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Introduction

Over the years we have seen a major investment in the gaming monitor market with one of the most significant improvements being the support for higher refresh rates. Long gone are the days of LCD monitors being limited to only 60Hz input, and we now see a wide range of models from many different manufacturers offering 120Hz+ refresh rates today. 144Hz has rapidly become the norm for gaming displays as some 2019 market analysis revealed. We also see some screens with higher refresh rates than that, all the way up to a native 240Hz being increasingly common nowadays and occasionally beyond.

Refresh rate has a direct impact on perceived motion clarity for fast moving content and gaming, due to the way that LCD monitors operate. There is a major improvement in motion clarity and performance when jumping from 60Hz to 120/144Hz. There is a smaller, but still noticeable benefit in some situations when increasing refresh rate higher to 240Hz. This may arise from the improved frame rate support, additional benefits from the higher refresh rate for eye tracking of content, and also sometimes because of the way that the pixel response times improve.

In the past 240Hz native refresh rates had been restricted to the fastest TN Film panel technology. We've tested quite a few 240Hz TN Film models over the last few years, most recently the AOC AGON AG273QZ which was the first we'd tested with 240Hz and 1440p resolution, and the Acer Nitro XF252Q which is a 24.5" sized model which had impressed us with its fast response times and excellent motion clarity. It is only recently that other panel technologies have been pushed up to 240Hz, which is likely due to their underlying slower pixel response times and the need to improve things quite significantly if they are to keep up. Our high refresh rate monitor and panel roadmap article talks more about all the high refresh rate options.

We tested the first IPS technology panel with 240Hz back in November 2019 in the form of the Acer Nitro XV273 X and were very impressed by its performance. We've also more recently tested the Asus TUF Gaming VG279QM where the refresh rate has been overclocked even further up to a whopping 280Hz. VA panels were a little bit later and we reviewed the first to market in the form of the Samsung C27RG50. To be honest we were not impressed by the performance as the response times were not nearly fast enough to keep up with the extra frame rate and it was plagued by usual response time limitations on black transitions, resulting in the normal "VA black smearing" problems. That first venture in to 240Hz VA was also limited to a 1080p panel and it appeared that this technology was not ready for the jump to 240Hz, and may never be.

Samsung have now released their new "Odyssey" line-up of screens, boasting high 240Hz refresh rates in a range of sizes and with some impressive additional specs. This includes the G7 models which are available in 27" and 32" sizes and come with a 2560 x 1440 resolution. There is also a G9 model which is 49" in size with a 5120 x 1440 ultrawide resolution. All three models feature a deep 1000R curvature as well. Buyers are particularly keen to see if these new screens can improve on the early generation of 240Hz VA panels and offer faster response times and superior gaming performance. We have with us now the 27" G7 model, the C27G75T which will be the first of this new generation we've been able to test. In addition to the headline 240Hz refresh rate and 1440p resolution the screen features adaptive-sync for VRR support from both NVIDIA ('G-sync Compatible' certified) and AMD systems. There is VESA DisplayHDR 600 support with local dimming capability, and even an added motion blur reduction backlight.

For reference we are testing the FB01 version of the screen and have updated to the latest UK/US official firmware v1005.2.

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Specifications and Features

The following table gives detailed information about the specs of the screen as advertised:

Monitor Specifications

Size

26.9" (27" class)

Panel Coating

Light AG coating

Aspect Ratio

16:9 curved 1000R

Interfaces

2x DisplayPort 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0
1x Headphone output
2x USB 3.0

Resolution

2560 x 1440

Pixel Pitch

0.2326 mm (109.19 PPI)

Design colour

Black bezels and enclosure, with dark grey silver foot

Response Time

1ms G2G

Ergonomics

Tilt, 120mm height, swivel, rotate

Static Contrast Ratio

2500:1

Dynamic Contrast Ratio

not listed

VESA Compatible

100 x 100 mm

Brightness

350 cd/m2 (typical)
600 cd/m2 (peak HDR)

Accessories

Power cable and brick, DisplayPort cable, USB cable

Viewing Angles

178 / 178

Panel Technology

Samsung SVA (VA-type)

Weight

with stand: 7.2 Kg

Backlight Technology

LED + Quantum Dot (QLED)

Physical Dimensions (WxHxD)

614.6 x 576.0 x 305.9 mm

Colour Depth

1.07 billion (8-bit+FRC)

Refresh Rate

240Hz
60 - 240Hz VRR range

Special Features

Adaptive-sync for VRR from AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-sync systems (inc G-sync Compatible certification), Rear and front RGB lighting,  PiP/PbP modes, Motion Blur Reduction (MBR) mode, Factory calibration

Colour Gamut

Wide gamut 95% DCI-P3
125% sRGB quoted

The C27G75T offers a good range of modern connectivity with 2x DisplayPort 1.4 and 1 x HDMI 2.0 offered for video connections. These are located on the back of the screen along with a headphone output. There are also 2x USB 3.0 ports located there. For PC connectivity the DisplayPort is the most common option, with HDMI being available then for connecting external games consoles or Blu-ray players potentially. The screen has an external power supply and the screen also comes packaged with the power cable and brick that you need.

Below is a summary of the features and connections of the screen.

Feature

Yes / No

Feature

Yes / No

Tilt adjust

DVI

Height adjust

HDMI

Swivel adjust

USB type-C

Rotate adjust

DisplayPort

VESA compliant

Component

USB 2.0 Ports

Audio connection

USB 3.0 Ports

HDCP Support

Card Reader

Integrated Speakers

Ambient Light Sensor

PiP / PbP

Human Motion Sensor

Blur Reduction Mode

Touch Screen

NVIDIA G-Sync (native)

Factory calibration

AMD FreeSync

Hardware calibration

G-sync Compatible Certified

Uniformity correction

Meaningful HDR



Design and Ergonomics

 
Above: front views of the screen, click for larger versions

The C27G75T comes in a mostly black design with matte black plastics used for the bezel, rear enclosure and monitor arm. There is a dark silver metal foot to the stand. The screen has a 3 side borderless design around the sides and top with a thin 2mm plastic edge. There is however a slight slope of the edges on the right and left hand side so it looks a little thicker when you view the screen from the front. There is also a 6.5mm thick black panel border around these edges. The bottom of the screen has a thicker 20mm plastic bezel along with a 2mm thick black panel border. There are a couple of "wings" that hang off the bottom of the screen as well as shown in the pictures, which house the front RGB LED lights. The colour of these can be changed within the OSD from a wide palette of shades and colours.

 
 Above: rear views of the screen. Click for larger versions

The back of the screen is encased in a matte black plastic for a fairly simple and smooth design. There is some etching on the plastic in places and the stand attaches in the middle as shown. Around the stand connection there is another RGB lighting feature which looks pretty nice (if you have the screen in a position you can see it) and also provides a pretty bright bias lighting behind the screen. This lighting can be turned on/off in the OSD, and you can also set it to only show the back lighting and not the front if you want. There are a wide range of colours to choose from within the OSD menu as well.


Above: view of the base of the stand. Click for larger version

The base of the stand is a dark silver metal foot. This provides a wide and sturdy base for the screen, although the stand is quite deep so you will need to ensure your desk is deep enough to accommodate it.


