Samsung F2380
Simon Baker, 5 April 2011




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The Samsung F2380 has been available since 2009 but is still an interesting screen for the new buyer. We didn't have chance to review this at the time of launch but wanted to take a closer look given some of its interesting features. For a start, this is the first screen we have tested which uses Samsung's so-called 'cPVA' panel technology. This is their latest generation of PVA technology which is designed to drive down production and retail costs for modern screens. cPVA is to PVA what e-IPS is to IPS. In addition the F2380 boasts some pretty impressive specifications, including a reported 3000:1 static contrast ratio. This was long before the 3000:1 AMVA based models like the BenQ EW2420 started to emerge as well.

Let's start by taking a look at the F2380 specs:



Colour Depth

16.7m (6-bit+AFRC)

Aspect Ratio


Colour Gamut

71% NTSC colour gamut, 100% sRGB (CCFL)


1920 x 1080

Viewing Angles


Response Time

8ms G2G

Panel Technology


Contrast Ratio

3000:1 and 150,000:1 DCR


2x DVI-D (HDCP), D-sub




Black bezel and stand

Special Features

Tilt, height, swivel and rotate adjustments.

Above: Front view of the screen

The F2380 comes in an all black design except for a small silver coloured strip underneath the OSD control buttons. The bezel is thin on all sides at ~15mm and overall the screen looks pretty smart. The top left hand corner has a subtle silver label saying "SyncMaster F2380" and the top right mentions the 150,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Obviously this is a key selling point of this model for Samsung and we will test this feature later on. The stand and base are also a black colour. All the materials are a matte black colour and look and feel of a good quality. The screen weighs 6.3kg and there is an internal power supply.

Above: back view showing removal plastic enclosure. Click for larger versions

Above: Rear views of the screen with and without plastic cover. Also side view of screen

The back of the screen is again black in colour and there is actually a smoothed black panel which clicks in place as shown in the image above. There is no cable tidy featured on this model which is a shame. The panel itself features a normal anti-glare coating as opposed to any glossy solution.

The dimensions of the screen and stand are shown above. There is a decent tilt range available from the stand which is smooth to move although a little stiff. Likewise the side to side swivel is smooth but quite stiff, but thankfully the base remains in place and you are actually pivoting the display on its stand.

Above: front view showing maximum and minimum height adjustment. Click for larger versions

The height adjustment offers a 130mm range and is smooth and easy to use.

Above: rotated view. Click for larger version

The screen is also capable of rotating between landscape and portrait orientations  which is smooth and simple as well. All in all the functionality of the stand is very good and nothing is really missing. The screen is quite wobbly however if you give it a little shake and is not as sturdy as some other screens with similar stands.




Ease of Use









Quite smooth






 Very good range and options

A summary of the screens ergonomic adjustments is shown above.

Above: rear view showing interface connections

The underside back of the screen features connections for power, 2x DVI-D (with HDCP) and 1x D-sub VGA. This offers a reasonable range of connections for general office and PC use, but doesn't really offer much for multimedia users. The F2380 is missing any HDMI or DisplayPort connections which are becoming increasingly popular and widely used by external DVD / Blu-ray players and games consoles. There are no USB ports available either which is a shame as those can prove very useful in an office envorinment for connecting external devices like printers and cameras.

Above: front view showing power LED and silver trim with OSD buttons

The middle of the bottom bezel features a silver coloured Samsung logo and an elongated power LED bar. This glows a fairly attractive white colour during normal operation and looks pretty nice. When in standby it flashes white on and off. The OSD control buttons are situated along the bottom edge of the screen underneath the silver trim. The silver trim has labels to tell you what each button will do. To be honest it might have been nicer to see the screen without this extra trim which looks a little out of place and looks as if it has been tacked on as an after-thought even.

Above: underside showing OSD operational buttons

The OSD buttons gives quick access to the MagicBright preset modes (down arrow), brightness control (up arrow), input source and auto adjust (for analogue connections only). The buttons are easy to use and its easy to tell which one you are pressing at any given time.

The OSD is pretty decent and easy to navigate. There are 5 sections as shown above. When you highlight a given section the right hand side of the display tells you the options available within that menu. You must then press 'source' which will enter you into the menu and give you control over these options. The majority of the configuration options are accessed via the 'picture' and 'color' sections of the menu.

The picture menu includes control over the brightness and contrast as you would hope. The brightness does control the backlight intensity as it should and we will test this later on. There is access to the MagicBright menu as well which is a series of preset modes designed for different uses. The options here are shown above. You may notice there is a defined 'dynamic contrast' preset mode which we will test later on.


You will also find control over the 'response time' setting in this picture menu. There are options for normal, faster and fastest. We will test these later on as well in the responsiveness and gaming section.

