FreeSync 2 Monitor - Samsung CHG90 49-inch 32:9 Curved Display
I wanted this monitor since last summer when Samsung announced it has FreeSync 2 and a 144 Hz refresh rate. During the Black Friday to Christmas sales here in the US, there were many good deals so I pulled the trigger on one. A common issue I read about this monitor is the wake from sleep behavior. I updated the firmware to the latest version 1014.2 right after receiving mine and I have yet to encounter wake from sleep issue.
This super-wide 49" monitor at 32:9 ratio is effectively two 27" FHD monitors stitched together. Due to the curvature of the display, it takes up a lot of space. The screen itself weighs more than 26 pounds so the stand is very elaborate in order to balance the odd shape. I took this picture from an angle because getting the whole width inside the frame straight-on was a challenge.
The latest firmware also ensures FreeSync range for this Samsung CHG90 is 48-144 Hz via either DisplayPort or 48-100Hz via HDMI (according to AMD's list of FreeSync monitors). macOS of course cannot make use of FreeSync so Windows is the only environment when FreeSync is active. What I was interested in finding out most was the performance and experience with an eGPU. The monitor works well at native resolution 3840 x 1080 @ 120 Hz in 10.13 via both internal graphics and external graphics connection when paired with a nMP.
Next was to pair it up with my late 2016 15" MBP + Mantiz Venus RX Vega 56 eGPU. The monitor was plug-and-play once the RX Vega 56 eGPU was functional in Boot Camp. FreeSync was automatically detected and enabled. The display showed it's running at 144 Hz.
I ran a few benchmarks at 3840 x 1080. This seems to be quite a stretch for a single AMD card to handle at the moment.
The 81 DPI is hard to overlook. If you're used to retina displays, the unpolished pixels on this screen will scratch your eyeballs like sandpaper. I lowered the Sharpness settings to smooth on screen texts. Other than gaming, it's not possible to recommend this monitor.
When I had an nVidia card, under macOS with the nVidia web driver installed there was a panel in display preferences for G-SYNC. Do you recall if there was anything similar in macOS for Freesync when using an AMD card?
@zorn FreeSync and G-Sync are only possible in Windows with compatible monitors. The G-Sync panel in macOS doesn't mean much.
@itsage, thank you very much for your review.
I have the same MacBook Pro as you. And as both GPUs and the 49" Samsung prices are coming down significantly, I'm tempted to buy the same configuration.
Would you recommend going with a Vega 64 rather than the 56? Or is the 56 powerful enough to drive this monitor at correct fps in most games?
@mja Without a doubt the RX Vega 56 is the better choice. In eGPU mode, the RX Vega 64 has caused a lot of headaches with peak power. The performance difference doesn't justify the additional expense for GPU itself and a more powerful PSU/enclosure imo.
I have this same monitor with a 2017 MacBook Pro. I have a USB-c eGPU that has a vega 64. I have connected this display with DisplayPort, but I can't get it to perform at 3840 x 1080 @ 120 Hz. It will only do 60Hz at the resolution. If I lower the resolution I can get the 144 but I can't get close to that in full-screen mode. When you select scaled down in preferences the hertz is still grayed out. Am I missing something here?
@dubohio Are you running this setup in macOS? I've noticed macOS is very picky about the condition in which it will run at higher than 60Hz refresh rate. Make sure you turn off FreeSync via the monitor OSD. There are three preset buttons on this monitor. I programmed them to have one for macOS (120Hz no FreeSync), one for Windows (144Hz FreeSync), and last one default.
@itsage thanks for the quick reply. I'll have to double check my settings. I thought I had free sync turned off but I'm not sure. I also had an issue where I couldn't even get the monitor to work under display port 1.2 in the monitor setting. I had to force it to 1.1 to work. Maybe it's a combination of having 120Hz no FreeSync for 1.2 to work?
Turns out I had a cable that apparently was advertised as supporting DisplayPort 1.2 but didn't. I also had to install cscreen and run the command below to get the display to run at 120hz
cscreen -s 1 -d 32 -x 3840 -y 1080 -r 120
The crazy thing is when you run cscreen -v to show all the valid configuration this is listed, but not listed in OS X 10.13.6 anywhere. In fact, no matter if I have Default for display or Scaled under Display setting the refresh rate setting, doesn't even now. Not greyed out, but doesn't show at all. Seems like this is strange for something a rudimentary as monitor settings. Maybe this is fixed in Mojave.