Monitors are more than just drivers for our gaming rigs these days. Whether it’s productivity work, university and school assessments, or playing through a quick game of Modern Warfare, having a great monitor is an essential piece of the PC puzzle in 2020. Curved monitors, while not new to the space by any means, are becoming a popular choice for gamers and general productivity enthusiasts alike — for good reason.
I started my journey with curved gaming monitors all the way back in 2014, and haven’t really looked back since. Kicking off with a 27” Samsung curved monitor that set me back around $549 at the time, I thought I was on top of the world. 1080p! 60hz! Low response time! It was exciting. As someone who rarely dabbled in competitive shooters at the time, I had a blast playing through Shadow of Mordor and Wolfenstein: The New Order on my sleek new display. It’s a time I’ll always look back fondly on because I felt as if I’d invested in a new type of tech.
These days, my monitor is a jack of all trades. I use it for writing, for some basic video editing and, of course, for gaming. Monitors continue to make use of curved design philosophy due to the fact that we’re closer to these screens, and as such the curvature is designed to help with our peripheral vision.
Whether you’re editing a video, writing up a big essay or playing through a match of Fall Guys, I find that having that curve can make a difference in taking the strain off of the ‘ole eyes, and while gaming it can also help you spot something off in the distance you mightn’t have normally noticed.
After getting a taste of a 34” ultra-wide gaming monitor earlier this year, I couldn’t help but take the plunge and upgraded my monitor shortly thereafter. The tester unit I’d spent some time with wasn’t curved, though the one I eventually bought was. And boy, what a difference that made. As I mentioned above, the strain I’d initially felt on my eyes were gone, and I was able to get a full view of my FIFA and Rocket League matches without having to worry about scanning the screen too intently. The curve makes such a difference on bigger screens and also features as a focal point in Samsung’s new line of Odyssey monitors — arguably some of the best curved gaming monitors hitting the market right now.
Let me get this out of the way if you haven’t seen it before: the 49″ Odyssey G9 — the top of the range model in the Odyssey line — is a behemoth. It’s absolutely massive, seated firmly as the productivity and gaming giant to beat right now. The curve on the monitor is huge — said to be designed to match the contours of the human eye. And there’s no way a 49″ monitor shouldn’t have a curve, given it’s sporting an ultra-wide resolution of 5120×1440 and a 32:9 aspect ratio. Bonkers.
It also supports a 240hz refresh rate, which is perfect for competitive titles like Rainbow Six Siege, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Rocket League. Smoothing out frames in more demanding games comes by the way of G-Sync and FreeSync Premium Pro support, too, with Samsung’s Quantum Dot Display (QLED) technology rounding out the package to ensure images pop with vibrant colour.
If 49” isn’t your style, the Odyssey G7 packs all of the aforementioned features but is available in 27” and 32” models. Both of these have 2560×1440 resolutions and a 16:9 aspect ratio, offering a more traditional curved display configuration when compared to their bigger, super-ultra-wide brother. The fact these features are all crammed into this line makes the Odyssey G7 and G9 range so appealing. It’s effectively a buffet of the leading features gamers and productivity enthusiasts want in their display — alongside an ultra-low 1ms response time, of course, which the Odyssey range also includes.
Price is always going to be a consideration for high-end tech, of course, but Samsung has options in the Odyssey line to suit most budgets. The G9, perhaps understandably, comes in at $2,799 AUD, while the 32” G7 retails for $1,099 AUD and the 27” G7 retails for $999 AUD. All of these models sport a trademark new curvature from Samsung, dubbed 1000R, and look to play an important role in pushing the next generation of curved monitors forward. Whether you’re firing up a round of Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, adventuring through the world of Cyberpunk 2077 or polishing off an essay, there’s a monitor in the Odyssey range for everyone. And while curved monitors may have looked like a fad back when they were initially introduced, there’s no doubt they’re here to stay and the benefits in using them over some flatscreens are evident — especially at sizes larger than 27”.
We’re on the precipice of next-gen gaming, with Ray Tracing and DLSS in tow, and having a good monitor equipped to deliver a next generation experience is looking more important than ever.