"Games Misbehaving" Monitor ICC profiles etc.

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"Games Misbehaving" Monitor ICC profiles etc.

Postby SYN_Bandy » Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:30 pm

Just going to share the results of some legwork. Please look at the following quote, I'd like to know if any of you have heard of this issue before...

at bottom of page is a section on "Games Misbehaving"
There are certain applications which have their own agenda. Some games, such as certain Steam titles, will choose to completely ignore desktop colour data including any applied ICC profile. It might be tempting to ‘enforce’ the profile on games that don’t use the desktop settings. This can be done using a utility such as a DLL injector (ColourClutch), another enforcement utility or running in ‘borderless window’ mode. When enforcing a profile in this way you often end up with the games incorrectly transforming (or partially transforming) colour and gamma data. Games that disregard the desktop settings use a range of different baselines for colour and gamma information which differs from that of the Windows desktop environment. So even if the ICC profile is ‘enforced’ it won’t be doing what it should, basing its corrections off the desktop rather than game baseline. Such games are designed to work with the GPU’s default LUT and gamma configuration only and once you change this ‘logic’ all sorts of issues can occur. You can get some minor banding issues even if ICC profile are used ‘properly’, but that doesn’t compare to the more noticeable issues that can occur if the profiles are enforced. Gamma issues, shade crushing, extensive banding, grey neutrality issues and incorrect colours are all quite common.

If you’re using a monitor with a good colour setup from the OSD there is really no need to apply an ICC profile for any game, but that can’t be said for all monitors unfortunately. There are plenty of games out there that will use the desktop colour settings as their baseline, meaning that they will be able to use at least some of the data contained in the ICC profiles. On monitors where the image simply doesn’t look at all appealing after OSD adjustments alone, things can certainly look better once an ICC profile is used. Just be aware of those titles that seem reluctant to use ICC profiles and don’t be surprised if these games don’t quite look right if you enforce the profile.


There is an excellent and tiny utility called ‘Display Profile’ (above) which gives you a much quicker way of doing this. You can download it here. This allows you to toggle between ICC profiles or use the system defaults if you essentially want to disable any ICC profile corrections. To use system defaults and disable any specific LUT and gamma corrections simply select ‘sRGB IEC61966-2.1’ in the utility.

Main topic:
Many/most of you may do monitor calibration as a routine with a new monitor. Embarrassed to say I haven't, and always pushed the OSD buttons till I got what I liked, usually using Photoshop calibration tool as a guide.

Blackie and I have shared recent experiences with new 1440p G-sync monitors. He brought up the topic of calibrating it with an external device, but to fill in meanwhile he mentioned getting a calibrated profile from TFT Central http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/icc_profiles.htm While I imagine this is a good source they did not have my model, but that did not stop other people from posting links to the incorrect model (ie: Acer Predator XB270HU verses XB271HK yet mine is XB271HU) so beware!

There are many independently posted calibrations for all monitors, some likely better than others (it is subjective) so maybe the 'Display Profile' app mentioned above is the best way to easily switch between ones you've found till you find the one you like.

Hope this helps.

Unfortunately, cheap, low-quality cables can also cause problems. Your monitor’s included cable might not even be good enough. We recently found that the included cable with an ASUS monitor couldn’t provide a stable signal at 144Hz. Instead, the screen would occasionally flicker and the refresh rate would drop down to 60Hz until we rebooted the computer. We replaced the cable with a higher-quality Accell DisplayPort cable and the monitor operated fine at 144Hz without any flickering or refresh rate drops.

Lest we forget...
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