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OSD Setup And Calibration

Asus VG248QE: A 24-Inch, 144 Hz Gaming Monitor Under $300
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The OSD has everything you need for a complete calibration, but the picture modes can cause a bit of confusion. The six presets are called Splendid, and each one enables and disables different options. The only one that allows all adjustments is Theater, so that’s where we’ll start our OSD tour.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, sRGB mode grays out all adjustments including Brightness and Contrast. While this mode has decent color accuracy, its brightness level is a little lower than we'd like. Oddly, we discovered the best calibration is possible in the Standard mode, and we'll tell you why at the end of this page.

We also figured out that, when you switch Splendid modes, the monitor resets the Brightness, Contrast, and Saturation controls to their defaults, even if you previously adjusted any of those settings. The workaround is to either choose one mode and use it exclusively, or record your settings in advance. Fortunately, the RGB and color temp settings are not affected.

Here’s where you’ll find the calibration controls. Depending on the Splendid mode you choose, Contrast reacts a little differently. In Standard, you can turn it up to 80 before any image detail is clipped. In Theater mode however, you have to turn it down to 35 to avoid clipping. This was the main reason we used Standard for our calibration.

If you use the Skin Tone Control, it only affects flesh tones. Primary and secondary colors don’t seem to change. In Standard, this control is grayed out. Smart View is a gamma and black level shifter. Turning it on makes the monitor brighter. But the gamma rises too, resulting in a washed-out image. Its intent is to improve off-axis viewing, which it does.

These are the RGB controls. Like most computer monitors, they start at their highest setting. We prefer to see them start in the middle to give maximum adjustment flexibility.

We usually set Sharpness to its lowest value. Like HP's E271i, though, this softens the image unacceptably. The default setting of 50 is just fine. Push it any higher and edge enhancement results.

Trace Free should be set to 100 for the quickest screen draw time. This visibly reduces motion blur and cuts response time in our tests by around two milliseconds.

ASCR is the dynamic contrast control, and should be left off.

You can manually select inputs if your VG248QE is connected to multiple sources. Otherwise, the monitor’s auto-sense function quickly detects the active input and switches accordingly.

In the System Setup menu, you’ll find the rest of the VG248QE's ergonomic functions. The Splendid Demo shows a split-screen of two modes, facilitating comparison. This is the only place to adjust the volume. There isn’t a hotkey among the control buttons. ECO Mode dims the backlight, which is convenient for use as a nighttime mode in a dark room, letting you leave all of your other image controls alone.

OSD Setup takes you to the sub-menu shown below. In the Language sub-menu, there are an astounding 21 choices. And Information pops up a window with the input signal’s resolution, refresh rate, input type, and monitor model number. All Reset returns everything to its factory state. Be careful with this one; there’s no “Are You Sure?” prompt. One press and all user-entered settings are erased.

The first three controls position the OSD and set its timeout value. It’s always nice to be able to get the menu off the center of the screen and away from test patterns. DDC/CI should be left on if you want to allow your computer to have two-way communication with the VG248QE. And transparency fades the menu out so you can see the image behind.

At first glance, Theater mode seems to be the best choice for calibration, since it unlocks all image adjustments. But the Contrast control, at its default setting of 80, clips information at the bright end of the scale. In fact, you have to turn it down to 35 to correct this, making the image look flat and dull. In Standard mode, however, you can run Contrast up to 80 without penalty. And you still have access to the RGB controls. There is no gamma setting in any mode, but that didn't have a negative effect on our test results. Unless you want to improve off-axis image quality, leave the Smart View option off. And again, we recommend leaving the ASCR dynamic contrast setting off as well.

Asus VG248QE Calibration Settings
Splendid Mode
Standard
Contrast
80
Brightness
35
Color Temp
User
RGB
Red 96 / Green 94 / Blue 88

Let’s move on to the benchmarks.

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  • 3 Hide
    CaptainTom , October 2, 2013 10:04 PM
    I gotta wonder if 1 ms vs 5 ms really makes a difference...
  • 4 Hide
    ff6shadow , October 2, 2013 11:45 PM
    I own this. Bought when it was first available. Great monitor for gaming. I use 2x GTX Titans with it.
  • -7 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , October 2, 2013 11:56 PM
    i don't like the sound of this dithering BS, i guess that's why its cheap....
  • 2 Hide
    SWEETMUSK , October 3, 2013 12:08 AM
    if I have $300 dollars I will not buy for 24 inch "TN" screen
    IPS is much better then TN
  • 0 Hide
    Axonn , October 3, 2013 1:37 AM
    People who think 144 Hz is more important than an 8-bit panel are in for a big, big fail.
  • 4 Hide
    ryude , October 3, 2013 2:03 AM
    This monitor uses PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) for the backlight, which causing flickering. The only 144hz monitor that does not use PWM is the BenQ XL2420TE.
  • 2 Hide
    Plusthinking Iq , October 3, 2013 2:25 AM
    they only sell BenQ XL2420T version in my country, so i bought the asus for the double pwm hz. pwm, the scourge og the lcd monitor.
  • -1 Hide
    CraigN , October 3, 2013 5:07 AM
    ryude - yes, it uses PWM, however, as an owner of one of these monitors, I have not noticed any flickering at all. It's a really solid performing monitor. That same PWM comes in real handy when running in Lightboost mode for even more reductions to input lag.