The color section gives you access to various options as well. Here you can control the RGB channels and various other settings relating to the appearance and colour balance of your screen.

The screen uses Samsung’s own MagicColour engine with a colour enhancement chip, designed to provide more rich images. MagicColour gives users a range of colour enhancements:

  • Enhance colour with skin colour control (Normal / Full / Intelligent / Demo)

  • 3 step gamma control (mode 1 / 2 / 3)

  • 4 step colour temperature control (Cool / Normal / Warm / Custom)

As their website explains "The Samsung monitors are positioned at the cutting-edge of green electronics, making ecological design, manufacture, and operation a top priority. EPEAT Gold label was acquired in US. EPEAT is a rating system that allows purchasers to evaluate IT products based on all aspects of their environmental performance, from manufacturing to recycling. Three tiers of rating are available: Bronze, Silver, and Gold."

In terms of power consumption the manufacturers spec states usage of 45W in normal operation and <1W in standby.


Power Usage (W)

Factory Default






We tested this ourselves and found that out of the box the screen used a slightly lower 40.3W of power. After calibration, where we had adjusted the brightness control and therefore the backlight intensity, this was reduced to 27.5W. In standby the screen uses only 1.3W of power.


Colour Accuracy, Black Depth and Contrast

The Panel and Backlighting Unit

The Samsung F2380 utilises a Samsung LTM230HP01 cPVA panel and is capable of producing 16.7 million colours. The panel itself actually uses a 6-bit colour depth with frame rate control (Hi-FRC) to produce the 16.7m colours. This is different to regular 8-bit PVA/S-PVA matrices, but this is likely a measure taken to achieve a lower price point for these so-called 'cPVA' displays. Studying detailed information from Samsung's datasheet confirms the panel is indeed 6-bit+AFRC.

The F2380 uses standard gamut CCFL backlighting. Again, studying the spec sheet confirms the screen can offer a colour gamut covering 71% of the NTSC colour space. This also covers 74.1% of the AdobeRGB colour space and 100% coverage of the sRGB space. This screen is therefore a standard gamut model as opposed to a wide gamut screen.

Testing Methodology

An important thing to consider for most users is how a screen will perform out of the box and with some basic manual adjustments. Since most users won't have access to hardware colorimeter tools, it is important to understand how the screen is going to perform in terms of colour accuracy for the average user.

I restored my graphics card to default settings and disabled any previously active ICC profiles and gamma corrections. The screen was tested at default factory settings using the DVI interface, and analysed using an X-rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer combined with LaCie's Blue Eye Pro software suite. An X-rite i1 Display 2 colorimeter was also used to verify the black point and contrast ratio since the i1 Pro is less reliable at the darker end.

Targets for these tests are as follows:

  • CIE Diagram - validates the colour space covered by the monitors backlighting with the black triangle representing the display

  • Gamma - we aim for 2.2 which is the default for computer monitors

  • Colour temperature / white point - we aim for 6500k which is the temperature of daylight

  • Luminance - we aim for 120 cd/m2, which is the recommended luminance for LCD monitors in normal lighting conditions

  • Black depth - we aim for as low as possible to maximise shadow detail and to offer us the best contrast ratio

  • Contrast ratio - we aim for as high as possible. Any dynamic contrast ratio controls are turned off here if present

  • dE average / maximum - as low as possible. If DeltaE >3, the color displayed is significantly different from the theoretical one, meaning that the difference will be perceptible to the viewer. If DeltaE <2, LaCie considers the calibration a success; there remains a slight difference, but it is barely undetectable. If DeltaE < 1, the color fidelity is excellent.

Default settings of the screen were as follows. There were a lot of settings available so I have listed the defaults here to avoid confusion:

Monitor OSD Option

Default Settings





MagicBright mode





50, 50, 50

Color Tone


Color Effect



Mode 1

Samsung F2380 - Default Factory Settings


Default Settings

luminance (cd/m2)


Black Point (cd/m2)


Contrast Ratio



The out of the box performance of the F2380 was mediocre. The CIE diagram on the left confirms that the monitors colour gamut (black triangle) closely matches the sRGB colour space (orange triangle). It extends a little past the sRGB space in blues and reds and is a little short in green shades, but not by much. Default gamma was recorded at 2.0 average, leaving it 9% out from the target of 2.2. The default gamma setting in the OSD menu was 'mode 1' here, so we will test whether the other modes return a better gamma balance in a moment. White point was very close to the target though at 6621k (2% deviance) which shows a good factory set up in this area.


