The LG Ultrawide 38WN95C-W is the best monitor for Developers and Gamers

February 19, 2021

As a software developer by day and gamer by night it's been hard to juggle the functional workspace I need with the entertainment space I want.

For anyone looking at working on a macbook 9-5 and having a single panel capable of handing an enjoyable, no compromise gaming experience, this is the monitor to look at.

Traditionally in order to get set up for the day, I'd have to move my keyboard and mouse attached to my gaming computer out of the way. Set up my macbook pro, pull out the dongle connected to an HDMI cable, then fluff around in my work bag to find the power brick for the macbook.

I wouldn't use my nice external mechanical keyboard, nor would I use the wonderful Audioengine speakers I have. It's two extra cables I'd need to replug every day - and it's a pain in the bum.

Enter the LG 38WN95C-W, a gorgeous 38" Ultrawide panel with a Nano IPS display, 3840x1600 resolution and, most importantly, a thunderbolt 3 port.

Why Thunderbolt 3 is such a big deal

At the time of writing, there are no other gaming panels that have a 144hz refresh rate, G-sync and thunderbolt. None. The reason this is so important is due to the ability to connect a SINGLE thunderbolt 3 cable to your macbook, and you're done. You're all set up, no more config. Just swap the input on your monitor and you're golden.

By connecting your peripheral devices, such as a mac compatible Logitech or wireless mouse, keyboard and speakers you're able to swap between computers on the fly, eliminating all the admin of swapping from a mac based environment, to a windows one.

It also provides power to your macbook, so you're good to go there too.

What makes it good for gaming?

The 38WN95C-W has:

  • A Nano IPS panel, allowing for a 1ms GtG refresh rate. Traditionally IPS panels have been slower then their TN counterparts, the new technology in Nano IPS allows for a faster panel with better viewing angles.
  • 144hz refresh rate.
  • G-sync and Freesync compatible
  • Note the G-sync in this case is G-sync compatible, which means that you don't get the 'ultimate' level of support from a dedicated module. In reality this means that you don't get Gsync at 1000 nits brightness with HDR (this panel only goes up to 600), variable overdrive or ultra low motion blur. It's not something that most will miss, and won't be putting me off.
  • HDR 600 - the sweet spot for HDR gaming is 1000 nits. Personally, this doesn't bother me at all. I'm prone to headaches and having a screen 3ft away from my face blasting light at 1000 nits at 11pm is neither good for my head, nor my sleep.

Another thing to mention is the 3840 x 1600 resolution. This in effect is as wide as a 4k display, but not as tall - 4k being 3840 x 2160. Having a screen that wide makes for some really immersive gaming experiences. I found I enjoyed this resolution the most during games like Battlefield, World of Warcraft, or Total War. Anything where extra screen real estate was beneficial.

There are some minor frustrations with UI being on the corners of the screen, which means you have to look further to see important information but this can be customized on a per game basis.

Most developers also now support ultrawide on release, so you'll be able to enjoy the majority of your games on the day they drop.

What makes it good for productivity?

Traditional 21:9 monitors had a 1440p vertical height. The 38WN95C is 1600, which makes it much more ideal for programming and combing through technical documentation. It was always a slight issue on my last panel, the Asus PG34[numbers] at 1440 it always felt slightly cramped given the 3440 horizontal resolution. The 38WN95C gives you that little extra breathing room.

The DCI-P3 98% Color Gamut also allows for color critical work, meaning if you're a designer, photographer, or anyone who relies on color, your bases are covered.

Added to this, the sheer amount of space you get for X.X million pixels means multi tasking, document referencing, and anything else that requires multiple windows open at once is a breeze.

Why it works for me

I use a macbook pro as my day to day work machine. I have a bunch of peripherals connected to my main pc and switching them over (as I said) is a huge pain. Having a single cable to swap over my entire system, as well as charging gives me a great sense of satisfaction.

It also means my workspace is much cleaner and not a rats nest of cables and dongles which does wonders for my mental state and willingness to sit down at my desk.

The LG can be purchased from amazon here.

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