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Asus PG279Q ROG Swift 27-inch 165Hz Gaming Monitor Review

We have the highly-anticipated ROG Swift PG279Q in the lab today. It’s a 27-inch IPS-type panel with QHD resolution, G-Sync, ULMB and an unprecedented 165Hz max refresh rate.

Conclusion

G-Sync is nothing new and now that FreeSync screens have become more common, there are plenty of choices for users seeking an adaptive-refresh display. But for those craving the highest possible speed there is nothing that can compete with the Asus PG279Q.

Of course one wonders just how useful is that 165Hz coupled with QHD resolution? Even with our Titan X-equipped system we were unable to max out the Swift's speed without turning detail down to unacceptable levels. The display you're buying here is definitely ahead of its time. But then it's important to consider the future.

There is certainly value in equipping a system with components that will last through multiple upgrades. Chipsets come and go and what's fastest today will be merely average tomorrow. But a monitor represents a more long-term investment. Users of Ultra HD screens are experiencing that right now. Even the most powerful graphics boards can barely run at decent framerates in a modern first-person title when pushing more than eight million pixels around the screen.

QHD is a more realistic resolution and can work well with less-expensive hardware. And it will be ready for the day a Titan X or its equivalent costs $200. It may seem illogical to spend $700 on a display for a $1200 computer, but that system can continue to see performance improvements while the PG279Q remains its worthy anchor.

At this point in time we haven't declared a winner in the G-Sync versus FreeSync debate nor are we likely to. Both technologies accomplish the same thing in pretty much the same way. The only difference is in price. G-Sync requires additional hardware and license fees paid to Nvidia and adds about $200 to the price of a monitor. FreeSync costs the manufacturer nothing and merely requires enabling the feature in a DisplayPort 1.2 interface. In practice though, the monitors do cost a little more than their 60Hz counterparts.

We expect the main market for the PG279Q to be gamers who want to build high-end systems using high-end components. But for those who balk at the cost, remember: all bleeding-edge technology finds its way to lower price points eventually.

It's hard not to recommend this newest ROG product simply because it's a very well-polished effort. Aside from a few calibration challenges there are no flaws here that would prevent one from having an outstanding gaming experience. And when work needs to get done, the Swift functions very well as a productivity tool.

For its unique qualities, excellent build and top-shelf gaming performance, we're giving the Asus PG279Q our Editor Recommended Award.

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

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  • TechyInAZ
    That is one sweet monitor! I can't imagine how good the OLED versions will be. : )

    It's interesting to note that this monitor is actually more demanding than a 4k 60hz monitor. Even though this is only a 2k monitor, it actually has nearly 3x the Hz compared to it's 4k counterparts, making it not supprising that you need at least dual GTX 980tis/Titan Xes to run everything at good settings.
    Reply
  • Epsilon_0EVP
    This isn't the first 165Hz+ monitor. Plenty of CRT's could achieve around 200Hz at low resolutions, and that was over 10 years ago.
    Reply
  • Uri___Pisarev
    I don't know, i went from a 32 inch TV to a 34 inch ultra wide Dell. I feel like i can still use a bigger monitor, anything sub 30 is just too small.
    Reply
  • ubercake
    What I like about these G-sync monitors is you don't have to use an SLI setup to push maximum framerates to minimize perceivable tearing. Ever since the GTX 980 and the Asus PG278Q, all I've needed for great smooth video performance is a G-sync monitor and a single video card. I don't need 165Hz/165fps. I just need smooth gaming through the gamut of my GTX 980's performance whether the framerates are in the 30s or 100s, it's still smooth; no tearing. This G-sync is great tech.

    Now add the PG279Q's fast IPS performance and better contrast to the mix and it seems like an intriguing proposition...
    Reply
  • Robert Dunlop
    I bought the Acer XB27HU with 165hz and what l wasn't prepared for was how fun these types of monitors make playing games again.

    The reviewer is spot on.
    Reply
  • Uri___Pisarev
    That is one sweet monitor! I can't imagine how good the OLED versions will be. : )

    It's interesting to note that this monitor is actually more demanding than a 4k 60hz monitor. Even though this is only a 2k monitor, it actually has nearly 3x the Hz compared to it's 4k counterparts, making it not supprising that you need at least dual GTX 980tis/Titan Xes to run everything at good settings.

    So you need to spend over 2K to really enjoy the product? That's insane to be honest. If you are a regular person out there and all you are willing to spend is $200 on the card (most common option that people chose) that means you will be able to buy that card and fully maxout this monitor oh in about 7 years or so, that's how long it will take for a GTX960 equivalent to be as powerful as 2 980ti's.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    17546502 said:
    That is one sweet monitor! I can't imagine how good the OLED versions will be. : )

    It's interesting to note that this monitor is actually more demanding than a 4k 60hz monitor. Even though this is only a 2k monitor, it actually has nearly 3x the Hz compared to it's 4k counterparts, making it not supprising that you need at least dual GTX 980tis/Titan Xes to run everything at good settings.

    So you need to spend over 2K to really enjoy the product? That's insane to be honest. If you are a regular person out there and all you are willing to spend is $200 on the card (most common option that people chose) that means you will be able to buy that card and fully maxout this monitor oh in about 7 years or so, that's how long it will take for a GTX960 equivalent to be as powerful as 2 980ti's.

    G sync will help with that.

    Plus, like the reviewer said, this monitor is has future proofing in mind. It's designed for future cards that can handle this kind of product.
    Reply
  • toddybody
    I sold my G-Sync 4K panel for a DELL 2716DG (27"@1440p G-Sync 144hz)...90fps has become the new 60fps for me. Can't tell folks how huge it is to go past 60hz.
    Reply
  • agentsi1511
    That is one sweet monitor! I can't imagine how good the OLED versions will be. : )

    It's interesting to note that this monitor is actually more demanding than a 4k 60hz monitor. Even though this is only a 2k monitor, it actually has nearly 3x the Hz compared to it's 4k counterparts, making it not supprising that you need at least dual GTX 980tis/Titan Xes to run everything at good settings.


    This is totally wrong, don't mislead people researching things. I have the Acer XB270HU and run everything at max settings on single GTX 970. IT is not more demanding than a 4k monitor in anyway. As someone with Techy in their name I would imagine you had a clue about this.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    17546521 said:
    That is one sweet monitor! I can't imagine how good the OLED versions will be. : )

    It's interesting to note that this monitor is actually more demanding than a 4k 60hz monitor. Even though this is only a 2k monitor, it actually has nearly 3x the Hz compared to it's 4k counterparts, making it not supprising that you need at least dual GTX 980tis/Titan Xes to run everything at good settings.


    This is totally wrong, don't mislead people researching things. I have the Acer XB270HU and run everything at max settings on single GTX 970. IT is not more demanding than a 4k monitor in anyway. As someone with Techy in their name I would imagine you had a clue about this.

    What games do you play?
    Reply