We’re finally in a gaming era where an affordable 4K monitor and a fast 4K monitor are one and the same. You could still buy a lower-resolution panel for a lot less, but as the Gigabyte M32UC proves, you can get a whole lot of screen for a seemingly fair price.
You can find this monitor as low as $600 (opens in new tab), which is a terribly competitive price for a fast 4K gaming monitor of this size. Gigabyte has developed an intoxicating mix of features even for this kind of money, with two HDMI 2.1 ports, 1ms MPRT, FreeSync Premium Pro and even a USB 3.2 hub.
The M32UC runs at a perfectly reasonable 144Hz by default – and you’ll need a powerful graphics card to make the most of it at 4K. However, if you connect this monitor via DisplayPort 1.4, you can also overclock the panel via the OSD. That bumps the refresh rate to 160Hz, and while that’s probably too much for most, it’s decent if you’re going big with the rest of your rig (or plan on buying a powerful next-gen GPU at some point in the future). option ready.
One thing to note about the M32UC’s mix of resolution and refresh rate, however, is that even a high-end GPU doesn’t always make the most of it. This is what makes the M32UC’s FreeSync capabilities so vitally important. Keep this panel in sync with your graphics card when the time comes under The maximum screen refresh rate, as it is likely to be at times, prevents a fair amount of screen tearing. The M32UC isn’t officially on Nvidia’s G-Sync compatible monitor list, but it still worked flawlessly with an Nvidia GPU in our tests.
Plate size: 32 inches
Native resolution: 3840×2160
refresh rate: 144Hz (160Hz overclocked)
Reaction time: 1ms MPRT (2ms GTG)
Panel type: v.a
Peak Brightness: 350 cd/m² typical
Sync Technology: FreeSync Premium Pro
inputs: 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.1, 1x USB Type-C, 3x USB 3.2 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 upstream, 3.5mm
Price: $600 (opens in new tab)
Speaking of 4K resolution, it stretches across the M32UC’s 32-inch panel. This results in a pixel pitch of 0.181 mm. In practice, if you’re using this screen with a Windows PC, you’ll probably still want to enable scaling on the desktop. The larger panel doesn’t squeeze 4K resolution like some smaller ones, but it’s that much clearer at around 150% of its original size.
You could absolutely go larger than a 32-inch panel to minimize this, but I’d say you don’t want to go past the 42-inch mark. After that, it feels like you’re staring wide-eyed into a portal on your desktop. It’s just too big for your average PC and desk setup. 32 inches is a happy medium.
It should come as no surprise that the 32-inch 4K panel delivers an amazingly sharp image when gaming. I’ve probably been playing too much Destiny 2 at the moment and the M32UC is a stunning way to experience the game. Fine details are well preserved and this panel doesn’t struggle with saturation, making for a rich and vibrant image.
The M32UC is generally excellent on the panel too. There is very little ghosting when the Smart OD overdrive setting is engaged, and Balanced is great too. The Image Quality setting also works reasonably well, but has more noticeable flaws on darker backgrounds. However, I would advise against enabling the “Speed” overdrive setting as once enabled it results in a fairly spectral image and provides a lot of overshoot.
The M32U also offers a DisplayHDR 400 rating on the box, although I wouldn’t consider it for its HDR capabilities. It lacks a lot of what is expected of a true HDR monitor, such as B. higher brightness and local dimming. That’s not a huge surprise for a 4K monitor at this price point, but the DisplayHDR 400 label on the box can be deceiving.
Best gaming monitor (opens in new tab): Pixel perfect panels for your PC
Best High Refresh Rate Monitor (opens in new tab): Screaming fast screens
Best 4K monitor for gaming (opens in new tab): When only high-res is enough
Best 4K TV for gaming (opens in new tab): Big screen 4K PC gaming
You also have to overlook the otherwise rather conservative outer shell of the Gigabyte. I don’t mind: I’ve used more flashy and much duller looking panels – they all blend into the background when I’m actually engaged in gaming. And at least Gigabyte has given this monitor a stable and reasonable stand for the price.
In terms of value for money, Gigabyte hit the nail on the head with the M32UC. If you look around for competition with similar specs at around the same price point, you’ll often only find other Gigabyte models that come close, including a handful of often discounted Aorus models. This makes the M32UC a great choice if you’re planning a next-gen 4K-capable gaming PC or already have a high-end GPU but aren’t making the most of it just yet.
And while you’d expect this panel at this size at this price point to be a stripped down offering without the extras, Gigabyte delivers with a USB hub, plenty of ports, a simple interface, and easy overclocking.
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