Acer XB280HK 28-inch G-Sync Ultra HD Gaming Monitor Review

Acer breaks new ground with its XB280HK. Offering an Ultra HD resolution and G-Sync in a reasonably-priced 28-inch package, this monitor is unique.

Introduction

Last year's introduction of Nvidia's G-Sync variable refresh technology definitely gave gamers something to buzz about. Though AMD’s competing FreeSync standard recently grabbed some of the spotlight, Nvidia’s ecosystem has had more time to mature, and as a result, enthusiasts have a few more choices available.

Asus was first to market with its ROG Swift PG278Q, a monitor that still commands over $700 as of this writing. Following that, we reviewed screens from BenQ (XL2430G) and AOC (G2460PG), which sell at lower price points. So far, they’ve all proven to be excellent gaming monitors. The addition of G-Sync certainly makes them that much better-suited for fast-paced action.

Recently, we got our hands on the first of two Acer G-Sync-capable displays you'll see reviewed on Tom's Hardware. And this one offers something new: Ultra HD resolution. We’re talking about the XB280HK 28-inch monitor.

Since we published our reviews of the first two FreeSync-capable screens, BenQ’s XL2730Z and Acer’s XG270HU, there has been much debate about the merits of one technology over the other. In my game play tests, I can't tell the difference. To delve deeper into the nuances of G-Sync, we obtained a Digital Storm gaming PC and loaded it up with several popular titles. My impressions and findings are on page seven of this article.

Is this the ideal tool for gaming in Ultra HD? Let’s take a look.

Technical Specifications

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Like a vast majority of gaming displays, the XB280HK employs a TN panel. What is unique here is the Ultra HD resolution. Playing graphics-intensive titles while pushing more than eight million pixels still requires a fairly expensive video card. But the addition of G-Sync means choosing between stuttering/input latency and frame tearing is no longer necessary.

This is a good thing because, thanks to its high resolution, the XB280HK is limited to a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz. There aren't many rigs able to operate above that frame rate at 3840x2160 anyway. With the variable refresh available from G-Sync, there is no stuttering until the action drops below 30 FPS. Then, the GPU simply doubles frames to keep input lag from increasing.

If you’re wondering about the panel part used, it’s the same Innolux piece found in every other 28-inch UHD/TN screen. Acer specs an 8-bit color depth, which suggests the frame-rate conversion to 10-bit has been eliminated to speed up video processing. We also recorded faster panel response times in our tests thanks to Acer’s more aggressive overdrive feature.

Like the XG280HU we reviewed recently, this is a no-frills design. Aside from Ultra HD and G-Sync, you don’t get much else. The build is solid and our tests show good picture quality as well. But if you’re looking for gaming modes, blur reduction or higher refresh rates, you’ll have to look elsewhere and take a hit to resolution in the process.

Packaging And Accessories

The XB280HK arrived on our doorstep in a traditional suitcase-style carton made from sturdy double-corrugate cardboard. Plenty of rigid Styrofoam is used to protect the panel and other parts inside, along with plastic wrap to keep shiny surfaces from getting scratched.

The accessory bundle is small but includes exactly what you need: a USB 3.0 cable and a DisplayPort connector for the lone video input. An IEC power cord is also provided to feed the internal supply. The base attaches to the upright with a single captive wingnut, and that in turn snaps onto the panel for a quick tool-less assembly.

Physical Layout

The medium anti-glare screen layer is surrounded by a thin black bezel polished to a high gloss. While a surface like this can pick up reflections, it looks much blacker than the textured surfaces found on most other monitors. A similar piano-black finish is also used on the base, along with a red accent. The whole package looks high-end.

The OSD is controlled with small mechanical buttons in the lower-right. Four keys navigate the menus and one toggles the power, flanked by a bright blue LED. The controls click with a quality feel and respond to just the right level of pressure.

The stand offers full tilt, swivel, height and portrait adjustments. All the movements are firm without too much resistance, yet the panel stays where you set it. At first glance, the bezel looks to be the same width all around. However, it’s three millimeters wider at the bottom. If you want to set up multiple screens in a vertical orientation, take this into account.

