Samsung 24-inch CFG70 Curved Gaming Monitor

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Product: Samsung 24-inch CFG70 Curved Gaming Monitor
Provided By: Samsung
Price: ~$540 CAD Online at time of publication

 

Introduction:

Since VulcLAN 2017, I've been enjoying a very nice display from Samsung. This is their new CFG70 series display that comes in both 24-inch and 27-inch variants. I've had the opportunity to look at the 24-inch unit and while a nice 27-inch display is handy, it's much easier to pack around and find desk space for a 24-inch version. That's not to say I wouldn't like the 27-inch version, I'm sure it is very nice. The 24-inch unit is very nice as well as it has a higher pixel density as both units feature a 1080p resolution.

There are a few things that make the CFG70 series unique. They have a nice tight 1800R curved screen, feature quantum dot technology from Samsung, support multiple HDMI inputs as well as a single DisplayPort. In terms of performs, the CFG70 has 1ms refresh rate, low input lag, a great viewing angle, 3000:1 contrast ratio, the ability to rotate for portrait viewing as well as a really sweet hinge/height adjustable setup. 

There are a lot of cool features and we'll likely only cover a few in this review, but we will see how it performs with objective as well as some subjective tests.

Note: In this review, we'll be largely using stock photos as our original photos didn't turn out. With the time constraints of this review, we kindly asked Samsung to provide images, but we will have some images of the OSD and some wide shots where it was being used at our LAN event - VulcLAN 2017.

CFG70

 

First Impressions:

About the time that I unboxed the CFG70, I'd also been using a curved LG monitor and while both are quite nice, but the Samsung unit looks way better, has a much better stand and height adjustable system. Also, the curve on this monitor is much more pronounced than other curved screens I've used in the past. While there is a big debate as to whether a curved screen actually helps make the experience more immersive (especially on a 24-inch display), the fact is that this unit offers a lot more than a curved screen. Samsung uses their new Quantum Dot technology to help block backlight bleeding and to offer higher contrast as well as color accuracy. We'll be testing that later in the review.

CFG70 - Front CFG70 - Rear

 

As you can see in the image above and on the right, the power button is located on the rear of the display. This may seem odd at first, but when you consider that this is also a "joystick" to navigate the menu, it actually works well when you place your hand at the bottom of the display and let your finger wrap around when making adjustments.

I was surprised at the size of the box that this unit shipped in and once you see that the way the stand is mounted as well as the pronounced curve of the screen, it makes sense. The hinge is height adjustable and the screen pivots at the top of the hinge where it connects to the display. The design they use keeps the display perpendicular to your desk when you adjust the height - much like a self-leveling bucket on an industrial wheel-loader. It's pretty slick.

CFG70 - Side CFG70 - Top Down

 

As I mentioned before, the curve on this screen is quite pronounced at has a 1800R curve, which doesn't match that of a human eye, but it's much tighter than many other curved setups which have a 3000R curve. Check this link to see the difference with a good explanation of curvature measurements.

 

On the next page, we'll take a quick look at the back of the unit as well as cover some of the features and specifications of the CFG70 that make it stand out.


Features:

The following features have been pulled from the Samsung product page here and summarized for your convenience. If you want all the details, please check their site.

The Only Curved Monitor With Super-Fast 1ms Response Time.*
Applying Samsung’s advanced motion blur reduction technology to its superior VA panel, Samsung has succeeded in creating the industry’s first curved monitor with a super-fast response time of 1 ms (MPRT)* that lets you enjoy gaming performance without motion blur across the entire screen.

144 Hz Screen Refresh Rate
144 hz screen refresh rate for flawlessly smooth gaming experience with a screen refresh rate of up to 144 Hz. You can also select 60 Hz, 100 Hz or 120 Hz to optimize the refresh rate to your game and hardware specs.

Quantum Dot Technology For A Wide Range Of Realistic Colors
Quantum dot technology support approximately sRGB 125% for a wide range of accurate colors — especially dark reds and greens — that stay crisp and clear even in bright light. So in any application from gaming to web browsing or document work your content comes alive on the screen.

Make Every Game Look Its Best With Pre-Set Display Game Modes
Factory-calibrated multiple game modes instantly optimize black gamma levels, contrast ratios and sharpness for FPS, RTS, RPG, and AOS genres, so you make every scene look its best, whatever game you play.

Game-Style OSD Menu And Sound Interactive LED Lighting Adds To The Fun
Bring some extra style to your gaming with the OSD dashboard menu designed to blend seamlessly into game interfaces and the audio-synched Arena Lighting that enhances gameplay with a dynamically pulsing lightshow.

Solid And Ergonomic Dual-Hinged Arm For Precision Screen Positioning
The strong dual-hinge arm designed for the most demanding gaming gives you precise control over how you position the display panel — for the winning edge in any onscreen contest.

