What a goddamn waste.

For months now rumors have been circulating that we’d be seeing enthusiast grade 4K OLED displays from both LG and Samsung featuring a refresh rate of 240Hz in a much more compact 32-inch size package.

Then out of the blue we caught first wind of these new next-gen panels when Dough.tech, formally EVE decided to once again scam customers into pre-ordering their new “Spectrum Black” monitor featuring the new 32-inch 4K 240Hz WOLED panel from LG Display.

Naturally with one already coming out of the gate it was inevitable that actual corporations would be announcing their own renditions of new monitors harnessing the next gen panels from LG / Samsung.

During Gamescom 2023, ASUS has announced a total of three new OLED monitors that are slated for release during the first quarter of 2024.

With those being a brand new 34-inch ultrawide display with a resolution of 3440×1440, the ROG Swift PG34WCDM has a refresh rate of 240Hz and a near instantaneous pixel response time.

Current QHD Ultrawide displays on the market are utilizing first generation Samsung QD-OLED displays, such as the Alienware AW3423DW, but these crop of first gen QD-OLED panels essentially topped out at 175Hz.

The ASUS ROG Swift PG34WCDM however however is utilizing an LG Display WOLED panel with an advertised peak brightness of 1300 nits, the Alienware posted above peaks at just 1000 nits with a typical 100% window brightness of around 250 nits, of which the ASUS PG34WCDM retains a 250 nit full window brightness which is pretty much standard for an OLED panel.

Obviously, it features the VESA certification for DisplayHDR 400 “True Black”, and comes with a HDMI 2.1 connection, a USB Type-C connector and a lousy DisplayPort 1.4 connection.

The ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG49WCD on the other hand is a little different, with a 32:9 aspect ratio this behemoth is beyond niche, with a resolution of 5120×1440 and a refresh rate of just 144Hz, rest assured this QD-OLED monitor is merely just ASUS’ rendition of the brand new Samsung Odyssey G9 49 G95SC which is a second generation QD-OLED display with the same processor found in the high-end S95C television.

Given the nature of ASUS as a company, the fallacy of “high end” enthusiasts parts of which ASUS does tend to make very high-end hardware but their quality control and unforgiving nature in sacrificing your hardware in pursuit of performance writes them off as a viable alternative for me, nevertheless the Samsung Odyssey G9 has a peak brightness of 1000 nits which is the exact same as the ROG PG49WCD with the only real difference between the two would be ASUS’ OSD menu which is probably worth the purchase if you’re into the ultra widescreen sorta stuff of which the ASUS rebrand is actually $200 less expensive than the Samsung G9.

It also comes with a HDMI 2.1, DP 1.4 and USB Type-C outputs, which is pretty mediocre for sub $2000 enthusiast class display.

Now what I’ve actually been waiting for, the aforementioned 32-inch 4K behemoth, that being the ASUS ROG Swift PG32UCDM.

I’ve mentioned above that both LG and Samsung were producing WOLED / QD-OLEDs in this small form factor, both with the same specifications which should light a fire under the ass of LG who’ve been caught slacking since Samsung wiped them across the floor with the S90C dominating LG’s latest crop of C3 televisions and the S95C which basically makes LG’s G3 look like it was a VA panel by comparison.

The PG32UCDM utilizes an LG Display WOLED panel, just like the 34-inch widescreen above, but this is much more special, it’s special because you’re going to regret purchasing this specific display, because of the 4K resolution and 240Hz refresh rate, this monster which peaks at 1300 nits brightness suffers the same issue as both of the other monitors that have been announced.

There’s no goddamn DisplayPort 2.1 output.

You can blame NVIDIA if you’d like, they held out on providing HDMI 2.1 display connectivity when that hit the scene, AMD were the first ones to incorporate a HDMI 2.1 connection as they were the first to provide a DisplayPort 2.1 output, with NVIDIA’s RTX 4000 series refusing to incorporate the latest and greatest output connectors, so much for your “premium” brand.

What this basically means is if you don’t own an AMD Radeon RX 7000 series GPU, you’re going to experience the wonders of “DSC” or Display Stream Compression which is advertised as a lossless compression technology.

Which is total fucking bullshit.

Fact of the matter is that neither DisplayPort 1.4 or HDMI 2.1 cannot physically provide the bandwidth required for a 4K 240Hz 4:4:4 10-bit output, to actually drive the monitor at its rated refresh rate you are basically forced to enjoy the miracles of chroma subsampling.

What the hell is chroma subsampling?

To put it simply, Chroma subsampling is a compression technique that sacrifices color information in a signal in order to prioritize luminance data.

This results in a reduction in bandwidth usage by impacting the quality of the picture, in a video signal, there are two main components, those being luminance information and color information.

Luminance, also known as luma, accounts for most of the picture as it defines the contrast that shapes the images on the screen, for instance, a black and white image can still appear detailed compared to a color image.

On the other hand, color information, known as chrominance or chroma, is also important but has less visual impact. Chroma subsampling works by decreasing the amount of color information in the signal, allowing for more luminance data instead.

This enables the preservation of picture clarity while effectively reducing the file size by up to 50%, therefore decreasing bandwidth. In the YUV format, luma only occupies one-third of the signal, so reducing the amount of chroma data significantly contributes to the overall efficiency.

So in other words, your brand spanking new 32-inch OLED display cannot actually operate at its rated 4K 240Hz refresh rate without impeding upon its visual clarity, while no doubt an OLED display at 4:2:2 is still a million times better looking than any form of LCD, it’s simply not a good fucking thing to be hampered in such a way only because ASUS didn’t feel obliged in paying more money for a DP 2.1 connection, though you should be able to get around 180Hz out of it so it’s not all doom and gloom.

It’s actually really disappointing seeing ASUS penny pinch of a near $2000 ultra enthusiast monitor, dubbed the “chosen one” with second rate display connectivity, best thing to do would be to wait until other manufacturers start releasing their displays utilizing LG’s WOLED 4K 240Hz panels and buying one that will allow you to actually experience 240Hz without raping your image quality.