|OT| The PC Hardware Thread -- Buy/Upgrade/Ask/Answer

Ascheroth

Chilling in the Megastructure
Nov 12, 2018
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I'm looking for a cheap notebook for my grandpa. He has an old Sony Vaio right now, but it's getting way too old and slow.
Obviously doesn't need to be super fancy, but I'm completely out of the loop when it comes to notebook brands currently, even more so in the low-price segment.
What are some cheap but decent notebooks/brands currently?
 

warp_

タコベルが大好き
Apr 18, 2019
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Maybe not exactly what you were thinking but have you considered a chromebook? I ended up getting one for my grandfather after looking around and realizing that most cheap laptops kinda sucked and he just wanted to do stuff on the web anyway. For the same price or cheaper than most notebooks you can get some solid chromebooks that do about the same things, assuming your grandfather is mostly wanting to do facebook/youtube/netflix/video calls like mine/
 
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Li Kao

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Is overclockers.co.uk a serious site ?
They should have the Lancool Mesh today, good price ~82 euros
 

Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
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Never used it myself, but it's supposed to be one of the major ones in the UK.

(Although at this point in my life, I'm sad to say that I only buy on Amazon for their no-questions-asked/no-bullshit return policy.)
Eh, good point ! :thinking-face:
 

xinek

日本語が苦手
Apr 17, 2019
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Aaaaaand, bought it! Can't wait to see what kind of difference does an Ultrawide make, with HDR too!! (I never saw HDR content before, let alone playing a game with HDR...)
Tuesday should already be here 😱
In the end I payed this 1600€, Asus was 2900€ and Acer 2800€. Such a big price difference between them...
Congrats, I thought an ultrawide was the most dubious purchase of my PC build, but I would never go back now. It's also great for programming when I use it as an external monitor for work. Having HDR on top of that would be amazing -- definitely post your impressions when you get it!
 
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Ascheroth

Chilling in the Megastructure
Nov 12, 2018
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Maybe not exactly what you were thinking but have you considered a chromebook? I ended up getting one for my grandfather after looking around and realizing that most cheap laptops kinda sucked and he just wanted to do stuff on the web anyway. For the same price or cheaper than most notebooks you can get some solid chromebooks that do about the same things, assuming your grandfather is mostly wanting to do facebook/youtube/netflix/video calls like mine/
That's something I wasn't even thinking of tbh, but a good point :thinking-blob:
He does like to use Windows Movie Maker to make dvds of all the family events and stuff though. I guess that doesn't exist for Chromebooks for obvious reasons, but there is probably something equivalent. But not sure about making him relearn a new program for that. Hm. Needs more consideration.
 

TheTrain

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Jun 11, 2019
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Congrats, I thought an ultrawide was the most dubious purchase of my PC build, but I would never go back now. It's also great for programming when I use it as an external monitor for work. Having HDR on top of that would be amazing -- definitely post your impressions when you get it!
I will, I promise!
Actually I'm more excited than what I should be, when I approached this thread I was ready to drop whatever was needed to get the top notch out of a new monitor, ISee was just perfect with his suggestion as that was exactly what I wanted out of that purchase. (I'll never thank you enough!:cat-heart-blob:)
I had a lot of doubt, just like you, about the Ultrawide and the fact that its still not 100% supported by everyone out there. But I said fuck it, I want that thing on my desk, I wanna try first hand what kind of experience is it, because there surely is a reason if all those who try an ultrawide never come back to a 16:9 aspect ratio!
The fact that it ticks all the boxes that I wanted is the cherry on top, when I was thinking about changing the actual monitor I was a bit worried about the refresh rate limitations of Display Port when it comes to 4K and HDR. After all its been 5 years that I play on a 144Hz monitor, at 1080p, and that smoothness its something that really change the gaming experience, or at least has changed mine for the better.
Well, I stop here not to bore you anymore Meta! I've to say one more time that this community is amazing, thank you guys!
 

didamangi

Who do you think you are? I am!
Nov 16, 2018
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I will, I promise!
Actually I'm more excited than what I should be, when I approached this thread I was ready to drop whatever was needed to get the top notch out of a new monitor, ISee was just perfect with his suggestion as that was exactly what I wanted out of that purchase. (I'll never thank you enough!:cat-heart-blob:)
I had a lot of doubt, just like you, about the Ultrawide and the fact that its still not 100% supported by everyone out there. But I said fuck it, I want that thing on my desk, I wanna try first hand what kind of experience is it, because there surely is a reason if all those who try an ultrawide never come back to a 16:9 aspect ratio!
The fact that it ticks all the boxes that I wanted is the cherry on top, when I was thinking about changing the actual monitor I was a bit worried about the refresh rate limitations of Display Port when it comes to 4K and HDR. After all its been 5 years that I play on a 144Hz monitor, at 1080p, and that smoothness its something that really change the gaming experience, or at least has changed mine for the better.
Well, I stop here not to bore you anymore Meta! I've to say one more time that this community is amazing, thank you guys!
You gotta post pics as well later.

