Choices in fast-refresh IPS screens are pretty limited right now. And even announced products don’t boast the size of the G-Pro 120Hz. But you won’t see a great reduction in motion blur thanks to a frame-skipping artifact. You will enjoy low input lag and a monitor with solid build quality and a sharp bright picture. If you must have an IPS gaming monitor, Monoprice can put one on your desktop.
120Hz stability • Brightness • Build quality • Clarity • Saturated color • Size
Frame-skipping over 60Hz • Running over 60Hz requires custom resolution presets • Wide-gamut only (no sRGB)
Why you can trust Tom's Hardware
We’ve reviewed quite a few gaming monitors lately, and all but one were based on old-school twisted-nematic (TN) technology. While these panels offer all of the contrast, color accuracy and brightness of more contemporary in-plane switching (IPS) parts, they suffer from poor off-axis image quality. And in the 27-inch form factor, it gets harder to find that perfect sweet spot where the picture looks uniform from edge to edge.
IPS panels improve upon competing technologies in every area but one – speed. It seems that running one at refresh rates over 60Hz is something of an engineering challenge. Until recently, Overlord Computer was the only company stepping up to build a true IPS-based gaming monitor. Its Tempest X270OC fared extremely well in our tests last summer. We thought it would compel other vendors to join the IPS/gaming category, but sadly that didn't come to pass. Only Acer has joined in with its 27-inch XG270HU, a monitor we expect to have in our labs very soon.
When Monoprice announced its 120Hz G-Pro IPS 30-inch display, we were quick to request a sample. Not only does it offer extra speed, but you get a large 16:10 screen based on a well-engineered LG panel part with LED backlighting.
|Panel Type & Backlight
|AH-IPS / GB-r-LED, edge array
|Screen Size & Aspect Ratio
|30in / 16:10
|Max Resolution & Refresh
|2560x1600 @ 120Hz
|Native Color Depth & Gamut
|10-bit / Adobe RGB
|Response Time (GTG)
|1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI, 1 x VGA
|1 x 3.5mm stereo in/out, 1 x Optical Digital output
|Panel DimensionsWxHxD w/base
|27.25 x 24 x 8.5in687 x 605 x 214mm
|1.9in / 48mm
|.7 / 1 / 1.2in18 / 25 / 30mm
It’s interesting to note that Monoprice markets the G-Pro solely as a gaming monitor. If you look at the specs, however, it almost carries professional display cred. The GB-r-LED backlight enables wide-gamut operation. which Monoprice doesn’t advertise on its website. Then again, the extra gamut volume is unnecessary for gaming or typical computing tasks. We only wish there was an sRGB option in the OSD. You may have also noticed the 10-bit color depth. LG's panel is indeed natively 10-bit, though you need a full 10-bit signal path from your graphics card to take advantage.
That's not to draw attention away from the main reason we're here today: the G-Pro’s 120Hz refresh rate. Monoprice describes the screen as “overclockable” rather than simply rating it like other companies. What this means, as we quickly realized, is that you have to create your own resolution presets to enable refresh rates higher than 60Hz. And you can only use the DVI interface. DisplayPort has the necessary bandwidth, but it wouldn’t work for us at 120Hz.
We’ll lay our findings out over the next seven pages. In short though, while the G-Pro does work as advertised, it isn’t quite plug-and-play. What you do get is a wide-gamut display with reasonably fast panel response and low input lag. If that is your primary gaming requirement, and you want a large 16:10-aspect screen, this is the only game in town for now. Let’s take a look.
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.
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
Monoprice is such a cheap-skate name. Why not chose a brandname less price concious like Lemon or something?Reply
I think this FINALLY is a step in the RIGHT direction. Sadly you cannot buy this in Europe.Reply
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.
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
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.Reply
Any overclocking I do personally shouldn't be advertised on the box.
Cool Specs, and I really dig the larger panel sizeReply
...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
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
But that price is toooo HIGH!!Reply
Close, but no cigar, MonoPrice. Looks like the Acer Predator XB270HU stays on top for now.Reply
Yowza that is overpriced!Reply