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Acer Aspire GD245HQ 120Hz 3D Vision-ready Monitor Review

January 26th, 2010 · 131 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

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If you’ve already watched the unboxing video of the Acer Aspire GD245HQ (same in terms of hardware as Acer GD235HZ) display you should know that I’ve been testing the 24-inch (23.6″ to be exact) Full HD display that is 120Hz and 3D Vision compatible. The expectations for this display are quite high, especially after the release of the Alienware OptiX AW2310 that did not provide a completely problem free 3D gaming experience (or so I’m reading, haven’t tested it personally) as we all hoped it would as it being in the next generation of 120Hz displays. This does not mean that the Alienware or that the Acer are not better in terms of what they offer to the user and in general compared to the previous generation of 22″ displays, but also does not mean that the fulfill every expectation consumers had… probably we just expected too much to happen in too little time. Anyway both Alienware and Acer make a good step towards better S3D experience, but lets get back to a more detailed look on the Acer GD245HQ that I’ve tested and compared to the 22″ ViewSonic VX2268WM and Samsung 2233RZ (the first generation 120Hz models).



Let me start with the official specifications:

Display size: 60 cm (23.6″) Wide, 16:9 Full HD, 521×293 mm
Panel Technology: TN (Twisted Nematic)
Resolution: 1920×1080 @ 120Hz
Pixel pitch: 0.2715 mm
PPI (pixels per inch): 92
Horizontal Frequency: D-Sub & HDMI 30-83KHz, DVI 30-140KHz
Vertical Frequency: D-Sub & HDMI 56-75Hz, DVI 56-120Hz
Contrast ratio: 80000:1 (Dynamic)
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Response time: 2 ms
Colours: 16.7M (6 bit + HiFRC)
NTSC Colour gamut coverage: 72%
Internal speakers: N/A
Viewing angle CR 5:1: 176°/176°
Viewing angle CR 10:1: 170°/160°
Tilt / Swivel / Pivot: Tilt. -5°/15°
Height Adjustment: No
Wall-mount: 100 mm x 100 mm
Kensington lock support: Supported
Connections: Analog (D-sub), Digital (DVI-D), HDMI (Optional), Internal Power Supply
Power consumption: Energy Star – On 38.2W, Off 0.85W, Stand by 1.85W
Dimensions: 574.8×417.8×194.4 mm
Weight: 5.8 Kg

Note that the above official specifications do not mention anything about built-in speakers as the monitor does not have such (and why would it need), although it seems at some places selling the display you can see speakers mentioned. This is a bit misleading and the seller had mistaken the presence of a stereo audio jack on the display and cable in the kit thinking there are built-in speakers, but it is a completely different thing. Since the monitor has an HDMI and this allows you to pass audio through it, but you probably wouldn’t want to hear it through some crappy built-in speakers you have the option to output the audio from the HDMI to a decent set of external speakers. And the stereo cable is for just that, to output the audio passing through the HDMI (if any) to an external speakers, and it is clearly not for built-in speakers as there are no such in the display!

The display does come with DVI-D, DSUB15 and HDMI connectors, but you can use the 2D/3D mode in 120Hz only on the Dual-Link DVI. There is a Dual-Link DVI cable and an analogue DSUB15 video cables, bundled with the monitor, there is no HDMI cable, but as I already said you cannot send more than 60Hz as an input signal to the display through HDMI or DSUB15. Apart from that there is the audio out cable (for HDMI audio output) and of course the power cable, the expected manuals and a CD with documentation and control software for the display.


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The external look of the Acer GD245HQ is quite nice, mostly black with just a little bit or orange on the monitor stand. And not to mention that unlike the 22-inch ViewSonic and Samsung displays here with the Acer, the stand is much more stable preventing the monitor from starting to swing around at the slightest vibration of your desk. A bit of a disappointment for some people might be the lack of height adjustment in the stand and that is kind of reasonable, especially having in mind that Acer’s display is with aspect ratio of 16:9 as compared to 16:10 for the ViewSonic and Samsung. This might not seem too significant, but when you compare a 22″ and the 24″ monitor side by side they do not seem very different in terms of size at first look, the ViewSonic is even a bit higher as you can see on the picture above. For me personally the 16:9 is better for stereoscopic 3D gaming as there is the wider aspect gets better coverage for the peripheral vision, but this might differ from person to person and it seems that people even want 1920×1200 displays with 16:10 aspect.


