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Rafal

Asking for advice on buying an ultrawide monitor

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Hello, fellow simmers!

 

I was initially planning to replace my 5 year old computer this month. However we had some unexpected expenses, so I have to give it up for another year.

But, instead, I successfully negotiated (good wife, good wife) getting a new monitor to replace my (nice anyway) 23" Samsung SyncMaster (1920x1080).

 

I am still on FSX (boxed) and it won't change at least until I but a new PC, which means at least one more year I guess.

My current system is not a most modern top-notch rig with a space CPU and moster GPU, lol:

i5 2500k 3.3 GHz @ 4.0, GTX 560Ti 1GB, Z68, 8 GB RAM, WD Caviar 500 GB 7200 rpm, Corsair HX750W PSU, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

 

Now, I did my homework and studied both this and other fora, watched a lot of YouTube reviews, studied theory, etc.

But I am still in doubt, so I decided to ask here since I know there are so many knowledgeable and helpful folks among you.

 

Initially I was considering buying either a larger 16:9 monitor, 27" or 29", or going the ultrawide (21:9) way.

Reading fora and watching YouTube previews, I came to a conclusion getting an ultrawide could bring an exciting brand new simming experience.

Especially that when I do not fly, I work a lot with documents (mostly Word and PDFs) and graphics/photo edition (a bit for work and a lot as a hobby).

And it looks like having such a width (21:9) gives you a lot of useful space for opening two, or even more, wide windows at the same time. Seems cool!

 

I won't hide money is a factor for me. So I found something that seems a nice compromise of size, quality and, of course, price. It is a 34" 21:9 LG 34UM68-P.

Here's a link for those who have not seen the monitor before: http://www.lg.com/us/monitors/lg-34UM68-P-ultrawide-monitor

 

Now the questions for my dear simfriends:

 

This LG monitor's resolution is 2560x1080. There are quality 21:9 monitors with 3440x1440, but their prices go over my current budget limit.

Is the 2560x1080 quality (especially on 34") really noticeable, I mean pixels and unsharp letters? I usually have my eyes about 1 metre (3.3 feet) from the screen.

   

Is this true (sounds logical) that buying a higher res monitor (e.g. 3440x1440 in case of ultrawide) requires a good rig, especially graphics card (which I do not own)?

I already have to compromise a lot to get an okay performance on FSX with DX10 and Steve's fixer. I manage to get 20-30 FPS at busy airports, a bit more in flight and a bit less in heavy weather (falling to teens sometimes). Currently I am flying FSL A320, which rather is a performance monster, so it hurts a bit I must say. My rig would have a hard time to bear more.

 

Also does the high res monitor mean icons and menus are really tiny? I do not wear glasses (yet!), but my sight is not as good as it used to be.

I spend many hours a day in front of the monitor, not only flying but also (or maybe first of all) working with documents, browsing the web and watching videos.

What would be better for readability, theoretically, higher res meaning better image quality (I guess), or larger fonts and icons?

 

Living in a small town, I have no opportunity to test this (or similar) monitor in the shop, so I need to base my judgement on what I read and watch.

Therefore any thoughts of people who experience(d) switching to higher res and/or ultrawide monitors would be very much appreciated by me.

 

I am sorry if my questions seem stupid. I am just in need for a new monitor and don't want to regret spending these 450 euro (480 dollars).

 

Thank you very very much in advance!

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Your icons will not look tiny. Your display will not be as sharp as your current monitor. Your performance will be about the same. It sounds like you understand all the compromises.
 
At the end of the day it comes down to two things: number of pixels in total (affects performance) and number of pixels per inch (affects sharpness). The display you are looking at has fewer ppi, so it will not look quite as sharp but it will be sharp enough, certainly for FSX. On balance I'd say it will be a better monitor. Your alternative would be to find three 19" 4:3 monitors and use those, but unfortunately I don't think your GPU supports nvidia Surround. (And in any case that would give you a big performance hit, just like going to a 3440x1440 ultrawide.)

 

This is a very useful too.

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Dear Mark,

 

Thanks so much for your quick and helpful reply.

