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We've recently released our Test Bench 2.0 update for Monitors! Read about our new VRR Flicker R&D Article and our Pursuit photo R&D Article to learn more.

Test Bench 2.0
Changelog

Updated

See the previous 1.2 changelog.

What's Changed?

This test bench update mainly focuses on improving motion testing with new tests and revamped motion testing, including a Cumulative Absolute Deviation (CAD) measurement that defines how much motion blur a monitor has. Besides that, we've also made some minor updates throughout to improve our methodology and usage scores. As this is such a big test bench update and our methodology has significantly improved, particularly with the new motion tests, we decided to upgrade the name to 2.0.

Test Group Description
Usages
  • Complete overhaul of the usage scores, including addition and removal of scores, and new Performance Usages.

Ergonomics

  • Added a measurement for the height of the monitor at the minimum height adjustment.
SDR Color Gamut
  • We're now measuring the Adobe RGB color gamut, as opposed to measuring it in the sRGB color space and estimating its Adobe RGB coverage from that.
SDR Color Volume
  • Removed the test.
HDR Color Volume
  • We're now using unnormalized targets, similar to our TV testing. This means that we aren't normalizing the color volume to each display's peak brightness.
VRR Motion Performance
  • Added this test to show how a monitor's Cumulative Absolute Deviation (CAD) performs across its entire refresh rate range with various overdrive settings, which is a way to define the appearance of motion.
Refresh Rate Compliance
  • Added this test to define if the monitor's response time is fast enough to take advantage of high frame rates.
Cumulative Absolute Deviation (CAD)
@ Max Refresh Rate, 120Hz, and 60Hz
  • Added this test to match industry standards in terms of response time and overshoot testing, including using gamma-correction and a new pursuit pattern.
Response Time
@ Max Refresh Rate, 120Hz, and 60Hz
  • Revamped our response time testing to match the new CAD testing, while maintaining total response time and overshoot results.
VRR Flicker
  • Added this test to better show which monitors have VRR flicker with changing frame rates, especially in dark scenes.
Backlight Strobing (BFI)
  • Changed the photos to match the new pursuit pattern.
PS5 Compatibility
Xbox Series X|S Compatibility
  • We're now including a table to show whether VRR and HDR work in combination with various signals. We've also updated the scoring for these tests.
Resolution
  • Removed the measured screen diagonal and the screen area.

New Tests

Response Time

Our revamped response time testing is the biggest change in this test bench update. We designed a new response time tool, and we use gamma correction to measure the response time and overshoot more precisely. On top of that, we measure 72 unique gray-to-gray transitions for a more extensive response time measurement than before, which measured 30 gray-to-gray transitions.

Unlike previous test benches, this box is no longer scored; it's there to provide extra data. We test the response time at the monitor's max refresh rate, at 120Hz, and at 60Hz.

  • Recommended Overdrive Setting: Our recommended overdrive setting is the one with the lowest CAD.
  • First Response Time: The first response time is the time it takes for the monitor to achieve its target RGB level. This is a change from the Rise/Fall Time we had on previous test benches. The final result is an average of all transitions.
  • Total Response Time: This is the average of all total response times across all transitions, which is the time it takes for the monitor to stabilize at the target RGB level.
  • RGB Overshoot: The average overshoot of all transitions. Unlike previous test benches, this is given as an absolute value of total RGB that it overshoots its target by, as opposed to a percentage.
  • Worst 10% First Response Time: This is an average of 10% of the worst transitions in terms of first response times.
  • Worst 10% Total Response Time: This is an average of 10% of the worst transitions in terms of total response times.
  • Worst 10% RGB Overshoot: This is an average of 10% of the worst transitions in terms of RGB overshoot.

Cumulative Absolute Deviation (CAD)

CAD is an extension of response time testing, as it's a measurement to identify how close a pixel's response time transition is to an ideal transition. Essentially, it tells you how much time the pixel is away from an ideal state, and CAD increases when there's a slow response time or overshoot. You can see this with the yellow area highlighted in the chart on the bottom left. Monitors with high CAD have motion artifacts, so this is an important factor to consider regarding the overall appearance of motion.