This might be helpful for you: Steam Curator: /r/ultrawidemasterrace Group and pc gaming wiki as always for an all in one info/fix.

Still haven't had an ultrawide. Just out of reach price wise for me atm, at least the good ones are.

A great ultrawide and 4k tv are the dream setup for me.
 
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Arulan

Lizardman
Dec 7, 2018
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I just bought myself a new display too -- the LG OLED48CX. I've waited a long time for a monitor that checks every one of my boxes, but every year I've been left disappointed. When a TV was able to hit single-frame input latency, support G-Sync, 120Hz, 4K, a good BFI implementation, incredible HDR performance, and all the advantages of OLED for both SDR and HDR, it caught my attention. SDR performance in particular is really important because ultimately that's still the majority of what we're doing, and I was becoming frustrated with LED contrast and poor dark-room viewing. Though none of this would have mattered if they didn't release a 48" model, which I'll be mounting to the wall behind my desk to give me a ~42" viewing distance.

The elephant in the room however is burn-in. This will be my primary desktop monitor. Frankly, if it lasts me only ~3 years before burn-in becomes noticeable for normal content I'll be happy. Supposedly LG has a good reputation for doing one-time panel replacements outside warranty too. I also plan to calibrate SDR to 100 or 120 nits, which should significantly reduce the time it would take. We'll see how it goes, but I'm not too worried.

I was considering a couple 21:9 monitors as well, but ultimately OLED is more important to me. I concluded that for my tastes ultra-wide is only really worth it if I essentially match the center 16:9 portion of the display to cover the same (real-world) field of view of a normal 16:9 display (in addition to matching in-game field of view for that space), essentially making the sides peripheral vision. Otherwise the fov distortion at the extreme sides would bother me, or if I pushed the monitor back and lowered the fov, I'd just be losing vertical space when compared to a regular 16:9. I think ultra-wide is pretty nice, but you can't have it all. It would also be nice if Nvidia/AMD let you assign monitor zones that render at 100%, while reducing the quality elsewhere. I believe they used to have a feature like this for multi-monitor setups.

Now I'm just wondering if I should try to integrate my current monitors at the sides, but I'd lose the space for my speakers.
 
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Firewithin

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Dec 19, 2018
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my new monitor came earlier than expected. set it up last night and its so pretty. im actually kind of shocked going from 23" to a new 27" feels like a huge jump in size lol.
 
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Pogi

illiterate
Jun 25, 2019
64
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Got my Ryzen parts into my Sentry clone HZMOD XQ69! The Wraith cooler is garbage. The only available low profile hsf in my country are Cryorig c7 Cu and Noctua NHL9a (the black premium one) and both are overpriced right now. Might as well import the Black Ridge or AXP 90 which are reported in our local SFF community as much better performers in both thermal and acoustics.

Specs
CPU: AMD 3600 / Wraith Stealth
GPU: Palit 1660Ti StormX OC
RAM: 2x8 GB Avexir Core 2400Mhz Red (bwahahaha, from my i5-6400 rig, will upgrade later)
Mobo: Gigabyte B450 I Auros Pro Wifi
Storage: SanDisk SSD Plus 1 TB
PSU: Silverstone ST45SF-G
 

ISee

Oh NO!
Mar 1, 2019
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Thinking of upgrading RAM for my ASUS TUF FX505DT Gaming Laptop (from 8 to 16GB).

I want to Indian Amazon and found two RAMs, one labelled "Single Rank" and other called "Updated" (I'm assuming this is dual rank). (as linked)

Which one should I get to get some performance?
Are you going to buy two new or one in addition to you old (single?) stick?

If the former: Single rank in 4x multi DIMM configurations can be more easy to run and overclock on desktop systems (it can be faster). But I doubt single vs. double is going to make a difference at standard JEDEC 2400CL17 settings tbh.

If the later: Match whatever your original stick is.
 

Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
Jan 28, 2019
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Hey people ! :p
I haven't annoyed you for sooo long, I thought I should post a little more :tightly-closed-eyes:

As I said in the Steam thread, I'm interested in buying a new monitor. The old one can go to the PC I built with my old parts.
Aiming for a 27" as I'm used to that
Most interested in 120+ hz over res
Wouldn't say no to 1440p though

Choice (feel free to suggest other models)
AOC 27G2U (1080p/144hz Free/G-Sync monitor, ~240 euros)
LG 27GL850 (1440p/144hz G-Sync monitor, ~440 euros)

The price of the LG is a little steep, but maybe the res would be more suited to 27"
But I also read that IPS are frequently suffering from glows and light leaks, and I have my fucking 4K Sony for that, thanks :(
And having a 2060 super for the moment, I could more easily push more fps with the AOC
Oh and anecdotal, I read a user review telling his LG screen broke within a year and LG wouldn't budge. But that seem really strange for an European.

What says you, people ? :thinking-blob:
 
OP
Durante

Durante

I <3 Pixels
Oct 21, 2018
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I feel like the tradeoffs are still more or less the same.
You can have:
  • Very fast transitions and a cheap price, but bad colors and viewing angles with TN
  • Fast transitions and good colors but mediocre contrast and some glow at a relatively high price with IPS
  • Slower transitions but better contrast and good colors at a moderate price with VA
Pick your LCD technology.

I just bought myself a new display too -- the LG OLED48CX. I've waited a long time for a monitor that checks every one of my boxes, but every year I've been left disappointed. When a TV was able to hit single-frame input latency, support G-Sync, 120Hz, 4K, a good BFI implementation, incredible HDR performance, and all the advantages of OLED for both SDR and HDR, it caught my attention. SDR performance in particular is really important because ultimately that's still the majority of what we're doing, and I was becoming frustrated with LED contrast and poor dark-room viewing. Though none of this would have mattered if they didn't release a 48" model, which I'll be mounting to the wall behind my desk to give me a ~42" viewing distance.

The elephant in the room however is burn-in. This will be my primary desktop monitor. Frankly, if it lasts me only ~3 years before burn-in becomes noticeable for normal content I'll be happy. Supposedly LG has a good reputation for doing one-time panel replacements outside warranty too. I also plan to calibrate SDR to 100 or 120 nits, which should significantly reduce the time it would take. We'll see how it goes, but I'm not too worried.

I was considering a couple 21:9 monitors as well, but ultimately OLED is more important to me. I concluded that for my tastes ultra-wide is only really worth it if I essentially match the center 16:9 portion of the display to cover the same (real-world) field of view of a normal 16:9 display (in addition to matching in-game field of view for that space), essentially making the sides peripheral vision. Otherwise the fov distortion at the extreme sides would bother me, or if I pushed the monitor back and lowered the fov, I'd just be losing vertical space when compared to a regular 16:9. I think ultra-wide is pretty nice, but you can't have it all. It would also be nice if Nvidia/AMD let you assign monitor zones that render at 100%, while reducing the quality elsewhere. I believe they used to have a feature like this for multi-monitor setups.

Now I'm just wondering if I should try to integrate my current monitors at the sides, but I'd lose the space for my speakers.
Keep us updated on burn-in!
And I'm also interested in things like text rendering quality with the less Cleartype-ideal subpixel arrangement.

I've been watching OLED developments and wanting a monitor with it for over a decade now, but at this point I feel like for my use case it might never happen (ie. something like dual-layer LCD or even just micro-LED backlights will provide a better tradeoff).
 
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Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
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In fact, AOC proposes a VA too. Cheap at 200 euros, good display if I remember right, just barebone in the ergonomics.
But it's a monster at 32" :fearful-face:
 

Arulan

Lizardman
Dec 7, 2018
328
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Keep us updated on burn-in!
And I'm also interested in things like text rendering quality with the less Cleartype-ideal subpixel arrangement.

I've been watching OLED developments and wanting a monitor with it for over a decade now, but at this point I feel like for my use case it might never happen (ie. something like dual-layer LCD or even just micro-LED backlights will provide a better tradeoff).
Will do.

I'm curious about text rendering as well. I suspect on Windows I'll have to turn off Cleartype, but I may be able to tweak the alternative on Linux to better accommodate the WRGB sub-pixel layout.

I should have the display setup within the next day or two. Unfortunately I won't have VRR or full 4K120 4:4:4 until Ampere arrives, but it won't be much longer.

