Samsung

4K has saturated the TV market, but the sharpest mainstream screen resolution is not as common on PC monitors due to price and limitations. PC gamers choose PC monitors specifically because they can generally achieve higher refresh rates than televisions, which are usually 60Hz or 120Hz, which makes fast-paced game action look smoother. But frame rates greater than 144 Hz typically require QHD resolution or lower to be met. Samsung’s introduction of a 4K monitor that can reach 240Hz changes that.

Samsung has announced that it will announce the price and release date for the monitor, which will be part of the brand’s announcements for CES 2022, “later this year.” When it launches in 2022, it should be the fastest 4K monitor out there – assuming another brand isn’t announcing a similar screen (who knows what else we’ll hear at CES; the tech show is just beginning officially Wednesday).

4K at 240 Hz

The Odyssey Neo G8 has a GTG response time of 1 ms and is able to refresh 8,294,400 pixels 240 times per second. When asked, Samsung didn’t say whether the monitor used compression for this, but apparently it does because the port selection consists of two HDMI 2.1 and a DisplayPort 1.4.

Alone, HDMI 2.1 can only reach 120 Hz at 4K resolution, but with VESA’s Display Stream Compression (DSC) it should be able to reach 240 Hz, as from. explained Tom’s hardware. Likewise, DisplayPort 1.4a runs 4K content natively at up to 120 Hz, but with DSC a supporting 4K display could outperform this. There are numerous 4K monitors out there that already use DSC to run 4K at 144Hz, but 240Hz is unprecedented.

Monitors that use DSC claim that the picture quality is not affected. In fact, VESA says its compression technique is visually lossless. Most people shouldn’t be able to tell the difference, but the occasional artifact inevitably shows up.

Another option could have been DisplayPort 2.0. With 80 Gbit / s bandwidth, DisplayPort 2.0 would enable 4K at 240 Hz without any compression. We’re not aware of any confirmed DisplayPort 2.0 monitors at this time, but that could potentially change during CES. In January 2021, VESA told me that DisplayPort 2.0 products should hit the market in the second half of 2022.

To use a DisplayPort 2.0, we would of course have to see the announcement of graphics cards with DisplayPort 2.0. Neither Nvidia nor AMD have officially approved such cards, but patches for AMD’s Linux graphics drivers have been discovered by Phoronix This summer suggests that support from AMD may be on the way.

Regardless, to push 4K at 240 fps, you not only need the necessary connection, but a very powerful graphics card as well. Note that such frame rates are still out of the question in graphics-intensive AAA games.

In the event that your graphics card and monitor are not syncing, the Odyssey Neo G8 also supports G-Sync to combat screen tearing and juddering on Nvidia graphics cards, and FreeSync Premium Pro does the same on AMD graphics cards. The addition “Premium Pro” means that it also works with HDR and low frame rate compensation.

Teaching a new dog old tricks

A light on the back of the monitor can correspond to the colors on the screen.
Enlarge / A light on the back of the monitor can correspond to the colors on the screen.

If the Odyssey Neo G8 doesn’t look so new to you, it’s because it was designed to look like that Odyssey Neo G9 49 “, the flagship of the lineup announced last July and the Odyssey G9 49 “, which was one of three monitors to introduce a 1000R curve when Samsung announced it at CES last year.

The $ 2,500 Odyssey Neo G9.
Enlarge / The $ 2,500 Odyssey Neo G9.

Samsung

The monitors all have a 1000R curve (the steepest you’ll find on PC monitors today), a white back with spaceship-like carvings, and a bright light called CoreSync that lights up based on the colors displayed.

Samsung told me that the Odyssey Neo G8 is a VA panel with a mini LED backlight. It can reach up to 2,000 nits of brightness and should offer lower contrast than a standard LED monitor because you can pack more LEDs into the screen.

While still a few steps away from OLED, these factors all make the monitor a strong candidate for HDR gaming and watching movies. Samsung didn’t mention VESA HDR certifications, although the monitor claims to exceed the brightness requirement (1,400 nits) of the highest level (DisplayHDR 1400).

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