LG 34UC79G 34-inch Ultra-Wide FreeSync Monitor Review

LG ushered in the curved ultra-wide display genre with its 34UC97 just a little over two years ago. Since then the category has seen new models from every major manufacturer offering 34", 35", and recently 38" screens; vertical resolutions ranging from 1080 to 1600 pixels; IPS and VA panels; and of course, high refresh rates with adaptive refresh. Most of these have come at premium prices however. Early screens required a $1000 or higher cost of entry, and there has been little movement on that score.

But recently we’ve seen a couple of models break that barrier. A few weeks ago, we looked at AOC’s C3583FQ. That VA panel impressed us with its high contrast, 160Hz refresh rate, and FreeSync that works down to 45 FPS. Today we’re checking out a new IPS display from LG: the 34UC79G.

Specifications

First we’ll talk about the specs that might give some users pause. Yes, the resolution is 2560x1080 and FreeSync only works down to 50Hz. But if you’ve read our other reviews of 1080p gaming monitors then you know we favor things like contrast, color accuracy, and motion processing quality over resolution. We’d rather have a smooth experience free of tears, stuttering, and ghosting over a high pixel count any day.

The 34UC79G is one of the few FreeSync monitors to offer Low Framerate Compensation (LFC). Because its max refresh is more than two-and-a-half times the minimum, it can buffer additional frames when the rate drops below 50Hz and therefore avoid switching out of adaptive refresh mode. Coupled with lower resolution, that means users with more modest systems will enjoy the same smooth experience when the action dips below 50 FPS.

Based on what AMD has published, and our own visual observation, LFC monitors the render rates and then repeats frames adaptively in order to fool the monitor into thinking the refresh rate is still above 50Hz. That way, tearing is never a factor and you won’t have to resort to latency increasing V-Sync to keep the action flowing.

Aside from this extremely attractive feature, the 34UC79G sports an IPS panel with a factory-certified calibration (for grayscale and gamma only), 144Hz, blur-reduction in the form of a backlight strobe, a subtle 3800mm-radius curve, OSD joystick, and new styling that announces its gaming intent. And the price? $699 from LG’s website. It certainly seems to offer a lot for the money. Let’s take a look.

Packaging, Physical Layout & Accessories

LG is the master when it comes to protecting curved monitors from the rigors of shipping. The panel is completely surrounded by foam blocks and a sturdy double-corrugate box. The upright and base are wrapped separately and must be assembled. No tools are needed. Attach the base with two captive bolts and snap the panel on and you’re set.

Bundled cables include HDMI and DisplayPort. The power supply is a moderately-sized brick with a detachable power cord. You also get a calibration data sheet that certifies each panel for grayscale and gamma accuracy. Color tests are not included. A CD with supporting software and a user manual round out the package.

Product 360

The styling of past LG curved ultra-wide displays has been aimed squarely at Apple users with their white trim and sleek, understated lines. The 34UC79G takes aim at a different target: Asus’ ROG line. The black chassis with not-so-subtle red accents could easily be mistaken for a Republic of Gamers product, minus the molded-in spaceship hull features of course. A balanced mix of shiny and matte-finished plastic is used with texture in all the right places, and the bezel is free of buttons or LEDs. Control and power status are in the centrally mounted joystick, a feature we’ve come to expect and enjoy from LG’s ultra-wide displays.

From the top, you can see the subtle 3800mm-radius curve. It strikes a great balance between gaming immersion and workaday practicality. You won’t see any image distortion in your word processor or spreadsheet, but a richly detailed gaming environment will seem to wrap around you as it fills your peripheral vision.

The subtle curve means a slimmer side profile. The panel is only three inches thick, which means a wall mount won’t look too strange. That can be accomplished by unsnapping the upright and installing a bracket into the 100mm VESA mounting lugs. Just be sure to provide clearance for the rear-facing input panel.

