High Refresh Rate Panels and Displays
A Road-map and Round-up
Simon Baker, Updated 8 June 2018 (originally written 15 September 2016)


 

 

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Introduction and Why High Refresh Rate?

We get a lot of questions about high refresh rate panels of varying sizes and technologies and it’s a topic gamers are of course very interested in. We thought it might be useful to provide a round-up of some of the news we’ve brought you over the last few months in relation to panel roadmaps, and announced displays to help get this information all in one place. This will hopefully give you an idea of what is currently available in each technology now, as well as what is planned for the future and when to expect other options to arrive. As ever, keep in mind the increasing demands on PC’s and graphics cards with the increases in refresh rates, not to mention the push for higher resolutions at the same time. Also we’d like to make the distinction up front between panel manufacturers and monitor manufacturers here. Where we are talking about panel roadmaps and production, keep in mind that there is usually a lag of a couple of months after the panel goes in to production before we see any news of displays which will feature the new panel. There’s normally then a 3 – 4 month delay before that screen is released and widely available, so keep that in mind when we talk about dates in this article.

So why high refresh rate? The refresh rate of an LCD display is directly linked to two key areas. Firstly frame rate support. The higher the refresh rate, the higher the number of frames per second it can display, if you've got a graphics card and system capable enough to generate them. So if you've got a top end gaming system and can generate 120 frames per second (fps) you'd see the benefit of that on a 120Hz capable display, whereas a 60Hz display would only offer support for up to 60fps. Secondly because of the way LCD's operate, the way the human eye perceives motion blur is directly impacted by the refresh rate as well. The higher the refresh rate, the less motion blur you will see, although past a certain point you start to reach the point of diminishing returns. There's certainly big improvements when you move from 60Hz to 120Hz, and a smaller but not insignificant jump if you then jump to something like 240Hz. Beyond that, you'd probably see smaller and smaller improvements, and for additional blur reduction you're probably going to want to consider a specific strobing blur reduction backlight system. The principles and operation of those are covered in our other article on Motion Blur Reduction Backlights.

Anyway, on to the panel and monitor roadmaps. Here are the highlights by technology:



IPS-type


Above: Acer Predator XB270HU and Asus ROG Swift PG279Q with 27" 144Hz native AU Optronics IPS-type panels

At the time of writing this article originally in September 2016 there was only one true high refresh rate option available in this technology, that being a 27” 2560 x 1440 panel provide by AU Optronics (their IPS-type AHVA technology). It is already used in a range of popular monitors such as the Acer Predator XB270HU, XB271HU, Asus ROG Swift PG279Q, Asus MG279Q etc. This is a flat (not curved) panel which is available in standard (M270DAN02.3) and borderless (M270DAN02.6) varieties and offers a native 144Hz refresh rate. Where the panel is combined with a G-sync module, manufacturers have been able to overclock the refresh rate a little to 165Hz. Blur reduction backlights have also been combined with this panel since the refresh rate support is high enough to make that a viable option.

AU Optronics are intending to develop these 2560 x 1440 resolution, 144Hz 27" IPS-type panels in the future to boost the refresh rate up to a standard 165Hz and these panels were expected to go in to production in Q1 2018 although we have not seen any recent news on their development. This goes hand in hand with some advancements in response times they are developing. They are also planning to produce a 27" panel with a lower 1920 x 1080 resolution (FHD) with 144Hz, presumably aimed at lower end systems where the full 1440p resolution might be a challenge. This option is expected to go in to production in September 2018.


Above: Acer Predator X34 and Asus ROG Swift PG348Q with 34" ultrawide overclocked 100Hz LG.Display IPS panels

Apart from those 27” panels, there were no IPS-type panels available at the time of originally writing this article which natively support high refresh rates. In the larger display space, display manufacturers had some success in overclocking a curved 34” 3440 x 1440 resolution panel which has been around for quite some years, produced by LG.Display. This IPS panel is actually natively 60Hz, but when it is combined with a G-sync module it has been possible to overclock that refresh rate up to 100Hz successfully. Monitors like the Acer Predator X34 and Asus ROG Swift PG348Q are two very popular options based on this panel and overclocked  with a lot of success 3440 x 1440 @ 100Hz. They offered high refresh rate support and response times suitable to keep up the demands of the frame rate.

So at the time of writing, these were the only real options for high refresh rate IPS-type panels.

 

New 27" and 31.5" IPS Offerings from LG.Display

AUO had the monopoly on the high refresh rate 27" IPS panels to start with, but LG.Display are planning to release several options of their own - in sizes of 27" and 31.5".

