ASUS ROG SWIFT PG278Q G-SYNC Monitor Reviewccokeman - August 11, 2014
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ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q Introduction:
Today I will be looking at the latest monitor from ASUS, which is targeted squarely at the gaming segment with a refresh rate of up to 144Hz, 1ms (GTG) response times, and a wealth of other features, such as a resolution of up to 2560x1440, an anti-glare screen, ROG-inspired looks, USB 3.0 ports, a thin 6mm bezel, Turbo Key, and last but not least, NVIDIA's G-Sync technology. G-Sync is not an entirely new technology, but ASUS is the first to put it into a 27-inch 2560 x 1440 capable monitor.
Traditionally, gamers have used one of two methods in games. One method is to reduce input lag by disabling v-sync, only to run up against screen tearing when the rate at which the rendered frames spew out of the video card occur much faster than the 60 Hz refresh cycle of a typical LCD Monitor. 120Hz monitors help somewhat, but you still run up against screen tearing in fast-paced action. Enabling v-sync induces input lag when a fixed refresh cycle is forced on, as frames are sent to the monitor, but must wait for that next scan or refresh. Both are less than ideal, and you play a game of trade-offs, as the end user strives to get the best compromised gaming experience.
ASUS has built the ROG PG279Q as a high resolution gaming monitor that incorporates G-Sync, or GPU-Sync, technology to eliminate both problems by having the GPU manage the refresh cycle of the monitor, essentially giving the user a variable refresh rate that eliminates both the inpput lag as well as the screen tearing so common in games right now when running with a slower fixed refresh rate. Let's go ahead and get into the nuts and bolts and find out what kind of gaming experience we get while using this beautiful looking monitor equipped with what promises to be game-changing technology.
ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q Closer Look:
The ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q not only arrived in the original packaging, but also in a fairly over-sized box around that, ensuring safe shipment. The illustrations on the outside of original box show renderings of the display and a listing of the supported technologies, including: 144Hz refresh rate; 1ms GTG response; Game Plus technology; refresh rate overclocking; tilt, swivel, and pivot adjustments; G-Sync ready; and support for NVIDIA's 3D Vision 2 systems. Inside, the contents are packed tightly in a solid foam to prevent damage in transit. After pulling the ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q out of the box, it was refreshing to see that it comes to the end user fully assembled and ready to rock and roll. Accessories include the power brick, DisplayPort 1.2 cable, USB 3.0 cable, power cable, manual, and driver disk.
This 2560x1440 resolution monitor offers up to 77% more working space than a comparable 27-inch 1920x1080 monitor thanks to its 109 pixels per inch TN panel. Measuring 619.7x362.96x65.98mm, the PG278Q is relativly normal in size for a 27-inch 16:9 display. However, the bezel size is a much appreciated 6mm wide all the way around, giving the illusion of much more space being available. The display features a 100x100mm VESA compatible mount and +20°~-5° tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustability built in to ensure you can get the right viewing angle. Maximum side angle viewing is listed at 170°, although it's rare you will get that far out while gaming. The back side of the display has that ROG-inspired look, and features strategically placed vents as part of ASUS' Smart Air Vent Design system to manage the thermal load from the monitor with both intake and exhaust openings.
The tall center post is used to support the PG278Q display and features a very robust mechanism to manage positioning of the display on the tilt and angle axis. The center post has an opening that allows the DisplayPort, USB 3.0, and power cables to be run up from the rear and into the display for a cleaner look. The center post is mounted into a well built base that allows the display to swivel around with just enough weighting to keep the user engaged during the movement. Around the bottom of the center post is a red ring that lights up a brilliant red as part of the Light In Motion effect on the monitor.
At the bottom, right hand side of the display are the control buttons, including the power button, 5-way OSD Navigation Joystick, Exit Key, Game Plus Key, and Turbo key. These allow the user to do some of the obvious standard functions you'd expect from any monitor, but really allow further functionality as well. The 5-way toggle functions along both up/down and left/right axis, with the 5th function being the pressing of the button itself, used as the selection button. The Turbo Key allows the user to toggle between 60Hz, 120Hz, and 144Hz refresh modes without hitting the display control panel. The Game Plus Key allows the user to select from one of four on-display crosshairs and a spawn timer. Pretty cool stuff for the gamer.
Connectivity options on the ROG Swift PG278Q are limited by design to a full-size DisplayPort 1.2 port, power connection, and USB 3.0 in and outbound, in case connecting fewer cables to the PC is an attractive feature. The cable mounting point is placed in this position to take advantage of the cable management design of the center support post, eliminating as much cable clutter as possible. Both a DisplayPort 1.2 and USB 3.0 inbound cable are provided so you do not incur additional costs when you purchase a display of this caliber.
The OSD, or On Screen Display, is easy to navigate with the 5-way toggle button. The entry screen gives you three options to choose from with added sub menus to manage other settings, including the enabling and disabling the Light in Motion effects, as well as NVIDIA's Ultra Low Motion Blur technology. The Game Plus OSD allows the end user to choose between the multi-colored crosshairs or spawn timer in this menu.
Visually, the monitor looks great and comes packed with some serious features; G-Sync being the principal feature outside the ASUS-specific features that on their own are interesting to say the least. Let's take a look at some info on G-Sync and try and explain how this technology makes for a much improved gaming experience.