Reviews

Cooler Master Tempest GP2711

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Introduction

Just over a year ago in December 2022 Cooler Master released a couple of new screens in their Tempest monitor line-up that became very popular, and marked the first time that Mini LED backlit LCD displays started to become more affordable. In today’s monitor market full of OLED displays and developments in that space, lower cost Mini LED seems to have become the focus in the traditional LCD segment. At the time, their GP27U offered a 27″ 4K IPS panel with a 160Hz refresh rate, while their GP27Q offered a 27″ 1440p IPS panel with a 165Hz refresh rate. Both were very similar in features and specs apart from that different resolution, and both featured 576-zone Mini LED backlights. These Mini LED backlights offer high-end local dimming capability for LCD screens, allowing contrast and black depth to be significantly improved for both HDR and SDR content. In HDR they also allowed support for high peak brightness, reaching up to 1200 nits in fact. Coming in at more affordable retail prices ($800 USD for the 4K model at the time it was released for instance) made these kind of high-end HDR backlights far more accessible to a wider audience than earlier screens of this type.

Cooler Master are now releasing their new GP2711 screen which offers some similar specs and features, but is built around a VA technology panel instead of IPS. We will explore the differences in performance throughout this review, but VA panels can offer significantly better contrast ratios and black depth, in this case with a spec of 3000:1 compared with 1000:1 of the previous GP27U / GP27Q models. This new GP2711 is 27″ in size again and has a 2560 x 1440 resolution (the same as the GP27Q model), and a 165Hz refresh rate. It’s got a 576-zone Mini LED backlight still, although the peak brightness spec is now even higher at 1500 nits. There’s a decent range of connections and features with DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0 and USB type-C (with DP Alt mode and 15W power delivery) provided, along with KVM support and some basic integrated speakers too.

Let’s see how it performs in our testing.

Where to Buy
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Tested with the latest firmware

We’ve had this screen with us for a couple of months now, but we held off on completing this review as we were in discussion with Cooler Master about some early feedback we had around performance when we received the screen. If you’ve watched the review over at Monitors Unboxed you’ll know that there were some fairly significant issues with the screen’s performance, which we picked up on as well. The main problems were around response times, HDR performance and factory calibration. This was based on the original factory-shipped firmware V1.01 which came with the screen, and which Tim at Monitors Unboxed confirmed was used on his unit too.

We fed all of this back to Cooler Master and since they told us they would work on some firmware updates, and given our busy schedule over the CES period, we felt it made sense to wait to publish this review when those had been completed so it was fully up to date. We will comment on the areas where performance has been updated and reference some of the early problems that we discovered, and that were cited in the MUB review when reviewing V1.01 firmware. But we will include tests based on the latest firmware which has been provided to us very recently and is now at V1.05.

This should be available from Cooler Master’s support pages, but we will also make it available via our Patreon for those who might need it.

V1.05 Firmware Changes

Key performance updates listed:

  1. HDR EOTF curve updates including black crush fix
  2. HDR brightness updates
  3. Fixed performance in factory calibrated sRGB mode

There were also some operational / user experience updates made, which were based on some suggestions we made. Bravo to Cooler Master for taking these suggestions on board and including them in the update:

  1. Default overdrive mode changed from OFF to Normal
  2. Default HDR mode changed from OFF to Auto to allow simpler operation
  3. OSD now remembers which section you were using when you close and re-open (previously had to start again from the top)
  4. Simpler switching between FreeSync VRR and MPRT blur reduction modes
  5. Independent brightness control between MPRT mode on and off (previously only a single setting)
  6. Updates to colour temperature controls during HDR mode which were not functioning properly before

Key Specs

  • 27″ screen size, flat format
  • 2560 x 1440 resolution
  • VA technology panel ( AU Optronics M270DVR01.1)
  • 165Hz refresh rate with adaptive-sync for VRR, inc AMD ‘FreeSync’ certification
  • 3000:1 contrast ratio spec
  • Quantum Dot coating delivering 95% DCI-P3 and 93.5% Adobe RGB coverage
  • 576-zone Mini LED backlight
  • VESA DisplayHDR 1000 certification including 1500 nits peak brightness spec
  • 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0 and 1x USB type-C (with DP Alt mode and 15W power delivery) connections
  • 2x USB data ports, audio output, integrated 2x 2W speakers, KVM function
  • Fully adjustable stand with tilt, height, swivel and rotate

The GP2711 comes in a design very similar to the previous GP27Q / GP27U models we reviewed. It has a 3 side “borderless” panel with a black edge measuring ~8mm total along the sides and top, and then a thicker matte black plastic bezel along the bottom where there is a total 20mm edge.

The back of the screen is simple in design, with a matte black plastic enclosure. There’s no RGB lighting or anything like that here, so it remains a more modest design and less “gamery” than some monitors.

There is a thin dak grey metal monitor arm, and a reasonably chunky metal base which is in the shape of the Cooler Master logo, and remains the same as on their previous monitors. You will notice the power on/off button and the small joystick controller on the back of the screen which is used to control the OSD menu.