Luminance was recorded at a high 248 cd/m2 which is perhaps not surprising given that the screen is set at 100% brightness by default. This should be easy enough to adjust later during our calibration. Even at this high 248 cd/m2 luminance, the black depth was a fantastic 0.08 cd/m2. This gave us an amazing static contrast ratio of 3115:1. PVA panels have always been very strong in this area anyway reaching up to 1200:1 - 1500:1 before, but this is an extremely impressive performance from the modern cPVA panel.


Colour accuracy was moderate at default factory settings with an average dE of 2.3, ranging up to a maximum of 5.3. The screen felt quite even to the naked eye although overly bright at these default settings.



Samsung F2380 - Default
Settings, Gamma Mode 2



We had established in our default tests that the gamma was a little out, with an average of 2.0 leaving us with a 9% deviance from the target of 2.2. The screen comes out of the box with the OSD gamma mode set to '1', but there are also modes 2 and 3 available. We reverted to mode 2 which had a positive impact on the screen in a couple of ways. Nothing else was changed at this stage other than the gamma mode. Firstly gamma was now closer to the target with an average of 2.1 recorded. This was not quite spot on and left us with a 4% deviance, but it was closer than mode 1. This change also had a positive impact on colour accuracy. Average dE had dropped form 2.3 to 1.4 and maximum had dropped from 5.3 to 3.0. This probably offers a more than adequate set up for most normal users without the need for expensive calibration equipment. You really need only turn the brightness control down (to around 45 - 50% should do the trick) and you have a well set up screen already. Unless you are needing to do high end work or colour matching on this screen then this is likely enough for your needs.


We did notice that with this change to the gamma mode, gradients were negatively affected a little. It seemed to introduce a small amount of banding in darker tones. Nothing too severe and so people without calibration equipment may prefer the better gamma set up and improved colour accuracy, and might not mind sacrificing in this area a little as a compromise.



Samsung F2380 - Default
Settings, Gamma Mode 3



We also carried out the same test but in gamma mode 3. Again this was a positive change compared with mode 1. Gamma was actually a little high now at 2.3 average, but was a little closer even than mode 2 had been with only a 2% deviance. Colour accuracy was reduced to 1.0 average, although there was some discrepency in the worst cases which resulted in a maximum dE of 5.0. Again this should offer a perfectly adequate settings for most normal users without the need for further correction. Again lower the brightness control. There was more banding evident however in dark tones of gradients which was a shame. This was a little more obvious than in gamma mode 2, so that is probably a preferred starting point I would say if you don't have access to calibration equipment.



Calibration Results


I wanted to calibrate the screen in each of the main preset modes to determine what was possible with optimum settings and profiling. I used the X-rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer combined with the LaCie Blue Eye Pro software package to achieve these results and reports. An X-rite i1 Display 2 was used to validate the black depth and contrast ratios due to lower end limitations of the i1 Pro device.

Samsung F2380 - Calibrated Settings

Monitor OSD Option

Adjusted Setting








48, 42, 43

Color Tone


Color Effect



Mode 1


Calibrated Settings

luminance (cd/m2)


Black Point (cd/m2)


Contrast Ratio



I remained in the custom color tone mode for this process and this meant that I could adjust the RGB controls from the OSD menu. I followed LaCie's calibration process through, adjusting the OSD settings in line with the recommendations made in the process, and then letting the software carry out the LUT adjustments at a graphics card level and create an ICC profile. The screen does not feature a hardware LUT calibration option so other than the OSD alterations, the rest of the process is carried out at a graphics card level in profiling the screen.


The calibration was a success. Gamma had been corrected now to the target of 2.2 and white point was <0.5% out at 6529k. Luminance had been reduced to a more comfortable 119 cd/m2 after the adjustment of the OSD brightness control to 49%. Black depth was still fantastic at 0.04 cd/m2 and this gave us an amazing calibrated static contrast ratio of 2975:1 Colour accuracy was also improved nicely with dE average now 0.4 and maximum only 1.0. LaCie would consider colour fidelity to be excellent.


You may note from the settings here that I have stuck with gamma mode 1 for the calibration procedure. Although gamma mode 2 and 3 had returned a better default gamma reading, they had introduced progressively more banding across gradients. I did calibrate the screen fully in these two modes using the i1 Pro but this banding was still evident. I therefore stuck with gamma mode 1 which resulted in a good calibration as above, and showed no banding in gradients. In fact gradients were very smooth and showed very little gradation even in darker tones. There was some slight temporal noise evident, particularly in darker tones if you look very closely. This is a result of the FRC algorithm used to produce the 16.7 million colour palette. It's not something you'd notice in practice to be honest, and you do have to look very closely to see it.


You can use our settings and try our calibrated ICC profile if you wish, which is available in our ICC profile database.