Above: top down view of the screen, click for larger version

You can see the pronounced screen curvature in the image above which is likely to be one of those things you either love or hate. This is the most curved screen we have seen to date with a 1000R curvature. We have never really felt like a 27" screen needs a curve in the first place to be honest, and here it is aggressive. We would have rather had a flat format screen in this size to be honest, leaving the curve for something like the G9 49" ultrawide model where it is much more useful and relevant. After a bit of use you do stop noticing it really for day to day usage and for gaming and multimedia, but it is a bit more difficult to live with for some types of office work and certainly if you want to try and view the screen from different angles or viewing positions.


Above: side view of the screen. Click for larger version

The stand offers a full range of ergonomic adjustments with tilt, height, swivel and even rotate provided. Tilt is smooth and very easy to move around. Height adjustment is smooth but quite stiff to operate, especially when lowering the screen. At the lowest setting the bottom edge of the screen is ~60mm from the top of the desk, and at maximum extension it is ~180mm, giving a total 120mm adjustment range as advertised. Side to side swivel is smooth although a little stiff, so sometimes you end up moving the whole screen at once. There's also oddly a rotation function offered on this screen which is normally not provided on screens like this as it's pretty impractical on a curved format display. It is smooth and quite easy to move here, but we'd question whether anyone would ever really want to use it. The screen remains pretty stable when you move it around as the stand is strong and stable. You do get a bit of wobble from the screen when using the OSD control joystick though which is located on the bottom edge of the screen in the middle.

A summary of the ergonomic adjustments are shown below:

Function

Range

Smoothness

Ease of Use

Tilt

Yes

Smooth

Easy

Height

120mm

Smooth

Quite stiff

Swivel

Yes

Smooth

Quite stiff

Rotate

Yes

Smooth

Easy

Overall

Good range of adjustments and all pretty easy and smooth to move. Pretty sturdy and stable overall. Rotate function is a bit useless

The materials were of a decent standard and the build quality felt good. There was no audible noise from the screen, even when conducting specific tests which can often identify buzzing issues. The whole screen remained cool even during prolonged use.

The back of the screen features all the connections as shown above. There are no additional easy-access connections on the sides of the screen or anything.

The OSD is controlled entirely through a single joystick on the bottom edge of the screen in the middle. This provides quick and intuitive access to the menu where there are a range of settings and options to play with. The joystick also gives quick access to the brightness/sharpness/contrast options, the input selection menu and the volume control which is handy. One annoying thing we did notice was that the screen didn't seem to wake up from PC sleep most times, and you had to press the monitor power button for that to turn back on. There didn't seem to be any related OSD settings that impacted this.

 


Panel and Backlighting

Panel

Backlight

Panel Manufacturer

Samsung

Backlighting Type

Q-LED (LED with Quantum Dot coating)

Panel Technology

SVA (VA-type)

Colour space

Wide gamut

Panel Part

CY-PT270PLLV1H

sRGB coverage spec

125% listed

Screen Coating

Light anti-glare

DCI-P3 spec

95% listed

Colour Palette

1.07 billion

Adobe RGB coverage spec

not listed

Colour depth

8-bit + FRC

Flicker free verified

Backlight dimming at calibrated brightness setting (no PWM)

Above: backlight operation showing constant Direct Current voltage instead of PWM. Measured at calibrated brightness level



Brightness and Contrast

This section tests the full range of luminance (the brightness of the screen) possible from the backlight, while changing the monitors brightness setting in the OSD menu. This allows us to measure the maximum and minimum adjustment ranges, as well as identify the recommended setting to reach a target of 120 cd/m2 for comfortable day to day use in normal lighting conditions. Some users have specific requirements for a very bright display, while others like a much darker display for night time viewing or in low ambient light conditions. At each brightness level we also measure the contrast ratio produced by the screen when comparing a small white sample vs. a black sample (not unrealistic full screen white vs. full screen black tests). The contrast ratio should remain stable across the adjustment range so we also check that.

Graphics card settings were left at default with no ICC profile or calibration active. Tests were made using an X-rite i1 Display Pro Plus colorimeter. It should be noted that we used the BasICColor calibration software here to record these measurements, and so luminance at default settings may vary a little from the LaCie Blue Eye Pro report you will see in other sections of the review.

OSD Brightness

Luminance
(cd/m2)

Black Point (cd/m2)

Contrast Ratio
( x:1)

100

391.01

0.14

2793

90

343.68

0.14

2455

80

309.85

0.13

2383

70

282.02

0.12

2350

60

252.24

0.10

2522

50

223.47

0.09

2483

40

192.69

0.08

2409

30

159.83

0.07

2283

20

129.39

0.05

2588

10

96.90

0.04

2422

0

65.35

0.03

2178

 

Total Luminance Adjustment Range (cd/m2)

325.66

Brightness OSD setting controls backlight

Total Black Point Adjustment Range (cd/m2)

0.11

Average Static Contrast Ratio

2442:1

PWM Free

Recommended OSD setting for 120 cd/m2

17

The tests in this section were conducted in SDR mode and with local dimming turned off. At the full brightness setting in the OSD the maximum luminance reached a high 391 cd/m2 which was a bit higher than the 350 cd/m2 max brightness spec from the manufacturer (in SDR mode). There was a decent 326 cd/m2 adjustment range in total, so at the minimum setting you could reach down to a luminance of 65 cd/m2. This should afford you a low luminance option for working in darkened room conditions with low ambient light. A setting of ~17 in the OSD menu is suggested to return you a luminance as close to 120 cd/m2 as possible at default settings.

        

We have plotted the luminance trend on the graph above. The screen behaves as it should in this regard, with a reduction in the luminance output of the screen controlled by the reduction in the OSD brightness setting. There is a slightly steeper adjustment curve between settings of 100 and 90, but below that it is a linear relationship. The average contrast ratio of the screen was measured at 2442:1 which was excellent thanks to the VA technology panel and very close to the specified 2500:1 figure. We have not included the usual contrast stability graph as rounding errors can cause fluctuations in the figures due to the low black depth.

 


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.

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

Targets for these tests are as follows:

  • CIE Diagram - confirms the colour space covered by the monitors backlighting in a 2D view, with the black triangle representing the displays gamut, and other reference colour spaces shown for comparison. Usually shown as a comparison against the common sRGB space

  • Colour space coverage volumes - we also measure using a piece of software called ChromaPure the colour space (gamut) volumes produced by the backlight in comparison to the sRGB, DCI-P3 and Rec.2020 colour spaces. sRGB is the most commonly used colour space so it is important to have a decent coverage from the screen here. If the colour space is >100% sRGB then the screen can produce a wider colour gamut, often reaching further in to the wider gamut DCI-P3 (commonly used for HDR) and Rec.2020 reference spaces.

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

  • dE average / maximum - we aim for 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 Performance and Setup

 It should be noted that we also turned off a few things in the OSD before conducting these tests, so as not to impact the measurements:

  • Default sharpness of 60 felt a bit too sharp for general work, accentuating it a little too much. We preferred that turned down to the next level lower at 56

  • Local dimming was turned off - we will only want to use that for HDR content really (tested later)

  • Dynamic brightness was turned off so as not to alter the brightness or screen appearance during these tests

The screen also carries a factory calibration in the default 'Custom' mode. There is no paper report provided with the screen, and instead the factory calibration report for the unit is built in to the OSD menu which is handy, and a nice feature. Our unit has apparently been factory calibrated to a 2.26 average gamma and a 2.08 dE max.

