BenQ BL3201PT 4K monitor

JargonGR

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If I am getting it right this monitor includes a light sensor that adjusts brightness automatically based on ambient light. Do you use it? Is it any good? What about reduced blue light modes?

I work for many hours in row sometimes so eye strain prevention is really important to me. Any feedback would be appreciated.
 

Seinfeld

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If I am getting it right this monitor includes a light sensor that adjusts brightness automatically based on ambient light. Do you use it? Is it any good? What about reduced blue light modes?

I work for many hours in row sometimes so eye strain prevention is really important to me. Any feedback would be appreciated.

I am not sure about senor, haven't used it but I sit a lot in front of the PC, 6-12 hours usually and I can say that this monitor is good for the eyes and I don't even use the low blue light mode, just standard.
So you should be fine.
 

Cyalume

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The line/band flash artifacts affect all monitors using this panel. I have a crossover 324K with this same panel and it usually happens once or twice a day for me... At least I only paid 550$ for mine. There is unfortunately not too many of these 32 in 4K OEM so everyone is affected no matter what brand name monitor they buy

The graphical artifacts or the white uniformity shadow banding? There's poor white uniformity on the BL3201PH that results in like these shadowy lines going horizontally and vertically across the panel.
 

wildpig1234

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I was talking about the flashing artifacts. . Guess the nonuniformity is another separate unfortunate issue ...
 

JargonGR

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Thanks Seinfeld. Now regarding the other issues....not much one can do. I am trying to find which monitor has the most useful features for me and less issues overall. I am willing to pay up to $1500 but it is hard earned money so I need to be sure.
 

illram

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I stare at this thing all day, every day at work. I barely changed any settings out of the box and my eyes are maybe a little over 2 feet away. Normal desk distance. I've never once noticed any eye fatigue or eye strain. But that's fairly subjective. I use it in a well lit room.
 

nss

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So I just got one of these BL3201PH (same as PT right?) and it surprisingly gives me crazy eyestrain. Like within even 10 minutes of looking at it I can feel it in my eyes and face. I've tried the low blue-light modes, the entire range of brightness, F. Lux, and I just can't explain it. It's pretty clearly this monitor in particular since I can stare at the Macbook's built-in screen all day without issues.

I feel like there's this almost imperceptible backlight flicker, but I know this isn't a PWM model. It's almost like a "noise" in the backlight, but I can't even be sure it's real or just something manufactured by my eyes because they are strained. The biggest problem is large swathes of white across the screen.

I've got it connected via the included miniDP to DP cable running at 60hz, and have tried another miniDP to DP cable with the same effect. The manual says the performance of flicker-free will depend on "power conditions" and "interference", so I'm wondering if there is some A/C power issue in my house. So far BenQ support has suggested trying another computer to see if I still have a problem, so I've got to get that setup, but I'm expecting it'll be the same.

I haven't found a single other person on the internet reporting eye-comfort issues with this monitor. Everyone says it's so comfortable!

I'm open to any theories or things I should try...
 

Cyalume

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So I just got one of these BL3201PH (same as PT right?) and it surprisingly gives me crazy eyestrain. Like within even 10 minutes of looking at it I can feel it in my eyes and face. I've tried the low blue-light modes, the entire range of brightness, F. Lux, and I just can't explain it. It's pretty clearly this monitor in particular since I can stare at the Macbook's built-in screen all day without issues.

I feel like there's this almost imperceptible backlight flicker, but I know this isn't a PWM model. It's almost like a "noise" in the backlight, but I can't even be sure it's real or just something manufactured by my eyes because they are strained. The biggest problem is large swathes of white across the screen.

I've got it connected via the included miniDP to DP cable running at 60hz, and have tried another miniDP to DP cable with the same effect. The manual says the performance of flicker-free will depend on "power conditions" and "interference", so I'm wondering if there is some A/C power issue in my house. So far BenQ support has suggested trying another computer to see if I still have a problem, so I've got to get that setup, but I'm expecting it'll be the same.

