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Acer XG270HU 27-inch FreeSync Monitor Review

We’ve had G-Sync monitors for many months now, but AMD fans had to wait for FreeSync screens. Today we’re looking at Acer’s 27-inch QHD XG270HU.

Conclusion

For now, gamers looking to add frame rate-matching to their rigs have limited choices. That narrow spectrum results in higher prices. The first-generation G-Sync- and FreeSync-capable displays all cost more than their contemporaries without those technologies. As with any other attractive capability, the early adopters pay more. As follow-up solutions become available, adding to the number of options out there, prices inevitably come down. Acer's XG270HU is a decent example of that.

If you look at the G-Sync-equipped monitors, they’re all fairly expensive. In the 24-inch form factor (the smallest at present), you’ll still pay around $400. And 27-inch screens cost $600 or more. Acer is making a bold statement with the XG270HU by adding in AMD's version of this technology in a $500 display. This is not only a nice option for Radeon users, but it undercuts any 27-inch G-Sync monitor by a tidy sum.

It’s obvious that Acer isn't cutting corners with regards to image quality or the features that matter most to gamers: speed and frame rate-matching. You get stable 144Hz operation, and thanks to HDMI 2.0, that input is now available for native QHD signals. But the main reason to buy the XG270HU is, of course, FreeSync.

We’ll say it again--once you’ve eliminated tearing from your favorite games, there is no going back. The option to dial in a 144Hz refresh rate is great, but FreeSync and G-Sync are better for creating a smooth realistic look to motion rendered on-screen.

Though color accuracy and contrast may be a lower priority for some users, the XG270HU doesn’t skimp on either. Contrast ratios, both on/off and ANSI, are quite high at almost 1000:1. Until VA panels make their way into this market, that’s about as good as it gets.

We’re glad to see Acer joining the list of companies providing displays that are very color-accurate without calibration. Even though most products benefit from an instrumented adjustment, users of the XG270HU can enjoy excellent image quality right out of the box. Just power up and set brightness to taste.

The only thing still missing is that IPS panel. Acer heard our cries long before this article was written with the XB270HU, which we are still waiting to receive. Rest assured, that review will happen shortly. Not only is it the only 144Hz IPS panel from a mainstream company, it adds G-Sync to the mix as well.

If, however, you are committed to your Radeon graphics board, Acer's XG270HU is your best choice at the moment. With stable 144Hz operation, excellent image quality, FreeSync and a reasonably low price, it easily earns our Tom’s Hardware Editor Recommended award.


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

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  • rdc85
    Look goods,

    hope they can make 144hz IPS "Freesync" monitor...
    24" preferred.. 27" just to big for me..
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    "In the case of the XG270HU, its frame rate range is 30-144Hz, which means you can benefit from FreeSync down to 30 FPS."

    my god that is wonderful
    Reply
  • ubercake
    "In the case of the XG270HU, its frame rate range is 30-144Hz, which means you can benefit from FreeSync down to 30 FPS."

    my god that is wonderful
    The first freesync monitor with such a range. This is great for competition!!!

    I also like the fact these freesync monitors are not limited to a single DP input.

    Now I feel like I have a choice again. AMD corrected their FCAT issues I had been complaining about for years and now freesync? I may head back to team red with the next gen. This is good stuff. How are the drivers lately?
    Reply
  • wtfxxxgp
    Very sexy monitor. That IPS version is also supposed to be QHD... That's going to be pricey for sure, but at least it's the start of good things to come
    Reply
  • wtfxxxgp
    Look goods,

    hope they can make 144hz IPS "Freesync" monitor...
    24" preferred.. 27" just to big for me..

    Seriously? 27" 1440p is the SWEET SPOT.
    Reply
  • UncleVesper
    "In the case of the XG270HU, its frame rate range is 30-144Hz, which means you can benefit from FreeSync down to 30 FPS."

    my god that is wonderful

    It figures Tom's Hardware does not actually do a full review of their products. The FreeSync range they just took for granted in what they were told. According to GURU3D, they experienced tearing this monitor < 40 FPS, so the minimum range is NOT 30 but 40 HZ.

    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/amd_freesync_review_with_the_acer_xb270hu_monitor,12.html
    Reply
  • UncleVesper
    Link cut off, this was the conclusion: "We did noticed on the ACER screen that at low sub 35 FPS screen tearing was back, which was disappointing. From what we learned, the ACER dynamic range starts at 40Hz, and thus so will FreeSync. If you cannot achieve such a framerate then you need to tweak image quality in such a manner that it stays above the minimum dynamic range. But FreeSync at 40+ FPS is as good as it is at 60 FPS, that is a fact."
    Reply
  • Wisecracker
    16039451 said:
    "In the case of the XG270HU, its frame rate range is 30-144Hz, which means you can benefit from FreeSync down to 30 FPS."

    my god that is wonderful

    Yup.

    The first OEMs to seriously target entry-level and 'mainstream' 30Hz+ at a respectable size and resolution are sitting on gold mines. Hopefully, it will happen sooner rather than later.

    If Intel gets behind it, it's a done deal. Being the big dog with DX12 on the immediate horizon, and with their investment made into integrated graphics, it is a natural extension to bring DP to great, inexpensive motherboards.

    I'd love to see some gaming reviews at the lower-end. Let us see the experience with a $130 APU.



    Reply
  • singemagique
    Very sexy monitor. That IPS version is also supposed to be QHD... That's going to be pricey for sure, but at least it's the start of good things to come

    Yep, the XB270HU is 1440p, IPS, 144hz, 4ms, GSync. I picked up two last month from Amazon at $738. They are excellent panels and the best monitors I have used outside of professional monitors.
    Reply
  • quilciri
    Why, oh why, oh why doesn't it have a VESA mount? You were so close to the perfect monitor, Acer.
    Reply