Cooler Master GM34-CW 34-inch Gaming Monitor Review: Color For Days

Massive color gamut with 144Hz, HDR and FreeSync.

Cooler Master GM34-CW
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Cooler Master)

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Today’s gaming monitors must compete in more areas than just video processing. FreeSync and G-Sync have leveled the playing field to where most displays with a fast refresh rate will provide the same smooth motion, free of frame tears and artifacts. But HDR and extended color have added new considerations to the buying decision. The quality of these two elements varies widely, even between screens in the same price category. The questions become, “how good is the HDR?” and “how much color is there?”

(Image credit: Cooler Master)

As an edge-lit panel, the Cooler Master GM34-CW provides decent, if not amazing HDR. Since it doesn’t employ dynamic contrast with HDR content, it only looks a little better. The only way to experience the maximum impact of HDR is with a full-array local-dimming panel. And that will set you back a good deal more money than the cost of a GM34-CW. But since this display uses a VA part, contrast is solid for all content.

Color is the big draw here. No other monitor we’ve tested except for the Acer CP7271K boasts as large a gamut. Cooler Master claims 95% DCI coverage, but we measured an impressive 98.11%. And that can easily be seen in any kind of content. Next to the typical 80-85% coverage we’ve experienced, the GM34-CW truly stands out.

Since its video processing is beyond reproach, image quality becomes the thing that sets it apart. We had no trouble playing graphically demanding games at over 140fps with either FreeSync or G-Sync and HDR engaged. Overdrive is excellent too, with no ghosting seen at the fastest setting. The only flaws here are some out-of-box color and gamma errors and the lack of an sRGB mode. That is fairly common these days and it’s hard to find an extended-color monitor that lets you dial down the gamut.

With a few tweaks, the GM34-CW delivers a superb image that is rich and vibrant. It plays games with the best monitors we’ve reviewed, and its cost, while not cheap, is below the premium level. For the performance offered, it’s a good value. If you’re looking for maximum color in a fast gaming monitor with the ability to run G-Sync and FreeSync, the Cooler Master GM34-CW is the best choice for the money.

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Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.