VA vs IPS comparison (27" 31.5" 1440p 144Hz)
Samsung C27HG70 vs Acer XF270HUA
Samsung LSM270DP01 SVA (VA) vs AU Optronics M270DAN02.6 AHVA (IPS)
Added at the end: LG 32GK850G / AUO M315DVR01 LGE BL (VA)
All these photos and videos were done out of curiosity since in the end I did have C27HG70 and XF270HUA side by side available for a weekend.
Normally I only shoot a few monitor issues to save for comparison, you can find those on bottom part of this post as were shown here initially.
This is done with no profit in mind only out of curiosity to be able to compare different units over time and see if a unit I receive later is any better or worse than a unit I have received previously. Simply shopping at retail stores with my own money and an intent to buy, own and use long term a decent defect free monitor.
If you like or find these comparisons useful and would like to donate or otherwise support me, feel free to PM me
For this side by side comparison of C27HG70 I have had C27HG70 #4/5 and XF270HUA #4/4 units.
#4 C27HG70 had the best and only acceptable level of dark gray uniformity of 5 units I've had total, it suffered from stuck bright pixels in center, lower and left side of panel, some of the worst color reproduction and image quality of all 5 units with poor color uniformity, my notes say cold right side warm right but this was not as far as I remember as bad as you find on almost if not all AUO M270DAN2.x panels, the stand was scuffed, yellowing on top and bottom from BLB, yellowing-greening of the panel, overall with OSD reported 2.30dE and 2.21 gamma. It was poor and the only 1/5 dark gray uniform. It's response times were ok, no variations out of the ordinary compared to other units. Dark gray uniformity while the best of 5 units still has a visible bull-horns/Quake2 logo on top left and a horizontal line or two that you may notice on photos. For comparisons of how awful C27HG70 dark gray uniformity is across various units, see my posts here: https://www.overclock.net/forum/44-m...l#post26968817
#4 XF270HUA, warm left cold right side color temperature uniformity, as always with this panel, minimal BLB especially around lower right corner as a result glow is not yellow tinted in that corner, there is BLB elsewhere but not too much. Response times are ok no variations out of the ordinary compared to other units. Endless stuck bright pixels all over the panel, a few are bright but there are many that are faint and you can see them on some long exposure photos as faint brighter dots everywhere, that's not camera sensor noise that's a fault of the panel.
Monitors were brightness matched by eye over a day of use in advance of photographing.
Samsung C27HG70 #4, brightness 12 (25 with local dimming)(/5/1 not used in shoot), default otherwise, wider gamut from QD, no color adjustments possible, the monitor is poorly factory calibrated with blue gamma being out whack in midtones possibly also brights (2.7 blue gamma on Lagom 48% gamma calibration, the darker ones were on 2.2) and there was no way in hell to get it to match 6500K and get it closer to XF270HUA to my eyes let alone to Sony a6000, as such it was left on default 50/50/50 full normal colors. Sony a6000 saw it as 6200K green tinted while to eyes that was also true but with added red tints, the blue gamma mess and BLB really ruined this monitor. Used ideal overdrive: normal.
Acer XF270HUA #4, brightness 30 (/14/3 not used in shoot), yellowish/greenish on default, normal gamut, OSD colors adjusted to 50/44/50-50/50/50 gain-bias that gives the best colors I've seen so far of these M270DAN2.6 panels and Sony a6000 sees it as well as 6500K with no tints at center of screen though of course the color temperature uniformity is causing warmer left and colder right side. Used ideal overdrive: extreme that is from my extended experience the best on XF270HUAs and similar in overshoot/undershoot amount to C27HG70 OD normal.
No color calibrations ICC or other in OS or in programs used for either of monitors, I made sure.
The arrangement is always 1 photo with 2 monitors side by side, left one being Samsung C27HG70 and right one Acer XF270HUA. No postprocessing as always except croping and resizing. Occasionally monitors were shot separately for specific tests.