 

Default settings of the screen were as shown below:

Samsung Odyssey C27G75T
Default Settings

  

 


Monitor OSD Settings

 

Picture mode preset

Custom

Brightness

100

Contrast

75

Color Tone

Normal

Gamma

Mode 1

RGB

50, 50, 50

Luminance Measurements

 

luminance (cd/m2)

398

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.14

Contrast Ratio

2793:1

Colour Space Measurements

 

sRGB coverage

123.0%

DCI-P3 coverage

90.7%

Rec.2020 coverage

65.0%


 

Out of the box the screen was set in the 'Custom' preset mode and with a very bright 100% brightness which was uncomfortable to use for long periods. You will want to turn that down as with most screens. The colour balance felt pretty good out of the box and you could tell that the screen was using a wide gamut backlight, as the colours looks vivid and bright, especially greens and reds. We went ahead and measured the default state with the i1 Pro 2.

The CIE diagram on the left of the image confirms that the monitors colour gamut (black triangle) extends a considerable way beyond the sRGB reference space (orange triangle), mostly in green and red shades. We measured using ChromaPure software a 123.0% sRGB gamut volume coverage which corresponds to 90.7% of the DCI-P3 reference and 65.0% of the Rec.2020 reference. This is very close to the specified 125% sRGB / 90% DCI-P3 which is good news. There is also an sRGB emulation mode available on this screen which we will test in a moment which provides a way to reduce the colour gamut somewhat if you wanted to specifically work with smaller standard gamut content. The wider gamut here in the default mode with more vivid and saturated colours is nice for gaming and multimedia which is the screen's primary target usage.

Key Quick Information Box

  • Default setup carries a factory calibration

  • Pretty good gamma and white point setup

  • Screen far too bright at 100% setting

  • Wide gamut natively with 90.7% DCI-P3 coverage

  • sRGB emulation mode available and works fairly well

  • Strong contrast ratio

Default gamma was recorded at a 2.3 average with a small 5% deviance from the target and being pretty close to the factory calibration report in the OSD menu. This was with the screen set at the default 'Mode1' gamma mode in the OSD. There are also Mode2 and Mode3 available for this setting which we tested for completeness:

Gamma Mode2
Average gamma 2.23

Gamma Mode3
Average gamma 2.54

You can see that the Mode2 gamma setting returned a slightly better gamma curve, with an average of 2.23 measured. This did deliver a better overall gamma setup, but seems to introduce some minor banding in darker gradients.

Luminance at the default high 100% brightness level was recorded at 398 cd/m2 which is a far too high for prolonged general use, you will need to turn that down. The black depth was 0.14 cd/m2 at this default brightness setting, giving us an excellent 2793:1 contrast ratio which is an obvious strength of the VA panel technology. Colour accuracy measurements should be ignored here really as they are comparing the produced wider gamut display colours against an sRGB reference which will always lead to errors. There was no sign of any colour banding at default settings when testing gradients which was good news, but some moderate gradation in darker tones evident.



sRGB Emulation Mode

If you switch to the sRGB preset mode it provides somewhat of an emulation of the smaller colour space, for those who might want to limit the vivid and saturated wide colour gamut, or work specifically with sRGB content.

Samsung Odyssey C27G75T
Default Settings, SRGB Mode

  

 

Monitor OSD Settings

 

Picture mode preset

sRGB

Brightness

100

Contrast

n/a

Color Tone

n/a

Gamma

n/a

RGB

n/a

Luminance Measurements

 

luminance (cd/m2)

385

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.16

Contrast Ratio

2476:1

Colour Space Measurements

 

sRGB coverage

114.0%

DCI-P3 coverage

84.0%

Rec.2020 coverage

60.3%


The sRGB preset mode offers a reasonable emulation of the sRGB colour space, and you can see from the CIE diagram that the black triangle representing the monitors gamut now more closely matches the sRGB reference triangle. The oversaturation in greens and reds has certainly been restricted well, although there is a small amount of over-coverage still in blues and reds. We measured a 114% coverage of the sRGB gamut which was a little high, but overall this mode was more accurate than the default wide gamut mode for this kind of use. Although many of the OSD settings in the 'Picture' menu were now locked, thankfully we still had control over the brightness and so could set this sRGB mode up to a comfortable level. Default gamma and white point were pretty decent, and there was a good dE of 2.5 average too. This makes it a useful and usable mode, we would have just liked to have seen a slightly tighter control over the gamut coverage for that extra level of accuracy.
 



Optimal Settings Pre-Calibration

We also measured the screen after adjusting only the OSD controls, to obtain the optimal setup without a full calibration, and without the use of an ICC correction profile. This represents what could be achieved through just simple changes to the monitor itself, and also what you could expect when working with content outside of an ICC profile managed workflow. The early stages of our calibration software helped identity these optimal OSD settings.
 

Samsung Odyssey C27G75T
Optimal Settings Pre-calibration

  


Monitor OSD Settings

 

Picture mode preset

Custom

Brightness

17

Contrast

75

Color Tone

Custom

Gamma

Mode2

RGB

46, 50, 46

Luminance Measurements

 

luminance (cd/m2)

124

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.04

Contrast Ratio

2414:1

Colour Space Measurements

 

sRGB coverage

123.0%

DCI-P3 coverage

90.7%

Rec.2020 coverage

65.0%

For this section we switched back to the 'Custom' preset mode. We also changed to Mode2 gamma which we know out of the box had delivered a slightly better gamma curve. Some changes were also made to the RGB levels to balance the white point at around 6500k. The brightness adjustment also allowed us to reach a much more comfortable level. The contrast ratio was still excellent although had dropped a bit through the RGB and gamma corrections. Further calibration and profiling below will help improve things even further in the next section.

 


Calibration

We used the X-rite i1 Pro 2 Spectrophotometer combined with the LaCie Blue Eye Pro software package to achieve these results and reports. An X-rite i1 Display Pro Plus colorimeter was used to validate the black depth and contrast ratios due to lower end limitations of the i1 Pro device.

Samsung Odyssey C27G75T
Calibrated Settings

  


Monitor OSD Settings

 

Picture mode preset

Custom

Brightness

17

Contrast

75

Color Tone

Custom

Gamma

Mode2

RGB

46, 50, 46

Luminance Measurements

 

luminance (cd/m2)

124

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.04

Contrast Ratio

2411:1

Colour Space Measurements

 

sRGB coverage

123.0%

DCI-P3 coverage

90.7%

Rec.2020 coverage

65.0%

The OSD settings were adjusted as shown in the table above, as guided during the calibration process and measurements. These OSD changes allowed us to obtain an optimal hardware starting point and setup before software level changes would be made at the graphics card level. We left the  LaCie software to calibrate to "max" brightness which would just retain the luminance of whatever brightness we'd set the screen to, and would not in any way try and alter the luminance at the graphics card level, which can reduce contrast ratio. These adjustments before profiling the screen would help preserve tonal values and limit banding issues. After this we let the software carry out the LUT adjustments and create an ICC profile.

The default gamma curve of 2.3 had been improved to 2.2 average, correcting the small 5% deviance we'd seen out of the box. The white point was also now improved to 6535k which was great news, although out of the box there had been minimal deviance there of only 3% being slightly too warm. The brightness control adjustment had reduced the luminance to a comfortable level now and contrast ratio remained excellent thanks to the VA panel at 2411:1. Colour accuracy of the resulting profile was very good, with dE average of 0.5 and maximum of 1.2. LaCie would consider colour fidelity to be very good overall. Gradients remained mostly smooth with a little bit more banding introduced in darker tones from the profiling and adjustments.

