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AOC C3583FQ review - a curved 160Hz gaming monitor

Chris Finnamore
10 Apr 2016
AOC C3583FQ
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
550
inc VAT

Excellent for games at super-high frame rates, but the AOC C3583FQ is compromised overall

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The AOC C3583FQ is aimed squarely at gamers. The huge 35in monitor has a massive 160Hz refresh rate, FreeSync support for smoother gaming with AMD graphics cards, and, if that’s not enough, a significant curve to help it wrap around you.

The screen has a no-frills design and feels built to a budget; the only adjustment you get is tilt, so you may need to prop it up on a couple of phone books to get the right height. It’s also a little on the wobbly side compared to other large gaming screens I’ve such as the Acer Predator XB271HK, but you shouldn’t have a problem unless you’re the kind of gamer who tends to punch their keyboard in frustration.

AOC does appear to have blown a great deal of the budget on inputs, though, as you get quite a variety: VGA, DVI, two HDMI and two DisplayPort. There’s also a headphone jack and a 3.5mm line input to use with the screen’s not-entirely-rubbish 5W speakers.

AOC C3583FQ rear

I realised fairly quickly that this isn’t the best monitor for work. The sheer size of the C3583FQ means you spend most of your time moving your head from side to side to take in information from different programs, rather than just flicking your eyes around. The screen also has a relatively low resolution for its size at just 2,560x1,080.

This means you don’t have any interface scaling problems with older applications, where icons end up too tiny to use, but you can certainly see the pixels making up text and icons. The high refresh rate is a joy even in Windows, however; everything moves so smoothly you find yourself dragging around windows and applications for the sheer fun of it.

The C3583FQ may have an AMVA panel, which tend not to match up to IPS models for outright image quality, but I had no real complaints when testing it with our colourimeter. At its default settings, the screen could display 99.1% of the sRGB gamut, and a Delta E colour deviation figure of 1.37 is very respectable indeed. Calibrating the monitor improved things even further, as gamut coverage edged up to 99.4%, with the Delta-E dropping to 1.18. Contrast was also an excellent 1,923:1, thanks to a high 332cd/m2 maximum brightness and deep 0.173cd/m2 black level, and our test photos all looked vibrant and detailed.

As is the case with most monitors, the C3583FQ’s interface is confusing at first, but it does make sense once you get used to it. You can also install the useful AOC i-Menu application, which while laughably ugly makes it significantly easier to tweak your screen’s colours. The monitor gives you five ‘Game Mode’ presets: Racing, FPS and RTS, and a couple of spares that you can tweak yourself. However, I found that every preset jacked up the monitor's brightness and fiddled with the gamma - the FPS mode made the Windows desktop look rather bleached out, for instance, but it may help you spot enemies in the gloom while gaming.

The Game Mode presets also add various levels of pixel overdrive. This attempts to speed up the panel’s refresh rate to avoid ghosting, which is when the pixels can’t change state quick enough to keep up with the monitor’s refresh rate. This is particularly important when running at 144Hz or 160Hz, where ghosting can make the image look smeary as you pan around.

Indeed, I noticed some ghosting in FPS titles and during the ghosting test at testufo.com when running at 160fps, but the situation was improved by switching overdrive to Medium. Switching to Strong eliminated it completely, but it also started introducing halo-like artefacts around object as well, so is best avoided. 

AOC C3583FQ front

The screen also supports FreeSync – the adaptive sync technology that works with newer AMD graphics cards. As with Nvidia’s G-Sync tech, FreeSync tries to match the refresh rate of the monitor to the frames being sent from the graphics card in order to avoid tearing, stuttering and input lag when there’s a mismatch between the two.

FreeSync vs G-Sync - what's the difference?

This isn’t so much of a problem with a high-refresh-rate monitor such as this, as tearing (when the graphics card sends out more frames than the screen can display) is much less visible at high refresh rates. Furthermore, stutter (when the screen has to display a frame for more than one refresh cycle while it waits for the next one from the graphics card) is also reduced due to the duplicate frame being shown for less time than on a slow-refresh panel.

AOC C3583FQ side

However, by installing twitch arena shooter Warsow (warsow.gg) and capping it to 60fps in the menus, I could see the difference made by FreeSync at lower frame rates. With both FreeSync and V-Sync turned off, there was significant tearing in the image. With V-Sync turned on, I experienced a slight input lag as the game seemed to react sluggishly to my movements. However, with FreeSync on, tearing and input lag were almost entirely eliminated.

Be aware, however, that this screen has a lower FreeSync limit of 45fps, compared to 30fps for Nvidia’s G-Sync displays. If a game drops below this level, the monitor will no longer sync to the frame rate, causing stutter to return. I found this in Dirt Rally; a frame rate of 35-40fps was jerky on the FreeSync AOC monitor, but lovely and smooth on a G-Sync Acer Predator XB271HK. Of course, you’ll need an Nvidia graphics card for G-Sync, so if you’re already AMD-equipped the point is academic.

The AOC C3583FQ is at its best when playing games at colossally high frame rates; it seems ridiculous to complain about a 60fps frame rate, but once you’ve ticked along at 160fps it’s hard to go back, especially if you’re into twitchy shooters. The screen’s size, curvature and the increased field of view can also make games more immersive.

However, the screen is compromised for work tasks, and I don’t find FreeSync as impressive as G-Sync when it comes to smoothing out games at lower frame rates. If you’re after a high-refresh screen and have, or are considering, an Nvidia graphics card, you’d be better off with the Acer Predator XB270HU. Alternatively, check out our regularly updated Best Monitor 2016 article.

Hardware
Screen size35in
Resolution2,560x1,080
Screen technologyAMVA
Claimed contrast ratio2,000:1
Claimed brightness300cd/m2
Refresh rate160Hz
Claimed response time4ms
Response time typegrey-to-grey
Horizontal viewing angle178 degrees
Vertical viewing angle178 degrees
Screen depth23mm
Base (WxD)360x190mm
Screen elevation100mm
Portrait modeNo
Internal speaker (power)5W
Detachable cablesYes
USB hubNone
Integrated power supplyNo
Video inputsVGA, DVI, 2x HDMI, 2x DisplayPort
Audio inputs3.5mm audio input
Buying information
Price including VAT£550
WarrantyThree years collect and return
Supplierwww.ebuyer.com
Detailswww.aoc-europe.com
Part codeC3583FQ

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