The stand offers a full range of ergonomic adjustments with tilt, height, swivel and rotate available. They are all pretty smooth to move, although the tilt and height adjustments are reasonably stiff to operate. The panel remains pretty stable on the stand as you move it around and use the OSD menu.

The GP2711 features Cooler Master’s “unique heatsink and a thermal back cover design” which apparently ensures enhanced cooling without the need for fans. This reduces the main chip’s temperature by 5 degrees, extending product durability by 30% the company says, sufficient enough for them to offer a 4 year warranty on the product here instead of the normal 3 years.

There’s a reasonable range of connections available on the screen with 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0 and 1x USB type-C (with DP Alt mode and 15W power delivery) for video. We would have liked to have seen HDMI 2.1 capable ports provided here, as without them we are limited to 1440p @ 144Hz maximum, and you’ll need to use DP or USB-C to reach the full 1440p @ 165Hz that the screen supports. We will test the HDMI ports for console gaming later on as well. The power deliver of the USB type-C port is fairly limited by today’s standards at only 15W too, with many competing screens offering a lot higher.

There’s also 2x USB data ports and an audio output on the back of the screen too, and it might have been nice if these had been in a more easy to reach location perhaps on the side of the screen. The GP2711 also includes some basic 2x 2W integrated speakers for the occasional sound clip, but these obviously aren’t up to much else. A KVM function is also supported for controlling two systems from a single keyboard and mouse setup if you need.

The OSD is controlled through a single joystick toggle on the back of the screen which provides simple, quick and intuitive access to the settings. There’s a decent enough range of options to play with as well, and the OSD remembers which section you were last in which is handy for navigation, and something Cooler Master added in the newer firmware update.

Testing Methodology Explained (SDR)

Performance is measured and evaluated with a high degree of accuracy using a range of testing devices and software. The results are carefully selected to provide the most useful and relevant information that can help evaluate the display while filtering out the wide range of information and figures that will be unnecessary. For measurement, we use a UPRtek MK550T spectroradiometer which is particularly accurate for colour gamut and colour spectrum measurements. We also use an X-rite i1 Pro 2 Spectrophotometer and a X-rite i1 Display Pro Plus colorimeter for various measurements. Several other software packages are incorporated including Portrait Displays’ Calman color calibration software – available from Portrait.com.

We measure the screen at default settings (with all ICC profiles deactivated and factory settings used), and any other modes that are of interest such as sRGB emulation presets. We then calibrate and profile the screen before re-measuring the calibrated state.

The results presented can be interpreted as follows:

  • Gamma – we aim for 2.2 gamma which is the default for computer monitors in SDR mode. Testing of some modes might be based on a different gamma but we will state that in the commentary if applicable. A graph is provided tracking the 2.2 gamma across different grey shades and ideally the grey line representing the monitor measurements should be horizontal and flat at the 2.2 level, marked by the yellow line. Depending on where the gamma is too low or too high, it can have an impact on the image in certain ways. You can see our gamma explanation graph to help understand that more. Beneath the gamma graph we include the average overall gamma achieved along with the average for dark shades (0 black to 50 grey) and for lighter shades (50 grey to 100 white).

  • RGB Balance and colour temperature – the RGB balance graph shows the relative balance between red, green and blue primaries at each grey shade, from 0 (black) to 100 (white). Ideally all 3 lines should be flat at the 100% level which would represent a balanced 6500K average colour temperature for all grey shades. This is the target colour temperature for desktop monitors, popular colour spaces like sRGB and ‘Display DCI-P3’ and is also the temperature of daylight. It is the most common colour temperature for displays, also sometimes referred to as D65. Where the RGB lines deviate from this 100% flat level the image may become too warm or cool, or show a tint towards a certain colour visually. Beneath this RGB balance graph we provide the average correlated colour temperature for all grey shades measured, along with its percentage deviance from the 6500K target. We also provide the white point colour temperature and its deviance from 6500K, as this is particularly important when viewing lots of white background and office content.

  • Greyscale dE – this graph tracks the accuracy of each greyscale shade measured from 0 (black) to 100 (white). The accuracy of each grey shade will be impacted by the colour temperature and gamma of the display. The lower the dE the better, with differences of <1 being imperceptible (marked by the green line on the graph), and differences between 1 and 3 being small (below the yellow line). Anything over dE 3 needs correcting and causes more obvious differences in appearance relative to what should be shown. In the table beneath the graph we provide the average dE across all grey shades, as well as the white point dE (important when considering using the screen for lots of white background and office content), and the max greyscale dE as well.

  • Luminance, black depth and contrast ratio (static) – measuring the brightness, black depth and resulting contrast ratio of the mode being tested, whether that is at default settings or later after calibration and profiling. We aim for 120 cd/m2 luminance which is the recommended luminance for LCD/OLED desktop monitors in normal lighting conditions. Black depth should be as low as possible, and contrast ratio should be as high as possible.