You can use our settings and try our calibrated ICC profile if you wish, which are available in our ICC profile database. Keep in mind that results will vary from one screen to another and from one computer / graphics card to another.



Setup Comparisons

The comparisons made in this section try to give you a better view of how each screen performs, particularly out of the box which is what is going to matter to most consumers. We have divided the table up by panel technology as well to make it easier to compare similar models. When comparing the default factory settings for each monitor it is important to take into account several measurement areas - gamma, white point and colour accuracy. There's no point having a low dE colour accuracy figure if the gamma curve is way off for instance. A good factory calibration requires all 3 to be well set up. We have deliberately not included luminance in this comparison since this is normally far too high by default on every screen. However, that is very easily controlled through the brightness setting (on most screens) and should not impact the other areas being measured anyway. It is easy enough to obtain a suitable luminance for your working conditions and individual preferences, but a reliable factory setup in gamma, white point and colour accuracy is important and some (gamma especially) are not as easy to change accurately without a calibration tool.

From these comparisons we can also compare the calibrated colour accuracy, black depth and contrast ratio. After a calibration the gamma, white point and luminance should all be at their desired targets.


Default setup of the screen out of the box was decent thanks to the factory calibration. There was only a small 5% error with the gamma, that could actually be improved a little by switching to the 'Mode2' setting in fact. White point was close to the target with only a 3% deviance, and there was a strong contrast ratio thanks to the VA panel. Despite being a gamer-orientated screen, it was good to see a focus from Samsung here on reliable and accurate setup, as opposed to some gaming screens which have a large gamma deviance and seemingly very little focus on accuracy. That is particularly apparent on TN Film panels.
 

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Viewing Angles


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

Viewing angles of the screen were good overall, and fairly typical for a VA panel. From a moderately wide side angle the image would become washed out and pale in appearance as you can see, getting more pronounced the wider that angle was. Vertically the washout was a little more noticeable but not terrible. The steep 1000R curvature of the screen also resulted in some additional reflections from the coating when viewed from a wider angle.

Users should be aware that the panel exhibits the off-centre contrast shift which is inherent to the VA pixel structure. When viewing a very dark grey font for example on a black background, the font almost disappears when viewed head on, but gets lighter as you move slightly to the side. 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. We 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.


Above: View of an all black screen from the sides. Click for larger version

On a black image from a side view there is very little glow from the panel, and the deep blacks and strong contrast ratio are still evident. You don't get the same pale/white glow that IPS-type panels exhibit (example recently tested Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ with IPS-type panel) which is a big plus for this panel technology, especially if you want to use the screen for night time gaming or movies in a darker room. There are some uniformity problems on this sample when viewed in this way, which is something we'd seen on other recent VA panels too including the very expensive ROG Swift PG35VQ. You can see some areas of backlight glow and blotchiness on this kind of test particularly at the top. Again these results were pretty similar to the recently tested Samsung C27RG50, Samsung C49RG90 and Lenovo Legion Y44w-10 which feature Samsung VA panels as well. This blotchy appearance from an angle seems to be more commonly seen on VA panels than other technologies.



Panel Uniformity

We wanted to test here how uniform the brightness was across the screen, as well as identify any leakage from the backlight in dark lighting conditions. Measurements of the luminance were taken at 35 points across the panel on a pure white background. The measurements for luminance were taken using BasICColor's calibration software package, combined with an X-rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter with a central point on the screen calibrated to 120 cd/m2. The below uniformity diagram shows the difference, as a percentage, between the measurement recorded at each point on the screen, as compared with the central reference 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

Luminance uniformity of the screen was good overall on our sample, with 89% of the screen within a 10% deviance of the centrally calibrated area. The bottom edge was a little darker than the upper areas of the screen where brightness dropped down to 106 cd/m2 in the most extreme example (-13%) and there were a couple of areas that were a little brighter at around 132 cd/m2 (+9%) but nothing really noticeable overall.


Backlight Leakage


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

We also tested the screen with an all black image and in a darkened room. A camera was used to capture the result. There were bands of lighter regions along the top and bottom edge of the screen. This was not visible in normal uses and not a significant issue.

Note: if you want to test your own screen for backlight bleed and uniformity problems at any point you need to ensure you have suitable testing conditions. Set the monitor to a sensible day to day brightness level, preferably as close to 120 cd/m2 as you can get it (our tests are once the screen is calibrated to this luminance). Don't just take a photo at the default brightness which is almost always far too high and not a realistic usage condition. You need to take the photo from about 1.5 - 2m back to avoid capturing viewing angle characteristics, especially on IPS-type panels where off-angle glow can come in to play easily. Photos should be taken in a darkened room at a shutter speed which captures what you see reliably and doesn't over-expose the image. A shutter speed of 1/8 second will probably be suitable for this.



General and Office Applications

This screen features a 2560 x 1440 WQHD resolution, a significant step up from the wide range of 1920 x 1080 screens on the market and a comfortable resolution for this size screen. The previous generation of 240Hz VA panels like that used in the Samsung C27RG50 were limited to 1080p only, although to be fair there was only a short wait for VA technology before these 1440p models emerged which is good news. There's only been a couple of 1440p monitors released with 240Hz in any panel technology so far so Samsung are quite early to the party with the new Odyssey screens. This included a couple of TN Film models like the AOC AGON AG273QZ that we tested, but so far no IPS panels have been formally released, although some have been announced.

These higher resolution 27" models offer a tighter pixel pitch of 0.233mm which results in a smaller text size than common 24" 1080p screens, although it is still a nice and comfortable size. We are very used to working with 27" 1440p screens all the time and find them very comfortable and a significant upgrade over 1080 / 1200p models. The extra screen size takes some getting used to over a few days as there really is a lot of room to work with but once you do, it's excellent. For those wanting a high resolution for CAD, design, photo work etc, this is a really good option. The image was very sharp and crisp and text was very clear. With its WQHD display, you enjoy 77% more desktop space than a full HD screen to spread out your windows and palettes.

We mentioned earlier in the review about the sharpness setting of this screen as well. By default it is set at 60 in the OSD which over-accentuates the sharpness of the image for normal office and desktop use we felt. You will probably want to turn that one step down to level 56 for a more normal appearance. In games and multimedia, maybe the slight additional sharpness boost will be ok though.

The light AG coating of the VA technology panel is certainly welcome, and avoids unwanted graininess while still retaining solid anti-glare properties. The aggressive 1000R curved format was ok we felt, although any curve is not really necessary given it's not an ultrawide panel and is still a relatively small sized screen. A flat format would be just as comfortable on a 27" screen we felt and some users may not like the pretty deep curve here. It could make using the screen for some office work a bit problematic, as straight lines on spreadsheets and graphics can have a curved appearance, and it might create some challenges away from the target gaming and multimedia market. We would have rather a flat format on this 27" model, but some people may prefer the curve. Try and see one in person if you're in doubt. When going back to a flat format screen afterwards those look like they curve the other way and take some getting used to again!

The wide viewing angles provided by this panel technology on both horizontal and vertical planes, helps minimize on-screen colour shift when viewed from different angles. There is the typical VA off-centre contrast shift though which might crush dark grey details on darker content when viewed head on. So it's not as well suited to colour critical work or photo editing as an IPS technology panel. But it is on the other hand much better than a TN Film panel.

