So there it is, your new monitor. Unpacked, set up, plugged in, switched on – and as you can see, you don't see anything! Okay, let's assume that the computer is on and the monitor will recognize the video input at some point. So you see your usual Windows desktop and the next step leads you directly to the OSD, i.e. the monitor's on-screen display. In the following minutes we will explain briefly and succinctly which adjustment screws you should or can turn there and how.
First of all: stay away from the various picture profiles, they are rarely useful and rather worsen the picture than they would bring anything. The standard profile is almost always the best starting point for individual adjustments.
You don't need a colorimeter for color calibration, unless you are a professional photographer who also produces for printing. A calibration does not produce a subjectively better picture! On the contrary – the warm color temperature seems rather unnatural. Calibrated Windows color profiles from the Internet, which are sometimes offered for your model, are also useless because each panel copy is different.
Actually, you hardly have to readjust anything with a new monitor. Adjust the monitor in the way you like the picture best.
We show the setting options on the Gigabyte G27QC, a relatively inexpensive 27-inch device with a VA panel, WQHD resolution and a native refresh rate of 165 Hz. It comes with a lot of equipment, so it has everything a gaming monitor can have these days.
OSD Sidekick is the name of the software app that controls the monitor and is a bit more convenient than the conventional OSD in the monitor. Not only Gigabyte, also other larger manufacturers offer such an app for their devices. The only requirement is an additional USB connection from the monitor to the computer. We show you the OSD settings in the Windows application, because they are the same as in the monitor firmware and the screencast provides a better picture here than the filmed monitor.
The brightness should be chosen as low as possible, simply because it is healthier for the eyes. Depending on the time of day, you should create different light profiles here.
Stay away from the contrast regulator: the basic position almost always offers the best contrast ratio, everything else usually just messes up the colors.
You adjust the sharpness at your own discretion, i.e. a sense of proportion. The basic position is already a very good level.
The Black Equalizer brightens dark areas a little, so turns black into gray without increasing the basic brightness. Only use the slider here and there in dark games, if at all, because of course the slider messes up the contrast.
"Color Vibrance" affects the color saturation. More colorful doesn't mean better, so it's not the worst idea to leave everything here as it is.
"Super Resolution" also sharpens the image and is intended to smooth the edges a little – here too: adjust by eye or leave it as it is.
The gamma value changes the color gradients. Readjustment is almost always not necessary here, so if in doubt, leave everything as preset.
The same applies to the color temperature. It is best suited to aligning two different displays, for example in a multi-monitor setup, which, however, is never completely possible even with the same models. Some monitors have an extra blue light filter, but this only shifts the color temperature into the warm and messes up the colors. We therefore advise against it.
The overdrive is one of the most important settings, which reduces the movement streaks somewhat. For the refresh rate, here 165 Hz, the level must be set individually, but this can be done quickly and easily with the help of a test website.
You go to testufo.com/ghosting and see UFOs flying by. In the case of a VA panel, as in the G27QC, these also have a rather thick tail behind them, which is due to the somewhat slow response times of the VA pixels. A slightly higher voltage is applied to the LCD via overdrive, which shortens the response times and / or alleviates the streaks. If the level is too high, ghosting occurs, i.e. an inverted shadow instead of streaks. So we are looking for a compromise that alleviates both in the best possible way. If you switch back and forth between the overdrive levels, you should also be able to see different streaks on the screen. It is almost always one of the medium overdrive levels, the best compromise between streaks and ghosting. The Gigabyte monitor only has three levels anyway, so it's the middle one here.
To see what the so-called "Aim Stabilizer" does, continue to let the UFOs fly by. With a pulsating background light, the moving image is sharpened a bit. However, the function has some disadvantages: On the one hand, Freesync or G-Sync does not work at the same time, and on the other hand, the image is no longer flicker-free. Sensitive minds could therefore complain of increased eye fatigue. The function is simply a matter of taste. Try them out in a game of your choice to see whether you benefit from them. Most of the time, in our opinion, it is not worth the loss of Free- or G-Sync.
The main switch for Freesync is located in the OSD. Means: Free- or G-Sync can only be activated in the driver if it is also active in the monitor. We're big fans of the dynamic refresh rate as it delivers a crack-free, smooth image. Often some software tuning is necessary for this, so we recently made our own video, which we also link to here.
With many gaming monitors you can have a crosshair fade in, which of course you only use in the single player. In the case of Gigabyte monitors, there are no limits to your creativity and you can design your own crosshairs.
We skip the picture-in-picture function because the video is already too long and jump straight to the more important gaming functions:
The Gigabyte Dashboard is a monitor-side overlay with computer data. This is very useful, but not necessarily chic and also not very customizable. Software-side overlays, especially that of the Afterburner with RTSS, are much more practical.
The frame rate that can be faded in is even more helpful. Don't be surprised: Even if it says Fps, the monitor frame rate and not the fps of a game is displayed. Unless Freesync or G-Sync is active and both are logically the same, as the frequency thus adjusts to the Fps. This overlay is also a good help in determining whether the dynamic refresh rate is also active.
Recently, some gaming monitors also have an egg timer in the feature set. It is not entirely clear why a monitor needs it and what it is actually needed for gaming. You may need a timer to remind you to go to the bathroom or to bed. No, seriously, of course there are games in which you benefit from it. Only a software-based timer or one on the smartphone works just as well.
Finally, the really practical function of the hotkeys should be mentioned. With the help of the software OSD, the monitor functions or the change of the image profile can be provided directly with shortcuts. Pretty handy for nerds who use different settings in different games.
But that should have been it. We hope the monitor functions are now a little clearer for you and wish you happy gaming!
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