Samsung SyncMaster F2080
I will stick to our regular testing methodology hereafter because all issues beyond it have already been discussed above.
First goes the SyncMaster F2080, a 20-inch monitor with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a native resolution of 1600x900 pixels. It has a specified static contrast of 3000:1, a specified brightness of 250 nits and a specified response time of 8 milliseconds (GtG).
By default, the SyncMaster F2080 has 100% Brightness and 75% Contrast. I achieved a 100nit white by choosing 50% Brightness and 58% Contrast. The monitor regulates brightness by means of backlight modulation at a frequency of 180Hz.
Smooth color gradients are reproduced perfectly, without any banding.
I measured the input lag in comparison with a Samsung SyncMaster 710N on a series of 15 frames. Two frames showed blurred numbers and four more frames showed an input lag of 16 milliseconds. The input lag was zero on the rest of the frames. Thus, the monitor’s input lag is negligible.
The monitor’s max brightness is somewhat higher than 200 nits, but the contrast ratio is impressive. It is higher than 1500:1 at the default settings. My calibrator could not even measure the level of black in the dynamic contrast mode. At the reduced settings, the calibrator reported a black level of 0.01 nits only, but it is not guaranteed to measure below 0.02 nits.
The MagicBright modes are set up properly. They are bright enough for the intended applications, except that the Text and Internet modes are only suitable for good daylight lighting. If you use this monitor at home, you may want to set it up manually for text-based applications and switch to the MagicBright modes to view photos, watch movies or play games.
The monitor does not have an extended color gamut, but covers the standard sRGB color space entirely, being somewhat larger in greens and reds.
The average uniformity of white brightness is 5.2% with a maximum deflection of 19.8%. For black, the average and maximum are 8.4% and 22.0%, respectively. These numbers are somewhat worse than average, especially with black where you can clearly see a brighter area along the bottom of the screen. However, thanks to the high contrast ratio, this uniformity can hardly be perceived with a naked eye.
The gamma curves are rather neat at the default settings, being but slightly different from the ideal curve for gamma 2.2.
Alas, when the Brightness and Contrast settings are reduced, there appears a hump in the gamma curves that cannot be corrected with the monitor’s settings. Some image tones are going to look a little brighter than necessary as the result.
The color temperature setup of the three predefined modes is acceptable. The values more or less correspond to the names of the modes, and the temperatures of different grays do not vary by more than 1000K.
I also set the monitor up manually (Custom mode) at 60% Contrast and controlled the result with my calibrator. I finally selected the following values in the Color menu: Red=50, Green=32, Blue=32. Besides, the value of gamma in the monitor’s menu was set at Mode3. As you can see, my setup helped reduce the temperature dispersion to 660K.
But the most important outcome of the manual setup is that it helped get rid of the excessive green that could be observed in every predefined mode. Of course, this is better than the excessive blue typical of many other monitors, but still there is room for further improvement.
Response time compensation is turned off in the Normal mode, so the response time average is 21.6 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of as high as 75 milliseconds.
In the Faster mode the time of switching between halftones is somewhat reduced, but switching from black to dark gray still takes as long as 50-75 milliseconds. The response time average is 18.3 milliseconds (GtG). There are no RTC errors.
The overall picture does not change much in the Fastest mode, though. The gray-to-gray transitions generally fit within 10 milliseconds, but there is an 80-millisecond catastrophe again with dark grays. The response time average is 16.3 milliseconds (GtG). The RTC error level is low, the average error being a mere 0.25.
There already was a period in the history of PVA matrixes when RTC helped reduce the response on light halftones and on gray-to-gray transitions, but did not do anything to transitions from black to dark gray. The reason is that when voltage is applied to a black pixel of a VA matrix, the liquid crystals first move by a small angle into the direction opposite to the necessary one, and only after that they begin to move in the necessary direction. Samsung tried to fight that with DCC-II technology: when a pixel had to be switched from black to some other color, a low voltage was applied to it for one frame to switch the pixel to a dark gray first. And in the next frame the pixel got the voltage necessary for switching to the desired color. The only downside is that the input lag is higher by the duration of one frame (16.7 milliseconds) with DCC-II, although DCC-II virtually solved the problem of slow response on dark halftones.
Samsung seems to have returned in the F2080 and F2380 to the first version of DCC, which is simpler and cheaper to implement but does not ensure a good speed of the LCD matrix. The only unclear thing is why the monitor’s response time is specified to be 8 milliseconds (GtG).