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Modern-day gaming is a completely different beast. In order to completely get what the game developer is offering, your gaming monitor needs to have support for HDR and should come with either AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync for the best gaming experience.
Unfortunately, most gaming monitors with these features are very expensive. In this AOC CU34G2X review, we take a good look at this new gaming monitor that comes at an affordable price and still manages to give us all the above-mentioned features.
This AOC CU34G2X monitor from AOC is a 2K display that comes with all the possible features you would expect in a high-end gaming monitor. AOC has given us some amazing gaming monitors in the past and this one seems to follow the success of its predecessors. Is this gaming monitor good enough for your hard-earned money? Let’s find out on the full review below.
Once you open the package, you get two components. One is the monitor itself self and the other one is the stand that has to be fixed to the former. The packaging of the monitor is pretty good and you do get a feeling that this is a premium monitor after all.
The first impression of this gaming monitor is very good. You are getting a beautiful display that has a super matte black finish with red accents. Though plastic is the main material here, the finish on the monitor is super-premium and it is absolutely worth the price you’re paying.
The red accents behind the display might look like an RGB light, but they are just a reflective strip that reflects light. This gaming monitor does not come with any RGB lighting which helps in bringing the price of this display down. The only LED lighting you will find on this device is the power indicator that changes between white and orange depending on the status of the device.
The on-screen display control buttons are found underneath the monitor on the right side. These buttons are very small to our liking and are recessed. Navigating through the options is a lot harder than using a joystick and we do feel that the buttons should have been a bit larger. If you are new to AOC monitors, these buttons might need some getting used to.
The stand we have here is a form aluminum stand. This stand holds the display nicely and does not cause any wobbling even when tested. The stand comes with a bunch of features that you usually find on laptops in this price range. You can adjust the height of the monitor within 5 inches which is nice.
You can also swivel the monitor to either side within a 30° span. The monitor can be tilted 5° forward and 21.5° backward which at some flexibility to the usage. Any time you do a moment, it is smooth and flawless.
The monitor can also be mounted on the wall with the help of a VESA mount. Once you remove the stand, you can see the VESA bolt pattern but you will have to bring your own fasteners as the monitor does not come with any kit.
You get a lot of connectivity options in this AOC CU34G2X gaming monitor. There are 4USB 3.2 ports on the input panel that comes in handy for external connectivity. You also get to HDMI 2.0 ports and to display port on .4 for connectivity reasons.
FreeSync with HDR can be attained using any of the sports. If you want to run G-Sync, you have to connect gaming machines only through the display port. In addition to all these ports, you also get an audio jack that comes in handy.
The AOC CU34G2X gaming monitor is a 34” display that comes with a Samsung curved VA panel with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 pixels. Thanks to the HD resolution, the pixel density (110 PPI) of the display is quite good and you get sharp images and text regardless of what you do with this monitor.
The display comes with a static contrast ratio of 3000:1. This contrast ratio helps in achieving deep blacks and bright whites and also manages to give you a very good grayscale performance.
The monitor comes with a factory-calibrated Delta E value of less than 2 which gives us great and vibrant colors on the screen. Having said that, the consistency of the colors is not as good as the ones you get in an IPS panel. You have to work on a color-sensitive project and then we recommend calibrating the display to a point where it is satisfactory to your work needs.
The display comes with 119% coverage for sRGB color gamut and 98% coverage for the Adobe RGB color gamut. If you select the sRGB mode preset, you are presented with a more accurate color representation and it is well suited for your everyday activities like gaming, streaming, and also web browsing.
The display comes with a maximum brightness of 300 nits. This is a pretty good brightness considering the price of the display. For a gaming monitor that is going to be used inside a room most of the time, this brightness will be more than enough. Even if you are going to play in a well-lit room, this brightness can handle that leading and present you the contents of the screen
Let’s talk about the viewing angles provided by this display. We are dealing with a VA panel and the viewing angles are not going to be as good as an IPS panel. But this display surprises us and gives us a viewing angle of 178° which is fantastic. This makes this monitor a suitable option for media consumption and anything that has rich graphics.
