With so many premium displays coming out for the latest high-end games, consoles, and PCs, it’s getting harder to find bargains. Prices for Ultra HD and QHD screens on some of the best gaming monitors have gotten more attractive over the last year, but if your monitor budget stops at $250, you need to look a little more grim.
Luckily, there are smaller companies out there that meet your needs for strong performance and value. Are you okay with the performance standards of a few years ago? I’m talking about 144 Hz FHD. Remember the Asus VG248QE? Today you can get the same speed and resolution for around $250. In fact, the Viotek GFI24CBA sells for $169 at the time of this writing. This is a 24 inch IPS panel with 144 Hz and Adaptive-Sync. Also remember that the 2013 Asus was a TN, no Adaptive-Sync, and $400.
Viotek GFI24CBA Specifications
|Panel type/backlight||IPS/W-LED, edge array|
|Screen size/aspect ratio||24 inches/16:9|
|Maximum resolution and refresh rate||1920×1080@144Hz|
|Free Sync: 48-144Hz|
|Native color depth and color gamut||8bit/sRGB|
|Response time (GTG)||4 ms|
|Brightness (mfr)||300 nits|
|video input||1x DisplayPort 1.2|
|1x HDMI 2.0|
|1x HDMI 1.4|
|audio||3.5mm headphone output|
|power consumption||15.3w, brightness @ 200 nits|
|Panel dimensions WxHxD (including base)||21.2 x 14.2-19.3 x 7.5 inches (538 x 360-490 x 191mm)|
|panel thickness||2 inches (52mm)|
|bezel width||Top/Side: 0.2″ (6mm)|
|Bottom: 0.6 inch (15mm)|
|Bottom: 0.6 inch (15mm)||10.7 lbs (4.9kg)|
The GFI24CBA might be compared to a bare-bones economy car that comes with crank windows, no AC, and a manual transmission, but that’s not accurate. It has a 1920×1080 resolution and 144 Hz, but it also has a good IPS panel with good viewing angles and accurate colors. It also works with FreeSync or G-Sync hardware. Not certified by Nvidia, but in my sample the graphics on the company’s GeForce card performed perfectly at all refresh rates. Below 48 Hz he renders each frame twice. So if the fps counter is 30, the monitor is refreshing at 60 Hz. The video processing suite also includes his MPRT, an effective overdrive and backlight strobe that reduces blur.
The GFI24CBA’s IPS panel is an sRGB part with a 300 nits output rating. I measured close to 350 nit so it’s plenty bright. There’s no HDR, but this display’s contrast is on par with the good IPS monitors I’ve tested. You’ll have to dig into that, but the color accuracy is there too.
It’s missing some less important components like speakers, USB ports, and LED lighting, but it does have an aimpoint, timer, frame rate counter, and three configuration profiles. Enjoy peace of mind with our 3-year zero dead pixel warranty. Overall, the GFI24CBA is an attractive proposition for a very small amount on paper.
assembly and accessories
The GFI24CBA comes out of a plain cardboard box. Unpacking the contents reveals well-made components assembled in a sturdy, wobble-free package. If you use your own stand or arm, you will need a Phillips screwdriver to attach the panel with a standard 100mm VESA mount (a small screwdriver is included). The base attaches with 4 screws, the tiniest I’ve ever seen. The external power supply is a slightly unusual wall wart type. The power cord isn’t very long, which could be an issue for some users.There was also an HDMI cable in the box, but no DisplayPort cable.
The GFI24CBA has a thin bezel that is just 6mm wide on the top and sides. The bottom trim is 15 mm and is printed with the Viotek logo. On the bottom right is the white power LED. The right rear has the only control, the joystick. This makes menu navigation easy and intuitive.
This stand is of higher quality than expected at this price point. Various adjustments are possible, including 130 mm (5.1 inch) height, 45 degree swivel left and right, and 5/20 degree tilt. A 90-degree portrait mode is also available. Movement is very solid, no play or wobble.
