120/144Hz Thread of Lightboosting Pixel Perfect Headshots

#1
Before you read this, I want everyone to click on this link to BlurBusters, as a good amount of my knowledge has come from Mark Rejhon and the amazing work he does there. This is one of the most important websites for information regarding display technology. Visit it more often.

Why use a high refresh rate monitor?

The importance of a high refresh rate monitor is something that is hard to describe, because it really is an interesting experience going from one to the other. Outside of subjective enjoyment level, there are some hard facts on why it is objectively better than using standard 60Hz displays.

Much is said about graphical fidelity to present a lifelike creation to fully immerse the player. I’m sure everyone has been told by Dennis how important this is. No matter how pretty those pixels are, you also need proper illusion of motion. Without this, you just have a pretty slideshow.

“But 60 fps/hz is great, it’s so smooth”, you say. There’s also a lot of people who insist their 30 fps times are great too. But, there’s still room for improvement. Though for some the transition from 60 to 120/144hz might not be as significant as going from 30 to 60 for some, for others it’s the difference between night and day.

Generally this split is between competitive gamers and those who enjoy more standard AAA, RPG, strategy, or indie games. The high speed and movement in competitive games does lend itself towards being more obviously smooth with a higher refresh rate. Don’t count yourself out, as even people who are bad at games like Sethos and Smokey will attest to an improved experience in most games. It’s even been known to reduce or eliminate frame tearing.

The other major factor is motion blur. For those who started being extremely interested in games in the last console lifecycle, I can see the confusion on your face right now. Motion Blur is not a graphical improvement. It was designed to make a sub-par 30 fps experience feel smooth. What it does is muddy everything on screen, reducing graphical fidelity. Getting rid of that mess is the key to having a consistent level of clarity and richness.

Using everyone’s favorite blur tool, Testufo, take a look at these differences.

60Hz
120Hz
120Hz w/ Lightboost

Lightboost? What is this?
You should read this. But, the tl;dr version is that it strobes the backlight only when the LCD panel has fully refreshed, presenting a series of clear images rather than holding on to a refresh before the next occurs.
Click this to read more about why even OLED’s with a zero response time have motion blur, due to the sample-and-hold effect.

What this means is a return to CRT days when everything was crisp, without the downsides of the technology.​

Okay mkenyon, I’m intrigued, but don’t you need like 15 Titans in SLI with a 20 core processor?

Well, for your graphic hog type games you do need a beast of a system. But most games can get to 8.3ms frame times (120 fps), fairly easily. Here’s some results from benchmarks I ran about a year back on a 3570K and 7970 @ 1100 MHz. All games were set on max everything at 1080p.

Generally, you’re going to have a pretty easy time hitting 8.3ms. You might need to turn down a bit of AA or some other minor setting to get there, but it’s worth it. Metro and Crysis are a different story, but they always are.​

What monitors should I be looking at then? Are these things expensive?

BlurBusters to the rescue with a full list of 120/144Hz monitors. The ones with lightboost ability are noted as well.

My personal recommendation would be between three monitors. First up is the ASUS VG248QE.



This is a TN panel with a very low native input lag. One of the downsides to lightboost is that it has a tendency to wash out the image a bit. For whatever reason, the colors on this monitor look much better than other similar monitors. The huge plus to this, is that it is the first monitor to be officially supported by NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology, with add on modules available for it in a few months. It also has a pretty low price, ranging anywhere from $230 to $300 USD.

The second option is my personal favorite, the Eizo Foris FG2421.



This is a VA panel, which means prettier colors and better viewing angles. VA panels are typically found on TVs. This has a firmware based strobe (lightboost) that works incredibly well. This is basically the middle ground between IPS colors and TN response times. If you aren’t inclined towards lightboost, or have issues with PWM backlights, it can be run 100% PWM free as well.

It also has the very special esteem of being the only monitor recommended by n0tail. No guarantee of a better Meepo game after buying it though. This is a pricey one, around $550-600 USD.

The third option is for the type of gamer that will just not refuse to give up their 1440p IPS display. The QNIX QX2710 Evolution II is what you want.



