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Pros: The good stuff...
+ Amazing picture
+ Perfect pixels
+ Smooth picture
+ Frame rate counter
+ Ambient light
Once I got the color balanced, the picture quality and experience is truly amazing. Take the excellent 1440p IPS screen quality and add the extra wide screen, overclocked to 120Hz, curved screen, smoothed video with G-Sync, and effective anti-glare that preserves the picture quality along the curve. Put all of that together and you get a truly amazing picture and experience.
I have had no issues with pixels. All are working as expected. While researching monitors, it seemed like a gamble on getting a high-end monitor without a dead or stuck pixel. Either they got it all worked out with the Pbmiphzx model or I was lucky. Either way, I'll take the good fortune.
Every quality IPS monitor I have seen has some level of light-bleed compared to a quality TN panel, but nothing that has degraded the picture. When running a black screen test on the X34, I only see a small light bleed in both the bottom right and left corners. I would say the bleeds are smaller than most IPS monitors I have seen and I do not notice it other than on a black screen test.
The combination of the extra wide curved screen, G-Sync, and overclocking, the experience really is immersive. I was skeptical of the "immersive" claim for wide curved monitors. What does that really mean? But now having the majority of my field of view captured by the monitor pulls me that much more into the game. I have never had a flat screen this wide before, so I cannot attest to how much of the immersion is contributed to the curve, but my suspicion is it does put the monitor in my field of view better than if it were a flat monitor.
Acer provided some additional features on the X34 Pbmiphzx that are more icing on the cake and appreciated as such. In particular the frame rate counter and the ambient light under the monitor. I only used the frame rate counter when I first started using the monitor to gauge the performance of my system. It gave me confidence that all the pieces parts were working well together.
I didn't think I would like the ambient light feature which is a strip of LEDs under the monitor, but it turned out to be a nice touch. By default, it's a subtle blue that allows you to see your desk in the dark and does not affect how you see the picture on screen. This feature also became a vital tool in diagnosing an issue that almost drove me to the brink of insanity. More on that in the Cons section.
Cons: Issues during my experience...
- Slow flickering after starting game due to G-Sync recognition issue
- Rare single flicker in game
- Color configuration out of the box is pretty bad
- Confusing part numbers
The reason for cracking an egg on this monitor is a long frustrating story which I will do my best to condense.
There was about a 75% chance that when starting a game, the screen would flicker on and off in a 2 second interval. Two seconds off, two seconds on, two seconds off, and so on and so forth. I tried a lot cumbersome and ineffective attempts to correct the problem. I eventually found a work-around that was acceptable enough to not send the monitor back. Rebooting the monitor when it began flickering at the start of the game would correct the issue. I was able to reboot the monitor by navigating to the monitor's menu > Gaming > Apply & Reboot while the screen was visible. I still did not know the cause of this problem yet.
I really like the quality of the picture and game play, so I felt this work-around was enough to buy me some time to find a solution without rushing to a decision on whether to return it within the return period. Unfortunately, 5 months later and I don't have a solution. I have discovered the reason, but not a full solution.
I dug deep into reviews, forums, knowledge base documents, etc., but not much to go on as if I were the only one at the time with the issue. I posted on the Acer support forum and within a week, someone replied and stated that they had the same issue and was able to fix it by getting a high-speed gold plated DisplayPort cable and the recommendation was much appreciated. The person stated that the issue was caused by G-Sync not being recognized by the monitor and the video card was expecting a G-Sync compatible monitor. They further explained that I can use the ambient light feature to show whether the monitor is in G-Sync mode by navigating in the menu to System > Ambient Light > LED Color and setting it to "MNT Status". If the monitor is in G-Sync mode, the LEDs will be red, otherwise they will be white. By setting the ambient light to MNT Status, I was able to determine that when I turn my monitor on, it doesn't always recognize that it should be in G-Sync mode and the lights would be white. I owe my sanity to this masked forum poster.
It wasn't easy to find a DisplayPort that was advertised for high speed, high refresh, high resolution monitors. I found the "Nixeus VESA Certified DisplayPort™ 1.4 HBR3 Cable (6 ft) - Supports HDR Gaming Monitors, FreeSync™, G-Sync™, 4K 144Hz and up to 240Hz Ultra High Refresh Rate" cable on Newegg and now the issue only occurs about 25% of the time. It doesn't sound like I can get a cable more dedicated to supporting gaming than that. My pursuit of issue free gaming is still afoot, but less stressful.
This issue clearly deserves at least one egg cracking. Perhaps I should have cracked more due to the frustration and the fact that Acer should have included the best cable there can be with such a high-end, high demand, monitor.
Another potentially related issue that, fortunately, rarely occurs is that during game play the screen will flicker once for about 1 second or less. I have not been quick enough to see if the LEDs switched to white at that moment. When it does occur, it only happens once regardless of how long I play.
Considering the cost of the monitor and how much it would cost to ship this mammoth, I am maintaining optimism that this will be fixed (or perhaps I am in complete denial).
I agree with others that the colors are pretty horrible out of the box, but it's not a show stopper and can easily be fixed. I found a technical review that suggested the below settings which worked out great for me. It is odd that the monitors are shipped so far off from "normal".
My final issue is with the company's part numbering. It took me a while during my research to figure out that the X34 Pbmiphzx is 100Hz overclockable to 120Hz and that there was a previous X34 that was 60Hz overclockable to 100Hz that was not always successful in overclocking. I almost moved on to another manufacturer, but I suspected something wasn't adding up. What was wrong with naming the later model X35? Over even X34 3/4?
Overall Review: I am using a EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW video card and it doesn't flinch with the X34.
I upgraded my monitor from an Asus PB278Q (27" 5ms 2560 x 1440 PLS WQHD LED) which has an excellent picture itself. Even so, I can't go back to a 27" flat screen.
Speakers? Who cares? Personally, I think they should just leave speakers out of gaming monitors.
I cannot say whether I would recommend this monitor based on my experience with it. If someone were to ask, I would say that I really like the monitor, describe the features and then give full disclosure on the issues I have experienced. I would then leave at that for them to decide.
To the question on whether I would buy it again if I had the chance to do it all over, that is a long internal debate with no answer. Based on my research, it would be a high risk of trading one problem for another regardless of which high-end gaming monitor I purchase. It is costly to take the risk and have to return or RMA a monitor this large.
You may ask, why not RMA? I have no experience with Acer's RMA process, but I have been burned so many times without recourse from other companies that an RMA is a doomsday button of last resort for me. Which is probably the industries master plan. I'd rather continue to figure things out myself.
If/when I figure out the periodic G-Sync recognition issue, the monitor will be perfect.
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Pros: -100hz w/ 120hz OC
-Solid! (stand too)
-Easy to set up
-I won the backlight bleed lottery with none
Cons: -Nothing really except the price, but for me, it was definitely worth it.
EDIT: Dead Pixel Middle of Screen - Read the edit in the "Other" section.
Overall Review: I originally wanted to get the Alienware equivalent of this monitor, but it was always sold out. One day, Newegg had it, but it was in the Marketplace and for some reason, it wouldn't take my preferred account, so I couldn't do the awesome 12 months of no interest. That's what originally sent me this way.
My system isn't the greatest all around, but it works really well for me:
32 gigs of DDR4-2800
SLI GTX 780 Tis
I was worried that my GPUs weren't new enough to power this beast of a monitor. I was wrong. I can play many of my games in high settings at 3440x1440 at 100hz. The OC for 120hz works flawless on the monitor, but my gpu actually can't handle 120hz at this resolution. Found multiple threads after I got the monitor on a few sites with others having similar issues. I was afraid that going from 144hz TN panel to this IPS 100hz, I was going to notice a significant decrease. Honestly, I have seen an increase in clarity (from TN to IPS) and the speed difference from 144 to 100...I haven't actually noticed a difference yet. Most likely, the GSync is helping out too.
I would highly recommend this monitor to anyone that has the computer power, money, and is looking for a gaming monitor. BF1, Destiny 2, FF XV (Demo), Star Wars BF2, and many other games just look amazing. I can't believe I went this long at a 23" basic monitor. This is a massive improvement and won't be going away from ultrawides any time soon.
EDIT AS OF 03/31:
Seriously, just after my 30 days to return to Newegg comes up, my monitor ends up getting a dead pixel square in the middle of my monitor. I hear a small popping sound come from my monitor (no the built in speakers weren't on or plugged in for that matter). The middle of the screen got dark, then lightened up.
Now, there is a black pixel right in the middle of my screen, and around it almost seems bruised. It's all darker around it by about a quarter inch. I tried contacting ACER but the warranty is supposedly needing 5 pixels dead before they will even fix the issue under warranty. It's sad paying 1k for a monitor, then have an issue and not be taken care of :( Honestly, if the dead pixel was even on the side, I would be okay, but being right in my line of site continuously...you can't even overlook or try to forget about it. I honestly wish now I saved a little extra to go with a different brand that would've taken care of this issue instantly.
Don't get me wrong, the rest of the monitor is working well. I just don't understand why a high end monitor can't have a great warranty like the Alienware equivalent.
Pros: 0 dead pixels
excellent color replication
sleek desk stand and screen frame design - I am even able to move and relocate this thing without touching the screen due to the nifty handle at the top of the back stand.
Cons: Kind of a pain to plug cables in where they are located in the back of the monitor (display port location etc.. a bit too flush/tight with the back of the monitor)
Kind of pricey - it looks like non g-sync variants are about 500 bucks cheaper
Why did they even bother with the speakers? ( they handle low-mid range ok surprisingly but struggle mightily with highs - would not recommend their use unless you have nothing else)
Overall Review: OSD menu navigation takes getting used to..
Newegg and Fedex teamed up to get my monitor delivered 1-2 days before i expected it to show up - kudos!
This is my first foray into the g-sync/free-sync 60+ hz scene and wasn't sure if i would see the benefits, but a friend convinced me to try and recommended I get this monitor; ensuring me its worth it.
If it lasts for as long as my old one(s) i wont be sorry, because so far he's been absolutely correct.
Speakers aside, this is a 5 star product!
Pros: - beautiful crisp clean picture
Cons: -dead Display port cable on arrival
-awful customer support from Acer
Overall Review: i recomend the monitor it is by far the best monitor i have ever owned.
i would rate 3.5 eggs instead of 4 because of the dead display cable on arrival and awful customer support on acers team. people did not know anything about the product they were supposed to be helping me with.
once i got a new DP cable this monitor worked fine.
Pros: soooo buttery smooth g-sync and with 1440p crystal clear.
Cons: worth the kidney i had to sell to get it.
Overall Review: there seems to be a a slight darkened band at the top and bottom. Its very minor but still am wondering if its a manufacturing defect??? also some back light bleed when the screen is black, but does not take away from the major leap forward this monitor represents in technology.
Pros: Beautiful display
Gsync is amazing
Curvature is perfect
Easy to calibrate
6x USB ports
Built in handles (you will need them because it is heavy)
Cons: None of these are deal breakers, but some minor annoyances:
Stand is weird and huge, overhangs the shelf I used for previous monitors
OSD controls are bit wonky until you get used to them
Expensive, but you get what you pay for
Overall Review: I never thought I would spend this much money on a monitor and I had high expectations that were all exceeded. The monitor is huge and beautiful. The display is extremely sharp and smooth when calibrated. Games look absolutely stunning and are incredibly immersive. I was worried about the curve but it is great, you don't even notice it when gaming and it actually enhances immersion.
It didn't take long to get this calibrated and configured, I read a few guides and tried recommended settings then I tweaked to my preferences. It comes set at 100hz and you have to set it to 120 with the OSD if you want to use that refresh rate.
The biggest drawback here is cost. This thing costs as much as GTX 1080 TI right now. I believe it is worth it and I think this is a better investment than a VR headset at this time, but others may not agree.
Pros: -Tremendous real estate. Coming from 2x 24" Dell UltraSharp monitors the split screen view offers nearly the same experience
-Fantastic colors reproduction that honestly looks better than my factory calibrated Ultrasharps
-This is my first monitor experience over 75Hz, it's amazing how much better general usage and web browsing is
-Feature Rich, slick OSD with joystick makes working with the monitor a joy
-Flawless 100Hz/120Hz usage, no issues with any type of input.
-The 1900R curve is perfect, took virtually no time getting used to it, no eye fatigue or weirdness involved.
-Zero dead pixels, excellent PPI, 3440 x 1440 resolution is perfect for this monitor size.
-Thoughtful design, thin bezels, a good balance of "gaming aggressive" and elegant.
-Tons of inputs with a good layout.
-G-SYNC works and is the doo doo
-GTX 1080 runs most AAA tiles at around 65 FPS give with a healthy differential of 10 FPS either way.
Cons: -$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Never thought I'd spend this much on a monitor, I'm a pretty frugal guy but was able to save close to $100 through various means, along with the last sale for $999 so I made out "okay" all things considered.
-ENORMOUS BOX - when you see it on your doorstep (ships in it's native box) you think you've made a huge mistake and will have no room. The monitor is fully assembled inside, which along with packaging, makes it huge.
-There is a faint but noticeable "fading dark edge" at the top of the monitor. You can only make it out on web browsers. It's very light and uniform so there isn't much to get upset about and in no way detracts from the "experience".
-Despite being 8Bit+FRC, there is some very minor banding during certain games. This is not a true 10Bit panel, so don't let it fool you. Lots of things can be attributed to this but just know that it doesn't bother you while gaming and is in no way distracting (at least on my panel). Often times this can be solved by doing a bevy of setting changes and sometimes its the game itself.
-Needs serious graphical horsepower to run games at max settings. (GTX 1080 or higher)
Overall Review: Despite the expense I would do this all over again. The experience has been nothing short of sublime. I lost my passion for games a few years ago. Growing up in the 80s/90s I was there for the PC Gaming revolution and this has breathed new life into that passion and "made me a gamer again". I'm totally convinced there is no better gaming experience besides VR. Just make sure you have at least a GTX 1080 or higher in order to take advantage of this mythical beast.
Pros: Monitor does have a very nice picture with great color. Great viewing angle. A huge upgrade from my last monitor.
Cons: Just like many other reviewers have pointed out, after about 4 or 5 months I started getting random screen flicker issues. Wasn't too bad at first, but now it can flicker every one or two seconds. It took me about 3 months just to figure out the issue was in fact with the monitor and not my PC. Finally figured it out when I left the monitor on while shutting down the PC...right after the PC was off but monitor was still on not in sleep mode, I caught it flicker again. Now I have to submit a warranty claim and figure out how i'm going to ship this huge **s thing back to Acer without the original box.
Overall Review: A huge disappointment. Very Frustrating. Awful first impression of Acer and the quality of their products. I don't recommend this product or brand.