For performance testing I began by running DisplayMate which, although not ‘real-world’, provides the most consistent yardstick to the quality of a display. Given the price it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that there were some issues, with the first problems becoming apparent in the Dark-Grey Scale.
This test shows a simple grid of graduated grey blocks on a black background, and is useful for estimating the contrast and black level detail of a display. As with many TN panels the Iiyama struggled to produce the darkest shades, simply melding them into the black background. Attempts to adjust this using the Contrast and Brightness controls were fruitless, as was the dynamic contrast mode.
Similar things can be said of the White-Level Saturation test, which is more or less an exact opposite with light grey coloured blocks on a white background. Here the lighter shades were noticeably compressed, and it was nigh on impossible to get the more subtle shades produced correctly. It’s also worth noting that in general the white production on this display isn’t the best, with a rather dirty and mottled look even after adjusting the contrast and brightness to their optimum levels.
Where the budget origins of the display really show up, however, is in the Colour Purity Tests. Here it’s clear how colours across the display aren’t that consistent, with darker shading starting at the extreme edges and creeping inward toward the sweet spot of the display. These, and the Colour Scales, also show a real lack of vibrancy and accuracy in the colours, with various tracking issues such as slightly greenish yellows and pinkish reds.
Screen Uniformity tests also showed that there’s some backlight bleeding, with the worst affected area being the bottom right quadrant of the screen. Obviously these comments must also be tempered by the fact that these aren’t real world tests, and to many the differences may seem minor in everyday use.
For some gaming testing, I fired up Quake 4 to put the display through its paces. Although a relatively old game, Quake 4 is a useful test because it combines both large areas of darkness with lots of strong primary colours and lighting effects.
From playing the game it’s clear that this is a pretty good gaming monitor. Motion was dealt with well, with no discernable smearing or ghosting to be seen. In Quake 4 at least blacks weren’t too bad either, though the lack of vibrancy and vividness in the colours was plain to see and this certainly harmed the overall feel of the game.
For a slightly different test we loaded up TrackMania Nations, which is a bright and colourful racer that’s high on speed and full to brim with effects such as motion blur. Again, the Iiyama dealt with the fast moving scenes very well but the muted colours failed to bring the action to life as I’d like.