Results: Grayscale Tracking And Gamma Response
The majority of monitors, especially newer models, display excellent grayscale tracking (even at stock settings). It’s important that the color of white be consistently neutral at all light levels from darkest to brightest. Grayscale performance impacts color accuracy with regard to the secondary colors: cyan, magenta, and yellow. Since computer monitors typically have no color or tint adjustment, accurate grayscale is key.
In Standard mode, the default color temp preset is Warm. Our chart tells a different story. Grayscale errors are skewed towards the cool end of the scale due to excessive amounts of blue. If you don’t plan to calibrate, set the preset on User. That will drop the average error from 5.27 to 3.21 Delta E, which is a visible improvement.
If you have the tools to adjust the RGB sliders, use them. The result is well worth your time.
Except for a little spike at 10 percent, this is pretty close to perfect. As you saw in the previous section, there is almost no reduction in contrast performance when calibrating the G2460PQU’s grayscale tracking.
We now return to the comparison group.
A Delta E measurement of 5.27 is below average out of the box. At least there is relief to be had by switching the color temp preset to User or sRGB. Of course, calibration yields the lowest error of all.
Now that's more like it. A 1.09 Delta E reading is right up there with the best screens we’ve tested. And if you just compare the 144 Hz-capable monitors, the result is a wash. None of them display visible grayscale errors once we get them calibrated. Considering accuracy is not the primary purpose of these panels, the gaming monitors in our results database perform extremely well.
Gamma is the measurement of luminance levels at every step in the brightness range from 0 to 100 percent. It's important because poor gamma can either crush detail at various points or wash it out, making the entire picture appear flat and dull. Correct gamma produces a more three-dimensional image, with a greater sense of depth and realism. Meanwhile, incorrect gamma can negatively affect image quality, even in monitors with high contrast ratios.
In the gamma charts below, the yellow line represents 2.2, which is the most widely used standard for television, film, and computer graphics production. The closer the white measurement trace comes to 2.2, the better.
Most displays have three or more gamma presets that represent the same tracking at different values (1.8, 2.0, 2.2, and so on). AOC's G2460PQU is different in that each preset renders a markedly different gamma response. I’ll show you all three so you can see what I mean.
Gamma 1 is the G2460PQU's default setting. It takes an unusual path in that the luminance errors become darker as brightness rises. Then the 90-percent level suddenly becomes too bright. In a game, tracking like this would manifest as crushed or reduced detail in the brighter portions of the image.
Gamma 2 is the best choice, whether you calibrate or not. It’s not perfect, but the slight aberrations at 10 and 90 percent represent 1.5 cd/m2 at most. That’s a negligible error.
If you’re hoping for a 2.4 power function or BT.1886 gamma result at the number 3 preset, you’re out of luck. The majority of the trace is much too dark. Even at a high backlight setting, gaming would be difficult thanks to a loss of detail. The image is just too murky at this preset.
Here is our comparison group again.
The G2460PQU is right in middle of the gamma range results. All of our test subjects demonstrate tight tracking, including the AOC. And none of them show a visible error.
We calculate gamma deviation by simply expressing the difference from 2.2 as a percentage.
The G2460PQU’s Gamma 2 preset tracks close to our standard of 2.2. In this chart, the top four finishers are particularly close, while the EA274WMi and XL2720Z are a little off the mark. If you want maximum detail in gaming titles, or any other application for that matter, accurate gamma is a must. AOC can deliver it.