The Sad, Misleading and Embarking State of HDR in PC Gaming

HDR in PC gaming is not as slick as the hype might suggest. Its shortcomings are mostly centered on the screens. Specifically, a screen is responsible for most HDR issues, including Dynamic metadata, Lack of local dimming zones, and High refresh rates. But, the state of HDR in PC gaming isn’t all bad news. There are still ways to improve the quality of video games using HDR, so let’s look at some of those issues.

Screens are the biggest source of HDR issues

PC gaming enthusiasts can expect an incredible HDR experience from an Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ. However, while Asus boasts impressive HDR performance, the vast majority of gaming monitors on the market are no more than four years old. Although the gaming monitor market has seen some innovation over the last four years, the majority of PC monitors still have the same problems. The biggest culprit for HDR problems on PC is the monitor itself. Unlike HDR gaming headsets, PC monitors that support the feature are usually not able to provide a high enough resolution for HDR to be usable on these consoles.

Dynamic metadata

If you’re a fan of high-definition video, then you may be wondering if you should be using Dynamic Metadata in PC gaming. Dynamic metadata allows your PC games to adjust the amount of tonemapping data they send to your monitor. This allows you to play games with a range of tonemapping metadata, and different sections of the same game can have different metadata. HDR10 is a type of dynamic metadata, but it’s not as good as Dolby Vision.
Lack of local dimming zones

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Lack of local dimming zones is a common problem with LCDs, which are unable to combine Local Dimming and VRR. However, OLED displays are able to achieve local dimming, since every pixel has its own light source. Therefore, they can act as a dimming zone, allowing them to turn on and off independently. This makes them better for HDR gaming.

High refresh rate

The higher the refresh rate, the less lag the game will experience. Higher refresh rates give the game more time to read input from your keyboard and mouse. The refresh rate also depends on the in-game frame rate. Some games are programmed to run at 60 FPS, while others may run at only 30. Therefore, running games at 144 Hz will not make a huge difference. But if you’re playing ultra-competitive games and want the best experience possible, a high refresh rate may be worth it.

High response rate

The response rate in PC gaming is important for smooth gameplay. If the response time is slow, you will notice ghosting on your screen. For professional and casual gaming, a response time of less than 5ms is ideal. Anything below that is considered acceptable, although a response time of 6ms is not ideal for gaming. Despite the varying requirements of professional and casual gamers, a response rate of 5ms will suffice most of the time.

Low peak brightness

HDR is a display feature that allows bright objects to be super-bright, while dark objects can be very dark. Because of this, the image is richer, more dynamic, and more detailed than standard range images. Unfortunately, PC gaming displays do not always meet these requirements. If you’re concerned about your system’s HDR capabilities, read this article for some tips. The HDR standard is the latest advancement in PC gaming, but it is not yet perfect.