Monoprice Dark Matter 42772 Review: Big Color, Contrast and Value

A 34-inch Ultra-Wide that's packed with color, contrast and value.

Monoprice Dark Matter 34-inch 42772
(Image: © Monoprice)

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Most of us wouldn't typically think of a 34-inch ultra-wide as an entry-level monitor. But if you look at relative cost, a high-performance display in that form factor for $500 is a really good value. And the Dark Matter 42772 delivers a completely different gaming experience than a 27-inch 16:9-aspect flat panel. If you can get smooth video processing, high contrast and vibrant color on a large screen for $500, that’s a great deal.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Monoprice Dark Matter 42772 is a standout in its class. Most 34-inch 21:9 screens will set you back $650 or more and offer no significant advantage over the 42772. Class-leading contrast alone makes it a compelling choice. But add in one of the largest color gamuts this side of a professional display and you’ve got a value gem for sure. Though calibration is a requirement, you can get an optimal picture with the adjustments I’ve outlined earlier in this review.

The 42772’s video processing is also exemplary. Though it takes the right combination of settings to achieve greatness, the potential is there. Just make sure to run at 144 Hz so you can use the excellent overdrive. And don’t bother with the backlight strobe. Adaptive-Sync works just fine with both FreeSync and G-Sync systems.

Properly configured, this is a superb gaming monitor. Though HDR doesn’t look much different than SDR, it still has more contrast, greater depth and richer color than any other screen in its class. If you’re looking to move into the ultra-wide gaming monitor world, the Monoprice Dark Matter 42772 delivers top-shelf performance at an entry-level price.

Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

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.

    Admin said:
    Monoprice’s latest Ultra-Wide gaming monitor is the Dark Matter 42772 with 3440x1440 resolution, 165 Hz, Adaptive-Sync, HDR and extended color. It sports a high-contrast VA panel with one of the largest color gamuts available.

    Monoprice Dark Matter 42772 Review: Big Color, Contrast and Value : Read more

    Awesome review, I'm trying to calibrate both the G34WQC and Dark Matter side by side.. but I'm confused as to what settings you would set in the Nvidia Control Panel in the bottom of the Resolution section: 8 bit full rgb... ybcbcr 4:4:4 limited 10 bit... 10 bit full rgb etc..? Theres so many variations I don't know which is correct for these monitors. Thanks!