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Suppose I have a high-end monitor that supports AdobeRGB natively and is calibrated at the factory. Assume that I just got the monitor and that factory calibration is spot on.

Do I still need profile the monitor, to for example, create an ICC color profile? And if so, why? What does it do? Will I miss anything if I do not profile the monitor?

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There is a misconception sometimes about monitor color management. It is a two-step process: Calibrating, then profiling.

Calibrating linearizes the monitor (adjusts so that all grey tones from black to white appear as neutral as possible) and adjusts the white point to your desired color temperature.

Profiling then maps the differences between a known set of colors and how they are displayed on screen. That profile is then used by the OS color management system to adjust what is rendered on screen to be as visibly accurate as possible, within the limits of current color management technology the monitor/video card combination.

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The factory calibration is not spot on. Factory calibration is pure marketing. It may be accurate at the time, however displays drift significantly and rapidly based on a variety of factors including wear on the backlight driving it. Profiling your monitor allows you to keep calibration up to date as the display changes over time. It will also allow you to adjust for lighting conditions in your viewing environment.

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Do I still need profile the monitor, to for example, create an ICC color profile?

Yes. The most significant reason is to match the monitor to the viewing conditions under which you are using it. Another reason is that proper profiling can make much finer adjustments at varying brightness levels for a particular color than factory calibration usually does. Beyond that, the colors produced by the monitor will vary with time and might also vary with ambient temperature, the quality of the electrical power system your monitor is plugged into, etc.

Will I miss anything if I do not profile the monitor?

Yes. You'll miss the increased performance that you paid for by choosing such a monitor. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to spend extra on a higher end monitor if you're not going to use the proper tools to use it optimally.

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