I haven't found a single other person on the internet reporting eye-comfort issues with this monitor. Everyone says it's so comfortable!

I'm open to any theories or things I should try...

I experience these sorts of things with some monitors too. In fact, I was just about to post a thread about the XB271HK, as I'm having that problem with that monitor.

Having owned the BL3201PH/PT, I personally did not experience this effect on that panel to an extreme degree. It does not flicker, I know that much; at least, mine didn't. Try taking out your phone and opening your camera app, and pointing the camera at the screen. You'll be able to see flickering that way if there is any, or at least one would think that. Do let me know if you figure out your issue.
 

nss

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I experience these sorts of things with some monitors too. In fact, I was just about to post a thread about the XB271HK, as I'm having that problem with that monitor.

Having owned the BL3201PH/PT, I personally did not experience this effect on that panel to an extreme degree. It does not flicker, I know that much; at least, mine didn't. Try taking out your phone and opening your camera app, and pointing the camera at the screen. You'll be able to see flickering that way if there is any, or at least one would think that. Do let me know if you figure out your issue.
I did try the test that you're describing and it didn't really confirm any flickering. I'm not convinced that there is something wrong with the monitor, but I contacted BenQ support and described my experience and they said the monitor is defective. However, I also saw an occasional horizontal glitch so maybe that's what made them decide it's defective. Anyway, I was able to return the monitor for a full refund. I got a cheapy $130 23" LG as a test and it seems better for my eyes than the BenQ, but it is still not strain-free the way my laptop is. I still haven't figured out what the cause is, but at this point I suspect it's just me. Or my problems might simply be a problem of screen size (more light -> more strain)?
 

Cyalume

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I did try the test that you're describing and it didn't really confirm any flickering. I'm not convinced that there is something wrong with the monitor, but I contacted BenQ support and described my experience and they said the monitor is defective. However, I also saw an occasional horizontal glitch so maybe that's what made them decide it's defective. Anyway, I was able to return the monitor for a full refund. I got a cheapy $130 23" LG as a test and it seems better for my eyes than the BenQ, but it is still not strain-free the way my laptop is. I still haven't figured out what the cause is, but at this point I suspect it's just me. Or my problems might simply be a problem of screen size (more light -> more strain)?

I don't think it's the screen size. I'm having strain issues going from the BL3201PH/PT (a 32" monitor) to a XB271HK (a 27" monitor). I experience no strain on my other devices (iPad/SP4/etc), which are smaller, and I experience no fatigue looking at the large TV in the living room.


I had the same issue on a 27" 4k LG panel that was released about a year ago, and it too was confirmed flicker-free. It uses an entirely different panel, so I'm not sure what could be going on here. It isn't flicker, I adjusted the brightness down to where the TFTCentral review said it should be, and I adjusted the color temp as well. I've even tried getting glasses, but nothing seems to be helping. In regards to the BL3201PH/PT, they all have the graphical artifacting; I exchanged three or four of them, and they all had that issue.
 

chenw

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I have the artifacting as well, but it happens maybe twice every hour or something, so I let it slide.

I came from PG278Q and did not notice any eye strain, though I do feel eye strain when I set the brightness too high (I use 20 for nighttime, and 40 for day time).
 

Skripka

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I don't think it's the screen size. I'm having strain issues going from the BL3201PH/PT (a 32" monitor) to a XB271HK (a 27" monitor). I experience no strain on my other devices (iPad/SP4/etc), which are smaller, and I experience no fatigue looking at the large TV in the living room.


I had the same issue on a 27" 4k LG panel that was released about a year ago, and it too was confirmed flicker-free. It uses an entirely different panel, so I'm not sure what could be going on here. It isn't flicker, I adjusted the brightness down to where the TFTCentral review said it should be, and I adjusted the color temp as well. I've even tried getting glasses, but nothing seems to be helping. In regards to the BL3201PH/PT, they all have the graphical artifacting; I exchanged three or four of them, and they all had that issue.