Monitors are both angled with their centers toward camera, distance of camera from monitors is 160cm. At this distance you will not see almost any glow already, for glow comparison please see individual monitor photos, lower part of this post.
Camera is Sony a6000 with Sigma 30mm (45mm equivalent in 35mm, 1.5x crop) F2.8 lens. Focus is locked and manually adjusted when necessary between takes to focus on center of scene, photos are often in focus and especially on photos with F2.8 aperture and sharp autofocus this can lead to interaction between panel pixels and camera sensor pixels as camera has no blurring antialiasing filter as some cameras have, this can occasionally result in photos having red-green patterns and color temperatures not being absolutely correct. Where color accuracy was important I have manually defocused on purpose to remove these panel-sensor pixel interactions. This is completely normal when shooting fine patterns with good sharp digital cameras.
All monitors shown here are defective in one way or another, as such you may sometimes see bright or dim colored dots from stuck bright pixels and other issues. Very long exposure photos that have many colored dots are not all dots from the monitor panel but from Sony a6000 accidental bulb mode activation during remote control, while I did not use bulb mode even after it's deactivation a deactivation of some denoising and bright spot removal for long exposures that bulb disables internally is kept disabled afterwards a bug in Sony's firmware.
There is no retouching or other postprocessing done on ANY of the photos, no color corrections etc.
EIZO, lagom, UFO are shot at default contrast setting and as such will appear overcontrasted and oversaturated compared to reality. I've noticed that afterwards when reviewing their photos mid shoot and corrected that for all photos and videos that were taken afterwards, those are shot with -3 contrast in natural color preset on a6000, giving lifelike appearance when viewed on "sRGB IPS" monitor, as close as can be. The contrast and color accuracy is not important for the 3 test suites that have each test page focused on a single thing, I was not going to reshoot hundreds of photos for hours again when it's not necessary. I will also not explain what each test image of these 3 tests does, how or what you should look for in them, for that see the tests themselves as they contain necessary descriptions and covering them here would be an article itself.
All photos contain EXIF information for those that want to see it for some reason, unfortunately Imgur strips that data away as I tested right now. But I did make the side by side photos with notes and at least some EXIF data. Sony a6000 always set to 6500K color temperature.
Everything should be categorized and ordered, image previews are hidden under spoilers as it is a lot of images. Click on photos to view them at larger size.
Software tools used to edit these photos and videos are free: Gimp etc. for angle view photos, FastStone Image Viewer for cropping, resizing and adding notes, ffmpeg for videos.
Also, all these photos and videos are entirely made by me alone with few days worth of work total to a point where it actually becomes a chore and not fun. Please respect that I am sharing them here for overclock.net viewing and do not wish them to be stolen, copied, edited, reused by someone else to look like their own work or be otherwise misappropriated, in other words I do not want to see them circulated on other sites. If you want to reference them in your article, video etc. then link to this source post and give credit where credit is due. Otherwise you can always write to me and ask for permission of course.
EIZO standalone gallery
Neither clips blacks or whites and full 0-255 range for each color channel is distinguishable. Curve adds undesirable warping to the image that is not suitable for any serious use be it graphics, movies or gaming, for casual sure, for creation and competitive, no thanks. Curve changes perception of distances and speed in games, never seizes to feel odd and off. Both monitors suffer from some visible BLB.
As far as black point comparison goes, cameras have limited dynamic range and as such black level is not easily comparable as difference is highly exaggerated. Sure VA is darker about 1/2 of IPS black level by my guess, you can look up imprecise measurements in reviews, but in absolute numbers the difference is miniscule. Noticeable and nice to have lower black level but it's not a local dimming kind of deep black you can get with local dimming enabled monitors, OLED etc. C27HG70 does offer 8 zone local dimming that works in reality at about 6 zones and it will get activated and shown on photos later.
Gamut is wider on C27HG70 with it's quantum dots but that is only seen on a small center part of screen due to limited VA viewing angles, angles shown later in detail. C27HG70 comes factory calibrated, although this units is awful in that regard, it does have more accurate gradients in general where XF270HUA tends to be above 2.2 gamma and a little darker than should be.
