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For now, it seems 4K gaming at 144Hz will be restricted to premium gaming monitors. While technology is progressing forward, we aren’t quite in the value sweet spot just yet. It should be noted that regardless of how much you pay for a monitor, the cost of an appropriately fast graphics card must be factored in. Playing games at 80-100 fps at 4K resolution requires something on the level of a GTX 1080. If you have a board that can maintain 60 fps in 4K, then you don’t need to spend the extra cash for a 144Hz display.
The Nitro XV273K is the third 144Hz, 4K gaming monitor from Acer, and it is the least expensive. Here’s a quick rundown of the feature list for comparison. The Predator X27 offers a full-array 1,000-nit backlight, HDR, 144Hz and G-Sync and currently sells for around $1,800 ( price fluctuates). The Predator XB273K has a 400-nit edge backlight, HDR, 144Hz and G-Sync for around $1,200. Our review focus has a 400-nit edge backlight, HDR, 144Hz, FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility and sells for around $900.
So, the Nitro XV273K is quite a bit cheaper than the X27 but gives up that screen’s killer HDR. That’s not to say the Nitro doesn’t present a great picture. It has a very accurate DCI-P3 color gamut and the same 163 ppi pixel density of the other two Predators. It does support HDR, but without any form of dynamic contrast, it only looks a little better than SDR.
Speed-wise, it matches competitors with identical panel response times and only slightly more input lag. We doubt anyone will sense the 7ms difference when storming the beach at Normandy. When taken purely as a gaming monitor, it’s the equal of the other two Predators. And it will work with both FreeSync and G-Sync systems where the other two will not. The only caveat is you’ll give up HDR when running G-Sync, but this is not a big deal because the picture looks great either way.
If you’re willing to accept certain compromises, the Nitro XV273K is a great way to game in 4K at 144Hz without spending the entire price of a PC to do it. It’s still an expensive monitor, but it offers fantastic gaming performance and a stunning image. It’s certainly worth a serious look.
Photo Credits: Acer
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Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.
Honestly, why do people even go for monitors with HDR 400, the spec does not have zone brightness, only HDR 600 and up do. Without zone brightness what is the point? The only thing I've heard about HDR 400 is that it is better than nothing, but is that worth this kind of premium?Reply
While this may be a beautiful screen for gaming, the setups that can even power it at rates exceeding what lower cost screens can achieve are barely measured in single digit percentages. I suspect the market for these things is horrendously small, as in a minuscule percent of an already tiny percent of gamers.Reply
I bought this monitor a few weeks ago directly from acer thanks to a promotion where I managed to get a decent discount. It is probably the best monitor I have ever owned and the HDR effect seems pretty decent, while standard range looks phenomenal and gsync works brilliantly. I can’t really fault it. I’ve read a few complaints online about 400 nit HDR, all I can say to them is this is a 27 inch monitor, designed to be used at close range than say a 60 inch tv made to be viewed from a distance, in that case I would agree 400 nits is too low.Reply
IMHO, 27-inch 4K gaming monitors are pointless due to the pixel density and normal viewing distance of 2-3 feet. I've seen 27-inch 4K and 27-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) monitors side-by-side, and there really isn't much of a difference. As an owner of a 32-inch 4K gaming monitor, I know that's the sweet spot for the pixel density and viewing distance. I'm just have to wait for the 32-inch version of these monitors to be released later.Reply