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LG 34UC88/34UC98/34UM88 Monitors Thread

Keep in mind that this thread is very old. 34UC88/34UC98 are still the highest quality IPS ultrawides to buy next to their 38" counterparts, but not all information here will be up to date.

Also keep in mind that NVIDIA now supports Adaptive Sync/FreeSync on their GTX 1000 series, GTX 1600 series and RTX 2000 series graphics cards, which means that all frameskipping issues previously experienced on 75 Hz LG monitors are no longer present.

There is no official LG 34UC88/34UC98 thread so I decided to create one since those great monitors deserve it. Also they are very similar and only significant differences are in connections (UC98 features 2x Thuderbolt) and design (UC88 is all black while UC98 features silver stand and white back). There is also 34UM88 that is flat version. I will post some basic information, sum up reviews and reports I have read/heard and share my personal experience since I own 34UC98 for over a month now.

LG 34UC98



LG 34UC88



LG 34UM88



Models and Price

There are four different models available:

34UC98 - Curved, 2x Thunderbolt, White Back, Silver Stand (~$1000)
34UC88 - Curved, no Thunderbolt, all Black (~$700-800)
34UM88-P - Flat, 2x Thunderbolt, all Black (~$730)
34UM88C - Flat, no Thunderbolt, all Black (~$575-650)

There are also differences between curved models and flat one:

-flat one uses old panel with a lot of yellow bleed, curved ones are the newest panels with little and blue bleed
-flat one has bigger bottom bezel
-on flat version stand is mounted to monitor by screws, on curved ones stand is clipping into monitor with no tools or screws required
-back design is a bit different on flat version
-OSD joystick on curved models is hidden inside frame while on flat version it is outside, which may make it more vulnerable for damage and you have less space for potential central speaker


Specification

34" 3440x1440 IPS Panel
10bit Color Depth (8bit + A-FRC)
1900R/1.9m Curve (34UM88 is flat)
sRGB over 99%
60 Hz Refresh Rate, 75 Hz with FreeSync enabled (34UM88 has only 60 Hz)
AMD FreeSync at 55-75 Hz Range (34UM88 at 40-60 Hz Range)
5 ms Response Time
2x HDMI 2.0
1x Display Port 1.2a
2x USB 3.0
1x USB 3.0 Quick Charge
2x Thunderbolt (34UC98 and 34UM88-P only)
Headphone/Speaker Output

For more details visit LG's official site: 34UC88 34UC98 34UM88-P 34UM88C

Curve

Both 34UC88 and 34UC98 feature 1900R/1.9m curve that is much more aggressive than 3800R/3.8m used on all other ultrawide models on the market



My personal experience with this aggressive curve is very good. I had 3800R curved Dell U3415W for some time before I returned it because of backlight bleed and coil whine, so I was already used to curve, but 1900R curve is much more aggressive and it was very visible for me at the beginning and there was "strait lines problem" that a lot of people complain about with curved screens. But now after few weeks I am perfectly used to it and I no longer see it that much, I am even starting to think that it would be nice if it was even more curved.

Backlight bleed

Review and reports about backlight bleed on UC88 and UC98 are very consistent, all of them saying that bleed is significantly reduced compared to previous ultrawides that suffered and still suffer from extreme problems that are the biggest deal breaker and major issue with 21:9 monitors on the market today. On 34UM88 heavy backlight bleed issues still persist. Here are few photos made by users/reviewers:

34UC88/98

(user photo:)

(user photo:)

(user photo, low quality but you can assume that everything gray is okay and everything blue is bleed:)

(user photo:)

(reviewer photo:)

(reviewer photo:)

(reviewer photo:)

(reviewer photo:)

(reviewer photo:)





34UM88

(user photo:)

(user photo:)

(user photo:)

(user photo:)

(user photo:)

(user photo:)


My personal experience with backlight bleed on 34UC98 is similar to the pictures posted for UC88/98. Backlight bleed is significantly smaller than on other ultrawides I had/saw, visible only in dark scenes in dark room and even then it won't be a deal breaker. There is some blue bleed in left bottom corner and thats basically it, around other three corners there is a silverish shade known as IPS glow, you cannot avoid this effect on IPS monitor. I returned few 34" ultrawides before because of backlight bleed and this issue almost put me off from buying ultrawde, but 34UC98 is by far the best one in terms of backlight bleeding and this issue is almost completely removed for me with this monitor.

