Gigabyte G34WQC Ultrawide Gaming Monitor – Budget ultrawide champion

I love me an ultra-wide monitor. The vast expanse that 34-inches stretched in a 21:9 aspect ratio not only looks totally bad-ass in a gaming setup but it’s also quite practical for work. The new Gigabyte G32WQC is a great example of an ultra-wide done right. You see, it’s a balance to ensure that the sheer size and presence of the monitor doesn’t detract from the viewing experience and Gigabyte nails it.

Gigabyte G34WQC Review

The $679 G32WQC is the cheapest ultra-wides of its class and it’s easy to see why. Gigabyte didn’t waste resources on the flamboyant gamery touches like wall painting RGB lights or textured polymer plastics with precision milled stands. In fact it’s one of the dullest looking gaming monitors I’ve ever seen.

If it weren’t for the 1500R curve, the G32WQC looks like a standard office business monitor. It’s a coal black with no real defining features. The stand is simple but sturdy with the usual cable management cubbyhole. It has a VESA 100×100 mount if you don’t want to use the bundled stand and honestly, that would make for a better overall look. The stand legs look bland but thankfully, they don’t take too much space and keep the monitor solidly in place.

The stand also allows for tilt and height adjustment. I didn’t like how low the monitor stands even at its highest setting. I couldn’t get it to be at my eye level forcing me to look down more than I’d like. Putting it on a monitor stand would help but again, mounting it to an arm or wall would be preferrable. At the back are some hard to reach I/O ports. I think its because of the limited height travel and the massive size of the monitor. I had to really contort just to get my devices connected.

There are two HDMI 2.0 and two DisplayPort 1.4 ports so you can connect four devices. Managing all those is easy thanks to the simple OSD menu. The G32WQC also supports Picture-in-picture(PIP) and Picture-by-picture(PBP). PIP displays a secondary video source inside of another as a floating window. PBP puts two video sources side by side but because of aspect ratio, that creates two 16:9 windows surrounded by black bars. You can change the aspect ratio but that simply elongates the content thus distorting it. OSD control is via the ubiquitous joystick button on the back.

Picture by picture mode makes using two devices on the same screen simultaneously

A glaring omission in the ports department is the missing USB ports. The G32WQC is the first gaming monitor I’ve reviewed that doesn’t have USB uplink and downstream ports. I usually like this especially when paired with laptops that benefit from using the monitor as a large dongle. But, at least it has a 3.5mm port for headphones and it also has built in speakers though I wouldn’t bother with those. I’ve heard smartphones with better speakers than the G32WQC.

While the body of the G32WQC is bland, the display panel is far from it. It’s a 34-inch, 3440 x 1440, 8-bit VA panel with a max brightness of 350nits that’s certified for Display HDR400. The panel has great color reproduction and a ton of presets for different use cases. I used the G32WQC for a month for my design work, writing, web browsing, media consumption and of course gaming.

Plenty of video ports but no USB at all

In all that time, I never ran into any content that looked bad. With 9‎0% DCI-P3 / 120% sRGB color saturation, the picture is bright and vibrant with great contrast. The curved panel also makes for great viewing angles without colors washing out.

Unfortunately, the HDR performance of the G32WQC is lackluster but that’s to be expected. HDR400 is entry level and if a monitor doesn’t have local dimming, the HDR will barely make any improvement to the picture. Honestly, the SDR mode is just fine and you’re better off ignoring HDR.

The monitor also exhibits some light bleed around the top and bottom edges but it’s only noticeable when you are on a fully black screen such as a games loading screen. And speaking of games, the G32WQC shines with a 144Hz refresh and 1ms response time. Assuming you have a capable graphics card, games run smooth as butter and response is tight.

Light bleed from the edge is only visible on black screens

The monitor has FreeSync Premium and G-Sync compatibility so whether you are team AMD or NVIDIA, you’ll enjoy gaming here. There really isn’t anything like playing CoD: Warzone or Apex Legends in ultra-wide with all graphical settings turned up. The immersion is heightened and because everything moves at a crisp pace, gaming is just wonderful.

Console players will be pleased to know that your shiny new Xbox Series X/S and One X/S will recognize the G32WQC as a 4K HDR monitor capable of 120Hz refresh. Your games will stretch to fit the screen but you can adjust that for a more traditional 16:9 aspect. I played Doom Eternal and Assassins Creed Valhalla in ultra-wide glory and it was transformative.

Verdict

At $679, the Gigabyte G32WQC is impossible to beat due to the sheer value for money. Sure, it’s not the prettiest monitor out there and the HDR is lackluster — not to mention it lacks USB ports. But overall, there really isn’t much to complain here. In the category of 34-inch 1440p curved ultra-wide, high-refresh, HDR monitors, you simply can’t get cheaper. It’s nearest competitor, the AOC CU34G2X costs $100 more and prices keep going up from there to well beyond $1,500. So yeah, if you are looking for a budget ultra-wide, the G32WQC is the one to buy.

Gigabyte G32WQC Gaming Monitor
FOR
Glorious ultrawide gaming at 144Hz
Cheapest ultrawide
Great picture quality out the box
Productivity beast
Very immersive curve
AGAINST
Lackluster HDR
No USB ports
Dull design
8.5
The best budget ultrawide

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Kizito Katawongahttp://www.medium.com/@katawonga
Kizzy is our Tech Editor. He's a total nerd with design sensibilities who's always on the hunt for the latest, greatest and sexiest tech that enhances our work and play. When he's not testing the latest gadgets or trying to listen to his three whirlwind daughters, Kizzy likes to sink deep into a good story-driven single player game.

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