Use WinAero tweaker. Change your default font typeface and size. 4K in this size class requires some finangling to get good font rendering out of windows-which contributes greatly to eye strain. Least that is the case for the primitive fontspace controls in Windows 10. Win7 had some decent controllability

Here's what I've settled on. 16pt fonts 12pt minimums in WinAeroTweaker. My preferred fontface, Hypatia Sans Pro (not free). Windows scaling 125% (anything higher causes apps to throw a fit in various ways resulting in blurry fonts or GUI elements). 125% page size in Chrome, 22pt fonts.


I managed to play the panel lottery and got a good 3201PT off Amazon it seems. Course in this size class it always and forever is a lottery.
 

23Rus

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Hello Friends! need help. When monochrome tone, the left side of the slightly warmer (yellower) than the center and the right half . The feeling that white becomes "dirty" on the left edge where some 10-15 centimeters . It's frustrating , of course gives the rest of the harmonics , but the change to the other or all of these ?
 

zoob

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Now that weather is hot I'm noticing the occasional flicker artifact. It's distracting and annoying. The AG coating isn't the best either.

Thank goodness I like everything else about the monitor, given the compromises of all other large 4K displays available now (BGR, PWM, lag).

I stopped worrying about the 'bruise' and my panel is 'uniform enough'.
 
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Hopefully this issue doesn't exist in the new Acer XB321HK... seems like it uses the same panel.
It does exist on XB321HK. I've initially considered getting BenQ if it didn't have an issue but then found that they all have it so got Acer because of GSync support.

This is indeed the panel(M320QAN01) issue - I suspect something to do with *internal* eDP connection losing sync for single frame sometimes.
This panel uses two embedded Display Port timing controllers for each half of screen - that's why you seeing flash only on half, because only one loses sync for 1/60 of second.

Since this is internal display port issue, nothing you do externally would affect it. Looks like stability of panel DisplayPort when bandwidth pushed to max due to 4K is not quite rock solid.
Maybe some form of external EMI causes this more/less often but so far I was not able to pinpoint it - since issue in first place is very unpredictable and rare.
 
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zoob

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Can anyone perhaps take a photo of the board using a FLIR camera to pinpoint the hotspots? Maybe if we heatsink somewhere it can help with stability? I never noticed it during winter time when my office is cold, but now in summer I see it more and more.
 

xenolith

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It does exist on XB321HK. I've initially considered getting BenQ if it didn't have an issue but then found that they all have it so got Acer because of GSync support.

This is indeed the panel(M320QAN01) issue - I suspect something to do with *internal* eDP connection losing sync for single frame sometimes.
This panel uses two embedded Display Port timing controllers for each half of screen - that's why you seeing flash only on half, because only one loses sync for 1/60 of second.

Since this is internal display port issue, nothing you do externally would affect it. Looks like stability of panel DisplayPort when bandwidth pushed to max due to 4K is not quite rock solid.
Maybe some form of external EMI causes this more/less often but so far I was not able to pinpoint it - since issue in first place is very unpredictable and rare.


The artifact flashing happens with HDMI cable connections too, not just with displayport.

I haven't read this whole thread, but I wonder if the AC adapter hasn't been ruled out. Whenever I see the vertical artifact, it's usually after my monitor has been on for an hour or so. My adapter does get toasty to the touch. I'm doing a little experiment right now. I've propped the brick up on its side and put a small fan on it... and... fingers crossed... it hasn't flashed yet today.
 
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breve

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I'm doing a little experiment right now.

I have the HP Spectre 32 (same panel, same flicker glitch) and am extremely interested in finding a solution. I can confirm the issue happens over DP and HDMI. I bought a VESA certified DP cable to test with and will update. I am hopeful these forums can figure this one out.
 

Skripka

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Can anyone perhaps take a photo of the board using a FLIR camera to pinpoint the hotspots? Maybe if we heatsink somewhere it can help with stability? I never noticed it during winter time when my office is cold, but now in summer I see it more and more.


