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Gigabyte AORUS FV43U Review: Gigabyte's Best Yet

Big Monitor, Big Performance

Christopher Coke Updated: Posted:
Category:
Hardware Reviews 0

High refresh rate 4K monitors have been around for quite some time, but the AORUS FV43U makes a compelling case for why it’s the display to buy. It’s 43-inches, 144Hz, supports HDMI 2.1, offers 1000-nits of peak brightness, and its VA panels is quantum dot enhanced to offer improved color reproduction for entertainment and creative work alike. Coming in at $1099, it doesn’t come cheap but with specs that rival top-of-the-line 4K gaming monitors, is it the panel to buy?

Specifications

  • Current Price: $1099 (Newegg
  • Panel Size (diagonal): 43" VA, QD Display
  • Display Viewing Area (HxV): 941.18 x 529.42 (mm)
  • Panel Backlight/ Type: Direct
  • Display Surface(non-glare/ glare): Anti-Glare
  • Color Saturation: 97% DCI-P3/ 150% sRGB/ 99% AdobeRGB
  • True Resolution: 3840 x 2160 (UHD)
  • Pixel Pitch: 0.2451*0.2451
  • Brightness: 750 cd/m2 (TYP), 1000 cd/m2 (PEAK)
  • Contrast Ratio: 4000:1
  • Viewing Angle: 178°(H)/178°(V)
  • Display Colors: 10 bits (8bits+FRC)
  • Response Time: 1ms (MPRT)
  • Refresh Rate: 144Hz (120Hz for Xbox Series X/S and PS5)
  • HDR: VESA Display HDR1000
  • Flicker-free: Yes
  • Signal Input: HDMI 2.1 x2, Display port 1.4 (DSC) x1
  • HBR3: Yes
  • Earphone Jack: Yes
  • Speaker: 12W x2
    • Unique Features
    • OSD Sidekick
    • Aim Stabilizer Sync
    • Black Equalizer
    • Dashboard
    • Crosshair
    • Timer
    • Counter
    • Auto-Update
    • KVM
    • 6 axis Color Control
    • Smart OD
    • Space Audio
  • USB port(s): USB 3.0 x2, USB Cx1
  • Power Type: Built-in
  • AC Input Max: 280W
  • Power Saving Mode: 0.5W
  • Power Off Mode: 0.3W
  • Voltage: AC 100-240V ~ 50/60Hz
  • Tilt(angle): N/A
  • Swivel(angle): N/A
  • Pivot(angle/direction): N/A
  • Height Adjustment (mm): N/A
  • VESA Wall Mounting(mm): 200*200mm
  • Kensington lock: Yes
  • Phys. Dimension with Stand(WxHxD): 967.2*638.16*251.31
  • Phys. Dimension w/o stand  (WxHxD): 967.2*585.89*87.8
  • Net Weight (Esti.): 10
  • Gross Weight (Esti.): 15.34
  • Accessories: Power cable/HDMI cable/DP cable/USB cable/QSG/Warranty card

Gigabyte AORUS FV43U: Overview and Features

Gigabyte has been making monitors for a bit over two years now, and while its displays have always been impressive, the FV43U is clearly its highest-aspiring to date. Coming in at 43-inches, it’s a massive display with an impressive feature set. At $1099, it doesn’t come cheap but in one way or another seems to outmatch just about any competing monitor we could find to compare it against. A monitor is about more than a spec-sheet, of course, so we’ll take a closer look at performance in the next section, but it’s clear that Gigabyte was out to create a class-leading display with the FV43U.

At 43-inches, it’s a massive display that will dominate most desks. Since it’s so big, positioning is all the more important. It will need to be set to keep from craning your neck to take in the whole screen. Since it’s so big, the FV43U doesn’t come with a traditional stand and instead has two V-shaped feet like a flat panel TV and isn’t adjustable. That might be fine if you’re setting the display on an entertainment center, but for use on a desk, it simply made the monitor too tall to comfortably use. Pushed to the back of my 30-inch desk, the monitor was usable but when I switched to a monitor arm (thanks to its 200x200 VESA mount) it became much more so. If you’re considering a monitor of this size, plan on putting 3-4 feet of distance in between for the best experience. 

The FV43U sports a 4K QLED VA panel capable of running up to 144Hz (120Hz on Xbox Series X/S and PS5). The display also supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and is completely compatible with Nvidia GSync, though hasn’t been certified by Nvidia at this point. This combination means that you’ll sacrifice nothing if you’re already running a 1080p or 1440p monitor with similar features. You’ll need a beefy GPU to push triple-digit FPS in graphically intensive games (my own is running an RTX 3090 and it’s still hit or miss at high/ultra settings), so definitely consider the rest of your hardware before settling on a 4K upgrade. 

