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NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi 30in Monitor review




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NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi 30in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi 30in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi 30in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi 30in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi 30in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi 30in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi 30in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi 30in Monitor
  • NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi 30in Monitor
  • MultiSync LCD3090WQXi 76 cm 29.8" LCD Monitor 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz - 16:10 - 6 ms - 0.251 mm - 1000:1


Our Score:


The first 30in monitor I looked at was the Apple 30in Cinema Display back in 2005, and I was simply blown away by the amount of desktop real estate I had at my disposal. Of course the down sides were the fact that it cost over £2,000 and the number of graphics cards that could drive it were limited, to say the least. Apple also offered no screen adjustment for its 30in display, which meant that it always sat slightly too high for truly comfortable use.

Since then I've looked at several other 30in displays, like the excellent HP LP3065 and Samsung SuncMaster 305T. It's probably fair to say that Dell has done much to drive interest in the 30in monitor market too, by offering affordable options and driving down the overall cost of these super-high resolution displays. That said, I was somewhat disappointed with the image quality of the Dell UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC 30in monitor, although if colour accuracy isn't paramount to your needs, it does a reasonable job.

And that's the problem with 30in monitors in general - they're great for general Windows work, with the 2,560 x 1,600 resolution giving acres of desktop real estate, but when it comes to serious image quality and colour accuracy, they're not quite up to the job. Don't get me wrong, most 30in displays are great for Photoshop work, simply because you can work on very large images and see more of said images while you're editing. But serious graphics professionals would probably settle for less resolution and better image quality and colour accuracy.

That situation is set to change however, since sitting before me right now is the NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi. Anyone who's serious about image quality and colour accuracy in a monitor will probably have two names at the top of their list when buying a new display - NEC and Eizo. Both companies have built strong reputations for themselves in the worlds of professional graphics, image editing and CAD, offering truly superb image quality, but with a correspondingly high price. NEC's first foray into the 30in LCD monitor market carries on that tradition of quality over price point, which poses the question - is this screen worth the money? As with all questions of value, it ultimately comes down to what's important to you, but given the fact that this screen is aimed at high end users, I can't help but think that the price premium is worth paying.

Varis Vitols

June 10, 2008, 12:15 am

Thank You very much for finally writing a review for this exciting monitor, i've been waiting for one for a long time, as well as for TrustedReviews opinion about the not very new Dell 3008wfp. There is only couple of things that I need clarity for: NEC official specification sheet about this MultiSync LCD3090WQXi says, that Screen refresh rate at full reslution of 2560x1600 (and some others) is only 30Hz. Doesn't that mean that we could atually see only 30 images per second, no matter what we do - zoom in/out or move a 3D image, move a window from one side of the screen to the other, watch a movie, or even play a game? That would mean, no matter what FPS the graphics card would provide, we could only see up to 30? And second, what is the scaling sharpness and aspect ratio, when using lower resolutions and non-native aspect resolutions like 1600x1200, for example? is the image still sharp and is the correct aspect ratio (4x3) maintained, or is it stretched over the whole 16:10 screen? I would really appreciate to get answers to these questions, to e-mail or here in comments directly, Thank You in advance.


June 10, 2008, 8:43 am

Will there every be a 24 inch or 26 inch in a 4 x 3 sreen.

As a standerd drawing is AO, A1, A2, A3, are all 4x3.

I have a samsung SyncMaster 214T. Which replaced a Sony CTR.


Thank You in advance.


June 10, 2008, 1:50 pm

I'm not sure where you read that the NEC 3090WQXi can only manage 30Hz at 2560 x 1600, because the spec sheet on the NEC website clearly says 60Hz. Also, I'm looking at the screen right now and it's definitely running at 60Hz.

As for the scaling, it's surprisingly good, as I mentioned when I touched on video playback. Dropping the native resolution down does give you slightly soft edges, but that's pretty much unavoidable on any fixed resolution screen.

Yes there is an option to maintain aspec ratio when running at non-native resolution, or even to apply no scaling whatsoever. That said, it doesn't always appear to work when you 're running a dual 30in monitor setup. I'll chase NEC up on this one.

As for the 4:3 monitor question, I can see where you're coming from, but either way, a widescreen 30in, will still be a better bet than a 4:3 24 or 26in. Applying similar resolution assumptions to a 24 or 26in 4:3 monitor would give you a potential resolution of 1920 x 1440. With that in mind, you could still display that same 4:3 image natively in a 2560 x 1600 30in screen, and still have desktop area spare for tool bars and menus.

Juan Miguel

June 10, 2008, 9:00 pm

Dear Ryad: You do not mention a very useful and important resolution. The resolution 1.280 x 800 is exactly equivalent to half of the native resolution of 2.560 x 1.600 pixels and is not interpolated. Is this resolution displayed in a complete and precise sharp manner, almost the same or similar to the original 2.560 x 1.600 pixels resolution.