I might be able to do this, this weekend....Thing to remember is that with FLIR it isn't high resolution, because IR is harder to focus.
 
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Even if you use HDMI, it will be converted to eDP and fed to 2x2K TCONs (master+slave) which drive the panel. The issue is with embedded DP which is panel interface, not external DP.

I've just found that same issue happens on Acer XB271HK which does not even use same panel.
But this another 27-inch 4K panel still made by AUO (owned by Acer) and I suspect it probably uses same 2x2K eDP TCONs for panel interface. So this is looks like the flaw in these AUO TCONs, they are not 100% stable.
 
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xenolith

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Even if you use HDMI, it will be converted to eDP and fed to 2x2K TCONs (master+slave) which drive the panel. The issue is with embedded DP which is panel interface, not external DP.

I've just found that same issue happens on Acer XB271HK which does not even use same panel.
But this another 27-inch 4K panel still made by AUO (owned by Acer) and I suspect it probably uses same 2x2K eDP TCONs for panel interface. So this is looks like the flaw in these AUO TCONs, they are not 100% stable.

Well, so much for my theory of a overheating AC adapter possibly being a cause. I'm going to keep the fan on it just for now as a possible long shot experiment. Brick is a lot cooler. Will report back when/if screen flashes.
 
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I don't think its heat related it all, its entirely random. With my XB321HK I get it sometimes twice in 2 hours while monitor heats up - then none for whole day. Sometimes other way around - I get none on very hot days, while when it gets colder I have it sometimes.

I've listed things I've tried in thread on Acer's forum, but I wasn't able to find any correlation to how often issue occurs.
 
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breve

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Well, so much for my theory of a overheating AC adapter possibly being a cause. I'm going to keep the fan on it just for now as a possible long shot experiment. Brick is a lot cooler. Will report back when/if screen flashes.

I tested this theory in a way tonight. I've had my screen on for a few hours, and just noticed the glitch. I immediately touched the power brick and it is lukewarm :\
 

xenolith

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I tested this theory in a way tonight. I've had my screen on for a few hours, and just noticed the glitch. I immediately touched the power brick and it is lukewarm :\

Just got an artifact. The brick was as cool as the other side of the pillow. Oh well, it was worth a try.

This panel glitch isn't really that much of a show stopper. Especially since I paid only $400 for a Crossfire 324K that i got off ebay (same panel as Benq BL3201PT). I'd be much more upset if I were one of the owners of a $1300 Acer XB321HK that has this glitch though.
 
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Just got an artifact. The brick was as cool as the other side of the pillow. Oh well, it was worth a try.

This panel glitch isn't really that much of a show stopper. Especially since I paid only $400 for a Crossfire 324K that i got off ebay (same panel as Benq BL3201PT). I'd be much more upset if I were one of the owners of a $1300 Acer XB321HK that has this glitch though.
Caught it on camera -

Now it serves as "proof" to Acer/AUO, but I somehow very skeptical on them resolving it well - since XB271HU glitch scandal which amounted to people still stuck with defect even when Acer admitted it.
 

Renner88

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Howdy, folks. I bought this monitor back in April (lol, left half just glitched while I was typing, but nvm). I had to refund it because, besides 5 dead pixels, it had a vertical bright line appearing not far from the center: http://imgur.com/a5dJUif

I've waited almost 2 and half months for the replacement, they sent it in the same box without_a_single_damn_cable, including the one I need to power it. I had to use the cable from my old UPS, and bought a DP cable as well, which is actually a good thing because mini DP cable provided with it doesn't send the signal for some reason. But that would be ok if the replacement sample wasn't even worse. Backlight bleeding in every corner but lower right, and the lower right one had a whole cluster of dead pixels, like 7-8, and 3 others elsewhere on the panel. Like a cherry on top, this was happening when I'm changing resolutions in games, or when I'm exiting from a game using lower resolutions than the optimal res was:

