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Exploring Next-Gen OLED with the Gigabyte FO32U2 Pro

Christopher Coke Posted:
Hardware 0

OLED gaming monitors have been out for a while now, and even longer if you’re a laptop gamer, and I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time with the Gigabyte FO32U2 Pro. Having spent the last year with its last-gen big brother, the FO48U, I have a particularly good view on the upgrades coming with this generation. While this isn’t a review (you can view my full thoughts at IGN for this model), I wanted to share with you exactly what this new panel has to offer and why it matters. Is it worth the $1,199 cost of entry?


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Gigabyte FO32U2 Pro - Thin and Modern

Over the last several years, I’ve been lucky enough to test dozens of different gaming monitors and even write buying guides on how to find the best for any budget. That experience has given me a pretty unique viewpoint on the scale of quality from budget gaming monitors to the ultra high-end. The FO32U2 Pro is on the latter side of that equation and feels exceptionally premium in every way. 

Taking it out of the box, I was impressed by its exceptional thinness. Like many OLED panels, the majority of the screen is incredibly thin, but Gigabyte has framed it in rigid materials so you don’t need to worry about accidentally flexing it during setup. It avoids the bulky bottom of last generation and instead remains thin across all but a center box that houses the mainboard. It goes a long way to making this monitor feel cutting edge — because that’s exactly what it is. 

The stand is also quite good. It’s heavy duty with a Y-base but a relatively small footprint, though I still prefer pedestal. But, it will keep the monitor in place and allows you all of the adjustments you would expect from a premium monitor: height, tilt, pivot, and rotation into portrait mode. 

Gigabyte FO32U2 Pro - The Next-Gen QD-OLED Screen

But what really makes this such a compelling display compared to last generation is its new QD-OLED panel and all of the features it brings with it. Starting with the basic tech, QD-OLED is an OLED panel that has been enhanced by quantum dots. This layer of nanoparticles enhances colors and luminance, making the display more vivid and color rich. 

Because it’s also an OLED, that means you have infinite blacks and truly fantastic HDR performance. This is an area of noticeable improvement. In the HDR Vivid mode, I measured a sustained 2% brightness of more than 1,025 nits. The blacks are as inky as ever but the improved brightness and color makes the screen come alive in a way many last generation OLED gaming monitors simply couldn’t. And given that the picture quality was excellent even then, that’s saying something. 

The other major highlight is that this monitor runs at full 4K UHD resolution at 240Hz. Last generation’s panels were limited to ~144Hz at 4K and 1440p at 240Hz. Between the incredibly fast response time of the OLED panel (Blurbuster’s Ghosting Test had no ghosting whatsoever), there’s essentially no motion blur. It’s rated by VESA with its highest clarity certification, ClearMR 13000. It also feels exceptionally responsive and smooth, even when you’re just moving your mouse across the desktop. 

This monitor also brings with it DisplayPort 2.1 UHBR20, which offers double the bandwidth of the previous DisplayPort spec, topping out at 80Gbps over a single cable. This is the biggest difference between the FO32U2 and the FO32U2 Pro models. It’s a very forward thinking feature — Nvidia and AMD’s consumer GPUs don’t yet support it. But it’s very likely that the next generation will. 

This feature allows you to use the full 4K, 240Hz, full 10-bit RGB capabilities of the monitor without Display Stream Compression. It also allows you to daisy chain two monitors together instead of having to use two different ports and cables from your GPU. 

Many users will also be happy to hear that the display is glossy, which many prefer for color richness. It’s an absolute fingerprint magnet and is very reflective, so you’ll need to take card with handling and placement, but it looks great. 

Gigabyte FO32U2 Pro - Protecting the OLED

The monitor comes with a number of functionality improvements from last-gen too. The biggest of these is the new OLED Care suite. Like several other companies, Gigabyte is investing big on the reliability of its OLED monitors and this new system of care tools goes a long way to ensure burn-in isn’t a problem.

Within a special OSD menu, navigable with a joystick on the bottom of the monitor or with the Gigabyte Control Center software, you can enable or disable any that you like. All told, we have:

  • Pixel Clean: After every four hours of usage, this pixel refresh cycle kicks in to work out any burn in that may be beginning. 
  • Static Control: The monitor detects when the monitor isn’t being used and will lower brightness to protect the screen.
  • Pixel Shift: Every two minutes, the screen will shift by a single pixel. Gigabyte says it’s not perceptible but it is… barely. It’s not distracting, especially if you’re in a game and there’s a lot of movement anyway.
  • APL Stabilize: This setting — low, medium, and high — adjusts the peak brightness of the monitor and will automatically adjust based on what’s being displayed. Low is capped to 250 nits, Medium to 450 nits, and high to 1,000 nits.
  • Sub-logo Dim: Automatically detects static logos on the screen and dims just those pixels.
  • Corner Dim: Lowers the brightness in the corners of the screen.