  • Gamut coverage – we provide measurements of the screens colour gamut relative to various reference spaces including sRGB, DCI-P3, Adobe RGB and Rec.2020. Coverage is shown in absolute numbers as well as relative, which helps identify where the coverage extends beyond a given reference space. A CIE-1976 chromaticity diagram (which provides improved accuracy compared with older CIE-1931 methods) is included which provides a visual representation of the monitors colour gamut coverage triangle as compared with sRGB, and if appropriate also relative to a wide gamut reference space such as DCI-P3. The reference triangle will be marked on the CIE diagram as well.

  • dE colour accuracy – a wide range of colours are tested and the colour accuracy dE measured. We compare these produced colours to the sRGB reference space, and if applicable when measuring a wide gamut screen we also provide the accuracy relative to a specific wide gamut reference such as DCI-P3. An average dE and maximum dE is provided along with an overall screen rating. The lower the dE the better, with differences of <1 being imperceptible (marked by the green area on the graph), and differences between 1 and 3 being small (yellow areas). Anything over dE 3 needs correcting and causes more obvious differences in appearance relative to what should be shown. dE 2000 is used for improved accuracy and providing a better representation of what you would see as a user, compared with older dE methods like dE 1994, as it takes into account the human eye’s perceptual sensitivity to different colours. 

Default Setup

The screen comes out of the box in the ‘standard’ preset mode and operating with the full wide colour gamut of the backlight. The screen is quite bright by default, measured at 241 cd/m2 at a 90% brightness level, although this is with the “max brightness” setting turned off. The brightness range of the screen is 298 to 49 cd/m2 in this mode, but if you enable that setting then the screen can be adjusted between 642 and 131 cd/m2 which gives you a brighter range to work with at the top end if you need.

Contrast ratio is impressive and remains stable across the brightness adjustment range at ~3598:1, which is out-performing the 3000:1 spec in fact by a decent amount. The high static contrast of the VA panel used here is a definite strength compared with previous IPS-based displays like the previous GP27Q, and compared with most Mini LED monitors on the market which are also IPS.

Default gamma was pretty good overall, being close to our 2.2 target. The colour temp got a bit warm in the lighter grey shades and we measured a 6249K white point. Overall the greyscale accuracy was poor though with dE 4.2 average measured.

You can see from the top left CIE diagram here that the screens native colour gamut extends quite a long way beyond the sRGB reference space, mostly in red and green shades. We had a 125.0% relative coverage measured. As a result, and as is very normal for wide gamut screens, the accuracy of sRGB / SDR colours was poor with a dE 5.4 average measured. This is caused largely by the over-saturation of the colours in this mode. We will test the provided sRGB emulation mode in a moment too.

In the bottom section we can compare the screens performance against a few wide colour gamut reference spaces. We measured a 94.9% DCI-P3 coverage, basically spot on with Cooler Master’s spec of 95%. Adobe RGB coverage was a little short of the 93.5% spec, measured at 91.9% coverage here. This means the screen isn’t ideal for working in that particular colour space, often used for photography and professional applications. The screen is more suited to HDR content and that which is mastered in the DCI-P3 reference space. However, the accuracy of DCI-P3 colours in this default mode was still poor overall with dE 4.0 average measured.

SDR Local Dimming

Here’s a good point to have a look at the local dimming capability when using the Mini LED backlight in SDR mode. Unlike some Mini LED screens, Cooler Master allow you to turn the local dimming feature on (settings of low, medium and high) even when using the screen in SDR mode. This can be useful for dynamic content, gaming and movies for instance where it can then help significantly improve the contrast and black depth, just like it does in HDR mode. We would only recommend enabling this for dynamic content and multimedia though, not for static / desktop uses.

Max Brightness mode = OFF

Local Dimming SettingMax 100% (nits)Min 0% (nits)Local contrastMax full screen contrast
OFF29849~3600:1~3600:1
ON24040~11,500:1~120,000:1

With Max brightness mode turned off, when you enable the local dimming feature the maximum luminance you can reach, with brightness turned all the way up to 100%, is 240 nits. This is a bit lower than when local dimming was turned off, when it could reach 298 nits maximum. Remember this is for SDR content only, we will look at HDR and its peak brightness capability later. This mode can however be used to significantly improve the contrast of the screen thanks to the Mini LED backlight local dimming which is useful, with good improvements over the static contrast ratio of the panel possible. This is a good mode for users looking for contrast and black depth improvements in SDR content, without excessive brightness and using the screen at a more typical SDR brightness levels.

Max Brightness mode = ON

Local Dimming SettingMax 100% (nits)Min 0% (nits)Local contrastMax full screen contrast
OFF647132~3600:1~3600:1
ON707107~10,700:1~283,000:1

When you enable ‘maximum brightness’ mode from the OSD menu the local dimming option allows for a decent increase in brightness as well for SDR content. The maximum brightness goes up a little from 642 nits (local dimming OFF) to around 696 nits (local dimming ON). This mode can therefore be used to increase not only contrast for SDR content, but also brightness if desired.

sRGB Emulation Mode

The screen also comes factory calibrated in its sRGB mode included a reported dE <2 for colour accuracy. This is one of the areas we (and Monitors Unboxed) noticed was not actually very accurate with the original shipped firmware (V1.01) with a poor colour temp, and colour accuracy that did not meet the dE <2 spec.

