NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi 30in Monitor - NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi

By Riyad Emeran



  • Recommended by TR
NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi 30in Monitor


Our Score:


It's also worth mentioning that NEC has managed to develop the best OSD system I've ever seen on a monitor. The controls run around the bottom right corner of the screen, giving you dedicated up/down and left/right controls, but the best part is what happens when you press the Menu button. While most monitors expect you to psychicly know what each button does when in the OSD, the 3090WQXi actually tells you by applying overlaid labels on the screen next to each button. This makes navigating the OSD an absolute breeze, instead of a frustrating chore - well done NEC!

The 3090WQXi also features a dynamic brightness setting. Next to the power button is an ambient light sensor, which will adjust the brightness based on the current ambient lighting. However, there is a second dynamic brightness setting, which will adjust the brightness of the screen depending on the amount of white currently displayed on the screen.

Like previous 30in monitors, the 3090WQXi sports a native resolution of 2,560 x 1,600, which gives you a generous amount of desktop real estate. This means that you'll need a graphics card with a dual-link DVI output to run it, but even modestly priced cards come dual-link equipped these days. NEC quotes a grey to grey response time, of 6ms, but is also honest enough to list an off-on-off response time of 12ms. Either way, NEC has managed to keep the response time commendably low, considering that this is one area where IPS panels have been traditionally weak. The low response time, coupled with NEC's RapidMotion processing, made for smooth moving images too, with no discernible smearing. It's good to see that even though watching video and gaming isn't key to the 3090WQXi's remit, NEC has still ensured that it performs well in this area.

As with all high end monitors, especially those from NEC, the 3090WQXi carries a premium price - with a street price of over £1,500, it's considerably more expensive than the majority of 30in displays available. However, it's also worth remembering that the 3090WQXi performs considerably better than any other 30in monitor I've seen, and if you need the best possible image quality, you're not going to mind paying a little extra for it.


The NEC MultiSync is far and away the best 30in monitor I've ever had on my desk. The image quality is first rate, with supremely wide viewing angles that show what an S-IPS panel is capable of (take note Dell). The design is excellent, with extensive physical adjustments and the best OSD/control system I've ever come across.

If you're a professional image editor, or work with CAD or 3D modelling, you will simply love this display. The pivot mode will make working on high resolution portrait orientation images far simpler, while the self calibration and multi-screen calibration matching, makes the 3090WQXi particularly compelling for multi-screen roll outs. There's no denying that this is an expensive display, but considering its performance and features, it's worth every penny.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Value 8
  • Image Quality 10
  • Features 9
  • Design 10

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 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 :

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

BK version :

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