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I just spent over $1,000 on a gaming monitor and here’s why you should too

Front view of Samsung's new QLED Odyssey gaming monitor sitting on desk.
Samsung

Every year during the Black Friday deals bonanza, I tell myself I’m not going to spend any money on new gaming equipment, especially not a new monitor. After all, I have a 3440 x 1440, 34-inch ultrawide RTX 2080 Super, giving me plenty of power to handle any game I throw at it, right? Wrong.

One $1,100 investment later, and I’m now the proud owner of the Samsung Odyssey G9 arguably one of the best ultrawide gaming monitors on the market next to Samsung’s own Odyssey G9 Neo, which is also on sale for a princely $2,000. The latter is too rich for my blood, but the Odyssey G9 has enough going for it that I didn’t think twice about clicking the “Buy” button.

So what does one grand get you? For starters, my 34-inch ultrawide is going to be dwarfed by the 49-inch Odyssey G9, which essentially is three screens glued together. As someone who already pairs my 34-inch ultrawide with a second 24-inch monitor, it’s screen real estate I desperately need, with the added advantage of not having to connect or manage as many cables.

Anyone who has used an ultrawide knows what a boon they are for multitasking and productivity. If you’re a person who needs two or more screens, an ultrawide will change your life.

I was early on the ultrawide bandwagon, grabbing the Dell U3415W, one of the first ultrawide monitors on the market. It’s a panel with excellent color calibration and brightness, and is generally great for productivity, but it doesn’t offer much for gamers. It’s capped at a 60Hz refresh rate, doesn’t support FreeSync or G-Sync, and lacks HDR. It’s a monitor for office workers, not gamers.

Back view of Samsung's new QLED Odyssey gaming monitor sitting on desk.
Samsung

The Odyssey G9, on the other hand, ticks all my boxes. It boasts a 240Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, 1440p resolution, HDR 1000, Nvidia G-Sync, and FreeSync Premium Pro. Smoother games, a high refresh rate, and a 2500:1 contrast ratio are what I’m most looking forward to. While it’s true that one of the big concerns with ultrawide monitors is that all games aren’t optimized for them, especially 32:9 ultrawides like the Odyssey, there are plenty of workarounds. Most modern games do support the resolution by default, and programs like Flawless Widescreen can resolve the problem for older games that don’t.

If you’re on the fence about buying the Odyssey G9, consider your options. What other super-ultrawide monitor is available for this price and has these features from a reputable brand? There’s the Dark Matter Monoprice 49-inch Curved Gaming monitor that will run you $1,000. It’s a bit cheaper than the Odyssey G9, but the tradeoffs are that it only supports a 120Hz refresh rate. Both monitors have VA panels, but while Samsung is known for the high-quality VA that doesn’t suffer from black smearing or ghosting, the same can’t be said for Monoprice. User reviews have criticized the panel for poor contrast and major issues with black levels.

There are 49-inch ultrawides from Dell and LG, but both are geared toward multitasking and productivity, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find either in stock for less than $2,000. The Odyssey G9 is a hefty investment, even at a $500 discount, but it’s one worth making.

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