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And now of to the bleeding of the LCD panel of the Acer GD245HQ. The above image is taken in a dark environment with the display showing a completely black image with a camera set a very high ISO and afterwards the image has been processed with an image editor just to enhance the visibility of the bleeding. In reality there is not that much light passing through the LCD panel from the backlight, but you can clearly see that the most light bleeding is coming from the left side of the panel, some from the top and just a bit from the right and bottom parts of the screen.


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Now, don’t think that there is no bleeding on the first generation of 120Hz displays, there is as there is on a lot of other monitors. On the picture above you can see that the ViewSonic display has the most bleeding coming from the bottom part of the screen and some from the left top. This picture comparing the Acer and ViewSonic displays next to each other has not been enhanced in an image editor, just shot with high ISO settings on the camera. As you can see the light bleeding here is less apparent and it is still more visible than what you’ll probably see with a naked eye directly looking at the display. In order to get more uniform backlight and less bleeding we’ll have to wait for the first 3D-capable displays to come out that use LEDs for backlight, but this also does not guarantee better results… it still depends on how good the implementation is.


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As with the previous generation of 120Hz 3D-ready displays the Acer GD245HQ is also using a fast response TN panel with 2ms response rate for the pixels compared to 3ms (for 3D mode) in the first generation. As a direct result of this we can expect to have less ghosting and this is true, the ghosting is actually less as you can see on the image above. It is taken through one of the lenses of the 3D Vision glasses in order to show you how much from the second image (the one for the other eye) is actually visible and thus creating the ghosting effect. Look at the center part of the pictures as some of the outer parts are not covered by the shutters lens because of it being too small for the camera lens. The important thing is that the ghosting is less, making it more comfortable to enjoy 3D content without annoying “shadows” lurking around some objects on the screen, or so it seems…


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I’ve noticed something else you can see on the pictures above – the weird red/green ghosting that rarely appears on some images, it is probably related to some specific colors present. The both Ghosting comparison images were made from the game Tomb Raider Underworld on Lara’s boar before going underwater, but there are some other games and scenes where you can see the same strange ghosting. I’ve also seen it present for a brief moment on some videos, but I believe that this is something related to software issues and thus can lets say be fixed with a driver update for 3D vision for example. The above images are sent to Nvidia and lets see if they can figure out what is the issue and provide us with a fix, but as I said the above issue is rarely seen and you might not even notice it if you are not playing enough attention.


xrite-calibration


And now off to some measuring of the Acer GD245HQ with the help of an X-rite i1 Display 2 colorimeter. Calibrating the display colors does bring a bit of improvement in color reproduction (we are talking about a TN panel after all), but the most serious area where we have trouble with colors still remains – the very dark areas. There are not that much adjustments being done to the primary colors and the color reproduction before and after calibration changes just a bit – there is not a big difference. The brightness level after calibrating however might be an issue, as you can see the display brightness measured after calibration was just 171.6 cd/m2 and that is not that very good for when you wear the 3D Vision shutter glasses and play in S3D mode as there is an additional brightness drop. The maximum level of brightness I was able to measure was about 240 candelas per square meter which is still a bit less that the 300 cd/m2 stated in the specifications. The black level was measured to be about 0,2 cd/m2 which in turn resulted in quite good contrast ratio of almost 900:1, which in turn with the good sharpness of the display makes it noticeably better performing especially when watching videos in 2D or stereo 3D. Even when setting up the max brightness the display still manages to maintain a contrast ratio of about 900:1, so you don’t need to worry too much even if you play in stereo 3D mode with maximum brightness. After all by wearing the 3D Vision shutter glasses you are loosing some of the light and the black seems darker and closer to true black and the lightest objects are not so light anymore.



The next important thing for every gamer is the input lag, or at least it should be, no matter if the games will be played in 2D or S3D mode. In my last input lag tests I was able to confirm that the 120Hz Viewsonic has little to no input lag compared to a good CRT monitor, so how well does new 120Hz Acer GD245HQ compare to that, you can see on the video. Use the pause button to compare the numbers on both displays, the video is shot with a camera recording at 240 fps which is more than enough for the displays 120Hz (120fps). Slower response (lower number of milliseconds) means input lag (delay) of the image because of the processing before being show on the screen. The Acer shows from zero to about 15-16 ms delay compared to the ViewSonic, but have in mind that both displays are running a clone image (using DVI splitter) with resolution of 1680×1050 which is not the native one for the Full HD Acer display!



The next video shows the top/bottom screen ghosting issue on the Acer. As in the first generation of 3D capable 120Hz displays the second generation Acer GD245HQ still has some ghosting at objects show on the top and bottom parts of the screen as opposed to seeing the same object in the center part of the screen. Notice the shadow in front of the wind turbine in the video when it is being moved to the top or bottom parts of the screen. But generally as the ghosting is less on the Acer the top/bottom ghosting is also less.



