Sceptre C305W-2560UN Review: 2560×1080 85Hz FreeSync UltraWide Curved Gaming Monitor

The Sceptre C305W-2560UN is a 30" 2560x1080 ultrawide curved gaming monitor with a VA panel and FreeSync up to 85Hz.

Bottom Line

The Sceptre C305W-2560UN is a great ultrawide gaming monitor for the price, provided you’re not too sensitive to ghosting and that your PC can reach 85FPS in most games.

Design:
(3.5)
Display:
(4.5)
Performance:
(4.0)
Price/Value:
(4.0)
4

The Sceptre C305W-2560UN is an affordable ultrawide curved gaming monitor with a maximum refresh rate of 85Hz! Here’s what you need to know about it.

Image Quality

Based on a VA panel with a 3,000:1 static contrast ratio, the Sceptre C305W delivers considerably deeper blacks than IPS and TN panels, which usually have a contrast ratio of 1,000:1.

This makes for a more immersive viewing experience, especially when watching dark content in a dark room, which allows the details in shadows to stand out more.

The monitor has a peak brightness of 250-nits, which is the minimum as far as modern LED-backlit displays go, but it will still be able to get bright enough under normal lighting conditions. It’s only if you have particularly strong lighting in your room without any means to block it that the monitor might be too dim for you.

Further, the Sceptre C305W-2560UN covers only 90% of the sRGB color space, so the colors will appear somewhat washed out in comparison to monitors with full sRGB color space coverage and wider color gamuts.

Still, the colors appear natural and not over-saturated and many monitors at this price range have ~95% sRGB gamut, which isn’t a big difference in real use.

Thanks to the 178° wide viewing angles, the image looks great at basically any angle. There are some minor gamma/contrast shifts, but they’re negligible unless you’re doing color-critical work, in which case there are better models anyway; for basic content creation, the Sceptre C305W-2560UN monitor will do fine.

The 2560×1080 screen resolution results in a decent pixel density of roughly 93 PPI (pixels per inch), providing you with a good amount of screen real estate and fairly sharp details and text.

You can think of the Sceptre C305W monitor as a regular 24″ 1920×1080 monitor that’s just ~33% wider. The ultrawide format offers extra horizontal screen space that’s particularly useful for productivity work and audio/video editing.

Moreover, you get an extended field of view in compatible games and movies shot natively at the ~21:9 aspect ratio are displayed without black bars at the top and bottom of the screen for a more cinematic viewing experience.

Another upside of this resolution is that it’s not that demanding on your GPU/CPU, allowing you to reach high frame rates with a decent PC rig.

Performance

The Sceptre C305W-2560UN has a maximum refresh rate of 85Hz, which is a bit unusual as most monitors nowadays have either 60-75Hz or over 144Hz.

Regardless, 85Hz does offer a noticeable boost in motion clarity in comparison to 60Hz. It’s not quite the kick you’d get with at least 100Hz, but it’s still a big improvement, provided that you can reach 85FPS (Frames Per Second).

Input lag performance is very good at around 9ms of delay, which makes for imperceptible delay between your actions and the result on the screen.

The pixel response time speed, on the other hand, is not impressive. With 8ms GtG (gray to gray pixel transition), there’s noticeable ghosting behind fast-moving objects, especially in dark scenes.

Now, for most gamers, the amount of ghosting will be tolerable, and even negligible to some. However, if you’re sensitive to these types of visual artifacts or you play a lot of FPS games competitively, you should consider an IPS monitor with faster response times at this price range.

Make sure that the ‘overdrive’ option is enabled in the OSD menu for the best response time performance.

Moving on, the monitor supports variable refresh rate (VRR) via AMD FreeSync; this technology synchronizes the monitor’s refresh rate to GPU’s frame rate in order to prevent screen tearing at no perceptible input lag penalty.

The Sceptre C305W-2560UN FreeSync range is 48-85Hz, meaning that there’s no LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) support. So, VRR will only work as long as your FPS is within the supported range.

FreeSync also works with compatible NVIDIA cards over DisplayPort.

You can try using CRU (Custom Resolution Utility) to extend the range to at least 42-85Hz in order to activate LFC. By doing so, if your FPS drops to 41, the refresh rate will jump to 82Hz instead of 85Hz, thus preventing tearing. However, whether you’ll be able to extend the VRR range and by how much will vary from unit to unit.

Features

Sceptre C305W 2560UN OSD Menu

There are four hotkeys for navigation through the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu placed at the rear of the monitor on the right side.

While the menu looks outdated and we would’ve preferred a joystick for navigation, there’s a fair share of features and adjustments available.

Besides the standard settings (brightness, contrast, color temperature, aspect ratio, input source, etc.), you’ll find gamma, tint/saturation and sharpness adjustments.

You’ll also find various picture presets and there’s an option for automatic source detection, which many more expensive monitors lack for some reason.

MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) mode is available as well. It’s labeled as ‘MPRT’ and can only be activated at 85Hz via DisplayPort and when Adaptive-Sync/VRR is disabled.

This technology reduces perceived motion blur at a cost of picture brightness via backlight strobing, but due to the monitor’s slow pixel response time, it’s not very effective.

The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free and there’s an integrated low-blue light filter, allowing you to use the screen for a prolonged time without eye strain.

Design & Connectivity

Sceptre C305W 2560UN Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor is quite sturdy, but it is tilt-only by -3°/10°. The screen is VESA mount compatible (75x75mm), has a subtle 1800R curvature for added immersion and a matte anti-glare coating to combat reflections.

There are two blue LED strips at the rear of the monitor, which you can disable in the OSD menu.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphone jack and dual 3W integrated speakers. All three display inputs support 2560×1080 up to 85Hz as well as AMD FreeSync.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Sceptre C305W-2560UN price ranges from $200 to $250.

At ~$200, it’s definitely the best ultrawide gaming monitor you can get.

However, if it goes for $250, you should consider investing in the MSI MAG301RF instead. It can be found for $280 on sale.

The MSI MAG301RF has a rapid 1ms GtG pixel response time speed and a high 200Hz refresh rate. It also uses an IPS panel with more vibrant colors and wider viewing angles, but it doesn’t have as a high contrast ratio.

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.

Conclusion

All in all, the Sceptre C305W-2560UN is a decent gaming monitor for the price as long as you don’t mind a bit of ghosting. If you mostly play FPS games competitively, you should invest in an IPS gaming monitor with a faster response time speed.

Specifications

Screen Size30-inch
Screen Curvature1800R
Resolution2560×1080 (UWHD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio21:9 (UltraWide)
Refresh Rate85Hz
Response Time8ms (GtG)
Response Time (MPRT)1ms (MPRT)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-85Hz)
Speakers2x3W
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness250 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio3000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (true 8-bit)
90% sRGB
VESAYes (75x75mm)

The Pros:

  • High contrast ratio
  • Plenty of features, including FreeSync and MBR up to 85Hz

The Cons:

  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, mainly in darker scenes
  • Tilt-only stand

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Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.