LG C1 OLED vs. Samsung Odyssey Neo G9: the right monitor doesn’t exist

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I hate leaving unfinished enterprise, however that’s what I did on November twenty seventh of final yr. I ended my assessment of essentially the most ridiculous, most superior PC monitor ever made — the 49-inch Samsung Odyssey G9 — by questioning out loud whether or not a equally sized OLED tv may truly be higher. That query has been burning in my cranium for a lot of, many months, however I’m comfortable to say I lastly have a solution.

This September, I took supply of each LG’s newest 48-inch C1 OLED tv and Samsung’s upgraded 49-inch Odyssey Neo G9, with its Mini-LED backlit display that makes an attempt to rival OLED for deep blacks and provides explosive brightness. I’ve used them again to again ever since, swapping time and again between the newest and biggest gigantic gaming displays and between work and play. I used all of them day, every single day, jotting down notes about each frustration and all the enjoyment I skilled with these monster screens only a foot or two from my face.

It was superior, and I’m unsure I’m prepared to return to the comparatively puny 27-inch display I truly personal. However the humorous factor is, my reply is neither. Neither of those screens is my PC monitor endgame. And I wasn’t even unhappy to see one in every of them go dwelling.

First, the fundamentals. Why a monitor versus a TV? Nicely, for a staggering $2,499, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is arguably essentially the most feature-packed gaming monitor ever made — and but LG’s $1,299 48-inch OLED TV meets or beats it in most ways in which matter.

As an example, the Samsung has an amazing 5120 x 1440-pixel decision panel that stretches out throughout your total subject of view, virtually letting you bathe in video games or duties. However the sheer dimension of LG’s 48-inch 3840 x 2160 panel additionally fills your view at what’s technically the next decision (8.3M pixels vs. 7.4M pixels). It’s simply that the corners of LG’s display are a bit farther away out of your face as a result of it’s not curved like Samsung. (I’ve extra to say about that later.)

Each displays have an analogous footprint on a desk, too, at 45.3 inches extensive for the Odyssey G9 and 42.2 inches extensive for the 48-inch LG, however it feels just like the LG gives a lot extra display in alternate. We’ve lengthy made enjoyable of small 16:9 laptop computer screens for being too brief for productiveness, however LG’s 24-inch-tall slab of pixels is much, far previous the purpose the place that’s a difficulty. Each time I swapped out the Neo G9 for the LG C1 (or vice versa), I needed to ask myself why I might pay twice as a lot for a display with the highest and backside chopped off when each match advantageous on my 47-inch Ikea Bekant desk.

Both approach, it’s an astounding quantity of display, however the LG is bigger and I needed to set it barely additional again.“,”image_left”:{“ratio”:”*”,”original_url”:”https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/23040332/shollister_211124_4893_0001.jpg”,”community”:”verge”,”bgcolor”:”white”,”pinterest_enabled”:false,”caption”:null,”credit score”:null,”focal_area”:{“top_left_x”:0,”top_left_y”:0,”bottom_right_x”:2040,”bottom_right_y”:1360},”bounds”:[0,0,2040,1360],”uploaded_size”:{“width”:2040,”top”:1360},”focal_point”:null,”asset_id”:23040332,”asset_credit”:null,”alt_text”:””},”image_right”:{“ratio”:”*”,”original_url”:”https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/23040333/shollister_211124_4893_0002.jpg”,”community”:”verge”,”bgcolor”:”white”,”pinterest_enabled”:false,”caption”:null,”credit score”:null,”focal_area”:{“top_left_x”:0,”top_left_y”:0,”bottom_right_x”:2040,”bottom_right_y”:1360},”bounds”:[0,0,2040,1360],”uploaded_size”:{“width”:2040,”top”:1360},”focal_point”:null,”asset_id”:23040333,”asset_credit”:null,”alt_text”:””},”credit score”:null}” data-cid=”apps/imageslider-1639235049_225_435853″>

Both approach, it’s an astounding quantity of display, however the LG is bigger and I needed to set it barely additional again.

