Over the past year or two one of the hot subjects with displays among enthusiasts has been overclocking them to drive the panel at higher refresh rates. We've seen this mostly from the Korean 27" QHD imports, and the amount you could overclock the panel was often quite variable. Monoprice has begun offering displays as well, which gives you better support options than importing something from overseas, and now they're taking it a step further with a 30" IPS display that they're saying they'll guarantee will run at 120Hz 2560x1600.

Now, just refreshing at 120Hz doesn't solve all the issues you might encounter – e.g. image persistence between frames – but given these IPS panels are supposed to have a 6ms response time (which is more marketing than fact) driving them at up to 167Hz is possible. Even if there's a bit of smearing between frames, I still think having a 120Hz display is a much better experience than the 60Hz we've had to accept for years now. It will also be interesting to see how well the display actually works with a variety of GPUs – I suspect some GPUs might struggle to send a clear signal but we'll see. There's no specific release date yet, but Monoprice says the display should be out in the next couple of months.

Monoprice had plenty of other items on display, but most of those (speakers, power banks, cables, etc.) aren't something we cover much at AnandTech. However, they did have a mechanical keyboard with the new Kailh RGB switches, with programmable per-key backlighting. Or at least, that's the end goal – I'm not sure the software support for programming the backlighting is there yet. Anyway, the effects that you can make with these per-key RGB LED keyboards are really cool initially, but I don't know how practical they'll be for everyday use. I suspect most users will just settle for a uniform color, but enthusiasts will enjoy the customization options. I saw several other keyboards with Kailh RGB LED switches at CES, most with software that's nearly ready for release, so it will be interesting to see how pricing and features pan out.

Source: Monoprice

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  • JarredWalton - Friday, January 16, 2015 - link

    If you read the text, what I'm trying to explain is that at 120Hz, you basically need an 8.3ms response time to give each frame a separate time slot. So in theory 6ms response time means you could go as high as 167 without overlapping frames.

    The reality is that response times are often completely useless marketing numbers -- though there's generally a difference between 1ms and 5ms displays, the difference between 1ms, 2ms and 3ms is basically nil. And of course, if it takes 6ms for the pixels to respond (change), you're always seeing content that's at least 6ms old.

    Put a different way, if you had a display with a 25ms response time, it would be essentially pointless to try and drive that at anything more than 60Hz -- the pixels would always be changing states, never quite reaching where they should be as the time between frames would be one third of the response time. Oh, it might make a slight difference, but basically there'd be a lot of smearing between frames. Or you could call it LCD-based anti-aliasing when in motion. :p
  • blackoctagon - Monday, January 19, 2015 - link

    I understood what you meant. Nonetheless, "given these IPS panels are supposed to have a 6ms response time (which is more marketing than fact) driving them at up to 167Hz is possible" is perhaps not the best way to say it. It can easily be read as saying that it is possible to run this particular monitor at a refresh rate of up to 167Hz. That would truly shock me, and in any case as you admit the real-life response time of this monitor is not expected to truly be 6ms.
  • AnnonymousCoward - Friday, January 16, 2015 - link

    No 120Hz is not a limit of Dual Link DVI. The serial interface limit is bandwidth-driven (resolution * bits * fps). You could do 1kHz with a low resolution, if the protocols on each side agreed.
  • DiHydro - Friday, January 16, 2015 - link

    If the 30" has better contrast than my current Zero-G, I will have to buy it, and a better GPU or two. Guess I'll start saving now.
  • AnnonymousCoward - Friday, January 16, 2015 - link

    Ya know, 2560x1600@120Hz requires >13Gbps while Dual Link DVI does 7.92. They must have 2 Dual Link DVI connectors in the back (assuming the OSD text is correct).
  • blackoctagon - Monday, January 19, 2015 - link

    That's only true if you assume that DL-DVI has a 330Mhz pixel clock limit. That assumption is incorrect and based off the fact that Single Link DVI is limited to 165Mhz. The DVI standard contains no limit on Dual Link mode: http://overlordforum.com/topic/44-2560x1440-120hz-...
  • AnnonymousCoward - Monday, January 19, 2015 - link

    That link is very interesting, but,

    First, all the "standard timings" I've seen for dual link have been within 165MHz.

    Second, the post says most recent video cards can transmit 225MHz. That gets you to 10.8Gbps, which isn't enough for 13.3Gbps + blanking. It also says some newer cards can do 300MHz, which could be barely enough assuming 10% blanking overhead. But that transmitter's frequency margin is most likely not guaranteed by the transmitter! The IC is most likely overdesigned, with upper frequency margin to allow timing margin, semiconductor process variation, and lifetime degregation.

    So it seems very unlikely that Monoprice would make a monitor that requires a recent card running way faster than it's designed to run at (300MHz). 2 dual-link connectors is by far more likely.
  • blackoctagon - Thursday, January 22, 2015 - link

    Fair enough, but bear in mind that the post in that link is more than 2 years old. Since then, NVIDIA (at least) has removed the 300Mhz pixel clock limit for DL-DVI. If they hadn't, my understanding is that user-friendly software like the EVGA PrecisionX couldn't have incorporated monitor overclocking as a standard feature.

    That said, I don't exclude the possibility that Monoprice will use 2 DL-DVI connectors. I just wouldn't be surprised for them to use a single connector and then list a rather restrictive list of (recent) GPUs which 'need' to be used in order to reach the 'guaranteed' 120Hz.
  • blackoctagon - Monday, January 19, 2015 - link

    The only IPS panel in TFTCentral's database for which LG has claimed a 6ms GTG response time is the LM300WQ6-SLA1. That's an AH-IPS panel from 2012, which was
    used in the Dell u3014. Assuming this Monoprice monitor contains the same panel - and not some new one that LG has yet to announce - it's worth bearing in mind that TFTCentral measured an average GTG response time of 7.7ms...not bad, but it appears to have been achieved with an overly-aggressive level of overdrive. This in turn introduced "a large degree of overshoot."
  • blackoctagon - Monday, January 19, 2015 - link

    Ugh, that first sentence should say, "the first 30-INCH IPS panel in TFTCentral's database." sorry

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