In the 27" space is the forthcoming LM270WQA panel, with a 2560 x 1440 resolution and 165Hz refresh rate. It's not expected to go in to production until December 2018 though. We expect some of the reason for the delay in their high refresh rate IPS panels is struggles with response times. AUO managed to do a good job boosting response times on their equivalent AHVA IPS-type technology, but LG.Display have had more trouble it seems. There is talk from LG.Display about improvements in their IPS response times in their latest roadmaps, reportedly trying to improve on the current 5ms G2G spec, pushing down down to 1ms G2G thanks to higher levels of overdrive. It remains to be seen how successful this is in practice, and how much overshoot gets introduced but an investment in driving response times to accommodate higher refresh rates properly is certainly welcome and needed.

The 31.5" size LM315WQ1 is expected to go in to production in December 2018 as well, and will offer a 2560 x 1440 resolution with 165Hz refresh rate.

 

Ultra HD Resolution IPS-type Panels with High Refresh Rate


Above: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ and Acer Predator X27 with 27" Ultra HD res 144Hz IPS-type panels

In the “4K" (actually Ultra HD) high resolution space, AU Optronics have produced a flat 3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD) AHVA IPS-type module (M270QAN02) with 144Hz refresh rate which was showcased at Computex all the way back in June 2016 in the form of an Asus monitor prototype. It looks like there will be two flavours of this panel, a "normal" panel and then one that supports HDR.

The arguably more exciting M270QAN02.2 offers and Ultra HD resolution and 144Hz refresh rate, but also has full HDR support and a full-array local dimming (FALD) 384-zone backlight. The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ was the first model announced featuring this new panel, offering a really impressive feature set even beyond the 3840 x 2160 resolution @ 144Hz which is exciting enough. See the linked news article for more information but the other specs are focused on delivering high end HDR and support for NVIDIA G-sync variable refresh rates. Acer and AOC will also release competing models, the Predator X27 and AGON AG273UG respectively. These 3 eagerly anticipated screens were originally pencilled in for Q3 2017 release, and are only actually now starting to appear in the market for purchase in June 2018. That's over 2 years since the prototype was shown off at Computex, but it's apparently been a massive challenge to get the FALD backlight working properly with the variable refresh rate G-sync module, and at suitable performance for fast gaming content. The Acer Predator X27 was the first to market with stock appearing in some regions like the USA at the beginning of June. We are expecting to see the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q imminently in the USA, with both expected probably late June / early July in the UK and Europe.

A borderless version of the same 4K @ 144HZ with 384-zone FALD panel is expected to go in to production in Q3 2018 as well which will signal the next development phase for those high end HDR gaming screens.

If you don't want or need the HDR FALD support, the normal version of this 4K @ 144Hz panel is the M270QAN02.3 with specs in line with typical panels. Without the HDR FALD backlight, that will hopefully significantly bring the retail cost of monitors down. There's been a lot of complaints about the very high retail price of the Asus/Acer monitors mentioned above, but that is largely due to the FALD HDR backlight production. If you just want an Ultra HD 144Hz IPS gaming panel without the added HDR capability, this forthcoming panel option might present some good, lower cost choices when it is used. Mass production of this panel is expected in June 2018, but we've not yet seen any displays announced using it.

AU Optronics are also now planning a 32" equivalent of these Ultra HD @ 144Hz panel. There will again be an HDR version with a 384-zone FALD, and a "normal" version without. Panel production was originally expected around Q3 2018 but our most recent information suggests this has slipped back to Q1 2019, presumably because of the delays and challenges with the 27" versions. It will not be until probably middle of 2019 before any monitors featuring those panels we expect right now.

There are currently no plans from LG.Display as far as we know to produce equivalent Ultra HD @ 144Hz refresh rate IPS panels.

 

Mini LED development for improvements in HDR beyond FALD backlights, with High Refresh Rate


Above: Mini LED promotional display showcased at Computex 2018 (not expected to be high refresh model)

AU Optronics also have plans to develop further HDR-capable panels with a new "mini LED" technology that will offer improvements in HDR local dimming capability over current Full Array Local Dimming (FALD) backlights. Mini LED offers much smaller chip sizes than normal LED and so can allow AUO to offer far more local dimming zones than even the current/planned FALD backlights that we've seen so far. Those FALD backlights have been limited to around 384 dimming zones on already announced 27" and 32" sized panels discussed above, certainly offering improvements in dimming capability compared with say, edge-lit panels. The new mini LED backlight systems will support more than 1000 zones on a planned 32" panel, that's expected to go in to production in Q1 2019. They are a long way away, and that date could well slip, but it's interesting to see what's coming around the corner with mini LED backlights. Considering the production cost of Mini LED is still relatively high, AUO will first launch the Mini LED-lit gaming monitor, according to Michael Tsai, President and Chief Operating Officer at AUO. The company expects customers in the gaming monitor segment to have a higher price tolerance it is said from recent press releases. In the future, expect to see even smaller "micro LED" production to offer even more zones and direct backlighting for HDR displays. There are no dates or expectations from AUO on the use of micro LED yet though.

