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Asus VG248QE and Eye Strain + Migraines

post #1 of 33
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Recently I bought an Asus VG248QE since it was on sale for 243 dollars at Amazon (10% save or something). Was pretty excited since I'm a heavy gamer and enjoy playing twitch reaction games (counter-strike, etc). After using the monitor for 15 minutes I could tell something was up, and two hours into use my eyes were strained to a point I had never felt before. Also, I had symptoms of nausea and throbbing pains at the front of my head which are all symptoms similar to having a migraine.

Migraine triggered by the monitor? Possibly. The problem is that it only ever became more severe when using this monitor. I even took a 36 hour break from the monitor, let the migraine play itself out, and used my old setup. I felt perfectly fine, and after about 6 hours of using that setup I switched back to the Asus. Well, I'm in pain again.

Initially I thought it was the flickering from lowering brightness on the monitor (PWM), but after the 36 hour break I kept my brightness at 100% which is flicker-free from what I researched. I dimmed my computer screen and adjusted colors using Flux and DimScreen, so the monitor is no brighter than my other one. I'm simply at a loss as to what could be causing it. I know many will suggest I get an eye exam, and I plan on doing so as soon as I can, but I figured why not list my current monitors and see what people with more experience think.

22 inch (main display): http://www.quietpc.com/zm-m220w
19 inch (secondary display): http://reviews.cnet.com/lcd-monitors/samsung-syncmaster-920nw/4507-3174_7-32402957.html
24 inch (new display): http://reviews.cnet.com/lcd-monitors/asus-vg248qe/4507-3174_7-35621157.html

A little background... 20/20 vision, never had an eye sight issue in my life, although, I haven't received an eye exam in two years. I plan on going to get one soon after this experience. I was diagnosed with migraines at 16, so that is also a possible issue. On top of the 22 inch and 19 inch displays above I also use an iPad regularly to read for school. My eyes will strain slightly after 3-4 hours of reading in a very dark room on default iPad brightness settings (which is pretty bright, and reminds me I should turn it down tongue.gif), but nothing simply turning off the iPad and 5 minutes of rest can't fix.

Could the LED backlight at 100% brightness (but dimmed through other means) cause such serious issues? I know everyone is different, but these are pretty extreme side effects.

Any experiences with this monitor (or similar ones) and these type of issues are more than welcome. Considering I'm studying computer science, and want to program for a living this is something I am very keen on figuring out. I'll be purchasing a Benq XL2420T since it is supposedly flicker-free at all brightness levels, and I figured why the hell not just to test if it was an Asus issue.
Edited by Eulavvalue - 7/16/13 at 3:30pm
post #2 of 33

I am inclined to believe that an LED monitor set to 100% brightness but dimmed with software could be what's triggering your migraines. I recommend trying to adjust the brightness using the buttons on the monitor instead of software to see how that goes. It may be less convenient, but you might also find that it looks better too.

 

One thing I've heard about LEDs in general is they send a direct beam of light directly at your eyes if they're pointed at them while other light sources just scatter light in all directions, sort of (kind of like a flame). So staring at an LED monitor is probably like staring at a bunch of LEDs lamps. I don't know.

    
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post #3 of 33
These are the only flicker free monitors:

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/flicker_free_database.htm

Notables include the new BenQ Xl2420TE 144 Hz, IPS: Dell U2413 and Dell U2713
    
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post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulavvalue View Post

I'll be purchasing a Benq XL2420T since it is supposedly flicker-free at all brightness levels, and I figured why the hell not just to test if it was an Asus issue.
XL2420TE

Firstly, try to determine what is causing your eyestrain, but don't destroy your eyesight trying to.

-- Yes, PWM flicker can be an eyestrain problem. However, it's often over-blamed / mis-diagnosed (e.g. 50% of the blame is sometimes incorrect). Half of the time, PWM is a red herring for other eyestrain causes. Half of the time, PWM is a genuine cause. Forewarned is forearmed.

-- Excessive brightness can sometimes create more eyestrain than the PWM dimming.

-- Excessively low contrast can sometimes create more eyestrain than the PWM dimming.

-- Bad screen colors / bad color spectrum for LED backlights (excessive amounts of blue), can create more eyestrain than the PWM dimming.

