Grayscale and Gamma Tracking
The CQ32G2S’s initial grayscale measurement shows some conflict. If you just take the average error number, you will conclude that it doesn’t need calibration. But looking at the top chart, you can see some green errors in the 10-30% range. These can be seen in both test patterns and content. Green is the color most easily resolved by the human eye. In other words, green errors are bad. Gamma also runs a bit light which robs the image of depth and dimension.
My first calibration attempt was a fail; I could make no improvement. But when I set gamma to 3, the results were better. All grayscale errors were reduced to invisible levels and the darker gamma made the image pop. You’ll see in the next section that it also improves color saturation, measurably and visibly. Gamma is still a bit off the mark, but the image looks significantly better than before.
If you want to use sRGB, that mode is available in the Color Setup menu. Its gamma tracks almost perfectly except for the 10% step which is too light. A slight purple tint shows up around 70% but this error is harder to spot than the green issues I noted earlier. This is good performance.
Usually, I would say that a 2.73dE average grayscale error is low enough that calibration is not required. But the CQ32G2S’s grayscale tracking is not linear, so there are visible issues that should be corrected. It’s still better out of the box than the Galax or Cooler Master screens though.
1.21dE is a huge improvement and even though the CQ32G2S is in fifth place, there are now no visible errors.
The gamma scores are a bit skewed by the luminance values in the midtones and highlights. But these results are decent. Ultimately, I couldn’t get a perfect 2.2 gamma value but the settings I arrived at show the CQ32G2S’s full potential.
Color Gamut Accuracy
Looking at the color charts, one would again think that the CQ32G2S doesn’t need calibration. A 1.91dE average is quite low. But red and green both have upward potential in the saturation department. These are small but visible differences. It all comes down to gamma. The darker Gamma 3 setting makes a clear difference in quality.
The sRGB mode is visually perfect, a good thing since it can’t be calibrated. With a 1.53dE average error, the CQ32G2S is more than qualified for critical applications where accuracy is required.
There are no bad monitors here but the CQ32G2S is comfortably in the top four for color accuracy. 1.82dE is an excellent score, especially considering the price. It’s significantly less expensive than the NZXT and costs less than the smaller HyperX Armada 27.
In the gamut volume test, the CQ32G2S tests at an average level with 87.82% coverage of DCI-P3. The deficiency occurs in the green primary which is typical of wide gamut displays. The bottom four panels will look about the same to the naked eye. The Cooler Master and Gigabyte will have more saturated red hues. When sRGB coverage is compared, the CQ32G2S comes closest to 100% which is ideal.
Test Takeaway: The CQ32G2S needs some tweaking for the best color accuracy but the effort is worth it. Gamma is the governing factor. It’s too light out of the box. Once I changed to Gamma 3, the monitor came alive. For less than $300, this level of precision is hard to beat.
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