Gigabyte has announced three new 4K gaming monitors for its Aorus brand, each features HDMI 2.1, the somewhat hard-to-find display connector that allows for high refresh rate gaming at 4K (via TweakTown). Besides having some of the best tech available in TVs or monitors, all three have desk-dominating sizes. According to a press release posted by VideoCardz, the monitors will also feature VESA’s HDR 1000 standard and come in three sizes: 32, 43, and a mind-boggling (for a gaming monitor anyway; we’ll get back to that) 48 inches.
The 48-inch version is a little different, and it set off a firestorm of discussion at The Verge, so let’s set it aside for just one moment. The 32- and 43-inch monitors, named the FI32U and the FV43U, respectively, will feature 144Hz panels. Gigabyte is also claiming that FI32U will have a 0.5ms response time, which looks to make it one of the faster 4K gaming monitors out there. While the FV43U has a slower 1ms response time, that’s probably something even the most eagle-eyed and competitive gamers would have issues noticing.
The 48-inch model, dubbed the FO48U, is slightly different from the other two. Besides dropping the refresh rate from 144Hz to 120Hz, it’s also the size of a TV more at home in an entertainment center — specifically, the 48-inch model of LG’s CX OLED TVs, which shares many of the same specs as Gigabyte’s version, from the HDMI 2.1 inputs to the 120Hz refresh rate.
If Gigabyte is going for a TV experience, what is it offering that LG doesn’t already have?
So what’s going on here? Gigabyte is likely using the same OLED panels as LG. That makes it kind of hard to figure out why anyone would want to go with it over LG’s TV (especially since you could go out and buy LG’s version right now). And despite calling it a “monitor,” it doesn’t seem like Gigabyte expects many people to use this on a desk; its website specifically says it’s for “your gaming space or living room.”
However, LG’s 48-inch TV has had great success in the last year as a monitor for people who apparently want to sit very close to the action. There’s no doubt it’d be immersive... at least, until you had to crane your neck to see the minimap or other HUD elements. But if Gigabyte is going for a TV experience, what is it offering that LG doesn’t already have? G-Sync and FreeSync? LG’s got it. Cheaper price due to potentially less processing power and smart features? Gigabyte hasn’t announced pricing, but we’re skeptical that it’ll end up being cheaper. (The LG retails for $1,500.) Gaming (er, sorry, “tactical”) features, such as “black equalizer,” which supposedly makes enemies easier to see? Okay, fair point. LG’s TV is intended for watching movies and playing games, while Gigabyte appears to be adding a few more gamer-focused features.
This isn’t to say there’s no reason for it to exist. Some people might prefer its aesthetic over LG’s (maybe it’ll even have RGB to really sell it). Or maybe Gigabyte will surprise us, and it’ll be cheaper. Until we know pricing, it’s hard to judge. Still, it seems like if it stands out, it won’t be for its uniqueness — which is a shame, really, given how the other models seem to be offering a set of features that is hard to find elsewhere.
Correction: The initial version of the article stated that all the monitors used OLED panels. Gigabyte has confirmed only one, the FO48U, is OLED. We regret the error.