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LG 34GK950F Curved Gaming Monitor Review: 144Hz Ultrawide With HDR

Editor's Choice

Conclusion

Ultra-wide gaming monitors are clearly a thing these days, and though they are priced at the premium end, many enthusiasts have embraced them. Those seeking ultimate performance, however, may be waiting for ultrawides to match their 16:9 counterparts in all ways. Over the past three years, we’ve seen many new 21:9 displays that offer adaptive refresh and high framerates. But traditional screens still win the speed contest with 144Hz and higher speeds available. The 34GK950F is one of the few 144Hz-native, ultra-wide screens out there, plus it has FreeSync 2 with LFC, HDR and wide gamut color.

Like all LG monitors, the 34GK950F is very accurate out of the box. Though its grayscale measurement is right on the edge of requiring calibration, we recorded excellent color gamut results. Most will be satisfied leaving it in its default Gamer 1 picture mode and adjusting brightness to taste. And if you’re picky like us and want to use sRGB for SDR content, that mode is available and factory-certified for accuracy to boot.

With a VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification, the 34GK950F emits enough light to create decent, if not life-changing, HDR. Highlights pop a little more, and color is clearly more saturated and realistic. Of course, the best way to enjoy this is with HDR games mastered to the DCI-P3 color space.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade an early-generation ultra-wide or you want to leave the world of 16:9 behind, the LG 34GK950F is a great choice. Highly recommended.

MORE: Best Gaming Monitors

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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.
  • mischon123
    -No HDR calibration option
    -Slight gamma errors

    So its a faulty product and the panel is overdriven thus creating the many probs? Thats what a 4.5/editors choice means? Lucky Goldstar peddling off surplus in an advertorial.
    Reply
  • Tanquen
    Is it flat? Nope.
    Is 35"+? Nope.
    Is it 16:10 or 16:9? Nope.
    HDMI 2.1? Nope.
    Is it full 10bit? ?

    I guess that is just never going to happen as long as they can cut a display in half and sell it for more. :(
    Reply
  • drivinfast247
    If this works with Gsync I might pick one up.
    Reply
  • drivinfast247
    Is it flat? Nope.
    Is 35"+? Nope.
    Is it 16:10 or 16:9? Nope.
    HDMI 2.1? Nope.
    Is it full 10bit? ?

    I guess that is just never going to happen as long as they can cut a display in half and sell it for more. :(

    By yourself a 4k TV if you want those options. Or wait for the BFGDs to be released.
    Reply
  • AgentLozen
    Mischon123 said:
    -No HDR calibration option
    -Slight gamma errors

    So its a faulty product and the panel is overdriven thus creating the many probs? Thats what a 4.5/editors choice means? Lucky Goldstar peddling off surplus in an advertorial.

    Fair enough. If a product is bad then it shouldn't get a good review. I understand your sentiment.

    I've pasted the list of Pros that the author gave for this review below. The cons are also down there. Read through the list one more time and weigh each of the points for Pros and for Cons. How important is each point to the overall monitor experience? Then tell me what kind of score you would have given this monitor based on the weight of its Pros and its Cons.

    Pros:
    Out-of-box color accuracy
    Accurate sRGB mode
    DCI-P3 color
    144Hz refresh rate
    FreeSync 2, HDR10 support
    Good blur reduction

    Cons:
    No HDR calibration option
    Slight gamma errors

    Tanquen said:
    Is it flat? Nope.
    Is 35"+? Nope.
    Is it 16:10 or 16:9? Nope.
    HDMI 2.1? Nope.
    Is it full 10bit? ?

    I guess that is just never going to happen as long as they can cut a display in half and sell it for more. :(

    Hey Tanquan. Please read this as being sincere when I say I looked through your list. I wanted to address your complaints with this monitor.

    DrivinFast247 touched on this already, but I wanted to elaborate. Let's say that you were shopping for a new pet and you read a review for a turtle. In the comment section of the turtle review you list out the qualities that you think a pet should have:

    -Does it have fur? Nope.
    -Does it bark? Nope.
    -Does it have paws? Nope.
    -Does it eat dog food? Nope?

    The reason you're so disappointed is because you're looking for a dog. Not a turtle.

    Returning back to the reality of this article, this is an ultra wide display and a good one at that. If you're looking for a big, flat, 16:9 screen then you want a 4K consumer TV. The kind of display reviewed here is only going to disappoint you.
    Reply
  • groundhogdog
    I am struggling to understand why you didnt add any testing or reference for G-Sync functionality with this very popular Freesync monitor. It would clearly be one of the largest points of interest for buyers, and the review is published weeks after testing that would have been possible.
    Reply
  • moogleslam
    Agree with others. We need G-Sync testing.
    Reply
  • rhysiam
    Am I right in saying we've yet to see any ultrawides with FALD and sufficient brightness for a better than HDR400 rating?

    This monitor is almost exactly what I'm looking for, but if I'm spending big on a high end display I really want 5 years from it. HDR implementation in games is very much early days right now, but I expect to see this improve over the next two years and I'm not sure HDR400 is going to cut it.

    144hz, 1440p ultrawide, Freesync 2 is perfect. Even the 8bit FRC is fine by me. I just want a better HDR implementation.

    Am I the only one?
    Reply
  • CircuitWIzardry
    I agree with the others requesting G-Sync Testing? Since support for Freesync is clearly available now with Nvidia cards, not testing this is a huge oversight!
    Reply
  • ubercake
    Me too. I would like to see G-sync tests with the slo-mo capture to determine if any flickering or tearing is occurring. I think the G-sync test should be a new standard test with any freesync monitor to determine compatibility.

    There's tons of value in it because it could potentially save people hundreds of dollars for similarly sped'd freesync monitors compared to their G-sync counterparts.
    Reply