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LG 34GK950F Curved Gaming Monitor Review: 144Hz Ultrawide With HDR

Editor's Choice

Brightness and Contrast

To read about our monitor tests in-depth, check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. We cover Brightness and Contrast testing on page two.

Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

We’ve selected a varied group of HDR monitors to compare the 34GK950F against. At the high end is the full-array backlit Asus ROG Swift PG27U. It and the Philips 436M6 Momentum can hit 1,000 nits with HDR material. The rest are lower-output models, AOC’s Agon AG322QC4, ViewSonic’s VP3881 and another LG curved screen, the 34WK650.

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The 34GK950F almost hit 372 nits in SDR mode, which is plenty of brightness for gaming, video, or workday tasks (first graph). It exceeded its stablemate, the 34WK650, by 100 nits, another point in favor of upgrading.

Black levels (second graph) fall in order of maximum output, except for the VA panels (Philips and AOC), which operate in another league.

Resulting contrast for our review monitor (third graph) was strong at 1,067.4:1, the best of the IPS panels here.

After Calibration to 200 nits

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Calibrating our review sample to 200 nits brightness caused almost no harm to contrast, with the monitor scoring an excellent 1017.8:1 (second graph). Thanks to RGB sliders that start center-range, balanced adjustments to grayscale are possible. While contrast isn’t on the level of a VA panel, it is slightly above-average among IPS monitors.

Intra-image contrast (third graph) is a bit lower at 981:1, but that is typical performance for a high-quality IPS screen. The score is edged out by the monitor’s cousin, the 34WK650, but the difference is hard to spot with the naked eye. The 34GK950F is premium-priced but delivers performance to match.


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  • mischon123
    -No HDR calibration option
    -Slight gamma errors

    So its a faulty product and the panel is overdriven thus creating the many probs? Thats what a 4.5/editors choice means? Lucky Goldstar peddling off surplus in an advertorial.
    Reply
  • Tanquen
    Is it flat? Nope.
    Is 35"+? Nope.
    Is it 16:10 or 16:9? Nope.
    HDMI 2.1? Nope.
    Is it full 10bit? ?

    I guess that is just never going to happen as long as they can cut a display in half and sell it for more. :(
    Reply
  • drivinfast247
    If this works with Gsync I might pick one up.
    Reply
  • drivinfast247
    Is it flat? Nope.
    Is 35"+? Nope.
    Is it 16:10 or 16:9? Nope.
    HDMI 2.1? Nope.
    Is it full 10bit? ?

    I guess that is just never going to happen as long as they can cut a display in half and sell it for more. :(

    By yourself a 4k TV if you want those options. Or wait for the BFGDs to be released.
    Reply
  • AgentLozen
    Mischon123 said:
    -No HDR calibration option
    -Slight gamma errors

    So its a faulty product and the panel is overdriven thus creating the many probs? Thats what a 4.5/editors choice means? Lucky Goldstar peddling off surplus in an advertorial.

    Fair enough. If a product is bad then it shouldn't get a good review. I understand your sentiment.

    I've pasted the list of Pros that the author gave for this review below. The cons are also down there. Read through the list one more time and weigh each of the points for Pros and for Cons. How important is each point to the overall monitor experience? Then tell me what kind of score you would have given this monitor based on the weight of its Pros and its Cons.

    Pros:
    Out-of-box color accuracy
    Accurate sRGB mode
    DCI-P3 color
    144Hz refresh rate
    FreeSync 2, HDR10 support
    Good blur reduction

    Cons:
    No HDR calibration option
    Slight gamma errors

    Tanquen said:
    Is it flat? Nope.
    Is 35"+? Nope.
    Is it 16:10 or 16:9? Nope.
    HDMI 2.1? Nope.
    Is it full 10bit? ?

    I guess that is just never going to happen as long as they can cut a display in half and sell it for more. :(

    Hey Tanquan. Please read this as being sincere when I say I looked through your list. I wanted to address your complaints with this monitor.

    DrivinFast247 touched on this already, but I wanted to elaborate. Let's say that you were shopping for a new pet and you read a review for a turtle. In the comment section of the turtle review you list out the qualities that you think a pet should have:

    -Does it have fur? Nope.
    -Does it bark? Nope.
    -Does it have paws? Nope.
    -Does it eat dog food? Nope?

    The reason you're so disappointed is because you're looking for a dog. Not a turtle.

    Returning back to the reality of this article, this is an ultra wide display and a good one at that. If you're looking for a big, flat, 16:9 screen then you want a 4K consumer TV. The kind of display reviewed here is only going to disappoint you.
    Reply
  • groundhogdog
    I am struggling to understand why you didnt add any testing or reference for G-Sync functionality with this very popular Freesync monitor. It would clearly be one of the largest points of interest for buyers, and the review is published weeks after testing that would have been possible.
    Reply
  • moogleslam
    Agree with others. We need G-Sync testing.
    Reply
  • rhysiam
    Am I right in saying we've yet to see any ultrawides with FALD and sufficient brightness for a better than HDR400 rating?

    This monitor is almost exactly what I'm looking for, but if I'm spending big on a high end display I really want 5 years from it. HDR implementation in games is very much early days right now, but I expect to see this improve over the next two years and I'm not sure HDR400 is going to cut it.

    144hz, 1440p ultrawide, Freesync 2 is perfect. Even the 8bit FRC is fine by me. I just want a better HDR implementation.

    Am I the only one?
    Reply
  • CircuitWIzardry
    I agree with the others requesting G-Sync Testing? Since support for Freesync is clearly available now with Nvidia cards, not testing this is a huge oversight!
    Reply
  • ubercake
    Me too. I would like to see G-sync tests with the slo-mo capture to determine if any flickering or tearing is occurring. I think the G-sync test should be a new standard test with any freesync monitor to determine compatibility.

    There's tons of value in it because it could potentially save people hundreds of dollars for similarly sped'd freesync monitors compared to their G-sync counterparts.
    Reply