Gaming technology is a constantly evolving trend. Back in the old days, our games were stuck being displayed in a white-boxed CRT monitor with low resolutions. Our CPUs and GPUs were barebones in terms of processing power, but games back then weren’t that power-hungry and demanding either. Nowadays, the battle for graphical fidelity has heightened, and we’re seeing the newer generation of games being developed with a keen eye for aesthetics. Display technology isn’t one to fall behind too. It certainly has to keep up with the times. If our choices back then were extremely limited to brand and size, today, monitors come in different sizes and factors. Depending on the preference and price, users can pick a combination of options like the type of LED panel, the size, the refresh rate, the color accuracy, or the curvature of the screen among other things. One of these choices, for everyone’s consideration, is the Samsung CRG5 curved gaming monitor, be it for your maximum-spec monster, or bang for buck build. 

Hardware and Specifications

The CRG5 is a 27-inch curved monitor with a 1500R curvature. Up front, the monitor is a VA panel instead of the usual TN or IPS LED panel for its display, housed in a frame with extremely thin and clean-cut bezels at the sides and top, and a small, unintrusive lower lip for your standard fare logos.. It has a small analog nub or joystick at the center bottom lip for its in-house menu navigation. At the back, the 75×75 mm VESA mounts are at the dead center of the case, while its underside houses a multitude of inputs: 2 HDMI 2.0, a DisplayPort 1.2, a USB-A port dedicated for firmware upgrades, a headphone jack, the power input that connects to an external power brick, and an anti-theft locking slot. 

The CRG5 curved monitor’s most defining feature is its insane refresh rate, capped at 240Hz. This is combined with a high contrast ratio of 3000:1, a 4ms gray-to-gray response time, with an aspect ratio of 16:9, capped at a 1920×1080 resolution. And, definitely a welcome addition, is the curved monitor’s G-Sync compatibility. 

Initial Impressions

Like every other monitor, the CRG5 is simple to set up, just plug and play. Samsung scores points for the CRG5’s impressive picture displayed out of the box. Images have a remarkable vibrance. and the monitor’s default brightness setting that doesn’t strain the eyes. Being a VA panel, color accuracy is also on point at default settings, plus built-in presets and customization options are present in the menu for you to tweak to your preference. 

The 1500R curvature might sound a little too extreme, since the common measurement is in the upwards of 1800R for other monitors in the market. But with the CRG5’s 27-inch display, the curve looks and feels respectably modest. The curve offers a relaxed field of view, and covers the periphery clear enough to provide a decent level of immersion. Combined with its vibrant display, the view from the front is a generally comfortable experience. 

The most noticeable caveat in the Samsung CRG5 is its maximum resolution of 1920×1080. The general trend that some, if not most, are pursuing when it comes to monitors is the push for higher resolution screens. Many of the leading monitor brands are releasing displays with resolutions ranging from 1440p up to 4K, and a rare few landing at the ultrawide spectrum. In reality, the price trends for these current-generation monitors tend to lean on the expensive side as the resolution increases. And more often than not, adding more features like a higher refresh rate and the curvature of the display compounds or nearly doubles the price. Moreover, displays with a high resolution and a high refresh rate would mean getting an extremely powerful CPU to handle that heavy graphical processing load. By keeping the resolution to its standard-fare 1080p, the CRG5 tries its best to keep the price at a reasonable rate while still performing decently for games. Unfortunately, part of the caveat is having a pixel density of a measly 81 PPI. With clear eyes and a viewing distance a bit closer than normal, the pixels on-screen tend to be slightly visible, and might put you off a bit. 

Another particular nitpick, albeit minor, is the monitor’s stand. Though the stand is easy to assemble and is quite sturdy, it offers only a minimal range of motion for tilting the screen, and is not height-adjustable. 

Performance Review

When you plug in the CRG5 for the first time, it acts just as any other monitor would. But where it really shines is in games, of course. The changes are significantly palpable after making the jump from our default 60hz flat LED panel to this curved monitor’s 240hz display. This is especially true for games that need the competitive edge, in particular, first-person shooters. 

Playtested games: Remnant: From the Ashes, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Warframe, Overwatch, Monster Hunter World

What you’ll notice immediately is how smooth the images in the display come together. Apart from the 240hz refresh rate, the CRG5 is also G-Sync compatible. Seeing these two features work together gives you animations that almost immediately immerses you in the game. From our tests in Remnant and Sekiro, we were able to push past the 60-80fps mark with barely any noticeable screen tearing or blurring. Movement around the world felt more seamless, and animations had an overall smoother feel to it. Games like Overwatch benefit more from the insane refresh rate, especially in crucial split-second shots. In our quick play tests, there was a significant change in what we were viewing on-screen with the CRG5. Player movements and projectiles were easier to track even from longer distances, and targeting was more accurate. In Warframe, dashing around and shooting had a more fluid experience to it, giving a better immersion of a fast-paced gameplay. 

The downside to the experience is possibly being unable to fully utilize the potential of this monitor. Frame rates won’t always be constant, just like in the crowded areas of Warframe’s market or in Cetus, or in Monster Hunter World maps with a lot of foliage or area to render. And in some cases, there’s no real advantage to using a 240hz monitor when playing some single-player games except for the really buttery-smooth visual experience. Some games even have a frame rate cap on them. Nonetheless, the CRG5 is still an impressive piece of technology that we think is still a choice worth considering in today’s market. 

Verdict

The CRG5 positions itself at the midpoint of the monitor market. It sits right between the demand for your standard-fare monitor that can impressively display graphically-immersive visuals, and that niche of competitive gaming where the high refresh rates help in split-second decision-making and accuracy. The 1080p cap at its resolution can swing either way, depending on your preference, but it does take into consideration the average graphical processing power that most PCs have today. The 240hz and the G-Sync compatibility are the CRG5’s biggest draws here, and it quietly positions itself in a competitive price with a US$399 tag (and a local price of PHP 22,065). 

The Samsung CRG5, for its specs and features, rests comfortably as one of the more decent options that make it quite futureproof. It can comfortably catch up with the graphical demands of the current generation PCs and still foreseeably be usable for the next few years. For competitive FPS gamers, the CRG5 offers that extra edge, and is one well worth investing on. For the rest of us, it’s definitely one of the better options out there today. 

Special thanks to Samsung for sending us the CRG5 for review!