The monitor has 80% brightness and 50% contrast by default. To have 100-nit brightness of white, I dropped the brightness and contrast settings to 30% and 33%, respectively. After that you can close MagicTune altogether because the monitor remembers the values you specify.
The monitor has too much of contrast at its default settings: all the three gamma curves have that characteristic bend in their top right. Well, everything returns back to norm as soon as you reduce the contrast setting.
Here, the gamma curves look well and I have nothing to complain about. And my advice to you is to keep the monitor’s contrast setting below 40-45% to have a more accurate reproduction of colors.
The color temperature setup is better than average, yet the difference between the temperatures of white and gray may be as big as 1000K. Still, this is a rather good result for a games-oriented home monitor, which is not meant for serious work.
The average response time of this monitor is 5.4 milliseconds, which is almost two times the response time of the SyncMaster 940BF, but much better than the speed of RTC-less models. The 960BF takes the longest time to perform transitions between light tones which may be as slow as 15-20 milliseconds.
The RTC error measurements produce an ambiguous picture. On one hand, the averaged error of 17% is a little lower than the 940BF’s. But on the other hand, the error amounts to 270% on black to dark-gray transitions, i.e. where it is the most conspicuous. You can imagine what you’re going to see on the screen of this monitor in dynamic games with dark textures! And the average error itself, even though smaller than the 940BF’s, is higher than the competitors’. For example, the BenQ FP93GX has an average RTC error of 15.2% in my tests and is faster than the 960BF, too.
The monitor’s contrast ratio is excellent, which is in fact typical of Samsung’s matrixes, even if they are TN+Film.
So, the SyncMaster 960BF is a cute-looking, handy and generally well set-up monitor. It is a nice diversion from both uniform-looking office models and fanciful home monitors. The downside is Samsung’s persisting problems with implementing RTC in TN+Film matrixes (it’s all right with PVA matrixes as you’ve seen earlier) – the average RTC error on Samsung’s monitors is considerably higher than on competitors’. And while the excellent speed of the 940BF’s matrix is a kind of compensation for that, the 960BF is not that fast, but has a rather big average error.