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Samsung 27-Inch CRG5 240Hz Monitor Review: VA With Record-Breaking Speed

The contrast of VA with highly competitive speed.

Editor's Choice
(Image: © Samsung)

Despite the many advances in display technology seen in the past two years, the criteria for choosing a gaming monitor remains unchanged. Players need a speedy panel with low input lag, adaptive sync and high contrast. Until now, the fastest displays have been 25-inch TN monitors with 240Hz refresh rates. We’ve long lamented the absence of VA in the competitive gaming genre because it delivers far superior contrast to both TN and IPS. This brings deep blacks and more saturated color to the party. Samsung has answered our call with the 27-inch CRG5, which features a VA panel.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Not only does the CRG5 top in contrast, it boasts very accurate color too. You won’t need to calibrate it if you’re using a DisplayPort input. With over 3000:1 contrast, color looks very saturated and rich. Image depth is well above any IPS or TN gaming monitor we’ve reviewed.

Flaws are minor. The out-of-box HDMI Black Level setting is off, and the CRG5 isn’t really meant to work with FreeSync, where a locked overdrive control caused significant ghosting that was very distracting. There was no such problem when running G-Sync Compatibility, though. That experience was completely positive, thanks to tear-free operation and non-existent input lag. Its total input lag score of 18ms is a new record in our database. It is the fastest monitor we’ve ever reviewed.

The Samsung 27-inch CRG5 delivers what matters most to gamers and enthusiasts – speed, responsiveness, smooth motion, accurate color and, most importantly, high contrast. As the fastest VA monitor currently available, it should be on every gamers’ short list.

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  • Wanderingm00se
    It might be asking for a lot, but could we expand the testbed for freesync for faster GPU's, I don't imagine many people are buying a 240hz monitor at 100fps. Not sure if there would still be ghosting at 200fps, I know the impact changes at different refresh rates.
    Reply
  • OMGPWNTIME
    I ended up buying this monitor because of this review, and I have to say I'm extremely disappointed in the G-Sync capabilities. It has terrible inverse ghosting/overshoot. This is with an EVGA RTX 2070 through displayport @ 240hz.

    How does something like this get labeled as G-Sync compatible; the fact that you can physically enable the feature?

    The effect is minimized greatly if you're getting over 200fps but in a game like The Division 2 where I hover in the mid 80's, it's unbelievably apparent and actually rather nauseating (not to mention unusable). Even in COD MW I'm getting ~160fps and the issue is still quite apparent, especially on the night missions such as 'Clean House'. Shades of green show it the worst, even at 240fps you can see the overshoot clearly.

    Edit: Amazon ended up sending me a replacement unit and it's exactly the same, just going to have to return it as it really isn't G-Sync compatible in the slightest. Running without G-Sync results in an extremely smeary experience. It's a real shame as it does have some of the inkiest blacks I've seen and the colors + contrast are truly impressive.

    I even tried using CRU to limit the VRR range to force it to double but it ends up looking extremely smeary and feeling rather slow, regular 240hz mode is better (which isn't saying much).
    Reply
  • elninocro
    u cant rely on reviews anymore.
    "everything is fine, theres minor drawback but overall is 110% purchase"
    i guess reviewers chasing that everything is fine, so they get more toys to play with.
    Reply
  • CPUzer0
    OMGPWNTIME said:
    How does something like this get labeled as G-Sync compatible; the fact that you can physically enable the feature?
    That's the thing - this monitor is G-Sync compatible, the lowest tier of G-Sync. G-Sync compatible certification doesn't require variable overdrive, which this monitor lacks with it enabled. This is the one true (and huge) flaw of the monitor, otherwise it's actually rather impressive for a relatively inexpensive VA monitor. If i primarily played games that don't run a near constant 240 fps, i would have returned mine, the overshoot at lower framerates with g-sync enabled is pretty horrid. Luckily i do primarily play games that i can run at 240, those games that do not i've disabled g-sync for in nvidia control panel. Good enough workaround. But still, the overshoot issue at lower framerates is potentially such a huge dealbreaking issue that it should be mentioned in bold letters in every review of this monitor.
    Reply
  • OMGPWNTIME
    On a possibly positive note, Samsung finally responded to my post on their forums I made 2 months ago and claimed they forwarded my info to their Engineers. If they somehow implement variable overdrive that would be awesome (there is one monitor available with variable overdrive without the g-sync module)
    Reply