Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro PD32M – The beautiful screen is even better lit.

Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro PD32M, article photo: Geir Gråbein Nordby

When you need a new gaming screen today, there’s probably a good deal of temptation with an ultra-wide format. Or it is 21: 9 or spinville Format 32: 9which is as wide as two 16: 9 screens side by side.

But while I admit that these are very difficult and provide extra width information that some games may benefit from, they do have a trade-off: namely pixel resolution. A 32: 9 screen has to double the number of pixels compared to a standard 16: 9, to get an equally sharp picture. And while this in itself isn’t a big deal for the screen maker, it’s almost never done. And it has to do with the PC graphics card. It will require such a crazy graphics card that very few have the budget to use it.

Therefore, I personally believe that 16: 9 is, for the moment, an optimal compromise between the large format and the screen resolution. Especially when you get to an adult size of 32 inches. So the screen fills a large part of the viewing angle and the entertainment almost comes by itself!

You can play in true Ultra HD 4K resolution, with frame rates up to 144Hz. Some monitors may have an even higher clock rate, but even then a lot more is needed from the video card.

Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro PD32M 3
The Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro PD32M is a great gaming monitor with HDR. Photo: AOC

Beautiful screen with HDR

Which brings us to the gorgeous display at hand, namely the Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro PD32M. The screen is therefore made by AOC, but it is a collaboration with Porsche Design. The screen is gorgeous with the metallic Porsche Design logo on the front and looks really good on the included stand. With smooth curves and also the ability to raise and lower, vertical angle and even turn the entire screen into portrait portrait mode. In other words, you get maximum flexibility with the supplied foot.

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Fully raw 4K gaming monitor from MSI

This gaming monitor from MSI combines Ultra HD resolution with contrast in an exemplary way and has amazing colors too!

MSI Optix MPG321UR QD SPREADMSI Optix MPG321UR QD SPREAD

Light that creates mood

One detail that really reveals that this is a gaming screen is the RGB light streaks along the top and sides of the back of the screen. These really brighten a dark room, for extra atmospheric effects. You can set them in the menu in various patterns and colors you want and luckily they can also be turned off. However, this isn’t like Philips Ambilight, which adjusts colors based on on-screen content. This is a much simpler RGB deal.

Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro PD32M 2Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro PD32M 2
The RGB lights on the back of the screen reveal that it is a gaming screen. Fortunately, they can also be disabled. Photo: AOC

Local dimming

The PD32M has an IPS panel with mini LED backlight and 1152 dimming zones. Which is the same as, among other things, the high-end rotating graphics screen Asus PA32UCX. The PD32M also has an impressive stated brightness of 600 nits and also around 1600 nits as the maximum brightness for HDR content. This gave him the certification given DisplayHDR 1400which is VESA’s highest official certification.

The 1ms response time (gray to gray) makes the screen optimal for gaming. Obviously there are no disadvantages for other uses either.

Good connection possibilities, unfortunately the contacts are far below the back of the screen. Photo: Geir Gråbein Nordby


Good functionality

The AOC screen has a nice and heavy remote control, which fits well on the desk and offers good control on the screen. Nice, because it means you don’t have to deal with the joystick knob in the back right of the screen. The remote control provides access to the menu, as well as three preset color calibrations.

The PD32M has integrated USB 3.2 connectors and can therefore be used as a connection hub. This is done by connecting it to the PC with a SuperSpeed ​​USB-B cable. Unfortunately, all of these connectors are quite lumpy at the bottom of the rear panel. This means that what you connect there should be permanent. Like a wireless printer, mouse and keyboard. For instance.

If you’re missing a sound card, there’s one on the screen with both a headphone output and a microphone input. Strictly speaking, you only need a laptop to get started, because the screen also has a USB-C connection with image transfer. Of course you will get “only” 120 Hz, but it will work for many.

White Point filmWhite Point film
Out of the box, the white balance tends slightly towards warm.

