I WILL NOT BE REVIEWING THE 3D PERFORMANCE OF THE MONITOR
I tested the Samsung S27A950D with SLI GTX 480's with the included Dual-Link DVI cord. This review will mainly be focusing on the 2D performance of the monitor. I have not used Nvidia 3D before but am well aware of issues like Cross-Talk. I can only provide my own thoughts on the 3D performance and provide some insight on how to use the Tri-Def 3D software.
Just like always, I used an X-Rite Eye One Display 2 Colorimeter with HCFR and BasICColor to measure the color presets. For calibration I used Eye One Match 3 and verified my calibrated results with HCFR and BasICColor.
For the response time portion I used a camera with a high shutter speed of 1/100 and 1/125 to capture ghosting from both PixerPixAn's motion test and Digital Versus Ghosting Test.
I tested the input lag with the SMT Tool using 1/100 shutter speed on my camera and cloned the S27A950D with my Samsung 700nf CRT.
The Samsung only tilts 20 degrees back, which is a useless feature. Height adjustability is what every TN panel needs due to the limitations of the viewing angles, however typically only the office oriented TN panels come with height adjustability.
The Samsung S27A950D comes with 1x DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-D and Audio Out inputs.
The S27A950D sacrifices adjustability for style, and the style is gorgeous. It would have been nice to have an extra HDMI input for console gamers with both a Xbox 360 and PS3. Adjustability is not really needed with a 27" TN due to viewing angle limitations, however being a display with such a price premium I expected more.
Default Color Accuracy
Default Custom Preset
Default Standard Preset
Target settings are 6500k, Gamma 2.2 and a Delta E Average <3.
Samsung states that the S27A950D will come with 100% photo accuracy, and it nearly does. Out of the box the monitor comes set to "Custom," mode, which is very bright, but achieves nearly perfect results typically only obtainable after calibration. Same goes for the dimmer "Standard," setting. Only a slightly higher gamma for comepletely punchy colors is desired, however only those used to a calibrated screen will see a difference, even then it is very small.
What does this all mean? Samsung delivers extremely accurate color presets just as promised earning itself a nearly perfect rating. With the premium pricing I would accept no less.
The S27A950D aces almost all of the Lagom LCD tests, tests which require the reviewer to go on a witch hunt for color banding, gamma issues and shadow detail problems that may arise. Under the Gradient Banding Test, there was some slight banding a green tint in the darkest shade of greys. By default the monitor comes set to "Mode 1," which is close to the 2.2 standard @2.09, "Mode 2," washed out colors reading under 2.0 while "Mode 3," adds a tincy bit more banding compared to "Mode 1," @2.3 while giving the colors a tincy bit more punch.
The Game Modes color temperature is slightly off the target of 6500k resulting in a slightly warmer (orange/redish) picture. Cinema mode has a ridiculous amount of banding and extremely inacurate colors with an average Delta E of 4.47 and a Deviation Average nearly double those of the other presets. The Dynamic Contrast does not work as the dimming is extremely obvious and just plain annoying.
To sums things up, the Samsung S27A950D delivers nearly perfect color acuracy out of the box. Only the gamma value and average contrast leaves something to be desired, earning it a near perfect rating. One thing to note is that the backlight bleeding as seen above on the left side is quite obtrusive to gaming.
It becomes even more obvious in the dark because of the average black level. This is quite disapointing for dark room viewing which is a requirement for 3D viewing due to the relfective nature of the screen. Hopefully I just got a bad unit.
120hz Normal Setting
120hz Faster Setting
120hz Fastest Setting
120hz PixerPixAn Faster Setting
120hz PixerPixAn Fastest Setting
In terms of 120hz performance, in the fastest mode the S27A950D is easily one of the fastest LCD monitors out there. I did not post the 60hz Digital Versus test results, however the 950D performs essentially the same as the Samsung S27A550H. Some slight over drive errors can be observed.
Now these motion testing programs aren't a true indication in terms of responsiveness due to the specific colors being used. Different monitors ghost with different colors, and the colors in the test programs are rather low contrast and won't really ever been seen in movies and gaming.
I played a bunch of games like Bad Company 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Dead Rising 2 (Xbox 360), Killzone 3 (PS3) and Read Dead Redemption (Xbox 360). I did not see any ghosting at 120hz or 60hz which makes the Samsung S27A950D the fastest LCD monitor I have used.
Just keep in mind that all LCD's still show motion blur due to the Sample and Hold Effect. When I say ghosting free I mean that the Samsung S27A950D is free of overdrive errors.
I used the SMT Tool which is probably the most accurate method of testing input lag for pro-sumers. It is still going to be out a few ms, but it gives stable readings rather than the "maxium," values or "lag spikes," which results in high over all averages.
PRAD.de has made a very in depth article all about the different processes of measuring input lag, use google chrome to translate and have yourself a mind-blowing read.
Subjectively there is no input lag, however when testing I averaged 12ms. The accurately measured value is going to be less, so we will have to wait for PRAD.de to properly illuminate us.
I have uploaded a bunch of the pictures I took here, so if you really want you can view the results and maybe come up with a different average. Remember anything under 16.7ms is less than 1 frame of lag and is considered very good and essentially neglible.