The AOC CU34G2X gaming monitor comes with a refresh rate of 144Hz. This refresh rate gives you a fluid gaming experience where you will not face any lag when playing. The monitor also comes with an input lag of around 6 ms which is just amazing. With an input lag like this, you have all the competitive advantage you have against your fellow gamers.
The response time of this gaming monitor is 1 ms. This is excellent response time and it helps in achieving zero motion blur whenever possible. The overdrive implementation in this monitor is not the best so you are going to have some motion blur at the highest setting. You can combat this by using the medium overdrive option where results are significantly better.
If you are a fan of first-person shooters, then you will be noticing some smearing on the screen. You will predominantly notice this during dark scenes and at a higher frame rate seems. In most cases, you can tolerate this as the smearing effects are small and negligible. If you enjoy playing RPGs, these issues aren’t a big deal and you won’t notice a thing.
The monitor also comes with a feature called Motion Blur Reduction (MBR) technology that helps to reduce motion blur to a minimum. One caveat here is that you cannot use this MBR technology and free shrink/Jeet Singh at the same time. You can find the MBR option in the on-screen display menu and find a setting that works for you.
You also get eye care features like Flicker-free backlight and a blue light filter. As you might end up sitting long hours in front of this gaming laptop, these features are very helpful in protecting your eyes from harmful flickers and blue light.
FreeSync & G-Sync Compatibility
This AOC CU34G2X gaming monitor is an AMD FreeSync compatible device. It comes with a FreeSync range of 48-144 variable refresh rate. FreeSync Changes the refresh rate of the monitor dynamically with respect to that of the GPU’s frame rates. This helps in elevating screen tearing and reduces input lag as well.
To achieve this, you need to have a compatible AMD GPU and the frame rate should stay between the 48 and 144 Hz range. If the frame rate falls below 48, the monitor still manages to give you smooth gaming experience with the help of LFC.
This gaming monitor is not a certified G-Sync compatible display. A lot of non-certified monitors do well with Nvidia graphics cards and make full use of the G-Sync feature giving the user solid gaming experience. But the AOC CU34G2X gaming monitor has had problems in the past and it is not a smooth journey.
Some units of the display have had brightness flickering at certain points. These issues were mainly visible during cutscenes and in-game menus. This issue, however, is not just limited to Nvidia GPUs but some AMD graphics cards have also reported this problem. You can deal with this recurring problem by reducing the maximum brightness of the monitor. You can also use the MBR feature instead of FreeSync to better combat these issues.
As we are dealing with a relatively new monitor, we can expect these issues to be resolved by future driver updates from Nvidia and AMD.
Value For Money
The AOC CU34G2X gaming monitor is priced around $450. For the price, you’re getting a package that has pretty much all the bells and whistles you would expect from a 2K gaming monitor.
The gaming performance of the display is excellent. You get vibrant colors and you can calibrate the display to find the color setting that works best for you. Even out of the box, the accuracy of colors and image quality is fantastic, to say the least.
Yes, the flickering issue is a bit of a problem. But if you are going to stick with AMD graphics cards then the chances of you getting this flickering issue is very less. If you have an Nvidia GPU, you can combat this flickering issue by switching to Motion Blur Reduction tech or by reducing the maximum brightness.
Are there any good options for this AOC CU34G2X gaming monitor? Yes, there are plenty of options that can give similar or better performance, but they are at least $100 more which gives this display a huge advantage in terms of money. The upside is that you could get a G-Sync or a FreeSync compatible display that doesn’t have any flickering issues.
AOC CU34G2X Review – Wrap Up
That brings us to the end of this AOC CU34G2X gaming monitor review. This AOC gaming monitor is a gorgeous display for games. It comes with a fantastic resolution that is complemented by excellent viewing angles and vivid colors. Even though we are dealing with a VA panel, the overall gaming performance of this display is amazing for the price. If you are looking for a high-end gaming monitor that will not put a hole in your pocket, then this is probably it.