The XB280HK’s side profile is fairly slim, dominated by a bulge containing the monitor’s internals. There are two USB 3.0 downstream ports on the left side and slightly behind the edge of the panel.

You can see that there is plenty of ventilation at the top of the bulge around back. This is a cool-running monitor. Its upright contains a small cable management hole for convenience. Acer’s logo is proudly displayed at the top so your opponents will know what you’re running from across the room.

The only video input offered is a lone DisplayPort interface. The XB280HK doesn’t include audio support, so you won’t find any headphone or speaker jacks. You’ll have to route sound from your computer to an external solution. At the far right, you can see the USB 3.0 upstream and two downstream ports. Not shown is the power plug with accompanying master switch.

OSD Setup

Pressing any key brings up a quick menu.

The “e” symbol represents Acer’s picture modes, explained below. The second icon indicates brightness control. The third is Overdrive. The fourth grayed-out symbol says ULMB. Unfortunately, that feature does not exist on this product. The fifth button brings up the main OSD.

Here are the five picture modes: User, Eco, Standard (the default), Game and Movie. The only adjustable one is User. When you make any changes in the other modes, you’re automatically switched to User.

Acer eColor Management is another name for the picture modes. Brightness and Contrast work as expected, although it’s unusual that we’re able to increase the Contrast setting from the default. That usually induces clipping, though here we were able to improve the grayscale accuracy at 100 percent brightness by upping it a click.

There are multiple gamma presets, but they are too far apart to be useful. Fortunately, the 2.2 setting is reasonably close to the mark. The next lowest level is 1.9, which noticeably washes out the picture. Going the other way results in a dark, flat image. It’s best left on 2.2.

There are three color temp presets, plus User. Warm is pretty close to D65, as you’ll see in our benchmark results.

Selecting the User color temp takes you to RGB sliders that start in the center of their ranges. We really like this because it allows adjustments that don’t reduce contrast. In fact, we were able to increase it a little during calibration.

The OSD can be read in multiple languages, and the menu timeout has a maximum of 120 seconds.

Obviously the XB280HK shares its menu firmware with other products, so some of these options are grayed out. There is only one input and DDC/CI is locked to On, as it should be. Overdrive control works well on the Extreme setting, where it results in very little motion blur, even though the panel tops out at 60Hz.

The refresh rate bar is a feature we haven’t seen before. You can make it either four or eight pixels wide, and it appears in the lower-left corner of the screen. The bar moves up and down to let you know the frame rate in real time. There is no numerical indicator, but can approximate where you are. Of course, it only works in G-Sync mode.

Reset returns all settings to their factory defaults. Turning the Power-off USB charge to On means the ports will continue to function when the monitor is in standby. This is handy for charging mobile devices.

Here is the signal information. Unfortunately, all you get is resolution and refresh rate, which will always be 60Hz. The Mode field will say G-Sync when a compatible video card is present or Normal if your board is non-compliant.

Calibration

The default Standard mode is pretty close to the mark, and most users will be satisfied with its performance. For those who wish to calibrate, the User mode can be adjusted to a higher level of accuracy. After tweaking the RGB sliders, we achieved an average error of less than one Delta E. Gamma rides a tad dark, but the presets are too far apart to fix that issue. We also encountered a few color saturation and luminance errors. It's a bummer that there is no CMS to help. Overall, however, the XB280HK is just as accurate as other gaming monitors in its price range.

Please try our settings below. For those interested in brightness levels below 200cd/m2, we’ve included the settings for 120 and 80cd/m2.

Acer XB280HK Calibration Settings
Picture Mode
User
Brightness 200cd/m2
59
Brightness 120cd/m2
27
Brightness 80cd/m2
14
Contrast
51
Gamma
2.2
Color Temp User
Red 50, Green 51, Blue 51

Brightness And Contrast

To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.

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Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

Today’s comparison group has a little of everything. G-Sync is represented by the BenQ XL2420G and AOC G2460PG. FreeSync-capable panels include the BenQ XL2730Z and Acer XG270HU. Rounding out the line-up is Planar’s IX2850, which is a comparable Ultra HD screen with good performance and a relatively low price.