Speaking of inputs, there are two HDMI 2.0 connectors. They can be switched to version 1.4 in the OSD if you have compatibility issues. The DisplayPort is version 1.2. Both digital interfaces support the max 144hz refresh rate. The USB hub is version 3.0 and includes one upstream and two downstream ports. Analog audio is supported by a 3.5mm input and a headphone output.

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33 comments
    Your comment
  • hispeed120
    I believe you have the wrong product link listed.
  • TunaSoda
    1080... welcome to 1998
  • wh3resmycar
    looks promising. i don't care even if it's 1080p. i mean if you're going to bash an ultrawide 144hz 1080p monitor, make sure you have an SLi gtx1080 first.
  • JakeWearingKhakis
    This just might be the perfect monitor for my current setup. Single R9 290X overclocked to 1100core mhz 1400 memory mhz. Great for 1080p gaming, and I have been looking for an ultra-wide freesync 144hz IPS like this. Tasty price too.

    Until I build a Vega system I'm not even going to go for 4k or even 1440p ultrawide monitors. I know my card could probably handle a 1440p 144hz 27inch monitor very well, but I'm really into the Ultra-Wide curve thing.
  • teknic111
    1080p is garbage! I wouldn't pay $100 for that monitor.
  • wh3resmycar
    ^ so you do have SLi gtx1080s?
  • teknic111
    147653 said:
    ^ so you do have SLi gtx1080s?


    No, what are you implying?
  • DocBones
    Really happy with the Omen 32 that I got for 275. I can live without the 144 hz for $400
  • hidaamoro
    If you guys would actually look at the specs you would see that it is NOT 1080p but 2560x1080, ultrawide.
  • Xajel
    No thanks, still waiting for the next patch of HDR displays... looking forward for something like 34" Ultrawide 1440p with FreeSync2/G-Sync HDR... 120-144Hz
  • photonboy
    Some of the commentators don't seem to understand the product, or possibly didn't read the article fully.
    - ULTRAWIDE
    - Curved
    - High refresh rate
    - FREESYNC (with LFC)

    It's not 3440x1440 but those are more expensive.

    It's a gaming monitor, especially suited for fast games like "shooters" and arguably the best VALUE for that specific niche.

    *and to be clear, you don't need 2xGTX1080 to achieve 144FPS constantly.. which I believe was the point. In fact, at that point I'd spend a little more for a 3440x1440. No, what you want is a setup capable of 2560x1080, with high quality settings that can stay above 50FPS.

    The requirements aren't much higher than a normal 1080p (1920x1080) monitor. Obviously higher refresh rates require more expensive hardware depending on the game being played.

    **An RX-480 GPU plus appropriate Intel/Ryzen 4-core CPU would be a good choice to pair with this.
  • photonboy
    UPDATE: Also, it's a FREESYNC monitor so you don't want to be using NVidia GPU's. You could but then it would just be a normal 144Hz monitor with no asynchronous mode to get rid of screen tear, lag etc which can be a hassle to deal with especially with 144Hz monitor (if screen tear is bad you want VSYNC for normal monitor, but at 144Hz you'd have to force a HALF Dynamic option to synch to 72FPS... a hassle.)
  • jwl3
    Meh. 1080p kills it. I have the $750 LG 34UC88 (3440x1440) curved and paired with a 1070. Works great. But I got my bro the $300 34UM87, non-curved 1080p. I cannot even upgrade his computer anymore because if I did, it would be overkill to drive a 1080p screen. I'd have to toss out his $300 screen that we just bought 2 months ago. Bad decision to buy it. Don't do it.
  • Fandogh
    1080p on 34 inch Ultrawide is exactly like 1080p on 27inch wide (81.72ppi vs 81.59ppi)

    Good resolution if you like your eyes (No DPI Scaling Needed!).
  • SiggeLund
    It has Freesync instead of G-Sync. You can't pump ultra-settings at that resolution with an AMD-card. Replace with nVidia tech and you are home.
  • FaceBob
    42678 said:
    1080... welcome to 1998


    That's very odd. In 1998 I was thrilled at getting a top-of-the-line 1024x768 85hz CRT monitor after our 800x600 died. The visuals were astounding a year later when we finally upgraded to a 3dfx Voodoo 3 3000 from the old 4MB Voodoo combined with 4MB Videologic Grafixstar 560!