The screen has a wide gamut backlight covering around 123% of the sRGB colour space. This is well suited to gaming, multimedia and HDR content producing brighter and more vivid colours but if you were looking to work specifically with sRGB content for photo work or other content, it might present a problem. There is an sRGB emulation mode offered by this screen though which helps cut down on some of the red and green over-coverage, but still leaves you with a slightly wider gamut than sRGB at around 114% coverage. It's at least a usable preset mode with ability to alter the OSD brightness, and it should serve most people reasonably well if they want to work with sRGB gamut instead of the native wide gamut.

The brightness range of the screen was good, with the ability to offer a luminance between 391 and 65 cd/m2. This should mean the screen is useable in a wide variety of ambient light conditions, including darkened rooms. A setting of ~17 in the OSD brightness control should return you a luminance close to 120 cd/m2 out of the box. The brightness regulation is controlled via a flicker free backlight, without the need for Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), and so those who suffer from eye fatigue or headaches associated with flickering backlights need not worry.



Spectral distribution graph showing calibrated mode at 6500k


Spectral distribution graph showing 'Warm 2' color mode

There are no blue light filter modes offered on this screen which is quite unusual in today's market. The spectral distribution is shown for our calibrated 6500k state above, which shows the typical high blue peak. There are a couple of warmer colour modes available. Warm1 offers a white point of 5061k, while Warm2 offers an even warmer and more orange-coloured 4032k. Those might be useful modes if you want to use the screen a lot at night with a lot of office content or for a lot of text reading, as they will make it more comfortable over time and reduce some of the blue spectral output.

There are 2x USB 3.0 ports provided on the screen although both are on the back so not particularly easy access. There are no other extras like ambient light sensors, motion sensors or card readers on this screen which are sometimes useful for office-type uses. There is a very good range of ergonomic adjustments from the stand with tilt, height, swivel and even an unnecessary (on a curved screen) pivot offered. There is also VESA 100mm mounting capabilities for those who want to mount the screen instead although the stand is strong and sturdy overall.


 
Responsiveness and Gaming

Panel Manufacturer and Technology

Samsung SVA (VA-type)

Panel Part

CY-PT270PLLV1H

Quoted G2G Response Time

1ms G2G

Quoted MPRT Response Time

n/a

Overdrive Used

Variable Overdrive supported

Overdrive Control Available Via OSD Setting

'Response Time'

Overdrive OSD Settings

Standard, Faster, Fastest

Maximum Refresh Rate at Native Resolution

240Hz native - DisplayPort
144Hz maximum at native res - HDMI 2.0

Variable Refresh Rate technology

AMD FreeSync support via DisplayPort adaptive-sync

NVIDIA G-sync Compatible certified

HDMI-VRR for consoles

Variable Refresh Rate Range

60 - 240Hz (DisplayPort) + LFC
48 - 144Hz via HDMI + LFC

Motion Blur Reduction Backlight

'Fastest MBR' setting

Blur reduction available also when using
G-sync/FreeSync VRR

The screen uses overdrive technology to boost pixel transitions across grey to grey changes as with nearly all modern displays. The part being used is a Samsung CY-PT270PLLV1H SVA (VA-type) technology panel with a custom backlight. Have a read about response time in our specs section if you need additional information about this measurement.

We use an ETC M526 oscilloscope for these measurements along with a custom photosensor device. Have a read of our response time measurement article for a full explanation of the testing methodology and reported data.
 


Response Times and Refresh Rate

There's various things you need to consider when it comes to response times and gaming, particularly on a display with high refresh rate support. Gaming screens invariably give you a control for the overdrive impulse in the OSD menu which can help you tweak things, but response time performance and overshoot levels can vary depending on the active refresh rate. This behaviour is often different depending on whether the screen is a traditional G-sync screens (with hardware module) or whether it's an adaptive-sync screen as well, and not all screens behave in the same way. We always try to test each variable in our reviews but the key considerations you need to make are:

  1. Performance at 60Hz - this is important if you want to use an external games console (or other device like a Blu-ray player etc) which typically run at 60Hz. Response time performance may well be different than at the higher refresh rates supported, and you may need a different overdrive setting for optimal experience.
     

  2. Performance during VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) - bearing in mind that the refresh rate will fluctuate anywhere from 1Hz up to the maximum supported by the screen (e.g. 1 - 144Hz on a 144Hz display). It's important to understand if the response times and overshoot will vary as the refresh rate changes. There may be a need to switch between different overdrive settings in some cases, depending on your usually attained refresh rate output and graphics card capability. This can sometimes become fiddly if your refresh rates fluctuate a lot, especially between different games, so it's always easier if you can leave a display on a single overdrive setting which is suited to the whole range. Some screens also feature "variable overdrive" which helps control the response times and overshoot depending on the active refresh rate. This is particularly apparent with traditional G-sync module screens.
     

  3. Performance at fixed refresh rates including maximum - this is important for those who have a powerful enough system to consistently output a frame rate to meet the max refresh rate capability of the screen. They may want to run at max refresh rate without VRR active, or even is VRR is active they may know they will be consistently at the upper end of the range. Many gaming screens show their optimal response time performance at the maximum refresh rate. Knowing the performance at high fixed refresh rates may also be applicable if you want to use any added blur reduction backlight which typically operate at a fixed refresh rate.
     

  4. Whether the response times can keep up with the frame rate - you will also want to consider whether the response times of the panel can consistently keep up with the frame rate. For instance a 144Hz screen sends a new frame to the display every 6.94ms, so the pixel response times need to ideally be consistently and reliably under this threshold. If they are too slow, it can lead to added blurring in practice and sometimes make the higher refresh rates unusable in real life. We consider this in our analysis.
     

Key Quick Information Box

  • Response Time control only available when adaptive-sync is off but makes only minor difference

  • Excellent response times across the refresh rate range

  • The fastest VA panel we've ever tested!

  • Basically no black smearing too!

  • G-sync and FreeSync support - some reports of flickering in some cases

We carried out some initial response time measurements and visual tests in each of the overdrive settings, and at a range of refresh rates. The overdrive control is available in the OSD menu via the 'Response Time' option if you have Adaptive-sync disabled. When you enable adaptive-sync (which you need if you want to use G-sync or FreeSync) then the 'Response Time' setting is not available and the OSD graphic suggests it might be locked to the 'standard' mode. There are 3 levels available - Standard, Faster and Fastest. There is also a 'Fastest MBR' mode which is actually used for the motion blur reduction backlight mode, which we will look at shortly.

We first of all tested the different response time modes at the maximum 240Hz native resolution:



First observation is that the response times are excellent for a VA technology panel! We will take some more detailed measurements in a moment, but we were very pleased to see decent response times overall from this panel. There was basically no dark smearing as well, something that affects most VA panels pretty badly. The 0 > 50 (black > dark grey) transition was a little slower, but at around 14 - 16ms depending on the response time setting, this was still not too bad and certainly better than many VA panels where it can reach up to 30 - 50ms commonly. We will provide some further analysis of this and some pursuit camera photos in a moment.

There appeared to be only very minor differences between the three response time settings. In visual tests they looked indistinguishable to be honest. Our oscilloscope showed that the response times improved slightly as the setting was increased, but at the same time the level of overshoot snuck up a bit. In practice there was not really any difference, but if you are using the screen without adaptive-sync, the middle 'Faster' mode is probably the optimal setting. If you are using adaptive-sync, which you will probably want to do on a screen with 240Hz refresh rate, then this setting is disabled anyway.


