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Results: Brightness And Contrast

BenQ RL2460HT 24-Inch Monitor Review: Is Gaming Good At 60 Hz?
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Uncalibrated

Before calibrating any panel, we measure zero and 100-percent signals at both ends of the brightness control range. This shows us how contrast is affected at the extremes of a monitor's luminance capability. We do not increase the contrast control past the clipping point. While that would increase a monitor’s light output, the brightest signal levels would not be visible, resulting in crushed highlight detail. Our numbers show the maximum light level possible with no clipping of the signal.

All three recently reviewed gaming monitors are represented in this round-up: the RL2460HT, plus BenQ’s XL2720Z and Asus’ VG248QE. We also have three professional QHD screens: NEC’s PA272W and EA274WMi, along with ViewSonic’s VP2772.

The RL2460HT’s default picture mode is Fighting and that's where you'll find the brightest image. Our measurement of 302.0166 cd/m2 exceeds BenQ’s spec by over 20 percent. There are a couple of color gamut issues in that mode, plus, grayscale and gamma accuracy are merely average. If you switch to Standard or sRGB, you still get around 240 cd/m2, which is decent performance. This monitor isn’t a light cannon. It is bright enough for any gaming situation we can think of, though.

TN is still the go-to panel technology for black levels, as our results show. Even though IPS is getting better, it isn’t quite there yet. And as you’ll see later, TN retains its edge for gamers with lower response times and less input lag.

The only display to beat BenQ's RL2460HT in this group is Asus’ VG248Q high-refresh rate model. Still, 1170.7 to 1 is an excellent number that sails right over our benchmark figure of 1000 to 1. Once you dial in gamma properly, this screen delivers a nice image with plenty of detail and pop.

We believe 50 cd/m2 is a practical minimum standard for screen brightness. Any lower and you risk eyestrain and fatigue. The RL2460HT puts out 45.5816 cd/m2 at its lowest Brightness setting. Conceivably, you could use the screen like that in a room devoid of ambient light. As you’ll see in the next two charts, black levels and contrast maintain excellent consistency.

A result of .0400 cd/m2 represents a great black level, considering the minimum white level is over 45 cd/m2. The two NECs beat the RL2460HT only because they bottom out at less than 20 cd/m2. If you like playing games with the brightness at the bottom, you may want to experiment with different gamma presets to make sure no shadow or highlight detail is lost.

If you ignore Asus’ freakish result, the BenQ becomes one of our top contrast performers. After checking the ratio at 80, 120, and 160 cd/m2, we found that you’ll always see about 1100 to 1, yielding the kind of consistent performance we look for in any monitor.

After Calibration

Since we consider 200 cd/m2 to be an ideal point for peak output, we calibrate all of our test monitors to that value. In a room with some ambient light (like an office), this brightness level provides a sharp, punchy image with maximum detail and minimum eye fatigue. On many monitors it’s also the sweet spot for gamma and grayscale tracking, which we'll look at on the next page.

In a darkened room, some professionals prefer a 120 cd/m2 calibration, though we've found it makes little to no difference on the calibrated black level and contrast measurements.

The calibrated black level stays nice and low at .2026 cd/m2. We made minor changes during calibration, so minimum brightness and on/off contrast aren't much different.

Calibrated contrast only takes a slight hit down to 993.8 to 1. We couldn’t see any difference in image quality other than the color improvement that always accompanies calibration. Some tradeoffs have to be made with regards to gamma to achieve the very best contrast. We’ll talk about them on the next page.

ANSI Contrast Ratio

Another important measure of contrast is ANSI. To perform this test, a checkerboard pattern of sixteen zero and 100-percent squares is measured, yielding a somewhat more real-world metric than on/off readings because we see a display’s ability to simultaneously maintain both low black and full white levels, factoring in screen uniformity, too. The average of the eight full-white measurements is divided by the average of the eight full-black measurements to arrive at the ANSI result.

We’re seeing more and more displays achieving higher and higher ANSI contrast results. It’s a trend we like because it means greater image depth in more kinds of content. When a relatively inexpensive monitor like the RL2460HT can match the performance of displays costing three and four times as much, you know progress is being made. Prices may not be dropping to everyone’s satisfaction, so we have to cheer about increased quality and performance.

Display all 27 comments.
  • -5 Hide
    blackmagnum , June 30, 2014 12:29 AM
    Does it even matter when games automatically enable Vsync setting to 60 Hz?
  • 1 Hide
    eldragon0 , June 30, 2014 1:12 AM
    Quote:
    Does it even matter when games automatically enable Vsync setting to 60 Hz?

    No, but chances are if you're dropping 300+ on a monitor and genuinely want the extra frame rate you will be the type of person who is ready and expecting to tweak the game's files to run at those frame-rates.
  • -1 Hide
    eldragon0 , June 30, 2014 1:48 AM
    Quote:
    Does it even matter when games automatically enable Vsync setting to 60 Hz?

