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EIZO FORIS FG2421 – Fast VA Monitor

By NAG3LT01-11-2013

Most LCD monitors currently in use operate at 60 Hz and are enough for most tasks, including gaming. There are different types of LCDs with good colour reproduction and wide viewing angles of IPS at one extreme, while at the opposite side there are TN panels with worse colour quality, but capable of faster refresh. Almost all 120/144 Hz monitors use TN displays to reduce blurring and provide those fast refresh rates. Still, even those 144 Hz LCDs show some blur as pixels stay at the same brightness for the whole refresh. It may be small, but some people notice that and like to reduce the amount of the blur to the levels of CRT. The specifications of EZIO's latest FORIS FG2421 1920x1080 23.5" monitor and its $650 price clearly targets high-end enthusiasts.

The first thing you might hear about it is the claim of 240 Hz support. It is not a lie per se, but is not the refresh rate you will see in your PC graphics settings. Your GPU will only see it as a 120 Hz monitor and it will really display those 120 Hz. The higher refresh rate refers to monitor Turbo 240 mode, which when enabled will do additional work to display every frame for a very short amount of time to remove any remaining motion blur. The panel is really capable of refreshing itself at 240 Hz and the monitor doubles every frame it receives from a GPU into 2 refreshes. The first of those is done when the backlight is off to erase the previous frame, then the second refresh shows the same image, removing all traces of the previous GPU frame. Only then a backlight blinks for a very short time and that is when you will see the image. This mode of operation achieves results very similar to the way CRTs display images. This effect works best for games running at 120 FPS which benefit from such strobing, but is less desirable if you are playing at 60 FPS or lower.

Other features of FORIS FG2421 are also very good compared to 120 Hz TN monitors. The use of VA panel allows better colours and much better contrast than TN. FG2421 as it has real 5000:1 contrast (not a dynamic one) and very deep level of blacks, which look good in dark rooms and when watching dark content. Its viewing angles beat TN, but are far from the widenth offered by IPS panels. The backlight can operate at a very high frequency to avoid flickering at lower brightness settings. The software configuration and build are not the most critical features, but they correspond to its gaming focus and premium pricing. The default scaling of input retains the aspect ratio without having to rely on GPU drivers for scaling. There are DVI and DisplayPort inputs allowing use of a 120 Hz input at 1080p and a HDMI input limited to 1024x768 in 120 Hz mode, but able to handle 60 Hz at 1080p. There is also a USB hub and 2 audio out ports for speakers or headphones.

Overall, EIZO FORIS FG2421 seems to be a very good gaming monitor as long as you are willing to spend a hefty $650 on it. While it is really unique as far as blur reduction quality on LCD monitors goes, it will be interesting to see how well it fares against G-Sync monitors, which will also offer a strobing mode, which might be just a bit more blurry.


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