AOC Agon G322QCX 32" QHD FreeSync Curved Gaming Monitor Review: Affordable High-End Gaming

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Brightness & Contrast

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

Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

For comparison, we’ve tagged five monitoring gaming monitors: four ultra-wides - Asus’ XG35V, BenQ’s EX3501R, AOC’s AG352UCG and Acer’s X34P - and another 32” curved 16:9 screen, Asus’ XG32V. All panels are curved, but the X34P is VA-based. The Acer monitor uses an in-plane switching (IPS) screen. The BenQ supports HDR, but we’re not including those specs in our tests.

AOC claims 300 nits for the AG322QCX, but our sample tops out at 266.3806 candela per square meter (cd/m2 ). That’s enough output for any indoor environment short of one with window facing east or west.There is no blur-reduction or HDR in play here, so this level is appropriate if a little lower than the rest.

What’s more important here are black levels and they are VA-strong and less than .1 nit. That takes the default contrast ratio to just under 3000:1, excellent for any SDR video or games. As you might expect, image depth is superb.

Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level

The backlight throttles down to a near-perfect 55 nits, ideal for dark-room gameplay or movies. Thanks to a relatively narrow output range, the brightness slider is very precise. Each click is just about 2 cd/m2, which makes it easy to get the exact level you want. Contrast remains consistent regardless of the chosen setting.

After Calibration to 200 nits

After lowering the contrast slider five clicks, contrast is a class-leading 2784.8:1 with a super-low black level of just .0724 cd/m2. It doesn’t get much better than that. Remember that you need to leave the Shadow Control slider alone for best results.

ANSI Contrast Ratio

The Asus XG32V just manages to pip the AG322QCX in our intra-image contrast test. With an ANSI number so close to the Asus monitor, AOC'S AG322QCX shows great quality control and a well-engineered panel.

This result also suggests good screen uniformity, which is confirmed by our tests on page five. Contrast and overall quality are exemplary. This is impressive in a value-priced display. AOC cut no corners here.

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Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.

  • BulkZerker
    Thanks for the review. Only thing I'd like different about this monitor would be no curve in the screen.
  • milkod2001
    Yes, no curve please, 4k and Gsync at 200-300 extra and we have a deal.
  • Calculatron
    I love your guys' monitor reviews.

    I really hope that Nixeus reaches out to you guys, and sends you their EDG27. I bought their VUE24A largely based on a review done here, and while I still still enjoy it, I wouldn't mind moving on to an upgrade. (1440p, VA panel, etcetera)
  • vmylo81
    The aoc ag322qcx4 is coming out this summer with hdr400 support.
  • Slesreth
    21118488 said:
    Boasting a 32” curved VA panel with Quad HD resolution, 144Hz, FreeSync and extended color, this monitor can handle most gamers' agendas.
    AOC AG322QCX 32" QHD FreeSync Curved Gaming Monitor Review: Affordable High-End Gaming : Read more
    CONS■No calibration possible in sRGB mode■Clunky OSD controller
    Clunky OSD controllers can be forgiven, as long as they function. No sRGB calibration can not be.