Standard is the Gigabyte G34WQC’s go-to mode for optimum picture quality. We’re putting it on our Calibration Not Required list, but not for the reason you’d expect.
Grayscale and Gamma Tracking
We describe our grayscale and gamma tests in detail here.
Out of the box, the G34WQC’s grayscale tracking has a barely visible green tint. You’d have a hard time spotting a problem in actual content, but the error was visible in our test patterns. Gamma tracks perfectly with no visible luminance deviation. This makes color more saturated and natural with every highlight and shadow detail clearly visible.
The reason we put the G34WQC on our Calibration Not Required list is that it doesn’t require adjustment of the RGB sliders to get the best picture. Simply change the color temp from Normal to User, and you’ll get the same result we did with no visible errors. We tried a few tweaks to see if it was possible to get all errors under 1 Delta E (dE), but the RGB sliders are very coarse. One click creates a visible error, so we left them alone.
If you engage the sRGB mode, the color gamut shrinks properly, but the white point becomes cooler and can't be adjusted. Content looks a little flatter in this mode, and it’s not just due to the smaller color palette. While we consider the G34WQC’s sRGB mode usable, it would benefit from an adjustable white point. Its gamma is not as tightly controlled either. We observed a dip (too bright) at 10% and a peak (too dark) at 90% that made overall contrast seem a bit shallow.
Simply changing the Gigabyte G34WQC’s color temp preset from Normal to User reduces the average grayscale error by half. That’s about the easiest calibration there is and can be done without any instruments. Gamma tracks tightly with a tiny 0.06 range of values and a 1.36% deviation from the 2.2 spec. That corresponds to a value of 2.17.
Color Gamut Accuracy
For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, click here.
In the Standard picture mode, the G34WQC’s color gamut covers most of the DCI-P3 space with only slight deficiencies in green and cyan. Red and blue are under-saturated at the inner points but only slightly. This is a good gamut for all content because SDR material won’t look over blown or cartoonish. And HDR games and video will look correct given that the overall error is only 2.18 dE.
Calibration (changing the color temp to User) adds a tiny bit more red saturation which is a good thing. The average error is a little lower and we saw a difference in most red hues. Fire and sunsets look a little more vivid than before.
The sRGB mode covers the gamut properly but shows a little undersaturation in red. There are hue errors in yellow and magenta that can't be corrected. If Gigabyte were to include an adjustable color temp for this mode, it would be much more accurate. We found that sRGB mode made the image too flat and recommend Standard mode for all content.
With a calibrated color error of just 1.65dE, the G34WQC is in good company. It takes third place in a very competitive group of monitors. None of the screens above will show any visible color error. This is excellent performance.
In the gamut volume test, the G34WQC is about average with nearly 85% coverage of DCI-P3. Exceptional monitors top 90% with Cooler Master being the over-achiever here. But at 85% you'll still enjoy a vibrant monitor with lots of color for all games, tasks and entertainment.
sRGB coverage is solid as well, but if you need to perform color-critical work, we strongly recommend a software profile.