Tom's Hardware Verdict
While some may cry for greater resolution, we think the 34UC79G goes far beyond “just fine” the way it is. A lower pixel count means higher framerates which translates to smoother motion and better gaming. Coupled with the best contrast we’ve yet seen from an IPS panel and you’ve got a near-perfect gaming monitor. The 21:9 aspect ratio and gentle curve just seals the deal in our book. If you’ve been waiting for a price drop in this category, it’s here. First the AOC C3583FQ and now the 34UC79G; more choices and better monitors, sounds like a win/win.
Low input lag
None that affect gaming or general use performance
Why you can trust Tom's Hardware
LG ushered in the curved ultra-wide display genre with its 34UC97 just a little over two years ago. Since then the category has seen new models from every major manufacturer offering 34", 35", and recently 38" screens; vertical resolutions ranging from 1080 to 1600 pixels; IPS and VA panels; and of course, high refresh rates with adaptive refresh. Most of these have come at premium prices however. Early screens required a $1000 or higher cost of entry, and there has been little movement on that score.
But recently we’ve seen a couple of models break that barrier. A few weeks ago, we looked at AOC’s C3583FQ. That VA panel impressed us with its high contrast, 160Hz refresh rate, and FreeSync that works down to 45 FPS. Today we’re checking out a new IPS display from LG: the 34UC79G.
First we’ll talk about the specs that might give some users pause. Yes, the resolution is 2560x1080 and FreeSync only works down to 50Hz. But if you’ve read our other reviews of 1080p gaming monitors then you know we favor things like contrast, color accuracy, and motion processing quality over resolution. We’d rather have a smooth experience free of tears, stuttering, and ghosting over a high pixel count any day.
The 34UC79G is one of the few FreeSync monitors to offer Low Framerate Compensation (LFC). Because its max refresh is more than two-and-a-half times the minimum, it can buffer additional frames when the rate drops below 50Hz and therefore avoid switching out of adaptive refresh mode. Coupled with lower resolution, that means users with more modest systems will enjoy the same smooth experience when the action dips below 50 FPS.
Based on what AMD has published, and our own visual observation, LFC monitors the render rates and then repeats frames adaptively in order to fool the monitor into thinking the refresh rate is still above 50Hz. That way, tearing is never a factor and you won’t have to resort to latency increasing V-Sync to keep the action flowing.
Aside from this extremely attractive feature, the 34UC79G sports an IPS panel with a factory-certified calibration (for grayscale and gamma only), 144Hz, blur-reduction in the form of a backlight strobe, a subtle 3800mm-radius curve, OSD joystick, and new styling that announces its gaming intent. And the price? $699 from LG’s website. It certainly seems to offer a lot for the money. Let’s take a look.
Packaging, Physical Layout & Accessories
LG is the master when it comes to protecting curved monitors from the rigors of shipping. The panel is completely surrounded by foam blocks and a sturdy double-corrugate box. The upright and base are wrapped separately and must be assembled. No tools are needed. Attach the base with two captive bolts and snap the panel on and you’re set.
Bundled cables include HDMI and DisplayPort. The power supply is a moderately-sized brick with a detachable power cord. You also get a calibration data sheet that certifies each panel for grayscale and gamma accuracy. Color tests are not included. A CD with supporting software and a user manual round out the package.
The styling of past LG curved ultra-wide displays has been aimed squarely at Apple users with their white trim and sleek, understated lines. The 34UC79G takes aim at a different target: Asus’ ROG line. The black chassis with not-so-subtle red accents could easily be mistaken for a Republic of Gamers product, minus the molded-in spaceship hull features of course. A balanced mix of shiny and matte-finished plastic is used with texture in all the right places, and the bezel is free of buttons or LEDs. Control and power status are in the centrally mounted joystick, a feature we’ve come to expect and enjoy from LG’s ultra-wide displays.
From the top, you can see the subtle 3800mm-radius curve. It strikes a great balance between gaming immersion and workaday practicality. You won’t see any image distortion in your word processor or spreadsheet, but a richly detailed gaming environment will seem to wrap around you as it fills your peripheral vision.
The subtle curve means a slimmer side profile. The panel is only three inches thick, which means a wall mount won’t look too strange. That can be accomplished by unsnapping the upright and installing a bracket into the 100mm VESA mounting lugs. Just be sure to provide clearance for the rear-facing input panel.
Speaking of inputs, there are two HDMI 2.0 connectors. They can be switched to version 1.4 in the OSD if you have compatibility issues. The DisplayPort is version 1.2. Both digital interfaces support the max 144hz refresh rate. The USB hub is version 3.0 and includes one upstream and two downstream ports. Analog audio is supported by a 3.5mm input and a headphone output.
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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.
I believe you have the wrong product link listed.Reply
1080... welcome to 1998Reply
looks promising. i don't care even if it's 1080p. i mean if you're going to bash an ultrawide 144hz 1080p monitor, make sure you have an SLi gtx1080 first.Reply
This just might be the perfect monitor for my current setup. Single R9 290X overclocked to 1100core mhz 1400 memory mhz. Great for 1080p gaming, and I have been looking for an ultra-wide freesync 144hz IPS like this. Tasty price too.Reply
Until I build a Vega system I'm not even going to go for 4k or even 1440p ultrawide monitors. I know my card could probably handle a 1440p 144hz 27inch monitor very well, but I'm really into the Ultra-Wide curve thing.
1080p is garbage! I wouldn't pay $100 for that monitor.Reply
^ so you do have SLi gtx1080s?Reply
19238171 said:^ so you do have SLi gtx1080s?
No, what are you implying?
Really happy with the Omen 32 that I got for 275. I can live without the 144 hz for $400Reply
If you guys would actually look at the specs you would see that it is NOT 1080p but 2560x1080, ultrawide.Reply
No thanks, still waiting for the next patch of HDR displays... looking forward for something like 34" Ultrawide 1440p with FreeSync2/G-Sync HDR... 120-144HzReply