Varis Vitols

June 11, 2008, 2:38 am

Riyad said on 10th June 2008:

I'm not sure where you read that the NEC 3090WQXi can only manage 30Hz at 2560 x 1600, because the spec sheet on the NEC website clearly says 60Hz. Also, I'm looking at the screen right now and it's definitely running at 60Hz.

Thank You for your answer. I am very happy to hear about this recent change, cause I still have the earlier version of this Spec Sheet, that I downloaded along with a pack of hi-res pictures, before the monitor had actually hit the first stores, and that clarly says:

Resolutions supported: ANALOG/DIGITAL

1920 x 1440 @ 30 Hz

2560 x 1600 @ 30 Hz

I just checked the online available version, and it indeed is different now:

1920 x 1440 @ 30-60Hz****

2560 x 1600 @ 30-60 Hz****,

where **** indicates that 30 Hz available on ANALOG mode only.

This (firmware?) update is most welcome, because it would be such a shame, if a monitor as brilliant as this could only manage to run on 30 Hz at its maximum resolution, which is where it is so much different than 99% other monitors.

Craig Thorpe

June 25, 2008, 3:51 pm

Dear Riyad, Could you confirm that there is no perceivable ghosting or smearing when gaming with this monitor?

I ask because I'm currently sat in front of a Samsung XL30 LCD screen with an apparent 6ms response time (grey to grey), however ghosting and smearing is appalling when playing any game on this particular unit. (I'm therefore treading carefully before choosing a replacement!)

Many Thanks.

Leonid Shikhel

June 27, 2008, 11:37 pm

Riyad, just got my new LCD3090Wqxi and X-Rite eye-one display 2. Right away I was trying to do a self-calibration (Self, 2.2 Gamma, 200 luminance). I then printed one of my photos on Epson 2200 and it come out much darker then on screen. Should I reduce the Luminance to 120? Did you set any other features or settings on the LCD menu besides doung self-calibration?

Thanks in advance for your help and expertize.


Lubbert Torck

June 29, 2008, 7:13 pm

Riyad, could you tell something about the anti-glare coating of the NEC LCD3090Wqxi? 30-inch S-IPS panels on the market seem to have a very coarse "grainy" coating, that earned the technology the nickname "Sandpaper-IPS". Is the new NEC 30-inch the same in that respect?

And I wondered whether 30-inch S-PVA panels, like the two recent Eizo models (FlexScan SX3031W and CG301W) have a more subtle anti-reflection coating.

My 30-inch Apple Cinema Display (= a S-IPS panel) also has this coarse, grainy anti-glare coating and it is not ideal for judging the finer details and textures of pictures while editing them in for example Photoshop.

The coarse texture might be fine for viewing movies from a larger distance. But for typical computer work - where you view the display at short range - it is a hindrance. So I wonder if there is any progress in making these large panels with a finer grain coating.


July 13, 2008, 1:48 pm

Has any one consider the samsung 305T...it does not have the color control as the Nec but it's a good comparisons when it comes to quality. I own the 305T and I have a friend With the NEC30 Multisync. We both pay hALO and WOW on them with no ghosting or any sort of texture. The only thing is the NEC is easy to calibrate. The 305T takes a couple of times and you need to be someone who knows what they are doing.

I only mention it because the 305T is cheaper...but in truth if NEC had delivered their 30" displayed earlier this year when it was originally planned i would have gotten the NEC. But the 305T is a good cheaper one to consider if you are on a tight budget.

Mark 4

July 22, 2008, 7:25 am

I have just bought a NEC 3090WQXi, but have found my old video card lacking! the images on my limping video card are spectacular, but I can only display about 60% of full resolution.

I have decided to cobble together a new computer. What video card will I need to view DICOM images on this beast? is there a good reasonably priced card out there?

Any ideas would be gratefully received



August 30, 2008, 8:27 pm

Well first let me commend you on a great review. After reading other reviews on this site (some of which I own) I bought the NEC LCD3090WQXi. I cannot stress enough that if a review site loses it's credibility it becomes worthless. There are less than 5 tech sites who's opinions I trust along with some very VERY professional individual reviewers. This will be my first NEC product and I am keen to see how things will work out.


September 14, 2008, 3:10 pm

Well I have had the monitor a few days now, you have to be a little sceptical as well as excited when a reviewer says "and eclipses every other 30in monitor I have seen". Guess what? This is the best 30" monitor I have ever seen. If it didn't have the grainyness typical of IPS panels I would in fact say it's the best LCD monitor I have ever seen. The tonal range is stunning, lifelike rendering of photographs extraordinary and build quailty first class. The first NEC product I have ever owned and certainly won't be the last, well done. I have looked hard for dead pixels, found none. My unit has some slight backlight bleeding top right but it's so menial that I'm not going to return it. This monitor actually made me fall in love with photography again. 2560x1600 is a BIG space, for over 8 years I have used dual 19" Sony 400ps units, calibrated. I thought I might run one along side the NEC but don't feel I need to. Lovely, great review, great monitor, thanks NEC.

