Author Topic: Monoprice 27" 4K RTD2795 IPS Review: Matte 27" 3840x2160 AHVA with AMD Free-Sync  (Read 710 times)

NCX

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With performance summaries and dozens of review links.

This is a restoration of my review originally posted on the now defunct WeCraveGamesToo, which just became available through the archive.org way back machine.



Monprice advertises this monitor as a glass IPS panel with AMD Free-Sync (not tested: I own a 980 ti); it uses a matte coated AHVA panel made by AUO:
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In this review the Monoprice (purchases and returned October 2017) is compared to the Acer XB321HK (2015 monitor; tested one made in 2016 November 2017), Qnix UHD3216R (purchased August 2016) and Viewsonic VP2780-4K (2015 monitor purchased March 2017) which I have reviewed. Colorimeter measurements and photos of these monitors are included in this review, but I have not created reviews for the Acer and Viewsonic yet.

Review Information and Methodology:
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« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 06:31:34 pm by NCX »

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NCX

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Features & Stand

Monoprice 274K Front by Deepinthesky Teslastorm, on Flickr

The stand is sturdy and the build quality is typical for a fake frame-less monitor. Frame-less monitors always have inner black bezels which reduce the perceived black depth, but they have slimmed down slightly since their first introduction in 2012.


Product Page & Manual.

The Monoprice 274K is VESA compliant (do not attach included stand since it blocks the VESA screw holes), has 2x Displayport and HDMI 2.0 inputs with full 60hz 3840x2160/4K support and a 3.5mm Audio Out. The included stand only allows for slight (15 degree) tilting, the power brick is external, and the monitor comes with a Displayport, HDMI and 3.5mm cable.


AMD Free-Sync is support (range not specified but is likely 40-60hz; requires compatible AMD Graphics Card), but I do not have a compatible AMD gpu to test it.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2018, 07:21:49 pm by NCX »

NCX

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Take a close look at the Menu photos above.

The menu is easy to use with the Joystick located on the back of the monitor, and only needs one setting changed to achieve pinnacle performance which is the Temperature setting in the Color menu from 6500K to Warm to greatly reduce the preset green tint. To unlock the color (Red, Green and Blue) controls set the Temperature setting in the Color menu to User.

I also highly recommend turning down the brightness and learning about the improtance of room lighting and display placement since the vastly impact AHVA/IPS/PLS panel performance; refer to the Brightness & Contrast & Perceived Black Depth sections of the review.

AMD Free-Sync (requires compatible AMD graphics card) can be activated by setting it to On in the Advance menu along with the three crosshair settings (LoS), speaker (untested) volume and the Low Blue Ray setting which makes the monitor green/yellowy in increasing steps.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2018, 01:44:31 am by NCX »

NCX

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Flicker/PWM Dimming

The Monoprice 274K does not use LED PWM Dimming (read about the side effects), regardless of high or low the brightness is set. LED PWM Dimming was tested for using the Blur Busters Test UFO Blur Trail/PWM Test from 0-100% Brightness. The lack of PWM is good since PWM or Flicker ruins motion clarity (example), and makes some people suffer from health issues such as headaches, and/or eyestrain.

NCX

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Brightness & Contrast

M274K B & C by Deepinthesky Teslastorm, on Flickr

The brightness ranges between 46.5-348.7cdm/2 which makes it suitable for all lighting conditions aside from the brightest, such as outside on a sunny day or in an office with lots of windows on a bright sunny day. The 1210:1 contrast is above average (1500:1 is outstanding while 1200:1 is great) for a modern AHVA/IPS/PLS panel, but too low for use in a light-less room, especially if the brightness is set above 25 (100cdm/2).

Like most AHVA/IPS/PLS panels released since 2012, the Monoprice 274K has fake frame-less casing with an inner black bezels or frames which reduces the perceived black depth, or makes black look light (greyish) by comparison. Bright room lighting and bias lighting (lamp placed behind the display) can be used to negate the need for reflection inducing room lights, and vastly increase the perceived black depth. I recommend using a 2600 lumen bias light with displays set to 140cdm/2.

Note that AHVA/IPS/PLS contrast is highly viewing angle dependent unlike TN panels. The top of AHVA/IPS/PLS panels must line up with the top of the viewers head or be higher to not be viewed "off-angle", and to reduce glow. AHVA/IPS/PLS panels exhibit obvious glow if viewed from the same position as a TN panel which must be looked down upon.

NCX

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Matte Coating

DSC_0776 by Deepinthesky Teslastorm, on Flickr

The Monoprice 274K uses an essentially grainy free matte coating 3840x2160 matte coated AHVA panel. A tiny bit of grain/sparkle can be seen when viewing a few light colors and white, but significantly less so than a 1440p TN panel, and not more than typical modern matte coated 1440p-4K AHVA/IPS/PLS panels.

