HDR worth ignoring
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About the Gigabyte G24F 2
Here are the specs of the monitor we tested:
- Price: $180
- Display size: 23.8 inches
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Refresh rate: 165Hz (180Hz OC)
- Peak brightness: 300 nits (rated), 364.5 nits (tested), 404 nits (with HDR)
- HDR support: “HDR ready”
- Color depth: 8 bit
- Color saturation: Rated for 95% DCI-P3 and 125% sRGB, 91% DCI-P3 tested
- Contrast ratio: 1100:1 (rated), 1140:1 (tested)
- Pixel response time (GtG): 1ms
- Ports: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (upstream), 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (downstream), 1 x 3.5mm
- VRR Support: FreeSync Premium (tested)
- Other features: VESA mount
The Gigabyte G24F 2 is an update to the slower G24F. The key difference is the G24F 2 packs a wider color gamut and provides an overclockable refresh rate that can jump to 180Hz, exceeding its predecessor’s 165Hz cap.
What we like
The smooth motion clarity
A lot of monitors like to advertise how fast they can go, but struggle to deliver when it comes to their pixel response time. This can leave even 240Hz monitors, like the Cooler Master GM27-CFX, looking gross, with smearing ghosting trails behind everything on-screen. This makes all that extra speed next to useless when it comes to getting a tactical advantage in games. The Gigabyte G24F 2 gives all other monitors no excuse for sloppy pixel response times.
Despite its low cost, the G24F 2 offers a fast refresh rate that can hit up to 180Hz once you toggle it on in the monitor’s settings. That boosted refresh rate didn’t harm any other visual elements either, so don’t worry about it tanking brightness or messing up the color.
That speed is paired with a pixel response time that does a great job keeping up with the action. There are the faintest ghosting trails behind fast-moving objects, but it’s minimal enough to avoid being distracting, and it’s about as good as I’ve seen from any monitor that isn’t using an OLED panel.
This all makes it easy to keep up with the action in fast-paced games like Overwatch 2. It’s all topped off with FreeSync Premium support that prevented screen tearing in our testing, a pleasant surprise given that Gigabyte doesn’t even mention this feature on its product page.
The class-beating picture quality
The Gigabyte G24F 2 effectively doubles its value by giving its display panel as much color as it gave speed. The monitor readily covers the entire sRGB color space and even comes in with 91% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space.
That extensive color is matched with accuracy. With an average color difference measured at a dE of 0.94 out of the box, this is one of the most color accurate displays I’ve tested. Not one color had a dE above 2, meaning everything should appear accurate to the eye.
That accuracy and gamut is largely held whether the display is operating at its default 45% brightness or its 100% peak of 364.5 nits. Tack on a 1,100:1 contrast ratio without unsightly blooming or backlight bleed, and you’ve got a pleasing picture for any type of content.
While the monitor claims it’s “HDR ready,” this means little in the end. Enabling HDR came with a bump to peak brightness that went just over 400 nits, but it came with significant reductions to gamut and color accuracy. To the Gigabyte G24F 2’s credit, almost no monitors under $800 provide very meaningful HDR support, much less under $200.
The thoughtful extras
Gigabyte could have offered a barebones panel with just two inputs and awful controls like the HP X27q, and it still would have been worthwhile for the color accuracy and speeds alone. But Gigabyte went the extra mile.
The Gigabyte G24F 2 includes a handy joystick on the back that makes navigating the menus easy. It packs in a USB 3.0 hub with two ports for peripherals. There are a pair of HDMI 2.0 ports and a single DisplayPort 1.2 port, giving you a good range of connection options. The monitor stand also has a cable routing hole through it, which makes it extra easy to keep your desk clean.
Though the stand only has vertical height adjustment and a small range of vertical tilt options, some monitors in this price range wouldn’t even go that far.
What we don’t like
It’s a bit small
Jamming my face into the display, I can get over the fact that the Gigabyte G24F 2 is only 23.8 inches across. It’s enough while gaming most of the time, and didn’t feel like it was holding me back from doing my best building out my shipping network in Death Stranding or putting pressure on the opposing team in Overwatch 2.
For productivity, the monitor’s small size holds it back some. It’s hard to do much more than fit two windows side by side, and that can make things like data entry especially tedious. While you could get a bigger monitor for the price, it would be hard to do so without sacrificing some of the other qualities the Gigabyte G24F 2 delivers. Despite its gaming chops, it might be better off as a secondary monitor.
The low pixel density
Even at 23.8 inches, 1080p is starting to show its frayed edges. The monitor has fewer than 100 pixels per inch, which keeps it from ever looking very sharp. Even with high-quality anti-aliasing in games, it’s easy enough to spot some jagged edges on surfaces that should appear smooth. Large text similarly shows jagged edges and can appear blurry, meanwhile small text gets hard to read because there are only so many pixels available to make each letter.
Should you buy the Gigabyte G24F 2?
Yes, unless you need something bigger
The Gigabyte G24F 2 is a remarkable value. Everything it sets out to do, it does well. I couldn’t say the same of even some $800 monitors. You get a gobs of speed, heaps of color, and no glaring faults in how they’re delivered apart from the HDR.
The only monitor we see giving it a real run for its money is the Monoprice Dark Matter 24, which ranks among the best monitors under $200 and has the benefit of a USB-C connection that can also carry video. The Dell S2721HGF has been a longstanding value pick, but it’s only advantage now is extra screen space and the wider contrast ratio that comes with a smeary VA panel. Next to both of these monitors, the Gigabyte G24F 2 is brighter, more color accurate, and faster all while being more affordable.
You might miss out on eye-searing HDR or the extra crispness a higher-resolution display can offer, but unless you demand those features, you’ve got little reason to overlook the Gigabyte G24F 2.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Mark Knapp has covered tech for most of the past decade, keeping readers up to speed on the latest developments and going hands-on with everything from phones and computers to e-bikes and drones to separate the marketing from the reality. Catch him on Twitter at @Techn0Mark or on Reviewed, IGN, TechRadar, T3, PCMag, and Business Insider.
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