LG 34UM67: UltraWide FreeSync Reviewby Jarred Walton on March 31, 2015 3:00 PM EST
LG 34UM67 Introduction and Overview
LG as a company has many products and certainly offers some strong competition. Their product line includes HDTVs and computer displays, smartphones and smart watches, fitness bands, home appliances, audio accessories, commercial AC and lighting, and numerous other offerings; in short, LG is a brand we’ve all encountered. Given their strong presence in the HDTV market over the years, computer displays should be a strong category for LG, and with one of the first shipping FreeSync displays, LG is at the front of the pack as far as new technologies are concerned. But being first doesn’t necessarily mean being best.
As the first FreeSync display to cross our desks, the LG 34UM67 has some good and bad elements. In many ways it feels like the larger version of the LG 29EA93 we reviewed a while back, albeit in an improved design and with most of the early 21:9 issues having been ironed out. The price is also lower now, so for less money you can get a more capable 34” display instead of 29”. But with FreeSync being the marquee feature, the supported refresh rates of 48-75 Hz can be something of a problem.
But let’s not jump too far ahead. Fundamentally this is a computer display, so let’s talk about the design, features, and other elements before we continue. After testing the two previous TN-based G-SYNC displays, the Acer XB280HK and the ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q, the change back to an IPS panel is immediately noticeable. From an ideal viewing location it may not matter as much, but get off axis at all and IPS is definitely superior. The color quality also looks quite good out of the box – not sufficient for professional use, perhaps, but definitely better than most lesser panels.
In terms of connectivity, LG includes multiple input options: DisplayPort, HDMI, and dual-link DVI-D are present. There are also two 7W downward facing speakers in the screen, with audio in/out ports on the back. One thing you won’t find however are any USB ports. The built-in stand likewise offers no height adjustment, rotate, or swivel – the only thing you can do is tilt it forward/backward. There is a 100x100mm VESA mount, however, so the stand at least can be replaced. From an ergonomics perspective, the built-in stand isn’t very good, but it does at least provide a good level of support (which is often an issue on budget displays).
Power is provided via a power brick, which is unfortunate and likely unnecessary – the bulk of the display should have easily allowed for placing the power circuit inside the chassis. There are also no cable routing features, so all the wires simply connect directly into the back of the display above the stand hinge.
Moving to the OSD (On Screen Display), LG offers plenty of options. The controls consist of a 4-way nub located at the bottom-center of the panel, and while it might not seem ideal I didn’t find it to be particularly problematic either. The nub also serves as the power button if you press it when outside of the OSD menus. All of the usual settings are present, including various color modes, brightness/contrast, the ability to tune the RGB output (and even a more advanced option that allows adjustment of six colors (Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow – both hue and saturation can be altered), and input selection.
Areas where LG adds extras to the OSD include the PBP (Picture Beside Picture) mode, where you can do a split screen view while using two connections, gaming modes designed to improve (in theory) pixel response times and reduce input lag (DAS aka Dynamic Action Sync), and of course the option to enable/disable FreeSync. I don’t know why it’s necessary to inherently provide the option to disable FreeSync, though – if your GPU doesn’t support the standard, the display should simply function as normal with a static refresh rate.
I want to note that the DAS mode and FreeSync actually caused problems on at least one occasion, as the first time I booted with the display connected FreeSync was disabled and when I turned it on the screen went black and never came back on – I had to restart the PC but then things worked properly. DAS did the same thing when I turned it off at one point, though this time power cycling the display fixed the issue. After that, DAS mode was grayed out, and it’s not clear why that’s the case. Disabling FreeSync didn’t allow me to change DAS mode, but switching to one of the preset picture modes other that Custom brought back the option to change the DAS mode.
It looks like there’s are a few minor bugs in the display firmware, but personally I tend to set up a display and then rarely change things, so it’s not a huge concern. If you happen to regularly tweak the OSD settings on your display, however, you might find the current 34UM67 OSD to be a bit irritating. I also missed the option to adjust the OSD timeout; it's about 20 seconds with no way to make it any longer. As it stands, it’s neither the best nor the worst OSD menu that I’ve encountered, and in general it does what it needs to do.
|LG 34UM67 Specifications|
|Video Inputs||1x DisplayPort 1.2a
1x HDMI 1.3
|Pixel Pitch||0.312mm x 0.310mm|
|Contrast Ratio||Not Specified (>600:1 measured)|
|Viewing Angle (H/V)||176 / 176|
|Power Consumption (operation)||53W Typical|
|Power Consumption (standby)||<0.5W|
|Tilt||Yes, -5 to 15 degrees|
|VESA Wall Mounting||Yes, 100mm x 100mm|
|Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD)||830mm x 469mm x 173mm|
|Additional Features||2 x 7W speakers
|Limited Warranty||2 Years|
|Accessories||AC Power Brick
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dragonsqrrl - Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - link"FreeSync actually has a far wider range than G-Sync so when a monitor comes out that can take advantage of it it will probably be awesome."