Calibration Performance Comparisons




I've provided a comparison above of the F2380 against some of the other screens we have tested in this size range. Out of the box average dE was 2.3 on the F2380 which was mediocre. It was better than the BenQ EW2420 which is a similar type of screen. That model used one of AU Optronics newest AMVA panels which was also capable of the staggering ~3000:1 static contrast ratios. Default colour accuracy of the EW2420 was worse at 4.8. The default colour accuracy of the F2380 was quite comparable to some of the 23" IPS models we have tested, including the Dell U2311H (2.4), NEC EA232WMi (2.4) and Viewsonic VP2365wb (2.5) which was pleasing. The professional grade 23" NEC PA231W was better still at 1.3 dE average, and the factory calibrated 27" Hazro HZ27WC was also pretty impressive out of the box with 1.5 average dE. A reasonable performance in terms of default colour accuracy from the Samsung F2380.


Once calibrated the dE average was reduced to 0.4. This would be classified as excellent colour fidelity by LaCie. It was not quite as low as some of the other screens here which reached down to 0.2 average, but in practice you would not notice any real difference here. Some of the professional range models from NEC are even more accurate. Professional grade monitors like the NEC PA series also offer other high end features which separate them from some of these other models, including extended internal processing, 3D LUT's and hardware calibration. These comparisons are based on a small selection of tests, so it should be remembered that other factors do come into play when you start talking about professional use. For further information and tests of a high end professional grade screen with hardware LUT calibration, you may want to have a read of our NEC SpectraView Reference 271 review.



Black depth and contrast ratio are certainly areas where the F2380 excels! The screen offered a calibrated black depth of 0.04 which was staggering and far lower than even the best TN Film (BenQ XL2410T - 0.12) and IPS models shown here (NEC EA232WMi / PA231W - 0.13). The F2380 was on par with the BenQ EW2420 which had really impressed us in this area in our test back in December 2010. That W-LED backlit AMVA panel had really made some staggering improvements in terms of black depth, and this Samsung cPVA panel can rival that. This gave us a massive static contrast ratio of 2992:1 which again matched the BenQ EW2420 (2995:1). This was over three times higher than the closest rival from the other screens, which was the BenQ XL2410T at 996:1. Modern cPVA and AMVA panels have really come a long way in terms of black depth and contrast ratios.


Contrast Stability

I wanted to see how much variance there was in the screens contrast as we adjusted the monitor setting for brightness. In theory, brightness and contrast are two independent parameters, and good contrast is a requirement regardless of the brightness adjustment. Unfortunately, such is not always the case in practice. We recorded the screens luminance and black depth at various OSD brightness settings, and calculated the contrast ratio from there. Graphics card settings were left at default with no ICC profile or calibration active. Tests were made using an X-rite i1 Display 2 colorimeter. It should be noted that we used the BasICColor calibration software here to record these, and so luminance at default settings varies a little from the LaCie Blue Eye Pro report.

OSD Brightness


Black Point (cd/m2)

Contrast Ratio
( x:1)














































Luminance Adjustment Range = 228 cd/m2

Black Point Adjustment Range = >0.06 cd/m2

Average Contrast Ratio = 3011:1

The luminance range of the screen was reasonable at the top end although not as high as some modern screens. At 100% brightness control, the screen was able to offer a maximum luminance of 250 cd/m2 which is a little way off the advertised 300 cd/m2. You have a very good range to work with at the lower end as you can adjust the backlight down to achieve a low luminance of around 22 cd/m2. A setting of around 45% at default settings should return a luminance of around 120 cd/m2 for comfortable day to day use in normal lighting conditions. If you carry out further calibration or adjustments of contrast or the individual RGB channels this of course may vary. It was pleasing to see a very wide range of adjustments possible from the brightness (backlight) control.

Black depth was very impressive across the whole range, being between 0.08 and 0.02 cd/m2. In fact at the lowest end the reading was even less than 0.02 cd/m2 but that is the limit of the X-rite i1 Display 2 colorimeter unfortunately. Contrast remained stable across the range. In fact most of the variation can probably be accounted for in rounding of the numbers, particular black point which is so low across the board and does not change massively at two decimal places. A static contrast ratio of >3000:1 is incredible!

I will not publish the usual contrast stability graph as it is not an accurate view due to rounding errors.


Dynamic Contrast

The Samsung F2380 features a dynamic contrast ratio (DCR) control, which boasts a spec of 150,000:1

Dynamic contrast ratio involves controlling the backlight of the screen automatically, depending on the content shown on the screen. In bright images, the backlight is increased, and in darker images, it is descreased. For this test I would use the colorimeter to record the luminance and black depths at the two extremes. Max brightness would be recorded on an all white screen once the DCR has caught up. Black depth would be recorded on an all black screen.

