Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC review (2024)

Our Verdict

Samsung has copious form when it comes to pushing the boundaries of display technology. The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC is true to that tradition. This dual-4K monster does things no other display can match. Admittedly, the mini-LED technology can't match OLED for lighting precision and panel response. And it costs a pile of money. But this is still the most spectacular gaming experience currently available.

For

  • More pixels than you can possibly imagine
  • Much improved local dimming
  • Staggering gaming experience

Against

  • Mini-LED tech still has limitations
  • Ergonomics are questionable
  • Quite, er, expensive

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Is there such a thing as too much screen? Obviously, yes. Try plonking, say, a 65-inch HDTV on your desktop as PC monitor and the limitations of size are obvious enough. But the incredible, preposterous new Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC Dual UHD is no thinly disguised TV. It's a proper PC-optimised panel. And yet this 57-inch uber-wide monster still has us wondering if you can have too much of a good thing.

What you're looking at, in effect, is a pair of 32-inch 240Hz 4K gaming monitors fused into a single 57-inch ultra-curved panel. So, that's no fewer than 7,680 by 2,160 pixels, or just over 16.5 million in total and twice that of 4K. Ouch.

A single 240Hz 4K monitor would be pretty special. But double that resolution running at such a high refresh rate is genuinely unprecedented. Indeed, it's so novel that only AMD's latest RDNA 3-powered Radeon RX 7000 Series GPU can hit the full 240Hz courtesy of their DisplayPort 2.1 interfaces. Nvidia's RTX 40-series GPUs are limited to DP 1.4 can only do 120Hz.

Of course, you could argue that's usually going to be an academic distinction. Good luck hitting 240Hz at dual 4K in Cyberpunk with all the ray-tracing twangers maxed out, or any other graphically demanding game, even on an RTX 4090. However, it's definitely a bit problematic that this most demanding of PC monitors can't run at full performance with the current world's fastest GPU. If you can afford this monitor's $2,499 sticker price, you can almost certainly afford to go all in on a $1,599 RTX 4090.

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC review (1)

Screen size: 57-inch
Resolution: 7680 x 2160
Brightness: 420 nits "typical"
Color coverage: 95% DCI-P3
Response time: 1ms
Refresh rate: 240Hz
Contrast ratio: 2500:1
Features: VA panel, adaptive sync, 1x DisplayPort 2.1, 3x HDMI 2.1, USB-C hub, 1000R curve
Price: $2,499 | £2,199

Anyway, this display has a few additional metrics and features that are worth noting. For starters, there's DisplayHDR 1000 certification. With that comes full-array local dimming and 2,392 zones, which not surprisingly is double what you get on many 32-inch 4K panels with full-array dimming. Again, it's that dual-4K thing.

The panel itself is VA, which is what you'd expect from Samsung, though the 2,500:1 static contrast rating is a little lower than you might expect, given VA panel tech can now achieve 3,000:1 or even 4,000:1. For the record, pixel response is rated at 1ms and thus on par with most high-performance LCD-based gaming monitors. Oh, and miles off the 0.1ms or even lower response ratings of the latest breed of OLED panels.

Anywho, out of the box this thing is laugh-out-loud large. We're used to Samsung's 49-inch G9s here at PCG Towers, such as the Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 G93SC, but somehow this 57-inch monster is still shocking. It's the combination of the huge panel size, the ridiculous 32:9 aspect ratio and extreme 1000R curvature. You feel like you're getting your money's worth that's for sure. Styling and ergonomics-wise, it's the usual Samsung Odyssey fare complete with that signature Stormtrooper glossy white plastic.

Out of the box this thing is laugh-out-loud large.

As for connectivity, along with the DisplayPort socket that exclusively offers the full 240Hz, there's a trio of HDMI inputs, plus USB-C. However, the latter is only for the USB hub, it's not a display interface.

But what of the actual viewing experience? First impressions are of a monitor that, if anything, comfortably exceeds the claimed brightness rating. Samsung quotes 350 nits minimum and 420 nits typical for SDR content, but this monitor is easily punchier than your usual 400 nit panel.