We calculate the CAD at the monitor's max refresh rate, at 120Hz, and at 60Hz. Other elements of the test group include:

  • Pursuit pattern photo: We take a photo of our new pursuit pattern to show what motion on the monitor looks like.
  • OD Transition: This is where you can see the individual response time charts for all 72 transitions, including with any overdrive setting that a monitor may have. You can use the drop-down menu to select which transition you want to see.
  • Recommended Overdrive Setting: Lists which overdrive setting has the lowest CAD.
  • Avg. CAD: Average CAD of all 72 transitions at the monitor's recommended overdrive setting.
  • Best 10% CAD: Average of 10% of the best transitions for CAD.
  • Worst 10% CAD: Average of 10% of the worst transitions for CAD.

You can see examples of the new CAD and response time tests below. You can also learn more about CAD here.

LG 27GR93U-B Response Time and CAD 

VRR Motion Performance

LG 27GR93U-B VRR Motion performane

This new test evaluates a monitor's CAD over a wide refresh rate range with various overdrive settings that may be available. While the response time and CAD tests are helpful for playing games at fixed refresh rates, VRR motion performance is more useful if your games fluctuate frame rates and you want to know which overdrive setting performs the best over the entire range.

We plot the CAD results in a graph to show which overdrive settings consistently perform the best. We also list:

  • Recommended VRR OD Setting: The overdrive setting with the lowest CAD and most consistent performance. Although this is subjectively chosen, we choose something that's consistently low over the refresh rate range.
  • Variable Overdrive Advertised: Whether or not the manufacturer advertises variable overdrive, which can help provide consistent performance over the entire refresh rate range.
  • Avg. CAD: Average CAD over the refresh rate range of the recommended overdrive setting.
  • Best CAD: The lowest possible CAD at any point of the recommended overdrive. Ideally, it's close to the average CAD.
  • Worst CAD: The highest possible CAD at any point of the recommended overdrive. Ideally, it's close to the average CAD.

You can learn more about VRR motion performance here.

Refresh Rate Compliance

Refresh rate compliance is a way to measure if a monitor's response time is fast enough to make full color transitions before the monitor draws a new frame. It's measured as a percentage versus a hypothetical monitor with 100% compliance.

There are two graphs in this test box. The first (on the left) represents the compliance of its recommended overdrive setting with our gray-to-gray sequence, and it shows the compliance at various frame rates, from 60 fps up to its max. The second graph (on the right) represents the compliance over its refresh rate range with various overdrive settings that a monitor may have. This helps you see which overdrive setting has the highest compliance.

We measure the compliance at its max refresh rate, at 120 fps, and at 60 fps.

You can learn more about refresh rate compliance here. You can also use our interactive tool to look at these graphs here.

GTG Graph LG 27GR93U-BFast GTG Sequence Graph
VRR Compliance LG 27GR93U-BVRR Compliance Graph

VRR Flicker

Another new test in Test Bench 2.0 is VRR Flicker. A common problem with many gaming monitors is that there's VRR flicker with changing frame rates that's most noticeable in dark scenes and can get distracting while gaming. Using our gamma-corrected response time tool, we can measure any fluctuation in gamma with VRR enabled at changing frame rates. The change in gamma gives this distracting appearance of flicker, but it's different from backlight flicker. This test is important if you play games that can't maintain steady frame rates and want to avoid getting a monitor with flicker issues.

You can learn more about the VRR flicker test here.

Other Changes

Console Compatibility

We added PS5 and Xbox Series X|S Compatibility in Test Bench 1.2 and improved it in Test Bench 2.0. We're now including tables with various resolutions and refresh rates so you can see which signals the monitor supports and if VRR and HDR work with each signal. You can see an example of each table below.

As the Xbox Series X|S only supports HDR with 4k signals, all monitors don't support HDR with 1440p or 1080p on the console. It's important to remember that this is a limitation of the console and not the monitor.

We also changed the scoring system to reflect VRR and HDR support with each console.

