The Cooler Master GM34-CW delivers brilliantly vibrant colours, solid widescreen design and good mainstream gaming potential – but it misses out on key features and finesse when compared to rivals
- Incredibly vibrant colours
- Decent HDR performance
- Effective widescreen design
- Potentially cheaper than rivals
- Missing connectivity features
- Disappointing software
- Mid-range refresh rate ability
- Display:34in diagonal, 3440 x 1440 VA panel
- Refresh rate: 144Hz
- Response time:1ms
- Weight: 7kg
Cooler Master is better-known for coolers, cases and peripherals, and the GM34-CW is the firm’s first foray into monitors.
With a 34-inch widescreen design, incredible colours, and a price that undercuts rivals, it makes a big impression. There are some significant rivals on the scene, though, and the Cooler Master will have to work hard to compete with the likes of MSI and Samsung.
Price and availability
The Cooler Master GM34-CW is available for £549 on eBuyer in the UK, but other retailers have it on sale for £749. In the US it comes with an RRP of $799, but retailers are waiting for more stock. In Europe, it costs €714.
The Cooler Master squares up against two curved, big-brand displays. The MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR is the same size as the GM34-CW, and at the moment it costs £799 / $799 / €799. Then there’s the Samsung Odyssey G7, which is smaller and with a conventional 16:9 aspect ratio. That display costs £628 / $799 / €728.
Design and features
- The curved widescreen delivers great immersion for single-player gaming
- The GM34-CW looks reasonable and offers solid adjustment
- Its on-screen display comes with plenty of options, but it isn’t pleasant to use
This 34-inch widescreen uses a 21:9 aspect ratio and a 3440 x 1440 resolution, which are all solid figures that bode well for mainstream gaming. The width makes racing, shooter and adventure games more immersive, but not to the point of being overwhelming, which is the case with the 32:9 screens that are becoming popular.
The aspect ratio works well for movies, and the resolution delivers crisp gaming thanks to a density level of 109ppi. There’s sufficient vertical space to keep things feeling spacious, and the Cooler Master ends up working well for virtually all genres. It’s good for eSports, too, although some people may want a smaller display to avoid having to move your head around quite so much.
You’ll need a reasonably powerful graphics card to handle this display, but the GM34-CW isn’t as demanding as plenty of other widescreens or 4K panels. You’ll need an RTX 2070 or RTX 3060 on the Nvidia side, and something like a Radeon RX 5700 XT if you’re using an AMD GPU. Those are powerful cards, but they’re not ridiculously expensive.
The widescreen design uses a 1500R curve. That number is interesting: a little tighter than the 1800R of other widescreens, but not as tight as the 1000R designs used on displays such as the Samsung Odyssey G7 and MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR. It’s a good middle-ground, but those rival displays do a better job of wrapping around the user.
Beneath you’ll find a VA screen with 10-bit colour, delivering 4ms G2G and 1m MPRT response times. Also included is AMD FreeSync 2 that peaks at 144Hz, and it works with Nvidia G-Sync, too.
The Cooler Master’s exterior mixes clever design and disappointing touches. It looks good, with slim bezels and a base in the shape of the Cooler Master logo. It has a trio of coloured lights at the rear, but they only work in a purple shade – RGB LEDs would have been better.
The GM34-CW is light for a widescreen at 7kg, and its width of 810mm and depth of 265mm are decent for a screen of this size. Build quality is reasonable, too: there’s a bit of movement in the rear plastic, but nothing terrible. It could be easier to build, though: you’ve got to fiddle with a couple of annoying screws before snapping the stand into the rear.
Handily, the GM34-CW offers 100mm of height adjustment, alongside tilt and swivel movement. That’s all normal for a widescreen, but the movement feels stiff. And, while this display does support VESA mounting, it only supports 75mm mounts rather than 100mm hardware.
Around the rear the Cooler Master includes pairs of DisplayPort and HDMI connections, but neither of those HDMI connections has enough bandwidth to handle this screen’s full refresh rate. It has no USB or USB-C ports, and the speakers are mediocre. The stand is sleek and cylindrical, but it has no cable-tidying ability.
The on-screen display is disappointing. While it does have every option you’ll reasonably require, I found it to be slow and ugly. It’s controlled using buttons beneath the bottom bezel, and they’re irritatingly stiff.
The Cooler Master’s two rivals offer a greater number of features in some departments. Both are better on the software front, and both come with USB ports, better lighting and higher refresh rates.
