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Monoprice G-Pro 30-Inch 120Hz IPS Gaming Monitor Review

So far we’ve only had the chance to test one 120Hz IPS monitor, Overlord’s X270OC. Now Monoprice has brought its G-Pro 120Hz 30-inch 16:10 screen to the fast IPS party. Today we see how it performs in our benchmark suite.

A Work In Progress

Our test results present something of a mixed bag. On one hand, this is the largest (and one of the only) IPS screens around that can run at over 60Hz. And you do get the benefit of lower input lag and slightly better panel response than a typical monitor. But the frame skipping issue we encountered hinders any real improvement in motion quality. Although there isn’t excessive blur to begin with, running at 120Hz doesn’t really help either.

Refresh rates aside, we did measure decent grayscale and gamma performance from the G-Pro. If you can’t calibrate, the white point is still reasonably accurate out-of-the-box. Gamma tracking is the same regardless. Color is certainly bright and vivid, though that’s mainly due to the Adobe RGB gamut in play. For a gaming monitor, the extra color might be welcome to many users. But if you’re as fussy as we are about accuracy, you’ll be longing for an sRGB option. Perhaps Monoprice would consider adding that feature in a firmware update. And as far as contrast is concerned, the G-Pro offers good image depth and decent black levels.

If you’re still considering adding one of these jumbo screens to your gaming rig, the big compromise becomes its frame skipping issue. The real-world observation is simply that motion blur is not visibly reduced at 120Hz. Still, you won’t see annoying judder or other artifacts. Moving objects just won’t render with any finer granularity than they do at 60Hz.

What you do get is low input lag, which may be enough to make this monitor worthwhile. For gamers with hyper-reflexes, every millisecond counts. There’s only one other IPS monitor out there with less lag than this Monoprice: Overlord’s X270OC. Of course, the landscape is in flux with Acer’s XG270HU out now and another IPS gaming screen expected from Asus.

Speaking of the changing landscape, we have to wonder if the fast-refresh tech will wind up taking a back seat to technologies like G-Sync and FreeSync. We’ve already tested several screens with Nvidia’s frame rate-matching feature, and we will have reviews of BenQ’s XL2730Z and Acer’s XG270HU FreeSync screens published soon. Once you’ve seen those technologies in action, they're hard to live without.

With frame rate matching, high refresh rates and backlight strobing, enthusiasts have a lot to be happy about. Now we're only lacking diversity in gaming-oriented IPS displays. Engineering challenges and high prices have kept the technology from taking root in the entertainment side of the industry.

Monoprice's G-Pro 120Hz is a bit off the beaten path. But it is a decent choice in a fairly barren field. It’s definitely in need of a few improvements. However, considering the company’s short time in the marketplace, this is a solid first effort.

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Monitors and TVs.

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  • kyuuketsuki
    Generally a Monoprice fan, but the frame-skipping makes this monitor pretty unappealing for its intended market. Hopefully they can fix it with a firmware update.
    Reply
  • blackmagnum
    Monoprice is such a cheap-skate name. Why not chose a brandname less price concious like Lemon or something?
    Reply
  • MonsterCookie
    I think this FINALLY is a step in the RIGHT direction. Sadly you cannot buy this in Europe.

    I was long ago looking for a 2560x1600 screen, and I got a Dell second-hand, because for whatever reason manufacturers ignore the customers, and they
    stick to 1080p. No offense to anybody who plays at 1080p, but you need to understand, that most people do productivity and game when they have too much free time, and they want to immerse into the game on a large screen.
    Personally I still love older games (Wolfenstein, FC1, Half-Life etc.) more than newer releases, and those run on these resolutions at any half-decent video card.

    Furthermore, nowadays even a 500Euro *MOBILE PHONE* can do above 1080p resolution on a tiny 6" screen, and for that money they give you 32-64GB of flash, 1GB of RAM and a quad-core CPU in a tiny box.
    Thus, I do not buy into this 1080p-1440p crap screen manufacturers are trying to shovel down at our throats for 1000Euros.
    Reply
  • danlw
    At this point, I think an IPS gaming monitor is like SATAe... A technology that can be skipped because something better exists. Give me an OLED gaming monitor. LG makes a 55" 1080p OLED TV for $2000... why not a 24"-ish OLED monitor for under $1000? You'd have a ginormous color gamut, infinite contrast, true black, and response times <1ms. It's time for somebody to come out with an OLED monitor that doesn't cost $5500! (Sony PVMA250)
    Reply
  • MasterMace
    I'm more of the type of consumer that likes products to work as advertised out of the box - i.e. 120hz IPS 1080p out of the box. I don't want to have to "overclock" it to its advertized settings, and then have it not work on the advertised ports.

    Any overclocking I do personally shouldn't be advertised on the box.
    Reply
  • toddybody
    Cool Specs, and I really dig the larger panel size

    ...that said, after using G-Sync for 6 months now I'm scratching my head as to why any manufacturer would make a gaming panel without G-Sync or Free Sync in it.

    Refresh induced stuttering and frame tearing shouldn't be acceptable in 2015
    Reply
  • soldier44
    Been gaming on a HP 30 inch IPS now for 5 years at 60hz. Its been worth every penny for $1200. I would steer clear of this off brand monitor regardless of 120 hz.
    Reply
  • airborn824
    But that price is toooo HIGH!!
    Reply
  • Eggz
    Close, but no cigar, MonoPrice. Looks like the Acer Predator XB270HU stays on top for now.
    Reply
  • whimseh
    Yowza that is overpriced!
    Reply