I agree that Dual-layer LCD or Micro-LED will likely be the best option. Hopefully they'll be available for the next time. In the meantime, I can't wait to say good-bye to LCD drawbacks. :p
 

Firewithin

MetaMember
Dec 19, 2018
658
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Hey people ! :p
I haven't annoyed you for sooo long, I thought I should post a little more :tightly-closed-eyes:

As I said in the Steam thread, I'm interested in buying a new monitor. The old one can go to the PC I built with my old parts.
Aiming for a 27" as I'm used to that
Most interested in 120+ hz over res
Wouldn't say no to 1440p though

Choice (feel free to suggest other models)
AOC 27G2U (1080p/144hz Free/G-Sync monitor, ~240 euros)
LG 27GL850 (1440p/144hz G-Sync monitor, ~440 euros)

The price of the LG is a little steep, but maybe the res would be more suited to 27"
But I also read that IPS are frequently suffering from glows and light leaks, and I have my fucking 4K Sony for that, thanks :(
And having a 2060 super for the moment, I could more easily push more fps with the AOC
Oh and anecdotal, I read a user review telling his LG screen broke within a year and LG wouldn't budge. But that seem really strange for an European.

What says you, people ? :thinking-blob:
i got the LG monitor you listed a week ago and its a beautiful monitor. the colors are so vivid on it. i havent done a ton of gaming (at least graphic intenstive) buts its looked great to me. I tested Halo MCC with the adaptive sync on it and definitely can see the difference there as well.

so yes its expensive but so far its been worth the money to me.
 
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Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
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i got the LG monitor you listed a week ago and its a beautiful monitor. the colors are so vivid on it. i havent done a ton of gaming (at least graphic intenstive) buts its looked great to me. I tested Halo MCC with the adaptive sync on it and definitely can see the difference there as well.

so yes its expensive but so far its been worth the money to me.
Thanks for everyone's input on it, I really appreciate it.

About the LG and, I suppose, IPS in general, I'm genuinely scared of the user pics you can find on Amazon reviews.

Shit like that

is super not okay in my book, whatever the price paid.

I'm already annoyed by the slight light around the corners of my 4K LED TV and the feeling that things displayed are haloed...
Now granted I'm not an in obscurity player, so the effect might be lessened, but still.

The choice is though in itself. I have a Ryzen 2600x / 2060 super.
If I get the AOC I will still be in 1080p, buying a brand new monitor at the same res than the old will feel odd and pixel density will remain low.
If I get one of the 1440p display, the price is harder to swallow, pixel density will be better but that shit will be even more demanding on my middle grade GPU.

In the two cases, I won't be able to push the display to its maximum framerate with my GPU, will I ? I mean, in 1080p I 'only' get 77+ i/ps in AC Origins. Granted that's with fairly high settings, I could lower them, and not all games are as demanding as your typical AAA.

But that's my fear, I want a new monitor, I don't want to add a new roadblock that will require buying a new and even more expansive GPU immediately.
A new GPU is definitely planned, a 3070 if possible, but one step at a time.


Edit -
AOC 27G2U (1080p/144hz Free/G-Sync monitor, ~240 euros)
LG 27GL850 (1440p/144hz G-Sync monitor, ~440 euros)
Asus VG27AQ (1440p/165hz Free/G-Sync monitor, ~479 euros) - added because it sports a better contrast than the LG, Amazon pics are as usual, a horror show
 
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ISee

Oh NO!
Mar 1, 2019
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I'm genuinely scared of the user pics you can find on Amazon reviews.
The interesting thing about user reviews and back light bleeding is that it's either there and as terrible as in those pics, or non existent at all.
Made me curious and confused while reading up on stuff three years ago while searching for a new display myself. You'd assume there would be a middle ground, at least on some models, sometimes. Which is curious.

Made me investigate the testing methodology for back light bleeding and think about the relevance of this test for daily use. People are sitting in rooms that are never completely dark, especially not in an age where two screen setups are the norm and both screens are emitting light on to each other.
Second thing is color accuracy and display calibration. In my (non profesional!) experience 100% brightness is not an option if you want (more or less) accurate colors.

Perception is another key factor here. My display has backlight bleeding (they all have), but it is sitting at around 60% brightness after following this tutorial from NXgamer:


Am I noticing the "problem" while gaming? I'll be honest with you. I'm too stupid to. But I'm certain there are people who do and even the slightest light bleed is a problem for them.

Only way to know for you is to buy something and test for yourself, using the conditions and settings that are representative of how you want to play.
 
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xinek

日本語が苦手
Apr 17, 2019
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The interesting thing about user reviews and back light bleeding is that it's either there and as terrible as in those pics, or non existent at all.
Made me curious and confused while reading up on stuff three years ago while searching for a new display myself. You'd assume there would be a middle ground, at least on some models, sometimes. Which is curious.
Yes to all of this. My display has a bit of IPS glow -- I notice it from time to time, usually when I'm across the room and glance over to the monitor. But it's never had any impact whatsoever on gaming. And yeah, at an appropriate brightness level, it especially isn't a factor. I'd take that glow any day over meh colors. I'm sure there are bad individual monitors out there, but at least if you buy from Amazon, the exchange process should be painless. I was also pretty unsure when buying my IPS monitor due to hysterical user reviews -- what a waste of energy. Ugh, just don't read user reviews at all. People are so stupid.
 
