Let me first start this article off with a controversial opinion: I don’t think frames are always everything. Now before the r/pcmasterrace subreddit comes after me, allow me to explain myself. See, if you gave me the option between 75Hz at max settings vs 144Hz but at just medium settings, there’s almost no way I’m picking the latter.
Even in the most competitive games, most of the time I find myself enjoying the game more when the settings are cranked up high but still offering solid FPS numbers; Rory even calls me a ‘cinematic gamer’. Overwatch at ultra settings looks fantastic and is still playable at 75Hz, so I don’t see the need to lower that to something like medium just to get 144 or 165 mediocre-looking frames. In fact, that’s exactly what I daily drive: a 75Hz IPS ultrawide monitor.
That being said, I will admit, I’ve never actually used a 165Hz monitor before other than those on gaming laptops. Well until now that is, as Prism+, a Singapore-based company, sent us their Prism+ X240 gaming monitor. On paper, it’s a fairly good deal. We’re talking a 24-inch, 165Hz curved Samsung VA panel, a 1ms response time, 120% sRGB coverage and a 3 year warranty—all for just RM999! I should also note though that it is almost always on discount for just RM799.
They’ve even thrown in a DisplayPort cable in the box which is pretty handy considering the HDMI 1.4 port it comes with tops out at 120Hz. The monitor itself isn’t too bulky and when pieced together with the stand, the Prism+ X240 can pass as any other monitor—assuming you turn off the blue backlight on the back.
However, once it’s all assembled, I almost immediately noticed the build quality, or rather, the lack of it. It’s probably a bad sign when the monitor wobbles about when you’re holding the stand and lifting it. It’s also probably another bad sign when the monitor easily wobbles about when you tap on the frame.
The Prism+ X240’s plastic frame also doesn’t give me too much confidence about its rigidity and sturdiness in the long run. Of course, at RM999, I was never expecting the best build quality out there.
Plugging it in, my initial reaction was that of apathy. ‘Oh cool I guess, 165Hz’, I remember thinking to myself. Look at how smooth my mouse movement is. But for real though, my overall feeling after the first hour or so is that it’s… fine. It’s a decent enough curved monitor that’ll probably be good enough for work too.
One big downside for me though is the lack of built in speakers. My daily driver LG ultrawide may only be 75Hz, but it’s got speakers. The Prism+ X240 is also only a VA panel which does offer a good contrast ratio, but I’d much rather take an IPS panel’s better viewing angles. The Prism+ X240 is supposedly pretty bright though, with Prism+ rating it at 320nits.
Personally, I don’t think it’ll convince me enough to sacrifice graphical fidelity for a higher refresh rate. There’s only so much my graphics card can do, and with the current GPU shortage, it’ll be awhile before I can upgrade my hardware to actually be able to max my settings and still hit 165Hz in more resource-intensive games.
Nevertheless, I’ll still give it a shot with a (mostly) open mind. So far I’m still a little ambivalent about the Prism+ X240 but we’ll see how it goes by the time I’m done with it. Also, if anyone wants to know anything specific about the monitor, let us know and we’ll include it in the full review.