Of all of these, the only one that has a perceivable difference on picture quality or brightness is the APL Stabilizer. When you’re working on productivity, however, its default low setting is fine and feels bright enough for normal use. 

These features, combined with the 3-year burn-in warranty, provide a lot of reassurance for the longevity of the display. If it burns in, they’ll fix or replace it. 

Simple OLED Care isn’t all, though. It also offers a built-in KVM to switch between two devices quickly and control both without changing peripherals. There’s a built-in USB Hub with two USB Type A ports, a USB Type-C that’s capable of receiving video, as well as a headphone and microphone jack built into the bottom panel. You can also control the display using the Control Center software, so you don’t have to mess about in the OSD unless that’s what you prefer. 

Then there are the gaming features. Next to the joystick for the OSD (which is programmable for customizable actions, like adjusting the Black Equalizer) is a tactical button that can be mapped to nearly any function. By default, tapping this button changes the monitor’s resolution to a cropped in 1080p. If your system isn’t able to run 4K at the frame rate you hope for, this is an option that doesn’t sacrifice image quality. 

Additionally, you have the other staples, like Black Equalizer, putting a timer or crosshairs on your screen, or activating the Dashboard which overlays system information, like GPU and CPU temperatures, and FPS on the screen. This is exceptionally useful if you’re playing a game that doesn’t support overlays from apps like MSI Afterburner. There’s also a Night Vision mode that makes highlights in dark areas shine green.

Overall, it’s a very, very feature rich monitor with a great picture.

Gigabyte FO32U2 Pro - Impressions

After spending the last several weeks with the FO32U2 Pro, I can honestly say that it is probably the best monitor I’ve ever used. It’s very well rounded, avoiding many of the shortcomings of last generation, and even offering more consistent brightness than even the ASUS PC32UCDM. 

I have to admit, that I was a bit worried the drop from a 48-inch OLED to 32 inches would be too much. After actually using it, however, its picture and refresh rate more than make up for it. And for normal desktop use, the 32-inch size is much more manageable. 

The screen is gorgeous. 32-inches might seem too big if you’re used to something smaller but it’s just about perfect for 4K. It comes in at 138 pixels per inch, which is very crisp. It’s noticeably crisper than 42-inch (105 ppi) or 48 inches (92 ppi). The brightness is excellent and the color vibrancy is eye-wateringly good. I was also impressed by the accuracy of its out-of-the-box calibration, which was very close to what my Calibrite dialed in with a custom calibration run.

One thing that surprised me is that 240Hz feels noticeably more responsive that even 144Hz on OLED. It’s a bigger upgrade in how games feel than with an LCD monitor making the same jump.

But the biggest difference is in how the OLED protections kick in. Last generation would noticeably dim the screen depending on how much white was present. This still occurs as it’s a staple of how these displays manage power and heat; however, it’s much less noticeable in normal use. 

Even more impactful is how much better the FO32U2 Pro is for productivity. Automatic Backlight Dimming would cause many last-generation OLEDs to dim when they didn’t perceive enough motion, and typing was sometimes not enough to keep the screen consistently bright. I routinely had to Alt+Tab away from my work to completely change the screen in order to bring the brightness back to normal — and this was every 10-15 minutes. Here, that dimming doesn’t noticeably occur, which means it performs exactly as you would expect it to for productivity.

Text clarity is also much better. The sub-pixel arrangement on these new panels results in less fringing around text. If you read any reviews of prior OLED monitors, this was a major issue that actively disincentivized using them for productivity (though many of us still did). Here, and especially at the 32-inch size, text clarity is very close to LCD panels. If you look extremely close, you can still see a very small amount of haloing but in normal use, I consider this problem to be pretty much solved.

Final Thoughts

So,  while I’ll be saving my full thoughts for the actual review, at this point I’m extremely impressed with what the FO32U2 Pro has to offer. The new panel technology is a big improvement and, in combination with the new OLED protections and 3-year warranty, make it a worthy consideration for anyone looking for a top-tier gaming display.

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. Some articles may contain affiliate links and purchases made through this will result in a small commission for the site. Commissions are not directed to the author or related to compensation in any way.


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