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OP
Durante

Durante

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The issue is that most people doing those photos don't normalize their exposure and ISO settings. Then they'd be useful.

The only truly reliable and complete English-language display testing that I recommend is at tftcentral.co.uk, but of course they're limited in their coverage.
 

Copons

MetaMember
Nov 12, 2018
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Brighton, UK
copons.wordpress.com
You might remember that a few weeks ago I got a surge that killed my 1-month old PSU (Corsair TX 650M).
I've sent it back, but it has always been out of stock so far.
Yesterday I've asked the store if they can replace it with a different model instead, and it turns out they can, as long as I pay the difference.

So the two options (both Corsair) would be:
  • TX 750M (80+gold, semi modular), for 20£
  • RM 650X (80+gold, full modular, higher quality?), for 27£

Both should be able to power my rig (plus a 3080 eventually) for the time being, and I don't think I need a full modular, as I don't plan to use custom cables and whatnot.
At the same time, maybe it makes sense to have a better quality PSU?
Would it better protect me somehow from surges and stuff, or would it just end up as a more expensive item to replace? 😅
 

knch

Junior Member
Sep 23, 2019
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You might remember that a few weeks ago I got a surge that killed my 1-month old PSU (Corsair TX 650M).
I've sent it back, but it has always been out of stock so far.
Yesterday I've asked the store if they can replace it with a different model instead, and it turns out they can, as long as I pay the difference.

So the two options (both Corsair) would be:
  • TX 750M (80+gold, semi modular), for 20£
  • RM 650X (80+gold, full modular, higher quality?), for 27£

Both should be able to power my rig (plus a 3080 eventually) for the time being, and I don't think I need a full modular, as I don't plan to use custom cables and whatnot.
At the same time, maybe it makes sense to have a better quality PSU?
Would it better protect me somehow from surges and stuff, or would it just end up as a more expensive item to replace? 😅
VS

Go with the TX if you don't care about modular cables, it seems to be ever so slightly better.

If you want surge protection get a powerstrip with that functionality, they're pretty cheap. (Just make sure you're using a grounded socket (yes, there are non grounded sockets still...))

APC Surgearrest, the single socket version is less than 15 monetary units.
 
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Copons

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Go with the TX if you don't care about modular cables, it seems to be ever so slightly better.

If you want surge protection get a powerstrip with that functionality, they're pretty cheap. (Just make sure you're using a grounded socket (yes, there are non grounded sockets still...))

APC Surgearrest, the single socket version is less than 15 monetary units.
Thanks!
Yeah, I've got a proper surge protected power strip immediately after I killed the PSU, and the socket is grounded (unless there's something really messed up inside 😄), so I should be relatively covered now.
 
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Arulan

Lizardman
Dec 7, 2018
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Hot damn! This display is beautiful.

I finally got around to mounting it earlier this week and I've been in awe ever since. While VRR paired with a high refresh rate is still the single largest upgrade in experience I've had, coming from IPS/TN (on monitors) to OLED falls just under that. The image quality is just incredible. I'm not even talking about 4K or HDR, which are great on their own as well, but just the difference in panel technology. I launched a couple games I had installed -- Left 4 Dead 2 and Half-Life 2, and it was like looking at those game for the first time again. They looked incredible. I've been playing Kingdom Come: Deliverance over the past couple months and the forests have never looked so good. I really can't wait to try other games out.

I'm still moving stuff around, but I've currently settled on a ~120 cm viewing distance. I'm not sure if it's easily noticeable in the photo, but to keep the display at an ideal (real-life) field of view and height, it's actually mounted lower than the top of my desk, which is pushed out from the wall. Speaking of which, I'm not sure why the photo has a blue tint to it.

For desktop use 4K at 100% scaling (GNOME & Windows) works well. You have a lot of screen real-estate to work with at 4K. Until Ampere GPUs (HDMI 2.1) arrive I'll be sticking with 1440p120 though.

I haven't really messed with Cleartype or Freetype for text rendering yet (I have them off), but nothing has caught my eye as bad yet. Though to be fair a lot of programs use their own font rendering, which could be what I've encountered the most of so far.

Black-Frame Insertion is something I want to experiment more with, but first impressions are really good. I've used it before on my first 120Hz display, but it dimmed the screen (perceived brightness) too much, and you couldn't compensate enough for it. Here you can (for SDR levels of brightness anyway), and everything looks so clear.

I love this thing.
 
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