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4K 144 Hz Monitors On The Way
Quote:Acer and ASUS unveiled their prototype 27” 4K 144 Hz displays, featuring NVIDIA’s G-Sync HDR technology, at last year’s CES, with promises to release them sometime later in 2017. Both monitors relied on a reference design developed by NVIDIA and had similar specifications, albeit with some minor differences. Eventually, both companies had to delay commercial launches of their new products to 2018, missing the important holiday sales season. This week at GDC, NVIDIA has stated that it is confident that the G-Sync HDR-compatible displays will hit the market this April.
They're starting to show up:
They're reportedly coming in 2 weeks:
Quote:Putting some amount of speculation to rest, NVIDIA has indicated the end of May for shipping and e-tail availability of the Acer Predator X27 and ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ, though ultimately this decision is in the hands of Acer and ASUS. On that note, Acer stated that they had no updates on availability at this time. Both models were first showcased as reference prototypes during CES 2017, and as part of the larger G-Sync HDR lineup, the Predator X27 and PG27UQ will be the first monitors on the market.
Acer Predator X27 is available for pre-order on Newegg:
ASUS' PG27UQ is on the way, for the same price as the Acer Predator X27:
I held off on reporting this when LinusTechTips broke the story, because his monitor sample was pre-production.
Quote:Just a while ago the first 4K 144 Hz monitors became available with the ASUS PG27UQ and Acer X27. These $2,000 monitors no longer force gamers to pick between high-refresh rate or high resolution, since they support 3840x2160 and refresh rates up to 144 Hz. However, reviews of early-adopters report a noticeable degradation in image quality when these monitors are running at 144 Hz. Surprisingly refresh rates of 120 Hz and below look perfectly sharp.

The underlying reason for that is the DisplayPort 1.4 interface, which provides 26 Gbits/s of bandwidth, just enough for full 4K at 120 Hz. So monitor vendors had to get creative to achieve the magic 144 Hz that they were shooting for. The solution comes from old television technology in form of chroma subsampling (YCbCr), which, in the case of these monitors, transmits the grayscale portion of the image at full resolution (3840x2160) and the color information at half the horizontal resolution (1920x2160).

This approach is called 4:2:2 and works particularly well for the movie industry, where it is pretty much standard to ship the post-processed content to cinemas and TV using subsampling of 4:2:0 or 4:1:1. For computer generated content like text and the operating system interface, chroma subsampling has a serious effect on quality, especially text-readability, which is why it is not used here at all. In games chroma sub-sampling might be an acceptable approach, with negligible quality effects on the 3D game world, and slightly loss of sharpness for the HUD.
Technical solutions that can avoid subsampling include HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort's DSC data compression scheme. HDMI 2.1, was just specified in December last year, so controller vendors are just figuring out how to implement it, which means it is still far away from getting used in actual monitors. DisplayPort 1.4 introduced DSC (Display Stream Compression), which is particularly optimized for this task. Even though it is not completely lossless compression, its quality is much better than chroma subsampling. The issue here seems that not a lot of display controller support exists for DSC at this time.

Given that there is not a lot of difference between 120 Hz and 144 Hz gaming, the best approach to get highest visual quality is to run these monitors at up to 120 Hz only, where they will send the full unmodified RGB image over the wire.
Quote:As such, and as part of Gamescom coverage, press was made aware by NVIDIA partners of a recent delay decision for these BFGD panels' market introduction - they've been moved to Q1 2019. And as the launch timeframe has jumped, so have cost estimates for the end-user: these now sit between the €4,000 and €5,000 ballpark, making these displays, with as much tech as they have, a difficult buy to stomach. The fact that OLED display solutions can be had, in the same diagonals, by much, much less, should give anyone pause in their purchase decision for these BFGD displays. Even if the value one puts down on G-Sync does lead users to a purchase decision, remember that integration of the HDMI 2.1 standard brings with it VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) support, and that Xbox consoles already support the open, free-to-implement FreeSync standard.

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