3000:1 Contrast Ratio With Minimal Light Leakage
Samsung’s advanced VA panel technology minimizes light leakage across the entire screen and corners and delivers a 3000:1 contrast ratio for deep blacks and brilliant whites in even the darkest and brightest scenes.

The Ultimate Immersive Experience
The deeply immersive 1800R curved screen pulls you into the gaming experience so you feel like you are actually in the game. Eye Saver mode and Flicker Free technology reduce eye fatigue, so you can play harder and longer in greater comfort.

Smooth Your Gameplay With AMD Freesync.
By dynamically synching the screen refresh rate with the image frame rate, AMD FreeSync minimizes stutter and ensures smooth gameplay.

 

Rear Ports

 

Specifications:


CFG70 - Specs

 

On the next page we'll cover our test setup and testing methodology before we jump right into testing.


 

A Word About Testing:

In everything we try to be fair, accurate and as objective as possible when it comes to testing hardware. In the past, LCD reviews were done completely subjectively, but we have purchased some equipment that takes some of this out of the equation. Take a look at our LCD Testing methodology over here to get a better idea of how we test LCDs.

We won't spend much time in the menu; it is pretty standard although a little stripped down in terms of contrast, color adjustments and the like. The only real setting in the menu that will help you tweak your screen is the "Brightness" and "Contrast" control. We've also recently updated our Datacolor Spyder software and this gives us even more options for precision testing.

 

Testing Note:

As we jumped into objective testing, we selected every test that we could find in the new Syper 4 Elite HD software. Testing will include Gamut, Tone Respone, Brightness & Contrast, White Point at Different OSD Settings, Screen Uniformity, Color Accuracy and more. We are proving a full PDF of all the test restults. While some of the results may indicate it was a ViewSonic display, please rest assured that all included results were of the Samsung CFG70 24-inch display - not the previous display which shows up as a comparison model.

All the Tests!

Out of th box, the display was ridiculously bright. Notice that we want a target of 120.0cd/m^2 and it outputs a blindly bright 292.2cd/m^2. We calibrated the display prior to all of the tests below.

Super Bright

 

On the next page we'll jump into the color testing.


Color Accuracy:

We started this off once again by breaking out the DataColor Spyder 4 Elite HD  and found out how well this unit comes setup from the factory. This test is designed to find out how well the display produces accurate color. We did this using an HDMI connection and reset the monitor to defaults (no dynamic contrast, game mode off) before we started. For a gaming LCD, I didn't expect the color accuracty to be all that stellar, but it did alright with a 97% sRGB capability. Not bad at all.

CFG70 - Profile Overview

 

CFG70 - Rear Profile CFG70 - Top Profile

 

 

Color Uniformity - New!

In this section we cover the color uniformity of the display by using the updated Spyder 4 Elite HD from Datacolor. This takes different color readings (blue, green, red, etc) from different areas of the screen at different brightness levels and shows how uniform the color is at different parts of the screen at different brightness levels. This is the only the second time we've ran this test on a review product, so I don't have limited reference data. This is here to show how uniform and accurate the color stays at different parts of the screen.

Color Uniformity @ 50%
Color Uniformity @ 50%

Color Uniformity @ 67%
Color Uniformity @ 67%

   

Color Uniformity @ 83%
Color Uniformity @ 83%

Color Uniformity @ 100%
Color Uniformity @ 100%

While I don't have the side-by-side numbers, you can check out the ViewSonic VX2452mh to see how it compares. (Spoiler, the Samsung CFG70 wins).

On the next page we'll look at brightness, contrast and luminance uniformity.


Contrast Ratio & Uniformity:

We used the Spyder Elite 4 HD to gather our contrast ratio this time around as it is more accurate in that it seals to the screen and prevents light leakage from the environment. As you can see at the lowest brightness, it's pretty dim but also notice the black reading - 0.00!!! With absolute black the contrast ratio at this setting amazing. Of course, unless you're playing a totally dark room this setting wouldn't be practical. Still, the contrast ratio is better all around than the last pure gaming LCD we looked at. 

Brightness & Contrast Ratio

 

We used the updated Spyder Elite 4 HD software to get a lighting uniformity reading at different brightness levels. The software and hardware combination takes readings at different brightness levels at different places on the screen to blend together results. It's interesting to see how different brightness levels on the monitor yield much different uniformity results. Please note the uniformity and brightness levels below.

Luminance Uniformity @ 50%
Luminance Uniformity @ 50%

Luminance Uniformity @ 67%
Luminance Uniformity @ 67%

   

Luminance Uniformity @ 83%
Luminance Uniformity @ 83%

Luminance Uniformity @ 100%
Luminance Uniformity @ 100%

 

As you can see the backlight does indeed drop off at the corners of the screen, but the result is much, MUCH better than many other displays we've tested. I've seen screens vary as much as 23%, but the biggest difference on this display is 12% and that's not bad at all. In fact, it's one of the best I've seen and gives me hope that many new displays are better than their previous counterparts. 

