Samsung CRG9 QLED 49″ Ultra-Wide Curved Gaming Monitor Review

Experience deeper immersion when playing your favorite games on PC with the Samsung CRG9 QLED 49″ Ultra-Wide Gaming Monitor. This impressive display features a curved form factor that puts the player in the optimal position to experience an ultra-wide perspective.

With its 32:9 aspect-ratio and 120 Hz maximum refresh rate plus AMD FreeSync 2 HDR, this curved curved mega-monitor renders a seamless panoramic perspective with video games. Furthermore, its native resolution of 5120×1440 (dual QHD) makes it a phenomenal productivity tool.

This is a Samsung QLED display that offers 1000-nit HDR, which Samsung calls HDR1000. It delivers a wide color gamut that covers 95% of DCI-P3 space used in commercial cinema (and 125% of sRGB) thanks to quantum dot color. Static contrast is rated at 3000:1, for imagery that pops off the screen, and that is complemented by FALD backlighting.


Unpacking and Setup

Unpacking and assembly of the CRG9 was quick and easy; all you have to do is tighten six screws and you are done. The design of the stand makes positioning the CHG90 easy: You can adjust the height, tilt and rotation easily and accurately. A covered compartment over the inputs and a channel running down the stem of the stand keep the cables organized and out of sight.


Easy assembly means the Samsung CRG9 monitor is good to go in a matter of minutes, all you need is a screwdriver.

This factory-calibrated monitor features one HDMI input, plus dual DisplayPort connections. I connected the monitor to a ZOTAC ZBOX Magnus EC52070D PC (featuring RTX 2070 graphics) using DisplayPort. And just like that, I was in business.

The CRG9 monitor has four built-in USB ports and a headphone jack.

This monitor takes just a couple minutes to set up for desktop use and it’s good to go. It also includes a wall-mount bracket.

The first impression is the Samsung CRG9 monitor excels at presenting a vibrant, accurate picture. There are plenty of menu options to tweak its performance but the key thing is it performs great right away.

The key to getting the best experience with the CRG9 is proper placement and seating position. You’ll want to sit relatively close, so the screen fills your vision. The high resolution of this monitor is notable, you can read small text easily because it is so sharp.


Gaming

The Samsung CRG9 offers an incredibly immersive way to experience 3D open-world games. If you sit at an optimal distance (around 4 feet from the screen) the imagery wraps around you. Moreover, this is not the same effect as simply using a big TV to play the game. PCs recognize the extra-wide aspect ratio and render more of the scene, which comes closer to mimicking how peripheral vision works.

Dual-QHD resolution adds up to 7.37 million pixels, which is almost as many picture elements as 4K. For gaming, this translates to extremely sharp and detailed graphics. However, due to the pixel count you will need a fairly powerful video card to take full advantage of the 120 Hz refresh rate.

I ran the benchmark for Assassins Creed Odyssey with “ultra high” graphics settings and it was able to deliver 30 fps consistently and up to 60 fps peak. You’ll want a more powerful card than the RTX 2070 to take full advantage of this monitor. Also, if you want to take advantage of AMD FreeSync 2 you”ll need a compatible AMD video card.

The “long story short” here is high pixel density, rich color, crisp contrast, immersive curve, low input lag, and 120Hz refresh combine in the Samsung CRG9 to provide a gaming experience that can’t be matched by a console. But, you’ll need a gaming PC system that can deliver it.


Productivity

This is where the CRG9 strongly differentiates itself from last year’s ultra-wide model, the CHG90. Whereas that monitor was roughly as good for gaming, its 3840×1080 resolution was not enough when using it for productivity. With dual-QHD, it’s like having a pair of 2560×1440 27″ monitors side-by-side, which happens to be the setup I use on my desk.

Having “two monitors in one screen” is absolutely wonderful for creative apps. For one, the color is more consistent—with dual monitors you need to calibrate to get a perfect match. But the best part is using a program like Photoshop, where the extra width allows you to have more toolbars and menus open while also seeing more of the image you are working on. The same goes for video editing in Premiere; it’s quite awesome to have such a long timeline to work with, and so much room for the workspace windows.

While using the entire screen is awesome, you can also “snap” windows so that there are two side-by-side, mimicking the look of a dual-monitor configuration. Furthermore, you and have two separate 16:9 sources display side-by-side—you could even connect a cable box to the HDMI input and watch TV on one side while working on your PC on the other. It’s an extremely flexible display thanks to this capability.

The fact this monitor is highly color accurate right out of the box is a boon for anyone working with color. I’d trust this monitor when it comes to color for photo and video editing.


Conclusion

Although I liked last year’s ultra-wide, the CHG90, I was only able to give it a “recommended” award because of the limitations presented by its native resolution. But now, with the CRG9, you can have it all in terms of form factor and performance. This is, bar none, the most ideal monitor I’ve used for productivity while at the same time offering an incredible gaming experience.

Between the easy assembly, brilliant color with factory calibration, high resolution, and a stand that lets you position the monitor exactly where you need it, this is a premium monitor that’s worth the money. And that makes it a Top Choice for 2019.


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