Based on reports, UM88 seems to be much worse in terms of bleed than UC88/98.

Fixing backlight bleed
(only bottom corners)

Personally I got somehow meaningful bleed only in left bottom corner (similar blue bleed to third user photo showed above, I wasn't able to catch it on photo because of my poor camera). However, I noticed that pushing bezel gently just next to bottom left corner fixes this bleed almost completely. So I pushed piece of thick paper in the corner between left bezel and bottom physical bezel and eliminated bleed in this corner almost completely. Now it is negligible like in 3 other corners by default.

It looks like this:



Of course you do it at your own risk, pushing bezel too much or using too thick material to push between bezels may cause damage to panel (nothing to worry about if you do it gently though, it is very hard to damage panel this way)

FreeSync and 75 Hz resfresh rate

NVIDIA now supports Adaptive Sync/FreeSync on their GTX 1000 series, GTX 1600 series and RTX 2000 series graphics cards, which means that all frameskipping issues previously experienced on 75 Hz LG monitors are no longer present, so all information in spoiler below is irrelevant.

By default, both 34UC88 and 34UC98 feature 60 Hz refresh rate. However, both are featuring AMD FreeSync technology that allows panel to reach 75 Hz. After enabling FreeSync in monitor OSD, 75 Hz refresh rate appears in control panel. However, you can do this effectively only with AMD card, because even though it theoretically works with Nvidia cards, there is phenomenon called frame skipping that will cause all your system and monitoring tools report 75 Hz and FPS while you will see only 60 FPS effectively and those additional 15 frames are going to be skipped.

According to report, inserting additional AMD card to your system removes firmware lock and you can now have 75 Hz with Nvidia GPU, so maybe you can try to find a way to fool the system and make it see AMD card that you don't have:
Quote:Originally Posted by Powergate 

Found something interesting today, i put my RX 480 in the free pcie slot below my GTX 1070.
The Monitor now shows Freesync as active without frameskipping.
The displayport cable is connected with the Nvidia card, the AMD card just acts as some kind of dongle.
FreeSync itself is not working (tested with the Windmill demo). It's just a workaround for the 75hz firmware lock on Nvidia cards.



FreeSync range is 55-75 Hz, which is very narrow and limiting. 34UM88 has 40-60 Hz, which is actually more sensible that 55-75 as you actually have FreeSync working when dropping to low FPS. Quality of implenentation on these displays is also not very high and they tend to flicker in some scenarios even within native range.

You can try to expand the range however, read below.

Expanding FreeSync Range

If you find 55-75 Hz FreeSync range narrow and limiting, you can try FreeSync hack explained here: http://www.guru3d.com/news-story/ow...rs-can-enlarge-hz-range-with-simple-hack.html for harder version, and here http://nils.schimmelmann.us/post/133778060542/modded-asus-mg279q-drivers-with-60-144-hz-freesync for easy one.

The easiest way is to use CRU (Custom Resolution Utility)

Typical scenario for changing FreeSync range is flickering and unstable brightness, also blinking during frametime spikes like during stuttering or loading screens. This however is only for extended range and native range should still work fine, so it is worth trying.

I own 38UC99 right now and was able to change the range from 52-75 to more sensible 36-60. This will result in flickering below 50 FPS, but makes the most important 48-60 range smooth so it is a good compromise.

Overclocking

All of these monitors are 60 Hz by default and can only go higher with FreeSync enabled. Once enabled, you can go to advertised 75 Hz and possibly overclock too. My 38UC99 runs stable and without frame skipping at 85 Hz with 40-85 range. Notice the difference here, with NVIDIA support for Adaptive Sync I can run 85 Hz with 40-85 Hz range while previously the best you could get was 60 Hz with no Adaptive Sync. So these monitors got kind of a second life because of that.

Image Retention

There are a lot of reports and complains about image retention on those displays. I am also experiencing this issue, however I think that it is a bit overblown. There is no way for this effect to occur during gaming or watching movies, the only place where it occurs for me is web browser. If you have the same site displayed for few minutes, for example watching youtube videos without fullscreen, it will occur and then it will be visible on grayish and blueish backgrounds for up to few minutes depending on how much it "burned-in". However what you have to consider here is that your alternative to this issue is extreme backlight bleed on other models with panels different than those from UC88/98. You just need to know your use case. Backlight bleed affects gaming and watching movies very negatively while retention doesn't occur there. Retention on the other hand affects things like web browsing and maybe some programs depending on their characteristics (I didn't experience any retention in Premiere Pro).

