Out-Of-Box Performance: Color Accuracy And Gamut
We are using a Spectracal-certified X-Rite i1Pro, along with CalMan, to report color gamut and color accuracy. For those unfamiliar with the terms, color gamut refers to the range of colors that a display can reproduce, and color accuracy refers to the display's ability to output the color requested by the GPU. Typically, professionals represent these values by showing a gamut and a delta E value, which is a mathematical representation of how far apart the display's output is to the original source. The higher the delta E value, the more inaccurate the color representation. An uncalibrated delta E is largely a worthless number. Delta E is dependent on the black and white luminance levels, contrast ratio, color temperature, and target gamma.
Suppose there are two displays. One has an uncalibrated delta E value of 3.0, and the other, 2.1. It is hard to make a comparison without first calibrating the color space. It's almost like benchmarking a GeForce GTX 580 at 2560x1600 with anti-aliasing enabled against a Radeon HD 5870 at 1920x1080 without AA. Do the results of that test mean the 580 performs better? Not necessarily. Monitor calibration is to display quality what quality settings are to game benchmarks. By calibrating a display, we are able to normalize the settings and see how one display compares to another.
For this reason, we’re going to provide information in the form of a color gamut map, along with a gamut luminance chart. This gives you a better picture of how a display performs, both fresh out of the box and once it's calibrated.
Color Gamut and Accuracy
CalMan uses specific targets, which are displayed as squares in the gamut xy map. The dots are the actual measured values. Gamut luminance expresses how bright the primary and secondary colors are in relation to the source color requested by the GPU (gray bars are target values).
Gamut CIE XY Map
Samsung's PX2370 still leads the pack when it comes to overall gamut volume, while all of the 22" LCDs produce close to 60% of the AdobeRGB 1998 color gamut. The E2241V does relatively well here because it's the closest to visually approximating a 6500 K white point.
As we turn to color quality, all three monitors seem to have a problem with green luminance; each monitor produces too much. The SR2220L and E2241V also seem to suffer a bit in blues and yellows. Both produce too little brightness in the former and too much in the latter. The S22A350H yields luminance close to our targets, but the color accuracy is still way off near the green border, though not as much as the other two monitors. However, Samsung's 22" seems to have a slight weakness in the accuracy of its magenta reproduction.