If you want a 34″ 3440×1440 ultrawide gaming monitor with a fast response time speed, smooth VRR performance, vibrant colors and crisp details, the Gigabyte M34WQ is hands-down the best option under $500.
Additionally, it has an ergonomic stand, rich connectivity options and plenty of extra features, such as a built-in KVM switch. Some users might not be pleased by its flat screen, but at a certain viewing distance, it feels completely natural.
34″ 3440×1440 ultrawide gaming monitors are very popular due to their appealing form factor and crisp yet not overly demanding resolution.
Gigabyte introduces a new type to this category with the M34WQ, that is, a 34″ 3440×1440 IPS model with a flat-screen panel and wide color gamut.
Moreover, it features AMD FreeSync, DisplayHDR 400, a built-in KVM switch, a height-adjustable stand and a USB hub for $500 – let’s see how it stacks up against its alternatives.
The Gigabyte M34WQ is based on a 34″ 3440×1440 IPS panel, ensuring a high pixel density of roughly 110 PPI (pixels per inch). As a result, you get plenty of screen space as well as sharp text and details without any scaling necessary.
Further, the 21:9 aspect ratio provides you with extra horizontal screen space, which increases your field of view in compatible games for a more immersive viewing experience.
Movies shot at aspect ratios between 2.35:1 and 2.4:1 are displayed without the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen like you would see on regular 16:9 widescreen monitors.
The ultrawide format is also very useful for office-related work (spreadsheets, multi-tasking, etc.) and audio/video editing as the extra width allows for more screen real estate and a better view of your timelines.
Moving on, the IPS panel of the Gigabyte M34WQ monitor makes it suitable for color-critical work as the colors are accurate and consistent across the entire screen.
Thanks to the 178° wide viewing angles, the image remains flawless regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen; there are no shifts in brightness, contrast, or color.
The monitor has a 91% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, which is equivalent to ~125% sRGB gamut size. There is an sRGB emulation mode that restricts the display’s native gamut to ~100% sRGB, allowing you to view sRGB content the way it’s intended.
Without the sRGB mode enabled, sRGB content (most games and web content) will have over-saturated colors. However, with ~125% sRGB gamut size, the oversaturation is not as big of an issue as it is with wider gamut displays with ~135% to 160% sRGB gamut size; you get a tad more vibrant colors, but nothing extreme.
Either way, thanks to IPS technology with accurate and consistent color reproduction, the Gigabyte M34WQ is an excellent display for both gaming and color-critical work, although if you’re a professional colorist, you’ll need a colorimeter for proper calibration.
Furthermore, the Gigabyte M34WQ has a strong peak brightness of 400-nits, while the contrast ratio is standard for IPS monitors at 1,000:1.
As expected, some IPS glow and backlight bleeding is present to a tolerable degree, but this varies across different units of monitors.
It also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) with VESA’s entry-level DisplayHDR 400 certification. For a proper HDR viewing experience, however, higher peak brightness and localized dimming are required. So, only some HDR scenes will appear improved on the M34WQ, but it’s far from the true HDR experience.
There are five response time overdrive modes: Off, Picture Quality, Balance, Speed and Smart OD.
If you’re using a variable refresh rate (AMD FreeSync Premium or NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible), you’ll have to change the overdrive setting depending on your frame rate.
Above ~120FPS, we recommend using the Balance mode for the minimal amount of visible trailing behind fast-moving objects, while at 100FPS or below, you should dial it back to ‘Picture Quality in order to prevent pixel overshoot.
The Speed mode is too aggressive as it adds too much overshoot and the Smart OD mode is all over the place. It’s supposed to act as a variable overdrive mode, but it doesn’t always pick the best setting according to frame rate.
Sadly, when using the sRGB mode, the overdrive is locked to the Smart OD option. Since the monitor’s native color gamut has only mild over-saturation, using the sRGB mode isn’t necessary for gaming; in fact, most people will prefer the extra vibrancy of the wider color gamut.
If you’re viewing sRGB content and want to use the sRGB mode for the best accuracy, the locked overdrive setting won’t affect you unless you’re looking at fast-moving objects.
Overall, with proper overdrive applied, there’s no prominent ghosting or overshoot, which allows for a responsive and immersive fast-paced gaming experience with no annoying visual artifacts.
