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I recently acquired the ASUS PA248Q screen for photo processing (and everyday use and gaming: I have just that one display). This display offers a "sRGB" mode.

Right now the screen is configured to use the "standard mode", should I use the "sRGB mode" instead?

I see that the colors are not exactly the same between the 2 modes, but which one is the best? If that's sRGB, why isn't it enabled by default?

Am I supposed to use it only for specific situations?

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Normally you would use sRGB mode. It is the most common denominator. Keep in mind that this mode is not calibrated, so your sRGB colors will be different from other sRGB colors. They should be closer.

Once in sRGB mode your monitor may not be able to show colors which are outside of sRGB color-space which is why sRGB is not the default mode. The truly odd thing is that those particular colors are kind of random until you calibrate your display!

If you do calibrate your display, you can revert back to the default mode (called Native on some monitors) and then all color-management-aware application will be able to:

  1. Show colors outside of sRGB with good accuracy.
  2. Show sRGB colors with good accuracy.

However, non color-managed applications will still show colors wrong and they will be MORE wrong in default mode than in sRGB mode. So which one to use in the end will depend on what non color-managed applications you use to look at images. This may include your web-browser depending on which one and version you use.

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  • I can only add that non-color-managed applications include those that are (party) color-managed, but manage color incorrectly, or do not take things like 3D LUTprofiles, or certain ICC profile versions like 4.x into account – dennismv Jun 3 '17 at 17:30
  • Isn't the last statement incorrect about non colour-managed applications showing the wrong colours? I think the operating system considers non-colour managed applications to be plain sRGB, no? So like with the example of a non colour managed web-browser (which don't exist anymore BTW): everything it shows (including the user interface) will be sRGB. Any graphics will show correctly, except for pictures that have a colour profile the browser does not support. – Ralph Apr 8 at 14:53
  • @Ralph - That may have changed or depend on the OS. At the time, non color-managed were not assumed to be in any color space and so were used as untranslated color values. So if the monitor is not in sRGB mode while the files were intended to, they will look quite wrong. A good test would be to open a file in AdobeRGB color-space that most digital cameras and produce and open it in a non-color-managed application. – Itai Apr 8 at 15:12
  • I'm not entirely sure it works the way I say as I have no display profile installed and no wide gamut monitor, but you're right of course that if an applications' output is not translated it will look very wrong on a wide gamut monitor. The thing is there are two factors in play if the task is to display an image file. One is application support for displaying ("output") colours according to the installed system (ICC) profile. The second is whether an application supports reading (ICC) profiles from a file ("input") and interpreting them correctly. – Ralph Apr 8 at 16:14
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    I looked a bit further into how the OS handles non-colour managed applications (on Windows 10 at least). It appears that indeed non-colour managed applications just output the colours as though they are in the native colour space of the monitor on which they are displayed. (I had the opportunity to use a wide gamut monitor to test this. Colours are way over-saturated in non-colour managed applications.) This means your answer is spot on! – Ralph May 1 at 11:27
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sRGB looks very good, I would recommend if for everyday use or viewing photos since it shows the true colors (w/ my sRGB)

HOWEVER, if you are also a gamer as you state, you should consider changing to Game/gaming mode while gaming. This is very crucial for gaming monitors.

My monitor is 144Hz and w/ gaming mode it's really unbelievable how you can notice input lag w/ other modes. Give out a try game mode when you play your next game.

Due to me being picky to my sensitivity I always have game mode ON so my muscle memory stays in tact w/ the fastest input speed.

Remember, if you want speed game/gaming mode is the way to go. If you want good picture sRGB all the way. Remember that gaming mode might not look at crisp for pictures...but takes away that crispness in order to respond faster.

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  • Cool, I did not know about these highspeed displays. Is the 144 Hz refresh rate only enabled in game mode? – Esa Paulasto Jul 2 '13 at 7:12
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This comment doesn't address your question directly but may help add to your thinking about other modes for using the monitor for future applications. I have the PA248Q too, and really like it = have found it to be an excellent monitor.

The PA248Q is supposed to be colour calibrated by Asus before shipping it out. Mine arrived with a printed form that showed all the results of that calibration; hopefully yours did too.

I use it primarily for photography and have set two custom "User Modes", which are the two I use all the time (rather than any of the defaults it came with): one is for when I'm working on images for web or screen use only (which is the one I use most of the time), and the other for images I'm going to print. The two modes look quite different: the Web one looks very much brighter than the print one - this is important for photo printing as otherwise I will be fooled by an over-bright monitor into thinking that my image is brighter than it really is, and it will print out too dark.

For the Web one, I have the colour temperature set to 6500 K, gamma at 2.2, and brightness at 25 (could probably go higher on latter but it seems easier on my eyes to keep it fairly low).

For the print mode I have the colour temp at 5000K, gamma at 1.8, brightness at 12.

Hue, saturation & contrast are also settable; mine are about the middle and I can't recall whether I set those myself or it showed them as default when I set up the user modes.

These seem to work well for my purposes. Not sure what the ideal colour temmp, gamma, & other settings might be for gaming, but some web searching would probably turn up some useful info on this. Good luck, and enjoy the monitor!

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