Despite the many advances in display technology seen in the past two years, the criteria for choosing a gaming monitor remains unchanged. Players need a speedy panel with low input lag, adaptive sync and high contrast. Until now, the fastest displays have been 25-inch TN monitors with 240Hz refresh rates. We’ve long lamented the absence of VA in the competitive gaming genre because it delivers far superior contrast to both TN and IPS. This brings deep blacks and more saturated color to the party. Samsung has answered our call with the 27-inch CRG5, which features a VA panel.
Not only does the CRG5 top in contrast, it boasts very accurate color too. You won’t need to calibrate it if you’re using a DisplayPort input. With over 3000:1 contrast, color looks very saturated and rich. Image depth is well above any IPS or TN gaming monitor we’ve reviewed.
Flaws are minor. The out-of-box HDMI Black Level setting is off, and the CRG5 isn’t really meant to work with FreeSync, where a locked overdrive control caused significant ghosting that was very distracting. There was no such problem when running G-Sync Compatibility, though. That experience was completely positive, thanks to tear-free operation and non-existent input lag. Its total input lag score of 18ms is a new record in our database. It is the fastest monitor we’ve ever reviewed.
The Samsung 27-inch CRG5 delivers what matters most to gamers and enthusiasts – speed, responsiveness, smooth motion, accurate color and, most importantly, high contrast. As the fastest VA monitor currently available, it should be on every gamers’ short list.
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