The planned 32" panel from AUO with mini LED will be an AHVA (IPS-type) technology panel and will offer an Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 resolution, 600 cd/m2 brightness (1000 cd/m2 peak), 10-bit colour depth, 99% Adobe RGB gamut and will have two refresh rate options - a 60Hz version and the one we are interested in here for this article, a planned 144Hz version (with 8-bit colour depth on the 144Hz option we believe). Don't expect to see any Mini LED gaming screens until mid-2019 as the panel production is currently forecast for Q1 2019.

 

Ultrawide IPS Panels with High Refresh Rate

All the way back in late 2015 LG.Display had a 27” module (LM270WF8) in their road-map which would have been their first venture in to high refresh rate IPS tech. That was a planned 1920 x 1080 @ 144Hz module, but as far as we know it was dropped and never emerged. Thankfully LG.Display are now investing in other high refresh rate IPS options, this time in the 34” ultra-wide space:


Above: LG 34UC79G with 2560 x 1080 @ 144Hz LG.Display IPS panel

  • 34” curved ultra-wide with 2560 x 1080 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate - LM340UW1 was the original panel part listed – production in August 2016. This represented LG.Display’s first available native high refresh IPS panel. We have tested the LG 34UC79G which features a panel with the same spec, although a slightly different panel part number (LM340WW2). This edition of the panel already in production supports AMD FreeSync, and LG.Display have also now produced a version with G-sync support as of early 2017.

 


Above: Dell Alienware AW3418DW with 34" ultrawide LG.Display IPS panel with 100Hz native, 120Hz overclocked

 

  • 34” curved ultra-wide with 3440 x 1440 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate - there is already a 3440 x 1440 resolution @ 100Hz IPS LM340UW4 panel available and used in some displays like the Dell Alienware AW3418DW for instance where it is also paired with a G-sync module to offer an overclocked 120Hz refresh rate. There was originally a couple of new versions of the LM340UW3 panel (already available as a 60Hz option) planned around late 2017 with 144Hz, but it looks like those have been scrapped and replaced by the LM340UW5 instead. There are plans to produce the LM340UW5 from May 2018 which will offer the same 3440 x 1440 resolution but a boosted 144Hz refresh rate. This will be combined with NVIDIA G-sync and also VESA HDR 400 support.


Above: LG 38UC99 with 37.5" LG.Display IPS panel and small overclocked 75Hz refresh rate

 

  • 37.5" curved ultra-wide development - LG.Display are also investing in even larger ultra-wide screens in the curved 37.5" space. We've seen the first of these appear in monitor form in September 2016 in the form of the LG 38UC99. These new panels offer a 24:10 aspect ratio and 3840 x 1600 resolution. The panel already in production and used in that LG screen is a maximum 75Hz refresh rate. We wouldn't call this a "high refresh rate" but we mention it for reference.

    We know that LG.Display are intending to produce a 144Hz compatible version.
    Originally touted for a Q4 2017 production, this slipped and is now expected to go in to mass production In Q1 2019 (March current ETA). This will be the LM375QW2 panel which will offer the same resolution but a higher 144Hz refresh rate. This panel will also be VESA HDR 1000 compliant, with a 2300R curvature, 98% DCI-P3 gamut, 5ms response time and 4-side borderless design. It's not specified how the VESA HDR 1000 is achieved but we would expect some kind of FALD backlight to achieve those kind of specs.

 

AU Optronics don’t seem to have any ultra-wide high refresh rate IPS-type panels in their current roadmaps, so it seems that they are sticking to the typical 16:9 aspect ratio market, and leaving the 34”+ ultra-wide space to LG.Display for now. Samsung have so far not planned any high refresh rate PLS panels, which is their IPS-type technology. They seem to be more focused on their VA panels at the moment.