This is a 1440p PLS panel that is very capable of being overclocked to 120Hz. The major downside to this is that there is no lightboost option, so it will not eliminate blur. It will still look great to those who aren’t too sensitive to blur. Here is a video comparing the blur on the QNIX to a TN panel with strobing enabled. These can be found for $350-400, with Pixel Perfect models available.​

Durante told me that if I didn’t get something with G-Sync, that my firstborn will be sacrificed to the Gods of Frame Tearing and High Input Lag.

It will be interesting to see what happens with G-Sync capable displays outside of what’s already been mentioned. The big downside is that as of right now, the variable frame rates with G-Sync will not work alongside a strobing backlight.

The big upside is theoretically monitors will be able to refresh to their maximum response time. This means possible 170Hz+ TN panels, and native 120Hz IPS/PLS panels. The latter of those two is something that might make me hold off on diving into the QNIX.

Though this is entirely anecdotal, everyone I’ve talked to with 120Hz panels, which includes about 10-15 people I play games with nightly, do not notice frame tearing anymore. I won’t speculate on the science behind it, but it’s definitely a thing.​

How do I get lightboost working?


Does my 120Hz TV work as a 120Hz panel?

No. TVs use interpolation to insert additional frames, but they cannot accept a 120Hz signal due to a bandwidth limitation on HDMI. You will need a Dual Link DVI or Displayport connector. Read Scogoth’s helpful post on the different connections.

Can you really tell a difference? I mean, games are super smooth at 60 fps.

Most definitely.​

Really?

Yep.​

Really?

Really.​
 
#2
Heey, you are back and with an amazing thread.

I promise to buy a 144hz panel eventually, I really want one. Hopefully when gsync launches.
 

LCGeek

formerly sane
#3
Excellent post on something only a few gamers are really getting in to atm.

The high refreshrate really do help wonders and with lightboost clarity and fluidity are unmatched by lesser monitors. If one plays racing games or fps games lightboost is a god send if you hate losing details cause you twitch or pan a lot.
 
#4
My friend recently purchased a few QNIX monitors and the difference was very noticeable. It was most noticeable for me on the desktop - just dragging windows around was butter, and I can imagine how much easier on the eyes it would be for long sessions of gaming or anything else computer related.

It was difficult to hold some modern games to 120 though. And a thing about the QNIX monitors is that they all don't guarantee 120 (I think) - some, like one that we used, only got to 110 before running into issues.

The issue for me becomes at what framerate can I hold a game steady. With my aging 570, it's difficult to even hold 60 in retail games. 120 is almost certainly out of the question, especially at 1440p.

I do have a question, though, because I didn't seem to understand this when using the QNIX: How exactly does Vsync work on it? In some games it appeared that we would be locked in at 60 frames when it was enabled. So if you get a 120hz monitor and don't want tearing, what do you do?
 
#7
For competitive gaming, 120Hz Lightboost is a night and day improvement over 60Hz. For isometric games where the camera doesn't shift that much, I'd classify it as a minor improvement, but when we're talking shooters where motion resolution is far more important, it's a gamechanger. I can never go back to 60Hz for Counter-Strike GO.

I can also chime in and say that tearing is far less obvious at 120Hz. This isn't really all that surprising, though...tearing lines will stay on screen for half the length of time that they would on a 60Hz monitor, so they will be harder to spot. Still, I am excited for Gsync as more demanding games that run at a lower framerate will benefit greatly.

My friend recently purchased a few QNIX monitors and the difference was very noticeable. It was most noticeable for me on the desktop - just dragging windows around was butter, and I can imagine how much easier on the eyes it would be for long sessions of gaming or anything else computer related.
That's how I demo 120Hz and LightBoost to people. I open a window with some text in it. I set the monitor to 60Hz and drag the window around...the text is not legible whatsoever. I set the monitor to 120Hz and immediately people notice how much smoother it looks...and the text is somewhat readable, albeit still blurry. I then turn on LightBoost and the text is completely legible regardless of how fast I move the window.