Here you could see C27HG70 has poor blue gamma at 48% test pattern, but the photo is overexposed to be able to see it. Otherwise both monitors were around 2.2 gamma here. You can see the oddities caused by inversion, while XF270HUA may seem worse here on photos it's actually often the opposite and Samsung HG70 panels are a total mess when it comes to handling inversion with plenty of issues that can be seen when browsing websites, working with graphics, moving windows while using solid color background, etc. they are also all audible and noticeably buzz when any fine patterns are shown even changing gray color brightness of solid color areas at the same time. It's a complete freak show with HG70 sometimes.
Already here on response time test picture you can see C27HG70 is slower response time wise. And that C27HG70 has a tiny bit lower input lag.
Viewing angles of lagom's violet image even at 160cm distance still show the poor VA viewing angles, yes even at 160cm away it still doesn't match IPS. Not that IPS is perfect it is not either but the viewing angles are considerably better.
On solid color photos you can see that C27HG70 with wider gamut has more red red, green green, blue blue. On sRGB IPS the red is sort of orangeish in comparison where as on wide gamut VA red goes toward infra red and loses this orange tone, this has nothing to do with VA vs IPS but more of a note on sRGB vs wide gamut.
UFO test gallery
Here you can see clearly how much smearing VA has compared to IPS. It's a huge difference in black response times when both run with ideal OD.
VA is a star eater, in normal use I did not see it but when I looked at photos with VA vs IPS side by side, yes VA indeed does eat stars on a moving night sky test image and you can get such situations in games, movies, etc. Still it's probably much better than older infamous star eater VAs. I didn't find this an issue but it's disappointing that VA is still this slow even for blacks to brights transitions.
Motion clarity you cannot easily judge from these photos since sometimes one or the other monitor is caught on photo mid refresh. Still XF270HUA is often clearer due to better response times despite it's slight sharpness blur where as C27HG70 is slower transition times wise in blacks and darks but has near perfect neutral sharpness. Sharpness difference is shown later, it was skipped on Lagom test.
With my Doom inspired color transitions of red/green/blue rectangles you can see how very slow VA is transitioning from blacks to dark colors, it loses big part of the rectangles, about 50%. IPS for comparison? No problem at all and whole rectangle is shown. When it comes to brighter rectangle on C27HG70 the leading edge is often annoyingly oversaturated and dimmer than it should be, on XF270HUA the leading edge is slightly overshot since it's using what I personally consider ideal OD extreme and would be easily fixed if you use Od normal.
Inversion patterns, have fun watching those, even there you can see the slowness of transitions on C27HG70 VA compared to XF270HUA IPS, see the thicker colored bars scrolling, it's a big difference. And then you see the checkerboard inversion patterns on HG70.
A tiny bit lower input lag on C27HG70 (unless my GPU somehow prefers one port over the other) as will be even more obvious later. It's only a little some half a frame at 144Hz I think, that's about 3.5ms, if even that. It's consistently faster though, will you notice when using them separately? No. Will you notice when using them side by side? No. Competitive advantage? Haven't noticed any with such a tiny difference, none, zip, zero, nada.
My own collected or created test images
BLB, BLB everywhere, typical LCDs. They can make it clean with near no BLB but these are not those units. Whole range from black to white is shown, with fine 5% steps for the first 30%.
On dark grays you can see this cherry picked C27HG70 is fairly uniform minus the Quake2 like logo and a horizontal line or two. Otherwise they are both equally poor.
Last photo is lifelike black levels.
No issues here, no black or white clipping.
Obviously as always IPS colors are better, they also pop more despite being narrower gamut because gamut has nothing to do with that. Sure this VA is wider gamut and peak RGB are wider but overall VA colors look more boring and subdued, no idea if that is because of backlighting differences or due to VA or VA viewing angles washing it this much everywhere, quite possible.
