4K gaming monitors are wonderful for quality, but a correct HDR implementation is better for a visual experience. Let’s dig deep into Cooler Master Tempest GP27U Monitor Review.
Many gaming displays have poor HDR with low contrast, peak brightness, and dimming zone implementations that fail to make pictures jump. Cooler Master Tempest GP27U is not. This $1000 4K/160Hz gaming display has substantial MiniLED local dimming. Though expensive, it doesn’t skimp on specs.
Cooler Master Tempest GP27U Design and Features
Subtle Cooler Master Tempest. The panel area has a few accent lights and elegant cutaways. The stand is a vertical pole with a hexagonal Cooler Master logo base. The stand includes a cable tie. Its simple design allows for many modifications and stability.
However, the display has many connections to satisfy most users. Consoles need two HDMI 2.1 connectors for 4K/120Hz. DisplayPort 1.4 can support 4K/160Hz. A USB-C port handles display, USB, and 90W power transmission. A two-port USB hub completes the package.
A single joystick controls the monitor at the back. This joystick controls power, settings, etc. This causes my monitor to lock into power-saving mode and fail to detect input while my computer is idle. The joystick was unresponsive in this mode, preventing me from changing settings, inputs, or powering the monitor.
This required unplugging and replugging the monitor’s power and DisplayPort cables. It depends.
The monitor’s 240-watt power brick isn’t ideal for neat desks. Power generates heat. When playing with the joystick, the bottom corners reached 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
As the monitor performs, heat is expected. The Tempest’s 4K at 160Hz and tremendous brightness make it power-hungry.
The Tempest supports local dimming and various refresh rates, but not simultaneously. Using a USB drive and a monitor port, a firmware update fixes this issue.
Last-resort speakers are on the monitor. In a silent environment, you can hear what you’re listening to, but you shouldn’t watch movies, listen to music, or play games while using them. Let’s dig deep into Cooler Master Tempest GP27U Monitor Review.
Cooler Master Tempest GP27U Testing
Out-of-the-box, the Cooler Master Tempest GP27U covers sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3, and NTSC color schemes. It backs that up with flawless precision, with every color maintaining an accurate dE of less than 1.51 and an average accuracy dE of 0.73. You’d have to be a machine to spot any flaws.
Out-of-the-box performance isn’t everything. This setting omits much. The contrast is 850:1 and the brightness is 254.8 nits. The provided defaults set brightness to 35% and disable the monitor’s trademark local dimming. The monitor can reach 875.7-nit peak breaks and a 2930:1 contrast ratio by increasing brightness to 100% and local dimming.
That contrast performance applies to both dark and brilliant white screen areas. Local dimming allows black parts to get even darker if they’re farther from bright areas of the display, creating a 33,070:1 contrast ratio between a virtually complete white screen at 932.6 nits and a nearly full black screen at 0.03 nits.
This setting reduces gamut and precision, but no color space falls below 97% coverage, and accuracy remains below an average dE of 3.
Unfortunately, HDR detracts. It reduces Adobe RGB coverage to 79%, DCI-P3 to 81%, and NTSC to 74%. Color accuracy drops to 2.46 dE. Still good, but SDR color accuracy was remarkable. HDR offers advantages. I measured 958 nits, which could apply to a small or huge portion of the screen.
Curiously, the monitor never reached the advertised 1200 nits peak brightness. The highest measurement I saw was 958 nits in a 9% to 25% window. Smaller windows might not have enough backlight brightness to reach the same peak, while larger windows might not have enough power to drive all those pixels at that brightness level.
The Cooler Master Tempest GP27U’s 576 local dimming zones improve contrast, however blooming still occurs around them. Highlights on black show localized blooming. Though harder to discern, blooming occurs at the borders of brilliant content on a black background. Local dimming can change the contrast between text on a grey backdrop and the screen space around it, causing problems.
Cooler Master Tempest GP27U mobility performance is impressive. Blurbusters UFO test shows a slight ghosting trail behind the UFO. The UFO’s motion blurs certain details, but it’s not fuzzy. No pixel overshoot either. Out-of-the-box overdrive settings provided such performance. I reduced ghosting more by manually adjusting overdrive, but overshoot resulted.
Cooler Master Tempest GP27U—Gaming
The Tempest is even great when gaming. HDR with local dimming on this monitor is great for entertainment. Turning off HDR and local dimming until entertainment time fixes visual discrepancies while working and browsing the internet on the monitor.
The Tempest GP27U’s performance can almost match OLED, with big sections of black sinking into perceptually pitch black while highlights scream at the monitor’s max brightness. I viewed one of LG’s OLED TV demo videos and was amazed by this monitor’s performance. I was amazed by Cooler Master’s accuracy after testing an OLED display for Asus. OLED has its own quirks.
The monitor’s local dimming zones can fail next to an OLED display. Small highlights on a black background will grow around them. Blooming pops in and out as one zone goes dark and another lights up, especially when the highlights are changing.
Games make the Tempest GP27U’s flaws minor. It delivers beautiful game images despite its HDR color accuracy issues. Warzone 2.0’s fast-paced firefights don’t detract from local dimming blooming on starfields. Despite the monitor’s wonderful blacks, a little highlight can still burn my eyes.
Its rapid refresh rate and decent pixel response time enabled me to keep up in Overwatch 2 and Warzone 2.0. Warhammer 40,000: Darktide’s filthy environments benefit from rich contrast and bright HDR. Let’s dig deep into Cooler Master Tempest GP27U Monitor Review.
Cooler Master Tempest GP27U Monitor Review
In nearly every way, the Cooler Master Tempest GP27U is a fantastic display. It offers remarkable color and brightness, and its contrast is on par with that of certain OLEDs, all thanks to its thick MiniLED backlights and local dimming.
A hefty price tag is to be expected, but so is the price of any comparable monitor. The main competitor is the 1440p/165Hz variant, which is otherwise comparable but somewhat cheaper.
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