Viewsonic 2021 Monitors for Gamers and Designers (Pepcom Home Now! 2021)
Back to: Pepcom Home Now! (June 2021)
Viewsonic, a huge name in monitors highlighted four new displays in their 2021 lineup. In addition, they had a lot to tell us about the current state of IPS and MVA displays and how G-Sync compared to FreeSync – and why one was much cheaper than the other.
VX3418-2kpc – 34” Curved, ultra-wide monitor for gaming
It’s big, it’s curved and has a fast refresh for gaming. The price is reasonable for the a monitor this size with these specs.
- Resolution: 3440×1440
- MVA panel with 144 Hz refresh rate & 1 ms response
- Adaptive-sync technology for variable refresh
- Dual HDMI, Dual DisplayPort
- Street Price: $450, coming July 2021
XG-2431 ELITE Gaming – 24” Full HD, E-sports focused for gaming
A focus on E-sports and competitive gaming is made possible with this monitor where clarity is key. Given the smaller size and resolution, it’s able to achieve a super fast 240 Hz refresh.
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080
- IPS panel with native 240 Hz refresh & 1 ms response (gray to gray without any OD)
- 90 degree pivot control
- AMD FreeSync Premium Pro certified (making it HD400 certified)
- Street Price: $350, coming Q3, 2021
The third and fourth are professional models for design and graphics.
VP2756-4k – 27” 4K, for professional use
Factory calibrated for great color accuracy
- Resolution: 3840 x 2160
- IPS panel, sRGB calibrated, Delta E <2
- Pantone validated
- Full ergonomic height adjust, 90 degree pivot control, 3 sided frameless design
- USB-C (DisplayPort) w/60W charging capability
- Street Price: $490, available now
The above three monitors will be coming out in the next few months, but available now is the following:
VP3481a 34” Curved, ultra-wide monitor for professional use
While it’s mainly designed for pro usage, it’s also FreeSync certified and games well too. Functions as a KVM switch (my favorite feature) – lets you use the same monitor, keyboard and mouse to toggle between several devices.
- Resolution: 3440 x 1440
- MVA panel, color calibrated sRGB, Delta E <2 with 100 Hz refresh
- AMD FreeSync certified
- USB-C (DisplayPort) w/90W charging capability
- Gigabit ethernet integrated
- KVM switch (toggle between DisplayPort, HDMI & USB-C inputs with a button press.) Mouse and keyboard connects to the monitor; no re-cabling required when switching between devices.
- Street Price: $750, available now
IPS vs MVA? WHICH IS BEST?
It’s amazing how fast IPS panels can refresh so quickly nowadays. According to a Viewsonic engineer, screen technologies have advanced to where capabilities have begun to overlap between different types of panels (like IPS & MVA).
He also made me aware of the two major markets for panels; one for laptops (high volume of IPS) and another for televisions (high volume of VA). IPS panels are now 5, 6 generations in and have gone beyond the slow refresh rates they once had. VA panels that once had the slowest refresh rates can now go to 1 ms. Both types of panels are advancing enough that they’re crossing over in capabilities.
A type of crossover usage that’s been observed by Viewsonic is the modern Twitch gamer. They need a fast refresh monitor to game on, then a color accurate one to edit their session for posting to their channel or stream. Now you can use one monitor for both purposes.
The only “bad news” is that TN panels have become obsolete. Not that anyone’s noticed, but at this point there aren’t many of those being made.
What should you get if you do both design and game?
If you’re an in-betweener – someone who games, edits videos and photos – who needs color accuracy for work but also need high refresh and response times, the best choice between the four monitors presented here would probably be the 24” XG-2431. If you use a color calibrator like a Datacolor Spyder or X-Rite Colormunki, you’d have on your hands a photo monitor capable of 240 Hz refresh rate.
G-SYNC OR FREESYNC?
In general, G-Sync and FreeSync monitors both do the same thing; synchronize refresh rates with compatible video cards. For newer games like Cyberpunk 2077, your video card will probably struggle to put out 40-45 fps at the lowest settings. If you’re playing this game on a 144 Hz monitor, it’ll most probably cause screen tearing and stuttering. G-Sync and FreeSync prevents that from happening – in theory.
So which is best?
The answer comes down to cost. Having G-Sync requires proprietary hardware made by Nvidia (more expensive) while FreeSync is an open standard with hardware made by several manufacturers. If cost is no object and you have an Nvidia card, by all means pick up G-Sync.
The best compromise (for most people) is a “G-Sync compatible” monitor, which is basically a FreeSync monitor recognized as G-Sync. It lets you to go to the Nvidia menu and turn G-Sync on, netting you about 90% of G-Sync performance without the additional cost.