And whereas the Samsung monitor does attain twice the refresh price at 240Hz, in comparison with 120Hz for the LG, extremely technical assessment websites like Rtings will let you know the LG is definitely higher on the subject of response time and blur (which is what we truly care about once we care about refresh price). For variable refresh price, each assist Nvidia G-Sync, AMD FreeSync Premium or Premium Professional, and the newest HDMI 2.1 with VRR for Xbox Collection X and (finally) the PS5 as effectively.

Questioning if a TV may guzzle extra electrical energy than a devoted monitor? It’s a good query, however you is likely to be stunned. Taking part in by way of the identical actual part of Deathloop with HDR, I averaged 68Wh per hour with the 48-inch LG, in comparison with 89Wh per hour with the Samsung Neo. After I added desktop apps, it was a bit nearer: the LG consumed 85Wh per hour, whereas the Samsung drank 91Wh per hour on common. That’s with energy saving settings turned off on the LG — and I’d advocate you do this immediately as a result of it’s actually dim out of the field.

Regardless of all this, it’s not essentially that easy to swap your conventional monitor for both of those gigantic panels. Let’s discuss gaming, productiveness, and lastly, we’ll spend a couple of phrases chatting about your desk.

You’ve by no means performed till you’ve seen the attractive colours OLED can deliver out in a sport like Genshin Impression.


I’m not going to rehash my total Samsung Odyssey G9 assessment, the place I included 14 full-bleed photos to point out you what gaming is like on a 32:9 display, however I’ll provide the TL;DR model right here: super-ultrawide gaming is fantastic however bizarre. Taking part in on the Odyssey G9 and Neo G9 is extremely immersive, however it’s additionally actually warped in a approach I don’t all the time discover nice as a result of sport builders by no means adopted multi-projection of their video games. And within the yr since that assessment, nothing’s modified.

I performed a brand new bunch of Halo Infinite multiplayer, dove by way of all of Deathloop, and performed by way of your entire Again 4 Blood marketing campaign swapping between the Odyssey Neo G9 and the LG C1 48. Whereas all three of those video games have completely sufficient 32:9 assist, and Halo even marketed it as a characteristic, all of them have that stunted-and-zoomed look on the left and proper sides of the display.

I don’t all the time hate it. However I might by no means, ever select to play them on the Odyssey Neo G9 as a substitute of LG’s 48-inch gaming tv, the place each sport robotically seems unbelievable as a result of they’re designed for 16:9 to start with. It’s simply as immersive, if no more so, given that you simply’ve acquired extra display and fewer distracting warped edges in view. And it doesn’t assist Samsung that its monitor has some extraordinarily unusual outcomes displaying HDR and 240Hz content material, too.

Like I mentioned, the LG set already punches tougher than its Hz would recommend on the subject of busting blur, however the Samsung Neo G9 additionally seems to have bizarre issues with its 240Hz mode, most prominently that it’ll show seen horizontal traces throughout parts of the show, ones which are most seen on gradients, shiny colours, or when the panel’s full-array native dimming will get significantly darkish or shiny swiftly. A giant, splashy, story-critical explosion in Deathloop was ruined for me when horizontal traces reduce by way of what would in any other case have been an especially spectacular burst of flame — the sort of factor that the Neo’s peak brightness of 2000 nits makes so shiny you may swear you’ll be able to really feel the warmth.

Right here’s a video instance of what the horizontal traces seem like when the display will get dim:

And I’m removed from the one one who’s seen this difficulty — or the problems with HDR typically, the place the Neo G9 shipped with HDR assist that may charitably be described as “damaged” and has solely reached “partially acceptable” after months of firmware updates.

Initially, turning on HDR mode would wash out the colours of your total Home windows desktop, although that’s now fastened. However even after the newest firmware replace (which it’s important to obtain on a PC, then apply on to the monitor with a thumb drive after eradicating any USB peripherals from the monitor’s USB ports), among the darkish shadowy areas of Deathloop look inexperienced and Again 4 Blood seems prefer it’s being flooded by the headlights of a automobile. Tweaking luminance and shade helped some, however the very best end result I may muster was nonetheless far shy of the unbelievable outcomes LG gave me with out tweaking in any respect.

({Hardware} Unboxed deserves severe credit score for pushing Samsung on these issues, going by way of a number of assessment items and feeding Samsung information, and Techtesters not too long ago testified they’d gone by way of three totally different assessment items as effectively.)