    No, but chances are if you're dropping 300+ on a monitor and genuinely want the extra frame rate you will be the type of person who is ready and expecting to tweak the game's files to run at those frame-rates.
  • 0 Hide
    Heironious , June 30, 2014 4:14 AM
    Yes, it matters. After buying the ASUS VG248 with Lightboost enabled in 2D gaming, I can not go back to a 60hz monitor. Is it really that hard for you to disable Vsync in the games settings?
  • 7 Hide
    envy14tpe , June 30, 2014 4:29 AM
    I think most mid-range gamers go 60Hz TN panel monitors that sell for $150 or less. This monitor seems pretty pricey and is stuck between those and the 144Hz monitors. I don't' think this will sell all that well.
  • 6 Hide
    therogerwilco , June 30, 2014 5:29 AM
    The ZR30W is 2560x1600, yet only 60 hz.

    I achieve first place in multiple games when playing multiplayer, on a regular basis.
    60hz is not the problem, the problem is your system if it CAN'T sustain 60 fps.
  • 4 Hide
    Xivilain , June 30, 2014 8:30 AM
    If your monitor supports 30hz, 60hz, or even 120hz, its nice to see the visual difference they make when compared side by side. I like to show other people this demo to compare FPS:
    http://frames-per-second.appspot.com/
  • -2 Hide
    xenol , June 30, 2014 8:34 AM
    When frame rate time periods start exceeding the fastest reaction times of humans, I start to question whether or not even faster frame rates are necessary.

    I don't think competitive players win because they have 144Hz monitors and can react with all that information being fed to them. I think they win because they are proactive, and that there are many tells anyway to allow someone who's tuned in the game to react quickly.

    I mean, StarCraft has choppy animation that is independent of refresh rates (they look like they move at 20FPS), but there's a lot of high level competition there.
  • -4 Hide
    heydan , June 30, 2014 9:05 AM
    Im still don´t know how people reach the 120-144 fps in any game even at 1080p, maybe they refer to fps higher than 60fps, like 70, 80, and maybe for some old games the 120-144 fps, or they play games with low settings in order to reach those fps?, can someone explain me?, because I can find any review about any high end GPU and found that there´s so little games that achieve 120-144 fps at 1080p with everything max out...
  • 4 Hide
    tipmen , June 30, 2014 9:33 AM
    Quote:
    Im still don´t know how people reach the 120-144 fps in any game even at 1080p, maybe they refer to fps higher than 60fps, like 70, 80, and maybe for some old games the 120-144 fps, or they play games with low settings in order to reach those fps?, can someone explain me?, because I can find any review about any high end GPU and found that there´s so little games that achieve 120-144 fps at 1080p with everything max out...


    You do have a point with newer games that have very nice graphics. Such as, BF, Metro LL, and Arma 3 you need a beefy GPU set up or some people turn down the settings. (Eye candy is nice but if it is going to be a slideshow it isn't worth it) However, older titles such as CS GO where having the higher FPS will give you an edge doesn't take much to get 200+ FPS. Basically computers with at least an i5 and a 6970 or 580 can hit FPS 100+ on older titles. Newer titles i5/i7 (depends on the game if it take advantage of the hyper threading) 7970(280)/290x or 680/780. Crossfire or SLI helps but I personally find the gaming experience smoother playing CS GO on one 7970 instead of two in crossfire. With one I am still well over 100 FPS. When I play BF4 I have crossfire enable and high settings with some things turned down I get over 100FPS on DX11 API. When I try mantle (When it works....) I get an extra 10fps if I am lucky and feels smoother. You also can check Toms GPU charts of even their recently released SMB. I own Asus 144hz and never can go back to playing FPS on something less. I just wish they will catch up to my golden days with the CRTs refresh rates .
  • 0 Hide
    heydan , June 30, 2014 10:02 AM
    Im still don´t know how people reach the 120-144 fps in any game even at 1080p, maybe they refer to fps higher than 60fps, like 70, 80, and maybe for some old games the 120-144 fps, or they play games with low settings in order to reach those fps?, can someone explain me?, because I can find any review about any high end GPU and found that there´s so little games that achieve 120-144 fps at 1080p with everything max out...
  • 0 Hide
    SessouXFX , June 30, 2014 10:21 AM
    Once you hit 80FPS...isn't gaming above that more or less for bragging rights? Not everyone can tell the difference between 80 FPS and 100FPS...
  • 3 Hide
    skit75 , June 30, 2014 10:57 AM
    @SessouXFX

    Yes to a point. The 100 FPS ceiling or headroom gives you a 20-30 FPS buffer to account for high action scenes where your FPS might be pulled down to a noticeable level.
  • 2 Hide
    10tacle , June 30, 2014 1:17 PM
    I can not tell any performance difference when hooking up my gaming PC to my 120Hz 27" LG big screen HDTV or to my 60Hz Dell U2713HM 1440p monitor. I believe that everyone has different tolerances in what they can and can not see with regards to refresh rates.
  • 4 Hide
    skit75 , June 30, 2014 1:32 PM
    You should be able to see a resolution change rather easily.