If the XB280HK offered blur reduction, we’d be concerned by its low max output. It doesn't though, so we aren’t. A result of 270.8707cd/m2 isn’t as high as the others, but unless you’re playing outside on your deck in Florida, it’s high enough.

A lower backlight level translates to better blacks than the rest of the group. Unfortunately, it doesn't signal better contrast.

A 777.2:1 contrast ratio isn’t terrible. However, it does lag behind the norm a bit. Planar uses the same panel part in its IX2850 and manages to coax a little more from it. This is, however, pretty close to what we’ve recorded from all of the 28-inch UHD/TN panels reviewed on Tom's Hardware. Given a choice, we’d choose the higher contrast offered by the top two screens (even though the extra pixels are nice).

Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level

The backlight goes very low on the XB280HK, covering a range of 239cd/m2. A reading of 31.0382cd/m2 is pretty dim. If you click back to the previous page, though, you’ll see our brightness settings for 80 and 120cd/m2, which are much more useful in dark rooms.

Of course, that results in class-leading black levels. Too bad Acer’s contrast is not high enough to take advantage of this.

Contrast prior to calibration lands at the bottom of the group, regardless of backlight level. Still, there is improvement ahead. Check out our calibrated and ANSI results below.

After Calibration to 200cd/m2

Calibration helps the black level and contrast numbers a little. Remember that none of the Ultra HD TN-based panels we’ve tested can match the results of lower-resolution glass in these tests.

It isn’t often we can increase contrast by calibration. Thanks to the XB280HK’s well-designed OSD controls, it becomes an exception to the norm. Acer still can't rival the BenQ screens, but it comes closer to Planar's solution at least.

ANSI Contrast Ratio

The final result is also the most impressive. It’s rare that ANSI contrast comes out higher than the on/off number. Apparently, a test that resembles actual content brings the XB280HK closer to the top of the pack.

Our takeaway from these benchmarks is that, while this panel isn’t exceptionally bright or contrasty, it holds its own. If you want Ultra HD and G-Sync in the same monitor, you won’t feel like you’ve settled by choosing Acer's XB280HK.

Grayscale Tracking

Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.

While the XB280HK isn’t premium-priced relative to competing Ultra HD screens, it is an expensive gaming monitor. For your money, you’re getting decent grayscale performance out of the box. In the Standard picture mode, you really don’t have to make any adjustments to enjoy accurate performance. At 100 percent, the white point starts to go a little blue. But upping the Contrast control one click will fix that.

An instrumented calibration brings the errors down to almost nothing with just a few tweaks. The result is fantastic.

Here is our comparison group:

The XB280HK takes top honors for out-of-box grayscale performance. We expect that a majority of gamers will not calibrate their monitors, so if accuracy is important to you, there are few better choices in the G-Sync or FreeSync segment.

The AOC takes first place by the slimmest of margins. A difference of .04dE is essentially a wash.

Gamma Response

Gamma tracking is not quite as flat as we’d like. At least the trace is pretty linear until the 90 percent mark, where it takes a dive below the line (meaning it’s a little too bright). Visually, the error doesn’t impact picture quality much. Still though, some gaming screens perform better. Calibration doesn’t affect this result, so there’s no help there. And the presets are too far apart to make a difference. Your best bet is the 2.2 setting.

Here is our comparison group again:

Since Acer’s other gaming screen, the XG270HU, takes the top spot, we have to conclude that the panel part is what’s holding our XB280HK sample back from a better score.

We calculate gamma deviation by simply expressing the difference from 2.2 as a percentage.

Since a majority of the gamma trace rides above the line, our measured average is a slightly-dark 2.32. We tried the 1.9 preset, but that’s way too light to help. We are picking nits here; this is only a small flaw.

Color Gamut Performance

For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, please click here.

Standard mode is the XB280HK’s default setting, and it provides decent color gamut accuracy. The problems occur on the red/magenta/blue side of the triangle. Blue is over-saturated at all levels, along with magenta. Red is fine at the 20, 40, and 60 percent marks, but becomes under-saturated at 80 and 100 percent. Fortunately, luminance is adjusted to compensate, so the overall error is pretty small. We would like to see higher luminance overall because that would make color look a little richer.