Restarting the monitor was the only cure. I think I was a fool for not asking for a full refund at this point, but I really REALLY like the panel, when it works how its supposed to that is... The third one arrived after almost 3 months, and I'm using it atm. Its almost perfect, no noticeable BLB, one dead sub-pixel in the upper left corner, nothing to tear my hair upon. The panel is scratched a bit, but also almost nothing noticeable... And look at that, I can turn on Freesync on this one (Crimson reports 48-60Hz), previous sample manufactured in Dec of 2014 couldn't, this one is from May 2015. I'm not sure about the very first sample, because its mini DP couldn't provide the signal, and same goes for the latest one, so I'm using full Display Port cable that I bought for the previous sample when they sent it without any cables.

I wasn't happy for long. Black screens, black screens everywhere.jpg... WTF already. Same drivers I used with the previous replacement, not sure what happened, could it be Windows updates? I thought it must be Freesync related, so I turned it off, didn't help a bit. I tried 5 different drivers, even default Windows driver, nothing helps. As long fps is 60 or a bit lower its ok. For instance, I'm playing Team Fortress 2 and Diablo 3 without any problems cuz they are working 60fps locked. Same goes for any older game. But playing Skyrim Remstered on Ultra at 4k its black screens galore. I see the game for several seconds than black, then I see it for a second again black pops, etc. In Dawn of War 2 it appears occasionally.

I noticed that it happens mostly between 35 and 45fps. Not sure what went wrong, it didn't happen with previous samples, so it makes me wonder if this one is flawed in its own way. These all are from Benq from Swiss, since they are providing my region. Like WTH, can I really bee this unlucky? I know I guy who got a perfect sample on his first try, lol. Anyways, my specs are FX 8320E, MSi R9 390, 16GB Kingston Hyper X Fury, and Windows 10 Pro 64-bit which is up to date. I'm using older Crimson driver from September now, even the latest ones didn't help to remedy this issue. Anyone has any idea how to fix this?
 

Chris_B

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Caught it on camera -

Now it serves as "proof" to Acer/AUO, but I somehow very skeptical on them resolving it well - since XB271HU glitch scandal which amounted to people still stuck with defect even when Acer admitted it.


I get the same thing on my benq 3201pt, they replaced it once which didn't resolve anything. Now they're gibbering on about it being electrical interference, basically seem to be pulling excuses out of their ass to avoid replacing it again. To me it seems to be a fault with the screen, the fact that my replacement was a refurb which was probably sent back for the same reason is irritating.
 
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I get the same thing on my benq 3201pt, they replaced it once which didn't resolve anything. Now they're gibbering on about it being electrical interference, basically seem to be pulling excuses out of their ass to avoid replacing it again. To me it seems to be a fault with the screen, the fact that my replacement was a refurb which was probably sent back for the same reason is irritating.
This excuse comes from panel manufacturer - AUO (a.k.a. Acer). Its them who first when the issue was reported several months ago said "ah, nobody showed us picture/video proof, so we are not doing anything". Now they say "this does not happen to us, so we are not going to do anything". Easy fix ;)
BenQ can't do anything because they not particularly keen of just throwing these panels to trash because Acer won't take them back as defective. So they will make consumer pay the price.

And yeah, they exactly right that this is "interference" - but if affects only this sub-breed of panel/TCON precisely because something botched in the electrical design - its just too sensitive/not stable enough. Other 4K panel makes/models do not have this particular quirk on same setups (except very similar 27" 4K one, also from AUO/Acer - I strongly suspect because it uses same flawed chips).
 
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Chris_B

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This excuse comes from panel manufacturer - AUO (a.k.a. Acer). Its them who first when the issue was reported several months ago said "ah, nobody showed us picture/video proof, so we are not doing anything". Now they say "this does not happen to us, so we are not going to do anything". Easy fix ;)
BenQ can't do anything because they not particularly keen of just throwing these panels to trash because Acer won't take them back as defective. So they will make consumer pay the price.

