In-depth specs and a look inside the factory

Heya,

Time to give a status update on Project: Spectrum! We are currently working on the industrial design of the monitor and we will soon get back to you with questions about port placement, cable management, etc. In the meantime we would like to share some more details, and answer some of your questions with new information from our meetings in Suzhou, China.

Quick look at the monitor assembly line

Let’s start with a short sneak peek into the factory that will be making Spectrum. We wanted to film on all the floors but unfortunately the guys from security didn’t like us shooting there :slight_smile:

Here are the key parts that go into making a monitor panel. (Way fewer than go into a 2-in-1 :slightly_smiling_face:)

In this video you can see how the back light and panel are assembled!

A recap of our specs

Project Spectrum
Panel
Size 27 inches
Resolution 2560 x 1440 ‘Quad-HD’
Brightness 400 cd/m²
HDR HDR10 Media Profile (VESA DisplayHDR400)
Color depth 1.07 Billion colors (8-bit + A-FRC)
Refresh rate up to 165 Hz (*TBD)
Color gamut DCI-P3 98%
Response time 1 ms
Ports
HDMI 1x
DisplayPort 1x
USB-C 1x w/ USB PowerDelivery up to 100 W
1x (*TBD)
USB-A 2x
Stand
Hight adjust Yes
Portrait rotation Maybe (*TBD)
Horizontal rotation Maybe (*TBD)
Connector to the monitor VESA
Other Features
Adaptive sync FreeSync 2
G-SYNC Compatible (*TBD)
Speakers No
Open firmware Yes (*TBD)
VESA compatible Yes

A short Q&A (&Q?)

1. Is Spectrum using the same panel as the newly released 1 ms nano IPS LG 27GL850?

Yes, we can unveil at this point that our monitor is using same panel as the recently announced LG 27GL850 monitor and will enjoy the same super fast response time of 1 ms. The only difference in the panel itself is that we are using a brighter backlight of 400 nits instead of LG’s 350 nits.

2. Will Spectrum be G-SYNC Compatible and what FreeSync version will be used?

Spectrum will use the FreeSync 2 standard. NVIDIA has recently enabled adaptive sync support for non-G-SYNC monitors on their 10-series graphics cards and newer. This means that we you’ll be able to get some adaptive sync features regardless of whether you have an NVIDIA or an AMD graphics card.

Though our monitor will not have the NVIDIA scalar that will enable full G-SYNC support, we can have it certified as ‘G-SYNC Compatible’. To do this, we will need to send a sample to NVIDIA for testing. There is no downside to this apart from a one-time certification fee which we hope to amortize over volume, and the upside is that you can rest assured our monitor will play nicely with NVIDIA’s graphics cards.

Q: Should we go through NVIDIA’s G-SYNC Compatible certification?

Looks like Konsta dropped this poll and broke it. Oops! Luckily, we’d already taken note of the results:

  • 52% Yes, I would like Spectrum to be G-SYNC Compatible
  • 48% I don’t think this certification is needed

3. Will Spectrum support variable overdrive?

Yes.

4. What is the frequency range for adaptive sync?

Both FreeSync 2 and G-SYNC will kick in over 10 Hz, meaning that the frequency range will be 10 Hz through 165 Hz.

5. Will the monitor run 165 Hz natively?

Great Question! The panel supports a 165 Hz native refresh rate, but the scalar we want to use (think of it as the processor that drives the display) only supports up to 144 Hz. It can be overclocked to 165 Hz.

It is also possible to upgrade to a more expensive scalar that offers a native 165 Hz refresh rate. This upgrade will add about 60 USD to the end product price, and will offer no benefits other than supporting 165 Hz without overdrive. We are really not sure here if those additional 21 Hz will be noticeable and don’t believe the value is there. But you might think differently!

Q: Should we go for the more expensive scalar?

Looks like Konsta dropped this poll and broke it. Oops! Luckily, we’d already taken note of the results:

  • 94% 144 Hz native and 165 Hz through overdrive is good enough, I’d rather save 60 USD
  • 6% 165 Hz native is a must-have and I am ready to pay 60 USD extra for it
  • 0% I don’t understand the difference
  • 0% I don’t care about the difference

6. Can the customer select different overdrive profiles?

Yes, please specify profiles you are interested in :slight_smile: [this might be a good place to mention open firmware, since that should be its main purpose?]

7. Will Spectrum support HDMI 2.1?

Unfortunately not, as there are no scalars that support it on the market yet.

8. Is a Delta E calibration of <1 possible off the assembly line?

Yes, but we are evaluating the additional cost and the time it will take. Currently, most monitors are calibrated for white point only.

9. Does VESA DisplayHDR400 certification add to the cost or not? What does it really mean?

The key requirements for this certification are 400 nits brightness and covering 95% of the DCI-P3 color space. It’s not the same HDR experience that some TVs offer today with 1000 nits brightness, and it doesn’t offer OLED’s contrast ratio. But in return for a relatively small one-time certification fee, customers can be assured that our monitor offers at least this level of image quality.

10. When will Spectrum be shipping?

We aim to ship by the end of this year. More details will come when the design is locked down!

Stay tuned!

Next week we’ll take a deeper dive into the industrial design process!

20 Likes

Awesome! Really liking how this is shaping up so far.

Highlights for me:

Freesync 2. This has LFC, which is a very important part of adaptive sync systems IMO (that’s what allows the full 10hz through 165hz). This also means low latency HDR, a few other nice things are confirmed through Freesync 2 as a spec.

100w USB-PD. This can charge your MacBook Pro going full tilt while driving this monitor. That’s impressive.