The DCR feature is only available when you enter the 'dynamic contrast' mode within the MagicBright menu. It is a preset in its own right and not a separate option so cannot be activated when using the 'game' or 'movie' presets for example. While this mode is in use, you cannot manually adjust the brightness or contrast settings in the OSD and they are greyed out.


MagicBright mode - Dynamic Contrast

Max luminance (cd/m2)


Min Black Point (cd/m2)


Max Dynamic Contrast Ratio


The dynamic contrast ratio control worked well on paper. The luminance ranged from a maximum of 259.4 cd/m2, all the way down to a minimum black point of less than 0.02 cd/m2. At the lowest end, the black depth reached below the minimum threshold of the i1 Display 2 device again, being less than 0.02 cd/m2. As a result the dynamic contrast ratio is > 12,970:1 but we cannot measure how much more. Regardless, the DCR range is excellent. It's questionable really whether you'd need anything more than this anyway in practical terms. With a maximum luminance of 259.4 cd/m2 if the screen was to reach a number of 150,000:1 then it would need to be able to reach as low as 0.0018 cd/m2. We aren't able to accurately record this using the devices we have available but it is certainly reaching below 0.02 cd/m2 which is excellent anyway.

The transitions are very fast using DCR though and so when viewing movies for instance, the brightness does appear to make sudden and quite drastic changes. The range is good, but I personally think the transitions are too fast and obvious. If you do like this kind of technology then at least it is available.


Viewing Angles

Above: Viewing angles shown from front and side, and  from above and below. Click for larger image

Viewing angles of the F2380 were as you might expect from a VA panel really. Horizontally they were reasonable. However there was a contrast shift from an angle of >45° either side which made the image go a little paler. From a wider angle still the image had a white tinge to it and you can pick this out from the images above. Vertically they were similar with a moderate contrast shift detectable with a movement up or down where the image became a little darker. The angles were certainly better than TN Film matrices, and free of the obvious vertical darkening you see from TN Film technology.

There was a pretty obvious off-centre contrast shift which is inherant to VA panel types. Using a test image which shows a dark grey font on a black background you can easily test this 'feature'. From head on, the text was invisible and lost within the black background. This is down to the pixel alignment in a PVA matrix. The text only became visible from a wide angle in this test, of about 45° and this was a bit wider than some older S-PVA panels. This is an extreme case of course as this is a very dark grey tone we are testing with. Lighter greys and other colours will appear a little darker from head on than they will from a side angle, but you may well find you lose some detail as a result. This can be particularly problematic in dark images and where grey tone is important. It is this issue that has led to many graphics professionals and colour enthusiasts choosing IPS panels instead, and the manufacturers have been quick to incorporate this alternative panel technology in their screens. I would like to make a point that for many people this won't be an issue at all, and many may not even notice it. Remember, many people are perfectly happy with their TN Film panels and other VA based screens. Just something to be wary of if you are affected by this issue or are doing colour critical work.


Panel Uniformity

Measurements of the screens luminance were taken at 35 points across the panel on a pure white background. The measurements were taken using BasICColor's calibration software package, combined with the X-rite i1 Display 2 colorimeter. The above uniformity diagram shows the difference, as a percentage, between the luminance recorded at each point on the screen, as compared with the reference point of a calibrated 120 cd/m2. This is the desired level of luminance for an LCD screen in normal lighting conditions, and  the below shows the variance in the luminance across the screen compared with this point. It is worth noting that panel uniformity can vary from one screen to another, and can depend on manufacturing lines, screen transport and other local factors. This is only a guide of the uniformity of the sample screen we have for review.

Uniformity of Luminance

The uniformity of the F2380 sample was not too bad overall. The luminance did drop by around -20% in the lower left and right hand corners and they were the darkest regions of the screen. The luminance ranged down to 96 cd/m2 in the worst case (-24% deviance from the target of 120 cd/m2). Approximately 75% of the screen was measured within 15% deviance from the target which was ok.

Backlight Leakage

Above: All black screen in a darkened room. Click for larger version

As usual we also tested the screen with an all black image and in a darkened room. A camera was used to capture the result. The uniformity of the backlighting was excellent in this test. The blacks were so deep that in a dark room you'd almost be mistaken for thinking that the screen was off! There was some very very minor leakage in the bottom left and top right hand corners but you could barely spot this and it's not easy to see in the photo above. A very good result indeed. (A word of warning: If you're viewing this image on a VA panel then it may just look entirely black to you from head on due to the previously discussed off-centre contrast shift.)


