Samsung is no stranger to making some pretty TVs, but their latest foray into gaming monitors with the CFG70 is a bit peculiar. Samsung isn’t the first name you’d associate with gaming, but the company hopes to change that with products such as these. Available in 24” and 27” models, the CFG70 is a cleanly designed full HD monitor that seriously undersells what it’s capable of doing.
Build Quality & Design
While most gaming monitors feature bold highlights, sharp angles, and a chunky stand, the CFG70 has none of these. Instead of a large stand and arm that just goes up and down, the CFG70 features an artistically designed arm, which allows better maneuverability. Pulling the display towards you or adjusting it takes very little effort, and it’s all done silently. The large base provides plenty of support, but it can be swapped out for a VESA mount if you so prefer. The arm and large base means that you’re going to need a bit more room to use the CFG70 comfortably, so if you’re keeping it close to a wall, you have to make sure you’ve got some room at the back for the arm to move properly.
The CFG70 certainly looks very attractive on your desk, but those good looks come at a price – stability. Because the display is resting on an arm, you’re going to occasionally see it wobble a bit if you bump your desk or if you’re a particularly fierce typist. I think if Samsung had spent a bit more time on the design side of things or making the support arm a bit stronger, this problem would be eliminated somewhat.
The large base is also a missed opportunity. It could have easily doubled as a wireless charging station for your smartphone, given its size. The CFG70 also lacks any USB ports, which is a downer given how most gaming monitors at least have one or two USB ports available to quickly connect peripherals or storage devices. Hopefully Samsung will take this into account for a future model of the CFG70.
At the back you’ll find the connectivity ports, as well as a small joystick which you use to access the CFG70’s settings menu. Here you can change things such as the sharpness, color, refresh rate, or cycle through some of the built-in presets that reflect what sort of activity (or game) you’re using the monitor for. There’s also a faint blue light under the display that you can change to ‘breathe’ or turn off entirely. There are three buttons at the front of the display allowing you to quickly change to various game presets without navigating the menus at all.
Boasting a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, the CFG70 is pretty much any gamer’s dream monitor. Connectivity-wise Samsung has equipped the CFG70 with one DisplayPort (swappable between v 1.1 and 1.2), two HDMI inputs, and a headphone jack, all situated neatly at the back of the monitor. There’s a bit of cable management provided on the arm so that cables stay neatly in place, which is a nice addition. The CFG70 also supports FreeSync to reduce image tearing, if you’ve got a compatible AMD graphics card in your PC.
As a standalone monitor for everyday tasks, the CFG70 is really, really good. Samsung loves to talk about its Quantum Dot technology, and the CFG70 makes full use of it. Images look vibrant and bright, and text is super-crisp and clean. If you’re editing photos you’ll appreciate the fact you can rotate the CFG70 to work in either landscape or portrait mode, though in portrait mode the curved display is quite noticeable. Yes, the CFG70 is a curved display – like it or not. I still feel that curved displays are a bit of a gimmick, and on a 24” display you can barely notice the curvature when sitting right in front. On the lager 27” model the curve might be more noticeable, but honestly I don’t think it adds that much more ‘immersion’ to games when gaming on a curved display.
When it comes to gaming, the CFG70 hands down impresses on every front. The built-in presets are easy to cycle through depending on what game you’re playing, and make subtle yet noticeable differences in your game. Using the RTS present when playing Starcraft II highlighted the in-game terrain much better and made unit selection a little bit easier (especially when dealing with darker units). The FPS preset helped brighten up areas in Counter Strike and Titanfall 2, while in Overwatch I was able to get an average framerate of 147fps, resulting in some immaculately smooth gameplay. I did have to run the game at full HD with lowest quality settings, simply because I have an ancient GeForce GTX 660Ti graphics card in my machine. Even with FreeSync turned off, games ran super smoothly and there was no tearing or dropped frames whatsoever.
Samsung may just have a winner on their hands with the CFG70 after all. The somewhat simple design hides the fact that this is a responsive gaming display, which would double for regular PC tasks as well. Priced at AED 1,499 it’s on par with other similarly-specced monitors on the market, but I think it could be priced just a tad bit lower. The 27” model comes in at AED 1,999 but at that size I think it’s probably worth spending a bit extra and getting a monitor that does at least a 2k resolution. 4k monitors are still quite pricey, so as it stands full HD monitors are a gamer’s choice for stutter-free gaming. The CFG70 is a good choice if you’re in the market for a new gaming monitor, even if you’re paying a slightly higher price because it’s a curved display.