    I miss the good old 4:3 aspect ratio.

    Sigh, memories ...

    FYI, on the assumption you weren't being sarcastic, 1080p didn't really make an appearance until 2007 or thereabouts. Not all that long ago.

    Anyway, more on topic - this monitor isn't a bad upgrade for someone with a 1920x1080 or lower monitor with a current midrange GPU. Not everyone is packing GTX 1070/1080s.
  • Jake Hall
    Soooo two-thousand and late
  • xslappyx
    What is up with this sub par screens coming out at only 1080p. The 144hz doesnt make up for the simple fact that 1080p hasnt been top tier for almost 10years now, and at the price point how do they expect them to sell. Just release 4k, 30 plus inch at 100hz+ and ill buy two.
  • chumly
    @Christian
    From another review:

    cons: -Response times not perfect and are limiting at upper end of refresh rate range
    -Blur Reduction mode shows noticeable strobe cross-talk

    "As the refresh rate drops below 120Hz the overshoot starts to become far more apparent, and dark and pale halos become more noticeable. Even more so because of the reduced frame rate in fact. Thankfully, unlike the V1 firmware which the screen came with, the response times were at least adequate to support the high refresh rate and frame rate on the most part. By the time you reach the maximum 144Hz too many transitions are slower than the required 6.94ms and you do get some additional smearing introduced in practice. Up to around 120Hz is mostly fine though and probably the upper limit of refresh rate you'd want to push this panel to we think. Again, if you're using this 'fast' mode you don't want refresh rate to be too low either as the overshoot starts to become a problem. We'd say stick to the 'fast' mode for 100 - 144Hz range but preferably try and cap your refresh rate to around 120Hz maximum to avoid additional smearing at the very top end."

    They are saying the transitions at the top end of the refresh are too slow to handle it.
    Did you find anything similar?
  • photonboy
    423271 said:
    @Christian From another review: cons: -Response times not perfect and are limiting at upper end of refresh rate range -Blur Reduction mode shows noticeable strobe cross-talk "As the refresh rate drops below 120Hz the overshoot starts to become far more apparent, and dark and pale halos become more noticeable. Even more so because of the reduced frame rate in fact. Thankfully, unlike the V1 firmware which the screen came with, the response times were at least adequate to support the high refresh rate and frame rate on the most part. By the time you reach the maximum 144Hz too many transitions are slower than the required 6.94ms and you do get some additional smearing introduced in practice. Up to around 120Hz is mostly fine though and probably the upper limit of refresh rate you'd want to push this panel to we think. Again, if you're using this 'fast' mode you don't want refresh rate to be too low either as the overshoot starts to become a problem. We'd say stick to the 'fast' mode for 100 - 144Hz range but preferably try and cap your refresh rate to around 120Hz maximum to avoid additional smearing at the very top end." They are saying the transitions at the top end of the refresh are too slow to handle it. Did you find anything similar?


    Interesting.
    People blast NVidia for having dedicated hardware (GSYNC Module) but avoiding issues like overdrive color quality problems is one of the main reasons NVidia did that.

    For those who don't understand what's going on, the response time (time for pixels to change color) is too slow normally at the shorter frame times so they drive it with more VOLTAGE than normally to try to hit the color target (then back down the voltage to try to stay at the correct value).

    When the FRAME TIME is constantly varying it's difficult to do this properly. You essentially need a look-up TABLE of values of "Frame Time range vs Voltage" and good control over the voltage delivery system.

    That's probably difficult to do with Freesync since the point is to do this without adding new hardware. NVidia on the other hand probably has a look-up table but I'm guessing. Probably GSYNC 2 will add in a lot of things too to stabilize color, blur etc but despite "FREESYNC 2" sounding neat they are still limited without making an actual module.

