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Acer XR382CQK Curved FreeSync Monitor Review

Gaming With FreeSync

It’s important to remember that with Ultra-wide QHD monitors, the pixel count falls almost exactly in between QHD (2560x1440, 3.7 megapixels) and UHD (3840x2160, 8.3 megapixels). Moving 6.1 megapixels therefore requires a somewhat stout graphics board, though you won’t need the absolute pinnacle of the Radeon or GeForce lines to see decent framerates in most games. But we had very different experiences playing our go-to titles, Tomb Raider and Far Cry 4.

Tomb Raider manages to deliver excellent detail, motion smoothness, and performance on modest systems like our R9 285-based PC. And the various detail levels don’t have much impact on overall quality. We can barely tell the difference between Ultimate and Normal when looking at static objects. The gap in framerates has far greater implications. In Ultimate, we barely cracked 30 FPS, which made the game unplayable. Normal, however, had us reaching for the V-Sync option to keep the speed at 75 FPS or below. Play is super smooth and responsive, and there is no tearing, stutter, or perceivable motion blur. Surface textures and rain effects look particularly good.

Far Cry 4, on the other hand, requires a lot more hardware fortitude to deliver what we consider to be only a little more detail. It features a lot more motion in surrounding objects like plants or dust clouds, but these elements do little to enhance the play experience when you consider the framerate cost. We set detail on Low and managed to hover right around the FreeSync lower limit of 48Hz. While there was no obvious tearing at lower rates, there was a bit of stutter and motion blur present. It might be mitigated by overdrive, but that option isn’t available in FreeSync mode. The game is certainly playable, but to really maximize the fun, you’ll need enough graphics power to get you over 60 FPS.

Compared to other adaptive-sync monitors, of both the FreeSync and G-Sync variety, the XR382CQK offers a similar experience to most, excepting the super high refresh models. The lack of overdrive in FreeSync mode is not a problem if the framerate stays above 60 FPS. And 6.1 mega-pixel resolution means you’ll need a moderately beefy video card to make the magic happen. It’s not quite the commitment required by an Ultra HD screen, but those products are still limited to 60Hz. When you’re spending premium dollars, every frame-per-second counts!

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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.