Do you own an Acer laptop or monitor? If so, you've probably encountered the Adaptive Contrast Management (ACM) setting on it.
What is ACM monitor setting? What does it do to your display, and should you turn it on or off?
In this article, we will discuss the Acer Adaptive Contrast Management setting, what it does to your display and battery life, and how you can adjust this setting correctly in your device.
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What Is Adaptive Contrast Management (ACM)?
Adaptive Contrast Management (ACM) is Acer's technology that focuses on improving image quality through contrast ratio while still limiting the energy consumption of the device.
It essentially allows users to achieve ultra-sharp images without consuming a lot of electricity on their monitors.
The ACM setting’s main goal is to continuously adjust the contrast ratio , particularly the brightness of the screen, depending on the input image.
So, when enabled, the contrast setting of the screen is constantly changing, even if using office applications.
While it can produce better quality images and save energy, the ACM feature can also be annoying to some users who are sensitive to the constant change in the screen's brightness.
So how exactly does ACM work? The ACM dynamically adjusts the contrast ratio of the content to produce very sharp images.
By using a series of algorithms, ACM calculates the average brightness of the image and frame from one screen to another and produces bright whites and dark blacks.
It’s basically just an image enhancement technology with energy-saving features that is built-in Acer LCD monitors. High contrast ratio often delivers better pictures.
However, what happens if you'll be playing a video or a series of images? How will ACM work then? Again, simple.
Just as it works with a still or single image, it will analyze the scenes individually, and it will adjust the contrast of the display dynamically depending on the particular scene.
An Acer ACM monitor also uses DCR technology (Dynamic Contrast Ratio). So in some scenes, you’ll get bright images, especially if the scene has more whites than blacks.
While in some dark scenes, you’ll get a darker display.
Another thing, an LCD monitor with an ACM setting can provide very sharp images with less power compared to other LCD monitors without the same feature.
Don't worry; some monitor manufacturers are also using the same contrast and brightness setting under different names, such as Dynamic Contrast Ratio for Samsung devices or Smart View for Ilyama.
Should I Use ACM On My Monitor?
The short answer: it depends on what you want to get from your computer’s display. However, that’s not the only thing that ACM technology can deliver.
It also reduces power consumption, which can be a great advantage for users who use their computers for extended periods.
However, some users have criticized the feature because it can sometimes produce an overly artificial contrast effect, where dark scenes are too dark and light scenes have a super bright display.
If you’re confused about whether you’ll use this setting or not, here are our recommendations for different uses.
ACM Settings For Gaming
Enabling the ACM setting when playing games depends on the title you play.
In most cases, ACM is beneficial for gamers as it can produce sharper images that can enhance your overall gaming experience.
However, take note that ACM settings do not affect the refresh rate  of your monitor, and the refresh rate depends on the kind of monitor you have.
So, if you want to enhance your refresh rate, ACM will not be the answer. It can only enhance the light areas and dark areas of your screen, offering a better viewing mode.
This allows the input image to achieve better quality compared to when this setting is turned off.
Another thing, don't confuse the ACM setting with ghosting in your computer. Ghosting is an occurrence in your display where the portions of other scenes overlay on other scenes.
While the automatic adjustment of brightness can be annoying at times, it does not produce a monitor lag.
Lastly, in some games, the scenes may seem “flickering” when ACM is turned on, especially if scenes jump from bright to dark drastically.
So, if you are playing a game that contains different scene changes, it’s best not to enable this setting.
Lastly, if you prefer to manually calibrate your monitor settings, you can adjust the RGB sliders  instead of the ACM setting.
ACM Settings For Movies
As with games, using ACM settings for movies depends on the user and the video you're planning to watch.
However, we suggest that you turn off the setting when using your computer for watching videos.
While it may seem like it can improve your viewing experience more, ACM can make your experience worse.
This is because the constant contrast changes do not play well on videos that change scenes drastically.
However, if you’re just going to watch a movie that has the same scenes (dark scenes or light scenes), turning ACM on can be a good idea.
This can improve the image quality and resolution of the video. It also makes things easier as you don’t have to calibrate your monitor manually to get the best detail for your video.
How To Adjust ACM Monitor Settings Correctly?
If you have an Acer ACM monitor, you can easily turn on the ACM setting by following these steps:
- 1Press the Menu or e button on your monitor to open the on-screen display setting.
- 2Then, select Picture.
- 3Under Picture, press the left or right arrow beside the ACM setting to turn it on.
If you want to manually adjust the screen’s settings, here’s how you can change the contrast and brightness of your monitor.
Changing Contrast on Acer Monitor
There are two ways you can adjust your contrast: through the computer’s setting and the built-in monitor setting.
- 1On your computer, press the Start button and choose Control Panel from the menu.
- 2From the Control Panel, choose the Display icon and press the Settings tab.
- 3Then, set the Color Quality to Medium or High. If you want to save power, choose Medium. If you prefer better displays, select High.
- 4Alternatively, you can use the monitor’s setting by pressing the Menu or e button.
- 5Then, choose Picture and navigate to the Contrast setting.
- 6Lastly, use your monitor’s side arrow buttons to change the contrast.
Changing Brightness on Acer Monitor
Adjusting the brightness of your monitor is easy. Like the contrast setting, you can use both your computer’s settings and the monitor’s settings. Here’s how:
- 1Press and hold the Fn key and the right arrow button to increase the brightness of your screen. If you want to decrease it, press and hold the Fn key and the left arrow button.
- 2Using your monitor’s setting, press the Menu or e button and then select Picture.
- 3Navigate to the display brightness and use the side arrow buttons to change it.
Frequently Asked ACM Monitor Questions
Is ACM the same as the Super Sharpness monitor setting?
No, Acer’s Adaptive Contrast Management is not the same as the Super Sharpness setting.
The former focuses on adjusting the screen’s brightness based on the displayed image, while the latter is about sharpening the image to produce a crisper and more defined picture.
How does Acer EcoDisplay work?
Acer EcoDisplay comes with an ACM setting that produces a better display while reducing power consumption.
It comes with an Acer eColor management option that allows you to choose from different viewing modes.
To check if you have a normal monitor or one with an EcoDisplay, look for an Acer EcoDisplay logo on the device.
Should contrast be higher than brightness on monitors?
It depends on your current working environment. Darker rooms need darker screens, while brighter ones require higher brightness.
What is ACM on a TV?
ACM on TV works the same way the setting works on a monitor. It automatically adjusts the contrast and brightness of the screen depending on the content being shown.
What is a black boost monitor?
A black boost option in your monitor allows you to adjust the black level on your display. This makes blacks and grayscale look darker.
If you’re wondering what the Acer Predator Adaptive Contrast Management setting is or what the ACM setting in your Acer monitor is, hopefully, this article has provided the answers you need.
Remember, enabling this setting depends on what content you plan to display on your device. In some situations, it works perfectly.
While in some, it can be bothersome. So, be sure to check it yourself and see if your viewing experience becomes better or not.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.