Across the Refresh Rate Range (Adaptive-sync ON)




We enabled adaptive-sync for these tests which you are likely to want to do given the significant system demands of running at 2560 x 1440 and 240Hz refresh rate. The OSD graphic looked like the response time setting was probably locked to 'standard', but the measured response times at 240Hz actually seemed to improve slightly compared to our previous tests before adaptive-sync was enabled. We measured a 3.7ms G2G average here (2.7ms if you ignore that slower 0 > 50 transition) which was excellent. Keep in mind this is from a small sample set of measurements, so this average figure may (and does!) change when you measure a wider range of transitions.

The response times remained basically the same across the refresh rate range down to 60Hz, and without introducing any additional overshoot which was excellent. There's no variable overdrive on this model, but it's not really needed as the response time performance was well controlled and consistent across the refresh rate range.

 


Variable Refresh Rates (VRR)

 

Maximum Refresh Rate at Native Resolution

240Hz native - DisplayPort
144Hz maximum at native res - HDMI 2.0

Variable Refresh Rate technology

AMD FreeSync support via DisplayPort adaptive-sync

NVIDIA G-sync Compatible certified

HDMI-VRR for consoles

Variable Refresh Rate Range

60 - 240Hz (DisplayPort) + LFC
48 - 144Hz via HDMI + LFC

  

The screen supports VESA Adaptive-sync and so can support variable refresh rates from both AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-sync systems. The VRR range supported is between 60 and 240Hz maximum over DisplayPort. The screen has been certified by NVIDIA under the 'G-sync Compatible' scheme which should give some additional level of assurance about the VRR experience and performance in theory, although there have been quite a lot of reports about flickering of the screen when adaptive-sync is in use. The screen also falls under AMD's new FreeSync certifications the 'Premium Pro' level in fact. This includes support for Low Framerate Compensation (LFC) and HDR.

The support for G-sync and FreeSync will be very useful given the significant system demands of running a screen at 2560 x 1440 resolution and up to 240Hz refresh rate. Keep in mind you are going to need a modern card to support G-sync from NVIDIA and certainly something powerful given the system demands of this res/refresh rate. You might also want to read our newly updated article about Variable Refresh Rates here for more information.
 

VRR Flickering Issues?
note we are testing an FB01 revision of the screen with the latest UK/US firmware v1005.2
 

Since the screen first started to ship some users have reported problems with flickering in games and certain situations. This seems to vary from one sample to another, with some people reporting no experienced issues, and others noticing the problem more readily. It seems to be linked to VRR / adaptive-sync usage and perhaps more apparent at the lower end of the VRR range or where LFC is needed below the 60Hz minimum supported. It's not entirely clear what causes the issues, but those seem to be common scenarios people reported.

 

We experimented as best we could, which is difficult without a consistent test and setup. The NVIDIA Pendulum demo seemed to be the best way to try and replicate the problem. We didn't see any major issues in a range of tests although detected some very slight brightness fluctuations on occasion. It did not seem to be as obvious or noticeable as some online user videos have demonstrated. They were pretty hard to spot on our sample to be honest. We did experience the same odd whole-screen brightness variance that rtings.com reported when viewing this GIF, with the screen brightness changing overall from time to time. We didn't see that in any other test or situation though.

 

Results may of course vary but it does seem that if there is an issue, it varies by unit. It will also vary depending on the game and system we expect and the common resolution seems to be to simply turn adaptive-sync off and either use vsync and a fixed refresh rate. Samsung do release firmware updates periodically for the screen but it's not clear what the changelog is for each one, and they haven't officially mentioned the flickering or a fix as yet.

 

 


Detailed Response Times

For a screen that runs at 2560 x 1440 resolution and up to 240Hz refresh rate you are certainly going to benefit from using adaptive-sync VRR (G-sync or FreeSync). When you enable that setting you do not have control over the response times, but thankfully the performance is very good at the locked mode. There are consistently fast and reliable response times across the whole refresh rate range, along with low levels of overshoot. The higher refresh rates supported by the screen really do help improve motion clarity and reduce perceived  blur, making the screen far better for gaming than 60Hz-only models. The motion clarity was excellent, especially for a VA panel which normally struggle in this area. No noticeable black smearing in practice and smooth motion thanks to response times that can keep up very nicely with the refresh rate.

Recommended Settings

Optimal Refresh Rate 

240Hz

Optimal Overdrive Setting (for above) 

n/a (Adaptive-sync On)

Optimal Overdrive Setting for 60Hz 

Faster

Optimal Overdrive Setting for VRR 

n/a


     Detailed Measurements at 240Hz, Adaptive-sync On

We carried out some further response time measurements at 240Hz with adaptive-sync enabled. We measured an extremely impressive 2.9ms G2G average response time in this mode which was excellent for any screen, especially for a VA panel. That includes one slower measured transition from black to dark grey (0 > 50) but even that couldn't drag the average down much. That 14.4ms was a bit slower, but was still much faster than most VA panels where response times in this area can reach up to 30 - 50ms commonly. The black to grey transitions along the top row of the table were overall excellent and this meant next to no black smearing on moving content, something that normally plagues VA panels. There was a slight bit visible on darker backgrounds but it was very minor, and we are being picky. In the best case the response time reached down to 0.8ms as well, with this panel legitimately offering a "1ms G2G" response time spec without needing some ridiculous overdrive mode with a load of horrible overshoot.

There was some low levels of overshoot on some transitions but in practice there was not really many noticeable side-effects in the form of pale or dark trails. A little bit of pale overshoot on darker backgrounds as you can see from the pursuit camera photos below, but it was minimal. Very impressive overall from Samsung here, and this marks a turning point hopefully for VA technology.


Above: pursuit camera photos at 240Hz, adaptive-sync on

We also captured some pursuit camera photos which are designed to capture the real motion clarity you would perceive with the naked eye in practice. The image looked sharp and crisp and the motion clarity was excellent overall. There was none of the obvious dark smearing you see normally from VA panels which was very pleasing and only very minor overshoot appearing, most notably on the dark background at the top in the form of some pale/yellow trails, but overall this was very minor.


Above: pursuit camera comparisons of two Samsung 240Hz VA panels

Compare the motion clarity of the new Odyssey G7 (right) against the first generation 240Hz VA panel from the Samsung C27RG50 (left) and you can see what a drastic improvement there has been. All the nasty VA black smearing has been eliminated, and the image is sharper and clearer because now the response times can actually keep up with the high frame rate demands properly.

 


Refresh Rate Compliance

In this section we look at the response time behaviour across the range of supported refresh rates and consider whether they are sufficient to keep up with the frame rate demands of the screen. The grey line on the graph shows the refresh rate threshold, that being the average G2G response time that the panel needs to be able to achieve to keep up properly with the refresh rate and frame rate. For instance at a 60Hz refresh rate the response times need to be consistently and reliably under 16.67ms, while at 144Hz refresh rate the response times ideally need to be under 6.94ms to keep up with the frame rate demands. If they are not then this can lead to some additional smearing and blurring on moving content as the pixels can't keep up. For these tests we will plot the average G2G figure at a range of measured refresh rates, while operating at the optimal overdrive control.

The table to the right then explains whether that overdrive control needs to be adjusted by the user depending on the refresh rate (not ideal), or whether adaptive overdrive is utilised to keep things simple. Ideally you'd want to be able to stick with a single mode for all refresh rates especially when you consider how these will vary during VRR. We also include a measurement of the % of the overall response time measurements that were within the refresh rate, as well as a slightly more lenient measurement of how many were within the refresh rate window within a 1ms leeway.

