- Ultra wide 21:9 is a wet dream come true.
- For a VA quantum dot panel that’s fantastic.
- A good 1500R curve is nice.
- An exciting experience encompassing both movies and games
- Reasonable price label
- There is no USB port integrated in the display.
- Not that editing or creating thin content is preferable because of the curve.
In a sea of monitors with so many options it was interesting to see how Cooler Master announced its own line of monitors, and we had the chance to play with the Cooler Master GM34-CW, a monstrous 34 year old ultra-wide monitor that steals the show for a reason, and after using it, we realised it could be a good monitor for the twisty, ultra-wide people on the market.
Clean and tidy design
Each brand has its own design element to make its product stand out and to exercise the brand identity well so that it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. Cooler Master has added support to the design element of the GM34-CW, which features a hexagonal Cooler Master logo, followed by a purple CM logo with a hidden look in the background and purple accent lighting on the back, giving the monitor its Cooler Master identity. The entire monitor is curved and housed in a polycarbonate housing, which means it must be handled with care, and the stand is robust thanks to its all-metal construction.
The back of the GM34-CW has a clamping and locking mechanism to attach the monitor to the stand, which I think is a smart design. However, if you would like to use a VESA holder for your monitor, this is possible because the monitor comes with a holder in the box so that you can enjoy it to the fullest.
Characteristics of the playing centre
Don’t forget that this is a game-oriented monitor that contains everything players need. The panel supports FreeSync 2 and G-Sync and delivers images up to 144 Hz with a response time of 1 ms. For such a large screen, the resolution must be the best possible experience, and 1080p is not enough because the pixels are obvious and spoil the experience.
However, the CM chose the 1440p panel in order to add something to the panel’s general experience and make it stand out in its own way. As far as ports are concerned, the monitor has more than enough to connect whatever you want: This can be your laptop, PC, Nintendo Switch, XBOX or even PlayStation.
Phenomenal panel and experience
For me personally, coming from a 27-inch flat panel monitor, entering the ultra-wide experience is like entering a completely different world with so much space in front of me in a larger form factor – something I’m certainly not used to. But the very fact that what could have been two monitors next to each other is only done by one monitor, and I preferred to do that idea because there’s one less monitor on the desk, none of those strange dark glasses are visible when you put the monitors next to each other, and the very small sockets on my hood take up a lot of space. I know it may seem like a small sacrifice, but it’s the small things that count for a better experience in the future.
The fact is that it’s not a flat screen and it’s curved, so you’ll notice this obvious bulge, but not as aggressive as the Samsung Odyssey’s, but a much nicer curve – one that doesn’t seem obtrusive. Immediately after installing the monitor, I did two things: I watched some of my favorite music videos in 21:9 format and played Doom Eternal, Part 2 on this beautiful screen. All in all, I can say it was fun, down to the smallest details on the charts. The support of HDR has proven itself in creating beautifully balanced colors and lighting in gaming environments. With Doom Eternal supporting HDR mode, he immediately recognized that the monitor supported and I was able to change and adjust exposure, color science such as contrast and dynamic balance in areas where bright areas and dark areas are clearly displayed, because that’s what HDR does and brings better dynamic range to games for better immersion. Those who know Doom know that the game is a fast hack-and-slash style concept with stunning graphics that will blow your mind – and it’s definitely made for (pun intended) the best gameplay experience as a Destiny fighter.
Disadvantage: No USB input/output on the monitor
The Cooler Master GM34-CW fails a bit, and it depends on how you look at it and the machine you use to operate it. In my case it is the ASUS ROG Strix Scar GL703 with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070. Knowing that laptops have a limited number of built-in input/output ports, I am always looking for the possibility to extend the USB ports using the built-in monitor ports. Unfortunately the GM34-CW, if you use or have a similar configuration to mine, is not suitable because there are no USB ports on the monitor and it only has video inputs to power all your devices.
The curve monitor is not for everyone.
Curved monitors are a niche product, and while having more space for multiple tabs per screen and for multitasking is a big advantage, keep in mind that playing with them is so cool that I want it – if you’re a content maker, the curved panel adds a little inconvenience, especially when doing editing work. The panel works very well with good color accuracy and everything, but in this case it is the curve that makes it questionable – because there is no way to see in a machining program whether a line has been created, or to use functions such as straightening in Lightroom to see whether it is straight or curved. Here I went back to my flat screen 27 to edit.
If you’re looking for a monitor that has all the features you’d expect from a gaming monitor, but in this ultra-wide format – I’m really surprised and happy to recommend this Cooler Master GM34-CW – although it may have a high price for what it’s worth, it’s one of the few ultra-wide monitors with those features that actually offer good value for money. However, if you are considering purchasing this ultra-wide monitor for more editing related tasks, you will unfortunately have to choose another option, but if the curve does not bother you, go for the GM34-CW. Lack of I/O is a bit of a hindrance on the road to success, and you’ll end up forgetting it when you play your favourite song.
We award the Cooler Master GM34-CW a golden prize for a good first attempt to bring a monitor on the market.
Special thanks to the friendly people of Cooler Master for making the GM34-CW available to make this revision possible.
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