Calibrating the monitor doesn’t yield an improvement in the gamut results. In fact, the average error is slightly higher than before (by .35dE). We still prefer the calibrated result, however, because of its superior grayscale tracking.

Now we return to the comparison group:

This is the color gamut error before calibration. A majority of users will unpack the XB280HK and set brightness to taste, so this is a good result. If you adjust like we did, the error climbs a bit to 3.00dE. Ultimately, we prefer the calibrated screen's look, though the difference is very small.

Gamut Volume: Adobe RGB 1998 And sRGB

Red under-saturation is the prime reason for a less-than-100 percent sRGB gamut volume. Since this monitor is intended for gaming, it’s not a problem. If you are concerned, Acer’s FreeSync-capable screen offers a near-perfect 100.47 percent result.

Viewing Angles

To learn how we measure screen uniformity, please click here.

TN-based screens are still our least favorite because of their low off-axis image quality. At 28-inches, the XB280HK is the largest size we’d consider usable before going to an IPS or VA panel.

The light output falls quite a bit if you're looking from the sides, accompanied by a severe shift to green. Visuals aren't as bad from the top; Acer looks better than most, with little loss in brightness or detail. Fortunately for IPS fans, the company also sells the XB270HU, which we’ll be reviewing shortly.

Screen Uniformity: Luminance

There is no visible light bleed from the XB280HK. Even a 10.12 percent measurement is right on the edge for us; we couldn’t see any problems in normal room light. In total darkness, you can see a slight hotspot at the center of the screen.

Here’s the white field measurement:

The white field result is a little better at 9.07 percent. Regardless of the content you view, this UHD Acer screen delivers a smooth-toned image without any cloudiness or blotching.

Screen Uniformity: Color

Our sample shows a slight red shift at the left edge of the screen. It was just enough to be visible to the naked eye in an 80-percent field pattern. Other samples may be better or worse than this.

Pixel Response And Input Lag


Please click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.

Since the XB280HK maxes out at 60Hz, it can’t quite keep up with the 144Hz monitors in these tests. It is, however, the most responsive 60Hz screen we’ve ever tested. That’s a good thing considering there’s no motion blur-reduction available.

Here are the lag results:

If you want the lowest input lag, you’ll have to go to 120 or 144Hz. And the reality with variable refresh technology is that you’ll rarely be running frame rates that high unless you have serious horsepower under the hood of your PC. That is mitigated by the extra smoothness and tear-free images provided by G-Sync and FreeSync. Still, at 53ms, the XB280HK is the fastest 60Hz monitor we’ve ever tested.

G-Sync Setup And Performance

By now I’m sure you know the drill for enabling G-Sync. Make sure you have the latest Nvidia drivers installed. We used version 353.06 dated May 27th in our test system. Then make sure you have at least a GeForce GTX 650Ti or better. Our PC employs a GeForce GTX Titan X, which you really need at 4K. From there, open the Nvidia control panel and check the appropriate box under “Set up G-Sync”.

Unlike older builds, you no longer need to enable G-Sync in two places. And the latest drivers support variable refresh in both windowed and full-screen applications.

Once configured, we played Far Cry 4 at various settings to see how different frame rates affected the experience. At 3840x2160, we maintained around 45 FPS with the detail preset at High. This was just low enough to cause a tiny bit of judder. Still, there were no tears. Upping the detail level to Ultra reduced the frame rate to around 35. The only difference was a tiny bit more judder, but no apparent rise in input lag. Tearing was still non-existent.

At this point, I'd say that 30 FPS is a practical lower limit not just for G-Sync, but for game play in general. Anything less and you’re looking at major judder and an obvious reduction in responsiveness. Debates about what happens below 30 FPS in a G-Sync vs. FreeSync comparison are moot in my opinion because that’s where on-screen motion is simply too slow to provide a decent experience.

Any frame rates from 35 up to the XB280HK’s maximum of 60 make for ideal playability. Will higher rates make things smoother? Absolutely. But at Ultra HD, you’re going to need more processing power than even a single Titan X can provide. Our G-Sync experience with this screen is overwhelmingly positive.