Possibilty to overclock the display.

Colour calibration! I like that quite a bit - if it isn’t too cost intensive. I might be willing to pay for that in the off-chance I do some editing.

8 Likes

All of this is excellent. I was looking at the monitor we’re sourcing the panel from, and I’d much rather have eve versus LG.

Two questions:

  • Will you be supporting Backlight strobing (like ULMB)
  • Any chance on getting bias backlighting? (If not, there are always things like the Dreamscreen, so not a big deal, but it’d be handy to not have to command strip another device on the screen)

Edit: Lastly, if we decide to not support G-Sync Compatible cert - which we shouldn’t, it doesn’t add any function to the monitor - it’d be a good idea to have the eve site display that we’re saving the consumer money (and about how much) by doing so and that we’ve tested it and it works fine.

6 Likes

tbh
unless you are doing high end gaming, CAD, graphics design or video editing, then these refresh rates are irrelevant.
plugging my Eve into my US$250 41.5 inch UHD TV via a dedicated USBC-HDMI gets me 2180 resolution on 60hz refresh with no lag, my spreadsheets fit 40-50 columns on the screen or i have 4 word doc pages open side by side.

2 Likes

Why can’t you make it full G-Sync?

It can be done! Scalar is 200 usd more because supply is limited by Nvidia while performance is same as FreeSync 2

5 Likes

I thought so too! Exactly same thing. But man, once you go above 120hz there is NO WAY BACK. You need to try it. Even in excel. I use my V now and running excels at 165 hz :slight_smile: that’s my use case

4 Likes

I don’t see NVIDIA’s G-SYNC Compatible certification as being necessary, but if you guys do decide not to do that would you mind thoroughly testing the G-Sync compatibility of the panel with Nvidia cards in-house to see what kind of unofficial performance we can expect? I would be buying Spectrum as a gaming monitor and the graphics card in my gaming rig is from Nvidia.

1 Like

Having seen the process monitors go through to get G-SYNC Compatible certification, I doubt we could test anywhere near as thoroughly as they would. And keep in mind, that that testing will also bring with it a cost. If we’re going that far (and considering NVIDIA’s market share in high-performance gaming I think it should at least be tested), I’d wager having NVIDIA do the testing will get us a significantly more accurate and reliable test results with only marginally more cost.

And to top it off we’d get a certification which would guarantee to you and me and anyone else running GeForce graphics, that the adaptive sync performance of Spectrum would be as premium as it should be…

10 Likes

Old men like to talk over the old times. I have seen the production lines of various display makers until now,but I saw for the first time a process in many people are working.
The factory I saw was almost unmanned for film handling.
(What I saw was a production line for displays larger than 40 inches
The manufacture of the display is do it now with human power?
Is this normal for a small display production line?

Workers entering the production lines should wear DUSTLESS CLOTHES.
There are people who did not wear properly at the end of the video.

I have another request,
Please Increase of DP port to 2 and support DisplayPort 1.2 MST.
I am very happy if a daisy chain is made.

Have you guys thought about working with TFT Central, PCMonitors, or RTNGS to tune the variable or adaptive overdrive?

If you can get that to match or surpass the competition (PG279, XB271HUb) I’m sure you’d easily get the title as best 144Hz IPS 1440p monitor which would probably amount to greatly increased sales. With the 1 ms panel and variable/adaptive overdrive, it may not be insurmountable. The current Freesync favourites (Nixeus EDG and Aorus AD27QD) seem easy to beat.

TFT in particular seems to be number 1 trusted ratings site for monitors among enthusiasts. A good review would spread to reddit and overclock.net pretty quickly.

5 Likes

Are high refresh rates relevant at all for CAD or graphics design? I didn’t know that.

5 Likes

I wouldn’t mind 165hz even if it’s on overclock, considering monitors are something that can last for years, probably around 5~7 to even 10 if it had great quality control. We already have mid-end GPUs in the 1440p sweet spot. In those 4~5 years we can probably expect to get mid-end GPUs that can most likely run 120+fps on avg, and I’m a guy who always goes for the higher-end GPUs.

G-Sync compatible certification is also good to have. I don’t think there’ll be any significant additional costs. Also considering the fact that Nvidia does thoroughly test their monitors. Their article showed only less than 6% passed their certification out of 500+ FreeSync monitors. Primarily because G-Sync’s certification includes atleast no flickering. So I’m confident that this monitor will, and should receive G-Sync compatibility certification.

About the variable overdrive as well, I agree if you can work with another third-party like TFTCentral, it would be great to fine-tune it. Nixeus’ overdrive wasn’t really that good.

5 Likes

Yup this looks like an amazing monitor. You guys have done amazing the USB C pass through and charging looks incredible for running a laptop off. Should be an ideal monitor for gaming and also for work as you can bring in your laptop and just your laptop with no charging brick. I’ll take 2!

5 Likes

Variable overdrive is a great feature to have, and, if it works properly, will set this above most other freesync monitors on the market. The other is strobing. Will this be possible as a firmware feature? The new Asus monitors coming out will have strobing that apparently works when adaptive sync is on. All this to reduce motion blur etc.

2 Likes

Since you are already using LG Panels… Any chance there will be a 21:9 34’’ Monitor additionally to this one next year? :smiley: I love all the specs but I simply never would buy any 16:9 as primary monitor again…

Yes! I’d pay extra to have dedicated strobing.

As long as it features adaptive overdrive and its done well there is no benefit left for the gsync module (dispite minor oc maybe)

2 Likes

Gsync uses variable overdrive, but a good adaptive overdrive for multiple Hz rates should do the trick well enough.

3 Likes