    Being able to tell 60 FPS from 80 FPS might not be so easy. Watching 100 FPS drop to below 60 FPS can be detected though, even if you don't "see" it, something becomes detectable in the game-play.
  • 4 Hide
    Damn_Rookie , June 30, 2014 2:44 PM
    Quote:
    I can not tell any performance difference when hooking up my gaming PC to my 120Hz 27" LG big screen HDTV or to my 60Hz Dell U2713HM 1440p monitor. I believe that everyone has different tolerances in what they can and can not see with regards to refresh rates.

    This may be a silly question, and if it is I apologize, but are you sure your 27" LG HDTV is actually a 120Hz panel? I seem to recall LG being one of the manufacturers that have sold TVs with the description '120Hz' in the past, when all they were really referring to was a post processing trick to smooth out 60Hz feeds to get rid of motion blur, with the actual panel itself still being a 60Hz one.

    I could of course be completely wrong, your panel is natively 120Hz, and you just don't see a difference between 60Hz and 120Hz (many people don't - like you say, everyone has different tolerances on what they can see when it comes to refresh rates); I just wanted to clarify and double check.
  • 2 Hide
    pezonator , June 30, 2014 3:22 PM
    Articles like this really make me angry. 60Hz is 100% fine for gaming. Like someone else said, I also regularly place in the top 3 in BF4 and CS, refresh rate doesn't make a difference at all. The only place where it might matter is extreme competitive play for tournaments.

    Peoples views are also different, I aim for 60fps at the highest possible detail, such as BF4 at ultra at 2560x1440 using a Dell 27inch U2713HM and AMD 290X, it usually manages 55 to 80 FPS. Once you go 1440p, you realise just how crap looking 1080p is. Cannot wait for 4K! The extra color like sRGB is also so much better than standard color. My advice to people is spend good money on a screen, it's worth it.
  • 0 Hide
    10tacle , June 30, 2014 9:32 PM
    Quote:
    This may be a silly question, and if it is I apologize, but are you sure your 27" LG HDTV is actually a 120Hz panel? I seem to recall LG being one of the manufacturers that have sold TVs with the description '120Hz' in the past, when all they were really referring to was a post processing trick to smooth out 60Hz feeds to get rid of motion blur, with the actual panel itself still being a 60Hz one.


    Oops actually it's a 47" HDTV, my Dell is the 27". And yes, it's native 120Hz. And I can't tell any difference when test gaming on my 600Hz 42" Samsung plasma either just for the record. The older and lower-level LG TVs simulate 120Hz for those models that advertised 120Hz.
  • 2 Hide
    eldragon0 , June 30, 2014 11:07 PM
    Let's not start this shit again please. YES your eyes can see above 60 fps, above 120, and even above 144. Does it give you an advantage ? Probably not at the higher point, because eyes don't perceive fps they see motion. Many people when they sit side by side a 60hz and a 120hz running the same thing will pick which one's which almost every time. Myself being one of them. 120 to 144 is also noteable. When you are high tier gamer in twitch gaming lowering your quality for higher fps makes a huge difference, and being able to see someone 1+ whole frame earlier than the person you're fighting against will cause you to initiate movement faster than if you had to wait an extra frame, no matter how minute that difference is, it's an undeniable difference.
  • 7 Hide
    nemeth782 , July 1, 2014 1:07 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    This may be a silly question, and if it is I apologize, but are you sure your 27" LG HDTV is actually a 120Hz panel? I seem to recall LG being one of the manufacturers that have sold TVs with the description '120Hz' in the past, when all they were really referring to was a post processing trick to smooth out 60Hz feeds to get rid of motion blur, with the actual panel itself still being a 60Hz one.


    Oops actually it's a 47" HDTV, my Dell is the 27". And yes, it's native 120Hz. And I can't tell any difference when test gaming on my 600Hz 42" Samsung plasma either just for the record. The older and lower-level LG TVs simulate 120Hz for those models that advertised 120Hz.


    No TVs are true 120hz. They may have 120hz panels, but they only accept 60hz input, and then either make up interframes or insert blank frames etc. Your 600hz plasma definitely isn't able to be fed a 600hz input as there is no connectivity standard capable of transporting that amount of data (10x 1080p60???)

    If you connect to your "120hz" TV, and look in the advanced monitor settings in Windows, you will notice that it is still outputting 60hz.

    These TVs are amazing for video and blueray, which is what they are designed for. The Blueray only has 60fps on it, so to get more, you make up interframes, it looks good. Also, 24fps video now can run without 3:2 pulldown (as you display each frame 5 times.

    They are not designed for PC input.
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