That's completely false. Neither G-Sync nor the Adaptive-Sync spec have inherent limitations to frequency range. Frequency ranges are imposed due to panel specific limitations, which vary from one to another.
bizude - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkPrice Premium?! It's 50$ cheaper than it's predeccessor, the 34UM65, for crying out loud, and has a higher refresh rate as well.
AnnonymousCoward - Friday, April 3, 2015 - linkThe $ goes on the left of the number.
gatygun - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link1) 27 hz range isn't a issue, you just have to make sure you game runs at 48+ fps at any time, which means you need to drop settings until you hit 60+ on average in less action packed games and 75 average on fast paced packed action games which have a wider gap with low fps.
The 75hz upper limit isn't a issue as you can simple use msi afterburner to lock it towards 75 fps.
The 48hz should actually have been 35 or 30, it would make it easier for the 290/290x for sure and you can push better visuals. But the screen is a 75hz screen and that's where you should be aiming for.
This screen will work perfectly in games like diablo 3 / path of exile / mmo's which are simplistic gpu performance games and will push 75 fps without a issue.
For newer games like witcher 3, yes you need to trade off a lot of settings to get that 48 fps minimum, but at the same time you can just enable v-sync and deal with the additional controlled lag from those few drops you get in stressing situations. You can see them as your gpu not being up to par. crossfire will happen at some point.
2) Extra features will cost extra money, as they will have to write additional stuff down, write additional software functions etc. It's never free, it's just free that amd gpu's handle the hardware side of things instaed of having to buy licenses and hardware and plant them into the screens. So technically specially in comparison towards nvidia it can be seen as free.
The 29um67 is atm the cheapest freesync monitor on top of it, it's the little brother of this screen, but for the price and what it brings it's extremely sharp priced for sure.
I'm also wondering why nobody made any review on that screen tho, the 34inch isn't great ppi wise while the 29inch is perfect for that resolution. But oh well.
3) In my opinion the 34 isn't worth it, the 29um67 is where people should be looking at, with a price tag of 330 atm, it's basically 2x cheaper if not 3x then the swift. There is no competition.
I agree that input lag is really needed for gaming monitors and it's a shame they didn't spend much attention towards it anymore.
All with all the 29um67 is a solid screen for what you get, the 48 minimum is indeed not practical, but if you like your games hitting high framerates before anythign else this will surely work.
twtech - Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - linkIt seems like the critical difference between FreeSync and GSync is that FreeSync will likely be available on a wide-range of monitors at varying price points, whereas GSync is limited to very high-end monitors with high max refresh rates, and they even limit the monitors to a single input only for the sake of minimizing pixel lag.
I like AMD's approach here, because most people realistically aren't going to want to spend what it costs for a GSync-capable monitor, and even if the FreeSync experience isn't perfect with the relatively narrow refresh rate range that most ordinary monitors will support, it's better than nothing.
If somebody who currently has an nVidia card buys a monitor like this one just becuase they want a 34" ultrawide, maybe they will be tempted to go AMD for their next graphics upgrade, because it supports adaptive refresh rate with the display that they already have.
I think ultimately that's why nVidia will have to give in and support FreeSync. If they don't, they risk effectively losing adaptive sync as a feature to AMD for all but the extreme high end users.
Ubercake - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkRight now you can get a G-sync monitor anywhere between $400 and $800.
AMD originally claimed adding freesync tech to a monitor wouldn't add to the cost, but somehow it seems to.
Ubercake - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkAdditionally, it's obvious by the frequency range limitation of this monitor that the initial implementation of the freesync monitors is not quite up to par. If this technology is so capable, why limit it out of the gate?
Black Obsidian - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkLG appears to have taken the existing 34UM65, updated the scaler (maybe a new module, maybe just a firmware update), figured out what refresh rates the existing panel would tolerate, and kicked the 34UM67 out the door at the same initial MSRP as its predecessor.
And that's not necessarily a BAD approach, per se, just one that doesn't fit everybody's needs. If they'd done the same thing with the 34UM95 as the basis (3440x1440), I'd have cheerfully bought one.
bizude - Thursday, April 2, 2015 - linkActually the MSRP is $50 cheaper than the UM65
gatygun - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - linkGood luck getting 48 minimums on a 3440x1440 resolution on a single 290x as crossfire isn't working with freesync.