    *Now a company can of course create their OWN hardware that ties into the internal scaler to sort out these issues but it's a hassle. A lot of monitors can't even handle LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) so Freesync is a bit of a mess in terms of finding the right monitor that does ASYNCHRONOUS mode well.

    I doubt most REVIEWERS know all the things to look for. In fact, I'm not even certain how big a DEAL the color quality issue is for this monitor as some people seem to notice things like this more than others.
  • viclenox
    Wrong product or misinformed. The link stalls out and when you go to newegg, the product listed is almost $900.
  • chumly
    67821 said:
    423271 said:
    @Christian From another review: cons: -Response times not perfect and are limiting at upper end of refresh rate range -Blur Reduction mode shows noticeable strobe cross-talk "As the refresh rate drops below 120Hz the overshoot starts to become far more apparent, and dark and pale halos become more noticeable. Even more so because of the reduced frame rate in fact. Thankfully, unlike the V1 firmware which the screen came with, the response times were at least adequate to support the high refresh rate and frame rate on the most part. By the time you reach the maximum 144Hz too many transitions are slower than the required 6.94ms and you do get some additional smearing introduced in practice. Up to around 120Hz is mostly fine though and probably the upper limit of refresh rate you'd want to push this panel to we think. Again, if you're using this 'fast' mode you don't want refresh rate to be too low either as the overshoot starts to become a problem. We'd say stick to the 'fast' mode for 100 - 144Hz range but preferably try and cap your refresh rate to around 120Hz maximum to avoid additional smearing at the very top end." They are saying the transitions at the top end of the refresh are too slow to handle it. Did you find anything similar?
    Interesting. People blast NVidia for having dedicated hardware (GSYNC Module) but avoiding issues like overdrive color quality problems is one of the main reasons NVidia did that. For those who don't understand what's going on, the response time (time for pixels to change color) is too slow normally at the shorter frame times so they drive it with more VOLTAGE than normally to try to hit the color target (then back down the voltage to try to stay at the correct value). When the FRAME TIME is constantly varying it's difficult to do this properly. You essentially need a look-up TABLE of values of "Frame Time range vs Voltage" and good control over the voltage delivery system. That's probably difficult to do with Freesync since the point is to do this without adding new hardware. NVidia on the other hand probably has a look-up table but I'm guessing. Probably GSYNC 2 will add in a lot of things too to stabilize color, blur etc but despite "FREESYNC 2" sounding neat they are still limited without making an actual module. *Now a company can of course create their OWN hardware that ties into the internal scaler to sort out these issues but it's a hassle. A lot of monitors can't even handle LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) so Freesync is a bit of a mess in terms of finding the right monitor that does ASYNCHRONOUS mode well. I doubt most REVIEWERS know all the things to look for. In fact, I'm not even certain how big a DEAL the color quality issue is for this monitor as some people seem to notice things like this more than others.


    tftcentral is really the only reviewer for monitors I actually trust. their testing methodology is on point.
  • uglyduckling81
    2314587 said:
    FYI, on the assumption you weren't being sarcastic, 1080p didn't really make an appearance until 2007 or thereabouts. Not all that long ago.


    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/comparison,497-8.html
    Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 2060u

    I had this monitor in 2002. Cost me $2200 in Australia.

    1920x1440 @ 85hz.

    Was a sad day when I decided I wanted more portability for LANs and downgraded to 1080p LCD @ 60hz.
  • exileut
    The first 1920 by 1080 monitor was Sony GWM-3000 in 1995. Viewsonic P1877 (2048 by 1536 85hz) 3.1M pixels, 122dpi in 1998.

    2160p screens are mostly dumb. For a TV, you sit too far away. As a monitor, you can't read text without scaling. Windows desktop scaling is still poor in 2017. Windows is built for 96dpi, and most people think 110dpi is about the maximum to read text comfortably on a monitor.

    That gives us a sweet spot of 20-23" for 1080p. 27-30" for 1440p. 34-39" for 3440 by 1440. 40-46" for 2160p. The problem is once you go over 35 inches or so, moving your head excessively to see the whole screen becomes an issue.