The performance of the Samsung G7 27" was excellent. 90% of the measured pixel transitions were fast enough to keep up with the 240Hz refresh rate, 93.3% if you allow for an additional 1ms leeway. This meant that the panel could easily keep up with the frame rate demands and this resulted in a sharp, clear and crisp moving image without any additional smearing added. We were very impressed considering this is a VA panel as well.

 


Motion Blur Reduction (MBR)

There is a motion blur reduction backlight mode available on this screen as well, accessible via the 'Fastest (MBR)' response time setting. This is a bit of a pain to use really as you first have to disable adaptive-sync from the OSD menu to even have access to this menu. It can only work at a fixed refresh rate, not when using VRR of any type. The setting can actually be used at all the refresh rates including 240, 144, 120 and even 60Hz.


Above: strobing at 240Hz. Horizontal scale is 5ms

At the maximum native 240Hz  the strobing is in sync with the refresh rate, pulsing every 4.17ms. The 'on' period of the strobe was measured at 3ms so there is only a short 1.17ms 'off' period. As a result the brightness of the screen is not impacted too much, but the blur reduction benefits are minimal. At maximum brightness the screen could reach 293 cd/m2 luminance with MBR mode enabled. Annoyingly you do have to manually change the brightness when you enable the mode and then back again for normal desktop use, it doesn't have its own saved brightness setting.


Above: pursuit camera photo at 240Hz with MBR ON

We took a pursuit camera photo with MBR enabled as shown above. There was very little difference across the whole screen with the image which was good, not much in the way of strobe cross talk to see. However, we didn't really feel this mode offered any benefit over just normal use (with MBR off), and the image didn't look any sharper or clearer. We would recommend just leaving this mode off and instead making use of G-sync/FreeSync for VRR which is likely to be much more beneficial.


Above: strobing at 144Hz. Horizontal scale is 5ms


Above: strobing at 120Hz. Horizontal scale is 5ms


Above: strobing at 60Hz. Horizontal scale is 5ms

As a side note we measured the strobing at other refresh rates. At each lower refresh rate there were actually multiple strobes per refresh rate cycle. At 120Hz this basically meant 2 strobes per refresh, relative to the 240Hz mode. At 60Hz it was 4 strobes per refresh. The only one that was slightly different was at 144Hz where there were 2 strobes per refresh, but to keep in sync with the frame rate the second strobe was shortened slightly. In each mode we felt that the MBR setting didn't really make any significant difference compared to leaving it off.

 


Gaming Comparisons

We have provided a comparison of the display against many other gaming screens we have reviewed in a similar size range and across a range of panel technologies. This table is now split by panel technology to make life a bit easier and for quicker comparison.

This is fairly simple to summarise to be honest - these are TN Film-like response times from a VA panel! Pretty amazing really and hopefully a sign of good things to come from this technology. Also consider the fact that this is with only low levels of overshoot, whereas on many TN Film panels you enter the realms of moderate levels of overshoot in many cases to get there. The Samsung G7 also surpasses even the fastest IPS panels from a response time point of view which was impressive.

VA Technology Display Comparison

To try and give a more direct comparison between the different VA models we've tested we have produced the following new comparison table below. Each screen is set to the optimal response time setting and refresh rate from our reviews.

You can see that the G7 offers very unusual (in a good way) response time performance for black smearing measures. There are no transitions from black > grey that are >15ms and so we rate this as a 0% black smearing. There is a very small amount on darker back grounds due to that slower 0 > 50 transition (measured at 14.4ms) but it's certainly a lot better than any other VA panel we've tested before. This is achieved as well with only low levels of overshoot.



Additional Gaming Features

  • Aspect Ratio Control - the screen offers a wide range of aspect ratio controls including Auto (probably the most useful), wide, and a range of different screen size and aspect ratio simulations such as 17" (4:3) and 19" (16:10) for example. There is no specific 1:1 pixel mapping mode, but the 'auto' setting should help account for any non-native aspect ratios you might want to input. Although with a native 16:9 screen format, this is likely to be fine for most devices anyway

  • Preset Modes - There are a decent range of gaming preset modes available to select and configure including modes for FPS, RTS, RPG, AOS games. You can control the key settings in each mode as well.
     

  • Additional features - there is a crosshair graphic option in the menu via the 'virtual aim point' option as well as a Black Equalizer control for adjusting the gamma in the darker range.

 


Lag

Read our detailed article about input lag and the various measurement techniques which are used to evaluate this aspect of a display. The screens tested are split into two measurements which are based on our overall display lag tests and half the average G2G response time, as measured by our oscilloscope. The response time element, part of the lag you can see, is split from the overall display lag and shown on the graph as the green bar. From there, the signal processing (red bar) can be provided as a good estimation of the lag you would feel from the display. We also classify each display as follows:

Lag Classification

  • Class 1) Less than 8.33ms - the equivalent to 1 frame lag of a display at 120Hz refresh rate - should be fine for gamers, even at high levels

  • Class 2) A lag of 8.33 - 16.66ms - the equivalent of one to two frames at a 120Hz refresh rate - moderate lag but should be fine for many gamers. Caution advised for serious gaming

  • Class 3) A lag of more than 16.66ms - the equivalent of more than 2 frames at a refresh rate of 120Hz - Some noticeable lag in daily usage, not suitable for high end gaming

For the full reviews of the models compared here and the dates they were written (and when screens were approximately released to the market), please see our full reviews index.

(Measurements in ms)

Low Input Lag
ON

Total Display Lag (SMTT 2)

4.20

Pixel Response Time Element

1.45

Estimated Signal Processing Lag

2.75

Lag Classification

1


 Class 1

The total lag measured was an impressive 4.20 ms total. The pixel response times account for around 1.45ms, and so we can say that there appears to be around 2.75ms of signal processing lag on this screen which is very low. A solid result from this display and making it suitable for fast and competitive gaming.



Movies and Video

The following summarises the screens performance for videos and movie viewing:

Category

Display Specs / Measurements

Comments

Size

27" widescreen

Fairly typical for a desktop monitor nowadays and smaller than TV's by a lot

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Well suited to most common 16:9 aspect content and input devices

Resolution

2560 x 1440

Can support native 1080p content, but not Ultra HD natively

HDCP

Yes v2.2

Suitable for encrypted content

Connectivity

2x DisplayPort 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0

Useful additional HDMI input for external Blu-ray players or games consoles although we would probably have rather had 2x HDMI 2.0 and 1x DisplayPort 1.4

Cables

DisplayPort only

No HDMI cable provided in the box

Ergonomics

Tilt, height. swivel, rotate

Good set of adjustments suitable to positioning the screen in a variety of angles for different viewing positions. Given the curved nature of the screen it will need to be positioned correctly for optimal viewing

Coating

Light Anti-glare

Provides clear image with no graininess, but avoids unwanted reflections of full glossy solutions

Brightness range

65 - 391 cd/m2 (SDR)

Good adjustment range offered including a high max brightness and decent darkened room adjustment range. Backlight dimming is also free from PWM. HDR brightness covered in the following section

Contrast

2411:1 after calibration

Strong contrast ratio thanks to VA panel technology, allowing for deeper blacks and better shadow detail than competing TN Film and IPS panel options

