Testing the LG 34GN850: Ultrawide Monitor vs Multi Monitor set up
If you’re in the market for a new display and want to have more space for productivity or get a more immersive experience while gaming its likely you’ve considered a multi-monitor or widescreen setup. In this article, I compare the pros and cons of each and then test out a high-end Ultrawide monitor from LG.
Dual Monitor set up
A dual monitor set up was always the traditional way of getting more screen space when ultrawide monitors weren’t really available on the mainstream market. I’ve seen setups with 6 screens all linked together and it does have many benefits. If you already have a high-end monitor and enjoy how it performs you can purchase a second one to have more space without needing to replace your existing display which will save some cash. There is also the option to have completely different specifications, one for gaming and another built more for photo editing which you can switch between. For Twitch streamers its important to have a second monitor in order to check the chat, monitor the stream and change settings while gaming on the other. For mainly working and productivity a dual monitor set up is ideal.
The cons of a multi-monitor set up are most notable when used for fullscreen gaming. Certain games have issues when you try and stretch them across several displays and you will always have bezels in your peripheral vision. Another thing worth noting is that a multi-monitor setup is best used when calibrated. Even if you buy the exact same model of monitor slight variations in manufacturing mean that they might not be uniform and if you want to buy a replacement down the line you might find your existing model has been discontinued.
Ultrawide monitors are becoming more popular and it’s easy to see why as the curved shape and huge screen size make them perfect for both gaming and working. Adjusting settings and calibrating a single monitor requires less time than it does for dual monitors which is much more convenient.
You can still have multiple windows open thanks to the windows snap tool that allows different programs to be open simultaneously. Because the size of the screen is so large it makes it much more immersive for gaming and watching films. The slight curve ensures everything is always in your peripheral vision which has a competitive edge and is excellent for racing and flying simulators.
The downside to an ultrawide monitor is it can’t easily be used to multitask as two individual displays. Windows snap works but it can be frustrating to resize different programs and it won’t work with games. You also only have the one choice when it comes to specifications if you use your PC for both gaming and editing. Therefore when choosing a monitor it’s likely you will have to compromise on something.
The answer to this question all depends on what you’re using your PC for. A multiple monitor set up is a must-have for streamers but that doesn’t mean your main display can’t be widescreen. Several displays are best for multitasking but there is still an excellent amount of productivity functionality on a ultrawide display. For just gaming, the ultrawide is the king as dual monitors cannot provide the level of immersion a single curved monitor provides.
Where to buy?
Overclockers UK have a wide selection of curved and ultrawide monitors available at the link below.
To narrow down the large choice of monitors available on the Overclockers UK website. Click the link below to see the most popular top sellers.
Testing the LG 34GN850
If you’re in the market for a top-end gaming ultrawide display it’s likely you’ve come across the very popular LG 34GK960F. It’s long list of desirable specifications makes it a sought after display however with a release date of 2018 it’s no surprise LG recently released the brand new updated LG 34GN850. The GN850 comes with an improved 160Hz refresh rate for even smoother gameplay and is now an officially verified Freesync Premium and G-SYNC® Compatible monitor, eliminating screen tearing and minimizing stutter for a smoother, faster gaming experience.
It also comes with many of the features that made the original monitor such a popular gaming display. The 3440px1440p resolution ensures images are crisp and clear on the large 34” panel for a beautifully immersive experience. The 1ms grey to grey response time has been maintained and the nano IPS panel with HDR 400 ensures excellent colour accuracy and contrast. LG sent me one of these new displays to take a closer look at for a few days and see why ultrawide monitors like the 34GN850 could be the best choice for you when it comes to gaming and productivity.
Unboxing and assembly:
The monitor is packaged well with polystyrene to protect and support it during shipping. Within the box is an accessory pack that contains assembly instructions, the power adapter, HDMI cable, DP cable and adjustable stand. The stand comes in two pieces and assembly is similar to other monitors. The arm clicks into place in a few seconds and the feet attach with screws that mean it takes only a couple of minutes to set up and no tools are required.
