware in the my 2-3 years of XL2420T use. There are only loaders for a whopping 4 games supported on my monitor, rendering this useless. (CSGO, COD MW3, Diablo 3, Dota 2) - Display Pilot - see previous point - Displaymode - never use it, why would you want your picture to not fill the whole screen? Most people play at native res so non-issue - Smart scaling - see previous point. (this is effectively what "smart scaling does" - [url<]http://images.hardwarezone.com/upload/files/2012/03/7b31d583d6.jpg[/url<] ) The only thing that kind of sucks is not having the S-Switch available with G-Sync on. I use that thing all the time to switch between "good" colour calibration for windows and single player games and my multiplayer Black Equalizer preset.

    • Firestarter
    • 5 years ago

    I wouldn’t recommend buying a G-Sync monitor right before a whole slew of adaptive sync monitors hit the market, including several IPS ones and even a few with alternative aspect ratios

    • jessterman21
    • 5 years ago

    Lop off the Classic Mode and drop the price to $400 – now we’re talking.

      • anotherengineer
      • 5 years ago

      If you did that would it still run up to 144Hz on AMD cards? And Intel chips (in 2d on desktop of course)??

        • Klimax
        • 5 years ago

        It would. G-Sync still retains compatibility with regular mode of operation. (After all it can be disabled in Control Panel)

    • cobalt
    • 5 years ago

    So I’ve been curious: even with a fixed 120Hz or 144Hz (non-adaptive-sync) monitor, does the higher base refresh rate not improve stuttering?

    E.g. suppose you’re generating frames in the 50FPS range.

    On a 60Hz monitor, you have to wait multiples of 1/60th of a second before the next refresh, so missing one means you’re at 30Hz for that frame.

    But on a 120Hz monitor, if you miss the 1/60th of a second update (i.e. two 120Hz updates), you can still pick it up on the next (i.e. third) 120Hz update, only dropping you to the equivalent of 40Hz for that frame.

    And on a 144Hz monitor, you have the chance to still hit 48Hz (3 frames) or 36Hz (4 frames).

    Is this really that much worse than adaptive sync?

      • Firestarter
      • 5 years ago

      From my experience: yes it absolutely does improve stuttering. I’ve never used a G-Sync monitor, but my 120hz monitor feels a lot better in all situations compared to a 60hz monitor even at framerates far below 60fps. I think it’s quite simple actually: doubling the refresh rate reduces the perceived stuttering by 50%, and a G-Sync monitor acts like a monitor with an infinite refresh rate thus completely eliminating stutter and tearing.

      If 300hz monitors were the standard for whatever reason, this would never have been an issue. In a sense, I guess that means that we should be [i<]glad[/i<] that we had to suffer through the dark age of 60hz only monitors, because that means they'll hopefully just fix this issue once and forever.

      • tay
      • 5 years ago

      You answered your own question and gave a great explanation why to boot.

        • cobalt
        • 5 years ago

        Thank you! Primarily, I wasn’t sure I was even thinking about it properly. (And even if I was, if it led to a subjectively decent experience.) So it’s nice to hear from Firestarter, or others with high refresh rate monitors, before planning my next purchase.

      • Melvar
      • 5 years ago

      I haven’t actually used a 120Hz monitor for gaming since the CRT days so this is from memory, but high refresh rates alone don’t give you the feeling of smoothness that adaptive sync does. Still very responsive, very fast, but with a distinct feel of “not smooth” because the stuttering is still there with more much smaller stutters. That’s my memory anyway.

        • cobalt
        • 5 years ago

        Dunno why the downthumbs for reporting your memories, so I’ll just leave a thanks for chiming in.

      • Lans
      • 5 years ago

      Yeah I was wondering about the same thing and would like expanded input lag testing. I assume the result in article is with G-Sync enabled but what about classic mode (fixed 144hz although fixed 120 hz might be more useful for me).

      Namely, for the price I would go for a 4K monitor but unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be any 120+ hz 4K monitors (that I can find) and would probably need DP1.3 or later. But 120/144 hz 1080p monitors seems pretty cheap so I think G-Sync should be compared to fixed 60 hz and 120/144 hz also.

        • cobalt
        • 5 years ago

        As long as we’re on wishlist items, for any 1440p or 2160p monitor, I want the reviewer to test at exactly half the linear resolution (720p/1080p) and let us know how it compares, both in lag and quality. In particular, everyone seems to say that 1080p on a 4k monitor should look as good as on a 1080p monitor, but the few times I’ve heard anyone actually try it, I hear that it’s fuzzy looking, so I suspect it actually depends on the monitor.

        (There’s not much value in testing 1080p on a 1440p monitor — I think we all expect that to be fuzzy and it doesn’t drop the pixel count enough to make the tradeoff worth it.)