This here is another interesting effect that I’ve noticed in the game Borderlands, look at how if you leave the cable onscreen and then move a bit there is an afterimage left for a bit that fades in another moment. This issue is also present on the 120Hz ViewSonic displays, but it takes more time with with the cable static on screen for the afterimage to appear. So far I’ve noticed this only in Borderlands, so it might be something related just to that game, but it is there and it handles differently on both 3D displays. The above is of course visible when you shoot the video through the shutter glasses in S3D mode, not when you look directly at the screen without them. Also watch the HD version of the clip to see it more clearly!

Another thing to note is that the “grainy texture” or more like a scanlines look (brighter lines) that could be seen on some scenes when in 3D mode on the first generation of 120Hz screens is now gone, or to be more exact much, much, much… harder to notice, so it should not bother you anymore, if it was bothering you on the ViewSonic or the Samsung displays.

So to sum up all things said so far, the Acer GD245HQ is better designed, better built and performing better than the first generation 120Hz displays from ViewSonic and Samsung. It has an updated list of parameters, offers less ghosting, and although it brings some other new possible issues, in general it is more of a good improvement. If you wanted this to be the perfect and absolutely problem free monitor for stereoscopic 3D gaming, like a lot of people did, you might be a bit disappointed, but that is because we all probably had set too high expectations for it. After testing it personally I’m ready to make the switch to the Acer, when it officially becomes available on the market next month, as what I tested was a testing sample produced in November 2009. I might’ve missed something in the review above so please feel free to ask if you want to know something else or to try on the Acer as I’ll continue testing it for a few more days before having to return it…

Acer GD235HZ/GD245HQ is already available for $399.99 USD at Amazon

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131 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Alan Kennedy // Jul 31, 2010 at 18:01

    I came across this article whilst looking for reviews of the Acer 3D ready screen. I already have the Samsung 2233RZ in a 3D set up. BUT there is one big problem with these 120Hz monitors and Cyberlink dvd10 Ultra. They will not play back Blu- ray unless reset to 60 Hz. Samsung are aware of this but Cyberlink do not want to know albeit their Mark II patch was supposed to be the answer. I don’t suppose this monitor is HDCP compliant at 120Hz is it?

  • 2 Bloody // Jul 31, 2010 at 22:08

    You can play Blu-ray 3D movies on it fine, and for the Samsung you just need to use AnyDVD to avoid the issue… ;)

  • 3 Alex // Aug 22, 2010 at 00:17

    im curious to know how this would perform in comparison to my current moniter. I know my current moniter is a cheap piece of tat… its a CIBOX LE2262, will i see huge improvements over my current screen if i purchase this acer?

  • 4 Bloody // Aug 22, 2010 at 14:56

    Yes Alex, it should be better than your current LCD monitor and most likely not only because of the 120Hz mode and the option to use it for 3D content.

  • 5 Alex // Aug 22, 2010 at 16:11

    Thanks for the response bloody.

  • 6 Alan Kennedy // Sep 2, 2010 at 17:33

    I wrote previously on 31st July that the Samsung 2233RZ was not compatible in Blu-Ray with Cyberlink Power DVD 10 Ultra Mark II. You can get over this by using ‘anydvd’ software but the problem lies with the Samsung which is only Blu-Ray compliant at 6oHZ.

    However the 2nd generation Acer 245HD which I am about to purchase is HDCP capable at 120Hz, the first of its kind as far as I know, and should resolve the Cyberlink Blu Ray play back. Cyberlink are keeping very quiet about this matter and refuse to acknowledge that the Samsung and Viewsonic models set at 120 Hz will not play Blu-Ray on 10 Ultra as neither monitor is HDCP compliant at that setting. Not helped by retail outlets who are only just beginning to realise that HDCP at 120 HZ is desirable as well as essential in some cases

  • 7 Alan Kennedy // Sep 9, 2010 at 18:12

    Just replaced the Samsung with a Acer 245GD monitor which is HPCP compliant at 120HZ. Cyberlink software/hardware check for 3D playback for Blu-ray is a Pass on every aspect. The Nvidia 460 1GB GPU seems just great paired with the monitor

    It has taken 3 months to get to this stage with Cyberlink seemingly unable to appreciate that only one monitor currently available will play Blu-Ray 3D. Well done ‘Novatech’ for being the first UK major supplier to confirm the 120HZ was available on the Acer.
    Case closed
    I am off to enjoy ‘Avatar’ again just as I saw it in 3D in the local cinema. Case closed

  • 8 Zorro // Oct 13, 2010 at 09:31

    I know this is way past meaning anything, but the rainbow effect in video games is caused when the refresh rate and resolution are rejected, so to speak, by the monitor.

