LG 34GK950 Ultra-Wide Gaming Monitor Review
LG have released a new range of ultra-wide monitors, one of which is the LG 34GK950F-B is the AMD Freesync 2 version, which I have sitting in front of me right now. The other is a G-Sync version, although we’re not concentrating on that today.
As the model number suggests, this is a 34″ monitor, although because of its ultra-wide nature, it’s a lot longer than a traditional 16:9 monitor. The bezels are very thin, and has a glossy finish.
The monitor itself is measured at 34-inches corner to corner, but remember this is an ultra-wide monitor, so it’s a lot more wider than it is tall. LG have used an IPS display which is colour calibrated from the box as well as able to hit a VESA HDR-400 and 98.3% DCI-P colour gamut. There’s also an 1000:1 contrast ratio with a brightness level of 400 cd/m². It’s badged with a VESA’s DisplayHDR 400 which is not the best, but promises to bring a little more detail to the highlights and shadows.
When I first plugged the monitor in using a HDMI cable that was provided in the box, my resolution was off. Everything on my desktop looked stretched. It wasn’t until I went into my nVidia Control Panel that I noticed that it was still trying to hit a 3840 x 2160 resolution. Of course this only works for monitors with a 16:9 aspect ratio. It wasn’t until I noticed that there was a 3440 x 1440p (Native) option available that the monitor truly shined on desktop applications and web browsing.
With gaming being such a focus with this monitor too, it means that the majority of picture modes are dedicated to a type of genre. You have a couple of custom profiles you can modify, as well as a dedicated mode for first person shooters and real-time strategy games. There’s a reader mode to rest your eyes, a vivid mode which is clearly the sharpest and brightest as well as my favourite, a fake HDR upscaler and an sRGB mode if you’re going to be watching some Netflix or colour grading your videos.
As it’s a gaming monitor, it also gives you the option to turn on AMD Freesync 2 too to receive a variable refresh rate. However, we use nVidia cards here at TechNuovo, so we weren’t able to really test this feature. As standard, the refresh rate of this monitor sits at a native 144 Hz while its G-Sync sibling is clocked at 100Hz from the box and overclockable to 120Hz. The black stabiliser is nice however to modify how dark shaded areas are in games. Not that I touched or changed any of the monitor options, Battlefield V still looks insanely pretty and I was entirely immersed into the game. The extra-wide field of view gave me an advantage over seeing enemies that I never would have seen on a 16:9 panel.
As well as the decent spec above, LG have introduced some pretty interesting features that help it become more of a gaming focused monitor. LG use an interesting technique to impact motion blur. By inserting a black frame in between each visual frame, it reduces the amount of time each frame is displayed. This in turn makes your image look sharper. And of course, images, especially on newer AAA titles look absolutely amazing. Battlefield V I’m looking at you on this one. The other major player in making this monitor super sharp is something that’s called Dynamic Action Sync, or DAS for short. This essentially reduces the input lag of the monitor, making frames appear faster on screen than traditional monitor setups.
In reality though, this monitor is absolutely wonderful when playing a wide range of games. Of course, using an ultra-wide monitor in a game like Battlefield V is hugely immersive. It runs super smooth with crystal clear and pin sharp images. Even when running a session of Guild Wars 2 (yes, we’re old skool here at TechNuovo) colours from the various talents and scenery look incredibly vivid. I cannot be more pleased with how this monitor performs quite frankly, and it’s very quickly turning me to ultra-wides for my gaming needs.
Even in terms of productivity, we use Adobe Premiere Pro to create our YouTube videos. On an ordinary 16:9 monitor, I sometimes find that I begin to run out of space, especially when the right sidebar effects and colour panels are open. The extra space of the ultra-wide monitor spreads the panels out a lot more, including the timeline which spans across the bottom of the monitor.
The LG 34GK950F in my eyes is one of the best ultra wide gaming monitor on the market right now. It is however, selling for £1300 retail. I guess it’s the price you got to pay to go premium now. For more information, head over to the LG website.