General and Office Applications

The 23" screen size and high 1920 x 1080 resolution were very pleasant for office working, and although you do lose a bit of height vertically compared with a 1920 x 1200 screen, it was nothing too bad. Image quality was very crisp and sharp using the DVI interface, and although D-sub (VGA) was also very good, it was not quite as sharp on text I didn't think. The 0.265 mm pixel pitch was slightly smaller than a 23.6" 1920 x 1080 screen of course (0.2715 mm) and 24" 1920 x 1080 screen (0.276 mm), and so text size felt about right for every day use.

The ergonomics of the screen are impressive, with a good height, tilt, pivot and rotate function available. If you want, you can rotate the screen to portrait mode for reading documents. It was a shame not to see any USB ports included which I think are always useful for connecting cameras, printers etc in the office. There was no card reader, ambient light sensor or integrated speakers either which feature on some other models.

Default luminance of the screen was too high for prolonged office use, although even at 100% brightness control it did not reach anything too blinding. For comfortable use in normal lighting conditions a setting of around 45 - 50% should return you a luminance of ~120 cd/m2. The MagicBright preset menu offers settings for 'text' and 'internet' which might be useful for some people, depending on how they set up their 'custom' mode. We found the 'text' preset to be a little darker than our calibrated 'custom' preset, but the 'internet' mode was very similar in appearance.


Responsiveness and Gaming

Response Time Control

Above: OSD menu showing the response time options

Before we get into the side by side screen comparisons I wanted to talk about the response time menu available from the F2380. This function allows you to control the responsiveness of the panel in games and fast moving images. Being rated with an 8ms G2G response time, the cPVA panel uses response time compensation technology to boost pixel response times and improve responsiveness in practice. This RTC impulse is applied to speed up the pixel transitions which can help reduce motion blur and ghosting. Samsung have allowed you to control the level of RTC impulse applied to the panel through their OSD, and through this 'response time' option. There are options for 'normal', 'faster' and 'fastest' as shown in the picture above.

The screen was tested using the chase test in PixPerAn, a good bit of software for trying to quantify differences in real terms responsiveness between monitors. As a reminder, a series of pictures are taken on the highest shutter speed and compared. The images below show the best case example from each of the three 'response time' settings. This should only be used as a rough guide to comparative responsiveness but is handy for a direct comparison of the impact of this setting:

Above: side by side comparison of pixel responsiveness in three different 'response time' modes

In the normal setting, the screen shows a high degree of motion blur and some obvious ghosting behind the moving car. This is very obvious in practice and you can spot this in the image above. This setting actually goes as far as turning the RTC impulse off altogether. When you switch the the 'faster' setting there is a fairly pronounced and obvious improvement in the pixel responsiveness. Blurring is reduced quite a lot although it is still there. Overall the moving car looks sharper and the image looks better. It's not perfect, but an improvement certainly. Changing to the 'fastest' setting brings about a smaller change but there is still an improvement compared with the 'faster' setting. The blur is reduced a little more. You can still detect it but it is less obvious. Thankfully even though we have turned the RTC control up in the 'faster' and 'fastest' settings, there is no obvious RTC overshoot introduced. This can be an issue sometimes on screens where the RTC impulse is applied very aggressively, or is poorly controlled.


Display Comparisons

The screen was tested using the chase test in PixPerAn, a good bit of software for trying to quantify differences in real terms responsiveness between monitors. As a reminder, a series of pictures are taken on the highest shutter speed and compared. The images below show the best case example on the left hand side, and the worst case example on the right hand side. This should only be used as a rough guide to comparative responsiveness but is handy as a way of keeping a constant test of each screen.

23" 8ms G2G Samsung cPVA (Response Time setting = Fastest)

23" 14ms LG.Display e-IPS (W-LED)

23" 8ms G2G LG.Display e-IPS

23" 14ms LG.Display e-IPS

I have first provided a comparison of the Samsung F2380 against other competing 23" e-IPS models. From the test images above you will see that the F2380 performs quite comparably to the NEC EA232WMi and Viewsonic VP2365wb models. Those screens are both e-IPS based, with a quoted 14ms ISO response time figure. They do not use response time compensation technologies to boost pixel responsiveness and so show a fair degree of motion blur even in the best case images. The F2380 showed a slightly better responsiveness in these tests, but the motion blur was only slightly better than the Viewsonic/NEC really. The trailing car image is not quite as pronounced in the best case images.

The Dell U2311H uses RTC technology to boost pixel transitions and so shows much less motion blur than the other three models, including the Samsung F2380. In the best case images there is no trailing car in fact. This is a more responsive screen in practice and you can spot this with the naked eye as well. There is a very slight RTC overshoot evident on the U2311H in the form of a slightly pale halo behind the car, but this is nothing too severe. Interestingly, although the F2380 is rated as an 8ms G2G screen, it behaves more like a non-overdriven 14ms e-IPS model (even with response time setting of 'fastest'), and doesn't keep up with the 8ms G2G overdriven e-IPS model here. The specified 8ms G2G response time is a little misleading in this case.