It’s wild as a result of final yr’s Odyssey G9 additionally suffered from some high quality management points round its 240Hz mode (which didn’t work with some graphics playing cards out of the gate) and poor native dimming, and we figured a Neo G9 (at twice the worth!) would clear up each. However whereas the brand new Mini-LED full array native dimming gives these unbelievable deep blacks round, say, the borders of a film you’re watching, we aren’t seeing that in video games the place we undoubtedly ought to.

At 120Hz or 144Hz with out HDR, the Odyssey Neo G9 was pretty passable, not in contrast to the vanilla Odyssey G9 I examined final yr. However that unique G9 can be over $1,000 cheaper — and so is LG’s set.

In the event you set the LG to one hundred pc scaling, you’ll be able to match quite a bit on display. However I discovered it uncomfortable till 125 p.c — and for different causes.“,”image_left”:{“ratio”:”*”,”original_url”:”https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/23040334/shollister_211124_4893_0003.jpg”,”community”:”verge”,”bgcolor”:”white”,”pinterest_enabled”:false,”caption”:null,”credit score”:null,”focal_area”:{“top_left_x”:0,”top_left_y”:0,”bottom_right_x”:2040,”bottom_right_y”:1360},”bounds”:[0,0,2040,1360],”uploaded_size”:{“width”:2040,”top”:1360},”focal_point”:null,”asset_id”:23040334,”asset_credit”:null,”alt_text”:””},”image_right”:{“ratio”:”*”,”original_url”:”https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/23040336/shollister_211124_4893_0005.jpg”,”community”:”verge”,”bgcolor”:”white”,”pinterest_enabled”:false,”caption”:null,”credit score”:null,”focal_area”:{“top_left_x”:0,”top_left_y”:0,”bottom_right_x”:2040,”bottom_right_y”:1360},”bounds”:[0,0,2040,1360],”uploaded_size”:{“width”:2040,”top”:1360},”focal_point”:null,”asset_id”:23040336,”asset_credit”:null,”alt_text”:””},”credit score”:null}” data-cid=”apps/imageslider-1639235049_2527_435854″>

In the event you set the LG to one hundred pc scaling, you’ll be able to match quite a bit on display. However I discovered it uncomfortable till 125 p.c — and for different causes.


And but, for those who plan to get work finished in your new gigantic display, I can’t wholeheartedly advocate an LG TV, both.

Folks ask me two questions: “Aren’t you fearful about burn-in?” “Don’t you get complications sitting two toes away from the TV?”

The reply is that LG offers me my alternative of headache: I can get a literal headache as a result of LG’s overzealous burn-in protections make the display so dim it may well result in severe eyestrain, or I can spend my time worrying about that burn-in by turning a few of these protections off in a hidden service menu.

On the whole, I’m not fearful about burn-in, the phenomenon the place OLED subpixels (which have natural chemical compounds that emit their very own mild) can put on erratically over time, creating ghostly photos that stick round. Quite a few OLED burn-in checks have proven that it may well take hundreds upon hundreds of hours to see everlasting retention even for those who go away static content material up on the display. That’s as a result of LG has in-built a wide selection of protections, together with shifting across the pixels now and again, dimming logos and icons that don’t transfer, and dimming your entire display if it doesn’t transfer sufficient or will get too shiny.

That final instance might be bizarre in follow: for those who broaden a shiny white internet browser web page (just like the one you’re studying) from a window to fullscreen, you’ll be able to watch your entire display dim to a paper white as a substitute. However I realized to dwell with that fairly rapidly and possibly even desire it to the sometimes-searing whites of the Samsung, significantly when Home windows is about to HDR mode.

Right here’s how a lot I can match on display at my typical 125-percent scaling.

No, It’s the Temporal Peak Luminance Management (TPC), additionally generally referred to as the Computerized Static Brightness Limiter, that units my eyeballs on hearth. I is likely to be typing in a doc or scrolling down a webpage, however the majority of the home windows on my huge desktop aren’t transferring, so the LG TV will ever so slowly dip your entire brightness of the display, so slowly I don’t even discover till the eyestrain creeps up on me. It’s about as dim as my laptop computer will get on the bottom setting, even when I’m utilizing it in a shiny room. I’ve tried all the things to cease it, together with varied image modes, decreasing the TV’s brightness and even the person OLED pixel brightness, however the one factor that stopped it was shopping for a particular distant management designed for troubleshooting and turning off “TPC” within the service menu. (Faucet “In Begin,” then sort in 0413.)