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC review (2)

HDR performance is beyond the HDR1000 certification, too. In HDR test video, it's clearly capable of beyond 1,000 nits of brightness. Actually, you can see that in games, too. Pan the camera up to the sky and the desert sun in Cyberpunk 2077 and the panel absolutely sizzles. HDR video content looks spectacular, too.

There are limitations, of course. Even with a couple of thousand dimming zones, the backlight resolution is very low. And you can see that if you look carefully at HDR content. An obvious example is a small bright object on a dark background, which may not be enough to trigger the backlight to ramp up, leaving it darker than it should be. The issues go beyond that, but most of the time, the backlighting precision limitations are fairly subtle.

What's more, Samsung has finally sorted out how to handle SDR content in HDR mode. You no longer have any backlighting weirdness with SDR content, it just works like a conventional display without local dimming, which is a relief.

Indeed, during our time with the display, we didn't see any of the glitches and bugginess that have blighted Samsung's big Odyssey gaming LCDs of late. So, that's progress of sorts.

What we did see and what really marks this display out is the elevated pixel density on an epic scale. The 140DPI is exactly the same as a 32-inch 4K monitor, it's just you've never seen this kind of pixel density on such a large panel before. It really is remarkable to experience this kind of image detail across such a huge monitor.

That said, it's questionable how much you really notice this in-game as opposed to on the desktop. At normal game viewing distances, the heightened image detail is definitely there. It's just not super obvious versus Samsung's smaller (if you can call 49 inches small) and lower resolution G9 monitors. So, the funny thing about the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC is that it's at its most appealing as an all-round PC monitor rather than as a pure gaming panel.

It's so nice to have crisp, clean fonts on a monitor this size. That's something you absolutely do notice next to the other G9 panels. For multi-tasking, it's a joy too. As for watching video and movies, well, the obvious problem is that there's no 32:9 content. Typical 16:9 video leaves half the panel unused and even anamorphic 2.39:1 ultrawide feature films leave decent sized black bars either side of the content.

Anyway, back to gaming and thank goodness for modern upscaling. The dual 4K resolution gives even a Radeon 7900 XTX a hammering. To be honest, even with upscaling, that GPU can't cope with Cyberpunk 2077 with ray tracing enabled. Less demanding titles look slick, smooth and totally spectacular. But those 16 million pixels are debilitating for any GPU to drive, there's no getting round that.

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC review (3)

It's at its most appealing as an all-round PC monitor rather than as a pure gaming panel.

One way of making sense of this ridiculous screen goes like this. Pay your money and pair it with an RTX 4090. You'll get decent frame rates in most games, especially with upscaling. The 120Hz limitation isn't actually much of a limitation because you'll not going to be hitting 240fps at max details in The Last of Us: Part 1, or whatever, at dual-4K anyway.

Then when even more powerful new GPUs are released next year or maybe 2025, they'll doubtless have DP 2.1 and be capable of the full 240Hz. And you'll be able to hit that 240Hz-plus more often in more goes. And away you go. It's hardly a value proposition. But then if you're considering a $2.5k gaming monitor, that's probably not a huge concern.

What might worry you is the comparison with Samsung's own 49-inch ultrawide OLED monitors, the Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 G93SC and G95SC. Those screens are a little bit cheaper and run at a much lower 5,120 by 1,440 resolution. Instead of being essentially two 32-inch 4K monitors fused into one, those OLED monitors are two 27-inch 1440p panels in one.

So, you don't get anything like the pixel density, crispness and sharpness with the OLED alternative. The searing brightness isn't on offer, either. But you do get outrageously fast pixel response and perfect per-pixel lighting for a truly immaculate HDR experience and immense contrast.

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Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC review (4)

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC review (5)

Of course, the ultrawide 32:9 aspect is shared by all of the Samsung G9 monitors. And it's debatable how much benefit that is to gaming. For absolute sure, it's fantastic for that wrap-around feel of immersion. But most first-person shooters, especially esports titles, don't support it properly in FoV terms, so you end up with lots of stretching and distortion at the edges.

The visual ergonomics in terms of UI elements with such a huge, ultrawide screen are problematic, too. Having to crane your neck dramatically, just to glimpse your minimap or health status isn't exactly ergonomic. Suddenly, it feels like a lot of games need configurable UI to make them comfortable and intuitive to play.

