Viewing Angles, Uniformity, Response, Lag & Gaming
Viewing angles are somewhat difficult to illustrate when photographing a curved monitor. The result isn’t too different from flat IPS panels. We can see a red/green shift and light reduction to the sides, while the vertical plane loses some detail and brightness. In practice though, the curvature helps mitigate anomalies that might occur in a flat ultra-wide screen. This really isn’t the kind of monitor you want to view from the sides. It works best when the user sits alone and on-center. It’s just not meant for sharing.
To learn how we measure screen uniformity, please click here.
When spending this much on a monitor, buyers expect good quality control, and the 38UC99 provides just that. Black and white field uniformity is essentially perfect with no visible issues to report. Color measurement show a slight red tint down the right side of our sample. We could see it mainly because the measurements told us it was there. It doesn’t affect real-world content in any significant way.
Pixel Response & Input Lag
Please click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.
First-person gaming requires a responsive panel for the best experience, and the 38UC99 delivers on that with an accelerated refresh rate. Here, the top four screens boast speeds of 144Hz and higher, while the two LGs top out at 75Hz. Is this a hindrance? Not when you consider its 3840x1600-pixel resolution. Even a stout video card won’t be capable of driving framerates beyond 75 FPS. Resulting input lag isn’t the lowest we’ve seen, but it is more than adequate for all but the most skilled trigger fingers.
Gaming With FreeSync
There is no question you’ll need a powerful graphics card to get the most from the 38UC99. It’s only a little short of Ultra HD resolution, and it runs at 75Hz, which is greater than any UHD monitor currently available. When we played Far Cry 4, it became immediately apparent that we could not sustain framerates over 52 FPS with our Radeon R9 285 card. Even dropping detail level to Low, which looks better than the highest levels in most other games, only got us to around 50 FPS. Still, we played for a while without too much tearing to spoil the fun. We never felt the need to resort to V-Sync, so even though the lower FreeSync limit is higher than most, it isn’t a major issue.
Tomb Raider, on the other hand, was an experience we couldn’t tear ourselves away from. It was completely playable at between 50-60 FPS with no tearing visible when the action dropped below 52 FPS. It’s not quite as fast paced as some other games, so it’s easier to take in the lush and detailed environment with its superb rain and fog effects. Having such a wide screen literally wrapped around you goes far beyond what’s possible with even the largest 16:9 displays. We didn't even give a second thought to response and latency. Control inputs were instantaneous, and there was no motion blur. Engaging the 1ms Blur Reduction feature made little difference, but we saw occasional frame tears, and we had to remember to bump up the brightness control. We still see no reason to choose that option over FreeSync.