Dell AW3225QF PS5
Dell AW3225QF Xbox Series X|S

HDR Color Volume

Another change we've made in testing is with HDR Color Volume, which is now tested similarly to TVs. Unlike previous test benches, which targeted a normalized color volume target, we now target unnormalized targets with 1,000 cd/m² in DCI-P3 and 10,000 cd/m² in Rec. 2020. With this change, we can better compare each monitor's performance against each other, as using normalized targets limits the color volume to each display's peak brightness.

Unlike the past test bench, the HDR color volume score is now based entirely on the Rec. 2020 color volume.

LG 32GR93U-B - Color Volume NormalizedOld - Normalized DCI-P3 Color Volume (84.9%)
LG 32GR93U-B HDR Color Volume UnnormalizedNew - Unnormalized DCI-P3 Color Volume (68.4%)
LG 32GR93U-B - HDR Color Volume Rec. 2020Old - Normalized Rec. 2020 Color Volume (70.3%)
LG 32GR93U-B - HDR Color Volume UnnormalizedNew - Unnormalized Rec. 2020 Color Volume (33.7%)

Usage Ratings

We've added and removed several usage ratings in the Our Verdict section, renamed Media Creation to Editing, and overhauled each of their scoring weight systems. We also split up the Gaming usage into PC Gaming and Console Gaming. You can see the differences between the weightings of the old test bench versus the new one.

Usage Before After
PC Gaming
  • 30% Refresh Rate
  • 15% Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
  • 15% Input Lag
  • 15% Resolution And Size
  • 5% Contrast
  • 5% Response Time @ 120Hz
  • 5% Response Time @ 60Hz
  • 5% PS5 Compatibility
  • 5% Xbox Series Compatibility
  • 27% Response Time
  • 24% Refresh Rate
  • 20% HDR Picture
  • 14% SDR Picture
  • 10% Input Lag
  • 5% Brightness
Console Gaming  N/A
  • 18% HDR Picture
  • 18% PS5 Compatibility
  • 18% Xbox Series X|S Compatibility
  • 11% Brightness
  • 9% CAD at 120Hz
  • 9% CAD at 60Hz
  • 7% SDR Picture
  • 5% Input Lag at 120Hz
  • 5% Input Lag at 60Hz
Office
  • 25% Resolution And Size
  • 16% SDR Brightness
  • 16% Text Clarity
  • 13% Ergonomics
  • 10% Reflections
  • 7.5% Horizontal Viewing Angle
  • 7.5% Vertical Viewing Angle
  • 5% Image Flicker
  • 30% Text Clarity
  • 20% SDR Brightness
  • 20% Reflections
  • 20% Resolution
  • 10% Ergonomics
Editing
  • 20% Resolution And Size
  • 10% Color Accuracy (Pre-Calibration)
  • 10% SDR Color Gamut
  • 7.5% Ergonomics
  • 7.5% Horizontal Viewing Angle
  • 7.5% Vertical Viewing Angle
  • 7.5% Gray Uniformity
  • 7.5% Text Clarity
  • 5% HDR Color Gamut
  • 5% Contrast
  • 5% Black Uniformity
  • 5% Gradient
  • 2.5% Image Flicker
  • 30% Color Accuracy
  • 20% SDR Picture
  • 15% HDR Picture
  • 10% Text Clarity
  • 10% Resolution
  • 10% Horizontal Viewing Angle
  • 5% Brightness

We removed the Mixed Usage, HDR, and Media Consumption usage scores in Test Bench 2.0.

Performance Usages

We've added a new section of scores called Performance Usages. These are meant to represent performance-related aspects of the monitor and not one specific use like the typical usage scores. The new performance usages are BrightnessResponse TimeHDR PictureSDR Picture, and Color Accuracy. These are also included in the typical usage scores above.

Let Us Know What You Think!

Your feedback is instrumental in making improvements to our testing. If you have comments, questions, or suggestions about this or any future updates, reach out to us in the forums.

44 Monitors Updated So Far

We are retesting popular models first. So far, the test results for the following models have been converted to the new testing methodology. However, the text might be inconsistent with the new results.

52 Monitors Planned To Be Updated

We are also planning to retest the following products over the course of the next few weeks: