Gigabyte M32U monitor evaluate: 4K gaming with out the fluff

MSRP $800.00

“The Gigabyte M32U does not have a whole lot of competitors, however it nonetheless feels robust to beat at $800.”

Execs

One of many solely 32-inch 4K screens with a excessive refresh fee

Glorious post-calibration colour accuracy

Two HDMI 2.1 ports

Constructed-in KVM swap

Cheap

Cons

Poor HDR efficiency

Subpar stand

Unhealthy pre-calibration colour accuracy

Should you go to Newegg and seek for a 32-inch 4K monitor with a excessive refresh fee, you’ll discover three choices: Two listings for the Gigabyte Aorus FI32U and one for the Gigabyte M32U. Massive, excessive refresh fee 4K screens are nonetheless a largely untapped house, with the LGs and Asus of the world sticking with the tried-and-true 27-inch format.

However Gigabyte is capitalizing on the unclaimed floor shortly with these two new gaming screens which have some distinctive options in tow.

It’s exhausting to separate the Gigabyte M32U from the Auros FI32U, even when ignoring their similar specs. They each use the identical panel and include largely the identical options, however the M32U is $200 much less. It clocks in on the comfy value of round $800 that many 4K 27-inch shows, such because the Acer Nitro XV273Okay or LG 27GN950, have settled on.

The case to purchase the M32U seems cut-and-dried then — it presents a excessive refresh fee at 4K for a similar value as its 27-inch counterparts, however with a bit of additional display screen actual property. There’s a bit of extra to the story than that, although, so until you’re set on a 32-inch show over a 27-inch one, you shouldn’t add the M32U to your cart simply but.

Design

Gigabyte-branded screens aren’t identified for his or her revolutionary designs, and the M32U doesn’t change that. It’s principally a stretched-out model of Gigabyte’s price range 1440p screens just like the M27Q, with an similar stand however with out the gamer aptitude usually related to 4K excessive refresh fee shows just like the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX.

Principally, there’s no RGB or any branding related to gaming. For that, you’ll must spend $200 extra on the FI32U, which is the very same panel however from Gigabyte’s Aorus line of merchandise. It has a extra angular look that’s becoming for gaming, with some RGB accents on the again. With regards to the panel, nonetheless, it’s similar to the M32U.

Exterior of the panel and efficiency, the M32U doesn’t really feel like $800 properly spent. There’s solely a little bit of steel within the base to interrupt up the plastic monotony. There’s a shiny bit on the highest a part of the again, however in any other case, it’s a matte plastic end throughout that appears like perform over type. And contemplating the price financial savings in comparison with the FI32U, that’s what the M32U is concentrated on.

The stand presents some changes, together with 130mm of peak adjustment, 25 levels of tilt, and 60 levels of swivel, however I may by no means get the monitor adjusted how I favored. The stand simply doesn’t permit for sufficient peak adjustment for my setup, with solely the highest third of the display screen occupying my area of view at its highest level.

The dimensions of a 32-inch panel makes up for that, however I needed to ditch the stand virtually as shortly as I set it up. Using the VESA 100 mounting holes on the again with a monitor arm turns the M32U from a cheap-feeling monitor with a foul stand into an understated show that’s all about efficiency.

Ports and controls

The port choice on the M32U is great, primarily on the strengtrhof a pair of HDMI 2.1 ports. Even latest high-end screens just like the LG 34GN850-B have caught with HDMI 2.zero, limiting 4K output to 60Hz. With HDMI 2.1, you may have entry to 4K at 120Hz or 8K at 60Hz.

DisplayPort is best for PC avid gamers nonetheless — and I’ll get to why in a second — however HDMI 2.1 was a pleasure to make use of throughout my time with the M32U. I used the HDMI ports for my PlayStation 5 and Xbox Sequence X, switching between them and my PC over the DisplayPort connection with out the refresh fee loss sticking behind my thoughts.

Along with the 2 HDMI ports, you may have entry to a single DisplayPort 1.four connection, providing a slight bump to a 144Hz refresh fee at 4K. Frankly, that is the dream port setup proper now. DisplayPort 2.zero is a greater choice, however it’s nonetheless not right here after struggling a couple of prolonged delays.

In any other case, you need to use USB-C as an enter, in addition to the three USB three.zero ports on the again of the show. The M32U really comes with yet one more USB three.zero port than the FI32U.

That is the dream port setup proper now.

You’ll be able to put all of these ports to good use, too. Like its costlier Aorus sibling, the M32U has a built-in KVM swap. Briefly, this lets you management a number of computer systems with a single keyboard and mouse linked by way of the monitor. The swap was a lifesaver for switching between my principal machine and check bench, saving me desk house and time as I bounced between two machines.

Sadly, you need to use the on-screen show (OSD) to configure the KVM swap, and it’s not nice. The OSD runs at a a lot decrease decision, making it look smudgy on the in any other case sharp-as-nails 4K panel. Getting by way of the menu isn’t dangerous, although the management dial takes some getting used to.

It’s excessive up on the again of the monitor, and even after weeks of utilizing the M32U, I’d should blindly hunt to seek out it. It’s a four-way swap with a center click on, and I might typically press it in a single path whereas making an attempt to make use of the center click on. You shouldn’t spend an excessive amount of time utilizing the OSD, however I used to be left wanting for a greater controller.

Picture high quality

The M32U doesn’t look nice out of the field, however it’s exhausting to anticipate a lot from an $800, 32-inch 4K monitor with a excessive refresh fee. Typical of IPS panels, the distinction ratio isn’t excessive and the show doesn’t get too vibrant, making the panel really feel just like the price range choice it’s in comparison with a few of the extra premium 4K shows.

Nonetheless, Gigabyte advertises 123% protection of sRGB and 90% protection of DCI-P3. Testing with my SpyderX Elite clorimeter produced a barely decrease 87% protection of DCI-P3, although that’s not too far off what Gigabyte claims. Equally, I measured a 950:1 distinction ratio, which is barely barely off the 1000:1 ratio typical of IPS panels, in addition to a peak brightness of 366.5 nits (Gigabyte lists 350 nits).

All the pieces checks out, however the bigger subject is colour accuracy. Out of the field, I measured a Delta-E (distinction from actual) of two.32, which falls outdoors of the vary typical for colour work and echoes the poor out-of-the-box efficiency of the Eve Spectrum 4K. You’re in search of a Delta-E worth of lower than 2 for a color-accurate show. Calibrating the show with the SpyderX cleaned issues up quite a bit, nonetheless, bumping down the Delta-E worth to zero.5.

That’s distinctive efficiency for this value, and greater than acceptable for picture or video colour work. Publish-calibration colour efficiency exceeds the LG 27GN950, which is a monitor that’s the identical value because the Gigabyte M32U, however 5 inches smaller.

Brightness uniformity wasn’t nice out of the field, both, with as a lot as a 10% distinction within the lower-left nook, which got here in at 83% brightness. A fast take a look at a black display screen confirmed why, with the lower-right nook displaying only a hair of backlight bleed. Nonetheless, the uniformity by no means posed a problem for me, and with probably the most delicate work taking place on the middle of the display screen, the M32U remains to be arrange for artistic work after calibration.

For specs, the M32U matches competing 27-inch 4K shows just like the Asus ROG Strix XG27UQR, simply with a bigger display screen measurement. The Eve Spectrum 4K and LG 27GN950, nonetheless, present what you may achieve by giving up display screen measurement. Although smaller, each of these shows are the identical value and include increased peak brightness.

With HDR on, the monitor seems prefer it’s making an attempt to cram an excessive amount of dynamic vary into too small of an area.

That’s necessary for HDR. The M32U carries VESA’s DisplayHDR 400 certification, not the DisplayHDR 600 certification of the Eve Spectrum and LG 27GN950. With HDR on, the monitor seems prefer it’s making an attempt to cram an excessive amount of dynamic vary into too small of an area, which is typical of DisplayHDR 400 screens.

Worse, utilizing HDR activates the M32U’s native dimming characteristic. There aren’t too many dimming zones, and so they’re gradual to reply to modifications. I ran a dimming check video, which produced some notable stuttering as a white dot moved to completely different elements of the display screen, displaying that the dimming zones are gradual to maintain up.