You can reduce retention by playing with Brightness and Contrast options in OSD.


Reportedly Dell U3417W that is using the same panel as UC88/98 has not image retention, so check this one if you are worried about this issue.


Reviews

I am not going to review my monitor here, because my review is already available at Linus forum, where I made detailed comparison review with other ultrawides I had.

My review: https://linustechtips.com/main/topi...-w-vs-samsung-s34e790c-comparison-and-review/
Tech of Tomorrow:
Tek Syndicate:
Hardware Canucks:
Tech Source:
randomfrankp:
Attic Tube:
TV Calibration with Darko:
and
HD Televizija: http://hdtelevizija.com/en/2016/04/06/lg-34uc98-ultrawide-1440p-34-inch-monitor-review/
HardwareLUXX: http://www.hardwareluxx.com/index.p...8274-reviewed-lg-34uc98-w-curved-monitor.html
samgao - UC88 vs UC98 comparison:
and
nyxagamemnon's 34UC88 thread on this forum: https://www.overclock.net/t/1593189...trawide-i-got-it-testing-it-heres-my-thoughts
9to5Mac: http://9to5mac.com/2016/04/20/revie...splay-review-video-editing-widescreen-movies/ and
Reviews4all:
PRAD:

Conclusion

I think it is safe to call 34UC88 and 34UC98 second generation of ultrawides. With all major issues figured out by LG those monitors present very high quality consistent for all units. At this point, looking at all the issues other models are having, I wouldn't recommend anything else for 34" 3440x1440 buyer.

I have a great time with my 34UC98 and getting it after all of those faulty monitors I had to return was a huge relief, since I even thought about giving up on the 21:9 apect ratio and go back to 16:9. I am glad that I didn't have to do it thanks to this beautiful screen.

Color profiles to download

TFT Central's Dell U3415W ICC profile (the one I use along with Flux at 5000K color temp)
34UC98 ICC profile by TV Calibration with Darko (more flashy colors)
TFT Central's Acer X34 ICC profile (overly vibrant but some may like it)
TFT Central's LG 38UC99 ICC profile
TFT Central's LG 34UC79G profile
Powergate user 34UC88 profile


Alternatives

List of displays that are presenting similar quality to UC88/98:

Dell U3417W - exact the same panel as 34UC88/98, 60 Hz, no FreeSync
LG 38UC99 - bigger version of 34UC98, 37.5 inches, 3840x1600, 75 Hz, FreeSync 52-75
LG 34UC99 - newer version of 34UC98, with USB Type C, 52-75 FreeSync, supposedly removed retention
LG 34CB88 - looks like 34UC88 revision, no idea what the difference is
34CB98 - also no idea, three years of warranty instead of two





 
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Thanks for summing up all the videos and reviews in one place, it's convenient. I'll be getting the 34UC88 or the Acer XR342CK (same panel, coming soon) in the next few months.

From what I read, this is what I could make out as to Pros & Cons
POSITIVE
  • Almost no backlight bleed
  • Joystick for OSD
  • 91% homogeneity
  • Color reproduction deltaE: average 1,2 ; max. 5,7
  • Stand design: display can be put against wall (unlike Acer & Asus 3440x1440)
  • Light
  • 75Hz possible with Freesync
  • Freesync range range extended to mroe useful 40-75 Hz
  • Nice blacks
NEGATIVE
  • Slight coil whine
  • Out of the box Freesync range
  • Out of the box calibration
  • Short DP cable
  • Real contrast 870:1, not 1000:1
  • Only 2 year warranty
 

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Would the curve be too much for doing graphic design / web design work? For example, can you tell whether two icons are horizontally aligned with each other, or does the curve confuse things?
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pheno View Post

Would the curve be too much for doing graphic design / web design work? For example, can you tell whether two icons are horizontally aligned with each other, or does the curve confuse things?
Its only matter of getting used to curve. 1900R curve seems perfect, it is aggressive but you can get use to it and you won't have any strait lines problem anymore. 1200R curve, something what Samsung wants to introduce now, seem to be too aggressive and you may not be able to get use to it, but 1900R seem like sweetspot.
 