    I would get the rainbows in games while running at various refresh rates using odd resolutions like 1440×900 (due to performance issues). But, when I switched to resolutions fully supported by the monitor, the rainbow effect went away. If you set the resolution in game, you have to check on the monitor hardware menu to make sure that you actually are receiving that game setting.

    For example, if I’d chosen a resolution of 1440×900 @120Hz, the monitor would drop that down to 75Hz, and I’d get rainbows. But, when I set the game to 1440×900 @ 75Hz, no rainbows.

    And, it’s not just video games, you can recreate the issues in regular videos as well.

  • 9 PHaTHe // Oct 26, 2010 at 14:45

    Hello,

    I have a question about glasses. I’ve read about good comments on NVIDIA 3D Vision but I have ASUS ATI HD5870. Is there any difference on viewing 3D with using NVIDIA product with ATI? I’ll be gaming most of my time so I need a good quality glasses. Do I need a specific brand of glasses or all work with my monitor? I have this monitor but don’t know much about 3D glasses so I needed to ask here. I’ve read about glasses are different from each other in terms of production technology, does this make any difference also?

    Thanks in advance…

  • 10 Bloody // Oct 26, 2010 at 16:12

    AMD just announced their first stereoscopic 3D capable products and so far the only product that is compatible in terms of a 120Hz monitor with a pair of specific active shutter glasses is ViewSonic 3D241wm-LED. I personally still haven’t tried it and probably the same applies to pretty much here, so it is a bit too early to compare the much wider range of compatible products and the 3D Vision technology itself to what AMD is just starting to offer. So my advice is to wait a bit more in order for AMD to clear up a bit things about their S3D technology, what will work and what not etc…

  • 11 PHaTHe // Oct 26, 2010 at 16:20

    Thank you very much for fast response. Let’s wait and see what AMD has to offer :)

    Cheers…

  • 12 Philby // Dec 5, 2010 at 07:53

    Thanks for your blog.
    I have the Acer GD245, very good quality picture, like someone asked about connecting to Sky3d TV cable box, I tried same here, in AUstralia we call it Foxtel ( still same co as Sky) Wouldn’t do it either although as a 2D picture quality killed by older LG Plasma.

    Anyway is a Nvidia GTX 285 card a good one to use with this Monitor and 3D games? plus where can one get 3d movies to test it out? Thanks

  • 13 Bloody // Dec 5, 2010 at 13:39

    Philby, the Acer is designed only for use with frame sequential stereo 3D content coming from the PC, you will not be able to use it with 3D-capable consoles, set top boxes etc. as these use the HDMI 1.4(a) standard for stereo 3D which is not compatible with the monitor.

    The GTX 285 is a good card, but if you are going to purchase a new high-end card at the moment why not consider something from the newer Fermi-based GTX 400/500 series? Unless of course you get a great deal for the price of the GTX 285… ;)

  • 14 NeMeSiS // Dec 12, 2010 at 03:33

    Hello Bloody, I have a little question, if you get some input lag switching other resolution which is not the native on Acer, if I use 800×600 on Counter-Strike (openGL mode) I’ll also get input lag or not… and will occurs on 22′ Viewsonic or Samsung with the same input lag? or less? Thank you so much.

  • 15 Bloody // Dec 12, 2010 at 15:27

    It depends on the monitor, usually in native resolution there is less input lag as compared to when playing on lower resolution as the image gets scaled and that does require some processing. However if you have input lag on the native resolution, then you probably should have the same amount or even more delay when in lower resolution…

  • 16 DanDi // Feb 4, 2011 at 11:58

    Hey Bloody, i’ve just bought Acer GD245HQ and i am using ATI HD5850 graphic card and my question is if i buy 3D vision KIT will i be able to use 3D normaly or i will have some troubles? On ATI website says that supports 3D. Thx for the answer if possible via mail :)

  • 17 Bloody // Feb 4, 2011 at 12:32

    The 5850 supports stereo 3D, but not with the 3D Vision glasses and not with the Acer monitor… there is just one 3D LCD monitor compatible with AMD’s HD3D technology from Viewsonic that comes bundled with a pair of glasses that are supported.