Having updated the screen to the new V1.05 firmware we tested the sRGB emulation mode:

Gamma tracking was decent overall being very close to the 2.2 target. We found colour temp and white point to be slightly too warm again as it had been in the ‘auto’ (wide gamut) mode, with no real change there. Pretty close to the 6500K target though so no real issue. Contrast ratio had improved a little more in this mode, up to 3849:1 which was very impressive.

The main change in this mode is the emulation of the smaller sRGB colour space and clamping of the wide gamut. You can see that the sRGB colour space is now pretty nicely matched, although there’s a little under-coverage in blue shades where it was not quite mapping to the target colour space fully. We had a 96.3% absolute coverage, which was decent enough though for working with sRGB and SDR content. The great thing about this mode compared with many screens is that you still have full access to all of the OSD controls for brightness, contrast, gamma and colour settings so it’s a very flexible mode. Thankfully it’s not locked down like many sRGB emulation modes are on other screens.

We measured a reasonable overall colour accuracy now with 2.3 average dE. A decent improvement over the default mode thanks to the emulation of the smaller colour space, and getting close to the dE < 2 spec from the manufacturer. It could have been a bit more accurate, but this still represents a useful and flexible mode if you want to work in that smaller, common colour space.

Calibration

Calibration and profiling can produce excellent results if you have a suitable calibration device and software. This was profiled to 2.2 gamma, 6500K colour temp and to the sRGB colour space. The screen was left in its native wide gamut mode, but this profile will be used in colour-aware applications (e.g. Photoshop) to map back to sRGB in this instance. In the absence of a working sRGB emulation mode this is your only real option for clamping the colour space for colour-aware applications.

Overall the calibrated results were excellent as you’d hope. This calibration had now corrected the gamma nicely as well as improve the colour temp, greyscale accuracy and colour accuracy. You can find our calibrated settings and ICC profile in our ICC profile database now which should help you get a much better setup than the default mode. This will also help refine near black shadow detail nicely, and allow clamping back to the sRGB colour space properly for colour-aware applications.

General and Office

The VA-type panel used for this screen offers some decent all round performance including fairly wide viewing angles and a stable image quality that you’d expect from this technology. It’s not quite as good as an IPS panel, and you get more noticeable colour tone and gamma shifts as you move your viewing position, but it’s clearly better than TN Film panels. This gamma shift, especially vertically may lead to some loss of detail in some situations, especially darker scenes and you also get the familiar off-centre VA gamma shift where dark shades can get crushed when viewing the screen head on. This is inherent to all VA panels though and relates to their liquid crystal orientation. Darker content was much better than an IPS panel though as it was free from the familiar off-angle IPS pale glow associated with that technology. Combined with the much higher contrast ratio and deeper blacks, it’s much better at handling darker content as a result.

The resolution of 2560 x 1440 is also comfortable on a 27″ sized screen providing a nice desktop area to work with, including decent support for split screen working and a sharp text clarity. While there are some 27″ 4K options available, we think that 1440p is perfectly fine for most people on a 27″ screen like this, providing a sharp and crisp image and definitely offering a big step up from 1080p. It has a comfortable text size and a very good image quality. The screen has a light matte anti-glare (AG) coating which is the same as other modern VA panels.

The backlight is controlled without the need for PWM dimming, although there is a minor fluctuation as can be seen on the above graph, which is in sync with the active refresh rate. Here, the fluctuation operates at 165Hz, every 6.06ms. This is very minor and should not lead to any issues with eye strain or related problems of PWM, and the screen can be considered flicker-free as a result.

The spectral distribution is shown here at a 6500K white point. The blue peak is at 455 nm wavelength which means it is just on the outskirts of the Eyesafe certified range of products where there is a supposed harmful range between 415 – 455nm. There are no further low blue light filter modes available on this screen.

The screen has a decent range of ergonomic adjustments with tilt, height, swivel and also rotate available. Connectivity and related functionality is reasonable by today’s standards with only DisplayPort 1.4, USB type-C and HDMI 2.0 available. The power delivery from the USB-C connection is pretty limited at 15W though, but there are a few added extras like 2x USB data ports, an audio output, KVM function and integrated (but basic) 2x2W speakers.

Gaming

(at native resolution)Refresh Rate
Maximum Refresh Rate DisplayPort165Hz
Maximum Refresh Rate HDMI144Hz
VRR range48 – 165Hz (DisplayPort)
48 – 144Hz (HDMI)

The GP2711 offers a mid-tier refresh rate at 165Hz maximum. This is supported by adaptive-sync for variable refresh rates (VRR) from compatible NVIDIA and AMD systems. It’s been certified under the AMD ‘FreeSync’ scheme which to be honest we didn’t think even existed any more now that there are the ‘Premium’ and ‘Premium Pro’ certification tiers. Still, that’s what is listed on Cooler Master’s website and also the AMD database.

165Hz is certainly a significant step up from 60Hz screens and a little above common 120 / 144Hz displays too in terms of motion clarity and frame rate support. There are however plenty of higher refresh rate screens available today, although not many with Mini LED backlights, and certainly not in this price bracket.