CFG70 Profile

On the last page we'll cover some subjective, but real-world observations and see how it holds up while playing games, movies as well as some day-to-day tasks before we wrap things up.


Performance - Text:

As much as I like to consider myself a gamer, the truth is the most of my computer usage is reading, writing and editing text. I have used the Samsung CFG70 as my primary display for the past couple of weeks and I've been pounding out reviews almost daily. As such, I've spent a lot of time staring at text and I can say that the quality of the display is fantastic for text. My system runs Windows 10 and the font scaling is very well done on this OS. With the resolution of 1920x1080, text doesn't have to be scaled oddly and the resolution and size are perfect for general desktop use.

 

Performance - Video/Photo:

I didn't have much time to watch movies, but I did make sure to watch some movies on this display. The upside to having a full 1080p display and not something higher is that movies look very good on the display and they don't have to upscale. When calibrated correctly, the movies were sharp and looked natural - not like some super vivid TVs that make everything look ultra-realistic to the point of fake. Blu-Ray movies looked great as did every other type of video content. If it looked bad, I could only blame it on the quality of the source - the display performed flawlessly. When it comes to working with photos, once the display is calibrated properly, it is decent and even though the color and luminance uniformity isn't perfect, it is better than my eyes as I didn't notice any issues - unlike with the ViewSonic display.

CFG70 - Profile

 

OSD: 

There are several different settings that can be adjusted on the display and a few presets to match the content you're watching. We'll show off the OSD Menu below and let the images speak for themselves.

OSD - Stock Settings
OSD - Stock Settings

OSD - Speed Settings
OSD - Speed Settings

OSD - Picture Controls
OSD - Picture Controls

     

OSD - OSD Settings
OSD - OSD Settings

OSD - System Settings
OSD - System Settings

OSD - Information
OSD - Information

 

In addition to those settings, there are 3 quick settings for different customizable game modes - as well as different color modes that include Custom, High-Brightness, FPS, RTS, RGP, AOS, sRGB and Cinema.

 

Performance - Gaming:

I've been blessed to have been able to use this for the past few weeks as not only my primary monitor for work, but also as my gaming display. I use a decent ASUS 120Hz LCD already, so it's not like going from the dark ages to the modern era in terms of refresh rate. That being said, the Samsung CFG70 takes the refresh rate up a notch with a full 144Hz refresh as well as support for AMD's FreeSync. I use AMD cards in my system so I was able to take advantage of the FreeSync option and the results are better than I expected. The frame synchronization means that you won't have any kind of tearing at all in your games and when you combine that with 120FPS rendering, you get a buttery-smooth experience that makes me sad that this is just a loaner.

This display has a full 1ms grey-to-grey response time and you can tweak that though the menu if required. Overall, the setup and usage in games is fantastic. I played a wide array of games from a few titles from the Call of Duty series, to Battlefront, Battlefield 4, Diablo III, League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm and more and I can't find any fault at all with this display when it comes to gaming. It's pretty near perfect.

CFG70 In Action

 

Conclusion:

The Samsung CFG70 24-inch is a very capable display for desktop use. It will pivot to portrait mode and has a pair of HDMI ports as well as a single full-sized DisplayPort connection. With a standard screen size of 24-inches, it doesn't take up a lot of space on your desk, is easily transported to your favorite LAN event and has a fine dot-pitch and pixel density. Looking at it is a pleasure.

Samsung offers some extra premium features with this display for gamers though. The curved screen, AMD FreeSync support and a crazy-fast 144Hz refresh rate make it stand out. The panel is also capable of 1ms GtG response and the wide viewing angle means that it will enable people to spectate and see all the detail and color that the screen offers. 

Speaking of color, the color and lighting uniformity and reproduction are excellent for a gaming display and even rank up there with more "professional" displays. While this displays isn't inexpensive, nothing about it is "cheap". The fit and finish of the display is fantastic. Even little details such as the stand are incredible. I really like the self-leveling feature, dual-hinge design. It will pivot up and down as well as side-to-side to give you the perfect viewing experience.

With such a high-speed display, you won't have any ghosting issues or tearing if you enable FreeSync and you have a compatible system. It's just plain fantastic. The price is the only thing that keeps it from being a perfect 10/10. It is quite expensive, but in all fairness you are getting a lot for the price. Quality. Performance. Aesthetics. It's so, so nice.

 

Pros:

  • Super sleek and beautiful design
  • Three inputs
  • FreeSync support
  • Fast refresh rate/response time
  • Pivot and height adjustable
  • Excellent contrast, brightness and uniformity

 

Cons:

  • Price. It's not a cheap display (but so worth it)
  • Curved screen on a 24-inch display seems a bit unnecessary

While I do list price as a "Con", it's not that expensive for what you get in terms of performance and quality. In short, if you have the budget, buy the Samsung CFG70 Series 24-Inch Gaming Monitor (C24FG70). You'll be glad you did!

PDF of all test results.

If you have any questions, comments or general feedback regarding this review, please feel free to post in the forum right here.