Testing my ultra-wide, curved, 34-inch monitor for Elder Scrolls Online
After buying my new ESO gaming rig (and it pretty much is exclusively used for The Elder Scrolls Online), it was time to decide on a new monitor. I'd reviewed the Asus 4K model and had to decide whether to buy one of those or plump for something else. My inherent compulsiveness kicked in and I bought Dell's 34-inch, panoramic 21:9 aspect ratio curved monitor (the Dell U3415W, or 210-ADYO as it was called on Amazon).
I have to be honest: for gaming I prefer this to the 4K review unit it replaced.
Here's why. I use desktop monitors pretty much for two things and two things only: gaming in ESO, and video editing in Final Cut Pro. The benefit of being able to immerse myself in the beautiful world of ESO's Tamriel is one thing; having such a long horizontal video clip timeline in FCP is the icing on the cake of productivity. This monitor's extreme width benefits my specific use cases better than 4K currently does.
The system has DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort, HDMI and MHL inputs. Plus, you can use two side-by-side -- literally, the monitor will use its left-most 50 percent to display something from HDMI and the other half for DisplayPort. I could, for example, have ESO on the left over DisplayPort and OS X coming over HDMI from my MacBook Pro on the right.
I've found gaming on this curved display gives me the height of my gaming satisfaction. I adore being immersed in a world. Pulling the monitor close, its size and slight curve just fills that much more of my peripheral vision and as I roam through the open world of ESO it adds that little extra percentage of pleasure to my experience. I've gamed on a 42-inch TV, but being this close to the tight pixel density of a monitor's panel gives the world a greater sense of realism, to me at least.
In total the monitor offers a resolution of 3,440x1,440 pixels. That compares to 3,840x2,160 pixels for the 4K monitor. I'm consistently hitting 60fps within ESO on all-max Ultra graphics settings from my twin Nvidia GTX 970 cards running in SLI and a 4GHz Intel Core i7.
My full rig:
- Intel Core i7 4790K @ 4GHz
- Twin Asus Strix Nvidia GTX 970s in SLI
- 16GB of RAM
- 256GB Samsung SSD for boot and ESO files
- 2TB Seagate HDD for storage
- Asus Maximus VII Ranger Mobo
- Asus Strix keyboard
- Asus ROG Gladius mouse
Normally in a review I'd offer a score, but this is more of an initial hands-on piece. And really, what's the point? I already bought it. Isn't that proof enough I feel it's worth the cash?