No extra complications, however at what price? I may need simply voided this TV’s guarantee, and I’ve began to see minor picture retention after every day of use. (If I verify a impartial grey picture, I can generally see “seams” the place the home windows was once.) Up to now, they’re all the time gone the following morning, doubtless due to LG’s automated “pixel refresher,” however I’m nonetheless fearful I could also be getting older the TV prematurely.

Even when it weren’t for the brightness woes, I would nonetheless desire the 32:9 Samsung monitor for multitasking, and it’s all due to that curve. Like I mentioned in my unique Odyssey G9 assessment, you’ll be able to match an astonishing quantity on display with the equal of two 27-inch displays at your command, and the monitor’s distinctive 1000R curve places all of it on the identical distance out of your face at a crisp angular decision. However with the 48-inch LG, textual content was uncomfortably small and / or pixelated except I each pushed the TV again to 2 toes from my face and ran Home windows at 125 p.c scaling for an efficient decision of 3072 x 1680 moderately than 3840 x 2160. Whereas I’ve been comfy working that approach for weeks, it’s merely not as a lot display actual property as Samsung offers you.

What nonetheless separates a TV from a monitor

I hope it’s clear by now that these screens are an funding, not simply in cash however in bodily house. I’m fortunate to have a very compact Mini-ITX tower as my gaming rig as a result of even it barely matches behind the Samsung on my desk and solely works with the LG as a result of it’s so small it may well piggyback on the TV’s stand. With the LG, I additionally wanted to awkwardly loop my keyboard cable across the left or proper of that stand (as a result of there’s no cable administration or perhaps a groove). My Ikea desk is sufficiently small I even have to put my audio system behind the TV and ensure nothing (not even my water bottle) stands between me and the TV to keep away from blocking my view.

I’m getting used to it, however even an easier four-legged stand just like the one LG ships with its cheaper LG A1 would make issues a great bit simpler. Perhaps don’t purchase that one for PC gaming, although; it tops out at 60Hz. I may put my PC on the ground and clear it usually, I suppose, or drill a wall stud and discover a mount sturdy sufficient to carry up a 42-pound TV or a 32-pound monitor, however that’s not an choice for each purchaser. (They each technically work with VESA monitor arms when you have one sturdy sufficient; the Neo G9 has a 100×100 sample with M4 screws, the C1 48 is 300×200 with M6 screws as a substitute.)

You might need to discover room for LG’s TV distant, too, as a result of there’s no nub to simply navigate an on-screen show with the LG, only a single button underneath the producer emblem to show it on and off and cycle by way of inputs. In the meantime, the Samsung not solely has severe cable administration and straightforward OSD navigation but in addition an adjustable stand, a built-in USB 3 hub, and a remarkably succesful picture-by-picture mode that permits you to join two computer systems or a pc and a contemporary sport console concurrently. They’ll every run at 120Hz on their very own digital 27-inch screens, and it comes with three programmable buttons to swap between total units of user-customized settings.

I’m a bit unhappy that neither the LG nor Samsung is able to declare the title of the final word PC monitor as a result of we’re tantalizingly shut. Samsung wants high quality management and possibly partnerships to reboot multi-projection sport improvement; LG’s gotta construct a burn-in safety algorithm that doesn’t make me need to claw my eyes out. Having these gigantic screens on my desk looks like the longer term, and I badly need each firms to do much more targeted testing with players to excellent their merchandise for us.

I’ve excessive hopes for LG’s upcoming 42-inch OLED TV, however I’m wondering if it’s time for the corporate to construct a real OLED PC gaming monitor as effectively. Perhaps it may even take a web page from Samsung and make it a brilliant curved display; I hear nice issues about LG’s 38-inch 3840 x 1600 curved ultrawide, however it’s dear and never OLED. I suppose the nice GPU scarcity means there’s time for these firms to determine it out: I used an RTX 3080 to competently drive these screens’ 7 or 8 million pixels throughout the newest video games, and that sort of card will doubtless be briefly provide all through 2022.