VRR capabilities and Certification
AMD FreeSync certification
FreeSync
Native NVIDIA G-sync module
NVIDIA ‘G-sync Compatible’ certified
VESA ‘AdaptiveSync’ certification
HDMI-VRR (consoles via HDMI 2.1)

The VA panel is well suited to handling darker game titles with strong contrast ratio and black depth, considerably beyond high refresh rate IPS panels. The near black shadow detail was moderate but it was hard to pick out very dark grey shades in this test image with box 5 being the first that was easy to distinguish, although some of that is down to the viewing angle limitation of VA panels where dark grey shades can get crushed to black from a head-on viewing position. This was improved somewhat after calibration with our ICC profile though. There is a ‘Black Stabilizer’ setting in the OSD menu as well, which has a good level of control and allows you to tweak that near-black detail if you need to, although it does reduce the contrast ratio a bit as you do.

The Mini LED backlight is well-equipped to support HDR gaming with 576 zones of local dimming delivering significantly improved contrast ratio in practice for both SDR and HDR titles. There’s loads more measurements for HDR mode including accuracy, colours and brightness in the section that follows.


Our thanks to the following manufacturers for support in the build of our new test system:

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X | Buy AMD Ryzen 9 CPUs here on Amazon
Asus ProArt B650-Creator | Buy Asus B650 motherboards here on Amazon
Corsair DDR5 RAM | Buy here on Amazon
Corsair H100i Elite Capellix AIO cooler | Buy Corsair coolers here on Amazon
Corsair iCUE RGB Elite Fans | Buy here on Amazon
NVIDIA RTX 3090 | Buy NVIDIA RTX graphics cards here on Amazon
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Response Times

As discussed in our detailed article about Response Time Testing – Pitfalls, Improvements and Updating Our Methodology we are using an improved and more accurate method for capturing G2G response times and overshoot, based on figures that are more reflective to what you see visually on the screen in real-World usage. Our article linked above talks through why this is better and how we arrived at this improved method in much more detail.

We first of all measured the response times while running at the maximum native refresh rate of 165Hz, testing each of the 4 overdrive modes. There is an additional “dynamic” mode, which oddly isn’t even available when using VRR which seems like it would have been exactly the mode where it should be available. There’s also a “user” configurable mode which allows you to manually adjust the overdrive level between 1 and 100 if you want to tweak things yourself, although you won’t be able to improve on things really any more than the pre-defined modes as it just seemed to offer a range between ‘off’ and ‘ultrafast’ anyway.

With overdrive turned off the response times are slow, especially along the top row of the table with changes from black (0) to grey. This results in familiar black smearing on moving content, something you will see on many VA panels unfortunately. You can see how this looks in real life from our pursuit camera photos below, which capture real-world perceived motion clarity. In this ‘off’ mode, there is at least no overshoot at all.

If you move up to the normal mode, the response times are improved a little, reducing the average from 11.8ms to 9.9ms, still without any visible overshoot problems. This is still slow though and the black smearing is still the most obvious problem. Moving up another level to ‘advanced’ didn’t help much, although there were some small improvements in overall smearing and blurring, again without introducing any noticeable overshoot.

Even moving up to the maximum ‘ultrafast’ mode didn’t fix the black smearing issue although it was a bit better on lighter content now, but still very obvious on darker content. The average G2G had been improved to 6.8ms G2G now which was better, but it was at the cost of some fairly high levels of overshoot, that were evident in certain situations with some pale and dark halos.

The above pursuit camera photos capture the real-world perceived motion clarity in 3 of the overdrive modes, and you can see that none of them address the black smearing unfortunately. The Ultrafast mode showed a little less overall smearing and blurring, but not by much against this particular test background colour.

Some additional photos above capture the improvements possible in the maximum ‘Ultrafast’ mode on the lighter background at the bottom, where the black > light grey transitions have been sped up compared with slower settings. In the slower modes there is a little bit more black smearing on those lighter background images. In this ‘ultrafast’ mode you do start to get some pale halos in certain situations, but at 165Hz it’s not actually too bad in those tests. In other scenarios the higher levels of overshoot can be an issue though and this mode is too aggressive with its overdrive impulse.

In Variable Refresh Rate situations the ‘Advanced’ mode is optimal as otherwise the overshoot becomes far too noticeable in the ‘ultrafast’ mode. As the refresh rate lowers, the level of overshoot increases as there is no variable overdrive offered here. The advanced mode will avoid that overshoot largely, but the issue with the black smearing is evident and becomes more pronounced as the refresh rate lowers as the overall motion clarity gets worse.


We can’t recommend this screen for any fast paced or competitive gaming, it’s VA panel just isn’t fast enough to handle these kind of games properly. Like most VA panels on the market, the most obvious problem is the black smearing, especially on darker content and it’s just not possible to get rid of that. It’s frustrating really in today’s market that more VA panels haven’t solved this issue. Samsung have demonstrated on several occasions that they can tackle this and eliminate the black smearing on displays like their Odyssey G7 and G8 models we’ve reviewed, but why haven’t other manufacturers been able to achieve the same? The previous Cooler Master GP27Q IPS monitor performed better here certainly.

The GP2711 is probably ok for slower paced RTS / RPG type games, and does well when it comes to handling slower-paced HDR content and movies thanks to its VA panel and the Mini LED backlight. Much more on HDR performance in a moment.

MPRT Mode (Motion Blur Reduction)

Motion Blur Reduction Mode
Motion Blur Reduction Backlight
Refresh rates supported165, 144, 120Hz
60Hz single strobe operation
Blur reduction available with G-sync/FreeSync VRR
Strobe length control
Strobe timing control
Brightness capability (SDR, max refresh rate supported)
Motion blur OFF – Max brightness 306 nits (normal mode)
660 nits (max brightness mode)
Motion blur ON – Max brightness139 nits (normal mode)
301 nits (max brightness mode)

The MPRT mode is available within the gaming menu and provides a strobing motion blur reduction backlight mode. This can only be used when FreeSync and the local dimming backlight are both disabled. Cooler Master added an operational fix in their latest firmware that improved the way this mode is activated in relation to FreeSync. Previously you had to first disable FreeSync, then enable MPRT, and then reverse those steps when you wanted to turn it back off. Now, you can simply enable MPRT and it will auto-disable FreeSync for you in the menu, and then re-enable FreeSync when you turn MPRT back off.

Local dimming cannot be used with MPRT mode, and if you are using local dimming before you turned MPRT on, you will have to manually re-enable that after you’ve turned MPRT off. The MPRT mode now has an independent brightness control between on and off states, so you at least don’t have to keep changing that setting.

There are 3 settings for MPRT mode, for low, medium and high. The strobe length is adjusted as you move up the settings, getting progressively shorter. This offers some minor improvements to perceived motion clarity, but does also reduce the brightness of the screen at the same time.

MPRT mode works at 165Hz, 144Hz and 120Hz refresh rates but not at 60Hz.

MPRT mode LOW, 165Hz – horizontal scale = 5ms

The backlight is strobed on and off rapidly in sync with the refresh rate, here at the native 165Hz.

MPRT mode HIGH, 165Hz – horizontal scale = 5ms

You can see that the “on” period of the strobe is reduced as you move up to the ‘high’ setting.

Motion clarity pursuit photos in MPRT mode (high), 165Hz

Visually in motion tests there are a couple of problems with the MPRT blur reduction mode. Firstly, the slow response times discussed earlier that lead to issues like black smearing and some pale smearing in moving content are also a challenge here. You can still see issues in this mode especially on darker colours. The low refresh rate compliance (inability for the response times to properly keep up with the frame rate) also results in some added ghosting and trailing to the image, so instead of blurring that you had before in OFF mode, you get some ghost images here.

Secondly the timing of the strobe could ideally do with adjustment. At the moment, the top and bottom areas of the screen provide the clearest image in this mode (still with the challenges mentioned above). The middle region, where as user is most likely to be focused during gaming shows more strobe cross-talk and therefore more ghosting of the image. Ideally the strobe timing should be adjusted to ensure the middle region is the clearest. If a user control could be added, it would be even better as the user could fine tune this to meet their specific use-case, although overall the slow response times and black smearing are the main issues still.

Console Gaming

Console Gaming
Native panel resolution2560 x 1440 (1440p)
Maximum resolution and refresh rate supported1440p @ 60Hz
1080p @ 120Hz
Virtual 4K support
4K at 24Hz support
4K at 50Hz support
HDMI connection version2.0
HDMI connection bandwidth14.40 Gbps
HDMI-VRR (over HDMI 2.1)
Adaptive-sync (FreeSync) over HDMI
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)

The screen was tested with an Xbox Series X console. There are 2x HDMI 2.0 inputs available on the screen although console support is poor here. The maximum resolution and refresh rate we could set the Xbox to was either 1440p @ 60Hz or 1080p @120Hz. There should be sufficient bandwidth from the HDMI 2.0 ports to support 1440p @ 120Hz though (at 8-bit colour depth) but this does not seem to be available, even with 4:2:2 chroma option enabled.

There is also no support for a “virtual 4K” input here which is a gap, and something offered by many 1440p monitors. That would allow you to set a 4K resolution from the console (at 60Hz max given the bandwidth of HDMI 2.0 here) and have the panel scale the image back down to 1440p. It’s not needed for some consoles, but for the Xbox Series X it is important. That is because HDR mode only works from that console if you can set it to 4K resolution, and so without support for virtual 4K here, you cannot game in HDR or watch HDR content from the Xbox Series X. That is a real shame, especially as the screen has strong HDR capabilities and a Mini LED backlight. Note that this isn’t an issue on PS5 as you can run HDR at 1440p on that console. It’s a limitation with the Xbox at the moment, and has been since launch.

Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) did not seem to be available from the screen at all, whether you had FreeSync enabled in the monitor’s OSD menu or not. There was support for 50Hz input signals but not 24Hz. Overall the inability to use 1440p @ 120Hz, and the lack of Virtual 4K support (for Xbox HDR) should be addressed if possible through a future firmware update in order to handle consoles properly. Right now, console support is very limited.

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Lag

Read our detailed article about input lag and the various measurement techniques which are used to evaluate this aspect of a display. The screens tested are split into two measurements which are based on our overall display lag tests and half the average G2G response time, as measured by our oscilloscope. The response time element, part of the lag you can see, is split from the overall display lag and shown on the graph as the green bar. From there, the signal processing (red bar) can be provided as a good estimation of the lag you would feel from the display. We also classify each display as follows:

Lag Classification (updated)

  • Class 1) Less than 4.17ms – the equivalent to 1 frame lag of a display at 240Hz refresh rate – should be fine for gamers, even at high levels
  • Class 2) A lag of 4.17 – 8.33ms – the equivalent of one to two frames at a 240Hz refresh rate – moderate lag but should be fine for many gamers. Caution advised for serious gaming
  • Class 3) A lag of more than 8.33ms – the equivalent of more than 2 frames at a refresh rate of 240Hz, or 1 frame at 120Hz – Some noticeable lag in daily usage, not suitable for high end gaming

Lag was measured with ‘ultra low latency’ turned ON (which is also locked when using FreeSync mode). Measurements were taken at the max 165Hz refresh rate, as well as at 60Hz to account for external devices, including games consoles.

The overall lag at 165Hz was measured at 4.5ms. The response times account for around 2.23ms of the total lag measured, leaving an estimated signal processing lag of ~2.28ms at 165Hz. This is a little slow compared with many gaming screens nowadays, but still pretty decent overall and should be considered adequate for most gaming. Really it’s the response times of the panel that make it less suited to gaming than any minor signal processing lag. The lag remained consistent really at 60Hz which was great news, as many screens show a much higher lag at these lower refresh rates.

HDR

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is one of the key use-cases for the GP2711, with its VA panel and 576-zone Mini LED backlight offering the potential for excellent performance.

HDR Technical Capabilities
VESA DisplayHDR certification levelVESA DisplayHDR 1000
Multiple HDR formats supportedHDR10 content only
Local dimming Mini LED
High number of local dimming zones 576-zone Mini LED backlight
Increased peak brightness 1610 nits measured
Reaching advertised peak brightnessAbove advertised 1500 nits peak
Increased dynamic range (contrast) max ~212,000:1 reached
Increased “local” HDR contrast ratio max ~11,200:1 reached
Wide colour gamut >90% DCI-P3 94.9% DCI-P3 coverage measured
10-bit colour depth support Supported

HDR mode auto detects when an HDR input signal is sent to the screen, something Cooler Master added actually based on our feedback with the more recent firmware as previously you would have to manually enable HDR from the OSD menu as well. There are 3 preset modes available in the menu for User, Game and Movie although they all appear to be the same except the User and Game modes have local dimming defaulted to ‘medium’, while movie mode is set to ‘low’. You can customise the modes though if you want to a degree, including perhaps changing the colour temperature setting.

We tested the screen in the default ‘User’ mode:

We are pleased to say that there have been some major improvements to the HDR mode with the latest firmware. This is one of the key areas of concern that we flagged back to Cooler Master when we originally received the screen, and which Monitors Unboxed also called out in their review. Let’s take a look at the PQ tracking on the right hand side first of all, as that was the main issue before. We’ve provided a comparison of V1.01 firmware vs v1.05 firmware below:

The issue originally was that the grey line representing the monitor’s brightness in the top left hand PQ graph was a long way off the target yellow line. This meant that HDR content was a lot darker than it should be, leading to significant crushing of shadow detail and making dark scenes look very black and pretty much impossible to see. You can see from the same PQ graph on the top right that with the new firmware, this has been corrected and the brightness across the greyscale is much better. This resolves the crushing of shadow detail, and darker scenes are now viewable.

We did notice that blacks seemed to be a little bit raised, meaning the near black detail was perhaps a little brighter than it should be but you can alter this quite easily using the ‘black stabilization’ setting in the menu. We found turning this down from the default 50, to around 44 improved the black depth a bit more in darker scenes.

Referring back to the initial results again, we also had a pretty decent overall colour temp and white point. White point was very close to the D65 target, measured at 6570K which was great. The colour temp of mid grey shades got a little cooler than intended but not by much. We had an overall decent greyscale accuracy as well with dE 1.5 measured. We should note that on the original V1.01 firmware the image was a lot cooler in HDR mode, and we had measured 7655K white point before (18% deviance), but that’s been nicely addressed with the newer firmware.

Peak brightness was impressive, reaching up to 1610 nits for a 10% APL. Smaller APL window sizes weren’t quite as high, but that is to help avoid blooming and halo issues from the backlight, and the overall HDR experience looked very good with nice bright highlights. Being a Mini LED backlight instead of modern OLED panels, the screen can also sustain a very high brightness for larger window sizes if needed, even reaching 1199 nits for a full screen white test image.

