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Grayscale, Gamma & Color
The AG322QCX is a two-gamut monitor covering both sRGB and just under 84% of DCI-P3 color. Only the Standard mode can be calibrated and it's DCI-only. sRGB is available as one of the color temp presets and grays out all adjustments. Output is then fixed at 225 nits. For gaming, the other presets stay with the higher saturations of DCI.
A detailed description of our grayscale and gamma tests are available here.
The default Standard mode delivers fairly warm grayscale tracking with a pronounced red tint. You can select a cooler color temp if you wish, but none of the presets are as close to D65 as the sRGB option. That will also dial back color saturation a bit. However, it is accurate as none of its errors are above the visible point. We only wish AOC would make the brightness control available - 225 nits is a little bright for most work or play environments.
If you use our calibration settings, tracking is excellent with all errors below 2dE and most under 1dE. To eliminate the clipping at the brightest steps, reduce contrast from 50 to 45.
The AG322QCX’s out-of-box grayscale performance is a little below-average among the comparison group. Many gaming monitors don’t require calibration, but you should adjust this one for best results. After a few tweaks to the RGB sliders, the average error is 1.06dE. If you simply choose the sRGB preset, the error is a decent 1.97dE.
Setting gamma is tricky as there are several controls that interact, namely contrast, gamma and shadow control. We’ll explain.
Gamma tracks well by default with only slight variations on either side of 50-60%. If you left the AG322QCX unadjusted, you’d be fine, but grayscale accuracy won’t be optimal. Once you select the User color temp, gamma changes for the worse.
Shadow Control, which affects clipping at both ends of the brightness scale, helps some but causes other issues that we couldn’t resolve. Our solution was to return that slider to its default setting of 50 and lower Contrast instead. Fortunately, that action didn’t cost us any contrast. In the end, gamma looks about the same, and there's minimal impact to color saturation.
The variations shown in the CalMAN charts take down the AG322QCX’s gamma tracking accuracy a bit. A .17 range of values isn’t bad, but it doesn’t stack up well when compared to more expensive gaming screens. An average value of 2.13 is a small amount of light for such a high-contrast VA panel.
Unfortunately, the other gamma presets create issues that aren’t worth the tradeoffs. Basically, those options clip detail and create color inaccuracies. It’s best to stick with the default Gamma 1 setting.
Color Gamut & Luminance
For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, click here.
The differences between the default and calibrated Standard mode charts are subtle. The average error level changes from 2.64 to 1.72dE, a nearly invisible shift.
Our biggest gain was in the grayscale tracking test where we saw a much more obvious difference. We also see better highlight and shadow detail after performing adjustments. The AG322QCX tracks the DCI-P3 standard reasonably well. Outermost points are right on for red and blue but a little undersaturated in green.
The only other flaws are misses in 60-80% red and 80% blue. Luminance levels are close to neutral with no visible aberrations. Users requiring sRGB color will find this monitor a bit light in red and magenta. However, the average sRGB gamut error is low at just 1.79dE.
None of the monitors in this group have any visibly significant color accuracy problems. Though the AG322QCX comes in fifth place here, the margin from first to last is quite small. We started out at 2.64dE DCI color error, so our calibration didn’t do much for this test result. Our adjustments had a greater impact on grayscale accuracy.
For the gamut volume comparison, we made sure to show DCI-P3 numbers for all monitors. Not all the screens claim to cover the extended colors, so this is just to show which screen has the largest volume. All exceed the sRGB volume except the AG322QCX because it doesn't have an sRGB option available.
If you need color accuracy in the sRGB realm, we suggest using the Standard picture mode with a calibrated white point, then controlling color saturation with software.
MORE: Best Gaming Monitors
MORE: How We Test Monitors
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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. 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.
Thanks for the review. Only thing I'd like different about this monitor would be no curve in the screen.Reply
Yes, no curve please, 4k and Gsync at 200-300 extra and we have a deal.Reply
I love your guys' monitor reviews.Reply
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)
The aoc ag322qcx4 is coming out this summer with hdr400 support.Reply
Clunky OSD controllers can be forgiven, as long as they function. No sRGB calibration can not be.21118488 said:Boasting a 32” curved VA panel with Quad HD resolution, 144Hz, FreeSync and extended color, this monitor can handle most gamers' agendas.CONS■No calibration possible in sRGB mode■Clunky OSD controller
AOC AG322QCX 32" QHD FreeSync Curved Gaming Monitor Review: Affordable High-End Gaming : Read more