Question on Computer Monitor sRGB Mode?

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D00M Senior Member • Posts: 1,229
Question on Computer Monitor sRGB Mode?

Hi, I have a general high level understanding of color space. But I don't understand sRGB mode on computer monitors. Most monitors I have used will not allow color temp adjustment in sRGB mode. Is sRGB mode only usable with calibration and ICC profile?

My main purpose of the monitor is media consumption, gaming, and web browsing. I do some photo editing, but this is quite limited. I don't have calibration tool. I adjust color temp to what I see as white, by looking at white paper in daylight. And I set the brightness to around 120 nits using light meter. I use the default ICC profile, but something I really don't care about because only selected apps (mostly photo editing apps) use ICC profile; many apps and games do not use it.

I assume if I use sRGB mode, then the monitor's color gamut is clamped to the sRGB color space. So that is great to know what to expect. But the issue is that these monitors' sRGB mode is not what I see as white. And there is no way to adjust color temperature in sRGB mode. Maybe it can be adjusted in ICC with calibration tool. But I see that as a huge limitation.

Here are the computer monitors I have used:

  • Apple Thunderbolt Display. I used this forever. Couple years ago, I moved from Apple to PC, and sold this display. I don't believe there is any sRGB mode on this display, and everything worked great as-is.
  • BenQ PD2710QC. This is around 6 years old. It came calibrated from the factory. I use Custom User mode and adjusted the R-G-B slightly to what I consider as white. Monitor does have sRGB mode, which is quite similar to Standard or User modes. sRGB is a bit darker and cooler. Only brightness and sharpness are adjustable in sRGB mode, but not the color temp.
  • Gigabyte M27Q-P. I bought 2 of these monitors for my kid and myself. But then my unit burned out in 2 weeks. So I returned it, and currently looking for new monitor. It has sRGB mode. But in this mode, only brightness can be adjusted, and white balance looks quite off, and color temp is not adjustable in sRGB mode.
  • MSI MAG2724QRF-QD. I was looking at this for online shopping and comparison. Many reviewers said the color is over-saturated. And it does not have saturation or vibrancy control. Some said using sRGB mode will look more normal. However, Rtings stated that once picture settings are changed in sRGB mode, monitor will not clamp the gamut to sRGB. Well, that defeats the purpose of sRGB mode. This detract me from this monitor, as I don't want to be restricted to use sRGB mode where I cannot make adjustments.

I don't quite get the point of sRGB mode on computer monitors. These sRGB mode is just single take-it-or-leave-it setting from the factory. If you don't like it, there is no adjustment possible on the monitor itself. I assume calibration can be done in ICC profile with calibration tool. But I don't have calibration tool. And many apps/games I care about don't use ICC profile.

Do you use sRGB mode on your computer monitor?  And is there different method of dialing in the settings?

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