Glare of reflections shows up in the form of a minor white haze in very dark content, but it's the expected amount for a matte AHVA/IPS/PLS panel. I have no complaints with the matte coating since it does not does not significantly impact the clarity and vibrancy like most matte coated IPS panels made before 2013, and it handles bright lights like my 2600 lumen ceiling light as well as the 27-32" 4K AHAVA and IPS panel using competitors I have tested.

My Viewsonic VP2780-4K (3840x2160 matte coated AH-IPS) is obviously more reflective and suffers from significantly more white glow when viewing dark content head on.

Here are photos of three different matte 3840x2160 AHVA and IPS panels displaying black with my ceiling light (Philips 2600 lumen Daylight/6500k CFL) on, and all monitors set to 140cdm/2 brightness.

Acer XB321HK (AHVA; 800:1 contrast)
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Monoprice RTD2795 (AHVA; 1000:1 Contrast)
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Viewsonic VP2780-4K (AH-IPS; 1000:1 contrast)
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« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 03:04:32 am by NCX »

NCX

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^Non Pursuit Photos of the Blur Buster Test UFO Ghosting Test (Default Speed)

The Monoprice only has two overdrive settings, On and Off, and the best setting, On, is turned on by default.

Three 4K monitors are featured in the above ghosting, overdrive or pixel response time comparison along with a flagship 60hz TN panel, the BenQ Zowie RL2460 which has reference quality overdrive, and is one of the very few "1-2ms" TN panels which are faster than 60hz AHVA/IPS/PLS panels and does not suffer from obvious overshoot ghosting.

While not as fast as the TN panel used by the BenQ Zowie RL2460, the Monoprice 274K offers very fast or top tier pixel response times for a 60hz monitor, is free from obvious overshoot ghosting, and offers better overdrive than many "1-2ms" TN panels. Color streaking is very minimal, the Monoprice is free from long color smears and streaks unlike VA panels, and it offers slightly faster pixel response times (less color streaking) along with less overshoot than my Viewsonic VP2780-4K, though it is a 2015 monitor while the Monoprice is a 2017 monitor. The Monoprice is also marginally slower than the Acer XB321HK, but not noticeably so.

There is a clear difference between the Acer, BenQ, Monoprice versus Viewsonic when both gaming and looking at ghosting tests while the difference between the Acer, BenQ and Monoprice is minute. The overdrive is extremely well balanced, free from issues and should satisfy all 60hz gamers.

NCX

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Input Lag

DSC_0788 by Deepinthesky Teslastorm, on Flickr

The Monoprice 274K can be considered delay free or to have negligible input lag, but this is normal for most non-professional oriented monitors made since 2015. The Leo Bodnar device measured 10.6ms in the middle of the screen, but the Bodnar device measurement partially includes the monitors black-to-white pixel response times and vertical refresh rate; LCD panels take time to refresh from top to bottom and the lowest measurement from the middle a display can offer is around 9.5ms.

The top screen Bodnar results are in the 3.3ms range which is a negligible result one can call delay or lag free; the lowest measurement LCD panels can achieve is around 2.5ms. The Monopirce 274K is suitable for all gamers, assuming they can put up with the 60hz refresh rate.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 11:57:27 pm by NCX »

NCX

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27" 3840x2160/4K
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2018, 11:58:39 pm »
27" 3840x2160/4K

Read The 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) Experience by PC Monitors for an in depth look at 4K scaling and text information.

The text size size on a 27" 4K monitor is indeed tiny, but after using multiple 27" and 32" monitors I came to prefer 27" 4K with 150-200% scaling for internet programs. I keep the Windows Scaling size set to the default of 100% since my main monitor is a 27" 2560x1440 which I use for gaming and Windows use. I use 4K monitors with Lightroom, Internet Programs (Bing, Pale Moon, and Firefox), Microsoft Office and Power Point, and Sony Vegas Pro.

NCX

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HCFR Gamma Measurements
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HCFR RGB Levels Measurements
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HCFR Color Temperature Measurements
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HCFR Color Gamut Measurements
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The Monoprice is preset to the Standard Color Effect, 6500K Temperature and Off Gamma setting. Only the Temperature setting needs to be changed to Warm to achieve the best or most accurate results.

The Monoprice 274K offers fairly accurate color presets out of the box, assuming one wants a BT 1886 type gamma curve instead of an sRGB or linear 2.2 gamma curve. Colors are close to being as accurate and vibrant as they should be, as is shadow detail, and the monitor offers multiple gamma settings for those who want to change the gamma from a BT 1886 curve to more linear gamma which can be set both low and high.