 

IPS-type Panel Options Summary

Manufacturer

Size

Aspect

Resolution

Refresh Rate

Mass Production from

Example Monitors, not exhaustive

AU Optronics

27" flat

16:9

2560 x 1440

144 (165Hz overclocked)

2015

Acer Predator XB270HU, XB271HU, Asus ROG Swift PG279Q, Asus MG279Q etc

AU Optronics

27" flat

16:9

2560 x 1440

165Hz

Q1 2018

 

AU Optronics

27" flat

16:9

3840 x 2160

144Hz

June 2018

 

AU Optronics

27" flat (HDR)

16:9

3840 x 2160

144Hz

Q1 2018

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ, Acer Predator X27, AOC AGON AG273UG

AU Optronics

27" flat (HDR) borderless version

16:9

3840 x 2160

144Hz

Q3 2018

 

LG.Display

27" flat

16:9

2560 x 1440

165Hz

Dec 2018

 

LG.Display

31.5" flat

16:9

2560 x 1440

165Hz

Dec 2018

 

AU Optronics

32" flat

16:9

3840 x 2160

144Hz

Q1 2019

 

AU Optronics

32" flat (HDR)

16:9

3840 x 2160

144Hz

Q1 2019

 

AU Optronics

32" flat (Mini LED HDR)

16:9

3840 x 2160

144Hz

Q1 2019

 

LG.Display

34" curved 3800R

21:9

2560 x 1080

144Hz

Aug 16

LG 34UC79G

LG.Display

34" curved 3800R

21:9

3440 x 1440

100Hz overclocked

2015

Acer Predator X34 and Asus ROG Swift PG348Q

LG.Display

34" curved 1900R

21:9

3440 x 1440

100Hz native

Q3 2017

Dell Alienware AW3418DW

LG.Display

34" curved 1900R

21:9

3440 x 1440

144Hz

May 2018

 

LG.Display

37" curved 2300R

24:10

3840 x 1600

144Hz

March 2019

 

 


VA-type


Above: Eizo FORIS FG2421 with 23.5" Sharp VA panel and 120Hz

At the time of originally writing this article, there had only been a couple of high refresh rate VA panels released and used in mainstream monitors. Back in 2013 we saw a flat 23.5” panel emerge from Sharp, who aren’t really a big manufacturer of LCD panels for desktop monitors. Their 120Hz capable 1920 x 1080 VA panel was used in the very popular Eizo Foris FG2421. This was the first real venture in to high refresh rate VA panels and showed what was possible from that technology when response times and refresh rate were handled well.

AU Optronics AMVA - 35" Ultrawide Panels


Above: Acer Predator Z35 with 35" ultrawide VA panel and 200Hz overclocked refresh rate

A couple of years later on in late 2015 we saw AU Optronics release a curved 35” ultra-wide AMVA panel (M350DVR01.0) with 2560 x 1080 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate, which was used in various monitors including the BenQ XR3501 and Acer Predator Z35 for instance. That relatively low resolution allowed the refresh rate of 144Hz to be supported over DisplayPort 1.2 video interfaces as a full 3440 x 1440 wouldn't be possible. In some cases, like with the Acer Predator Z35, the panel has been combined with a G-sync module and this allows overclocking of the refresh rate up to 200Hz. Although from our tests, the pixel response times are not really adequate to keep up with the frame rate and 120Hz is about the sensible limit for that panel.

AU Optronics have a native 200Hz version of this curved 35” panel that went in to production in June 2016 (M350DVR01.2) and was adopted first in the AOC AGON AG352QCX.


Above: Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ with 35" ultrawide VA panel and 100Hz native refresh rate

In the higher resolution ultra-wide space AU Optronics have AMVA panels in production with 3440 x 1440 resolution and high native refresh rates. There is the curved 35” M350QVR01.0 panel which went in to production in Sept 2016 (delayed a little from June/July) which offers a native 100Hz refresh rate, allowing AMVA panels to rival the current overclocked IPS panels which offer 3440 x 1440 @ 100Hz. There is also a borderless version in production since September at 100Hz (M350QVR01.1) which we've seen used in monitors like the Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ (reviewed). The 100Hz refresh rate will be possible using the current widespread DisplayPort 1.2 video interface. The first screens to be announced based on these 100Hz VA panels at 3440 x 1440 were the HP Omen X35 and AOC AGON AG352UCG (which we have reviewed). Some later models like the AOC AGON AG352UCG6 for instance used the same 3440 x 1440 @ 100Hz panels but combined it with a G-sync module to offer a small overclock to 120Hz.

AU Optronics have also developed a 3440 x 1440 VA panel in 35" size which has a slightly higher 120Hz refresh rate. This will offer moderate VESA Display HDR 600 support with edge-lit dimming, but not a full array local dimming backlight. It is expected to go in to production in June 2018 (delayed from original expectation of January 2018).


Above: Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ and Acer Predator X35 with 35" ultrawide VA panels and 200Hz refresh rate, with FALD HDR backlight

AUO are also developing another 35" panel which would support an even higher 200Hz at 3440 x 1440. This is now pencilled in for mass production in July 2018 (originally Q3 2017). A couple of monitors have now been announced which are based on this forthcoming panel. There's the Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ and Acer Predator X35 which sport 200Hz refresh rate at 3440 x 1440 res, along with a 512-zone FALD backlight for HDR support. Don't expect to see those monitors until Q3 at the earliest.
 

