120Hz panels are definitely still market newcomers - in fact, look no further than Newegg, where there still isn’t a 120Hz category, much less a refresh rate field for drilling down products. The necessity for 120Hz panels arose entirely out of the ongoing 3D obsession across the entire consumer electronics segment, something that remains a difficult sell for many gamers. On a technical level, the necessity for 120Hz arises from the need to drive two discrete 60Hz images - one 60Hz image for each eye. In its current incarnation, consumer 3D technology relies primarily on active shutter glasses - parallax barrier 3D displays are still too expensive, and I’ve yet to see passive polarization methods used outside the movie theatre. But you probably already know most of the 3D story.

Though the 120Hz refresh frequency does make games playable in 3D, there’s another important benefit of using a faster refresh rate - everything looks smoother, and you can now drive up to 120 FPS without tearing. The ASUS VG236H was my first exposure to 120Hz refresh displays that aren’t CRTs, and the difference is about as subtle as a dump truck driving through your living room. I spent the first half hour seriously just dragging windows back and forth across the desktop - from a 120Hz display to a 60Hz, stunned at how smooth and different 120Hz was. Yeah, it’s that different.

If you’re the kind of person that cares about squeezing every last FPS out of your box - regardless of how you feel about 3D - don’t even bother reading the rest of this review, just run, don’t walk, to the store and get this 120Hz display. I’m serious.

ASUS’ VG236H isn’t perfect, like any product there are a few caveats. That aside, honestly, the completely unparalleled level of smoothness on a 120 Hz display has made me hyper attuned to just how flickery 60Hz looks on all the other LCDs I’ve got.

Oh and my initial skepticism about 3D? I’m still shocked about it, but I've completely changed my mind.

Let’s dive into this review.

Overview and Specifications
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  • ganeshts - Saturday, August 7, 2010 - link

    True, but the fact of life is that more monitors support HDMI compared to DisplayPort.

    Also, most upcoming GPUs claim HDMI 1.4a support, but DisplayPort 1.2 is not seen (that is necessary for 3D).

    All 3D TVs use HDMI 1.4. So, if there is one interface to do the job for both TV and monitor, I will gladly take it :)
  • Pozz - Saturday, August 7, 2010 - link

    Most Importantly, why component instead of vga/another hdmi input? meh
  • mbtgood - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    i like mbt alot
  • BladeVenom - Saturday, August 7, 2010 - link

    As much as that monitor is going to cost, it's just not worth it when they skimp on the connections.

    I'm not going to buy another monitor without Displayport.
  • DarkUltra - Sunday, August 8, 2010 - link

    Me too. DisplayPort is needed if we want 120hz in anything higher than 1920x1200. Dual-link dvi maxes out at 1310p @ 120hz I think. 2560x1600x120x24 = 11.8Gbps and displayport can do 17.28Gbps. Fonts look real nice in 135dpi.
  • medi01 - Saturday, August 7, 2010 - link

    I rather wish I could buy new 4:3 monitor...
  • softdrinkviking - Sunday, August 8, 2010 - link

    you can
  • mino - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Check the price ... not everybody who need a screen for work is a DTP/CAD/media professional.
  • softdrinkviking - Saturday, October 23, 2010 - link

    true. it's pricey, but they look fantastic and it won't need replacing for a good, long time.
    when you want an older tech that has become a specialty item, you have to expect it to be more expensive, that's life.
  • mino - Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - link

    Yeah, tell me about it.

    Needed 1600x1200 (even 1600x1600 would be welcome) had to go for 1920 and got luxky a reasonable 1920x1080 are still made ...

    Most is just 16:9 useless junk.

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