Yellowing on C27HG70 is caused by it's messed up hardware calibration of blue channel gamma. There do exist nicer factory calibrated units that look quite nice and clean, this is one of the worse even worst of 5 units in this regard.
Viewing angles gallery
Washing out on VA is real and annoying. With IPS you lose brightness but otherwise it does not wash out at an angle. On VA the angles are so small that each eye from 75cm sees a little too different image giving a polarized sunglasses like feeling where each eye also sees a little different image. VA has a tiny center that looks nice and then turns steeply into garbage especially when it comes to darks and reds, annoying with movies especially, when you move a tiny bit what you see changes and the tiny center follows you while rest of screen looks poor. With IPS usually (poor units do exist) the angles are adequate enough that each eye sees almost the same image, there is no tiny center that follows you when you move or anything like that, the angles are decent for 27" at 75cm viewing distance.
Banding is OK on both more or less. As far as C27HG70 10 bit capabilities go... even with HDR mode active (it accepts 10bit input) I could not get any images or 10bit test videos to show and confirm C27HG70 when run alone in 10 bit mode actually shows all 10 bit.
A later found 10 bit guide is here.
Samsung C27HG70 does seem to support 10 bit on some GPU drivers even in SDR. 10 bit support is now confirmed working in post #137 by fursko.
Sharpness is near perfect on C27HG70 where as all XF270HUAs I have seen suffer from blur and offer no OSD sharpness adjustment to correc it
Everything looks fuzzy on XF270HUA and results in loss of fine detail on photos, movies, games, all fine details are blurred out and text looks thicker than should be with blurry softer edges.
Input lag gallery
Consistently C27HG70 is a tiny bit faster than XF270HUA when it comes to input lag, not by much though, some half a 144Hz frame = 3.5ms at most probably. You can also see I've later tested this with C27HG70 local dimming and strobing modes, the results were the same and there is no input lag penalty caused by using local dimming or strobing.
Lifelike, no white clipping:
Local dimming enabled:
Lifelike, no white clipping:
Of course wider gamut backlighting on C27HG70 kind of pushes reds out a little too much than what they should be, couple this with: poor VA viewing angles, black smearing, red trails and it's not difficult to hate VA in all these orange toned scenes.
Local dimming is nice to have, I did use it all the time but it has in a way mind of its own and adapts global brightness too a bit. Sometimes highlights look better on IPS with no local dimming, sometimes VA with local dimming pushed brightness higher and highlight looks better. The pure black when source is pure black does look good with local dimming. The speed of local dimming though is rather slow to turn on from black and causes local dimming lag of around 5-10 frames on a recorded 60fps video! It's a lot and you will see it shortly when watching videos (on a non local dimming fast response time monitor) below just how slow the local dimming is, you don't need to slow it down at normal speed side by side compared it's quite obvious.
Videos are all shot at 1920x1080px 60fps 50mbps XAVC-S, -3 contrast neutral color profile and 6500K locked color temperature same as most photos above except first 3 test suites. Cut, synced, cropped, stacked, slowed down, annotated and compressed with ffmpeg all at once. Of course uploaded on YouTube they look horrendous quality wise. Vimeo does seem to still offer better image quality and supports 60fps, HEVC, 10bit, things YouTube can only dream of but isn't free for uploads this large. That's right, this is 17GB of used source footage, compressed with x264 CRF 12 gives 7GB of good quality 1080p 60fps. Unfortunately YouTube still uses only H.264 for majority of 1080p uploads even 60fps ones unless your channel is a very popular one or your video has many thousands of views at which point they reprocess it to VP9. The only sure way I know to get around this Google's nonsensical quality throttling is to upload 1440p or larger resolution. As such I've batch encoded the videos again with 2x lanczos upscale to get final 4k 60fps at 100mbps, over 23GB of footage actually larger than source and quality loss should be minimal. Reuploaded to YouTube at 4k 60fps it does now offer VP9 for all resolutions and better quality than their atrocious H.264. 2160p60 offers highest video bitrate preserving most details and even if you're watching on a 1080p screen but want to see the highest quality, have a good internet connection, select 2160p60, it doesn't get any better than this without pure file sharing.
