Gigabyte GS34WQC review: a good curved gaming monitor for a great price—with caveats

The Gigabyte GS34WQC is a 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor with a 120Hz refresh rate and the ability to overclock to 135Hz. Featuring HDR capabilities and AMD FreeSync Premium, there are other game assists including crosshair overlays.

Apr 3, 2024 - 10:30
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Gigabyte GS34WQC review: a good curved gaming monitor for a great price—with caveats

Gigabyte has consistently been making gaming monitors primarily focused on the budget PC Gaming experience and the GS34WQC successfully leans into the ultrawide tier. The 34-inch 1440p display comes with a 120Hz refresh rate in addition to the ability to overclock to 135Hz. Performance aside, SDR image quality is quite stunning and looks great. 

Then there’s an incredibly reasonable feature set that comes with various gaming assists such as crosshair overlay. Though there’s a nub to make various in-display settings changes, the GS34WQC can also be personalized through the OSD Sidekick app. For variable refresh rate solutions, the monitor comes packed with AMD FreeSync Premium to combat potential screen tearing. 

For $329(£388, AU $549), this gaming monitor makes more than enough sense for PC gamers who want an ultrawide display that won’t break the bank. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be any sacrifices to pack all of this into that price point. 

One of the most glaring issues is its HDR implementation. Even with changing settings through software or in-display, image quality is only going to look slightly average. To be honest, it’s best to avoid HDR on the GS34WQC altogether. Then there are some design problems that come in the general aesthetic alongside set-up. 

Like other modern Gigabyte gaming monitors, some assists like Black Equilizer and Aim Stabilizer do more to hurt overall image quality than help in any way. PC gamers looking for more extras like speakers and USB capabilities are going to be a bit disappointed. Anyone with a solid 1440p rig looking to play games in the 120 frame rate range may walk away satisfied; more so if they also have PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The Gigabyte GS34WQC offers a quality PC gaming experience at the cost of things that individuals in the price range probably won’t care about. 

Gigabyte GS34WQC: Price and availability

A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Available now in U.S. UK and AU territories, the Gigabyte GS34WQC retails for around $329(£388, AU $549) depending on where one shops. Though available on Amazon, the gaming monitor can be grabbed at various stories depending on where one resides. In the U.S., the monitor can be purchased at Best Buy, UK residents can find it at Currys and Australian citizens can find it at MSY. 

Considering the price, the GS34WQC is one of the most affordable 34 inch ultrawide gaming monitors available. RIght now on Newegg, the monitor can be purchased on sale for $289 which adds even more to its value. Users looking for a bit more extras can pay around $10 bucks more for the Dell 34 Curved Gaming Monitor that also comes with a healthy selection of USB ports. Meanwhile, the significantly more expensive AOC CU34G2X at $450 provides better HDR capabilities in addition to USB ports. 

Value:  4 / 5

Gigabyte GS34WQC: Specs

A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Gigabyte GS34WQC Design

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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Like other Gigabyte gaming monitors, don’t expect the GS34WQC to do much in the looks department. The all-black matted material feels more acceptable in a classroom or library than next to an RGB desktop. Again, the GS34WQC is more about function than everything else. 

When it comes to maneuverability out of the box, the 18 lbs gaming monitor doesn’t feel unwieldy. Set-up is where some of the problems with the design began to show up. A singular attached screen connects the stand to the neck. However, those who don’t read the monitor may run into some issues in the next steps. 

The four screws already come taped to the neck that connects to the display. Be careful not to remove the tape without catching them because they will fall and can potentially get lost. Even more so, the packaging doesn’t come with a small screwdriver so users are responsible for securing the display themselves. Both height and tilt can be adjusted on the gaming monitor too.

There are a handful of ports available to get started including one DisplayPort, two HDMI ports, 3.5mm headphone, and power jack. Power goes directly through the display so users won’t have to worry about a larger powerbrick. The port selection is respectable and will definitely satisfy gamers with at least two consoles. Switching between inputs is pretty easy through the nub as well. Considering the low price for this ultrawide gaming monitor, this is good enough for a multiplatform gaming set-up alongside a gaming PC rig. 

