To learn about our HDR testing, see our breakdown of how we test PC monitors.
The VG259QM is fully compatible with HDR10 signals, automatically switching into that mode when one is detected. There, you get two HDR picture modes, Gaming and Cinema, that differ only in their luminance curves. There is no dynamic contrast, so the resulting image is only a little different that its SDR counterpart.
For gaming, we suggest leaving HDR off, so you can use ELMB together with Adaptive-Sync. The Acer, Samsung and HP panels do not offer HDR, so they aren’t included in the following charts.
HDR Brightness and Contrast
The VG259QM exceeds its DisplayHDR 400 certification with just over 450 nits output. But with a high 0.3920-nit black level, there won’t be much extra image depth for HDR content. Resulting contrast is almost exactly the same as the SDR number we recorded. So, the VG259QM can do HDR, but it won’t make much difference to picture quality. We measured both Gaming and Cinema HDR modes and got identical peak white, minimum black and contrast numbers.
Grayscale, EOTF and Color
The VG259QM certainly excels in its HDR accuracy. Grayscale tracking in both Gaming and Cinema modes is essentially perfect with no visible errors at any brightness level. You can see the difference in the EOTF luminance curves. Gaming makes a sharp transition to tone-mapping (where the display takes over control of luminance to signal ratio) at around 60%. Cinema makes a more gradual change starting at 50%m where it is a little dimmer than the reference line. This is a good look for movies. When gaming, definitely choose Gaming HDR for its sharper transitions and better perceived contrast. It also looks brighter when showing real-world content.
In either mode, color tracking is the same. There is enough blue available to hit the DCI-P3 targets while the VG259QM does its best with red and green. It comes close to the targets from 20-80%, then tops out at roughly 85% saturation. This is a good approach because it maintains accuracy for as much of the DCI color range as possible. Extended color content looks natural and correct but doesn’t have quite the impact that it would on a monitor with greater gamut volume.
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