Acer recently held a conference and mini trade-show at the new World Trade Center in New York this past week and one of their new product announcements was a gaming monitor. The XR341CKA is a curved 34-inch display that holds a 21:9 aspect ratio panel, with a native resolution of 3440 x 1440. It isn’t a UHD4K display, but the lack of pixels (approx 40% less compared to UHD4K), means that it will be easier to drive with a single GPU. The display also comes with Nvidia’s G-Sync scaler to allow Acer to take advantage of variable refresh rate technology, but there’s a twist to the tale – this monitor has Display port 1.2 and HDMI ports, but there’s only one G-Sync scaler.
In the past, the G-Sync module made by Nvidia was a FPGA add-in board that was sold separately for owners of the ASUS VG248QE monitor, a 16:9 aspect ratio 1080p display with a TN panel capable of 144Hz operation. It was only compatible with Displayport 1.2 connectors, which meant that installing the module into the VG248QE omitted all of the other ports. This has been seen in other G-Sync displays that have been recently released, all of which had only one DP 1.2 connector. The only exception to this rule has been the BenQ XL2420G, which has a G-Sync scaler along with the regular scaler and Tcon, with buttons and presets to switch between the two modes.
The XR341CKA’s display seems to be an odd one. Acer says that it is an IPS panel (Update: a reader below in the comments claims it is actually AHVA) but it has a rated response time, grey-to-grey, of 4ms. That’s pretty quick for a panel of this size and I wonder if Acer is allowing it to be overdriven a bit to reduce the chance of any artifacts popping up when you run into low frame rate situations. There’s also a cap of 75Hz on the refresh rate, so your useable VRR window is about 20-75 fps. That’s bigger than any FreeSync monitor at a similar display size, with the VRR window being 48-75 fps for the LG 34UM67.
The curvature of the XR341CKA isn’t too aggressive and it is wide enough that the effect would work even when sitting up close to the display. 34 inches is pretty big, so you may have to re-think your desktop setup before thinking about putting money down for one of these puppies. Acer’s stand is made out of metal, and includes a black plastic handle in the stand’s center that is used to adjusting the height of the display. There are two 7W speakers for sound, but I don’t think anyone will use them for anything beyond playing error sounds in the operating system.
In addition to the G-Sync version, there is also another version of the XR341, the XR341CK, which is the same display with different outputs and compatibilty with Displayport Adaptive Sync. It has gone through AMD’s FreeSync certification program, so it is a FreeSync-capable monitor. It has Displayport 1.2a and DP 1.2a mini ports, one HDMI 2.0 port with MHL capability and a Displayport 1.2a-out port, for daisy-chaining extra XR341CK displays together for a triple or five-display array.
The price for the FreeSync variant is bound to be cheaper, but Acer hasn’t said anything regarding launch dates and pricing just yet. The model with G-Sync will launch first and comes with a $1299 price tag.
When it does launch, though, everyone is going to forget just how damn good this monitor looks – they’re going to be too busy tearing them apart to see what the new G-Sync scaler looks like.