Gamers who want extras like external speakers and USB hubs for connectivity are going to have to look elsewhere. Considering the max refresh rate output is 120Hz and 135Hz when overclocked, this is for lower-powered 1440p gaming rigs. 

  • Design 3.5 / 5

Gigabyte GS34WQC: Features

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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The Gigabyte GS34WQC isn’t necessarily feature-rich but does have a handful of tools to improve a user’s gaming experience. When it comes to variable refresh rate solutions, having AMD FreeSync is a great addition; even for users who have Nvidia GPUs. Then there is HDR capability but we’ll explain why it's not very good in the next section. 

Those who don’t want to fiddle with the nub for settings outside of input can definitely give the OSD Sidekick app a shot. Though the app works well, it’s really a matter of preference in regards to usability. Users can make color changes in SDR and other display options but it’s also for toggling various game assists. 

Three primary gaming assistance features are designed to provide gamers with a competitive edge on the GS32QC. Foremost among these are the various crosshair overlays, seamlessly enhancing gameplay in titles like Call of Duty and Helldivers 2, as well as other first or third-person shooters. 

Additionally, there's the aim assist, effectively reducing motion blur in fast-paced games, though it's important to note its inoperability if the refresh rate falls below 100Hz or FreeSync is activated. To circumvent the need for aim assists entirely, players can opt to disable in-game motion blur. Finally, there's the on-screen timer, a boon for speedrunners seeking to optimize their performance.

  • Features 3.5 / 5

Gigabyte GS34WQC: Performance

A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

 PC gamers with lower-to-mid-range rigs should feel more at home with the Gigabyte GS34WQC than more expensive gaming monitors. What the display does well is make good on its native 120Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. Playing fast-paced online shooters like Helldivers 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III was a blast in addition to running exceptionally well. Add AMD Freesync Premium into the mix, it’s clear that the GS34WQC can run with the big dogs at similar settings. As mentioned earlier, the monitor is suitable for multi-platform gamers as well considering both Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 can deliver a max frame-rate output of 120Hz. 

When it comes to image quality, the GS34WQC is wonderful when running in SDR. Colors are bold and crisp with just the right amount of brightness. Blacks are deep and the contrast ratio looks pretty good. Just stay far away from the Black Equilizer which needs to be bumped down considerably. The game assists are supposed to make visuals clearer in darker spaces when playing a game but that can ruin emersion and can simply be fixed through in-game brightness settings. More visually arresting games like Alan Wake II and Cyberpunk 2077 look as well as they perform on the GS34WQC if one’s rig is up to snuff. 

Just leave HDR completely alone on this gaming monitor. By default, HDR looks really washed out and flat. The monitor loses a lot of the colorfulness and lushness that SDR provides. Blacks look a bit too bright as well. Even when tinkering with settings, it's hard to get color accuracy. With that said creatives who use Adobe suite software like Photoshop and Premiere Pro might want to leave HDR alone when using the GS34WQC. It’s simply not good for gaming, creative work, or general computing tasks. 

  • Performance: 4 / 5

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How I tested the Gigabyte GS34WQC

During the day, I used the Gigabyte GS34WQC for general computing tasks that revolved around using sites including Google Docs, Hootsuite, and Asana. Now and then, I would have to create graphics and cut video clips as well. There were also times when I took a break to watch videos on YouTube alongside other social media platforms. 

For gaming, I tested out the monitor's performance by playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer alongside the current popular game of the moment, Helldivers 2. To test out overall gaming image quality, Forza Motorsport (2023), Alan Wake II, and others were played. All games played were tested in both SDR and HDR modes, for good measure. 

I’ve spent the past several years covering monitors alongside other PC components for Techradar. Outside of gaming, I’ve been proficient in Adobe Suite for over a decade as well, so I know a good monitor when I use one.

  • First reviewed April 2024