    CaptainTom, 1ms makes a huge difference over 5ms. I didn't think it would at first until I bought one of these. Next to my old 24" HDTV that was my monitor for awhile, the difference is insane.

  • -1 Hide
    CraigN , October 3, 2013 5:08 AM
    PS , Christian, your SmartBuy award photo at the end of the article is the wrong ASUS monitor ;)  Also, would you guys mind releasing the ICC profile you guys calibrated for your tests?
  • -1 Hide
    Turik , October 3, 2013 5:11 AM
    The final picture is not of the VG248QE?
  • 0 Hide
    Turik , October 3, 2013 5:13 AM
    As someone with a high quality 1440p IPS and 2 of these monitors, for most gaming I prefer these. For World of Warcraft or other MMOs where screen space is a luxury, it's hard to give up the high-res IPS, and the color quality is noticable, but with a proper ICC profile and some tweaking, it's a good looking monitor.

    ICC profile is use is here: http://pcmonitors.info/reviews/asus-vg248qe
  • -4 Hide
    ubercake , October 3, 2013 5:17 AM
    The thing is contrast is lacking big time on IPS monitors less than $500. So who cares about color accuracy if you can't see all the shades? Cheap IPS monitors are not only slow because of inherent input lag, but also a fail when it comes to contrast.

    These high refresh rate monitors offer an incredible performance boost for first-person shooters if you have video cards that can produce frame rates close to the high refresh rates (or higher than 60Hz consistently). I've tried 1440p 60Hz monitors and can't stand the lower refresh. I've tried 60Hz surround setups and can't stand the low refresh. Once you go to these monitors, you develop a need for them. Nothing with lower refresh rates compares any longer. If you've never had it, you don't miss it and don't know what you're missing.

    If you don't have the kind of GPU power to consistently get you beyond the 60fps mark at 1080p, 60Hz monitors are the way to go. I still wouldn't settle for cheap IPS monitors with crappy contrast ratios though. For shooters, the input lag is also a terrible characteristic of the cheap IPS monitor.
  • 0 Hide
    finder , October 3, 2013 5:27 AM
    and it's backlight flickering as hell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBYnnBfub4E&mode=post-play
  • 5 Hide
    twztechman , October 3, 2013 5:43 AM
    Quote:
    I own this. Bought when it was first available. Great monitor for gaming. I use 2x GTX Titans with it.


    2 Titans for 1980x1080 resolution? That's a bit silly. You have spent $2000 for video cards and you are gaming on one 1980x1080 24 inch monitor!
    You should have at least 3 of these monitors for a surround set-up.
  • 0 Hide
    CraigN , October 3, 2013 5:47 AM
    Turik - I'm aware of the one at pcmonitors.info, as well as the one included with the disk. I was just wondering if it was (possible) for them to release their post-calibrated icc. I have no idea how monitor calibrators work (I didn't need to alter much on my personal VG248QE to be satisfied, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be better) so I just thought it couldn't hurt to ask.

    Also - does anyone own one of these and notice that opening Pictures come up darker/dimmer than they look as thumbnails or in image preview??
  • 8 Hide
    BigMack70 , October 3, 2013 5:57 AM
    I just wonder if/when we'll ever get a panel like this at high resolution (1440p/4k), because I'm done with 1080p.

    ASUS... could you pretty please make us a 144 Hz 1440p IPS screen ??????
  • 7 Hide
    ubercake , October 3, 2013 6:06 AM
    Quote:
    I just wonder if/when we'll ever get a panel like this at high resolution (1440p/4k), because I'm done with 1080p.

    ASUS... could you pretty please make us a 144 Hz 1440p IPS screen ??????


    I second the 'pretty please'.
  • 0 Hide
    moogleslam , October 3, 2013 6:48 AM
    If I understand things correctly, if your monitor updates faster than the frame rate pumped out by your graphics card, you don't have screen tearing anymore, and therefore no longer need vsync?
  • 0 Hide
    jdon , October 3, 2013 6:51 AM
    I've looked at IPS panels and TN panels in some depth, and found that other than the viewing angle, I'm not able to perceive much difference. Then my fiancee laughed at me and said, "You really are THAT colorblind, huh?" ....It actually kind of makes me glad that I can appreciate the better frame rates without being disappointed by the lack of color depth!
  • 3 Hide
    vpnuser , October 3, 2013 7:02 AM
    I own one of these as well as a 27" Dell 1440p IPS panel, and I prefer this one for gaming. 120hz with 2D lightboost has 0 ghosting. Sure the color is crap compared to the IPS, but what good is color when it looks like 24fps movie blur in games? Quoted from my girlfriend, who can't tell the difference between 1080p and 720p movies, within 5 minutes of me setting up the monitor ; "That's really smooth."

    I would prefer the best of both worlds, but I don't think current graphics cards are quite up to the task. (At least not for less than a $2500 machine) Current IPS panels out there can pull the hz, but can't match the response times just yet.

    Add in the fact that the industry will be pushing for 4k soon, and you can kiss 120hz goodbye for a while.
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