I ended up leaving HDR off outdoors of utilizing the M32U with my consoles. It’s not a foul picture, however I by no means favored coping with the dimming zones or the eye-burning distinction that comes from a mediocre HDR implementation. IPS panels simply aren’t nice for HDR, and the M32U doesn’t break that mildew.

Nonetheless, the M32U seems nice with HDR turned off. Though 4K pops a bit of extra with a smaller display screen measurement, the pixel density at 32 inches remains to be excessive sufficient to provide crisp photographs and clear strains on textual content. Even urgent my face inside a pair inches of the display screen, I couldn’t make out any pixels from black textual content on a white background.

Gaming efficiency

Pixel peeping is one factor, however taking the M32U out for a spin in video games exhibits the place it actually shines. It solely prolonged my Future 2 behavior, providing up super-sharp photographs at excessive refresh charges. The 144Hz panel isn’t as quick as one thing just like the 360Hz Asus ROG Swift PG259QNR, however that monitor is proscribed to 1080p. Plus, I don’t want a good increased refresh fee to know the way dangerous I’m at Valorant. 

And 144Hz is the gold commonplace for gaming screens for a cause. Like leaping from 30 frames per second (fps) on an Xbox One to 60 fps on an Xbox Sequence X, you may’t return to 60Hz after you’ve had a style of 144Hz. It’s additional clean. Even video games on my PS5 felt uneven after a couple of hours taking part in at 144Hz with my PC.

Taking down champions in Future 2 regarded nice in 4K, particularly with the ultrasmooth refresh fee.

Simply because the M32U presents 144Hz doesn’t imply you’ll get to get pleasure from it in video games. Native 4K remains to be a killer for many PC . Even with an RTX 3090 and an Intel Core i9-10900Okay, I couldn’t handle above 60 fps in Management or Murderer’s Creed Valhalla with the entire sliders turned up.

The excessive refresh fee is extra related in video games like Future 2 which can be much less demanding. Taking down champions and melting Gambit bosses regarded nice a 4K, particularly with the ultrasmooth refresh fee.

Nonetheless, you want highly effective to reap the benefits of a show just like the M32U. At minimal, it is best to have an RTX 3070 or RX 6800 XT for those who anticipate to play latest AAA video games at native 4K. Or, you may at all times cheat the decision a bit with a characteristic like Nvidia Deep Studying Tremendous Sampling (DLSS), which lets the excessive refresh fee shine by way of in a sport like Management. 

Our take

Until you’re content material spending $three,00zero on one thing just like the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQ, you’re not going to seek out one other 32-inch 4K gaming monitor with a excessive refresh fee. It’s in a category of its personal, however that doesn’t make it the perfect by default. There are a far higher number of 27-inch shows across the identical value, a lot of which include higher HDR and better peak brightness.

Should you’ve settled on 32 inches, nonetheless, there isn’t an alternative choice. The Aorus-branded mannequin is aesthetically higher, however that’s exhausting to justify with an additional $200 on the desk. Gigabyte has managed a monitor that ticks the packing containers in a area the place only a few screens have, and at an obtainable value.

Simply be sure to strap a Spyder to it earlier than utilizing the M32U for any severe work.

Are there any alternate options?

No, outdoors of the Aorus FI32U that’s $200 dearer. Many 4K excessive refresh fee gaming shows are caught at 27 inches, together with the Eve Spectrum 4K and LG 27GN950. However you may get increased brightness and higher HDR efficiency for those who sacrifice display screen measurement.

How lengthy will it final?

Contemplating how demanding 4K nonetheless is for contemporary PC , the M32U will final the subsequent a number of years. Till 8K turns into the norm or midrange GPUs can hit excessive body charges at 4K, the M32U will maintain up. HDR throws a wrench in that, nonetheless, so it’s possible you’ll must improve in a couple of years if you wish to reap the benefits of HDR in video games.

Ought to I purchase it?

Should you want a 32-inch 4K gaming monitor, sure. The Gigabyte M32U is in a category of its personal by default. Nevertheless, you may get a greater 27-inch 4K monitor for a similar value, which is what I’d suggest for most individuals.

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