We take a look at LG’s 32-inch, QHD, G-Sync, 32GK850G gaming monitor with 144 Hz refresh rate. Game on!
When shopping for gaming monitors there are certain brands that come to mind. Personally, and I’ll hold my hand up right now, LG isn’t usually one of them. The thing is, I don’t know why. I have long been a fan of their televisions, so why not seek out their monitors?
Looking at the spec sheet for the LG 32GK850G I felt even dafter. This gaming monitor certainly seems to have it all. G-Sync, Quad HD (QHD) – that’s 2560 x 1440 pixels, and the 144 Hz refresh rate that gamers crave. We’d better have a closer look then, haven’t we?
LG 32GK850G design
Firstly, putting this monitor together was simplicity itself. This is something that other certain brands should take notice of. All you have to do is lock the stand in to the back of the monitor and then, using one of those bolts with the ring through it, affix the feet of the stand.
All that’s left to do is snap on the cable management doohickey and we’re Done. Just plug and play from there.
The 32GK850G is certainly a case of ‘business at the front, party at the rear’, so to speak. As well as housing the HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 3.0 and headphone out sockets, there is a rather large spherical light source.
The cleverly-named ‘Sphere Lighting’ can project just about any colour from the RGB spectrum onto the wall or, in my case, the curtains, behind the screen. Is this a feature that you need? Nope, not really. Is it a cool feature to have? Hells yeah!
Whilst we’re around the back of the monitor it is worth pointing out the excellent ergonomics. The stand allows for height, tilt, swivel and pivot adjustments. During adjustments the stand feels sturdy and gives me the impression it will go the distance.
Around the business end you will notice the ultra-slim bezel design definitely gives the LG monitor a premium look. All the plastics feel top quality and the angular stand adds to the gaming vibe.
Underneath the front of the display you will find a four-way joystick. This controls the On Screen Display (OSD) for the screen’s settings. Because LG has plenty of experience in televisions the menus and control is extremely slick.
The Sphere Lighting gets its own separate dial to turn the brightness up or down and switch between the different colour modes.
So far, I am impressed.
LG 32GK850G performance
LG uses a Vertical Alignment (VA) panel. This is a great compromise between TN, with fast response times but mediocre colour accuracy and viewing angles, and IPS, that have slower response times but superior colour accuracy and viewing angles. VA panels generally have brilliant black levels and superior contrast ratio. Its colour accuracy is usually decent and viewing angles aren’t quite as bad as TN, but VA panels historically have sluggish response times. To combat this, there are four response time adjustments in the menu ranging from Off to Faster, with it set to Fast out of the box.
The 32GK850G is a high refresh rate monitor that also boasts Nvidia G-Sync. In its base setting the refresh rate can be set up to 144Hz, but switch on Overclock (which requires a DisplayPort connection and reboot of the monitor) and the refresh rate can be set up to 165Hz.
This is where the QHD (2560×14400 resolution is a good choice too. If it was 4K, the strain of that plus the overclocked refresh rate could have your GPU screaming “Stop!”.
Having NVIDIA’s G-Sync tech naturally adds to the overall price, but the results are spectacular.
I ran games with G-Sync enabled at both 144Hz and with the overclock turned on at 165Hz.
During gaming there was no hint of stuttering or tearing at either refresh rate.
Testing the monitor with Quake, Project Cars and Final Fantasy XV all proved just how good this monitor is at presenting detail. Granted, ramping it up to 165Hz could reveal smearing. However, saying that, this is typical of VA panels and easily remedied by dialing it back to 144Hz or 120Hz. to be honest though, it really didn’t put me off my stride even at 165Hz. This is, of course, down to personal taste.
The contrast really did come in to its own with Final Fantasy XV. I bought this title mainly because of how beautiful a game it looked and the LG monitor really does make it shine, mostly due to that incredible contrast ratio. Add that to the lack of IPS glare and the colours really do pop.
At 32-inches and 2560×1440 resolution, the LG has 91.79 pixels per inch, which is the same as a 24-inch 1080p display. I do enjoy having so much real estate with the 32-incher. This does mean that if you’re moving from a 27-monitor of the same resolution things might not seem as sharp. For me though, I managed to clock many happy gaming hours with it.
The viewing angles weren’t as impressive as I was expecting but, again, as a lone gamer that really isn’t a deal breaker for me. It isn’t that often I’d be looking at the screen from the sides – if you do then you might notice some iffy colour uniformity. You will just have to ask yourself how many times you’ll be looking at it from that angle.
LG 32GK850G review conclusion
The large 31.5-inch VA panel of the LG 32GK850G possesses extremely low response times and few of the usual VA draw-backs.
Great contrast ratios, deep blacks and impressive colours add to whichever gaming world you choose to explore.
Throw in G-Sync technology with an overclock-able 144Hz refresh rate that can hit 165Hz and LG are telling you that it can do gaming monitors and do them well.
Price and availability
You can buy the LG 32GK850G gaming monitor now for a RRP of £699.96. However, Overclockers currently has it with £100 off.