There is little doubt that gamers thirst most for performance. The popularity of technologies like G-Sync, FreeSync and fast refresh rates show that in the land of enthusiast computing, motion quality is king. It’s coveted more than resolution, image clarity, and even color accuracy. Fortunately that last one is a far less concerning issue, because newer screens stick pretty close to standards right out of the box.
Notice that value is not in my list. I am certainly aware of the many reader comments talking about how many gaming monitors are too expensive and that buyers will be waiting for lower prices. That is the focus of today’s review.
The 24-inch TN category, once dominated by relatively expensive, fast-refresh screens like the Asus VG248QE, has welcomed a new addition: TN-based Freesync displays. These monitors sport 144Hz and adaptive-sync, which is a nearly unbeatable combination. You’d think there would be a great proliferation of such products, but it seems manufacturers are concentrating their efforts more at the high end.
Today, however, we have the opportunity to evaluate a low priced screen that offers a good quality FHD-resolution TN panel with 144Hz and FreeSync, and has a street price of just over $200. It’s AOC’s G2460PF.
AOC hasn’t really cut any corners here unless you consider the use of a TN panel a cost reduction measure. Despite the AU Optronics part’s old-school tech, it offers quick response times and in our experience looks better off-axis than some other similar displays we’ve reviewed.
The biggest news here is a generously wide FreeSync operating range. Early versions of the G2460PF and its larger brother, the G2770PF, were saddled with a 48Hz lower limit, but new firmware has taken that down to 35Hz and added support for Low Framerate Compensation (LFC). This effectively doubles frames when the action gets slow, which prevents tearing, just like with G-Sync. In practice, an FHD monitor is less likely to drop below 35fps.
Other features? Aside from some game-specific picture modes, there isn’t anything else to speak of, and that’s a good thing. Gamers looking for a budget solution to finish off their rigs may have just found the ideal display. The price is attractive as are the specs. Now it’s time to see if the image quality is worthy of AOC’s performance claims. Let’s take a look.
Packaging, Physical Layout & Accessories
The G2460PF is fairly compact and lightweight and has an efficient carton to match. It’s made from thick double corrugate, so it should stand up to the rigors of shipping. The base is the only part that must be attached (using a captive bolt). The upright is already assembled, although it can be removed via four screws to reveal a 100mm VESA mount.
Cables are included for IEC power, USB, DisplayPort, and HDMI. The user manual must be downloaded from AOC’s website along with support software if desired. None of these are needed for plug-and-play operation however. AOC also includes a cable clip to keep your connections tidy.
The monitor is simply styled with a mixture of satin and brushed textures molded into high-impact plastic. Its gaming intent is signaled by a single strip of red trim across the bottom of the bezel and a red cable clip on the upright. The FreeSync feature is announced at the panel’s top left corner. At the bottom left are molded-in icons indicating the locations of the down-facing control buttons. Four keys navigate the OSD while a fifth toggles power. It’s not the joystick we’ve come to know and love from BenQ and Asus screens, but at this price point, buttons aren’t surprising.
The anti-glare layer is aggressive and rejects all but the brightest sunlight. Your room’s overhead fixtures will not be a problem for the G2460PF. We couldn’t see any grain or softness in the image. The round base moves with the monitor when turned. A hidden plastic piece with rubber pads remains stationary on your desktop surface. Additional adjustments include 5" of height, a portrait mode, 25° tilt and an owl-like 300° of swivel.
The side profile is slim with most internals housed in a central bulge that extends from side to side. On the right are two USB ports of the 2.0 variety. The red one remains active when the monitor is powered down to facilitate charging mobile devices.
Around back you can see two small speaker grills that fire their sound into whatever is behind the monitor. Keeping it a few inches out from the wall provides the best fidelity. They aren’t terribly loud but audio is reasonably clear if lacking in bass or transparency. If you want better results, we suggest the headphone jack on the bottom.
The input panel contains one each of DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, and VGA. You can enjoy FreeSync over HDMI at up to 120Hz and DisplayPort up to 144Hz. Both have a lower limit of 35Hz. You can also feed in an analog audio source and plug in your headphones here.