AOC is becoming increasingly popular in the minds of both gamers and everyday users. Not only do their displays provide fantastic features and benefits, but they also showcase superb value for money when compared to similarly performing alternatives.
One monitor that seems to display these qualities in abundance is the AOC CU34G2X – a mid-tier 34 inch ultrawide curved gaming monitor. While this monitor is similar to the brand’s CU34G2 that we reviewed some months ago, this model features a higher 144Hz refresh rate that should make a noticeable difference in performance.
Alongside this, users can also expect a 3440 x 1440p screen resolution, 1ms response time, adaptive-sync VRR technology, and 1500R curved screen. The CU34G2X also comes equipped with a tonne of game-tailored features allowing users to fine-tune the visual experience to their game and needs.
All being said, we’ll be putting the CU34G2X through its paces in a number of different scenarios to see how it stacks up against some of the market’s leading 1440p 34″ gaming monitors. We’ll be testing it for gaming performance, response, picture quality, color accuracy, and panel uniformity. Like always, we’ll conclude the review with our final thoughts on overall performance and value for money.
So, will the CU34G2X be seeing you at the checkout or will this monitor fall short of the mark?
3440 x 1440
3440 x 1440
119% sRGB, 91% DCI-P3, 88% Adobe RGB
100 x 100mm
48Hz – 146Hz
Decent value for money
1ms response time
Quick 144Hz refresh rate
3440 x 1440p screen resolution
Backlight bleed is apparent
The AOC CU34G2X comes in a fairly basic box that showcases plenty of marketing material on the exterior. Alongside shots of the monitors, we also found core features and specifications of the display as well.
Inside, the monitor comes unassembled and some construction is required. The stand is a two-part construction that sees the base of the stand screw into the main body via a simple thumbscrew. The stand then clips into the back of the monitor – with no tools required.
Alongside the panel and the stand, users will find the following items:
- AOC CU34G2X
- Regional kettle plug
- HDMI Cable
- Calibrated color profile
3440 x 1440
With specifications out the way, let’s take a closer look at the build quality, design, and mechanical features the AOC CU34G2X comes equipped with.
The AOC CU34G2X looks identical to the other ‘C’ series curved gaming monitors AOC produces. It features a fairly understated design that is characterized by its sweeping 1500R curved panel and thin (borderless) bezels on the top and sides. The V-shape stand is fairly slender for a monitor of this size but works nicely with the curved design of the screen. The bottom bezel is the largest of the four, showcasing the AOC branding in the center with a printed light grey finish. A small LED indicator light and some button labels can be found on the right-hand side of the display as well.
Moving to the rear of the monitor and there aren’t a great deal of features to discuss. The stand is fairly simplistic in design but does feature a slight ‘gamey’ vibe thanks to its angular shape. The rear of the panel itself is plastic by design and finished in matte. Two large red arrows can be found on the rear of the panel, with a cooling grill underneath a larger AOC logo.
A simple cable management solution has been designed into the stand itself, offering easy access for tidying away input cables.
Overall, the AOC CU34G2X walks the line between subtle gamer vibes and a bog stand office panel – resulting in a nice balance that should suit almost any desk scenario.
Like many of the AOC monitors we’ve tested, the CU34G2X doesn’t offer breathtaking build quality. Most of the panel is designed and constructed using plastic which, if truth be told, doesn’t feel overly robust when tested. That said, the stand does feature a metal infrastructure but the exterior is almost entirely plastic.
The face of the monitor does feature a matte coating with 3H hardness so that is a positive for this panel. We tested the robustness of the rear of the panel and it held up to our tests – showcasing very little in the ways of flex or bend. The stand, however, didn’t provide too much stability and it often displays large amounts of wobble (when forced).
Despite most fittings feeling well-finished, the buttons on the underside of the bottom bezel didn’t feel overly premium.
Like most modern gaming monitors, the AOC CU34G2X features an anti-glare matte coating with a 3H hardness. While this is great for mitigating most natural and manmade light sources, the curved design of the panel does result in some annoying daytime reflections.
Additionally, this coating does tend to pick up fingerprints and oils fairly quickly – meaning regular cleaning is a feature.
The bezels for the CU34G2X are fairly slender when considering the size of the panel. Top and side bezels measure in at around 9mm while the bottom bezel features a larger 25mm profile. The bottom bezel does feature the AOC branding and some indicator lights, so it doesn’t take too much away from the visual experience you receive.
Looking at the stand’s functionality, you’d have to say this monitor delivers everything you could want from an ultrawide gaming display. Users can expect height, tilt, and swivel functionality. Of course, being ultrawide, there is no real need for pivot functionality here.
With viewing angles not being the best (something we’ll touch upon in more detail shortly), it’s nice to know that the CU34G2X does offer a good amount of functionality to allow better viewing when changing position.
Below are the full adjustments available with this particular panel:
- Forward Tilt – 3.5 degrees
- Backward Tilt – 21.5 degrees
- Left Swivel – 30 degrees
- Right Swivel – 30 degrees
- Height – 130mm
Like most AOC monitors, this panel does allow for simple VESA mounting – via a 100 x 100mm bracket.
3440 x 1440
Like the CU34G2, the G2X delivers well on the input front. It offers up 4 x USB 3.0 (downstream), 1 x USB 3.0 (upstream), 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x DisplayPort 1.4, and 1 x 3.5 mm audio out (for headphones). This gives you plenty of versatility and allows you to hook numerous peripherals and other devices to the panel.
See specifications for a full list of this monitor’s inputs
The OSD, or on-screen display, is yet again, an annoying four-button combination that takes real skill to master – no joke. Once you figure out what button does what, however, the menus are fairly easy to navigate.
The CU34G2X features plenty of options for fine-tuning the visual experience to your exact needs, including; luminance, color, picture, and game mode presets. Users also have hot buttons for quickly changing between the various inputs available and selecting their preferred game mode preset.
This panel also features PIP/PBP modes for utilizing two devices at the same time. Additionally, for gamers wanting to tweak the response of this monitor, overdrive and MBR settings are available in the ‘Game’ menu.
The following section will be a more comprehensive look at the color accuracy and picture quality of the AOC CU34G2X. We will be taking a look at key color presets to see how they stack up against the brand’s claims of a <2 average deltaE pre-calibration.
Despite this monitor being tailored towards gaming, a factory calibration does open it up to more creative-minded individuals. So it’ll be interesting to see how it performs in this particular area.
Below are the results.
|Preset||White Point||Black Depth||Contrast Ratio||Average ΔE*00||Gamma||Luminance|
|Out The Box (color temp – warm)||6368K||0.07 cd/m²||2522:1||2.78||2.25||175cd/m2|
|sRGB preset||6359K||0.0709 cd/m²||2569:1||1.54||2.26||175cd/m2|
We started off by running a quick test on the CU34G2X right out of the box. The panel has been set up in the ‘Warm’ color temp with the ‘Standard’ eco mode enabled. Despite AOC marketing the monitor as “below <2 color accuracy” – it’s a pretty safe bet that this accuracy is reserved for the sRGB preset.
That said, we ran the AOC CU34G2X straight out of the box and the color accuracy was fairly average. We recorded an acceptable 6368K white point, low 0.07 cd/m2 black depth, and 2500:1 contrast ratio. Less impressive, however, was the 2.78 average deltaE that we recorded across a medium-sized color chat. Gamma measured in at 2.25 and luminance was higher than the recommended for daily usage (175cd/m2).
We moved on to the sRGB emulation profile next which did improve color accuracy a fair bit. We saw a 6459K white point, low 0.07 black depth, and 2569:1 contrast ratio. While the average deltaE did meet AOC’s quoted <2 score, it wasn’t by much. We recorded a 1.54 average deltaE which was OK for general viewing but fairly underwhelming for editing purposes.
|Preset||White Point||Black Depth||Contrast Ratio||Average ΔE*00||Maximum ΔE*00||Gamma|
|Calibrated Profile||6510K||0.0442 cd/m²||2649:1||0.32||1.87||2.17|
At this stage, we decided to throw the panel through a deep calibration to see what levels of accuracy we could produce. As you can see from the results above, the monitor was much more accurate after our calibrating process. We saw an immediate increase in average deltaE, with the panel now displaying a 0.3 score. White point was now perfect and black depth was at an all-time low. Better yet, contrast ratio actually improved after calibration – a factor that doesn’t always occur. Gamma was 2.17 for the panel after calibration and maximum deltaE was at 1.87 – meaning editors would have to fine-tune the calibration process for this panel.
Panel uniformity is a test we run to check how uniform the luminance and colors are across the entirety of the screen. During this test, the center square is used as the reference space. Every other square is then tested to see how far it differentiates from the reference.
In an ideal world, we want every square to be green, meaning it hasn’t broken the differential threshold – something we can set at the start of the test.
Note: results will differ from panel to panel.
Panel uniformity wasn’t the best for this panel, but it wasn’t the worst either. As you can see from the graph above, large portions of the monitor returned an amber score – passing the nominal tolerance levels set by the calibration software.
The worst area was discovered on the top right-hand corner of the panel, resulting in the panel’s only red (exceeding nominal tolerance) score.
Overall, the panel uniformity for this monitor was acceptable. We didn’t use this setting, but users do have the option to use a ‘Uniformity’ setting in the color OSD menu.
As you can imagine, the VA panel at the heart of this monitor didn’t provide the best visual experience when viewing from wide angles. We’ve recorded a video of the viewing angles below, allowing you to see the color shift and image degradation that occurs when viewing from obscure angles.
