LG 32GK850G Review – Gaming Monitor

LG 32GK850G Review – Gaming Monitor

LG 32GK850G Review. 1440p? 165Hz? G-Sync? This gaming monitor from LG checks a lot of boxes, so let’s check it out and see if it’s a monitor that you should consider. This is the 32GK850G monitor from LG, which was released fairly recently, so let’s take a look at the specs of the panel and find out what’s on offer. It’s a 31.5 inch monitor with a 16 by 9 aspect ratio.

In terms of resolution it runs at 1440p, so 2560 by 1440. It’s also got Nvidia’s G-Sync, which again is going to increase the price a bit compared to FreeSync alternatives, however as I’ve got an Nvidia graphics card this works out well for me. Perhaps most interesting is that the panel can also run at 144Hz out of the box, but it can also be overclocked to 165Hz with no problems. It’s also got a 5ms grey-to-grey response time, and a peak brightness of 350 nits. It’s using a VA panel, which I’d say looks in between a TN and an IPS.

To me the colours look pretty good, but there is a little colour shift when you’re looking at sharp angles, however it still looks clear, and LG note that it’s capable of 178 degree viewing angles both vertically and horizontally. So the angles and colours are better than a TN panel, but not as good as IPS, however the tradeoff compared to IPS is of course the super fast refresh rates, while still looking pretty good.

In terms of colour accuracy I’ve tested with my Spyder 5 pro, which shows that it’s capable of displaying 95% of sRGB, 72% of NTSC, and 76% of Adobe RGB, so it seems fairly good in that regard and I’d happily use it for content creation. I’ve also performed my usual backlight bleed test on the display, which involves having the screen show a completely black image in a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding around the edges.

I then take a long exposure photo with my camera to help display any bleed, so basically this is a worst case scenario test. As you can see there was no noticeable bleed detected, even in a dark room, pretty impressive, although this can of course vary between monitors. It’s not all just about the panel though, taking a look at the rest of the monitor it’s got a plastic V shape stand which is black on the front and red on the back, the red only acts as a slight accent when you’re sitting in front of it. The bezels are fairly thin, at around 8mm based on my own measurements.

The stand can also be removed, revealing a standard VESA mount. The on screen display was pretty easy to use and navigate through, there are physical buttons underneath the front in the middle including a joystick which you press to access the menu, and the wheel which is used for changing the lighting on the back. Speaking of the back, it’s a matte black plastic, and outside of the red ring there’s also RGB lighting, which gives a nice ambient effect on the wall behind the monitor.

The brightness of the lighting can be adjusted by turning the wheel underneath the front of the screen, and you can cycle through the available colours by pressing the wheel in. There’s red, green, cyan, magenta, white daylight, white natural, peaceful, and dynamic, which is basically flashing RGB mode. The IO is on the back, on the right hand side of the stand and faces out. There’s a power input, 3.5mm headphone jack, HDMI 1.4 port, DisplayPort 1.2, and a USB hub with 2 USB 3.0 Type-A ports which are accessible once you connect the included USB Type-B cable to your PC.

As for the rest of the included cables you also get a HDMI cable, a DisplayPort cable, and of course power cable with external power brick. Although the stand is quite light as it’s plastic, the panel itself weighs quite a bit. Both together weigh in at around 8.5kg, while the panel alone is 6.7kg, although due to the large size I wasn’t able to weigh it myself.

Despite the stand being light and plastic, it does a pretty good job of supporting the panel. Even if I bump my desk it only wobbles a little. As for the overall dimensions, the panel itself is around 71.5cm in width, 42.3cm in height, and 5.7cm in depth, so it’s a fairly large screen, well at least for me having come from 24 inches. There’s a fair bit of adjustments available too, with -5 to 15 degrees of tilt, -20 to 20 degrees of swivel, 0 to 90 degrees of pivot and 11cm of height adjustment with enough tension so that the screen actually stays where you leave it.

The power consumption for the monitor is listed as 54 watts on the spec sheet, and while testing overclocked at 165Hz with minimum brightness and the backlighting on I found it to sit at around 33 watts, at 50% brightness the total power draw rose to 47 watts, while at 100% brightness it increased to 60 watts. Turning the backlighting off decreased power draw by about 7 watts, allowing us to hit the reporting amount.

So far the monitor looks pretty good, but how was it to actually use day to day? This was the first time I’ve ever used a monitor above 144Hz, and I want to say I noticed the difference but it’s hard to say, it did feel extremely smooth though. Even just in Windows and browsing the Internet movement of windows and scrolling through pages was nice and smooth, but that’s not what you care about.

In modern games you’ll need a powerful graphics card to actually take advantage of the higher refresh rates, especially at a 1440p resolution, but for less demanding games like overwatch and CS:GO you can get away with a lower end graphics card, especially if you’re willing to drop the settings down a bit. Playing Overwatch on medium settings with my 1080 ran well above 165 FPS and the gameplay was buttery smooth the whole time. Seriously, it was pretty nice. I’ve also used the monitor to edit some videos and that went well too, although in general for productivity tasks I think a 4K monitor at the 32 inch size might be better for those sorts of tasks, 1440p still gave me a fair amount of space. Unfortunately we can’t get 4K monitors with refresh rates this high just yet, and graphics cards aren’t really powerful enough anyway so this is completely understandable. Basically I think it’s really good for gaming, and then perfectly acceptable for all other tasks. As for the price it’s currently $1279 AUD here in Australia, or around $849 USD on Newegg for my international viewers. It’s definitely not cheap, however there doesn’t seem to be many other 1440p monitors currently capable of reaching 165Hz at this size, so if that’s what you’re after this could be what you’re looking for.

So what did you guys think about the 32GK850G gaming monitor from LG? Overall I think it looks pretty nice, I mean come on it’s even got RGB lighting on the back. The 144Hz refresh rate and 165Hz overclock in combination with G-Sync make it a great option for competitive gaming. You can always drop down to 1080p if you need to push higher frame rates, then swap back over to 1440p when you’re not gaming too. The colour accuracy and viewing angles were pretty good as well considering it’s a VA panel, I’d have no issues using the monitor for content creation as well as gaming.

Be sure to let me know your thoughts down in the comments, and leave a share if you found the information useful. 

Louise Martin

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