I also have my 120Hz LightBoost monitor right next to my 60Hz TV. I drag a window from the 120Hz monitor to the TV and it's like I hit molasses...the difference side by side is incredibly obvious.
 

LCGeek

formerly sane
#9
For competitive gaming, 120Hz Lightboost is a night and day improvement over 60Hz. For isometric games where the camera doesn't shift that much, I'd classify it as a minor improvement, but when we're talking shooters where motion resolution is far more important, it's a gamechanger. I can never go back to 60Hz for Counter-Strike GO.
Since I switched to lb my cs go stats and ability to win certain fights in matchmaking has gone up dramatically.
 
#11
my VG248QE is amazing but I'm kind of regretting it. Honestly if you don't play FPS games competitively then there's really no point to getting it over a 1440p (or even better 1440p 120hz) in my opinion. You can definitely tell a difference but if you're lagging behind with a 7850/660 or something then just pick up a normal IPS 60hz.

I need to ditch this soon and get a qnix
 
#12
I've been enjoying my Benq for a while now, but I this is the first I've heard of enabling lightboost mode for 2D. I'll have to try that tonight.
 
#14
Since I switched to lb my cs go stats and ability to win certain fights in matchmaking has gone up dramatically.
Yeah it makes a huge difference for quickly scanning an area as you enter. Walk into a new room, quickly look left and right and you can immediately distinguish everything (well, as quickly as your brain can process the information). Without LightBoost, you need to wait long enough for the blur to subside which can slow you down quite a bit.

Doesn't the brightness go so low from this that it is unviewable during the day?
Nope. In fact, it amplifies the brightness, as LightBoost was meant to be used with 3D glasses.
 

LCGeek

formerly sane
#16
my VG248QE is amazing but I'm kind of regretting it. Honestly if you don't play FPS games competitively then there's really no point to getting it over a 1440p (or even better 1440p 120hz) in my opinion. You can definitely tell a difference but if you're lagging behind with a 7850/660 or something then just pick up a normal IPS 60hz.

I need to ditch this soon and get a qnix
FPS aren't the only genre that benefit from it just happens to be the easiest to reference. If you do a lot of twitch gaming and are annoyed by pixel persistence it's the only route to deal with the issue. People getting high res monitors especially one for color quality issues are of a different breed compared to what lightboost does for a gamer.

I'd love both but the op and other will tell you no such display exists right now.

Also 1440p requires the juice considering you would be on a native resolution based display.

Yeah it makes a huge difference for quickly scanning an area as you enter. Walk into a new room, quickly look left and right and you can immediately distinguish everything (well, as quickly as your brain can process the information). Without LightBoost, you need to wait long enough for the blur to subside which can slow you down quite a bit.
The panning effect you mentioned is spot on. This really allows you to react to things and in cs when someone is camping those corners old monitors just don't cut it for me I can often react well before campers tend to come at me now with lb not the case without it.
 
#17
shouldn't the EIZO be a Foris FG2421

I'm thinking about buying that one, but there are quite some complaints about clouding and other issues ... (and no G-Sync for the singleplayer games)

still happy with the XL2420T , but lightboost doesn't help the colors which weren't that amazing to begin with.

Also, for regular desktop stuff, it takes almost 30 minutes for the monitor to warm up and stop displaying such harsh white colors. Pretty annoying in the morning. (the room is usually quite cold though)
 
#21
my VG248QE is amazing but I'm kind of regretting it. Honestly if you don't play FPS games competitively then there's really no point to getting it over a 1440p (or even better 1440p 120hz) in my opinion. You can definitely tell a difference but if you're lagging behind with a 7850/660 or something then just pick up a normal IPS 60hz.

I need to ditch this soon and get a qnix
I use the VG248QE, the only issue i have with it is the color accuracy leaves a fair amount to be desired. Even properly calibrated by hardware (spyder 4 pro) it has a tint to it
 

LCGeek

formerly sane
#23
still happy with the XL2420T , but lightboost doesn't help the colors which weren't that amazing to begin with.
They aren't great but colorimeter calibration or crimson tint fixes really do improve things. At 6500k at 2.2 gamma they aren't bad and only a few percentage points off from testing sites did on certain lightboost monitors.