3440 x 1440
As part of the calibration process, the DisplayCal will give an accurate measurement of the color gamut the monitor can provide. Below are the results of the color gamut test:
We were fairly satisfied with the color gamut that the CU34G2X produced, offering up 131% of the sRGB spectrum. That number translates to around 90% Adobe RGB and 93% DCI-P3. However, the actural coverage of those color spaces is around 6-7% less – meaning HDR performance would be a little lacking.
Above you’ll find the color gamut coverage for sRGB, DCI-P3, and Adobe RGB. You can clearly see where the CU34G2X falls short of the respective spaces.
Maximum And Minimum Brightness
We ended the color accuracy and picture quality testing by checking the maximum brightness, minimum brightness, and 120 candelas level on this panel. The results are below:
With color accuracy and panel uniformity out of the way, it’s time to put the AOC Cu34G2X through a number of different gaming and response tests to see how it stacks up in gaming scenarios. Like always, we’ll be testing the monitor across a variety of games to get a greater understanding of how this monitor performs in different settings and genres.
We started off by playing some competitive games such as COD and CS:GO – allowing us to understand the monitor’s response nature a little better. We ran the CU34G2X in its out of the box settings to see what the general users would experience. The monitor came with its Game Mode disabled and all response-boosting features disabled. We launched CS:GO and jumped straight into some Deathmatch, enabling us to view numerous fast-moving images at the same time.
Overall, the CU34G2X felt a little choppy right out of the box, with character models blurring slightly when moving the mouse smoothly across the screen. Adaptive Sync was enabled, however, so screen-tear was not problematic. Remember though, this monitor is only officially rated for FreeSync systems – meaning G-Sync users will have to suffice with compatible performance. We tested some of the various Overdrive features this monitor comes equipped with and the results were hit and miss.
The monitor’s ‘Weak’ overdrive setting didn’t really change too much – with smearing and blurring still experienced. Medium overdrive did offer a slight improvement on perceived blur and smearing, showcasing the best balance between response and image quality. Strong and boost both offered up clearer motion clarity, with perceived blur being far less. However, by utilizing these settings, we experienced large amounts of overshoot – even when moving relatively slowly.
We tested the MBR (motion blur reduction) feature during gameplay, noticing that the overdrive setting would automatically disabled when doing so. Fortunatly, we did notice a slight reduction in overshoot when using MBR, however, general image quality was still less than ideal.
We moved on to more general gaming scenarios next and, as you’d expect, the CU34G2X felt much more at home. Luckily, most modern games now support ultrawide aspect ratios (even New world and Elden Ring), so we didn’t encounter too many compatibility problems.
Gameplay felt relatively smooth when playing these slower, story-based titles – with general image quality and color accuracy scoring highly. While the screen’s 3440 x 1440 resolution was a little demanding, it produced superb image quality when playing these sorts of games. We loaded up the monitor’s limited HDR feature and, as you’d expect, the CU34G2X didn’t perform to the highest standard.
It’s worth mentioning that we couldn’t find official specifications for the HDR rating of this panel, so we’d assume it was less than VESA DisplayHDR 400. That said, it looks more of an emulation than true HDR, not providing nearly as much depth as you might expect.
Blur Buster UFO test
To end the gaming performance tests, we ran the monitor through the BlurBuster UFO test. This test is a fantastic way of quickly seeing the motion clarity of moving objects and general perceived blur. We tested all the monitor’s main response time features on the max refresh rate available – 144Hz.
Below are the results:
So, there you have it, our complete rundown of the AOC CU34GX gaming monitor – AOC’s mid-tier 34″ ultrawide gaming monitor.
The CU34G2X was a mixed bag of results – overperforming in some areas while underperforming in others. At the time of writing this, the AOC CU34G2X is currently priced at around £400 – making it a fairly respectable prospect when you compare it against other 34 inch ultrawide alternatives.
Ultimately, at this price, you’d have to say that the CU34G2X does show fairly good value for money. It features a quick 144Hz refresh rate, decent colors, and a 1500R curved VA panel – which showcases inky blacks, wide contrast ratio, and immersive bezels.
Unfortunately, the CU34G2X didn’t perform to the highest level when playing competitive games, falling short in general response and overdrive features. That said, it did offer a welcome experience when playing lesser response-demanding titles like SOTTR and Battlefield.
Overall, we were relatively pleased with this monitor when considering its price tag. If you’re in the market for a mid-tier, value for money, ultrawide panel, the CU34G2X could be a great place to start.
3440 x 1440
The AOC CU34G2X is a mid-tier 34″ ultrawide gaming monitor that tries to meet the requirements of both casual and competitive players. It features a 34″ VA panel that delivers excellent contrast, deep blacks, and high-end image clarity – thanks to a 3440 x 1440p screen resolution. AOC quotes a 1ms response time for this panel (MPRT), alongside VRR technology for FreeSync systems and a 144Hz refresh rate.
Despite this monitor showcasing some flaws when playing competitive titles, the AOC CU34G2X is still one of the best mid-tier ultrawide monitors we’ve tested – displaying decent value for money, respectively.