Colour accuracy of the HDR mode was good overall with an average dE of 2.4 measured, or 2.1 if we ignore the 100% RGB primaries which fall outside of the available colour gamut of this screen. A 72.5% coverage of the Rec.2020 colour space is reasonable, although there are wider colour gamut screens available including their previous GP27Q IPS model for instance (83.9%).


Using the screen in real-world HDR testing was impressive, with very low levels of blooming and haloing evident, in all of the local dimming modes. The contrast looked excellent and bright areas were strong. One remaining challenge with using Mini LED backlights with IPS-type panels instead is that the off-angle “IPS glow”, which causes dark content to glow and look pale, can also cause noticeable problems with the backlight local dimming zones. They’re generally fine for head on viewing positions but blooming can be very obvious from an angle.

We had chance to compare the GP2711 side by side with the GP27U (IPS Mini LED) which demonstrated the improvements a VA panel can offer for HDR content. On the IPS panel, there are low levels of blooming when viewing the screen from a head on position, but as soon as you move off-angle a little, you get noticeable halos around bright areas of the screen, caused primarily by the IPS viewing angles/IPS glow. This makes the haloing look really bad on an IPS panel with Mini LED if you’re going to view it from an off-centre position. The VA panel of the GP2711 however avoids this almost entirely, with the image looking much stronger from an off-centre position, and maintaining the contrast without introducing a lot of blooming.

The screen is very well suited to HDR movies and video as a result, with impressive local dimming, excellent contrast and high peak brightness. The VA panel performs really well here with a strong static contrast ratio (much better than IPS Mini LED screens) and less off-angle glow on darker content too. The screen should be well-positioned for those wanting a screen for this kind of HDR content consumption.

When it comes to HDR gaming the screen is quite restricted by the slow response times, with the black smearing being the most noticeable problem in fast-moving content as we discussed earlier. The backlight is capable of handling HDR games very well with impressive contrast and brightness, but the speed of the panel holds it back for anything fast-paced.

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Further recommended reading

Our detailed HDR article

Conclusion

The GP2711 is an interesting option in the Mini LED monitor market. You don’t get many Mini LED backlights combined with VA technology panels in this space, and there’s definitely some big advantages to pairing these technologies when it comes to HDR use. The VA panel offers excellent black depth and a high static contrast ratio, exceeding the spec in fact and reaching ~3800:1 in our testing which was impressive. When you add the Mini LED backlight local dimming you get some excellent improvements in contrast for both SDR and HDR content, and it’s good to see that function available in both modes. One benefit that should not be under-stated is the avoidance of blooming and halos that you get from a VA panel when using local dimming and viewed from a position other than head-on. The glow on IPS panels becomes very noticeable from an off-angle when using local dimming backlights, but that’s mitigated nicely here with the VA technology panel.

There’s no denying that the original version of this screen has some problems when it came to the HDR setup though, with an overly dark image, poor PQ tracking and an overly cool appearance. Thankfully Cooler Master have made corrections to these problems with the newer firmware we tested for this review, and HDR mode now offers much better performance and accuracy. With high peak brightness capability reaching up to 1600 nits, and good colour accuracy too, the screen is now well-suited to HDR movies and videos we felt.

One area of weakness though of the VA panel is with its speed and response times. Unfortunately Cooler Master haven’t been able to do anything to address the pretty slow response times, most apparent with the black smearing you see in motion that is a common challenge on many VA panels. That’s a shame, as it makes it unsuitable for any fast-paced or competitive gaming really. It should still be reasonable for slower paced games, and HDR content performs well thanks to the screens other hardware capabilities, but it’s a shame that for a “gaming” screen the panel wasn’t faster. This also causes knock on impacts to the MPRT motion blur reduction mode which shows just too much ghosting and crosstalk to be particularly useful. On the subject of gaming, we should also touch on the very poor console support right now. Maybe Cooler Master can improve that aspect of the screen with another future firmware update, but for now it’s not well suited to console gamers.

Away from gaming we were pleased with the default setup overall, and the flexible and customisable sRGB emulation mode was very welcome. We’ve mentioned the very high contrast of the panel, and the ability to reach both low and high brightness levels should meet nearly everyone’s needs. The VA panel provided decent all round performance for general and office applications as well, and added features like USB type-C (with 15W power delivery and DP Alt mode), KVM support, USB ports and even some simple speakers were useful.

Where to Buy

All in all it’s a good screen for general uses and certainly for HDR movies and video. The VA panel and high end Mini LED backlight put it well ahead of most monitors in this price bracket. If you’re a casual or occasional gamer it should still manage well (apart from if you’re using a console), but it’s not as well suited as their previous IPS-based models if you’re looking for a faster screen for more serious or competitive gaming. It should be released very soon, and is available in the UK already from Scan for pre-order at a RRP of £429.99. You can also keep an eye on pricing and availability in your region on Amazon here.

ProsCons
VA panel and Mini LED backlight offer excellent HDR capabilitiesResponse times are quite slow, showing common VA black smearing
Decent setup and customisable sRGB modeGames console support is currently poor
Useful additional features like USB-C and KVM functionMPRT blur reduction mode not very useable due to slow response times

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