Skip to main content

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

Editor's Choice

HDR Performance

The 34GK950F conforms to the VESA DisplayHDR 400 standard, meaning it can produce over 400 nits peak white output. Since LCD monitors are limited in how low their black levels can be, the only way for them to increase contrast is to up their brightness quotient. Further enhancements come from full-array backlights and effective dynamic contrast algorithms. This LG provides passable HDR commensurate with its price point. If you want the ultimate presentation, it will come at a very high cost.

HDR Brightness and Contrast

Image 1 of 3

Image 2 of 3

Image 3 of 3

The 34GK950F comfortably exceeded the VESA 400-nit spec with a score of 431 (first graph).

HDR black levels (second graph) were a bit disappointing, however, as they are the same as what we measured in SDR mode.

HDR contrast (third graph) is slightly higher at 1,175.5:1. We could see a small difference with HDR signals, but it was subtle at best. It’s obvious that LG has not employed an aggressive dynamic algorithm like the Philips or AOC monitors, which are both edge-lit and virtual kings in the black level contest.

Grayscale, EOTF and Color

Image 1 of 2

Image 2 of 2

There are no adjustments available for HDR signals, but you can still select from multiple picture modes. All presented a somewhat-cool grayscale, but the errors aren’t too high. The clip point is 65 percent, and rather than a hard transition, LG chose a softer clip. This approach dulls highlights a little and takes the edge off the HDR effect. We’d rather see the trace follow the yellow line more closely.

Something you’re guaranteed to see in HDR mode is vividly saturated color. Not only does the 34GK950F cover more of DCI-P3 than most monitors, it pushes the saturation levels as brightness rises. When playing games or watching movies, color was vibrant and bold. Whites looked a little blue, but reds and greens popped in a way few monitors can match. While overall HDR accuracy is just OK, the effect has a solid impact.

MORE: Best Gaming Monitors

MORE: How We Test Monitors

MORE: All Monitor Content

  • 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