The BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R looks an awful lot like the long-hailed, all-round sweet spot for gaming monitors right now. It’s a 34-inch ultrawide model with a 144Hz refresh rate from a curved IPS panel, that features 3,440 by 1,440 native resolution, a 1ms response, and HDR support.
Yup, this BenQ ticks an awful lot of boxes - and immediately looks like one of the best curved gaming monitors at the very least, and possibly one of the best gaming monitors outright. The one exception is affordability. No monitor delivering all that is going to be cheap. But at the current pricing of around $999 in the US and £899 in the UK, the immediate comparison with the likes of the MSI MPG ARTYMIS 343CQR, available for significantly less and also nailing all those spec points, isn’t flattering. In short, the BenQ Mobiuz EX3415 needs to be seriously good.
Design & Features
Slick design would go some way to justifying the BenQ Mobiuz EX3415 high pricing and it certainly delivers a premium feel with a mix of black and alloy-effect plastics and very solid feeling build quality.
The panel is gently curved at 1900R, while there are fairly slim bezels on three sides of the display and a fairly large chin below. Coloured accents on the stand pay relatively subtle homage to the gaming remit without veering into overly adolescent territory. The overall feel is upmarket, and the quality is high.
The stand offers tilt, height, and swivel adjustment, so getting a pitch-perfect setup should be a cinch. It’s obviously a fairly bulky, heavy display, but that goes with the territory. That said, the external power supply is a minor annoyance. An integrated PSU would be preferable.
Up front and centre is the BenQ Mobiuz EX3415’s 34-inch ultrawide IPS panel. It’s par for this particular course with a native resolution of 3,440 by 1,440 pixels and therefore an aspect ratio of 21:9. The 1900R curvature is fairly gentle, especially compared to the really extreme 1000R curve of the MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR or the Samsung Oddyssey G9. That has pros and cons. It makes this arguably the more versatile screen as the gentler curve is better suited to general Windows work. But the MSI’s and Samsung's intense wrap-around feel in-game is missing.
Speaking of gaming-relevant features, the refresh rate tops out at 144Hz and BenQ rates the panel at 1ms for response time, though that is an MPRT figure. The grey-to-grey response is quoted at 2ms, which puts the EX3415 just a fraction behind the fastest current IPS gaming monitors, which boast 1ms grey-to-grey response. That said, claimed response doesn’t always give an accurate picture of real-world performance.
Adaptive refresh is provided by AMD FreeSync Premium certification. Nvidia’s G-Sync isn’t overtly supported, by adaptive refresh with Nvidia GPUs can be accessed via G-Sync compatibility mode, making it a decent shout at a curved, big boy G-Sync compatible FreeSync monitor.
But what of HDR rendering? The EX3415 is a VESA DisplayHDR 400 panel, which is the lowest rung of HDR certification. That means no local dimming and peak brightness of 400 nits. Still, the claimed 98 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 colour space is impressive.
Audio-wise you get a pair of 5W woofer speakers and a DSP (Digital Signal Processor) for 3D sound. Inputs are covered by a single DisplayPort 1.4 interface and a pair of HDMI 2.0 ports. Finally, BenQ includes an IR remote allowing quick access to all features including images modes, input source, and sound volume levels.
How to sum up the performance of the BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R? On paper, it’s a familiar enough proposition. In practice, it has a few unexpected quirks.
Rated at 400 nits, initial impressions of panel brightness in SDR mode are disappointing. At maximum brightness, it lacks the punch and vibrancy you’d expect of a 400 nit monitor. Hop into the Windows display settings dialogue and switch to HDR mode, then maximise the brightness of SDR content and suddenly the EX3415R looks good for every one of those 400 nits. As it happens, SDR content is nicely rendered in HDR mode, with no obvious imbalances or compression. So, it’s viable to run the EX3415R in that configuration for the long term. But it would be better if the native SDR mode allowed access to more of that 400 nits peak brightness.
More unambiguously successful is this panel’s pixel response. The 1ms rating may only be an MPRT rating. But subjectively this monitor looks as quick as the 1ms G-t-G competition.
The EX3415R offers several levels of user-configurable pixel overdrive, known as Advanced Motion Accelerator or AMA in BenQ parlance. The fastest setting introduces a little overshoot, but one notch down delivers; and this is a very quick IPS gaming panel.
Of course, with 144Hz refresh, it’s a responsive feeling screen, too. Sure, really serious esports aficionados will want something even quicker - 240Hz plus. If you’re planning on dominating a pro Counter-Strike tournament, this isn’t going to be the best choice. But for mucking about in Fortnite or Apex Legends? Yes, please.
It’s also a great fit for graphics-heavy adventures like Witcher III or Cyberpunk 2077. You wouldn’t kick it out of bed for strategy titles like the Total War series, either. The super-wide aspect certainly adds a cinematic scale to proceedings. In short, the size, resolution, and aspect ratio makes for fab all-round PC gaming.
Likewise, the 3,440 by 1,440 resolution is a really nice compromise between sharpness and detail on the one hand and frame rates on the other. You’ll need a decent contender for the best graphics card to be sure. But you won’t need $1,500 / £1,500’s worth of GPU to get half-decent frame rates.
On the other hand, it’s not optimal for console gaming thanks to the ultrawide aspect. Future updates may see ultrawide support added to the Xbox Series X and PS5, but for now ultrawide is problematic for those looking to such screens to be their next PS5 monitor, Xbox Series X monitor, or even PS4 monitor.
Overall - should you buy it?
At the current price point, the BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R is a tricky sell. On paper, the spec is pitch-perfect, in practice, the subdued image quality in SDR mode is an issue. While it can be mitigated, it’s a limitation that limits this monitor’s appeal, especially as alternatives like the MSI ARTYMIS 343CQR tick the same boxes (and a few more) for significantly less money.
It’s nothing that a firmware tweak and slight price cut wouldn’t fix. But as it is, the BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R is a good monitor that's very slightly off target.