AU Optronics - Other Sizes of 27", 30", 31.5", 43" and 65"


Above: LG 32GK850G with 31.5" AUO VA panel and 165Hz overclocked refresh rate

A couple of curved 27” 16:9 aspect ratio panels are planned. The first is without a confirmed production date, offering 2560 x 1440 @ 144Hz. There's also a 1920 x 1080 curved VA panel (M270HVR01.0) with 165Hz refresh rate support. That one has a production date of July 2017.

They are also working on a curved 30” ultra-wide panel (M300DVR01.0) with 2560 x 1080 resolution and a 200Hz refresh rate. It remains to be seen whether they have managed to reliably drive response times low enough to make this 200Hz practical, as the overclocked options so far have not been great. The Acer Predator Z301C is expected to make use of this 30” size 2560 x 1080 @ 200Hz VA panel.

They also have a curved 30” ultrawide panel with 3440 x 1440 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate which went in to production during Q3 2016.

As well as the ultra-wide market, AU Optronics are also already producing a curved 31.5” 16:9 aspect ratio panel with a 2560 x 1440 resolution and 165Hz refresh rate (M315DVR01.0). That was originally expected to go in to production in January 2017 but then slipped to April 2017. There is also a flat version of this 31.5" panel available (M315DVR01.?) which went in to production some time during early 2018 and has already been adopted in the LG 32GK850G (reviewed) for instance. This is a 144Hz flat format panel, but thanks to the presence of a G-sync module has also been overclocked to 165Hz on that LG screen.

Of other interest is a planned new 43" sized panel based on VA technology. This will be a new panel sector for AUO as sizes for gaming displays start to grow and grow. This will offer Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 resolution with 144Hz refresh rate, and a flat format instead of curved. It is expected to go in to production around August 2018.

A very large format 65" VA panel in a flat format and looks very interesting from a spec point of view. This panel is expected to go in to production in September 2018 and will have a 3840 x 2160 Ultra HD resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, 700 cd/m2 brightness, 1000 cd/m2 peak brightness for HDR and 95% DCI-P3 colour gamut. It will have a 384 zone FALD backlight to support HDR content.

 

AU Optronics VA Panel Options Summary

Size

Aspect

Resolution

Refresh Rate

Mass Production from

Example Monitors

27" curved

16:9

2560 x 1440

144Hz

TBC

 

27" curved

16:9

1920 x 1080

165Hz

July 2017

 

30" curved 1800R

21:9

2560 x 1080

200Hz

2016

Acer Predator Z301C

30" curved 2000R

21:9

3440 x 1440

144Hz

Q3 2016

 

31".5 curved 1800R

16:9

2560 x 1440

165Hz

April 17

 

31.5" flat

16:9

2560 x 1440

144Hz (165Hz overclock)

2018

LG 32GK850G

35" curved 2000R

21:9

2560 x 1080

144 (200Hz overclocked)

2015

BenQ XR3501, Acer Predator Z35

35" curved 2000R

21:9

2560 x 1080

200Hz native

June 2016

AOC AGON AG352QCX

35" curved 1800R

21:9

3440 x 1440

100Hz (120Hz with overclock)

Sept 16

HP Omen X35, AOC AGON AG352UCG, Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ, AOC AGON AG352UCG6 (120Hz)

35" curved 1800R

21:9

3440 x 1440

120Hz

June 18

 

35" curved with 512-zone FALD HDR

21:9

3440 x 1440

200Hz

July 2018

 Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ, Acer Predator X35

43" flat

16:9

3840 x 2160

144Hz

August 2018

 

65" flat with 384-zone FALD HDR

16:9

3840 x 2160

144Hz

September 2018

 

 

Samsung SVA - Smaller sizes of 23.6", 27" and 31.5"


Above: Samsung C27FG70 and Acer Predator Z271 with 27" curved VA panels and 144Hz

Samsung are also investing in the high refresh rate VA market with their equivalent technology, now commonly referred to by them as SVA. They have a curved 23.6” VA panel with 1920 x 1080 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate in production since July 2016 (LSM236HP02). The Samsung C24FG70 gaming display was the first to make use of this new panel which was released in October 2016. There is also a curved 27” version with the same res/refresh (LTM270HP02) which went in to production in May 2016. The Samsung C27FG70 and Acer Predator Z271 (reviewed) which use this Samsung 27” VA panel with 1920 x 1080 @ 144Hz.