Unless you hardware modding the LB monitor you will lose some color accuracy when you use it.

Rugby please look up crimson tint it's quite common and I suffered from it on my nvidia card, no where to be seen on this amd though. I use a spyder as well, if you can do a custom profile and have it measure the luminance instead of fixed values much better than the generic setup profiles they ask for you do to before it calibrates.
 
#25
Not necessarily.

I think the Eizo Foris is plenty enough reason to disregard G-Sync.
As awesome as that monitor is, and I was considering getting one for a while, it's not good enough that I would spend 500$ on when a Gsync ips/VA monitor could come out by the end of 2014.

Currently have a Samsung S23A700D, but it's hard to get games to 100+ fps with high settings, so I'd be perfectly happy to get a monitor with great colors/viewing angles with Gysnc to get that smooth factor even below 60fps. Then and only then will I drop 400+ bucks on a monitor.
 
#26
Welcome back! Will read during lunch break.

I noticed with my new vg248qe that ghosting doesn't actually get eliminated 100%. There is no blur but I could still see a very faint ghost trail when viewing the UFO Test: Ghosting page at high speeds. Guess that's an exception since I don't see any blur or ghost artifacts anywhere else.

Dots/dithering also become more apparent when running lightboost. Guess this is that washed-out trait of the vg248qe when in 3d mode
 
#27
Amazing thread! I just recently got into PC gaming and I am currently using the 60hz Playstation Monitor. It sucks for PC gaming. Having to enable v sync on everything the suffering frame rate swings between 30-60 is annoying.

Been looking at that Asus monitor for a while. I think I'm gonna throw down and get it. I recently got $200 in Best Buy gift cards so that should chip away at that nicely.
 
#28
As awesome as that monitor is, and I was considering getting one for a while, it's not good enough that I would spend 500$ on when a Gsync ips/VA monitor could come out by the end of 2014.

Currently have a Samsung S23A700D, but it's hard to get games to 100+ fps with high settings, so I'd be perfectly happy to get a monitor with great colors/viewing angles with Gysnc to get that smooth factor even below 60fps. Then and only then will I drop 400+ bucks on a monitor.
With my understanding of the sample-and-hold effect, I'm not as excited about G-Sync as I once was. Gotta have that lightboost, IMO. Though 95% of my play time is in competitive games, whether it be Dota or FPS stuff.

The colors on the Eizo Foris are insanely good. It has Callsign Vega (well known display enthusiast who spends stupid money on this stuff) very impressed. $500 for great colors, lightboost clarity, and a semi-gloss cover? Seems like a steal, as they've achieved what many thought impossible.
 

LCGeek

formerly sane
#30
How expensive are these monitors?
Without modding I got the asus for 269 on sale at amazon. Newegg has had them cheap around 240$, currently 280. Try and score one during a sale otherwise I'd say around 300 give or take depending who you buy from.

With my understanding of the sample-and-hold effect, I'm not as excited about G-Sync as I once was. Gotta have that lightboost, IMO. Though 95% of my play time is in competitive games, whether it be Dota or FPS stuff.

The colors on the Eizo Foris are insanely good. It has Callsign Vega (well known display enthusiast who spends stupid money on this stuff) very impressed. $500 for great colors, lightboost clarity, and a semi-gloss cover? Seems like a steal, as they've achieved what many thought impossible.
Vega is awesome did my monitor and helped me with other issues related to the monitor after I bought it.

Do you also need to have 120 fps constantly to have a perfect lightboost picture?
You want that for the best effect. You can user a lower refreshrate like 100 or 110 for lightboost and still retain a good portion of effect. You do want your fps to be as high as the refreshrate not all the time but the majority.
 
#33
Perfect timing... I just ordered my VG248QE and the delivery guy refused to ring my doorbell, so now I get to wait for the second attempt tomorrow... FML. Thanks for the info though...
 
#34
Got a a really good deal on Newegg for the 144hz monitor. Open Box for $209. Came like brand new. Never going back to 60Hz now.

