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Monoprice 49-inch Dark Matter 43305 Gaming Monitor Review: Jumbo Width and Color

The 49-inch Monoprice Dark Matter 43305 is a 32:9 mega-wide VA gaming monitor with 120 Hz, 5120 x 1440 resolution, HDR, extended color and Adaptive-Sync.

Monoprice Dark Matter 43305
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

I ran all the tests in the 43305’s Standard picture mode. It comes closer to the D65 color temp than the other modes but still needs some tweaking for best results.

Grayscale and Gamma Tracking

Our grayscale and gamma tests use Calman calibration software from Portrait Displays. We describe our grayscale and gamma tests in detail here.

Default grayscale isn’t too bad with a purple tint visible in steps from 40% on up. What needs more attention is the gamma tracking which is too dark. This makes the picture look dull and murky. A lot of highlight detail is obscured, and there is no texture. Normally, I would like a VA monitor’s gamma to be around 2.25 to 2.30, but 2.62 is much too high.

Setting the gamma preset to 2.0 fixes the problem. While a measured average of 2.20 would be ideal, 2.12 is closer to the mark. The tracking is also straight now, making a huge difference in quality. I adjusted the RGB sliders to get all grayscale errors below 3dE. They have coarse resolution, so perfection isn’t quite in the cards, but this result is very good.

Comparisons

The 43305’s 4.76dE default grayscale score puts it in last place. I would calibrate all these monitors except the Samsung and Acer, which are already visually perfect by default. They are also more expensive. At a minimum, one should change the gamma preset from 2.2 to 2.0 to bring out more picture detail.

After calibration, the 43305 is still last. However, since none of the monitors have visible grayscale errors, it’s of little matter. Gamma is the real beneficiary with tighter tracking and only a 3.64% deviation from 2.2.

Color Gamut Accuracy

Our color gamut and volume testing use Portrait Displays’ Calman software. For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, click here.

You can see how gamma affects color in the first CIE chart. Thanks to the grayscale errors, hue values for magenta are off, but red saturation overshoots its targets by around 10%. Color luminance is quite low too, which doesn’t show in the charts above. The picture looks lifeless at the default settings. A 5.11dE average error indicates room for improvement.

With calibration, all color errors are now below the visible threshold. Though the 100% red and magenta points are still over-saturated, the other targets are greatly improved. Color luminance is also much better with neutral values across the spectrum.

Comparisons

When a monitor finishes last in a comparison with a 2.19dE color score, you know it’s in excellent company. This is superb color accuracy by any standard. I’d call the Acer reference level for sure, but the other screens provide excellent fidelity. Visually, it would be hard to discern between any of them.

It is possible to see a difference in the volume test though. The 43305 and the Viotek have just a bit more color than the rest, with almost 100% coverage of DCI-P3. In the 49-inch mega-wide category, they are the most colorful. The Samsung has a speed advantage but isn’t quite as vivid. The 43305 lacks an sRGB mode, so SDR content will be over-saturated. That won’t be an issue for most users, but a profile will be necessary to tame that wide gamut if your work includes color-critical tasks.

Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.

  • Pollopesca
    The specs look solid for the price. The articles picture of it doesn't seem to do it justice 😕. Seriously though, someone at Tom'sHardware PLZ set the correct resolution and take a shot in decent lighting...
    Reply
  • JTWrenn
    It just doesn't make sense considering 2 27 inch monitors are $500. Seems like a lot to ask for basically the same thing in one frame. This needs to be at the $750 price point to make sense if you ask me.
    Reply
  • HideOut
    you can get the far superior Samnsung G9 on sale for that price if you look around (got mine for $800 back near black friday).
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    No Premium Pro certification? What is it missing?
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    15.7 degree diagonal. This is basically two 27" put together.
    I can have my 2x Dell 32" 165Hz with excellent color for less money. But having a single screen is nice.
    Reply