4K GAMING MONITOR Asus ROG Swift PG27AQ
Asus has one of the widest ranges of adaptive-sync displays on the market, catering for both G-Sync and FreeSync, for users of Nvidia and AMD GPUs respectively. Their general high quality has impressed us in previous reviews, and they’ve also come packed with features, including flexible stands that pivot, rotate and tilt, as well as great on-screen display software, controlled by a small joystick at the rear of the display. The ROG Swift PG27AQ breaks new ground, though, being a 27in G-Sync display with an IPS panel and a low 4ms response time.
As such, you can expect superior image quality and viewing angles compared with your average TN panel, but without the severe ghosting problems of some older IPS monitors. What’s more, it has a native 4K resolution and supports G-Sync up to 60Hz. While it isn’t the first IPS adaptive-sync display we’ve seen, or the first 4K monitor with G-Sync, it’s the first screen we’ve seen that offers all three. While Acer’s XB280HK 4K also features G-Sync, for example, that display has a TN panel rather than IPS.
The vast majority of alternative G-Sync screens also have a 2,560 x 1,440 native resolution, but can go up to 144Hz. This higher refresh rate isn’t possible at 4K due to the required bandwidth, which exceeds the capability of DisplayPort 1.2. Faster panels will have to wait for a new DisplayPort standard, which will only be possible with new graphics cards as well.
Until now, all G-Sync displays have been limited to a single DisplayPort input, unlike FreeSync monitors. Asus has added a secondary HDMI port to the PG27AQ, though, meaning you can connect a games console to it, or a second PC, although it’s only HDMI 1.4, so you won’t be able to display 4K resolutions at 60Hz from it, or use G-Sync.
There are a few other omissions as well. Nvidia’s 3D Vision technology has been cut, as has ULMB (ultra-low motion blur). There’s also some artificial segmentation on the part of Asus. The PG27AQ is absolutely aimed at gamers, so it therefore offers plenty of features gamers might want, but a few other features that are generally quite common on cheaper displays have been deliberately removed. Multiple gamma settings is one example. The screen is set to 6,500K, and you can’t change it.
It’s easy to understand why. Gamers probably don’t adjust the gamma much, and that feature might be better suited to a graphic designer or photographer. But what about photographers who also enjoy gaming? When spending this much on a display, it would be ideal to have as much picture control as possible, even if those features aren’t going to be used by everyone.