The importance of refresh rates is so undermined everywhere it is hilarious. It's almost like those people that claim they can't see the difference between 30fps and 60fps. Too funny.
 

LCGeek

formerly sane
#36
Can we add strobelight beta or some tips on installing LB. Depending on the hardware people have it can be a pain to get working right.
 
#38
I have a question about this.

I have an Acer 120Hz HN274H yet I am unable to do this, when I launch the program it tells me "No compatible Displays found", so do I have some sort of different revision of the monitor or if it some software issue?
 
#39
G-sync has no competition. there is never a reason to disregard G-sync. Masking a problem is not the same as fixing it.
What in particular are you talking about?
I have a question about this.

I have an Acer 120Hz HN274H yet I am unable to do this, when I launch the program it tells me "No compatible Displays found", so do I have some sort of different revision of the monitor or if it some software issue?
Unfortunately, that display does not support lightboost.
 
#40
I have the VG248QE and the motion is lovely, though there's significant black crush as its a TN panel.

While I want the Foris, it sounds as though there's a bunch of quality control issues at the moment so it might pay to wait and see :/
 

LCGeek

formerly sane
#41
G-sync has no competition. there is never a reason to disregard G-sync. Masking a problem is not the same as fixing it.
Yes there is Mark Rejhon on these boards and others has highlighted until both lb and gsync are combined you will run in to different issues.
 
#44
The third option is for the type of gamer that will just not refuse to give up their 1440p IPS display. The QNIX QX2710 Evolution II is what you want.



This is a 1440p PLS panel that is very capable of being overclocked to 120Hz. The major downside to this is that there is no lightboost option, so it will not eliminate blur. It will still look great to those who aren’t too sensitive to blur. Here is a video comparing the blur on the QNIX to a TN panel with strobing enabled. These can be found for $350-400, with Pixel Perfect models available.[/indent]

[
I have this monitor at 120hz and I love it.=3
 
#46
Is the Foris FS2333 any good?

http://www.amazon.com/EIZO-FS2333-B...ie=UTF8&qid=1385064425&sr=8-1&keywords=FS2333

The price is 291€ vs the 499€ for the FG2421 in Europe.
FS2333 is an IPS panel, not 120Hz.

If the price on the FG2421 is a bit too much to stomach, I'd look at the ASUS if you want a blur-free experience, or the QNIX if you want pretty colors. If you're not too bothered by your current setup, I might even suggest waiting for a G-Sync 1440p PLS/IPS panel.
are their projectors that run at 120ghz? I wanted to have a projector setup in my room for my xbox one soon ;-) .
Yeah, but you can't run an Xbox One output at 120Hz.

http://www.amazon.com/Optoma-GT750-Projector/dp/B00556F900/?tag=ufomonitors-20

http://www.amazon.com/Optoma-Game-Projector-PlayStation-GT720/dp/B004C0Q00S/?tag=ufomonitors-20

Those run at 720p/120Hz.
 
#48
With my understanding of the sample-and-hold effect, I'm not as excited about G-Sync as I once was. Gotta have that lightboost, IMO. Though 95% of my play time is in competitive games, whether it be Dota or FPS stuff.

The colors on the Eizo Foris are insanely good. It has Callsign Vega (well known display enthusiast who spends stupid money on this stuff) very impressed. $500 for great colors, lightboost clarity, and a semi-gloss cover? Seems like a steal, as they've achieved what many thought impossible.
I gotta agree that if you're a Lightboost fanatic then yeah that Eizo is crazy good, I'm just in it for good colors/smoothness. Don't play competitively enough to warrant messing around with Lightboost.
 
#49
Haven't seen you around in ages mkenyon! Back to preaching the 120Hz goodness. mMmmm. I had to buy a 120hz for my secondary monitor because going back to 60Hz, even in windows, was awful.
 

LCGeek

formerly sane
#50


Just get this instead if your desk can handle the weight. FW900 is still the best.
While I agree cause I've owned 2 of them in the past good luck finding one that will last these days. Sucker is beast in weight but with windas and a colorimeter there is nothing on the planet for gaming that can compete with it. Outside of overall size and weight it's pretty damn flawless.