Above: Samsung C32HG70 with 31.5" Samsung VA panel and 144Hz

They also have a couple of curved 31.5” sized panels in production with a 144Hz refresh rate. The LTM315HP01 went in to production in September 2017 and will offer a 1920 x 1080 resolution, while another LSM315DP01 is also already be in production with a higher 2560 x 1440 resolution @ 144Hz. The latter has been used in screens like the Samsung C32HG70 already (reviewed).

Around July 2018 Samsung will also start to produce a 31.5" curved VA panel with 3840 x 2160 Ultra HD resolution. This panel will offer a 3000:1 contrast ratio, sRGB colour space and 120Hz refresh rate.
 

Samsung Ultrawide Options - 29", 34", 49"


Above: Philips 349X7FJEW with 34" ultrawide Samsung SVA panel and 100Hz

Samsung are also investing in the ultra-wide space with a curved 29” mega-wide 32:9 aspect ratio panel offering 3840 x 1080 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate (LSM290DP01) which is in production already.

Perhaps of most interest is a curved 34” ultra-wide panel to rival those being developed by LG.Display in their IPS technology. The LTM340YP03 offers a curved format, 3440 x 1440 resolution and a 100Hz native refresh rate. This first appeared in the Samsung C34F791 display and has appeared in other monitors including the Philips 349X7FJEW (reviewed). Samsung plan to offer a 144Hz refresh rate version of this panel later on, with production planned for Q3 2018 at the moment.


Above: Asus VG49V with 49" ultrawide Samsung SVA panel and 144Hz

Samsung have also produced a massive 49" sized panel (LSM490YP01), with a curved 32:9 mega-wide (Samsung are referring to these as "Grand Circle") aspect ratio and "Double Full HD" resolution of 3840 x 1080. This offers a 144Hz refresh rate and went in to production in Sept 2017. The Samsung C49HG90 was the first display to be based on this panel and there have been others announced since like the Asus VG49V for instance. There is also a new 49" sized VA panel scheduled for production around September 2018 which will offer a higher 5120 x 1440 resolution (DQHD = Dual quad HD resolution) and will have the same 3-side frameless design, 1800R curvature and support for 120Hz refresh rate. Slightly lower refresh rate but a much higher resolution.

There's also the slightly smaller 43.4" sized VA panel, being positioned by Samsung as "dual 24.7 inch" in size and offering a 3840 x 1200 resolution. There will be a 144Hz version of this panel which should go in to production in September 2018 (after slipping from originally forecast Sept 2017).
 

Samsung VA Panel Options Summary

Size

Aspect

Resolution

Refresh Rate

Mass Production from

Example Monitors

23.6" curved 1800R

16:9

1920 x 1080

144Hz

July 2016

Samsung C24FG70

27" curved 1800R

16:9

1920 x 1080

144Hz

May 2016

Samsung C27FG70, Acer Predator Z271

29" curved 1800R

32:9

3840 x 1080

144Hz

2015?

 

31.5" curved 1800R

16:9

1920 x 1080

144Hz

April 2016

 

31.5" curved 1800R

16:9

2560 x 1440

144Hz

April 2016

Samsung C32HG70

31.5" curved 1800R

16:9

3840 x 2160

120Hz

July 2018

 

34" curved 1800R

21:9

3440 x 1440

100Hz

Sept 2016

Samsung C34F791, Philips 349X7FJEW

34" curved 1800R

21:9

3440 x 1440

144Hz

Q3 2018

 

43.4" curved 1800R

29:9

3840 x 1200

144Hz

Sept 2018

 

49" curved 1800R

32:9

3840 x 1080

144Hz

Sept 2017

Samsung C49HG90, Asus VG49V

49" curved 1800R

32:9

5120 x 1440

120Hz

Sept 2018

 

65" flat

16:9

3840 x 2160

120Hz

Late 2018

Asus ROG Swift PG65, Acer Predator BFGD and HP OMEN X65

 

And Finally....65" Big Format Gaming Displays


Above: Asus ROG Swift PG65 with 65" VA (likely) panel and 120Hz

We are going to put this here, in the VA section as we currently expect these new 65" big format gaming screens to be based on VA technology. This hasn't been confirmed, so could end up being an IPS-type panel., but VA seems more likely. Anyway announced in conjunction with NVIDIA at CES 2018 in Las Vegas Asus, Acer and HP have all showcased their massive new 65" large format displays aimed at PC gaming. Despite the huge size, these new screens are not a TV, they are a computer monitor and will feature support for 120Hz refresh rates and NVIDIA G-sync. This is a true native 120Hz refresh rate, not interpolated like many available LCD TV's and so will support frame rates of up to 120fps. This is then supported by the G-sync function to allow for dynamic variable frame rates. Low input lag is also being promoted as a key feature, which separates these large format displays from most TV screens.

The Asus ROG Swift PG65, Acer Predator BFGD and HP OMEN X65 Big Format Gaming Displays have been announced so far and offer an Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 resolution and even supports high-end HDR functionality through the use of a Full Array Local Dimming (FALD) backlight system (unsure on number of zones at this time), with peak brightness of 1000 cd/m2. This HDR feature is supported by the 125% sRGB colour gamut, offering ~90% DCI-P3 coverage thanks to the use of Quantum Dot coating. We do not have a firm production or release date yet other than "later in 2018".

 


TN Film

TN Film panels have been available for many years with high refresh rates of 120Hz and 144Hz. We won't try and cover those in this article. They were the first to be offered as the technology allows for fast response times and suitable pixel performance to keep up with the frame rate and refresh rate demands. So high refresh rate TN Film panels are certainly nothing new, and widely available already in many sizes.


Above: Asus ROG Swift PG248Q and Dell S2417DG with boosted refresh rates, a little more than common 120 - 144Hz

More recently there has begun a push to extend the refresh rates even further. Some native 144Hz panels have been overclocked a little, such as the flat 24” panel featured in the Asus ROG Swift PG248Q, which was boosted to 180Hz thanks to the addition of a G-sync module. There is also the flat 23.8” Dell S2417DG which has a slightly boosted refresh rate from 144Hz to 165Hz. The real changes in the TN Film market with regards to refresh rate has come through the increase of the native refresh rate even higher.

240Hz Refresh Rate Panels from AU Optronics - 24.5" and 27"


Above: Asus ROG Swift PG258Q with 24.5" 240Hz TN Film panel

We’ve seen a couple of panels announced by AU Optronics with a slightly higher native 165Hz refresh rate. More interestingly, they now have panels with 1920 x 1080 resolution and a native 240Hz refresh rate as well which marks a significant increase in native refresh rate support. These are now available in flat 24.5” (M250HTN01.0 and M250HTN01.3 we believe) and flat 27” (M270HTN02.0 and M270HTN02.3) sizes initially with 1920 x 1080 resolutions. Mass production saw the 24.5" panel going in to production in October 2016, and the 27" version in October/November 2016. We’ve seen quite a few monitors released already by key gaming manufacturers which make use of the 24.5" new panel. There are the Acer Predator XB251HQT, Asus ROG Swift PG258Q (reviewed and pictured above), BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 and AOC AGON AG251FZ (reviewed) for instance. Quite a few other models are being announced with a 24.5" TN Film panel at 240Hz so keep an eye on our news pages for more details.


Above: LG 27GK750F with 27" 240Hz TN Film panel

The 27” panel with 240Hz refresh rate was a little behind the 24.5" version so there are fewer displays announced using that panel but we do know that the Acer Predator XB272 features this spec as does the LG 27GK750F we've reviewed and the BenQ Zowie XL2740.


Above: MSI Oculux NXG251 with 24.5" 240Hz TN Film panel, possibly from new generation of 0.5ms response time

Updates to the already available 24.5" and 27" panels are planned, pushing the response time performance a little bit and offering the new 3ms ISO response time spec and 0.5ms G2G target. Those panels are sticking with largely the same spec as before including the FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution, 400 cd/m2 brightness and sRGB gamut. The 24.5" update is planed for August 2018 production, while the 27" update is planned for Q4 2018 some time. The forthcoming MSI Oculux NXG251 could well be the first display to use the new 24.5" 240Hz panel with 0.5ms response time, although that remains to be confirmed.


AU Optronics plan to develop these 240Hz refresh rate TN Film panels further in 2018, with plans to develop a 25" curved version with 1920 x 1080 resolution in Q3 2018. They are also planning to push the resolution of the 27" panel up to 2560 x 1440 with production expected in July 2018. While they develop these new panels they will also push the HDR capabilities somewhat with some edge-lit local dimming, boosted peak brightness (600 cd/m2) and extended colour space.

The new 27" 2560 x 1440 @ 240Hz panel will also offer a 3ms response time (ISO figure without overdrive, down from the typical 5ms limit for TN Film), 400 cd/m2 brightness and even an extended gamut offering 90% DCI-P3 coverage. That 3ms response time spec is AUO pushing the overall responsiveness of the panel, and they rate that as being able to offer <1ms G2G response times with overdrive used, and in fact their target is achieving 0.5ms.


Above: Asus ROG Strix XG248Q with 23.8" 240Hz TN Film panel

Finally we have seen a 23.8" sized monitor announced in June 2018 by Asus, the ROG Strix XG248Q which has a 240Hz native refresh rate TN Film panel. We aren't aware of any panels from AUO in this size, bt as far as we know they are the only manufacturer developing these, so this looks like it will be a new size in their range.
 

