With daisy-chained power and USB cables, as well as the three display cables (DVI and D-Sub are present as well as DisplayPort), there are a lot of cables behind the wall of pixels. Samsung provides only a few cable ties to deal with these, which is disappointing. There’s also a shortage of places to secure them.
More frustrating was the fact that, while the kit has a DVI and a DisplayPort cable for each screen, the latter doesn’t use the mini-DisplayPort connector that a Radeon graphics card accepts. As a result, you’ll need to buy several adaptors if you want to use the MD230X3 with an Eyefinity setup.
In our tests, we found the MD230X3’s colours rich and vibrant, thanks to the underlying IPS pixel technology and static 3,000:1 contrast ratio. We tweaked the colour balance a little to achieve the best effect, while also turning off the dynamic contrast and MagicColor settings, and choosing the Normal colour temperature setting.
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In the end, we settled for red at 57, green at 54 and blue at 57. We ignored the gimmicky Color Tone feature, as we saw no need to make our display sepia or greyscale. When we loaded our test images, we saw plenty of detail in the shadows, thanks to the generous contrast range. The 300cd/m2 brightness, combined with the accurate, vivid colours, made still images look great.
The quoted 8ms response time seems rather optimistic, though, as we saw pronounced smearing and ghosting around moving objects. In fact, the pixel response time was so poor that watching scenes with a lot of action made us feel as if we'd had one too many drinks.
This was also the case with games, where the screens lacked the pixel-sharp look of other IPS-based displays we’ve seen. Dull-looking TN panels are sharper still, and many people prefer TN technology over IPS for gaming. It’s possible to combine the vivid colour of IPS panels with OverDrive technology to bring response times down to an unnoticeable 4ms or so, but the MD230X3 doesn’t seem to employ this tactic.
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Samsung may be pitching the MD230X3 for heavy multi-tasking rather than gaming, but the excessive pixel lag makes the £1,300 price a joke. While the kit includes a useful remote control and three 23in 1,920 x 1,080 screens, you can buy three superior screens for around £250 each.
The Dell U2311H, for example, has a 23in IPS panel with OverDrive technology. If you buy three of these and a three-screen mount (which should cost no more than £200), you’ll save over £300 while significantly improving the visual quality, particularly in games.