Preset modes

Cinema

There is a cinema mode available which has a lot of locked settings, but may be useful if you want to set something a bit brighter for movie viewing for instance. It has the brightness control still available but color modes and sharpness are locked. It is slightly cooler than our calibrated state and with slightly accentuated sharpness (like the default setup before we turned it down)

Response times

2.9ms G2G with fairly low overshoot at 240Hz and across refresh rate range including 60Hz

Response times are excellent, especially for a VA panel and the panel was very impressive. The screen was basically free from black smearing which was great news for this technology, and motion clarity was very good

Viewing angles

Good

Not as wide as IPS, and fairly typical for a VA panel. Free from the pale "IPS-glow" on dark content when viewed from an angle that you see on IPS panels but do suffer from the black crush when viewed head on. May lose some detail in darker scenes as a result. The steep curved nature of the screen means it's less suitable for viewing from an angle off-centre than a flat format display

Backlight bleed

Some bleed

Some bleed on our sample from the top and bottom edges. Will vary from sample to sample

Audio

Headphone output

A headphone jack is provided for audio pass-through but no speakers

Aspect Ratio Controls

Loads of modes including 'auto'

The default 16:9 aspect ratio is likely to serve most needs here anyway but there's a good range of additional options if needed.

PiP / PbP

Both supported

Various settings and modes available

HDR support

See below

see following section

 


HDR (High Dynamic Range)

HDR Capability Summary

HDR Technical Capabilities

VESA DisplayHDR Certification level

HDR 600

Local Dimming

8 zones

Certified to the moderate HDR 600 standard which at least offers some kind of meaningful HDR support (unlike HDR 400). Fairly simple local dimming is included along with wide gamut and 10-bit support for colour improvements

High number of local dimming zones

No

Increased dynamic range (contrast) max

15,643:1

Increased "local" HDR contrast ratio

2235:1

Increased peak brightness

 625.74 cd/m2

Wide DCI-P3 colour gamut

90.7% DCI-P3

10-bit Colour Depth

8-bit + FRC

The screen can accept an HDR10 input signal and supports the moderate HDR 600 standard. Thankfully unlike the pretty pointless HDR400 level, this does necessitate some form of local dimming, so it is at least capable of improving the dynamic range (contrast) when used. The number of dimming zones is limited though so don't expect miracles.

There is a setting for 'local dimming' in the OSD as shown above. When you enable HDR in Windows then the screen automatically switches to HDR mode. Some OSD options become locked like the picture mode and color settings, but you still have access to brightness, contrast and sharpness. The G7 27" is one of those screens that looks fine with HDR enabled in Windows actually, with others looking terrible. You probably only want to enable it for HDR content though as the 100 brightness level is too bright for normal use, and turning it down to make it more comfortable for day to day use then spoils some of the point of having HDR enabled in the first place (the higher peak brightness).

There are a limited number of local dimming zones on this screen so the HDR effect is pretty limited. They are arranged in 8 vertical zones and so you can often see each zone light up or dim as content on the screen changes, and certainly during local dimming tests like this one. We measured a peak brightness up to 626 cd/m2 which was decent, and a good way beyond the max 391 cd/m2 in SDR mode

 Because the dimming zones are large and limited in number the "local HDR contrast ratio" (i.e. measuring a black area next to the white test area) was no better than the native screen contrast ratio. If you measured a black area further away from the white test area, where the dimming zones could dim it properly, then the contrast ratio was much greater reaching up to around 15,643:1 maximum. The local dimming isn't sufficient enough to make a big difference in local HDR contrast, but it helps a bit across the screen as a whole. With large zones you don't see a lot of blooming though which is a good thing. The screen does also feature the necessary colour enhancements for HDR content including a wide 90.7% DCI-P3 colour gamut, and support for 10-bit colour depth content.

 


Conclusion

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Finally a VA panel that can offer response times and gaming performance to rival TN Film and IPS panels! We were very impressed with the gaming performance of the new Odyssey G7. The response times were very fast, and Samsung have finally managed to eliminate pretty much all the annoying black smearing that has plagued VA technology over the years. Motion clarity was excellent with sharp and crisp moving images, and it could easily keep up with the high 240Hz refresh rate which marked a significant improvement over the first generation of 240Hz VA displays. The high refresh rate was very welcome to improve the motion clarity and support higher frame rates, and the presence of G-sync and FreeSync for VRR helped to ensure that performance remained tear-free across the refresh rate range.

Some people may be concerned about some of the VRR flickering reports online. It was hard to replicate those issues to be honest in our setup and we didn't experience any major problems. It's one of those things that is likely to vary from screen to screen, and certainly depending on your actual usage and games. The ability to easily update the firmware of the screen should at least mean that if Samsung acknowledge and fix the reported issue, then it is easy for you to update the screen without worrying about an RMA process. While there is an added MBR mode we didn't feel this really made any improvements over the normal mode sadly.

Let's not forget that as well as getting amazing response times and gaming performance you also get the added benefits of VA panel technology including the high contrast ratio and deep black depth. Some people were concerned prior to launch that to speed up the response times, the contrast ratio would be sacrificed a lot but the G7 lived up pretty much to its 2500:1 spec. This obviously is much higher than any TN Film or IPS panel could offer. The viewing angles and picture quality were also better than TN Film gaming panels. This screen also offers 240Hz refresh rate without needing to sacrifice resolution and drop down to 1080p, so with a 2560 x 1440 res it's ideal for a 27" screen and makes it far better for all-round uses too.

Away from gaming the factory calibration helped deliver a decent setup out of the box, and there's a good range of options to play with in the menu. There was a useable sRGB emulation mode too, although we would have liked a slightly tighter restriction of the colour space. Contrast ratio was strong, there was a flicker free backlight and all-round performance was solid. There is even HDR 600 support which offers some reasonable performance, but nothing amazing. You at least get some kind of local dimming and so the capability to enhance the whole-screen contrast quite nicely, along with the high native contrast ratio of the VA panel and colour capabilities that are offered. Perhaps the one area which might be most polarizing for buyers is the 1000R curvature. We didn't mind it ourselves, but we do feel it's a bit unnecessary on a screen this size, and would rather see the curve saved for larger ultrawide panels like Samsung's 49" G9 model.

All in all the G7 was a very impressive screen and to be perfectly honest we weren't expecting it! 240Hz with VA technology sounded like it would be an issue and we weren't expecting the excellent response times and gaming performance we experienced here. We really hope this is a sign of things to come from this panel technology, but well done Samsung! The Odyssey G7 27" model is available now including in the UK currently at a price of 549 from Amazon.co.uk, and 549 from Overclockers.co.uk as well. It is available in the US from Amazon.com at $699.99 (affiliate links). You can check latest pricing and availability using the links provided below.

 

Pros

Cons

Excellent response times and next to no black smearing too

Steep curvature might not be to everyone's liking

High refresh rate of 240Hz and VRR support

MBR mode didn't really offer much

Strong contrast ratio and deep black depth thanks to VA technology panel

sRGB emulation mode could have offered a tighter colour space restriction

 

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TFT Central Awards Explained

We have two award classifications as part of our reviews. There's the top 'Recommended' award, where a monitor is excellent and highly recommended by us. There is also an 'Approved' award for a very good screen which may not be perfect, but is still a very good display. These awards won't be given out every time, but look out for the logo at the bottom of the conclusion. A list of monitors which have won our awards is available here.

 

 

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