Additional comments for each video are in video description on YouTube.
For best quality select 2160p60 on YouTube no matter what resolution display you have if you have a good internet connection.
Older random retail monitor units shot with same settings at different times
Same cameras and settings, brightness setting of monitors differs as I do not have a meter to be able to calibrate monitors in brightness.
Randomly selected monitor retail units for both. Should be factory default settings (brightness 65% XF270HUA, probably 100% C27HG70), max brightness or what I find comfortable, at native 1440p 144Hz.
LG 32GK850G 100% default brightness, default 50/50/50 colors, gamma 3.
There is a pure black picture shown on the monitors (+ green file name in corner) intended to show glow and backlight bleed differences. Cameras are set to 6500K color temperature on Sony a6000 and daylight on Canon SX200.
C27HG70 unit suffers from stuck bright pixels especially a bright green as you can clearly see sometimes.
VA Samsung C27HG70, IPS Acer XF270HUA, VA LG 32GK850G:
Sony a6000 (CMOS), 45mm lens, around 100cm away from my observation and focus distance:
Canon SX200 (CCD), 28mm lens, about where one views the monitor from 75cm:
Sony a6000 (CMOS), 45mm lens, up close at the panel focused to infinity:
Canon SX200 (CCD), 28mm lens, up close at the panel focused to infinity:
100% brightness with local dimming turned ON for those interested to see how much local dimming and turning OFF the backlight makes a difference.
Left VA with 1 zone active
showing the green corner file name, right VA with no zones active:
Sony a6000 (CMOS), 45mm lens, around 100cm away from my observation and focus distance:
Sony a6000 (CMOS), 45mm lens, up close at the panel focused to infinity, all glow up close photos are always taken at screen center but you can still notice that with 1 zone active the backlight reflects inside and especially starts showing a little on the bottom:
Difference in black level is this huge with the backlight off using local dimming plus even with 1 zone active the local dimming adjusts by itself how much the zone will shine and may not be using true 100% brightness unless there is a big white blob in that zone - it really depends at times and has a mind of it's own on C27HG70. Of course camera settings are rather bright to be able to capture glow and in person the perceived brightness is lower for all photos and you won't notice these glows as easily unless you shine brightness at night to 100% and that's what I'm usually doing to take the photos as well.
Response time and overdrive differences
These are not brightness matched and neither are XF270HUA photos cherry picked to show it the best where as with C27HG70 I shot a few at 11fps and then cherry picked ones that show minimal forward frame so that it's mostly current frame being brightest and all other are previous frames as much as possible.
And while I could go and shoot them right now again for XF270HUA, the results are well known and best summed up in words anyway.
Overdrive settings as follows:
Samsung C27HG70, NORMAL, NORMAL with camera dynamic range optimization, FASTEST:
- OFF = OD OFF
- NORMAL = OD ON, clean, this setting is shown in OSD when adaptive sync is enabled, whether OD is truly on or not I cannot test, it often gets speculated some say adaptive sync has OD off, some+Acer+OSD say it's at normal, no reviewer so far tests adaptive sync OD levels as far as I have seen and I do not have adaptive sync unlocked GPU thanks to Nvidia's ecosystem software lockdown of their hardware
- EXTREME = more aggressive OD ON, artifacting but usable, preferred
- NORMAL = OD ON, borderline artifacting, preferred, also should be used with adaptive sync
- FASTER = strobing with longer duration = OD + strobing ON
- FASTEST = strobing with shorter duration = OD + strobing ON
- OFF = OD OFF
- NORMAL = OD ON, clean
- FAST = more aggressive OD, a bit of artifacting with Gsync enabled, otherwise with Gsync OFF not fast enough
- FASTER = even more aggressive OD, artifacting with Gsync enabled, aggressive OD even though it could be even faster it has no artifacting with Gsync OFF
Strobing crosstalk is poor, top is OK, middle is not and bottom is awful double image.