Conclusion

In our Ultra HD monitor reviews so far, we’ve seen mostly professional screens (with prices to match) rather than products created specifically for gaming. This isn’t surprising, since many UHD displays are still more expensive than most of us are willing to pay. Aside from a little relief in the 28-inch category, a 3840x2160 pixel display can still cost as much or more than the rest of your rig.

Acer did something very smart in designing its XB280HK. By optimizing a value-priced TN panel for performance and adding G-Sync, it created a product truly worthy of a high-end gaming system. You won’t get an extras like motion blur-reduction, 144Hz refresh rates or special picture modes. What you do get for around 800 dollars is the best possible Ultra HD gaming experience available right now.

While the price is high, bear in mind that you need to spend some serious coin on a decent video card (or cards) to push more than eight megapixels above 30 frames per second. That’s the lower limit of G-Sync technology, regardless of which monitor you buy. Granted, the frame-doubling technique used by Nvidia prevents increased input lag when frame rates drop below 30. But realistically, the experience is greatly diminished by this point, so skimping on graphics power just doesn’t make sense when Ultra HD is the goal.

If you’re concerned about the XB280HK’s 60Hz ceiling, you needn’t be. When G-Sync is active, the elimination of tearing and stuttering artifacts imparts a smoothness to motion that makes you think the refresh rate is much higher. In fact, at this point in time, the choice between G-Sync, FreeSync or 144Hz comes down to whether or not you want to lock yourself into one brand of video board.

At 144Hz, most artifacts, including tears, are pretty minimal as long as you can keep the frame rate high. But using G-Sync means the high refresh rate isn’t really necessary. So we don’t believe the 60Hz limit is a big deal. My experience in actual game play was overwhelmingly positive. With a powerful system behind it, this monitor excels.

In the more traditional metrics, we’re pleased with the XB280HK’s color and grayscale accuracy. Our only wish is for better contrast. Though it competes favorably with other 28-inch UHD/TN screens, it lags a little behind competing 24- and 27-inch gaming monitors we’ve tested.

We continue to maintain that more choices mean lower prices and better quality. Acer is the first company to put Ultra HD and G-Sync in the same chassis. It certainly won’t be the last, though. As GPU speeds continue to increase, we’ll probably see more and more high-res screens made for gaming.

The XB280HK isn’t perfect. But it is a competent display that will undoubtedly attract many enthusiasts. For its unique combination of Ultra HD and G-Sync, plus solid performance and build, we’re giving it the Tom’s Hardware Editor Approved award.

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Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Monitors and TVs.

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This thread is closed for comments
26 comments
    Your comment
  • Frozen Fractal
    On first glance I thought I wouldn't have to see "we will be reviewing XB270HU soon" quote again. But then I realized it's XB280HK. Oh well, guess have to endure that quote for few more time :rolleyes:

    Contrast ratio, brightness, chromacity & gamma tracing is where XB280HK looses the ground, but to be fair, most of the gamers won't be noticing much difference at all. But it is kind of disappointing to see Planar do better in these fields than Acer utilizing the same panel. I don't know, maybe the overdrive somehow worsen the results?

    But ofcourse, it does well on uniformity and response time. Makes me wonder why XB280HK doesn't have ULMB if it's supposed to be a bundled feature with G-Sync. That should've helped in 60Hz panels more, rather than 144Hz ones.

    But anyway, XB280HK looks promising, although I don't think 4K is what I prefer for gaming+life (although I do for gaming only).
  • deuce_23
    Sorry if i missed it but what version display port is it?
  • Frozen Fractal
    307450 said:
    Sorry if i missed it but what version display port is it?