The problems come from the obvious preset green tint which is quite strong when viewing white and some grey shades, but it can be vastly reduced by changing the Temperature setting in the Color Menu to Warm. The second issue arises when changing the gamma setting to 2.2 since it increases the gamma significantly above 2.2 while the 2.0 setting comes very close to offering linear 2.2 gamma. The third issue comes when changing the gamma setting since it throws the Red, Grey and Blue grey scale and color temperature off a bit, and I was unable to correct it using only the color controls in the menu.

Taking the issues mentioned above into account, the Monprice 274K can still be considered to have quite accurate color presets suitable for all but professional color accuracy related use. The green tint can be used by using the Warm setting and the gamma curve and be changed to nearly be 2.2 linear. Other settings can be changed along with the preset mode (Color Effect in the menu), but changing anything else reduces the color accuracy.

Destiny 2 Menu Un-Calibrated
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Warm Color Temperature Preset
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Calibrated with Menu Settings
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Viewsonic VP2780-4K Menu Calibrated
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Destiny 2 Menu Un-Calibrated & Calibrated Monitor Gallery

If I had to assign a value I would give the 274K a 85% rating since it is quite accurate, has above average contrast and less glow than some of the 27" 4K IPS panel using competitors like my significantly more expensive Viewsonic VP2780-4K. While slightly more accurate than the Monoprice, I would give the Acer XB321HK I tested a lower since it costs significantly more than most non-professional oriented (Eizo/NEC) 32" 4K monitors, including the Qnix UHD3216R which costs half as much, but is significantly more accurate than both the Acer and Monoprice. It has its downsides though, such has the high input lag (30ms) when connected to a console, near 1 frame of lag when connected to a PC (Free-Sync menu setting turned on), lacks a proper warranty and can not be returned and exchanged easily since it can only be ordered from South Korean sellers on places like Amazon, eBay and New Egg.



« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 02:57:59 am by NCX »

NCX

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The Acer XB321HK (4K Matte AHVA), Monoprice 274K (4K Matte AHVA) and Viewsonic VP2780-4K (4K Matte AH-IPS) are included in the calibration result chart since I tested them all recently with my Spectral C6 HDR2000 colorimeter. The Monoprice monitor is a budget display while both the Acer and Asus are flagship 4K monitors, but they do not offer significantly superior performance. The Viewsonic VP2780-4K is slightly more accurate and suffers from less banding since it has a properly functioning 14 bit 3D Look Up Table (LUT), but it does suffer from significantly more white glow when displaying dark content.

Monoprice 274K Warm Menu Settings versus Calibrated

Monoprice 274K Un-Calibrated vs Warm by Deepinthesky Teslastorm, on Flickr
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The Warm setting reduces the preset green tint which is mainly visible when viewing grey shades and white. The point of the below photo comparison is to show that there is not a big difference between the best preset setting the 274K offers versus the calibrated (menu corrections only; no ICC profile) results. Enabling the ICC profile (made with an SpectraCal C6 HDR2000 colorimeter and DispcalGUI) barely results in visible changes since the monitor is fairly accurate out of the box, and because the preset green tint can be nearly eliminated by using the Red, Green and Blue settings in the menu.

As mentioned in the Default Color Preset section of the review I could not properly calibrated the Monoprice 274K using the 2.0 gamma setting in the menu which closely matches a linear 2.2 gamma curve. When the gamma setting is changed the grey, primary and secondary color balance becomes less linear or skewed and could not be corrected without the use of an ICC profile. Since the native gamma setting is fine I made the Red, Green and Blue corrections and Dispcal Gui for software calibration which creates an ICC profile which is enforced by Yasamoka's free Color Sustainer.

Once calibrated the Monoprice 274K is nearly as accurate and vibrant as a matte AHVA/IPS/PLS panel can be, especially since it uses a low glow panel with excellent uniformity. Grey and white purity is not as good as the significantly more expensive Viewsonic VP2780-4K, but still excellent, especially when considering the price. The Monoprice's main issue is not related to the quality of the panel, but is one caused by its fake frame-less casings perceived black depth reducing inner black bezel which is an issue some may consider nit picking and irrelevant.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2018, 02:49:41 am by NCX »

NCX

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I use a single Philips 6500k/Daylight ceiling light (CFL) with 2600 lumens brightness output which pairs well with displays set to 140cdm/2 brightness.

Black Screen lights on 15s exposure, lights off 20s exposure and 25s exposure.

Here are photos of three different matte 3840x2160 AHVA and IPS panels displaying black with my ceiling light (Philips 2600 lumen Daylight/6500k CFL) on, and all monitors set to 140cdm/2 brightness.