    • adampk17
    • 5 years ago

    It’s only $540 shipped 2 day (if you have Prime) at Amazon

      • albundy
      • 5 years ago

      only $540? LoL!

        • adampk17
        • 5 years ago

        $540 is less than the $580 at Newegg quoted in the article, right?

    • Kretschmer
    • 5 years ago

    TL;DR: 24″/TN/1080P/$600 = Dead on arrival

      • morphine
      • 5 years ago

      Way to ignore the rest of the monitor.

        • homerdog
        • 5 years ago

        It’s just hard to get excited about another overpriced TN gsync panel. The terrible vertical viewing angles drive me nuts.

        • magila
        • 5 years ago

        The rest of the monitor would have to give me a blow job and do my laundry to justify spending so much on such a mediocre panel.

          • sweatshopking
          • 5 years ago

          FAMILY SITE

            • puppetworx
            • 5 years ago

            **** **** for everyone!

            • albundy
            • 5 years ago

            Since when?

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            At least seven years?

          • anotherengineer
          • 5 years ago

          Closer to $750 after shipping and taxes here in Canada!!!!!!

        • Westbrook348
        • 5 years ago

        If you’re already spending $580 for TN/Gsync, obviously price isn’t a major limiting factor, so why not pay a couple hundred more for the 1440p ROG Swift for double the pixels?

          • morphine
          • 5 years ago

          That’s a perfectly valid argument!

          Unlike just looking sideways at the monitor and dismissing it. 🙂

    • anotherengineer
    • 5 years ago

    “Using dispcalGUI and our trusty colorimeter”

    Umm which brand colorimeter is that?

    Under Display uniformity
    “To see how uniform the BenQ XL2420G’s backlight is, we’re going to use dispcalGUI to grab luminance readings at 16 spots across the panel, with the center normalized to 120 cd/m².”

    Picture shows 15 spots, not 16?

    Is there some reason you decided to use the de2000 instead of the de94 typically done in monitor reviews?
    “dE2000 is still under consideration and does not seem to be widely supported in graphics arts applications. ”
    [url<]http://www.colorwiki.com/wiki/Delta_E:_The_Color_Difference[/url<] For input lag you don't really require a CRT, could use an oscilloscope or other methods, although a crt would be nice. [url<]http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/input_lag.htm[/url<] And finally for those north of the border $650 + 10 Shipping + 13% tax = $745.80 [url<]http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824014412CVF&cm_re=BenQ_XL2420G-_-24-014-412CVF-_-Product[/url<] Nice job nonetheless Cyril.

      • Cyril
      • 5 years ago

      [quote<] Umm which brand colorimeter is that? [/quote<] See the "Our testing methods" section. [quote<]Picture shows 15 spots, not 16?[/quote<] Fixed, thanks! [quote<]Is there some reason you decided to use the de2000 instead of the de94 typically done in monitor reviews? "dE2000 is still under consideration and does not seem to be widely supported in graphics arts applications. " [url<]http://www.colorwiki.com/wiki/Delta_E:_The_Color_Difference[/url<][/quote<] From the top of that page: [quote<]This reserved article originally appeared in CHROMiX ColorNews Issue 17 on Feb 18, 2005.[/quote<] dE2000 seems to be the default in dispcalGUI, and according to Wikipedia, it [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_difference#CIEDE2000<]improves upon[/url<] the dE94 spec in several ways. Can you find a recent source that makes a compelling case against using it?

        • anotherengineer
        • 5 years ago

        “See the “Our testing methods” section.”
        Doh blinked and missed it, my apologies.

        No compelling case for the de94 over the de2000 except that pretty much all other monitor reviews use it, although it is an older standard. Maybe just because it’s not widely used?

        [url<]http://www.prad.de/en/monitore/review/2013/review-dell-u2713h-part10.html[/url<] [url<]http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2715h.htm[/url<] More challenging to see if your color calibrations results line up with others if you use de2000 vs. the more common de94 I guess.

          • Ikepuska
          • 5 years ago

          I will say that I’m seeing a lot of reviews using the dE2000 standard lately.
          Techreport, Tom’s and Anand.

          [url<]http://anandtech.com/show/8910/acer-xb280hk-4k-gsync-monitor-review/4[/url<] [url<]http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/aoc-g2460pqu-144-hz-gaming-monitor,3827-6.html[/url<] Now, for TFTCentral, I believe I remember reading the reason they are using dE94 is because they are exclusively monitor oriented and kept it for the ability to compare their own results historically. I can't find documentation of that though, so I may be wrong.

    • wierdo
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]The BenQ XL2420G has one other notable trick up its sleeve. It's equipped with two scalers: an Nvidia one for G-Sync and an additional scaler that drives what BenQ calls "Classic Mode."[/quote<] The above makes me more optimistic that future monitors may have the ability to use both G-Sync and FreeSync, looks like monitor manufacturers are indeed experimenting with switching modes and such already, nice.

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