Hello everyone on this truly wonderful forum!
I know that the title of this post is self-explanatory but I will start way back just to describe my experience with newer monitors (post 2012).
I've been using LCD displays since 2006 (as far as I recall). Back in the day they were completely OK with little to no eye strain, depending on the unit.
At the end of 2012 I decided to splash the cash on the quite pricey then Samsung S27A850D (first) PLS panel monitor.
It was one of the first 1440p monitors and it was using the then newly-introduced PLS panel by Samsung in their attempt to rival LGs IPS panels.
And brothers and sisters, I have to say this monitor is AMAZING aaand I am STILL using it to this day! I am even writing this post on it. No eye strain since 2012! No PWM, no shimmering, no gimmicks - just an outstanding quality sRGB PLS panel with great accurate colors and sturdy build quality.
But, upgrading my config in 2019 to a i9 9900k and GTX 1080, I decided that it is time to change the monitor as well and I was particularly fond of the idea of high refresh rates as "people on the Internet" said everything will be amazing, fluid, buttery etc, you get the idea. I gave in to marketing you could say. And it was almost 10 years with the Samsung so… naturally went out to look for a nice upgrade.
And as I said in my introduction post, I do a lot of email and text, not only games. I'd split my usage as follows: 70% text and email, 20% gaming (but man, do I enjoy this time!), 10% movies and such (media consumption).
- I first found out that there is something wrong with newer displays when I went out and bought an Acer Predator XB271HUbmiprz gaming monitor in 2020 which I found appalling to say the least upon several days of use and quickly returned. My eyes were bloodshot, had bad headaches and a vertigo-like feeling when trying to look at this monitor for more than 5 minutes.
A huge deal-breaker for me was (and still is) that the monitor had no "Sharpness" tweak whatsoever. It was completely omitted.
Monitor didn't work well under any of the refresh rates possible (60, 85, 120, 144 Hz).
It was as if all pixels were slightly moving even on still images!
This "phenomenon" was completely new and unknown to me coming from the Samsung on which I have a 1-100 sharpness setting in increments of 4. It's absolutely accurate to the point of veeery fine tuning the pixels on lettering.
I thought it was a bad unit, even though it was an IPS panel. And in the back of my mind was the thought that if I buy myself another monitor with a "Sharpness" setting in the OSD, things will go back to normal…
Took me like a month or two to get rid of the blood-shot eyes and headaches and returning to my Samsung was a monumental instant relief.
- In the summer of 2021 I decided to give high refresh rate IPS panels another go and influenced by the HWUnboxed review on YouTube (must admit to my shame 😞) went out and bought the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD. It was a notch better, but it sucked major balls again. So had to return it once more.
On a positive note - I really liked the Quantum Dot gimmick! Colors were vivid but could not clamp them. Anyway, this is not a huge problem.
The problem was once more the blurry pixels on letters even though this unit had "Sharpness" settings in the OSD. Again, tried all I could, even paid for a professional calibration, tried all brightness/sharpness/contrast ratios I could, all ICC profiles I could get my hands on, all NVIDIA tweaks possible, absolutely EVERYTHING but to no avail. In still images and in lettering pixels still looked as if they were slightly moving, even though hard to notice, but thought this is where my eye strain came from. Had no better idea.
Funny thing is when I returned it, retailer was reluctant to accept it back because it had been opened etc. But after accepting it and doing some testing on it to see what it is that I didn't like about this "perfectly fine monitor" (in his own words) HE CALLED ME AND APOLOGIZED ON THE PHONE FOR NOT BELIEVING ME and said that he experienced a bad head ache and bloody eyes just after 30 minutes of testing… I gotta tell you: this speaks volumes, folks! And quite decent of him, god bless the fellow!
I was so desperate after that second failed attempt that it felt as if manufacturers forgot how to make a decent monitor!
So now that you know my experience you'd figure by now that I am very cautious about my next monitor purchase.
There was this post: https://ledstrain.org/d/379-eyestrain-solved-after-6-years-and-multiple-panels-lg-32gk850g
by user "f3likx" who said that he bought the LG 32GK850-G VA panel and all his eye strain troubles were over.
- Could it be my GPU - I read on this same forum something about "Bad GTX 10**s"?
- Could it be high refresh rate IPS panels in general?
- Does VA handle high refresh rates better than IPS?
- Could it be the Temporal Dithering (I found out about it on this forum as well)?
- Or any combination of the above?
AND LASTLY: MY QUESTION for people who have tested both units:
LG 32GP850-G (IPS) or LG 32GK850-G (VA) for 10+ hours in front of the monitor every day?
And if one is better over the other but is bad on the eyes in some way BUT you happen to know a tweak how to make it the "perfect monitor", "holy grail" etc. - please don't be shy to share this information 🙂
Feel free to suggest other 32 inch monitor options that YOU HAVE USED and have a personal opinion about.
NO CURVED displays please!
Would love for f3likx to join in on this conversation as well!
Thank you for getting to the end of this "drama" and for considering a reply!