Acer XF270HUA, OFF, NORMAL, EXTREME:
These are all usable and I prefer EXTREME that gives better clarity in motion while the overshoot is not easily if at all observable outside UFO test. It actually helps to counteract a little the blur all XF270HUA and most AUO M270DAN2.x based monitors otherwise suffer from.
LG 32GK850G, 165Hz FAST Gsync, 165Hz FASTER, 144Hz FASTER:
Best summed up in words, OD when used is NORMAL without artifacts or borderline with minimal (NORMAL for VA C27HG70 and NORMAL for IPS XF270HUA):
- blacks: VA with OD = worse than IPS without OD
- darks: VA with OD = IPS without OD
- mids: VA with OD = IPS with OD
- brights: VA with OD = IPS with OD
C27HG70 has strobing option where as XF270HUA does not. It is poorly implemented on C27HG70 and fires too soon, it's not the correct time/phase as top portion is well transitioned, middle poorly, bottom not really/very poorly. It gives 650+ MCR = under 1.5ms MPRT = over 650Hz refresh equivalent needed with a sample and hold display for equivalent clarity. Samsung claims 1ms as far as I know but not even strobed IPS or I think even TN is that low most do around 750 MCR. It is "kind of" usable for FPS games, subpar though, but not very well for 3rd person view games as character on bottom where one often looks at will have tons of double images and blur as the strobe is done at a wrong too early time before bottom pixels had a chance to transition. Overall I did use the strobing occasionally but always ended up turning it off as image quality really suffers, both from crosstalk and color shift to green tint.
Overall C27HG70 strobing is poorly implemented and not usable.
Even from these photos alone you can see that XF270HUA is more reddish while C27HG70 more greenish in general and especially with strobing C27HG70 switches to high brightness mode and turns even more green tinted.
There also exist units of C27HG70 with stronger red channel and those are even slower in dark transitions, comparable to it's bigger 31.5" variant as found in AG322QCX, C32HG70, ... turning unacceptably slow and smeary, you can't see the difference easily side by side with UFO test but it's noticeable with Doom test images, playing Doom demo and otherwise using the monitor.
LG 32GK850G with AUO VA performs similar to Samsung HG70 27" panel but often shows a little less smearing in movies thanks to better OD calibration.
Canon SX200 (CCD), 28mm lens, up close at the panel focused to infinity:
Samsung VA, AUO VA
IPS, IPS with glow reducing polarizer
IPS with glow reducing polarization filter has black with magenta-ish tint, see above, without filter it has black with blue-ish tint as do almost all LCD, see above and below:
IPS without and with glow reducing polarization filter is a huge
difference. Search for images with "ATW polarizer" for more examples.
Also IPS with glow reducing polarization filter does not dim as much in any orientation when watching it with polarized sunglasses unlike normal LCD that turns almost pitch black at one orientation.
Backlight bleed (BLB)
Sony a6000 (CMOS), 45mm lens, around 3m away:
Canon SX200 (CCD), 28mm lens zoomed in, around 3m away:
Canon SX200 (CCD), 28mm lens, up close at the panel focused on panel:
Pixel structure gallery
As you can see, variances exist. Especially with VA many (all I've seen so far) have split pixel dimming and many (all I've seen so far) 31.5"+ VA have pixels split between two lines, both of these characteristics degrade image quality, perceived sharpness and text clarity. On TN and IPS dimming is often done to the whole pixel at once as it should be, not split dimming. VA also tends to have larger vertical spacing with a lot of black space. Samsung SVA tends to have each subpixel split into 6 blocks and using 1/3 2/3 dimming, AUO VA tends to dim bottom part first and Samsung VA top part first. Older IPS at least from LG used to have a subpixel chevron shape split into two almost indistinguishable top and bottom parts.
My color test picture:
LG 32GK850G gallery
Do you prefer one over the other, want to argue with others to prove you're right and they are wrong, this is not
the place to do it.
Keep it civil, objective and comparison focused.