23" 8ms G2G Samsung cPVA (Response Time setting = Fastest)

24" 8ms G2G AU Optronics AMVA

24" 6ms G2G LG.Display H-IPS

24" 5ms G2G LG.Display e-IPS

I've also provided some comparisons of the F2380 against some of the popular and recent 24" models in the market we have tested. As you can see, the F2380 is a little faster than the AMVA based BenQ EW2420, which to be quite honest, did not perform very well in this test. Although it was rated as 8ms G2G, the AMVA panel was unresponsive and showed more obvious blurring and trailing in the moving image. The Dell U2410 and HP ZR24W both use RTC and so their performance was better. They showed a clearer and sharper moving image with less pronounced motion blur than the F2380. They were also free from any obvious RTC overshoot so these are a little more suited to gaming than the F2380 screen.

23" 8ms G2G Samsung cPVA (Response Time setting = Fastest)

23.6" 2ms G2G CMO TN Film (120Hz)

22" 3ms G2G Samsung TN Film + 120Hz

I've also included a comparison above against two gamer-orientated screens, both featuring heavily overdriven TN Film panels, and 120Hz technology. The pixel responsiveness of both of these is certainly ahead of the F2380 as you will probably expect and the 120Hz frequency allows for improved 120fps frame rates and the support of 3D content as well. The BenQ XL2410T does show some rather noticeable RTC overshoot in the form of dark trails behind the moving image (speech bubble and head) which is unfortunate, and a sign that the RTC impulse is too aggressive. The Samsung 2233RZ remains our champion in this test.

The F2380 might be ok for some moderate gaming but those wanting to play fast FPS may want to look elsewhere, perhaps at some of the modern 120Hz TN Film models with super fast response times and support for 120fps frame rates and 3D content. It was a little disappointing really given its 8ms G2G response time spec, and I was hoping that these cPVA panels with RTC could match up to the e-IPS equivalents, which seemingly they can't.


Response Time Technologies with PVA Matrices

The information provided in this section goes in to a bit more technical detail than many readers may not want or need, so feel free to skip to the next section if you don't need to know about the science.

Above: Basic concept of DCC-II technology
(a) DCC-II signal and response
(b) Liquid crystal action: no pre-tilt as in DCC ver 1
(c) Liquid crystal action: with pre-tilt used in DCC-II
Source: Society for Information Display

Traditionally PVA matrices were very slow in terms of response times. Samsung first introduced 'Dynamic Capacitance Compensation' (DCC) technology to reduce the response times of traditional PVA matrices enabling transitions of under 8ms G2G. However this DCC technology left an issue with black > grey transitions which is specific to vertical alignment technology. It relates to the vertical alignment of the liquid crystals in PVA panels, and led to delayed response times in these particular transitions from black. While other G2G changes were drastically improved compared with non-overdriven PVA matrices, reaching below 8ms G2G, these black > grey transitions remained a problem. Figure (b) above desmontrates the change made by the liquid crystals in changing from state 1 to state 2, and then re-orientating to the desired state 3. This change introduces the delays in dark halftone changes.

To overcome this, Samsung introduced DCC-II technology later on, which improved all response times including the troublesome black to grey transition to under 8ms G2G. The basic concept of DCC-II is to apply a 'pre-tilt' voltage just prior to the application of the conventional overshoot voltage of DCC (see figure (c)). In a sense, the pixel is first changed from black to dark grey by this pre-tilt voltage for one frame, and then in the next frame the pixel is given the desired voltage to re-orientate to the desired colour / grey shade from there. DDC-II pretty much solved the problems of slow response times on dark halftones although it can lead to an increased input lag according to reports.

It appears that Samsung have reverted to DCC version 1 on the F2380. Tests from other websites such as using a photosensor and oscilloscope confirm that these dark halftone changes are still very slow, even in the fastest response time setting. This is indicative of the use of DCC ver 1 on this particular model, and indeed on the F2080 (20") screen. This may also account for the presence of a fair degree of motion blur on this screen, even when the response time control is turned up to its fastest setting.


Additonal Gamng Features

Apsect Ratio Control - The F2380 supports limited aspect ratio control options through the OSD 'size & position' menu. There are only options for 'auto' and 'wide' though, so any 1:1 pixel mapping is lacking here.


