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Iiyama GE2288HS-B1 review: A budget FreeSync monitor

Chris Finnamore
14 Jul 2016
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
114
inc VAT (as of 11th July)

A budget gaming monitor that seems to have it all – but its FreeSync implementation is disappointing

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You could be forgiven for thinking that PC gaming was the preserve of the very well-heeled. £500 graphics cards. £100 keyboards. £600 monitors. Iiyama doesn’t seem to agree. Its GE2288HS is packed with gaming-orientated features but is only around £30 more than a standard 22in panel.

For just over £100, you get a 1,920x1,080 resolution, a claimed 1ms response time to avoid blurred visuals in fast-moving games, and FreeSync - AMD's adaptive synchronisation technology that makes sure your monitor's refresh rate matches the frames per second coming from your AMD graphics card.

The monitor's matt black finish doesn’t look particularly budget, but I was less keen on the rather cheap-feeling, wobbly stand. You could always use the VESA mounting holes to fit it onto a £20 desk clamp, though. The screen only has tilt adjustment, which I found I needed as the monitor has fairly narrow vertical viewing angles.


On the back are audio in-and outputs, and DVI and HDMI video inputs. FreeSync over HDMI is a relatively new phenomenon: the original FreeSync specification required a DisplayPort connection. I'm used to FreeSync bringing smooth gameplay at frame rates lower than a monitor's refresh rate, as the refresh rate synchronisation technology helps to prevent both stuttering and tearing in the onscreen image. This screen supports FreeSync between 47 and 75Hz, so as long as you can keep your game running at above 47 frames per second you should see the benefit.

Unfortunately, this is the one monitor I've tested where FreeSync didn't work as expected. With FreeSync enabled on both the screen and in the AMD driver, I still saw occasional tearing in The Witcher 3, and stuttering in Dirt Rally. There was also tearing in the twitch arena shooter Warsow. The tearing was far less pronounced than with FreeSync disabled, but it was still present: the other FreeSync monitors I've seen managed to eliminate tearing and stuttering completely as long as a game stayed within the FreeSync range. I wonder if this is something to do with the FreeSync over HDMI implementation, and whether the technology currently works better over DisplayPort.

The screen was much more impressive when it came to pixel performance. Iiyama claims a 1ms pixel response time, so there should be no visible ghosting. This is when a pixel can't change state quickly enough to keep up with the action onscreen and causes a blurred image. In the ghosting test at testufo.com, I saw little ghosting, and I eliminated the small amount of ghosting there was by switching the monitor's overdrive to +2. This setting didn’t introduce much in the way of image artefacts either, so this is one screen where you certainly don’t have to worry about ghosting in games.

The monitor's onscreen menu is logically laid out, and would be easy to navigate were it not for the touch-sensitive buttons on the screen's bottom bezel. The down button had a habit of becoming unresponsive at times, leading to much frustration when tweaking settings.

I found it was worth fiddling with the screen's colour balance to get the best image quality. At default settings, the screen could display 89.5% of the sRGB colour gamut, which is nothing to write home about, and the colour temperature was a cool 7786K, compared to the ideal 6500K. After calibration, the screen could display 95.5% of the sRGB colour gamut and colour temperature was a better 6847K. Strangely, however, after calibration the Delta E colour accuracy figure had worsened from 2.5 average to 3.41 (lower is better). This is far from the most colour-accurate monitor I've seen, but it's not terrible for a budget model and it's designed for games, not print production.

There are some other gaming-related features, too. There are various image setting presets for different types of game, such as Strategy and FPS, with varying colour temperatures and brightness settings; I don't tend to find these add much to a game, but you may find them useful. I did like the Black Tuner, which gives more visibility in dark areas without affecting the rest of the image. I found it useful when playing gloomy games in a room where sunlight had defeated the curtains.

When paired with a FreeSync-capable AMD graphics card, the Iiyama GE2288HS has the potential to be an excellent budget gaming monitor. I was disappointed with how well FreeSync worked on this screen, however, so it looks like I'll need to wait a bit longer for an ultra-cheap champion FreeSync display. For other options see our top picks in best monitors.



Hardware
Screen size21.5in
Resolution1,920x1,080
Screen technologyTN
Claimed contrast ratio1,000:1
Claimed brightness250cd/m2
Refresh rate75Hz
Claimed response time1ms
Response time typegrey-to-grey
Horizontal viewing angle170
Vertical viewing angle160
Screen depth38mm
Base (WxD)187x158mm
Screen elevation55mm
Portrait modeNo
Internal speaker (power)2x 1W
Detachable cablesYes
USB hubNo
Integrated power supplyYes
Video inputsDVI, HDMI
Audio inputs3.5mm audio input
Buying information
Price including VAT£114
WarrantyTwo years onsite