 

Yes, I think I do understand the compromises.

All in all I read so much about it for the last three days. :smile:

 

Three monitors would definitelly be an overkill for my CPU/GPU.

And you confirm 3440x1440 would be a heavy burden too. I thought so.

 

I will study the link you sent me.

A lot of data for my brain, lol.

 

So, all in all, looks like my 34" 21:9 2560x1080 LG choice would be good.

I am very glad to deduce so. :Big Grin:

 

 

Enjoy your Sunday!

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About 21:9 aspect ratio.

 

Icons are not tiny...you have TONS of Desktop real estate.  You can customize your display until the cows come home.

 

My display is SHARPER than my Samsung 25 inch Wide Screen...and I guess, it all depends on the model, manufactuer, the panel technolgy that that panel uses, that will come into play. The model I am typing about, has a magnificent IPS display...and the clarity, factory spec's depth of color, makes you dive into the scene.  Not clear and crisp?  Pheffff......

 

I have just upgraded from a Samsung 25 inch Wide Screen that native, was 1920x1200 at 16:9

 

to:

 

A Dell Ultra Wide 21:9 U3415W 3440x1440 native and cannot recommend this monitor for graphics quality, form and fit, warranty allowance, and simply a TON of features that can be adjusted by the User, simply highly enough!

 

One has to experience the user viewpoint of an Ultra Wide 21:9 aspect ratio to really apprecieate what your new viewpoint actually, now is!!!  The cockpit is always,when you view straight ahead, in view...and not what is past it.  If you pan, you must turn your head to re-view your central visual fix, which is so real world, and natural.  I could never go back to anything else since having had the pleasure of ownership of this fine monitor.  

 

The quality of visual output is simply superb!  To the O.P.  Yes...you DO want to advance to an Ultra Wide 21:9 viewpoint. an IPS panel display (the colors are dead on, calibrated...and have rich depth) and the Dell Ultra Wide U3415W was in many multi-tests by reviewers, of this Ultra Wide, compared to other manufacturers, for price, performance, and value...as their top choice, pick, and recommendation.

 

Dell gives you a three year Premium warranty, that if even one pixel...goes bright, or dead, the panel will be replaced, no questions asked.  The quality control on this panel from the factory is (because of the warranty offered) of the highest standard, and each monitor, comes with a reference page, that the tester (named) and the equipment used, the tests used...for calibration is ONLY for the monitor you will have upon the desktop before you.  

 

My experience with Dell, from purchase, to delivery, and to the actual monitor now sitting before me, was top notch.  Not one complaint.

 

And finally, the monitor, and graphic performance capability itself.....????    Two words:   "Wow....and wow....".

 

To the O.P.   if you decide to get the Dell I am typing about.  READ THE MANUAL! LOL.  You have so much control of everything...and I mean...EVERYTHING!   How much you 'suck the marrow from the bones' of this fabulous monitor...is only in your hands!

 

Cheers n' beers,

 

Mitch

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Hi, Mitch!

 

Thank you very much for your detailed post. I really appreciate it.

Yes, I also do have this inside feeling ultrawide is the way to go. :smile:

 

As for the monitor you recommend I have no doubts it is a very good one.

Unfortunately it definitely exceeds my final monitor budget for the moment being almost twice as expensive as the LG I mentioned.

Plus I am not particularly into curved screens. At least not yet.

 

Thanks again for your precious remarks.

They make difficult decisions much easier.

 

Enjoy your afternoon!

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Hi, Mitch!

 

Thank you very much for your detailed post. I really appreciate it.

Yes, I also do have this inside feeling ultrawide is the way to go. :smile:

 

As for the monitor you recommend I have no doubts it is a very good one.

Unfortunately it definitely exceeds my final monitor budget for the moment being almost twice as expensive as the LG I mentioned.

Plus I am not particularly into curved screens. At least not yet.

 

Thanks again for your precious remarks.

They make difficult decisions much easier.

 

Enjoy your afternoon!

