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More on Ghosting and Brightness of the Asus VG278H 3D Monitor

November 9th, 2011 · 26 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

The new Asus VG278H 3D Vision-ready 120Hz LCD monitor has an interesting option in the OSD menu that allows you to control the level of the 3D Lightboost and thanks to that I was able to try some interesting things. In the review of the Asus VG278H 3D monitor I have already mentioned that there are some things that you can do in order to improve the results you will get when using the monitor. One example for that is to reduce the Contrast level from the default setting of 76 to 55 in order to reduce the level of ghosting/crosstalk in stereo 3D mode without sacrificing too much of the brightness and that is possible thanks to the 3D Lightboost technology that increases the brightness level. I’ve used a colorimeter to measure the level of brightness with the different settings of the Contrast level with the Lightboost set to the maximum level and here are the results:

Contrast 100: 202 cd/m2
Contrast 76: 160 cd/m2
Contrast 55: 111 cd/m2

And here is the level of brightness with the default setting for Contrast of 76 and different level of the Lightboost setting, from completely off to the maximum:

Off: 85 cd/m2
+1: 90 cd/m2
+2: 95 cd/m2
+3: 102 cd/m2
+4: 111 cd/m2
+5: 120 cd/m2
+6: 128 cd/m2
+7: 136 cd/m2
+8: 144 cd/m2
+9: 152 cd/m2
Max: 160 cd/m2

Notice that from the Off state of the Lightboost technology to the maximum level there is almost a double increase of the brightness level and what Nvidia was saying for the new technology was that it will increase the brightness twice. So you can say that this claim is true. Notice that the level of brightness you get with the decreased Contrast to a setting of 55 is the same as the +4 state of the Lightboost setting together with the default setting for Contrast. So you are kind of halving the effectiveness of the Lightboost technology in order to further reduce ghosting/crosstalk.

In order to further reduce the ghosting in 2D mode as well you can also play with the Trace Free option of the monitor. The default setting of 60 is quite Ok (the left part of the image above), but increasing it to the maximum value of 100 you get better results (the right part of the image above). You can see from the high-speed photos taken from the PixPerAn test software that the fast moving objects are looking better and have less ghosting with a higher value of the Trace Free function.

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26 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Alex // Nov 9, 2011 at 23:14

    Is there any downside to increasing the Trace Free value to a 100, Bloody?

  • 2 Rhialto // Nov 9, 2011 at 23:40

    I wonder how it would look like to turn off the Trace Free function since at 60 we already clearly see the second image! Funny that at 100 the second image become negative. I guess our slow eyes can’t see this anyway.

  • 3 Bloody // Nov 9, 2011 at 23:52

    The photos with the different the Trace Free settings are taken with a shutter speed 1/1000 of a second. The negative afterimage looks better as the moving object actually looks sharper with the naked eye and with less Trace Free the fast moving objects looks slightly more blurred. With a setting of 0 for Trace Free the situation looks slightly worse than the default setting of 60.

  • 4 Tom // Nov 10, 2011 at 07:05

    The screen gets up to 427 cd/m2 in 2D mode but only 202 cd/m2 in 3D? I try to stay no higher than 200 nits at home but it’s quite a drop. Could you please tell us if the ghosting is any different in 2D?

  • 5 Andrea deluxe // Nov 10, 2011 at 13:06


    please can you make a test with all step of tracefree compared from zero to 100?

  • 6 ryan // Nov 11, 2011 at 02:56

    I can’t find this monitor anywhere. I pre ordered from Amazon but who knows how many more weeks it will take before they get a shipment of 10 or 20, and then its time to wait a few more weeks for another 10 or 20.
    where can I buy this thing?

  • 7 Bugnguts // Nov 11, 2011 at 07:36

    Hi Bloody,
    Just found your website and first I want to say thank you for producing original content and not regurgitating what others have said, thanks.

    If I understand correctly Lightboost currently only works with LED. LED’s can switch on and off incredibly fast rates.

    Hypothetical Case:
    Tradition 3d monitor is on 100% at 300 cd/m2
    LightBoost LED’s only on 60% at 500 cd/m2 or equivalent of 300 cd/m2
    The colorimeter may measure same net cd/m2. So to test this I suggest trying two settings with same cd/m2 one at 100% LightBoost and reduced contrast the other at higher contrast and lowered Lightboost. Then run ghosting/crosstalk test. Is the LightBoost setting just a contrast toggle?