  • 18 DanDi // Feb 5, 2011 at 21:16

    Thx for answer, basicly i bought LCD cos of 120Hz, my friends told me to buy it if i wanna play games, didn’t even know for 3D options hehe. So if i understand i should buy new graphic card that is compatible with monitor and Vision glasses and i would be able to watch also 3D or what’s ur opinion should i wait for another year and buy everything new? :)) Everything i have read i am not quite convince to go on 3D yet and btw u r doing an amazing stuff, good to have someone who understands all this hehe

  • 19 Oscar // Feb 23, 2011 at 22:16

    Hi bloody i am thinking to buy a monitor 3D witch one you recommend me for the best option Acer GD245HQ or ASUSVG236H?

    Tnx

  • 20 Hotshot // Apr 18, 2011 at 11:06

    Hi,

    Did you ever find out what the red/green ghosting is caused by on these monitors? I have 3 of these hooked up to sli 480 gtx’s and all of them do the same thing, no matter what version of driver I’ve tried. I see it in games, and on videos as you describe. The faster you flick the mouse in games the more you see it. The best games to see it are Mafia 2 & Battlefield: Bad company 2.

  • 21 Krysu // Apr 20, 2011 at 09:53

    Hello Bloody,

    My biggest concern is, can you really play 2d games at 120hz ? Like counter strike 1.6? No need 3d, I only want good LCD that is able to display real 100FPS (100hz), or 120hz is only enabled in 3D mode? Thank you for reply : )
    Cheers! :D

  • 22 Bloody // Apr 20, 2011 at 11:58

    Yes, you can use 120Hz refresh rate in games in 2D mode as well and things run smoother even with vsync enabled at 120 fps… ;)

  • 23 Krysu // Apr 23, 2011 at 06:53

    Bloody,

    Thanks for quick response : ) Do you think it is worth to switch from CRT to this LCD? ;) I have my old Dell 17″, kinda small but can run 1024×768@100hz without problems and the colors are very close to perfect, if not perfect.

    Cheers! :D

  • 24 Ty // May 10, 2011 at 16:18

    Hi Bloody

    Ive read a few of your reviews and appreciate the time you put into making them.

    Can you tell me which you prefer, acer aspire gd245hq or LG W2363D-PF?

    They’re both reasonably priced, and the LG is actually £50 cheaper, but im not sure which to buy. Any advice? Any other contenders in the same price bracket? Ill be using a GTX 460, will it be sufficient to play games in 3D at decent fps?

  • 25 Bloody // May 10, 2011 at 22:48

    The LG is clearly better, it is more recent and performs better – you can get zero input lag with the THRU mode activated and less crosstalk with it.

    As for the GTX 460, it can be a bit slow for more demanding games in stereo 3D mode… you will have to play with medium details. You should consider getting a second GTX 460 for SLI or an upgrade to a better video card…

  • 26 Manse // May 11, 2011 at 09:34

    Can get the LG for about 240 euro wich seems quite cheap, read that it comes with LGs 0 dead pixel policy, heard anything about that?

    Also got a couple of others questions if you dont mind :) can you disable the light display thing on the lower part of the monitor (cant see why they would put that on, seems rather useless)?

    Is there still no way to disable overdrive? i mean im gonna use this monitor for gaming and have another one for browsing etc but would be nice to not have to deal with the overdrive issues.

    Never owned a 120hz monitor, but when trying to sometimes use my samsung xl2370 to play a bit on its kinda pointless, theres quite alot of tearing wich i just cannot play with when im used to playing on a CRT, will a 120hz have that problem compared to a 60hz?

    Im not really big into the whole 3D deal, what im mostly looking for is a fast and reponsive monitor for playing games with in 2D, so i guess the final question will be, will i get that with the LG? :)

  • 27 Cogorerbsed // May 17, 2011 at 17:34

    Greetings everyone, just became a member of 3dvision-blog.com . I have spent five hours researching in the net, right until i’ve found this community forum! I think, I will be here for a long time. kool forum.

  • 28 ManOO // Jun 2, 2011 at 23:37

    I’ve been trying this monitor and i got horrorized discovering it does not support 800×600 / 1024×768 at 100Hz, 75 Hz max. How is it possible? that resolutions are the more common used in CS, quake, CS:CZ… Am i wrong?

  • 29 ManOO // Jun 2, 2011 at 23:45

    Btw, i tested with wXP SP3 on a Asus EAH2900XT

  • 30 SONICDK // Oct 25, 2011 at 02:37

    can i get the settings you used for the calibration i just got the scren but im really bad to calibrate it

    hope you read it ^^

  • 31 K // Nov 26, 2011 at 05:42

    Hi Bloody,
    You noted in your test that the Acer was being run in a non-native resolution, which may account for additional input lag from needing to rescale the input. Have you tried running the test using the Acer’s native resolution instead and having the ViewSonic do the rescaling?

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