ASUS XG27UQ + VG278Q monitor Color banding

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  • #33470

    KentaZX
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    Hello, I’ve been trying to deal with a certain color banding issues with both the ASUS XG27UQ and VG278Q monitors. I’ve realized this issue at first when I was trying to learn how to digitally paint in Clip Studio Paint, specifically shading, mixing colors and bluring. Everytime I use their standard soft brush, air brush, gradient or blur tools, it would always give out those un wanted streaks/lines as shown in the CSPProof image I’ve attached. I thought maybe it was just Clip studio paint itself but as I research more for help, I’ve noticed color banding on my desktop inside windows 11 as well.  I have tested this out with the wallpaper I’ve attached here as it was stated to be uncompressed.

    I also checked the nvidia settings as well and my monitors were using the highest (32-bit) Desktop Color Depth,  stuck with 8 bit Output Color Depth and are running at 144Hz Refresh rate. The 2 VG278Q are using RGB Output Color Format and Full Output Dynamic Range, while the XG27UQ monitor can only use YCbCr 4:2:2 Output Color Format and Limited Output Dynamic Range, though if I lower that down to 60Hz, then I can use RGB and increase the Output Color Depth to 10. Changing around these settings AND adjusting the settings in the monitors OSD made no difference with the color banding issue. Using different ICC profiles only changed the colors slightly, which made me think I should buy a colorimeter to improve the colors, also trying to change the settings through Calibration Tools and screwing around with the gamma, but once again did not help with the color banding issues whatsoever. The last thing I’ve tried was trying to enable Dithering with 8 bit temporal, 10 bit temporal and 8 bit 2×2 dynamic reg keys from the sticky thread here, nothing changed yet again. Yesterday I also played around the Arch Linux OS and the color banding still came up.

    So the reason I’m posting here is because I want to see if anyone can help me troubleshoot this if this is a software/OS issue and I’m wondering if buying a colorimeter (looking at SpyderX Pro) and calibrating it would finally fixed the issue, or if I have to actually contact ASUS and RMA all the monitors. I want to get some insight first before I spend money.

    and my setup is:
    CPU: intel i7-7700K
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 1070 EVGA FTW
    Motherboard: ASUS Prime z270-K
    RAM: 16GB
    OS: Windows 11 (also tested on Arch Linux too)

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    #33475

    Vincent
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    1st- set RGB 444 0-255 60Hz range for both
    2nd- disable all GPU calibrations (back to default sRGB profile or factory profile)

    Now open a (known) smooth gradient in MS Paint (YOU MUST USE PAINT), like :

    http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/img/gradient-h.png

    Whatever “new” banding you see is caused by  monitor & GPU, not by  calibration.

    Now load ICC profile calibration, same test.
    Whetever banding you see is caused by GPU HW or its driver. Nvidias are prone to this since they have no dithering. AMDs do not suffer such issues.
    You can try to enable ditheirng with registry hack or use DWMLUT to simulate an idealized version of each monitor native colospace, since DWMLUT has dithering banding in non color manages software shoudl go away as long as source gradient is smooth (your samples may not be smooth): Thats why you soudl use that gradient test in link.

    Now load that gradient in a color managed application and assign sRGB colorpace when requested, so image has a colorspace.
    Whatever “new” banding you see is caused by color management engine rounding errors. Try to enagle 10bit output in Photoshop and for other applications try to select a simple 1 TRC profile when making a new calibration, that shoudl mionimize banding although withoit dithering (LR/C1) or 10bit OpenGL output trick (Photoshop) some banding is unavoidable.

    Now assume that there was no banding in all these tests. Open your files, whatever banding you see is caused by content itself. The tool you used to create such gradients is not able to make them smooth, it does not dither content so steps are smooth in file content itself.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Vincent.
    #33490

    KentaZX
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    Okay I disabled all color profiles I believe and I never touched the gamma, digital vibrance, hue nor the 3 RGB sliders, so that should be the default. I’ve set my XG27UQ to RGB + 0-255 + 60HZ +10-bit and that actually reduced the banding a bit. Its still there but less noticeable. My VG278Q monitors can  only go down to 85HZ apparently and 8-bit only, but I’ve set RGB 444 and 0-225 on those two. I’m mainly worried about my 4K monitor (XG27UQ) because that where I plan to do all my art/video/stream work on. Speaking of which, could having multiple monitors on cause color banding too, considering it would using more power from the GPU?

    Also I dont have a LUT yet, so I guess I’ll need to use a colorimeter to generate that from DisplayCAL. I was thinking of getting the Spyder X Pro, will that work fine for my monitors?

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by KentaZX.
    #33492

    Vincent
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    Okay I disabled all color profiles I believe and I never touched the gamma, digital vibrance, hue nor the 3 RGB sliders, so that should be the default. I’ve set my XG27UQ to RGB + 0-255 + 60HZ +10-bit and that actually reduced the banding a bit. Its still there but less noticeable. My VG278Q monitors can  only go down to 85HZ apparently and 8-bit only, but I’ve set RGB 444 and 0-225 on those two.

    Then it is caused by GPU or monitor itself. Try to use with other computer to discard GPU.

    I’m mainly worried about my 4K monitor (XG27UQ) because that where I plan to do all my art/video/stream work on. Speaking of which, could having multiple monitors on cause color banding too, considering it would using more power from the GPU?

    No.

    Also I dont have a LUT yet, so I guess I’ll need to use a colorimeter to generate that from DisplayCAL. I was thinking of getting the Spyder X Pro, will that work fine for my monitors?

    Avoid spyders, Only i1d3 family for colorimeters from Xrite. Choose the cheap or the pro dpending on speed requirements and if you plan to eventually have a monitor with HW calibration. Cheap one cannot do that becxause Xrite locked all software able to do that to reject that colorimeter… so the pro is needed.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Vincent.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Vincent.
    #33646

    KentaZX
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    Okay I have tested my GPU on an older HP IPS xi25 monitor and the banding is still there in the same fashion as it would on my asus monitors. I have Also drop out on Windows 11 dev and reinstalled Windows 10, that didn’t help either. which is why I didn’t reply here for a while. All I could think of at this rate is that theres something wrong with my GPU itself, or some setting is making it look bad, even though everything is in default, or is the Displayport cables I’m using that are causing the issue. I am using the cables that came inside the Asus monitor boxes.

    And thank you for the heads up about spyderX. I’ll see if I can grab the Xrite pro version.

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