Results: Color Gamut And Performance
Color gamut is measured using a saturation sweep that samples the six main colors (red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, and yellow) at five saturation levels (20, 40, 60, 80, and 100%). This provides a more realistic view of color accuracy. Since there are no color management controls on either monitor, we're only showing the post-calibration graphs (although we’re sure they'd look pretty much the same out-of-box).
Color luminance is a little low for blue, red, and magenta, and the error increases as the saturation rises. Green, yellow, and cyan maintain almost perfect levels at all saturation points. The net effect on Delta E is small, with the exception of blue, which has visible errors from 40 percent and up. The other colors stay closer to or underneath the visible error level of three. This is a fair result.
Samsung's S27B970D measures noticeably better than the ViewSonic in its Standard mode. The only color showing any real inaccuracy is blue, but the error is slight. Again, this is mostly caused by its low luminance, especially at 100 percent. Aside from that, this is an extremely accurate panel. We did measure a slightly better result in the sRGB mode, but since this prevented us from correcting any grayscale error, we decided to stick with Standard.
Here is the comparison of post-calibration chromaticity error. Remember that a Delta E value below three is imperceptible to the naked eye.
All of the panels we’ve tested recently have no visible color error. Samsung’s average Delta E value is extremely low at 1.62 in the Standard picture mode. The factory-calibrated mode comes out a bit higher, with a Delta E of 2.69. Coincidentally, ViewSonic also turns out a Delta E value of 2.69. This is excellent performance.
Gamut Volume: Adobe RGB 1998
There are basically two categories of displays in use today: those that conform to the sRGB standard like HDTVs, and wide-gamut panels that show as much as 100 percent of the Adobe RGB 1998 spec.
The VP2770-LED and S27B970D fall into the former category, making them ideal for gaming and video content. Even out of the box, each screen's image will closely match the TV in your living room. If you require a larger color gamut for photo or graphics production, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
We use Gamutvision to calculate the gamut volume based on an ICC profile created from actual measurements. Given the premium price of the Samsung, we expected at least a wide-gamut option. But alas, there isn’t one. Both screens offer about the same gamut size as their competition.
Monitors that display more of the Adobe RGB 1998 gamut are generally priced higher. But they won't look as good in movies or games due to their higher color saturation. Unless the content is actually mastered using the larger gamut (and none presently is), it won’t display correctly on a monitor designed to conform to Adobe RGB 1998. So, it’s important to select a monitor based on its intended use, rather than the size of its color gamut.