It's hard to draw a really definitive conclusion about the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC, then. It's expensive enough to be irrelevant to most gamers, on the one hand. And it has obvious limitations. But it also delivers an experience no other monitor can match.

OLED tech, for instance, clearly offers superior speed and perfect per pixel lighting that will never be matched by an LCD monitor with a fancy backlight. But there's no OLED gaming monitor that can match this monster's pixel density, especially as such scale.

In other words, as epic as this monitor is, it does nothing to change the fact that no one monitor can currently offer the best in current display tech.

Buy if...

You want the ultimate gaming spectacle: Never before has this kind of pixel density been available from such a huge screen. It's incredible.

Don't buy if...

You're expecting perfection: Samsung has improved its local dimming implementation. But it's still no match for the lighting precision—and pixel response—of an OLED monitor.

One day, you'll be able to have a monitor with really punchy full-screen brightness, per-pixel lighting, ultra-fast response, and genuine high-DPI pixel density in any size or shape you fancy. But right now, you have to compromise on one or two items from that list, it's just not possible to combine everything in one display.

What that means is you have to decide whether you value what this display does best over the alternatives. If you want that crispy pixel density and punchy brightness on a scale never seen before, there's nothing that can touch this monitor. But, arguably, what this screen does best is actually productivity, especially when you factor in the picture-by-picture support.

The superior pixel density is really obvious in Windows, but less so in games. At the same time, the ultra-high resolution generates enough GPU load to make the 240Hz refresh rather academic with a lot of modern games. That's particularly true given Nvidia's RTX 4090 can only do 120Hz in any case due to its old-spec DisplayPort interface.

For pure gaming, then, there are probably better optimised options. But as an all-round, ultra-luxury, money-no-object PC monitor, this is as good as it currently gets, flaws and all.

The Verdict

90

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Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC

Samsung has copious form when it comes to pushing the boundaries of display technology. The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC is true to that tradition. This dual-4K monster does things no other display can match. Admittedly, the mini-LED technology can't match OLED for lighting precision and panel response. And it costs a pile of money. But this is still the most spectacular gaming experience currently available.

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC review (6)

Jeremy Laird

Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.

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As an enthusiast with a deep understanding of display technology, particularly in gaming monitors, I can attest to the detailed insights provided in the article about the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC. I've extensively researched and kept up with the latest developments in display technology, including advancements in mini-LED technology, panel resolutions, refresh rates, and HDR capabilities.

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC, as highlighted in the article, stands out as a dual-4K gaming monitor that pushes the boundaries of what's currently available. It boasts a massive 57-inch ultra-curved panel, combining the equivalent of two 32-inch 240Hz 4K gaming monitors into a single display with a resolution of 7680 x 2160 pixels. The article correctly emphasizes the unprecedented pixel count of over 16.5 million, delivering a gaming experience that surpasses most alternatives.

Key specifications of the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC include a 240Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and a VA panel with a 2,500:1 static contrast ratio. The mini-LED technology, though acknowledged for its limitations in lighting precision compared to OLED, is praised for its much-improved local dimming and HDR performance. The display supports DisplayHDR 1000 certification with full-array local dimming and 2,392 zones, enhancing the HDR experience.

Connectivity options include 1x DisplayPort 2.1, 3x HDMI 2.1, and a USB-C hub. The article rightly notes the need for a powerful GPU, specifically mentioning AMD's RDNA 3-powered Radeon RX 7000 Series GPU for achieving the full 240Hz refresh rate.

The review also provides a nuanced perspective on the monitor's practicality, addressing concerns such as its ergonomics, the challenge of utilizing its full potential in graphically demanding games, and its suitability for productivity beyond gaming. The comparison with Samsung's own 49-inch ultrawide OLED monitors adds valuable context, highlighting trade-offs between pixel density, brightness, and pixel response.

In conclusion, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC is acknowledged as an expensive but groundbreaking gaming monitor that delivers a unique and spectacular gaming experience. The article provides a comprehensive evaluation of its strengths, limitations, and the niche it occupies in the current display technology landscape.

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NC review (2024)

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