-- If you are often sedate, and are now tracking your eyes more often with the new monitor, you might be over-exercising your eyes. (very rare factor, but leaving no stone unturned). If it happens even just staring at monitor, this almost certainly is not the cause.

-- If you loved CRT's (never got eyestrain with CRT's), enable LightBoost and use LightBoost strobe brightness=10% to dim it significantly. Some people (including myself and CallSignVega) get less eyestrain with LightBoost due to lack of motion blur, outweighing the LightBoost flicker. It will help people who preferred the CRT-clarity look, but won't help people who are genuinely flicker-sensitive.
____

I would highly advise returning the ASUS VG248QE if you cannot solve the problem; no sense letting a monitor destroy your eyesight. Get a PWM-free Apple monitor or Eizo monitor instead. If you want to stay in the 120Hz world, try the new ZeroFlicker BENQ XL2420TE.
Edited by mdrejhon - 7/16/13 at 8:39pm
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post

I am inclined to believe that an LED monitor set to 100% brightness but dimmed with software could be what's triggering your migraines. I recommend trying to adjust the brightness using the buttons on the monitor instead of software to see how that goes. It may be less convenient, but you might also find that it looks better too.

That is actually the first setup I tried. I used a recommended profile by pcmonitors (or some review site) plus an ICC profile. I used the dimming software with my second fresh go at it, so I do not believe the dimming software is the main issue.

I packed up my Asus last night and plan on returning it before purchasing the new Benq. Is the XL2420TE the only flicker-free model? I was reading their specifications and the XL2420T also claims it is flicker-free (http://gaming.benq.com/gaming-monitor/xl2420t).

I'll try turning down the contrast on my current monitor and see if that's the issue. I always kept my contrast at 75+ on the monitor, but was adjusting it in ATI or DimScreen. Never really thought contrast could be the issue and spent most of my time attempting to rule out brightness and PWM.
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulavvalue View Post

I packed up my Asus last night and plan on returning it before purchasing the new Benq. Is the XL2420TE the only flicker-free model? I was reading their specifications and the XL2420T also claims it is flicker-free (http://gaming.benq.com/gaming-monitor/xl2420t).
Sometimes monitors that are claimed as flicker free, actually have a high-frequency flicker that most people don't notice but may indirectly be causing eyestrain.

The XL2420T has flicker at 180Hz by a tester: http://www.prad.de/en/monitore/review/2012/review-benq-xl2420t-part7.html

The XL2420TE is branded "New ZeroFlicker": http://shop.benq.us/xl2420te.html

The trademarked ZeroFlicker is confirmed flickerfree by testers, so only get the one named "ZeroFlicker".
post #7 of 33
I might just have to wait to see how that XL2420TE does.
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post #8 of 33
Im about to sell mines on amazon im suffering from your same problem. I never had this trouble with asus vg236he. Might try a benq monitor. I actually had my eye checked to see if there something wrong and there apparently nothing wrong. standard mode colors are so gray spotting infantry targets in bf3 is worse than my last 120hz panel
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulavvalue View Post

That is actually the first setup I tried. I used a recommended profile by pcmonitors (or some review site) plus an ICC profile. I used the dimming software with my second fresh go at it, so I do not believe the dimming software is the main issue.

I packed up my Asus last night and plan on returning it before purchasing the new Benq. Is the XL2420TE the only flicker-free model? I was reading their specifications and the XL2420T also claims it is flicker-free (http://gaming.benq.com/gaming-monitor/xl2420t).

I'll try turning down the contrast on my current monitor and see if that's the issue. I always kept my contrast at 75+ on the monitor, but was adjusting it in ATI or DimScreen. Never really thought contrast could be the issue and spent most of my time attempting to rule out brightness and PWM.

No, someone lazy over at BenQ copied and pasted that info from other monitors without adjusting the specs. XL2420T is not flicker free, nor 1ms, nor can do 144 Hz. These are the real specs:

http://www.benq.us/product/monitor/xl2420t/

It is actually their oldest Lightboost display.
    
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post #10 of 33
I had almost the same problem you're having when i upgraded my monitor, the first few day i just could last an hour or 2 gaming without my eyes killing me and getting migraines, am a person that get migraines easy since my motorcycle accident but after about a week or so seems like my eyes got adjusted to monitor. thumb.gif
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