Respect your comments...but one final thought, Rafal

 

Trust me...and I guess, you will have to do that...since you have not owned a curved-forward monitor...the Dell I mention, has a very mild curve..and honestly, I thought before ownership...this was a gimmick.  Rafal, not so.  It brings you TRULY, into the cockpit.....into the movie..into the landscape, or picture...honestly...you WANT this.... :)

 

The other thought.  You will have this monitor for perhaps over ten years....not much more to upgrade quite frankly, if you take into account the size, graphic output quality, panel technology, and native resolution.  You might want to find a way to make it possible for you to purchase at this level.  The amortization of use, will more than offset of buying, what you perceive to be right now, as elevated beyond your set budget threshold.  

 

What I am saying I guess...is if you need to take out a loan, for the amount of funds beyond , at present, what you have as liquid, to make the purchase, will, in my opinion, be a very sound financial investment.  You pay off that small loan for the difference over budget, and are left with a pretty spectacular monitor. The payments end...the monitor continues...the sheer enjoyment and satisfaction of use, ....continues.

 

Just a thought.  Enjoy whatever experience you decide upon my friend! :)

 

Good flying....

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Thanks a lot, Mitch!

 

Your words are full of wisdom and reason. Hard to disagree.

 

No, it's not a question of loan, just a solid promise I won't spend more on a monitor.

Sometimes a limit must be set no matter what reasoning stands just behind it.

 

Also, as you may have noticed in my initial post, I have and old PC with rather average CPU and GPU.

And that is not to change for at least another year.

 

Your posts are food for thought taken from your personal experience, which I appreciate so much.

Thank you once again. Whatever decision I make, they will be part of it.

 

All the best!

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I wonder if the ultra-wide monitors have the same problem with the reverse fish-eye (zoom problem) as you move away from center as multi-monitor set ups have, but I'd look into that.  Of course if you'd be using it with other gaming software, then you wouldn't have that problem (only with FSX/P3D).

 

Instead of an ultra-wide, you might consider going 4K - the prices have dropped considerably this holiday season!.  I ran 3, 23 inch monitors for many years, but I went to a 55 inch 4K TV a few months ago and it's blown me away - totally changed by sim experience.  Of course it's not ultra-wide, but I actually prefer it like this.  I also have a TRACKIR, but as I fly commercial airliners I only use the TRACKIR for taxi, departure and landing.

 

If you decide to look at 4K and run NVIDIA (recommended, though from your specs I think you know that) you'll need at least a 900 series video card.

 

FYI:  I run a GTX960 (lower end of the 900 Series) to push the 55K UHDTV, and x3 23 inch monitors all on a i7-4770K (non overclocked).  The 23 inch monitors are used for streaming software, EFB, VATSPY, Charts, Web Pages, etc while running FSX/P3D.   I run all payware scenery, FTX Global/Vector, REX4, etc.  I get fantastic frame rates under both FSX:SE and P3DV3.

 

NOTE:  You're system is older, but that processor is one of the best ever produced for FSX/P3D. I don't think you'll see any performance increase by building a new computer and if you did it would be negligible. Still, if you decide on a new build then let me know, I might have a home for your existing rig.

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Thanks a lot, Mitch!

 

Your words are full of wisdom and reason. Hard to disagree.

 

No, it's not a question of loan, just a solid promise I won't spend more on a monitor.

Sometimes a limit must be set no matter what reasoning stands just behind it.

 

Also, as you may have noticed in my initial post, I have and old PC with rather average CPU and GPU.

And that is not to change for at least another year.

 

Your posts are food for thought taken from your personal experience, which I appreciate so much.

Thank you once again. Whatever decision I make, they will be part of it.

 

All the best!

All the best to you...and a most Merry Holidays, this season!

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Dave, so nice to hear from you here at AVSIM! :smile:

Thanks so much for jumping into this interesting and helpful discussion.

 

To begin with, thank you for praising my old PC. Well, when I was ordering it, I made a thorough inquiry in AVSIM forums and, like now, many good folks shared good advice.