And yeah, they exactly right that this is "interference" - but if affects only this sub-breed of panel/TCON precisely because something botched in the electrical design - its just too sensitive/not stable enough. Other 4K panel makes/models do not have this particular quirk on same setups (except very similar 27" 4K one, also from AUO/Acer - I strongly suspect because it uses same flawed chips).


Yeah i've been bouncing back and forth with benq over the last lot of months, they're stance is basically "we already replaced it (with a fucking refurb) so the issue must be something else and not the screen. I'd much prefer to go the refund route and get something else. This is the kind of "tech support" im getting from them:

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for contacting BenQ

That was a request from my colleague as you also described those glitches in your first email with the youtube link where we just saw that the monitor turned off but no glitches at all.

At least a video with another game or the desktop with a glitch will be awesome if this would be possible to proof it to my colleagues to get a confirmation for a repeated repair.

Thanks for your help.

Regards


And


Thank you for contacting BenQ

We already replaced the monitor it is a power problem not an issue with the monitor.

If you order it online you should have the possibility to return it for free if it wont fix that issue, but im pretty sure it will.

Regards
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Useless.
 
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Yeah i've been bouncing back and forth with benq over the last lot of months, they're stance is basically "we already replaced it (with a fucking refurb) so the issue must be something else and not the screen. I'd much prefer to go the refund route and get something else. This is the kind of "tech support" im getting from them:

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for contacting BenQ

We already replaced the monitor it is a power problem not an issue with the monitor.

If you order it online you should have the possibility to return it for free if it wont fix that issue, but im pretty sure it will.

Regards
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Useless.

Translated from SupportSpeak:
"Thank you for contacting BenQ. We already have your money, so can't really care less mate" ;)
 

Chris_B

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"Thank you for contacting BenQ. We already have your money, so can't really care less mate" ;)

Yeah, total pricks. Its like they've been told that there's a certain amount of hoops that need to be jumped through before someone gets a replacement, and even then its not a new screen, just a refurb that was probably sent back for the same issue. So i have to wonder whats the point of them just issuing refurbs if they're likely to have the same problem. Get one with the same issue and they can press the argument that since its a replacement it must be something else and not the screen, thats despite the fact it does it on an nvidia and amd system with different connections to the screen.

Funny thing was i avoided acer because i heard their support was shit, then it ends up this monitor apparently has a panel from acer, so some of that support has rubbed off on benq.
 

Chris_B

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Amazingly they approved an rma just this morning. Should be interesting to see how this goes..
 

Renner88

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I just recorded blackies popping out like there's no tomorrow:



It seems to be happening more the I'm looking at certain points, and less on the others. Could it be something bandwith related? I'm gonna try out HDMI tomorrow and see how it goes. But again, this stuff didn't happen with the previous two samples. No words, I can just wave with my hands like a monkey I am.
 

Chris_B

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I just recorded blackies popping out like there's no tomorrow:



It seems to be happening more the I'm looking at certain points, and less on the others. Could it be something bandwith related? I'm gonna try out HDMI tomorrow and see how it goes. But again, this stuff didn't happen with the previous two samples. No words, I can just wave with my hands like a monkey I am.



Mine doing the same a while back

 

Chris_B

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I never experienced it on desktop, only in games. Did you fix it, or you just did an RMA?


Rma and they sent out a refurbished unit, has the same issues with glitching like in the acer video when it's connected to my nvidia system. When it's on my amd system the screen blacks out instead of glitching.

Its getting to be laughable that all they can do is hand out refurbs, as i said above in all likelihood these have been sent back for similar reasons. If my next replacement has these issues im pushing for a refund.
 
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Renner88

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Well, it turns out it was my GPU. My friend brought his Gigabyte GTX970 and it was working for hours without a single black screen, including Skyrim Remastered. I switched back to my 390 and in Skyrim black screen right of the bat. I don't understand, how suddenly after 2 of these monitors it happens with the 3rd one. I would never guess its the GPU, but you can never be 100% sure, it seems.
 

00Dan

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Does anyone know of some good monitor models to run in PLP with this?
 
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