    It's 1.2a I presume. Since that's what is capable of 4K@60Hz other than HDMI 2.0
  • boju
    Should be at least version 1.2 for 4k @ 60Hz since this version has been doing this since year 2009. v1.2a is the same Res/Hz deal but brings added support for Freesync.
  • picture_perfect
    Why do they keep pushing 4K for gaming. True gamers have always regarded fps as king and 4K is one-quarter the frame rate of 1080. Gamers don't need expensive 4K monitors driven by expensive cards at ever-lower frame rates (via G-sync). This is chasing the proverbial tail and counterproductive. Regular 1080p, v-synced at a constant 144 fps would be better than all that stuff.
  • spagalicious
    Quote:
    Why do they keep pushing 4K for gaming. True gamers have always regarded fps as king and 4K is one-quarter the frame rate of 1080. Gamers don't need expensive 4K monitors driven by expensive cards at ever-lower frame rates (via G-sync). This is chasing the proverbial tail and counterproductive. Regular 1080p, v-synced at a constant 144 fps would be better than all that stuff.


    *Competitive Gamers
    People that like to play games also like to play games in ultra HD resolutions.
  • TechyInAZ
    For peeps that want gaming at 4k now, this is the best option I've seen so far.
  • picture_perfect
    4K is cool but GPUs cant handle it well enough yet. I'd rather have 1080p at high fps and gain an extra 1-2 frames of lag, but to each their own.
  • bystander
    1986621 said:
    But ofcourse, it does well on uniformity and response time. Makes me wonder why XB280HK doesn't have ULMB if it's supposed to be a bundled feature with G-Sync. That should've helped in 60Hz panels more, rather than 144Hz ones.


    ULMB uses flickering to lower persistence, which reduces the motion blur. If you've ever used 60hz CRT monitors, you'll know that flickering is painful on the eyes. This is why ULMB mode is not offered on 60hz monitors, and likely won't be offered on anything less than 75-85hz.
  • bystander
    17265 said:
    4K is cool but GPUs cant handle it well enough yet. I'd rather have 1080p at high fps and gain an extra 1-2 frames of lag, but to each their own.


    Top end GPU's can handle 4K just fine. You just don't play it at max settings. What is better, medium to high settings and 4K, or maxed at 1080p? That is a subjective question, and will vary from person to person.

    That said, I prefer higher refresh rates than 60hz, so I'll be going 1440p before 4K.
  • picture_perfect
    Quote:
    Top end GPU's can handle 4K just fine


    Not really. It depends on what you want. Even a $1k card will stutter half the time (drop below 60 fps) in current single player games. In multiplayer where fps matter most, rule of thumb says expect half the fps so forget it (for me). G-Sync/FreeSync are great for these crappy, laggy frame rates but not when used to promote said crappy laggy frame rates, which is what's happening with 4K. PC friendly resolutions (with readable icons/text/higher fps) still have benefits right now. You might get them with a 4K set-up by dropping some eye candy, scaling the resolution/text ect but then why spend the money in the first place.
  • bystander
    17265 said:
    Quote:
    Top end GPU's can handle 4K just fine
    Not really. It depends on what you want. Even a $1k card will stutter half the time (drop below 60 fps) in current single player games. In multiplayer where fps matter most, rule of thumb says expect half the fps so forget it (for me). G-Sync/FreeSync are great for these crappy, laggy frame rates but not when used to promote said crappy laggy frame rates, which is what's happening with 4K. PC friendly resolutions (with readable icons/text/higher fps) still have benefits right now. You might get them with a 4K set-up by dropping some eye candy, scaling the resolution/text ect but then why spend the money in the first place.


    You clearly didn't read my post, which was only 4 sentences long.

    All you have to do is play with reduced settings, or not be playing the latest AAA games. I don't understand why people ignore that PC games have graphical settings.
  • JackNaylorPE
    I have to agree that 4k is not quite ready for prime time and won't be even on 2-way SLI / CF rigs until, my guess ..... around Xmas 2016. ULMB is kinda worthless at < 60 fps..... G-Sync does the job well for up tp 60-70 fps but at that point, you'd want to switch to ULMB. Putting it on a 60 fps monitor would serve no benefit. Witcher 3 on Ultra gets 60 - 80 w/ twin 970s which leaves you on the border between ULMB and G-Sync @ 1440p. Either works well but I didn't get to play enough when visiting my son (Acer Predator XB270HU) to form an opinion as to what was better.

    In order to deliver 4k at 144 Hz, you'd need more that Display Port can currently offer so even if today's cards could produce it, we don't have a cable technology to deliver it. Conversely, I don't see monitor manufacturers looking to incorporate DP 1.3 until we have GFX cards that can routinely deliver > 60 fps @ 144 Hz at 4k.
  • soldier44
    Yet 28 inches is too small for 4k. People blabbing about 144hz this and that. Not everyone wants to play games that look like soap operas. Some of us prefer larger higher res displays. I'm currently looking at 40-43 inches at 4K with 2 980 kinpins to push it. I could give a rip about 144hz, those displays are just too small.
  • iam2thecrowe
    TN panel is a problem as i see it. Its 60hz so why not at least a VA panel? I recently went from a TN panel to a VA panel and would never go back to TN. And to those saying 4k is too much, or requires expensive graphics cards are a bit wrong. Benchmarks at 4k are often tested at Ultra detail presets, which arent necessary at 4k, especially not AA. And if a game doesnt work well at 4k, who cares, it scales perfectly at 1080p, so you just run the game at 1080.
  • picture_perfect
    Quote:
    You clearly didn't read my post, which was only 4 sentences long. All you have to do is play with reduced settings, or not be playing the latest AAA games. I don't understand why people ignore that PC games have graphical settings.


    I read it. If you had read mine, the last sentence sums up the irony in your argument. The trade-offs with 4K are not for me (or competitive gaming) but weight them according to your needs.
  • bystander
    17265 said:
    I read it. If you had read mine, the last sentence sums up the irony in your argument. The trade-offs with 4K are not for me (or competitive gaming) but weight them according to your needs.

    It is a subjective choice, but you do realize that playing at a lower resolution to get the FPS you want, is not different than lowering a few settings. Both effect IQ, and lets be honest here, the difference between high and ultra on most games these days, is hardly noticeable.

    I mostly objected to you about how 4K means you are going to have a stutterfest. Not that your choice is not a reasonable one. 4K is not a stutterfest if you just lower a few settings on few games which need you to lower settings. Which is another point, most games are not the ones you see in the benchmarks. Those are just the most demanding ones which are great for testing the limits of a GPU. If you look at the average game, they don't require nearly the GPU power.
  • JackNaylorPE
    1330141 said:
    Yet 28 inches is too small for 4k. People blabbing about 144hz this and that. Not everyone wants to play games that look like soap operas. Some of us prefer larger higher res displays. I'm currently looking at 40-43 inches at 4K with 2 980 kinpins to push it. I could give a rip about 144hz, those displays are just too small.


    1. There's no such thing as a 4k 144 Hz display....

    2. I am not aware of a single 4k monitor > 32"

    3. A total of 7 people in 10,000 game at 4k (0.07)%


    388413 said:
    TN panel is a problem as i see it. Its 60hz so why not at least a VA panel? I recently went from a TN panel to a VA panel and would never go back to TN. And to those saying 4k is too much, or requires expensive graphics cards are a bit wrong. Benchmarks at 4k are often tested at Ultra detail presets, which arent necessary at 4k, especially not AA. And if a game doesnt work well at 4k, who cares, it scales perfectly at 1080p, so you just run the game at 1080.


    Generalizations about panel types can not be made w/o considering which panel and what's in the monitor besides the panel. The Acer Predator is an IPS panel that is gorgeous in gaming but w/o G-Sync, ULMB and 144 Hz, it would not be the same monitor..... When we say IPS, the IPS panel in the Predator is a far cry from the ghost heavy $300-ish panels. Because the Predator is great, doesn't make every IPS monitor great.

    And when we say TN for example, are we talking the 6 bit color found in most TN panels of the 8 bit in the Asus Swift ?

    As for using a 4k monitor at 1080p..... if you're gonna be playing at 1080p, why not just get 1080p ? Kind alike buying a Ferrari to commute to the city from the suburbs.
  • ubercake
    This review compares G-sync monitors of many resolutions. The monitor left out of the comparisons in this article of which Tom's already has measurements and a review is the Asus ROG Swift PG278Q.

    Just about every aspect of the Asus ROG Swift monitor measures better than this monitor (other than resolution) yet it earned no accolade from Tom's (e.g. "Recommended").

