ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q G-SYNC Monitor Reviewby Chris Heinonen & Jarred Walton on February 13, 2015 10:00 AM EST
The ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) line includes everything you want for building a high-end gaming PC: GPUs, Motherboards, Keyboards and Mice, Sound Cards, Headsets, and now Monitors. The ROG Swift PG278Q is a 27” WQHD display that has both a 144Hz maximum refresh rate and NVIDIA G-SYNC. Combining both of these technologies provides the potential of a silky-smooth image that doesn’t get choppy if the frame rate happens to drop in demanding sequences.
My prior demonstrations of G-SYNC involved displays that fell below a 60Hz refresh rate. Even when falling down to 40-45fps, the G-SYNC displays manage to remain smooth when compared to a standard 60Hz display. With a 144Hz display, G-SYNC enables you to run at these very fast refresh rates without noticeable stuttering or tearing if your refresh rate falls below that. You might have the GPU power to run at 144Hz most of the time, but if you suffer slowdown during certain sequences the ASUS ROG will still appear as smooth as it did before.
Ergonomically the ASUS ROG offers a very well designed experience. The display has good height adjustment, tilt, swivel, and pivot. Since it is a TN panel and prone to color shifts when you move off-axis, being able to set it up to be perfectly even with your eyesight is a very good thing. There are a pair of USB 3.0 ports on the bottom of the rear panel, good for a keyboard or mouse, but none on the side to provide easy access for flash drives and other accessories.
The worst ergonomic feature of the ASUS ROG is that it utilizes an external power supply brick. The external brick is compact compared to others that have passed through, but it still means yet another cable and device to have to deal with on a desktop.
The On-Screen Display for the ASUS ROG is good though not excellent. It offers quick access to a few items, like refresh rate, but to do so it uses icons on the screen. Since the keys are on the back of the monitor, unless your face is level with the lower bezel (an unlikely occurrence) it is hard to determine which button is the correct one. If the buttons were on the front this would work well, but I just found myself always hitting the wrong option. Simply going to the main menu and selecting the item there is faster.
The main menu is controlled with a 4-way joystick on the back of the display. This is nice and easy to use, and lets you move around the menus quickly. The layout is a nice three-column variety that lets you see which submenu you are in without having to navigate all the way back out, which is nice. Menu systems have come a long way since I started reviewing monitors and the ASUS would beat anything I had to look at four years ago.
|ASUS ROG SWIFT PG278Q|
|Video Inputs||1x DisplayPort 1.2|
|Response Time||1ms GtG|
|Viewing Angle (H/V)||170 / 160|
|Power Consumption (operation)||<90W|
|Power Consumption (standby)||<0.5W|
|Tilt||Yes, -5 to 20 degrees|
|VESA Wall Mounting||Yes, 100mm|
|Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD)||24.4" x 14.3" x 9.4"|
|Additional Features||2x USB 3.0, G-SYNC|
|Limited Warranty||3 Years|
|Accessories||DisplayPort Cable, USB 3.0 Cable|
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cheinonen - Friday, February 13, 2015 - linkAs this is my final review here at AnandTech, I just wanted to thank everyone that read them and commented on them over the past few years. I've always enjoyed my work and hope most of you enjoyed it as well, and I'm sure whoever handles displays next will continue to be excellent.
kyuu - Friday, February 13, 2015 - linkThanks for the great work Chris, and good luck with whatever has stolen you away from us!
Essence_of_War - Friday, February 13, 2015 - linkIt was a pleasure to read your reviews, I'll keep following your work at WC, best wishes going forward!
wyewye - Saturday, February 14, 2015 - linkGood riddance noob. L2 measure response time and input lag without a CRT next time.
cheinonen - Saturday, February 14, 2015 - linkI'm sure I can look forward to your reviews that address all the deficiencies in mine soon.
SpeedyTheTurtle - Friday, February 13, 2015 - linkI set up monitor arrays and I have found it very difficult to find the right information on monitor bezels. Would it be possible to measure the distance from the outer most pixel to the edge of the monitor on future reviews? This information seams to be distorted or misleading from a lot of the manufacturers.
ExarKun333 - Friday, February 13, 2015 - linkSeems like this would have been a good monitor 1-2 years ago. For this price, it just isn't worth-it with UWD and 4k panels in the same price range.
ssddaydream - Friday, February 13, 2015 - linkPeople talk a lot of smack on this monitor it seems or try to justify why it doesn't suit their needs. I own one and a GTX 980 and I can tell you that it is far superior in terms of motion than any LCD I've seen and it is about on par in terms of motion with my retired Sony GDM-C520K. The Asus has a much higher refresh rate than the Sony, not to mention resolution and size.
My unit hasn't had any QC issues, so I'm happy about that.
Hopefully the future will bring 4K or greater color-calibrated OLED desktop displays. Until then I'll wait it out to see if IPS becomes worth a damn for motion and in the meantime enjoy the next best thing to CRT.
shonferg - Friday, February 13, 2015 - linkI thought the main point of the GSync module was that, unlike standard monitors, it has an internal frame buffer to enable self-refresh. Am I remembering incorrectly?
The reason I ask is that I would not think that a self-refresh capable monitor would need the video card to actually re-send the previous frame over HDMI or DisplayPort in do a refresh to keep the pixels lit up in low-framerate situations. I would think that, theoretically, even though the interconnect is limited to 60hz, if the panel itself were capable of 144hz then self-refreshes could still be done at that speed internally to the monitor.
Or perhaps the connection between G-Sync and the panel itself becomes the bottleneck at that point?
JarredWalton - Friday, February 13, 2015 - linkI don't think the G-SYNC module does a self-refresh like you're describing. I could be wrong, but if it decided to start a refresh just before a new frame got sent, there would be either more latency or tearing, and neither is desirable. Anyway, whatever is happening, I know at 30FPS (e.g. in certain cut scenes where the FPS is locked at 30), flicker is more evident to me on the Acer than on this one, but I think there's still flicker here so I don't believe the PG278Q is refreshing the display twice (e.g. at 90 Hz) when the frame rate is 45 FPS.