Its only disadvantage appreared to be cooling. So, to support my personal BIOS overclock to 4.0 GHz (it won't go higher without BSOD's), I use the most natural cooling method called no-case-cover-mounted, lol (really). But my GPU, as you noticed yourself, is too weak to support modern demands, including using 4K monitors, I am afraid. Investing in a new one would bite my budget even more (add it to the planned monitor), so I must sadly say it doesn't look like a possibility.

 

That's why I chose this LG monitor being 2560x1080 instead of 3440x1440 - cheaper and less processing demand. Am I right thinking so?

It would certainly be nicer to see higher res, but the two line-above mentioned reasons plus the icon/font size (I work on my PC too) seem a no go?

 

You have a nice multi-monitor setup, Dave! I tried to use two monitors (I still have my previous 19" LG) for charts and other stuff, but I had an impression of decreased performance. I also tried a two-PC system (I still have my previous computer as a backup in case my current one dies unexpectedly). But it appeared I am a guy who is too lazy to bother with operating two computers at the same time. :blush:

 

As for a new home for my current PC, if you are serious Dave, you might be surprised one day!

 

Thanks a lot for your precious input.

It makes me think twice.

____________________________________________________________

 

most Merry Holidays, this season!

 

Same to you, Mitch!

Enjoy your life fully.

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A Dell Ultra Wide 21:9 U3415W 3440x1440 native and cannot recommend this monitor for graphics quality, form and fit, warranty allowance, and simply a TON of features that can be adjusted by the User, simply highly enough!

 

The one I own and agree!!  The OP's recommendation will work nicely too! 

 

Do it!

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Jim, hello!

 

What a great thread it has become thanks to such notable guests joining the discussion.

 

Jim, whatever you mean by 'Do it!' (follow the advice from Mitch or my suggested choice), you bet I will do it! :Big Grin:

Tomorrow might be the order day.

 

By the way, Jim, how is your sim performance on 3440x1440?

Interesting especially especially in case you went from 1920x1080. Did you?

I wonder how much of the FPS/VAS difference you saw jumping up to 3440x1440.

And did you change your video card for that occasion?

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Either monitor will be good choices and this is the best time to buy with all of the "Black Friday's" and "Black Monday's" (I just got a new Samsung 65" 4K UHD TV for $2500 off)!  Your upgrade from 23" to 34" will be a real blast.  I only upgraded from 30" to 34" but it was still nice.  You'll especially like all of the many YouTube videos of our members flying their favorite aircraft and the many, many tutorials (not to mention the soon to be released PMDG747 which should fit your screen nicely without squinting)...

 

Best regards,

Jim

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I wonder if the ultra-wide monitors have the same problem with the reverse fish-eye (zoom problem) as you move away from center as multi-monitor set ups have

 

Running a single 21:9 display is pretty much the same as running a 3-screen setup, except you don't have the bezels in the way. In other words, the distortion issues will be exactly the same. Or rather, in practice it will not be quite as noticeable because 21:9 is a lower aspect ratio than most 3-screen setups*. Of course that also means in some ways it's not as good as a 3-screen setup because it's not as wide. I think 21:9 is a good aspect ratio on balance, especially with a TrackIR. I just wish they made them a bit bigger! Personally, if I was going to use the virtual cockpit primarily I'd go 4K, as that's a more natural aspect ratio.

 

I'm not convinced the curve has much effect. Technically it should make the field of view a bit wider that the equivalent flat display, although I'm not sure how to calculate by how much. The Dell 34" monitor is 80cm wide and the curve has a radius of 3.8m. That's only 12 degrees of arc. Drawing a scale diagram has convinced me that the difference in FOV will be miniscule even at viewing distances well below 1m. 

 

(*My own setup uses 19" 4:3 monitors and has a 4:1 aspect, while most people use 1080p monitors, which approach 5.5:1, assuming bezel correction. By comparison, 21:9 is about 2.3:1.)

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Mark, hello again!

 

I think 21:9 is a good aspect ratio on balance, especially with a TrackIR

 

That's great to hear, especially that I forgot to mention I use TrackIR5!


I just wish they made them a bit bigger!

 

Right, hence my choice drifting towards 34" compared to more popular 29".

The LG 34UM68-P seems quite a large boy: 830 x 549 x 252 mm.

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