The PD32M is also for content creators

The PD32M also has a so-called KVM switch, which allows you to switch between sources, for example a computer and a game console, but still use the same keyboard and mouse. The screen can display both sources simultaneously in picture-in-picture mode, then with a maximum of 60 Hz in 4K resolution, from the DP, HDMI or USB-C ports. In addition, the screen has two 8W speakers which are reinforced with what is said to be “rich and clear DTS sound”. Well, it sounds louder than other monitors, but the sound is subtle! You need headphones or speakers for the full experience.

Native calibration of contrast luminanceNative calibration of contrast luminance
We measured the screen with a contrast of just under 800: 1, with local dimming off, and with 400 nits of brightness.

SDR: Good brightness and contrast ok

The PD32M has a fantastic picture right out of the box and the film mode in particular feels neutral and pleasant. And with an even balance of light and color across the entire panel. No signs of fading at the corners.

You can use the screen for image processing and video editing right away. But the white balance is a little warmer, with some blue (around 6000K versus the desired 6500K). I would recommend a calibration tool to get the last bit from the screen, for example Calibrite ColorChecker Plus display or Datacolor SpyderX Pro. But, as I said, it is far from a crisis.

The screen has a maximum brightness of 600 nits in normal SDR mode (not HDR). But whatever I did, I measured just over 300 nits. This is still bright and good enough, but not revolutionary for an IPS panel.

Forza Horizon 5 in 1 scaleForza Horizon 5 in 1 scale
Forza Horizon 5 is a fantastic car game that makes great use of HDR. Illustration: Microsoft

At maximum brightness, I measured the black level at around 0.4 nits, but if I calibrated the screen at 120 nits, which is a good brightness for longer work sessions and for image processing, the black level fell below 0.3 nits. Which resulted in a panel contrast of around 435: 1 at 120 nits and nearly 800: 1 at maximum brightness. This is completely standard for IPS screens, nothing more, nothing less. In comparison, it is cheaper MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD a darker black level and therefore better contrast with HDR turned off.

For graphic work with images and video, I would recommend turning off HDR, as it offers smoother rendering from frame to frame and is therefore easier to trust. Then at the expense of the most impressive contrast.

120 ccd luminance calibration120 ccd luminance calibration
Calibrated at 120 nits, we achieved a contrast of less than 450: 1.

HDR: all the difference!

If, however, you switch to HDR, the Porsche Design screen takes over. With a maximum HDR brightness of 1600 nits, it’s like the sun suddenly enters the room when I start the car game Strength Horizon 5. Car paint shines and creates a rare 3D effect for an IPS panel. This, in combination with the high screen resolution, offers a fantastic experience, not least thanks to the smooth and smooth movements with a screen frequency of 144 Hz.

Halo Infinite is also a game that deserves the full HDR experience. With clouds of cosmic radiation emerging more from the background of a black outer space than in HDR mode. In HDR, the Porsche screen outperforms even the aforementioned MSI screen, thanks to the increased brightness. Especially nice if you are sitting in a bright environment, but even if you turn off the light, the image will appear with greater force.

If you plan to watch movies on Netflix or through other channels, HDR is good too, although Dolby Vision is not supported here. HDR10 only.

HDR produces artifacts

Just be aware that HDR with dynamic backlighting causes halo effects, as they are often called in the world of monitors flowering or aureolar. You can mostly see this with white text on a dark background, where the backlight is illuminated behind the text and provides an uneven black level right there. The same happens if you move a white mouse pointer over a dark background. The mouse pointer will turn on the backlight around it, creating artifacts. To avoid this, HDR and dynamic backlighting must be turned off.

Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro PD32M 4Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro PD32M 4
Photo: AOC

Conclusion

The gaming monitor that bears the long name Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro PD32M is an excellent monitor. Especially for games, but also for other tasks. You get a higher vertical resolution than larger gaming screens and also a better pixel density in relation to the total surface area.

The screen is expensive, but it also has a stunningly beautiful image. It works very well in standard SDR mode and is absolutely king when it comes to HDR! So you can really take advantage of the high brightness, which also greatly increases the contrast.

The PD32M actually defends its price with image quality alone, but with stiff competition. But in terms of looks, it is something very special, not only with the RGB light strips on the back, but above all the foot is adorable, with its smooth curves.

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