AU Optronics TN Film Panel Options Summary

Size

Aspect

Resolution

Refresh Rate

Mass Production from

Example Monitors

23.8" flat

16:9

1920 x 1080

240Hz

2018 ?

Asus ROG Strix XG248Q?

24.5" flat

16:9

1920 x 1080

240Hz

Oct 2016

Acer Predator XB251HQT, Asus ROG Swift PG258Q, BenQ ZOWIE XL2540, AOC AGON AG251FZ etc

24.5" flat (0.5ms)

16:9

1920 x 1080

240Hz

August 2018

MSI Oculux NXG251?

25" curved (24.5"?)

16:9

1920 x 1080

240Hz

Q3 2018

 

27" flat

16:9

1920 x 1080

240Hz

Oct/Nov 2016

Acer Predator XB272, BenQ Zowie XL2740, LG 27GK750F

27" flat (0.5ms)

16:9

1920 x 1080

240Hz

Q4 2018

 

27" flat (1440p)

16:9

2560 x 1440

240Hz

July 2018

 

 

As ever, our panel parts database is kept as up to date as possible with available and planned panels, along with their specs. We will continue to bring you news when we can of any planned panels and displays.

If you appreciate the article and enjoy reading and like our work, we would welcome a donation to the site to help us continue to make quality and detailed reviews and articles for you.

 


Change Log for Article

Article Change Log - Update 8/6/18

  • Massive update to the article overall

Article Change Log - Update 9/10/17

  • Updates to timelines for 34" and 37.5" IPS panels

  • Updated timeline for production of 27" 4K @ 144Hz IPS panels

  • 32" IPS panel with 4K resolution and 144Hz added to IPS section

  • Update to timelines of Samsung SVA panels in various sizes

  • Updates to 240Hz TN Film panels with new curved and higher res options

Article Change Log - Update 22/6/17

  • Updated details for Acer Predator X27 - 27" IPS with 144Hz Ultra HD res panel

  • Added Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ and Acer Predator X35 to 35" VA panels roadmap with 200Hz support

  • Added Samsung C49HG90 to 49" mega-wide VA panels with 144Hz refresh rate

Article Change Log - Update 31/3/17

  • Added Samsung 49" 32:9 aspect ratio VA panel at 144Hz and 44" 29:9 aspect ratio VA  at 144Hz

  • Added 35" curved VA panel from AUO with 3440 x 1440 @ 200Hz

  • Added 27" 3840 x 2160 @ 144Hz IPS-type panel from AUO and updated HDR version info

  • Added summary tables in each section to help keep things simple

Article Change Log - Update 30/3/17

  • Added Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ and Acer Predator XB272-HDR to 4K IPS at 144Hz with date expectations

  • Added links to the Acer Predator Z271 (27" 1080p, VA, 144Hz), Asus ROG Swift PG258Q (24", 1080p, 240Hz, TN Film) and AOC AGON AG352UCG (35", 3440 x 1440, 100Hz, VA) reviews

Article Change Log - Update 13/3/17

  • Added AOC AGON AG352QCX to 35" 2560 x 1440 res VA technology models at 200Hz

Article Change Log - Update 25/1/17

  • Added HP Omen X35 and AOC AGON AG325UCG to the roadmap of 35" 3440 x 1440 res VA screens with 100Hz native refresh rate

  • Added link to AOC AGON AG251FZ review, now completed. Asus ROG Swift PG258Q review coming soon

Article Change Log - Update 15/12/16

  • Added AOC AGON AG251FZ to the list of forthcoming 24.5" 240Hz TN Film models - review coming soon

  • Added BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 to the list of forthcoming 24.5" 240Hz TN Film models

  • Updated details of the 34" 144Hz native 2560 x 1080 IPS panel from LG.Display used in the LG 34UC79G (review now available).

Article Change Log - Update 20/10/16

  • Updated status of 34" IPS Ultra-wide panel with 3440 x 1440 res @ 144Hz. Planned production delayed from Q1 to Q3 2017.

  • Added new detail of planned 37.5" IPS panels with 3840 x 2160 @ 144Hz

  • Correction to panel part numbers for 24.5" TN Film panels at 240Hz

  • Updated mass production dates for 240Hz TN Film panels. 24.5" now in mass production from Oct, and 27" from Nov 2016.

  • Updated mass production date for 27" 240Hz TN Film panels, Oct/Nov 2016. Panel part numbers also updated

  • Update to 35" 3440 x 1440 VA panels from AUO. 100Hz versions mass production delayed from June/July to Sept 2016. 200Hz version no longer listed (now 100Hz).

  • Update panel part for AUO 31.5" VA panel with 2560 x 1440 @ 144Hz. Mass production expectation of January 2017.

 

 

 

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