Preset Modes - There is a 'game' preset mode available in the MagicBright section for those who want to set up a preset based on their requirements. This boosted the brightness setting to 100%. You cannot change this without the preset reverting back to the 'custom' mode which is a shame. The dynamic contrast ratio is not used in this preset however, so you would have to use the specific 'dynamic contrast' preset mode to use that technology if you want it.


Input Lag


As usual I tested the screen in clone mode with a CRT to determine the level of input lag. This is something which can put off some gamers and is a delay between graphics card and monitor output. By hooking up a CRT you can show that  the LCD lags behind somewhat, which can affect users in some situations where they rely on the screen image being as fast as their inputs (e.g. fast FPS shooting games). Often, input lag is very low and probably wouldn't represent too much of a problem in real terms.

The input lag of the F2380 was very good. The lag did seem to fluctuate a little and ranged between 0ms and 30ms. On average though the lag was 10.6ms which was very good and shouldn't present any real problem for gamers. It was very comparable to the NEC EA232WMi (8.1ms) and the same in fact as the Dell U2311H (10.6ms).


Movies and Video

The following summarises the screens performance in video applications:

  • 23" screen size makes it a reasonable option for an all-in-one multimedia screen, although quite a bit smaller than modern LCD TV's of course

  • 16:9 aspect ratio is more suited to videos than 16:10 format screens, leaving smaller borders on DVD's and wide screen content.

  • 1920 x 1080 resolution can support true 1080 HD resolution content

  • Digital interfaces support HDCP for any encrypted and protected content

  • Limited interface options available with 2x DVI and 1x D-sub only. Would have been useful to feature HDMI or DisplayPort for connecting external devices. At least you can use an HDMI > DVI convertor if you want for the video.

  • Black depth and contrast ratio are fantastic and some of the best we have ever seen. Detail in darker scenes should not be lost due to these measurements.

  • Dynamic contrast ratio is available and extends the contrast ratio to >13,000:1 in practice. If you like this feature, it can control the contrast for you quite well, although transitions are very fast and obvious

  • Movie preset mode is available from the MagicBright menu. This seemed to make the image a little lighter and warmer compared with our calibrated custom mode.

  • Reasonable pixel responsiveness which should still be able to handle fast moving scenes in movies. I would recommend using the 'fastest' response time setting in the OSD menu.

  • Wide viewing angles thanks to cPVA panel technology meaning several people could view the screen at once comfortable and from a whole host of different angles. You may need to account for the off-centre contrast shift evident here if you are watching from head on.

  • Very good range of ergonomic adjustments available so you should be able to obtain a comfortable angle and position.

  • No backlight bleed evident at all really and blacks were very deep and inky. This was good as leakage has the potential to become distracting when watching movies, especially where black borders are present.

  • No intergrated stereo speakers on this model.



The Samsung F2380 was an interesting screen to test, even a couple of years on from its original release. I was left with mixed feelings about its performance and features. On the plus side the screen offered a great range of ergonomic adjustments and a decent and professional looking design. While default settings for colour and gamma were mediocre, the black depth and contrast ratio were fantastic. Samsung have made some big improvements in this area with their latest generation of cPVA panels and it was very impressive. Panel uniformity was also very good and the screen performed well in other areas including having a low input lag and a high dynamic contrast ratio.

On the other hand the screen did lack some additional features and it was a shame not to see HDMI, DisplayPort and USB connections available. While the DCR worked on paper it was too fast and sudden and so I'm not sure how useable it really is. Viewing angles were wide but being a VA matrix there was the unfortunate off-centre contrast shift present. Perhaps the one main drawback of the screen is its fairly average response time. At least Samsung have allowed you to boost the response time via the OSD menu but really there's no reason not to run in the 'fastest' setting all the time. The responsiveness was only really on par with modern non-overdriven e-IPS panels in practice and could not keep up with their overdriven equivalents sadly. The 8ms G2G response time is a little misleading really and the presence of motion blur and trailing is likely due to Samsung's return to their original DCC technology. Perhaps this is a measure they have taken with these new cPVA panels to keep production costs down, it's hard to know for sure. The screen certainly isn't unuseable for gaming by any means but it just isn't as fast as some other competing models.

The F2380 retails for around £215 GBP in the UK at the time of writing. This makes it a little cheaper than the Dell U2311H (~£225) and NEC EA232WMi (~£250) but not by much. The F2380 is worth a look if you want a screen primarily for general office type work. It's a good all-rounder but is probably not ideal for gaming or colour critical work. In other areas it does very well and is a good alternative to IPS models if you are more of a fan of VA technology.



Fantastic black depth and contrast ratio

Mediocre pixel responsiveness in practice

Low input lag

Missing extra connections such as HDMI, DP or USB

Good panel uniformity and no backlight leakage (could vary)

DCR changes too fast and abrupt


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