Editor’s Note: This review was conducted on an earlier firmware version on the monitor. HDR issues mentioned below are said to now be addressed through the latest firmware update available.
Ultrawide gaming monitors have become one of the best options for PC gaming over the last few years. The wider resolution and aspect ratio makes for more immersive gaming experiences while offering a competitive advantage in games that have native support. Having had the brilliant Acer Predator x34p for over a year, I was absolutely blown away when I made the jump to Samsung’s 49” Odyssey Neo G9. It’s not without its issues, of course, but the Odyssey Neo is one of the most feature-complete super ultrawides currently on the market.
Currently retailing between $2,500 – $3,000 AUD, the Odyssey Neo G9 represents a significant investment – suitable for enthusiasts who want to splash the cash on top-of-the-line parts and peripherals. What you get, though, is a monitor packed to the brim with gaming-focussed features.
The monitor sports full G-Sync support, a 240Hz refresh rate with 1ms response time, 1000R curvature and a 32:9 aspect ratio that makes games more immersive than ever. This all combines nicely with Samsung’s patented Quantum Matrix Technology, as the Odyssey Neo uses Quantum Mini LEDs to power its display. This tech is seen in the company’s NeoQLED TVs, and the vibrancy of the display was something that I immediately noticed. Games looked incredible, especially those with high contrast art design like Ori and the Will of the Wisps and Psychonauts 2.
One thing I didn’t particularly like about the monitor was its HDR support. This has been widely documented online, but HDR continues to look bang average and washed out when compared to what the monitor can output in SDR. Sadly, even with Quantum HDR2000 the Odyssey Neo requires some further finetuning — whether that’s through software updates or a hardware refresh — to fully enjoy HDR content and games. With that said, Windows still struggles with HDR gaming in general and so I wasn’t particularly surprised to see this trend continue with the Odyssey Neo. That said, a new firmware update for the monitor is said to address these issues — I haven’t been able to test this, however.
The monitor includes a great range of I/O options, including one DisplayPort 1.4 input, two HDMI 2.1 inputs, two USB ports and a headphone jack — everything you’d really need to set yourself up with a range of gaming consoles and a PC. Something else I really liked was the fact the power cable didn’t have an external power brick, something I loathed about my previous ultrawide.
Being able to run games at the wonderfully insane 5120×1440 resolution and 32:9 aspect ratio takes some serious GPU grunt. And that’s the biggest thing to note with the Odyssey Neo – you’ll need quite a bit of power to fully enjoy everything the monitor has to offer.
That said, gaming experiences on the monitor are spectacular. Older titles like Garry’s Mod and Left 4 Dead are reinvigorated thanks to the huge bump in resolution, while games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Microsoft Flight Simulator are on another level entirely. Flying across Naples was particularly breathtaking thanks to sheer amount of screen real estate – allowing me to take in the sights and sounds of the beautiful city in a more immersive way.
Competitive titles perform extremely well on the Odyssey Neo thanks to the 240hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. My go-to title, Rocket League, natively supports the aspect ratio and resolution, allowing me to get a comprehensive look at the pitch without having to adjust my camera at all. This allowed me to align runs and defensive blocks with relative ease compared to what I was used to with other monitors.
Call of Duty: Warzone and Fortnite required some extra grunt in the GPU to run well, however with a powerful graphics card in tow they played brilliantly. I felt as if I had a bit of an edge in the latter, as there were multiple occasions I spotted someone trying to flank me, allowing me to quickly adjust and take the tactical advantage.
When it was time to engage in productivity work, the Odyssey Neo performed excellently. Having an ultrawide for productivity tasks alone is worth it, and that was even more apparent thanks to the monitor’s 49” display. I was able to edit multiple word documents without having to open or close any of them, all the while having Netflix streaming in another window. It was awesome not having to juggle anything around.
Samsung’s 49” Odyssey Neo G9 has everything you could really want in a great gaming monitor, and then some. The 240hz refresh rate makes for especially snappy experiences in competitive titles, while the 32:9 aspect ratio and wider screen size makes immersion in games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Horizon Zero Dawn all the more impressive. While it does need some refinement with its HDR implementation, there’s not much else I’d say stood out as problematic with the monitor. It’s quite an investment, of course, but if you have the budget for it and want to give your GPU a proper test – there’s no better way to do it.
Samsung’s 49” Odyssey Neo G9 has everything you could really want in an excellent gaming monitor. Whether you’re immersed in the latest single-player adventure or stomping out Ridden in Back 4 Blood, the monitor in excels in all departments – just make sure you have the hardware to keep up with it.