While the monitor is not officially certified by NVIDIA as ‘G-SYNC Compatible’, variable refresh rate works without any issues with compatible GeForce cards within the supported 48-144Hz dynamic range for tear-free gameplay. LFC takes over below 48FPS and multiplies the frame rate in order to prevent tearing (47FPS -> 94Hz).
Input lag amounts to around 4ms, which makes for an imperceptible delay between your actions and the result on the screen.
Additionally, the monitor support Motion Blur Reduction via the Aim Stabilizer Sync technology. It uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur at a cost of picture brightness. You can even use it at the same time as a variable refresh rate.
The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free and there’s an integrated low-blue light filter (the Reader picture preset).
The OSD (On-Screen Display) menu offers a lot of features and image adjustment tools, which you can access via the directional joystick or the OSD Sidekick desktop application.
You’ll find various picture presets (Standard, FPS, RTS/RPG, Movie, Reader, sRGB and three customizable modes), Black Equalizer (improves visibility in darker scenes by altering the gamma curvature) and Picture in Picture/Picture by Picture modes.
Apart from the standard picture adjustment tools, there are advanced settings as well, such as gamma, sharpness, color vibrance and 6-axis hue/saturation.
Other features include on-screen timers, a refresh rate tracker, crosshair overlays and Dashboard, which allows you to monitor PC system performance on the screen (such as CPU/GPU temperature, utilization, etc.) as long as you’ve connected the Gigabyte M34WQ to your PC via USB.
Design & Connectivity
The stand of the monitor is sturdy and offers height adjustment up to 130mm as well as tilt by -5°/21°, +/- 30° swivel and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility, while the screen has a light matte anti-glare coating that eliminates reflections.
Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a USB type C port (with DP 1.4 Alt Mode and 18W Power Delivery), a headphone jack, a dual-USB 3.0 hub a built-in KVM switch, and two 3W integrated speakers.
Note that HDMI 2.0 is limited to 100Hz at 3440×1440, while DisplayPort 1.4 supports 3440×1440 144Hz and 10-bit color depth.
Price & Similar Monitors
The Gigabyte M34WQ price amounts to $500, which is excellent value for money.
You can find other 34″ 3440×1440 IPS flat-screen ultrawide monitors at this price range, such as the Acer XV340CKP, but it has a significantly lower 250-nit peak brightness and no wide color gamut support.
If you want a 34″ 3440×1440 144Hz ultrawide monitor with a curved screen, you can find a VA panel variant for ~$450, such as the AOC CU34G2X. However, while it does have a higher contrast ratio for deeper blacks, it suffers from noticeable black smearing and VRR brightness flickering issues.
A 34″ 3440×1440 144Hz ultrawide curved monitor with an IPS panel will cost you at least $800 for the LG 34GP83A, but besides getting a curved screen, you’ll also get a bit faster response time speed and an even wider color gamut.
Now, most users prefer curved screens at this monitor size, but we find that a flat model is perfectly usable as well, though we recommend sitting a bit further from the screen (at least 2.5ft or ~80cm) for the optimal viewing experience.
If you’re not sensitive to ghosting and screen tearing, and you mostly play graphically-oriented games in a dark room, we recommend going with a VA model.
In case you don’t want to deal with smearing and brightness flickering when using a variable refresh rate, the Gigabyte M34WQ is the best ultrawide gaming monitor under $500.
To learn more about monitors and ensure you’re getting the model most suited for your personal preference, visit our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide.
All in all, if you’re looking for an ultrawide gaming monitor with vibrant and consistent colors, fast response time, smooth VRR performance and crisp details, the Gigabyte M34WQ is the best model available under $500.
|Aspect Ratio||21:9 (UltraWide)|
|Response Time (GtG)||Not specified|
|Response Time (Aim Stabilizer Sync)||1ms (MPRT)|
|Ports||DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0|
USB-C (DP Alt Mode, 18W PD)
|Other Ports||Headphone Jack, 2x USB 3.0|
|Contrast Ratio||1000:1 (static)|
|Colors||1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)|
- High pixel density, wide color gamut, consistent colors, sRGB mode
- Plenty of gaming features including MBR + FreeSync up to 144Hz
- Height-adjustable stand and rich connectivity options; KVM switch
- IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)