Patrick Stephens

October 2, 2008, 12:24 pm

The specs say DVI-d with HDCP. When you select HDCP to watch blu-ray movies, the monitor only allows a screen resolution of up to 1280 by 720. I feel that the manufacturer and reviewers should make this obvious.

Patrick Stephens

October 3, 2008, 7:20 am

Me again. The HDCP problem gets worse. You need to reboot the PC after you select HDPC for it to take effect. When you finish watching your Blu-ray move at a lower resolution than HDTV you then need to reboot your PC to turn HDCP off. Unless of course you are happy to run at 1280 by 720. IS this the worst implementation of HDCP you have seen?

Patrick Stephens

October 31, 2008, 1:30 am


Vista 64bit ultimate is the OS. The other stuff in the chain is as follows

Asus Blu-ray drive, X38 board, ATI HD4870X2 and on through the DVI-D cable that came with the monitor. Using DVI-A input from the same equipment I can run the monitor at 1920 * 1200 screen resolution and play HDCP content. Using the DVI-D input with the monitor set to allow HDCP I am only offered resolutions upto 1280 * 720. With HDCP not set I am offered 2560 * 1600. If you are confident that I have a monitor problem I will contact NEC. It looks to me though, that this is the way the monitor is designed. Is it possible to have 1080 or better over dual link DVI-D?


January 6, 2009, 3:40 am

Just a quick comment on the 30 Hz thread. The monitor will apparently do 60Hz at its max res 2560x1600 but only over the DVI-D connector. All mainstream Dual link ATI and Nvidia cards I seen fitted with 1 or more Dual Link connectors have both connectors as DVI-I output connectors, I'm assuming to cater for mosts monitors that will have a single DVI-I input connector.

Try finding a graphics card that has a DVI-D output so you can connect via the DVI-D port on the monitor and get 60Hz. I've found 1 on the Asus website but couldn't find any others.


January 20, 2009, 12:35 am

Get your facts straight, reviewer! This panel is H-IPS, not S-IPS. There is a significant difference.

Scott Bourne

January 25, 2009, 3:15 am

Has anyone tried using this monitor on a Mac Pro or a new MacBookPro with Mini DVI?


January 28, 2009, 12:55 am

Just a quick comment on Dan-uk's information. (This is technically wrong and misleading

The DVI-D GFX card is not needed. Why? Nearly all GFX cards have DVI-I ports, which means the ports are both analogue and digital. What you need is DUAL LINK DVI-I port which is what all mainstream cards already have. A Dual Link DVI-I compatible card and cable is all you need to display 60Hz@2560x1600 as a Single Link DVI-I cable will only be able to do 60Hz@1920x1200. I' m guessing that by the sounds of the Shipping Contents with the monitor that there is only a DVD-D cable provided, so it’s a simple case of having to buy a Dual Link DVI-I cable to get this sucker to work at full res.


January 28, 2009, 2:59 am

Evening. I'm happy to say that I stand corrected and apologies for my earlier post being factually incorrect, I did try and quantify my words with the word 'apparently' as I was investigating the monitor as a potential prucahse. Suffice to say I have purchased said monitor and it is nothing less than awesome, a thing of beauty and the picture quality is just fantastic. I use a triple headed monitor config at work and this is still better. Thanks for the review and to those who've commented.


January 29, 2009, 3:19 am

Dan-uk, It takes a decent and honest bloke to admit a mistake, I give you A hi-five!

The reason I had to correct the info was that I also is very near buying this beast of a monitor, and when I read your earler post It put me off big time. about trying to find a GFX card to work, So I did some research and found that this was not the case. Hence my post to correct the issue and put everyone else's mind at rest in case they were also put off from this monitor due to the DVI issue.

I'm now just about to make the purchase. Can you let me know where you bought it, and also if you have had to upgrade your GFX card to something beasty to play games?, I'm currently using a geforce 256mb 7800 GTX, she was an expensive and good card a few years back!


January 29, 2009, 10:33 am


Have recently built a new PC from scratch including the above GFX card. Very fast and has what I hope to be future proof connectivity, with DVI, HDMI and displayport connections.

Rubi H

February 4, 2009, 6:45 am

In the US, B&H provide the best ofer.


May 9, 2009, 8:03 pm

Can you explain the difference between this monitor and the MultiSync® LCD3090W-BK-SV 30” Widescreen LCD Monitor from NEC? The LCD3090W-BK-SV is a NEC 30" with similar specs, but costs several hundred dollars more.


November 9, 2010, 10:24 pm

Elle, I think the difference is that the -SV version come with a Spectra View color calibration solution.

Look here :

BK-SV version : http://www.necdisplay.com/P...

(look at the first point of the "Highlights")

BK version : http://www.necdisplay.com/P...

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