- Punchy, saturated colours deliver a vibrant gaming experience
- The GM34-CW delivers impressive contrast and decent HDR performance
- It’s consistently good, but the competition is better in key areas
The Cooler Master GM34-CW concentrates on bold, vibrant colours. It displays 99.4% of the sRGB gamut at a massive volume of 144.6%, and in the HDR-friendly DCI-P3 gamut the Cooler Master delivered figures of 91.2% and 102.4%.
That’s a lot of numbers, but it boils down to a few simple truths: this display will produce virtually every colour needed for SDR and HDR gaming, and the volume results mean those colours have incredible vibrancy and saturation.
Some people will find this display oversaturated compared to the realistic tones produced by IPS panels, while others will prefer the punch seen here.
The average Delta E of 3.01 is good rather than great, but it’s fine for gaming – the accuracy deviations are minor. The colour temperature of 6223K is a tad on the warm side, but it doesn’t alter the colours and works well with the vibrant imagery shown here.
The display hits a peak brightness of 390 nits with a black point of 0.12 nits, so darker areas will display plenty of depth. The resulting contrast ratio of 3250:1 is superb – a great result for a VA panel, and far better than an IPS display.
Dropping the backlight to a more reasonable 150 nits saw contrast improve to 3750:1 and colour accuracy maintained.
The Cooler Master is certified for VESA DisplayHDR 400. Switching to the display’s HDR mode sees the maximum brightness head beyond 450 nits, but no other settings on the display change, and the lack of fancy dimming means that when it comes to contrast, there isn’t much nuance .
Still, there’s sufficient contrast and depth to provide a noticeable improvement in the wider DCI-P3 colour gamut, and this display’s colour ability means that with HDR content colours pop.
The 144Hz syncing works well, delivering smooth gameplay in single-player titles. The refresh rate combines with consistently good response times and input lag performance to deliver good crispness and speed to handle mainstream eSports; you’ll only get more pace from upping the refresh rate to 240Hz. Most of the overdrive settings work well, too, with no obvious overshooting or haloing until you hit the misfiring ‘Very Fast’ mode.
There are some peripheral areas where the GM34-CW is ordinary. The motion blur reduction isn’t worth using, resulting in excessive ghosting. The gaming, media and movie modes all make colour accuracy poorer. View this screen from off-centre and viewing angles aren’t great, and there’s a little backlight bleed at the bottom. None of those issues ruin the core gaming experience, though.
MSI’s rival, the Artymis 343CQR, is almost as vibrant as the Cooler Master in its SDR mode, but that panel is better for HDR, with a brighter backlight and deeper black levels. Samsung’s panel is a better option for eSports as a result of its 240Hz refresh rate, and it’s also better in HDR – but it SDR performance is weaker and it’s smaller.
The Cooler Master GM34-CW serves up bold, vibrant colours, an immersive widescreen design and reasonable refresh rate performance. That makes it a solid option for single-player gaming in the SDR and HDR colour gamuts. If you can find it for significantly less than its rivals, it’s a great bargain.
It misses connectivity and high-quality software, though, and its rivals are superior in some departments: the MSI is better for HDR and the Samsung is superior for eSports and HDR gaming. Those displays also offer greater connectivity options.
The GM34-CW is worth buying if you want a punchy, bold SDR and HDR gaming experience, especially if you can find it at a discounted price. It’s a decent first effort from Cooler Master, and a worthwhile addition to the gaming monitor market. But if you can only find this screen at full price, I recommend checking out rival panels before hitting checkout.
Should you buy it?
You want a vibrant and colourful gaming display
The main strength of the GM34-CW is its colourful display and immersive curved design. If you just want great picture quality at a reasonable price for single-player games, this is a great option.
You’re looking for more realistic colours, more features and more speed
Restricted to a low 144Hz refresh rate, the GM34-CW isn’t the best option if eSports and competitive multiplayer games are your main priority. You can find better value options elsewhere for a similar price.
The Cooler Master GM34-CW delivers big, bold colours that make HDR and SDR games really pop, and elsewhere it has an immersive widescreen design and solid refresh rate ability. It’s often cheaper than rivals, too. That said, consider looking elsewhere if you need faster refresh rates, more realistic colours and extra features.
The Cooler Master is covered by a two-year manufacturer’s warranty. That’s the same length as the Samsung, but a year shorter than the warranty included with the MSI display.