  • 8 Daniel Stange // Nov 11, 2011 at 13:45

    Is this suppose to be out right now? I can’t find any online.

  • 9 massaker // Nov 11, 2011 at 16:53

    Other site says Trace Free at 80% is THE GOLDEN MEAN. Can you confirm this, Bloody?

  • 10 Bloody // Nov 11, 2011 at 22:40

    The Asus VG278H monitor is just now becoming available on the market, it can take some time before it is available everywhere around the world…

    I’ve only tested the minimum, default and maximum setting for Trace Free, but I’ll also do a comparison with all of the possible settings.

  • 11 SpartanGR // Nov 12, 2011 at 00:41


    Can you please give me your best setting lets say sweet spot between contrast and Lightboost? just bought this monitor and its awesome

  • 12 Daniel Stange // Nov 12, 2011 at 00:43

    Alright thanks Bloody! Really appreciate it! I guess this will be my first upgrade since the Syncmaster, i’m pretty pumped!

    Hopefully it comes to Canada soon!

  • 13 Bart // Nov 12, 2011 at 08:45

    I see it listed on a number of Canadian sites like NCIX, but still seems to be at least a week or two away.

  • 14 Bloody // Nov 12, 2011 at 16:16

    massaker, yes it seems that 80% is visually slightly better at least on the high-speed still photos of the moving object, but when looking with a naked eye there is hardly any difference visually.

  • 15 massaker // Nov 12, 2011 at 17:36

    Ok, thank u very much :)

  • 16 Bloody // Nov 12, 2011 at 22:57

    Here is a comparison with photos at different settings for Trace Free – 60, 80 and 100: http://3dvision-blog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/asus-vg278h-trace-free.jpg

  • 17 Dan // Nov 13, 2011 at 12:57

    After I got the recommendation in the preview article to switch from my acer 27 3d to this one I was lucky and got 3 of the new Asus monitors out of 6 overall here in Germany.

    First I was a bit disappointed of the ghosting /crosstalk I could see in iracing. But with your tweaks it’s completely gone.

    The 3d vision glasses are also a big step forward.

    Thanks a lot bloody! Your work and articles are really appreciated.

  • 18 Andrea deluxe // Nov 13, 2011 at 17:19


    fantastic comparison of trace free!!!

    i’m wrong or the 80 setting are better?

    negative image on 100 setting are too high!

  • 19 Bloody // Nov 13, 2011 at 18:09

    With a setting of 80 for Trace Free the afterimage looks more like a faint shadow and with 100 it looks inverted, so a setting of 80 should be slightly better, although with a naked eye you probably won’t notice much of a difference between 80 and 100.

  • 20 Andrea deluxe // Nov 13, 2011 at 20:36


  • 21 spiegeleye // Nov 14, 2011 at 22:00

    I’ve got one on Friday, 11.11. in Germany but – a bad one. The backlight LEDs stayed dark. When knocking on the side sometimes the right side of the display lit with impressive brightness, but the lower left side was dim. Now A hope to get a replacement as fast as possibel….

  • 22 PeZzy // Nov 22, 2011 at 06:53

    Thanks for the crosstalk tips Bloody. Really helped to reduce the bad crosstalk scenes.

  • 23 mos // Dec 2, 2011 at 13:38

    Hey thanks for the update on brighness levels. That was exactly what I was looking for and way more detailed than I dared to hope!
    Now the only thing I need is some way of comparing the ghosting to e.g. the latest Samsung SA950 model. Sad thing that the Asus is in short supply everywhere these days.

  • 24 To // Dec 7, 2011 at 01:48

    I got it on 12/29 and i am very satisfied with it . I play skyrim with it almost no ghosting + contrast tweak made it even better

  • 25 Daniel // Feb 9, 2012 at 08:25

    I picked up the VG278H this week from NCIX and wondering about it being defective since even to the naked eye the display noticeably darkens when it goes into 3D mode. Can someone weigh in to inform me, is this adnormal?

  • 26 wonder steve // May 10, 2014 at 02:57

    They never put in some decent factory settings, we all have to get stuck with those crappy defaults, if i can say so

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