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I love this monitor, except for one problem: temporary image burn in. If you have any white background images on the screen for a few minutes and then switch to a grey screen or similar in another program, you will see a ghost image of your previous screen. It will fade out within a few minutes but it still annoys me considering the price of this monitor. You wont see it under any other condition, but I happen to switch between two such programs often (browser and another app) so I see it.

It is the best option out right now in my opinion and I have mine overclocked to 80hz and I am using 2 GTX 970's, so low end framerate isn't a problem at this resolution. I wish it were G-sync, but the price premium for it is too high and the monitors too faulty for what is available right now. I came from a 4K G-sync, where it was necessary.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justice777 View Post

I love this monitor, except for one problem: temporary image burn in. If you have any white background images on the screen for a few minutes and then switch to a grey screen or similar in another program, you will see a ghost image of your previous screen. It will fade out within a few minutes but it still annoys me considering the price of this monitor. You wont see it under any other condition, but I happen to switch between two such programs often (browser and another app) so I see it.
Yea my unit also have this issue. Its rather negligible compared to other issues you get on ultrawide and gaming monitors today, and it disappears quickly, but still shouldn't happen.

Anyone know how this issue is called? I want to add it to my review on Linus forum but I don't know how to name it.
 

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Some clarifications and extra information I think are needed:
* Note the ASUS and ACER monitors you mentioned are actually GSync, though earlier in that same paragraph you said there were no GSync counterparts to this monitor (I think they may even utilize the same panel as this LG monitor, but I am not certain). You should also probably list what's wrong or provide links as many are happy with those monitors despite the cost premium because of GSync.
* ACER has a FreeSync version of this monitor that supports down to 48Hz in FreeSync mode of the box (Acer XR341CK), and is actually slightly cheaper (at least in the US) than the LG version.

Edit: Judging by the curve, I don't think they are the same panels. Looks like the Acer XR342CK uses the same curve, so that may be the same panel as this one when it comes out.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by stargate125645 View Post

Some clarifications and extra information I think are needed:
* Note the ASUS and ACER monitors you mentioned are actually GSync, though earlier in that same paragraph you said there were no GSync counterparts to this monitor (I think they may even utilize the same panel as this LG monitor, but I am not certain). You should also probably list what's wrong or provide links as many are happy with those monitors despite the cost premium because of GSync.
* ACER has a FreeSync version of this monitor that supports down to 48Hz in FreeSync mode of the box (Acer XR341CK), and is actually slightly cheaper (at least in the US) than the:thumb: LG version.
I said there is no G-sync version of 34UC88/98, no G-sync ultrawide from LG, not on the market overall. I also wasn't referring to any competition for those monitors, I just said that those LGs are some alternative on 3440x1440 ultrawides market to faulty gaming screens, if someone want to get quality screen instead of faulty gaming garbage that he will have to return and exchange 10 times to get somehow acceptable unit.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krzych04650 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by stargate125645 View Post

Some clarifications and extra information I think are needed:
* Note the ASUS and ACER monitors you mentioned are actually GSync, though earlier in that same paragraph you said there were no GSync counterparts to this monitor (I think they may even utilize the same panel as this LG monitor, but I am not certain). You should also probably list what's wrong or provide links as many are happy with those monitors despite the cost premium because of GSync.
* ACER has a FreeSync version of this monitor that supports down to 48Hz in FreeSync mode of the box (Acer XR341CK), and is actually slightly cheaper (at least in the US) than the:thumb: LG version.
I said there is no G-sync version of 34UC88/98, no G-sync ultrawide from LG, not on the market overall. I also wasn't referring to any competition for those monitors, I just said that there is no G-sync version from LG. And no gaming garbage with zero quality control and tons of issues is competition to quality monitors like this anyway.
What you said and what you meant to say are two different things. If you aren't explicit, you can't expect people to know what you mean - especially if you imply there is no GSync option, and then list two GSync options. You don't have to like my comment; do with it what you will. I'm only attempting to clarify what is ambiguous. No offense intended. You still didn't explain what was wrong with the competition options in this post, either. You don't have to, obviously, but if this is to be a club where people find information, it may be prudent to give said information or at least link to where it can be found if you are going to bother mentioning it in the post to begin with. Sorry if I misunderstood your intentions with your wording.

I'm looking at this monitor myself, though leaning towards the Acer XR341CK because of the better FreeSync support range. However, if a newer version of that monitor is going to come out, I may have to wait and see.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowcore View Post

Thanks for summing up all the videos and reviews in one place, it's convenient. I'll be getting the 34UC88 or the Acer XR342CK (same panel, coming soon) in the next few months.

