Advertisement
Advertisement

Iiyama G-Master GB2888UHSU Gold Phoenix review - a 4K Freesync bargain

Chris Finnamore
9 Apr 2016
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Iiyama GB2888UHSU
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
300
inc VAT

You’ll need to work to get the best colour accuracy from Iiyama's GB2888UHSU, but 4K gaming doesn’t come much cheaper

Advertisement

The succinctly-titled Iiyama G-Master GB2888UHSU Gold Phoenix is a gaming monitor bargain. For £300, you get a 28in, 4K screen with a claimed 1ms pixel response time and FreeSync adaptive sync support for smooth gaming. What could possibly go wrong?

Before I get too carried away, I should point out that the Phoenix uses a 3,840x2,160 TN panel rather than an IPS one. IPS is the standard for accurate colours and wide viewing angles, while TN has long been seen as the cheaper, lower-specification cousin.

The Phoenix’s narrower viewing angles aren’t hard to spot: go a few degrees too low and you’ll see a red tinge, while too high starts to make things a little blue. You don’t have to go too far to the left or right to see a colour shift, either. I didn’t find this a problem most of the time, as a generous 140mm of height adjustment, screen tilt and a stand that rotates in the base made it easy to find a colour-neutral angle. This isn’t the best screen for those hoping to share their gameplay with others, however.

Iiyama GB2888UHSU rear

The screen spoils you rotten for ports. Along with DisplayPort 1.2, there’s a VGA port and three HDMI sockets, one of which supports HDMI 2.0 for 60fps 4K images. The HDMI 2.0 port will only be any good as long as you have a modern high-spec Nvidia graphics card, however, as none of AMD’s range supports more than HDMI 1.4, which limits you to 30fps at 4K resolutions. You also get a two-port USB3 hub and a 3.5mm output, so you can listen directly to audio sent over DisplayPort or HDMI.

Out of the box, the screen was set to DisplayPort 1.1 mode, so the Windows desktop was running at a jerky 30Hz. A quick trip to the menus fixed this. The onscreen menus are clear and logically laid out, but the menu buttons under the screen aren’t particularly responsive and pressing them makes the panel wobble up and down. Once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s easy enough to switch inputs, reduce the amount of blue light the monitor puts out (so as not to mess up your circadian rhythms) and change between one of its several gaming modes.

Our colour tests showed that this is certainly a monitor that benefits from calibration. At its default settings, the screen could only display 86.6% of the sRGB colour gamut, and a colour temperature of 7201K, versus an ideal 6500K, was way off. After calibration, I saw a much better 96.3% of sRGB and 6583K colour temperature.

I was perfectly happy with all our test images once I’d calibrated the screen, but you may want to invest £80 in a Datacolor Spyder colourimeter or similar to make sure you’re getting the most out of the screen. Assuming that the Iiyama monitors coming from the factory have similar characteristics, you could at least get close to our colour temperature by setting Red to 100, and Green and Blue to 92.

Iiyama GB2888UHSU side

I’ve seen plenty of screens with dedicated game modes recently, where the monitor loads different presents to supposedly suit the kind of game you're planning to play. For example, ‘FPS Game’ cuts the brightness down to 161cd/m2 from the calibrated 210cd/m2, while changing the colour temperature to a very blue 10064K. I tend to avoid fancy modes such as these and just get the best-calibrated picture I can before playing games, but you may find them useful.

Also in the menus is the option for pixel overdrive, which will make pixels refresh more quickly in an attempt to reduce ghosting, albeit at the risk of possible image artefacts. Ghosting is less of a problem with a 60Hz monitor than on a 120Hz+ model, but the tests at testufo.com still showed a crisper panning image with overdrive set to ‘1’ – the maximum ‘2’ setting just introduced halo artefacts around fast-moving images.

If you have an AMD graphics card, one option you will want to enable in the monitor’s menus is FreeSync, as it’s off by default. In a similar way to Nvidia’s G-Sync tech, as found on screens such as the Acer Predator XB271HK, FreeSync matches the monitor’s refresh rate to the frame rate coming from the graphics card. This is to avoid the shearing or stuttering that can be caused by a frame rate mismatch.

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

I tested the screen with Dirt Rally. With the graphics set to 3,840x2,160 and High quality, I saw between 45 and 50fps, and the game was beautifully smooth. The monitor is meant to support FreeSync at frame rates as low as 35fps, so I turned on 4x anti-aliasing to bring the frame rate down. Unfortunately, I saw some judder when the game was running between 35 and 40fps; on all the G-Sync screens I’ve seen, Dirt looks perfectly smooth at these frame rates. As a result, FreeSync can’t match G-Sync for absolute smoothness, but you’ll never find a 4K G-Sync monitor for this little cash.

There’s no getting away from it: the G-Master GB2888UHSU Gold Phoenix is seriously good value. It has its drawbacks, namely the mediocre default colour accuracy, but if you can beg, steal or borrow a colourimeter this is easy to fix. You’ll then have a large, huge-resolution screen that, when paired with a modern FreeSync-compatible AMD graphics card, will give you beautifully smooth gaming at anything over 45fps. It wins a Recommended award.

Hardware
Screen size28in
Resolution3,840x2,160
Screen technologyTN
Claimed contrast ratio1,000:1
Claimed brightness300cd/m2
Refresh rate60Hz
Claimed response time1ms
Response time typegrey-to-grey
Horizontal viewing angle170
Vertical viewing angle160
Screen depth60mm
Base (WxD)295x220mm
Screen elevation45-185mm
Portrait modeNo
Internal speaker (power)Yes (3W)
Detachable cablesYes
USB hub2-port USB3
Integrated power supplyYes
Video inputsVGA, 3x HDMI, DisplayPort
Audio inputs3.5mm
Buying information
Price including VAT£300
WarrantyTwo years collect and return
Supplierwww.overclockers.co.uk
Detailswww.iiyama.com
Part codeGB2888UHSU-B1