Style and Design:
The design of the GN850 has been updated over its predecessor and maintains a sleek, stylish look that should blend in well with any PC setup. The V shape stand and rear of the monitor both feature red accents however they don’t light up. For some RGB is a must, others a distraction, it’s all down to personal preference. The feet are an average width but deep. A large desk space is required to accommodate the robust stand.
The bezels are thin on all sides and despite the all-plastic construction, it feels sturdy and well built. Ergonomically the monitor can easily be adjusted by 10cm in height and also titled forwards and backwards. Unfortunately, there is no rotation or swivel functionality but it can be wall-mounted with a standard 100x100 Vesa mount.
The height and tilt functionality means it is easy to adjust the monitor to suit a variety of desks and seating positions which is important for ergonomics when gaming or working for an extended period of time. The various ports can be found on the right of the display when viewing it from behind and there is enough connectivity for most scenarios. In order to use the full 3440 x 1440 10bit, 160Hz functionality you must use the 1.4 DP and included cable.
Although most modern GPU’s have a DP 1.4 output it’s best to check if you are using a slightly older graphics card in your system. The monitor does, unfortunately, have an external power adapter on the UK version which can make cable management more difficult but it means it is more serviceable if you have any issues.
Use while gaming and working:
The back of the stand does feature a slot to help neatly thread cables across the back of the display and down the stand. Once the monitor is turned on and plugged in, it’s easy to use the joystick at the bottom of the monitor to adjust the settings. The menu is simple to navigate and quickly find the overclock option which ensures it runs at 160Hz. The hardest part of setting up the GN850 was picking out new widescreen wallpaper.
The LG 34GN850 is clearly aimed at the gaming market, however, with more and more people working from home, it’s likely your Gaming PC is now also your source of income. As discussed above widescreen displays can be superior for productivity and gaming over a traditional multi-monitor set up.
The curved design ensures that everything is always in your peripheral vision and there is loads of real estate to make use of Microsofts handy windows snap tool. For video and photo editing, the IPS panel, support for HDR and an sRGB mode means colours are bright and accurate. The peak brightness level could be higher but the high refresh rate and fast response time ensure that movement on the screen is clear and blur-free. The IPS panel means the viewing angle is wide which is great if you are showing your screen to someone else or moving around a large desk and often sitting off centre.
For gaming, the Native Freesync and Gsync compatibility means you will have buttery smooth gaming with no stuttering no matter what GPU you have in your system. If you’re used to a 60Hz display the difference is immediately noticeable when jumping to 160Hz and it’s easier to be competitive in games.
I absolutely loved the amount of immersion that I got from this widescreen display and there are no unsightly bezels when trying to take a shot or racing around a track. The black equaliser feature lights up dark corners which make it easier to see enemies hiding in the shadows and hardware enabled crosshair is a great advantage in FPS games like CS: GO.
The LG 34GN850 is a great choice if you want to upgrade your display and embrace the benefits of widescreen for both gaming and productivity. It really excels at gaming thanks to the impressive list of specifications and I enjoyed gaming on this monitor and found it to be a more immersive experience. The 34” size is perfect for sitting slightly further back and enjoying the benefits of the 3440 x 1440 resolution.
A large amount of screen space is perfect for multitasking and productivity tasks also. It might lack some of the brightness and precise colour space of a high-end display but it’s a great all-rounder for someone who games, works, creates and edits.
- High refresh rate and 1ms response time for blur-free movement
- IPS panel for rich contrast and wide viewing angles
- HDR 400 and 98% of the DCI-P3 color gamut for great colours
- Perfect size 34” widescreen display for productivity space and gaming immersion
- Gsync and Freesync compatibility for no stuttering
- Lacks swivel and rotation adjustability ergonomics
- Red colouration could be out of place in some setups
- Currently more expensive than it’s predecessor which has now been discontinued and is on sale
You can purchase the LG 34GN850 at Overclockers UK where it is currently available for preorder. It’s priced at £969.95 which is a similar RRP to its predecessor the 34GK960F.