NEGATIVE
  • Slight coil whine
  • Out of the box Freesync range
  • Out of the box calibration
  • Short DP cable
  • Real contrast 870:1, not 1000:1
  • Only 2 year warranty
The Acer monitor I mentioned in the previous post has a longer warranty and better tested contrast ratio per TFTCentral if that interests you.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by stargate125645 View Post

Sorry if I misunderstood your intentions with your wording.
No problem, it happens sometimes since I am not native English and sometimes I can write something that looks different from what I actually meant. I changed conclusion a bit to make sure that everyone understand that by saying 'no G-sync' model I mean no LG G-sync model. Also removed specific model names of Asus and Acer monitors, I agree they are no needed there. As for information about them, I think there are enough customer reviews and forum threads in web about those monitors and their quality issues and there is no need to point anyone to them since they are very easy to find, and if someone found this thread, he can find others too.

This Acer you mentioned... If someone cares about low framerates support with FreeSync, he need hack it anyway since 48-75 Hz is still high, so there is no really a big difference here, if someone is bothered with low framerates support then 48 FPS is still to high. Slight differences in contrast ratio is also not an argument for taking risk with faulty monitor instead of getting quality one that known for its exceptional quality compared to competition.

Its not like I am LG fanboy or something, I just had very hard time with finding quality ultrawide, returned or exchanged few of them, and then got even more discouraged after making wider research and seeing that even terribly expensive in Poland Acer and Asus models have even more issues than much cheaper ultrawides I had before and returned, but this LG model saved the situation and this is why I am doing those reviews or forum thread, I want to share my experience and recommend quality product from manufacturer that really listened to feedback and addressed a lot of issues, while others are still making terribly faulty monitors and are not improving. First LG ultrawides were also garbage with extreme issues, but they improved and I am giving them credit for that because other manufactures didn't improve.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
I have updated my review on Linus forum with info about picture burn-in (I believe this is how it is called) that sometimes occurs on 34UC98. I added it only now becuse this effect does not occur often in my daily usage so I had to get some experience with it to be able to review it properly.

I wrote something like this, if someone sees some mistakes or there is some better term to describe this issue, please correct me:
Quote:
Image burn-in sometimes happens. Disappears after a minute or so, but may be a problem for software/content creators or someone who switch between white and dark content over and over. This however occurs only with high contrast simple "back on white" pictures like websites, not an issue in movies, games or with any other "advanced" or dynamic pictures
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks. I also saw 34UC88 somewhere for $799, it was few weeks ago. I am not from US so I am not checking those prices often.

Keep hunting for good prices, 34UC98 may not get much cheaper because of this overpriced Thunderbolt connection, but 34UC88 will go down with price for sure. In Poland it is already cheaper than Dell U3415W.
 
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Updated with another user's backlight bleed photo and with info about fixing backlight bleed.
 

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So, if I understand correctly, this monitor is NOT overclockable over 60Hz on an Nvidia GPU?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizuka View Post

So, if I understand correctly, this monitor is NOT overclockable over 60Hz on an Nvidia GPU?
It is overclockable, but factory 75 Hz works only with FreeSync enabled. I mentioned one youtuber reported 81 Hz overclock, but forgot to say on what GPU. He was using 980 Ti.

Also there is one user in this thread mentioning his successful overlock on GTX 970 SLI:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justice777 View Post

It is the best option out right now in my opinion and I have mine overclocked to 80hz and I am using 2 GTX 970's, so low end framerate isn't a problem at this resolution. I wish it were G-sync, but the price premium for it is too high and the monitors too faulty for what is available right now. I came from a 4K G-sync, where it was necessary.
 
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I am planning to get this monitor now and am probably going to be getting an AMD R9 390X to replace my GTX 980 so I can use FreeSync on the monitor!
biggrin.gif
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizuka View Post

I am planning to get this monitor now and am probably going to be getting an AMD R9 390X to replace my GTX 980 so I can use FreeSync on the monitor!
biggrin.gif
I'd suggest to wait with GPU purchase until June and see what Polaris brings, there should be something of 980/390X performance for around $330 and you will also have much less heat to deal with, which mean much better noise levels, and probably some overclocking headroom that 390X does not have at all.
 
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