We love a good ultrawide monitor around here, and in fact I’m using one for work right now — just don’t tell anyone it’s fast enough to double as a gaming display, too. But that brings up the Achilles heel of large-panel, high-resolution monitors: They can’t go as fast in terms of hertz as smaller displays. Panel supplier AU Optronics is aiming to fix that, as they’ve shown off a massive monitor design that wouldn’t look out of place in a Samsung showroom, but is fast enough to satisfy the wallet-munching hardware of even the most affluent gamers.
The company’s new 49-inch, 5K panel is already beating out most of the competition in several ways. That “5K” resolution and 32:9 aspect ratio isn’t exactly precise, but on similar displays it means 5120×2160 resolution (4K, plus a little extra on both sides). With a 1000R curvature, it’s also dramatically bent better immersion. But the truly impressive feat is driving all that screen at 360Hz, which should give your fancy new RTX 4090 something to do with its spare GPU cycles. Compare this to, say, the Odyssey G9 DQHD, which has the same size panel and a bit less resolution, but maxes out at “just” 240Hz.
But AUO isn’t satisfied with being the fastest in that super-huge ultrawide category. The company also showed off a more modest 24-inch, 1080p gaming display with a face-melting speed of 540Hz. That beats the current record for a retail display, which goes to Alienware’s AW2524H (and some similar panels), by 8%. AUO isn’t saying much else about the panels, which are currently being shown at the Display Innovation Taiwan Conference.
AUO is a B2B supplier of panels to other companies, so you won’t see any monitors emblazoned with its logo, but you will see its panels installed in other companies’ monitors—AUO shipped the world’s first 1000-nit G-Sync HDR panels, 360Hz esports panels, and debut mini-LED laptop screens. When exactly you can expect that to happen is a bit nebulous, but it tends to take about a calendar year at the earliest for this kind of tech to go from trade show sample to retail product.