Brightness & Contrast
To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
There are plenty of options among today’s gaming displays, all depending on how much money one wants to spend. Our comparison group for the XG32V includes two 240Hz screens, Alienware’s AW2518H and ViewSonic’s XG2530. Larger monitors are represented by LG’s 34UC97G, and Acer’s Z301C and XR382CQK. All offer either G-Sync or FreeSync adaptive refresh.
The Strix XG32V doesn’t quite reach its 300cd/m2 claim in our testing. Luckily, there is no backlight strobe feature, so this isn’t a big deal. A large screen like this can look amazing at lower brightness levels, and there is no lack of brilliance here. Class-leading black levels take the default contrast ratio over 3000:1, which is a win no matter how you look at it. While some may decry the QHD resolution, this panel’s extra image depth and fast refresh more than make up for any lack of pixel density.
Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level
The minimum backlight setting is an almost-ideal 53.8530cd/m2, great for gaming in the dark. We noticed that by leaving the LED effects at a steady low brightness, it actually enhanced perceived image quality by closing down our pupils a bit. This is similar to the bias lights used in home theaters. Contrast remains consistent throughout the backlight’s operating range at over 3000:1.
After Calibration to 200cd/m2
Calibration cost us a bit of contrast, but the difference between the Acer Z301C and Asus Strix XG32V is not one that can be seen, only measured. We lowered the contrast slider to tighten up grayscale tracking, but that adjustment isn’t absolutely necessary. This is great performance at any rate. When VA becomes more common at higher resolutions, IPS may have some serious competition on its hands. The positive effect of extra contrast cannot be overstated.
ANSI Contrast Ratio
The Strix XG32V’s intra-image contrast remains at a high level and easily wins the day here. This isn’t a terribly expensive monitor, and it displays high quality for the money. You can see it has a huge advantage over the IPS and TN panels in the group. Though it won’t quite achieve the warp speeds of the 240Hz screens, that extra image depth is a worthwhile tradeoff.
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