    Why no love for the one that started it all?
  • JackNaylorPE
    The Swift was **THE** gaming monitor until the Predator arrived, well the G-Sync version anyway. While the benefits of IPS usually always include more accurate color little was ever said about the fact that IPS panels generally had at least 8 bit color while the typical TN had 8. The Swift had 8 bit so that erased much of the difference right there. The Predator was the 1st IPS panel I ever recommended for Gaming and, from what I have seen since, there's little that competes with it other than the Asus MG279Q (no ULMB).
  • photonboy
    There's no "perfect" gaming monitor yet but IMO the best gaming monitor is the Acer Predator.

    1440p, 27", 4ms, IPS, GSYNC

    It's not 4K but it can go over 60Hz which is better, and you won't into issues such as hitting the 60FPS ceiling (guess what happens then... ).

    IPS can cause ghosting but the 4ms response minimizes that. I'll take a small amount of ghosting for the benefits of IPS.

    Adding in light strobing at the SAME TIME as GSYNC is the next step...

    *4K gaming at 60Hz might be okay if you can lock to 60FPS while also still using GSYNC but I'm fairly sure that's not easy to do.
  • deuce_23
    17265 said:
    Why do they keep pushing 4K for gaming. True gamers have always regarded fps as king and 4K is one-quarter the frame rate of 1080. Gamers don't need expensive 4K monitors driven by expensive cards at ever-lower frame rates (via G-sync). This is chasing the proverbial tail and counterproductive. Regular 1080p, v-synced at a constant 144 fps would be better than all that stuff.


    As Tim Allen said more power ruff ruff
    you can never have to much power
  • deuce_23
    67821 said:
    There's no "perfect" gaming monitor yet but IMO the best gaming monitor is the Acer Predator. 1440p, 27", 4ms, IPS, GSYNC It's not 4K but it can go over 60Hz which is better, and you won't into issues such as hitting the 60FPS ceiling (guess what happens then... ). IPS can cause ghosting but the 4ms response minimizes that. I'll take a small amount of ghosting for the benefits of IPS. Adding in light strobing at the SAME TIME as GSYNC is the next step... *4K gaming at 60Hz might be okay if you can lock to 60FPS while also still using GSYNC but I'm fairly sure that's not easy to do.


    Is there any idea when this perfect monitor might come out. I want to start putting money away.
    How far away is 4k at 120Hz or is it the display port connector holding it back?
    Once pascal hits next year it will be 4k gaming for me.
  • photonboy
    307450 said:
    67821 said:
    There's no "perfect" gaming monitor yet but IMO the best gaming monitor is the Acer Predator. 1440p, 27", 4ms, IPS, GSYNC It's not 4K but it can go over 60Hz which is better, and you won't into issues such as hitting the 60FPS ceiling (guess what happens then... ). IPS can cause ghosting but the 4ms response minimizes that. I'll take a small amount of ghosting for the benefits of IPS. Adding in light strobing at the SAME TIME as GSYNC is the next step... *4K gaming at 60Hz might be okay if you can lock to 60FPS while also still using GSYNC but I'm fairly sure that's not easy to do.
    Is there any idea when this perfect monitor might come out. I want to start putting money away. How far away is 4k at 120Hz or is it the display port connector holding it back? Once pascal hits next year it will be 4k gaming for me.


    Going from 60Hz to 120Hz for 4K is going to be problematic. Unless you're putting in multiple panels and joining them which brings their own issues for quality and working with GSYNC I think you'll be waiting a while.

    I have a 1440p, IPS display and while 4K in some games might be slightly sharper it's definitely not worth the cons associated.

    Seriously, I'm in CIV5 looking at tiny, sharp text at 1440p. Spending more on a GPU to run 4K or making other sacrifices like refresh rate, or turning down the quality to run a high enough refresh make no sense to me.

    I recommend you get the best panel for gaming and that's likely to remain a 1440p IPS, low response time, GSYNC monitor. Take the Acer Predator and get lightstrobe or some other method to reduce blur a bit more and I think that's likely to be the ideal monitor for the next two years or so.