Acer’s blis­ter­ingly fast 4K, 144Hz HDR gam­ing mon­i­tors cost far less than ri­val dis­plays

The Acer Preda­tor XB273K sup­ports G-sync, while the Acer Nitro XV273K sup­ports Freesync.

PCWorld (USA) - - News Netgear Xr700 Nighthawk Pro Gaming Router - BY BRAD CHACOS

Con­sider the 60Hz bar­rier for ul­tra–high-def­i­ni­tion screens of­fi­cially bro­ken. Acer an­nounced not one, but two new 4K, 144Hz gam­ing mon­i­tors at IFA in Ber­lin, for folks who like their frame rates high and tem­per­a­tures low. One, the $1,299 Preda­tor XB273K, sup­ports Nvidia’s game­play-smooth­ing G-sync tech­nol­ogy. The other, the $899 Nitro XV273K, plays nice with AMD’S ri­val Freesync tech.

On pa­per, the Preda­tor XB273K matches

many of the key spec­i­fi­ca­tions of Acer’s Preda­tor X27, a $2,000 dis­play that we dubbed the Holy Grail of gam­ing mon­i­tors (see page 29) in our re­view. It’s got 4K res­o­lu­tion, a blaz­ing-fast 144Hz max­i­mum re­fresh rate (though that’s prob­a­bly when over­clocked), G-sync, and even Dis­play­hdr 400 cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

De­spite be­ing a mon­i­tor with 4K, G-sync, and HDR, Acer hasn’t branded the Preda­tor XB273K with Nvidia’s of­fi­cial “G-sync HDR” stamp. Though Nvidia hasn’t pub­licly listed G-sync HDR re­quire­ments, com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tives told me that fu­ture pan­els wouldn’t be any worse than the ini­tial mod­els. The Preda­tor XB273K’S press re­lease makes no men­tion of a full-ar­ray lo­cal dim­ming back­light cru­cial for de­liv­er­ing stark color con­trasts, and its 400 nits’ worth of bright­ness lags far be­hind the Preda­tor X27’s vi­brant 1,000 nits.

But hey, it’s $700 cheaper, with an Ips-tech­nol­ogy panel that de­liv­ers 90 per­cent of the DCI-P3 color space. The beau­ti­ful Sam­sung CHG70 ( go.pc­world. com/ch70)— one of the first Freesync 2 dis­plays—proved how gor­geous a Dis­play­hdr 400 mon­i­tor can be even if it can’t match the bright­ness lev­els of the Preda­tor X27. When you con­sider that the only other high-speed 4K mon­i­tor avail­able, the Korean-made Wasabi Mango UHD430, costs $1,366 on Ebay and doesn’t even in­clude G-sync, the Preda­tor XB273K starts look­ing even juicier.

Acer’s other newly an­nounced mon­i­tor is the one to get if you don’t want G-sync, though. The Acer Nitro XV273K costs just $899, and while that’s a mighty big “just,” the other 4K, 144Hz mon­i­tors re­leased thus far cost at least $1,300. Like Acer’s other mon­i­tor, the Nitro XV273K is Dis­play­hdr 400-cer­ti­fied and boasts an IPStech­nol­ogy dis­play that hits 90 per­cent of DCIP3. But un­like its sib­ling,

this model rocks AMD Freesync in­stead of G-sync. That makes it the first 4K, 144Hz Freesync mon­i­tor we’ve spot­ted.

Now for the bad news: No Radeon graph­ics card, even the liq­uid-cooled Radeon Vega 64 ( go.pc­world.com/rxrv), can come close to hold­ing a steady 60 frames per sec­ond at 4K res­o­lu­tion, much less the 144Hz this mon­i­tor sup­ports. We’ve heard nary a whis­per of plans for a Radeon re­fresh, ei­ther. But the Nitro XV273K still looks like a rel­a­tive steal if you’ve got a mon­strous Ge­force GTX 1080 Ti ( go. pc­world.com/mngc; or plan to snag a Ge­force RTX 2080 or RTX 2080 Ti, go.pc­world.com/rt20) and want high-speed 4K with­out the G-sync price premium. Hell, if you’ve got an old Radeon card hang­ing around you could even try coax­ing Freesync into work­ing on your Ge­force GPU ( go. pc­world.com/fsnv) with a clever trick.

Ex­cit­ing stuff for PC gamers. Acer’s also re­leas­ing a pair of 1440p, 144Hz Nitro mod­els—one us­ing faster TN dis­play tech­nol­ogy, the other us­ing a more color­ful IPS panel. All of the mon­i­tors will re­lease some­time in the fourth quar­ter at the fol­low­ing prices:

Preda­tor XB273K (4K G-sync): $1,299

Nitro XV273K (4K Freesync): $899

Nitro XV272U (1440p Freesync IPS): $499

Nitro XF272U (1440P Freesync TN): $449

Be sure to read the graph­ics card por­tion ( go.pc­world.com/4kgm) in our guide to 4K gam­ing to get the lay of the land be­fore you take the ul­tra–high-def­i­ni­tion plunge. You’re go­ing to need some heavy fire­power to keep these mon­i­tors prop­erly fed.

Acer’s also re­leas­ing a pair of 1440p, 144Hz Nitro mod­els— one us­ing faster TN dis­play tech­nol­ogy, the other us­ing a more color­ful IPS panel.

The rear of the Acer Preda­tor XB273K mir­rors the de­sign of the Preda­tor X27.

The Acer Nitro XV273K.

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