Acer XB321HK Lights On (AHVA; 800:1 contrast)
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Monoprice RTD2795 Lights On (AHVA; 1000:1 Contrast)
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Viewsonic VP2780-4K Lights On(AH-IPS; 1000:1 contrast)
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The perceived black depth offered by the Monoprice is outstanding when viewed correctly which requires the following criteria to be met:

+Line up the top of the panel with the top of the viewers head or raise the panel more
+Do not crank the brightness in a dimly lit room
+Use bright enough room lighting to offset the display brightness

When my ceiling light is on the the monitor is set to 140cdm/2 brightness the fake frame-less casing used by the Monoprice 274K reduces the perceived back depth a bit resulting in black in dark scenes looking a tiny bit greyish compared to the inner black bezel, especially when viewed off angle. Bright bias lighting (light placed behind the display) helps, as well as reduces glare since the light is not shining on the display, but the problem still persists which is why I love dark matte grey and silver monitor cases or frames.

What helps the Monoprice stand out is the greatly reduced glow it suffers from compared to most AHVA/IPS/PLS panels when viewed from the correct height. AHVA/IPS/PLS panels vertical viewing angles are awful when the displays are looked down on which is why the top of the panel needs to line up with the viewers head or be higher. One can lean back and view an AHVA/IPS/PLS panel without issue, but can not look down upon one from high above which is what many people who upgrade from TN panels are used to doing.

Here are photos of four different matte 3840x2160 AHVA and IPS panels displaying black with my ceiling light (Philips 2600 lumen Daylight/6500k CFL) off, and all monitors set to 140cdm/2 brightness. They are the Acer XB321HK (AHVA, 800:1 contrast), Monoprice 274K (AHVA, 1000:1 contrast), Qnix UHD3216R (AHVA, 1100:1 contrast) and Viewsonic VP2780-4K (AH-IPS, 1000:1 contrast):

Acer XB321HK Lights Off (AHVA; 800:1 contrast)
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Monoprice 274K (AHVA; 1000:1 Contrast)
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Qnix UHD3216R (AHVA; 1200:1 Contrast)
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Viewsonic VP2780-4K (AH-IPS; 1000:1 Contrast)
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The Monoprice is free from obvious back-light bleed and uniformity issues unlike the vastly more expensive (versus competing 32"4K monitors) Acer XB321HK with Nvidia G-Sync in the above comparison. The Acer, Monoprice and Qnix all use low glow AHVA panels, but the Qnix UHD3216R has the best perceived black depth since it has 50% higher contrast and much better uniformity than the Acer. The Qnix also has slightly better perceived black depth than the Monoprice since the Qnix has a sparkly matte black bezel which looks lighter than the Monoprice's inner black bezel. The Viewsonic also has a sparkly matte black bezel, but it is the most reflective and suffers from significantly more glow which causes very dark content to appear to have a milky white haze.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 01:31:12 am by NCX »

NCX

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AHVA/IPS/PLS panels can not be viewed from above or while being looked down upon without suffering from obvious contrast loss or white glow or vibrancy loss. Despite this AHVA/IPS/PLS panels still have the widest viewing angles, as well as the most accurate, even and vibrant colors.

The top of AHVA/IPS/PLS panels need to line up or be higher than the viewers eyes to eliminate glow. The top left image shows the correct way to view an AHVA/IPS/PLS panel which is also ideal for keeping proper posture and not hunching:


The Monoprice 274K offers wide viewing angles viewed from below or while leaning back, as well as off angle horizontally. It can be viewed from slightly closer than typical 27" 1440-4K AHVA/IPS/PLS panels, some of which need to be raised as well as viewed from more than 90cm/3ft away to avoid seeing glow. The raised or set so that the top of the bezel lines up with the top of the viewers head or is higher, the Monoprice 274K can be viewed without seeing glow comfortably from 60cm/2ft away.

32" AHVA 4K panels such as the Acer XB321HK and Qnix UHD3216R need to be viewed from 90cm/3ft away to completely avoid seeing contrast or color loss on the the sides. My Viewsonic VP2780-4K needs to be viewed from 75cm/2.5f taway to not see glow when viewing a black, but does not suffer from contrast and color loss on the sides when viewed from closer.

NCX

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I use a single Philips 6500k/Daylight ceiling light (CFL) with 2600 lumens brightness output which pairs well with displays set to 140cdm/2 brightness.

All AHVA/IPS/PLS panels suffer from obvious contrast loss or a white glow on black when viewed from above, and often from the position one would view a TN panel from. The Monporice 274K suffers from significantly less glow than a typical AHVA/IPS/PLS panel, many of which require one to sit at least 90cm/3ft away when viewed head on and at the proper *height.

If the following conditions listed in the spoiler tag below are met the Monoprice 274K offers a significantly superior viewing experience from 45cm-75cm or 1.5-2.5ft (my ideal distance for a 27" display) compared to most AHVA/IPS/PLS panels since it suffers from significantly less obvious contrast loss or white glow when viewed head on.

+Line up the top of the panel with the top of the viewers head or raise the panel more
+Do not crank the brightness in a dimly lit room
+Use bright enough room lighting to offset the display brightness
« Last Edit: September 28, 2018, 01:11:45 am by NCX »