One concern gamers often have with high-end displays relates to panel type. For many, IPS is the gold standard thanks to its improved colors. Of the other two types, TN is best for response time and VA falls in the middle but offers markedly better contrast. Here, Gigabyte has made the most of its VA panel with one of the most impressive showings I’ve ever seen. The contrast ratio, 4000:1, easily outperforms competing IPS panels (usually 1000:1) to deliver much darker blacks and improved shadows. 

What’s most impressive, though, is how close Gigabyte has been able to push color reproduction. The “Q” in QLED refers to the infusion of quantum dots within the panel to enhance color reproduction. Colors on the FV43U are rich and vibrant, well beyond the two other VA panels in my office currently (one of which is also a Gigabyte monitor). I’ve been lucky enough to try a number of competing ultra-expensive 4K monitors with IPS panels, and while I ultimately still prefer the look of a great IPS panel, the FV43U is a major improvement over a normal VA panel. It looks great, especially in color-rich games like Elder Scrolls Online or Doom Eternal

The color coverage is also exceptionally good, making this a good choice for creative professionals. It offers 150% sRGB and 97% DCI-P3 and has dedicated color modes for each, as well as AdobeRGB. My colorimeter isn’t equipped to assess an HDR display, so I can’t speak to the overall accuracy (take this with a grain of salt) but even in standard mode, the SpyderX Elite put sRGB coverage over 100% and DCI-P3 at 96%, so Gigabyte’s claims seem reliable. That doesn’t mean it’s completely calibrated out of the box, however. My panel was too cool by default and needed some tweaks to make it color accurate. If you don’t have a colorimeter, don’t fret. There’s a full six-axis color calibration screen in the OSD, gamma settings from 1.8 to 2.6, and the aforementioned modes to help you dial it in by other means.

For gaming, it offers DisplayHDR 1000 certification, which means it’s able to achieve a peak brightness of 1000-nits. Typical brightness comes in at 750-nits. There are a number of HDR1000 monitors available now, albeit with most costing the same or far greater than the FV43U, but the typical brightness puts it up there with the best. The panel supports up to 10-bit color through FRC and there was no visible dithering I could see. While the monitor offers a “local dimming” option, it doesn’t support a full-array backlight and is instead edge-lit. This increases contrast without pinpointing on-screen blacks the same way a FALD can. That said, when I reviewed the Predator X35 for IGN, the halo effect was so pronounced that it was distracting, so the edge-lit backlight is a rather welcome middle-ground.

Gaming and entertainment are the FV43U’s bread and butter. Not only do games and movies look great with that increased brightness and color gamut, but it promises a 1ms response time to eliminate ghosting and smearing. Often, this is marketing speak, so we’ll take a closer look at this in the performance section. You also have features like Aim Stabilizer, which is a form of backlight strobing that reduces the blur in first-person shooters as your gun rapidly progresses through its shooting animation. Black stabilizer is also back, allowing you to peek into the shadows and Super Resolution to upscale retro gamers built for lower resolutions. You can set timers to track cooldowns and in-game events. You’re also able to bring up an on-screen crosshair for shooters that don’t offer one — and can create your own design with the OSD Sidekick software. Most meaningful, however, is that you can set hotkeys for these features and control them with your keyboard. Black Equalizer, for example, is a great feature for searching out enemies but is terrible for image quality. Being able to flip it on and off makes it much more usable. 

The monitor includes a pair of powerful 12-watt speakers. The added screen size has allowed Gigabyte to invest a bit more in audio, so these aren’t your average built-in monitor speakers. They are perfectly usable for gaming with and even include multiple sound modes, including a spatially focused Space Audio preset. This does increase the perceived sense of space but won’t compete with a great gaming headset for positionality, especially in first-person shooters. Still, we’re in TV territory when it comes to audio and the FV43U is a cut above normal TVs for gaming using this mode. 

When it comes to additional features, the monitor has plenty. It has a built-in KVM switch to use the same set of peripherals on two different machines, which is great if you also use a laptop at your desk. It features two USB 3.1 ports and a USB Type-C for the KVM or fast-charging your devices. It also supports dual HDMI 2.1 inputs, one of the only monitors in its class to do so, so you can easily connect your Xbox Series X/S or PlayStation 5 and run at 120 Hz. The added size also allowed Gigabyte to build the power supply right into the body of the monitor, so you won’t have a bulky power brick to manage behind your desk. 

