Over the past 3-4 years, ultrawide monitors have been a massive trend in PC gaming. I was skeptical when LG introduced the first PC monitors with a 21:9 aspect ratio in late 2014. Such a radical aspect ratio would result in game incompatibility and not offer advantages over two monitor sets for productivity.
This was the case in the beginning. In 2014, most games did not allow 21:9 aspect ratio resolutions. Those with this option generally had distorted images and FOV settings.
Gamers wanted ultrawide aspect ratio displays, and soon game support was added. Ultrawide monitors are now a standard feature in every manufacturer’s product line.
The 49-inch Samsung CHG90 ultrawide monitor is what we are seeing today. It is also the first AMD FreeSync 2 display.
SPECIFICATIONSThe CHG90 is still in the ultrawide category. It has moved from the 21:9 aspect ratio to a more narrow and square 32:9. This ratio allows Samsung to maximize the CHG90’s width while keeping it short enough not to engulf your entire wall.
This display can be viewed as two 27-inch monitors stacked side-by-side without worrying about the bezel in the middle. The resolution of the CHG90 is the same as the effective resolution of two 1080p displays placed next to each other, with a total resolution of 3840×1080.
The CHG90 display has a 1800R curve to achieve such large display sizes in a small form factor. This is the radius the show would perform if it made a complete circle. A 3000R display, for example, would have a smaller curve than a 1800R display.
However, the curve of the CHG90 display isn’t like any other we’ve seen. The entire display panel is not curved due to its enormous size. The screen’s edge is 6 inches away from the curve.
This effect is most noticeable when you look at your computer from the front. However, looking at it sideways, you may not notice the strange parallax effect.
The CHG90’s display requires a large footprint to support it. You will need a large desk holding a keyboard and mouse to keep this panel.
AMD’s first FreeSync 2 option with variable refresh rate support via DisplayPort and HDMI connections. Both have enough range to enable LFC (low framerate compensation). You can read more about that below.
The CHG90 is a massive 49-inch model with a 32/9 aspect ratio. It also supports HDR and has been certified to the VESA DisplayHDR600 standard. Samsung can achieve higher color gamut levels for this certification by using a Quantum Dot metallic layer in its backlight. This was borrowed from QLED technology for TVs. Samsung has raised the CHG90 to provide “Typical 92%, Minimum 8%” Adobe RGB coverage.
The CHG90, as we have seen with other Ultrawide displays, offers split-screen functionality that allows you to use multiple inputs simultaneously.
You can assign two display inputs to split the screen in half (emulating 16:9 monitors) or create a third configuration with 21/9 “main” information and a second input that fills in the space.
Side-by-side 16/9 mode is handy for switching between computers. It allows you to display information simultaneously from both machines and has a minimalistic look.
As I mentioned earlier, games have improved their support for ultra-wide monitors. Samsung’s implementation of 21:9 support has made it easier for matches to adapt to different aspect ratios than games designed around 16×9 or 16×10 displays.
This means that, even though the CHG90 has a new aspect ratio of 32:9, much of the work done in games and engines will still be available to gamers.
Dirt Rally was the first game I tried on the 49-inch CHG90 monitor. Race games are very adaptable to various aspect ratios and support multi-monitor setups.
Dirt Rally was a great experience. I could see the track more through my peripherals from the side windows than if I had a 16/9 display.
It would help if you kept in mind that you will have less Field of View when you use an ultrawide monitor (even a 32:9) than you would with a traditional 3-display setup. This is important for serious racing simulations.
First Person Shooter games have generally had the worst support for nontraditional aspect ratios. This could be due to multi-monitor setups and ultrawide displays. Modern titles such as Far Cry 5 were designed with ultrawide viewing in mind.
Far Cry 5 fully uses this extra space with an expanded Field of View, which is especially useful when piloting or driving vehicles.
Civilization VI is an excellent example of a title that can be viewed on ultrawide monitors but has drawbacks. The game looks fantastic in a wide aspect ratio. However, key UI elements and buttons are still at the edges of your display. This means you must reach around the screen to view the game. This made the game nearly impossible for me to play for long periods, which was disappointing for a Civilization game.
Blizzard’s Overwatch is another notorious example of poor ultrawide support. Although it supports 21:9 resolutions technically, the result is cropped and distorted. This intentional effort by Blizzard is to stop a competitor from having a more significant aspect ratio.
AMD FreeSync 2 technology is a significant advantage for gamers using the CHG90. The CHG90 supports variable refresh rates between 48-144Hz via DisplayPort and 48-100Hz via HDMI.
The sizeable variable refresh range means the CHG90 supports AMD Low Framerate Compensation technology. This allows for smoother experiences even if you are below the 48Hz floor.
We tested FreeSync with an RX Vega 56 GPU and found no issues. Gamers using AMD GPUs will experience fluid, tear-free gameplay.
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