(Image: © Cooler Master)
The Cooler Master GM34-CW is one of the most colorful monitors we’ve reviewed. With over 98% coverage of DCI-P3, it brings a vibrance to all content both SDR and HDR. Gaming performance is top-notch with 144Hz and both kinds of adaptive sync. If saturated color is your thing, it doesn’t get much better.
- Over 98% DCI-P3 coverage
- Bright and contrasty
- 144Hz refresh, FreeSync & G-Sync compatible
- Excellent overdrive
- Mediocre out-of-box accuracy
- No sRGB mode
Adaptive sync and fast refresh are commonplace in the gaming monitor genre. HDR and extended color are becoming more prevalent as well. But where video processing is a “it works or it doesn’t” proposition, image quality is still widely varied, even among monitors that compete on price. There’s HDR and there’s good HDR. And extended color has to include the question, “how extended is it?” Most manufacturers tout the percentage of DCI-P3 coverage as a selling point, but our tests have shown that most screens fall a bit short of the claimed number.
Today, we’re checking out Cooler Master’s 32-inch GM34-CW, one of the company’s two current displays, the other being the smaller GM27-CF. The 27-inch model is impressive in its own right, with very few flaws, but the GM34-CW looks to shine even brighter — both literally and figuratively. The GM34-CW is a 34-inch curved ultra-wide running at UWQHD (3440×1440) resolution with 144Hz, both kinds of adaptive sync, DisplayHDR 400 and an enormous color gamut: over 98% of DCI-P3 in our tests.
Cooler Master GM34-CW Specifications
|Brand & Model||Cooler Master GM34-CW|
|Panel Type & Backlight||VA / W-LED, edge array, Quantum Dot|
|Screen Size & Aspect Ratio||34 inches / 21:9, Curve radius: 1500mm|
|Max Resolution & Refresh||3440×1440 @ 144Hz, FreeSync 48-144Hz, G-Sync compatible|
|Native Color Depth & Gamut||8-bit / DCI-P3, DisplayHDR 400, HDR10|
|Response Time (GTG)||4ms|
|Video Inputs||1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x HDMI 1.4|
|Audio||3.5mm headphone output|
|Power Consumption||29w, brightness @ 200 nits|
|Panel Dimensions||31.8 x 15.8-19.7 x 10.4 inches|
|WxHxD w/base||(808 x 401-500 x 264mm)|
|Panel Thickness||4 inches (102mm)|
|Bezel Width||Top/sides: 0.4 inch (9mm), Bottom: 0.75 inch (19mm)|
Thanks to a quantum dot backlight, the GM34-CW covers more than its manufacturer’s claim of 95% of DCI. Our tests showed an impressive 98.11%, bested only by Acer’s CP7271K, an ultra-expensive professional/gaming monitor. In simple terms, this Cooler Master is the second-most colorful monitor we’ve ever reviewed.
The backlight magic doesn’t stop there. DisplayHDR 400 certification means a bright presentation for both SDR and HDR. HDR10 signals are supported with both FreeSync and G-Sync. Nvidia hasn’t certified the GM34-CW, but in our tests it ran G-Sync with HDR at 144Hz just fine through the DisplayPort 1.4 input.
At 34 inches diagonal with UWQHD resolution, it’s an ideal size and pixel density for high framerates with mid-level to high-end video cards. The curve is 1500R, which means a visible wraparound effect that encompasses your peripheral vision when seated three feet away. Panel tech is Vertical Alignment (VA), which means plenty of contrast in both SDR and HDR modes. Our tests show a native ratio of just over 2700:1.
Other gaming features include an effective multi-level overdrive, aiming points and LED strips that grace the back of the panel. The GM34-CW is a complete package that sells for around $800 at this writing. Do all these things add up to a worthwhile buy? Let’s take a look.
Unpacking and Accessories
Assembly is a bit unusual unless you’ve already experienced a GM27-CF as we have. Unsnap the mount plate from the back of the panel. Attach it to the upright with two included bolts, bolt on the base with a wing nut, then snap the panel back on. Once together, the chassis is solid and doesn’t wobble when moved about. The power supply is internal, so an IEC cord comes in the box, along with HDMI and DisplayPort cables. Two stamped-steel brackets bolt in place of the upright if you’d rather use an arm equipped with a 75mm VESA mount.
(Image credit: Cooler Master)
Cooler Master likes to use the unique shape of its logo wherever possible, so you’ll see a tiny version of it on the GM34-CW’s bezel and in the shape of the cast-aluminum base. The upright is also all metal and offers 45 degrees of swivel in each direction, four inches of height adjustment and -5/15 degrees of tilt. Movements are firm and feel good. The base footprint is large, making the monitor very stable.
A flush 9mm bezel surrounds the top and sides, which visually disappears when the power’s off. Pressing the toggle on the bottom right causes the Cooler Master shape to appear on the screen and projects a soft blue light on the desktop to let you know the power is on. Four additional buttons control the generic-looking OSD, and they click satisfyingly. Navigation is a bit clunky, but we found our way around without difficulty.
From the top, you can see the fairly tight 1500R curvature. It provides a distinct wraparound effect without causing image distortion. If you’re new to curved monitors, it might take a little acclimation but once you get used to it, it’s hard to go back to playing on a flat screen unless it’s very large.
In back, you can see the LED strips, which are covered with diffusers that create a continuous bar of light. You can change the effect from solid to flicker in the OSD but the only color available is lavender. In the center, facing down, is the input panel which features one DisplayPort 1.4, one HDMI 1.4 and one HDMI 2.0. For 144Hz, adaptive sync and HDR, you’ll need to use DP. HDMI supports up to 100Hz with HDR and adaptive sync. You also get a 3.5mm headphone output; there are no USB ports. Built-in speakers are powered by three-watt op-amps and deliver clean sound in the upper mid-range frequencies.