There are game-oriented styling cues on the back, revealing a red trim ring around the panel mount points. Some molded textures add a sci-fi look that’s obvious enough to grab attention without yelling “Look at me!” The Viotek logo is proudly displayed at the top. Also, the stand has a hole for the cable to pass through.
Input panels include HDMI 2.0, HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.2. The USB port is for service only and does not support peripherals. You can connect headphones or powered speakers to the 3.5 mm jack. No built-in speakers or additional USB ports.
The GFI24CBA’s OSD is styled to just say “gaming monitor” without getting in the way. Input resolution, refresh rate, and Adaptive-Sync status are at the top of every screen. Six submenus contain everything you need for image control, video processing and convenience.
image 1 of 7
The Display menu has basic image settings and 7 preset image modes. User is the default and the only mode that allows access to all other controls. Black Equalize allows the user to control shadow levels to improve visibility.
The Color menu has 4 preset color temperatures, user adjustable options and 4 gamma curves. The sRGB option is redundant as the GFI24CBA is already strictly an sRGB monitor. The default setting Normal color temp is very blue, but switching to the Warm setting is enough. You can calibrate to a higher metric, but you don’t need it. This menu also has hue and saturation sliders and a low blue light mode.
Gaming options are fully covered with MPRT, 3 levels of overdrive, dynamic contrast, Adaptive-Sync toggle and backlight strobe. I had to turn AS off first, it doesn’t cut brightness much, but there were frame tearing, and 144 Hz is too slow to run without FreeSync or G-Sync. With the overdrive set low, we experienced good responsiveness and smooth movement during fast-paced games. The GamePlus menu includes a countdown timer, aim point selection, and frame rate indicator.
Once you’ve fine-tuned the GFI24CBA to your liking, there are three memory slots for storing all your settings. This is something all monitors should have, but few actually do.
Viotek GFI24CBA Calibration Settings
GFI24CBA is set to User image mode, gamma 2.2, standard color temperature. The photo is flat and blue, but fixing it is easier than you think. You can adjust the custom color temperature to a very high standard, but just switch to a warmer color temperature. This eliminates all visible grayscale errors and makes the secondary color point match the hue target. In all cases gamma is good with tight tracking. Below are the settings I used for all my tests and games.
|Brightness 200 nits||55|
|Brightness 120 nits||27|
|Brightness 100 nits||20|
|Brightness 80 nits||14|
|Brightness 50 nits||5 (minimum 36 nits)|
|temperature||Red 52, Green 52, Blue 48|
Games and hands-on
GFI24CBA proves that a great display doesn’t have to be that expensive. I’ve used it for a few days for various tasks, games and videos, and it never misses Ultra HD and HDR as much as I thought it would. If you have a high-end monitor with enhanced colors, you’ll notice that the sRGB image is a little less sharp. But just a little. The difference is not day and night. It may be afternoon and dusk, but it’s not life-changing.
There’s enough contrast and color to get through writing and other daily activities.The pixel density of 92ppi is plenty, so I didn’t mind the jaggedness or pixelation of the graphics. It would be a different comment if the screen was larger, but for a 24-inch, the image is detailed and sharp. Viotek’s anti-glare layer maintains clarity without obvious grain. And because the light is completely blocked, the image never fades.
The game was a surprisingly good experience. This is from the perspective of having played many high-resolution, high-speed monitors. 144 Hz is the starting point for great gaming performance, but it never comes at a cost. Locking the frame rate to 144 fps is child’s play on the GeForce RTX 3090. I never saw the indicator change from 144 no matter how much detail I dialed in. Doom Eternal When Call of Duty World War II. The only obvious difference was the color. Red is less bold and bloodier in sRGB format.
Video processing was on par with premium displays. Both G-Sync and FreeSync worked flawlessly, showing smooth, artifact-free images when the overdrive was set to Low. Experimenting with MPRT blur reduction allowed me to tear through a few frames when the frame rate dropped. But most of the time it was locked at 144 so the variable update was not working. The backlight strobe imposes a 30% brightness penalty, so in the end it didn’t improve the image.
The GFI24CBA is a great gaming monitor for the price. It’s beginner-level on paper, but its gaming prowess falls far short of the best I’ve experienced.