For the money, this is an impressive package. As a TV-sized gaming monitor, the inclusion of HDMI 2.1 is especially important for connecting current-gen consoles. The color coverage is exceptionally good and the image quality is downright excellent. At $1100, it should be. Speaking from experience, however, the FV43U is a more cohesive, well-rounded, and well-done gaming monitor than I’ve encountered so far, even on monitors more than twice the price.

Gigabyte AORUS FV43U: Performance

Spec-sheets are great, but what really matters is performance. My greatest concern going in was with response time. While it’s common for, well, every brand to quote 1ms response times these days, it’s often in the testing we see that fall apart. 

To test this, I started with Blur Busters' UFO Test. With overdrive disabled, there is noticeable ghosting. Setting overdrive to Balanced mode cuts this down quite a bit but doesn’t eliminate it completely. Increasing this further to Speed mode introduces overshoot that just doesn’t look good. Balanced is definitely the way you’ll want to play games.

For another test, I used Lagom’s LCD Test Pages’ Response Time Test. In Balanced mode, we find a similar result. Here, straight white to black transitions are spot on. Grey to grey and black to grey are a little bit slower but still not bad. 

The result is about what we would expect. The FV43U isn’t going to be beating a high-end TN eSports panel but it does offer a faster response time than most IPS gaming panels. Even compared against other VA panels, like the Gigabyte G34QC, it offers improved performance. In games, I wasn’t able to notice any ghosting whatsoever, so it remains excellent for real-world use.

Looking at the screen itself, I measured a typical brightness of 841-nits running at the 100% brightness setting. When gaming, peak brightness in flashes and hotspots get significantly brighter, so the 1000-nit rating checks out and may even be exceeded by real-world performance. There were no dead or stuck pixels on my sample and luminance uniformity was very good. The top and bottom corners on the left side did exhibit some variance, coming in an average of 18% dimmer across the brightness range, though I didn’t find this to be perceptible with the naked eye.

Gaming on the FV43U was outstanding. Moving from a 400-nit “HDR” monitor to a true 1000-nit HDR monitor is a major upgrade. Despite the minor ghosting exhibited in the synthetic tests, I didn’t notice any in real-world gaming. Using motion blur can exacerbate some black smearing, however, so I recommend leaving it turned off if this is something you’re sensitive to. The wide color gamut and peak brightness made playing Doom Eternal and Red Dead Redemption 2 much more visually engaging and really brought out the most in those games. The QLED screen makes even SDR games look great, especially when they’re already color-rich, like World of Warcraft. I was also able to connect my Xbox Series X without and enable 120Hz quickly and easily.

If you haven’t gamed on a massive monitor before, you’re in for a treat. While there’s a reasonable case to be made for sitting too close to a monitor this size, when properly positioned, it’s a glorious experience. At 43-inches, it covers more of your peripheral vision, which I find to be more immersive. You’ll want to find a good balance between distance and being able to comfortably take in the whole screen, but when you find it, it’s definitely a treat.

Nothing is perfect, however, and there are some downsides here. Out of the box, the sub-pixel array used by the FV43U creates a fringe around text, especially with HDR enabled in Windows and makes it difficult to read. Thankfully, this can be alleviated by enabling Windows ClearType. Another issue is that the speakers, while much better than most you’ll find in gaming monitors, are downright loud. To use them at my desk, I kept them between 1-5%.

One important thing to note is that you will want to ensure you’re using the cables included in the box or replacements that have an adequate bandwidth rating. Using my own — which I didn’t realize was not a DP 1.4 cable — caused my screen to flash like it was changing inputs several times an hour. Once I realized the issue and used the included cable, the problem disappeared. Since the display uses Display Stream Compression to deliver its high resolution and refresh rate, it requires a high bandwidth cable to match.

Final Thoughts

Minor issues aside, the FV43U is an outstanding monitor. At $1099 and 43-inches, it’s going after a sub-section of the market, but compared against the competition, it’s a great value that offers excellent performance. If you’re in the market for a big, bold gaming monitor, this is absolutely one worth considering. 

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.
 
9.0Amazing
Pros
  • Big, color-rich screen
  • Wide color gamut coverage
  • Bright, 1000-nit HDR
  • Lots of added features
  • HDMI 2.1 support
Cons
  • Non-adjustable stand (dual foot design)
  • Speakers can be too loud when sitting at a desk
  • Sub-pixel array can cause text fuzziness without Windows ClearType
  • Some ghosting on UFO Test (not visible while gaming)


GameByNight

Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight