Results: 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.
Asus ROG Swift PG278Q
The comparison group consists of all the 120/144Hz gaming monitors we’ve reviewed in the past year. Asus' PG278Q boasts G-Sync, but that doesn’t impact any of our benchmark results. TN is the dominant panel tech. However, we recently reviewed Overlord’s Tempest X270OC as well. Right now, it’s the only IPS screen that can reliably hit 120Hz.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
A measurement of 334.9013 cd/m2 exceeds AOC’s spec of 300 cd/m2 by a healthy margin. In general, TN screens tend to be a little brighter than their IPS counterparts. We feel a wide ranging backlight is a good thing in a gaming monitor. If you take your rig on the road, you never know what the lighting situation will be. More brightness means more flexibility and a better image in any environment.
A brighter backlight also means higher black levels. Fortunately, .3132 cd/m2 isn’t too bad. In a room with moderate to low lighting, the screen isn’t quite a deep black, but rather a very dark gray.
Even with the backlight on maximum, the G2770PQU maintains a contrast ratio over 1000 to 1. This is average performance for a TN monitor. Compared to our lone IPS representative, though, it’s pretty good. The VG248QE continues to dominate the contrast tests thanks to superb black levels and extremely bright whites.
Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level
At the backlight’s minimum setting, the G2770PQU bottoms out at 84.4525 cd/m2, yielding a great light level for playing games in total darkness.
A black level of .0798 cd/m2 is good. However, among the other TN-based screens, it’s an average result. The Asus is likely to retain its place atop this test for some time to come. In reality though, numbers this low are difficult to distinguish from one another with the naked eye. As long as a contrast ratio over 1000 to 1 is maintained, all of the monitors in the group will look about the same.
As expected, the Asus is off in the stratosphere while the rest show typical performance for modern LCD panels. The Overlord IPS panel is a little behind the rest. But visually, its lower contrast is barely noticeable.
After Calibration to 200 cd/m2
Here’s what black levels and contrast look like after calibration with the max output set at 200 cd/m2:
The G2770PQU, like all AOC monitors, has RGB sliders that start from the center of their ranges. This means you can raise and lower them to correct grayscale in a balanced manner, which keeps contrast closer to its maximum. Thanks to an excellent calibrated black level, it moves to second place.
The contrast ratio is nearly unchanged regardless of the backlight setting or calibration status. AOC's G2770PQU displays some of the most consistent contrast performance we’ve seen to date.
ANSI Contrast Ratio
You’ll see on page seven that the G2770PQU’s screen uniformity is also top notch, helping it achieve a fantastic ANSI result that’s only four percent below the calibrated value.