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Asus ROG PG248Q 24-inch 180Hz G-Sync Gaming Monitor Review

Asus practically founded the gaming monitor category with the VG248QE in 2013. Today we’re looking at its spiritual successor, the ROG Swift PG248Q. It’s a 24" TN screen with FHD resolution, G-Sync, ULMB, and a 180Hz refresh rate.

Viewing Angles, Uniformity, Response, Lag & Gaming Tests

To learn how we measure screen uniformity, please click here.

While some potential buyers may be lamenting the use of TN in a premium gaming monitor, the PG248Q is all about speed, and it has that in spades. Viewing angles, however, are not what you’ll find in a TN screen. This panel is typical of all the TN products we’ve reviewed with a green/red tint and a 50% light falloff to the sides and change in gamma when viewed from the top. In that photo, it does a little better than most by preserving some detail. You can still see all the brightness steps.

Screen Uniformity

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The PG248Q finishes in the middle of the pack in all the uniformity tests. As always, we remind you that this test is sample specific. We had no visible issues with our press sample. The luminance tests showed the center zone to be slightly brighter than the rest but not that we could actually see. Color uniformity is also good enough that errors are completely invisible. There’s nothing to see here but clean field patterns.

Pixel Response & Input Lag

Please click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.

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Does 180Hz look better than 160Hz? According to our 1000 FPS video camera, no. Screen draw is right in line with the others as is input latency. At these speeds, even the quickest players will be unable to perceive any lag. We certainly couldn’t in any games we tried. To say the PG248Q is smooth and quick is to understate the matter. Obviously our hands-on tests are more relevant.

Gaming With G-Sync, 180Hz And ULMB

The best gaming monitors can achieve one simple goal: to take the player into the game’s world and make them forget about the hardware they’re playing on. When motion is slippery-smooth and free of ghosting and tearing, and input lag is non-existent, you have created a situation where no other display will do. That’s the feeling we got when we played our favorite titles on the PG248Q.

Tomb Raider is a great title that works well on a wide variety of systems. When matched up with our Digital Storm powerhouse PC and its Nvidia GTX Titan X graphics card, it positively rocks. We were able to max the detail level and hit framerates over 120 with regularity. In fact, it never dropped below 110 FPS no matter how intense the action became. We could perceive no lag whatsoever. The mouse, like the display, disappeared and simply became an extension of the brain.

Far Cry 4 and Battlefield 4 were much the same. Thanks to the PG248Q’s FHD resolution, we could max out detail and enjoy 100+ FPS gameplay. At the 24" screen size, we never missed the higher resolution offered by QHD and UHD panels. In a side-by-side comparison, we could only tell a difference in detail when there was no motion. Once the action picks up, however, those extra pixels only serve to slow framerates. The image doesn’t look any better during actual gameplay.

To give ULMB our proper attention, we tried it out at a 120Hz max rate. Since games’ FPS counts were at or near this level, we didn’t see too much tearing. Higher speeds mitigate that artifact pretty well. We did miss the extra contrast and brightness, though. That perception of depth and dimension is more important to the experience than resolution. And since motion blur doesn’t exist when ULMB is off, we see no reason to use it.

  • shrapnel_indie
    Uh, another con that is NOT listed: lack of FreeSync. Why? G-Sync already excludes AMD cards (and while it is considerably less important to most of us, Intel iGPUs too.) With FreeSync not having the NVidia G-Sync "tax"... oh wait... NVidia might contractually exclude the possibility of any monitor that include FreeSync and/or older adaptive-sync technologies in addition to G-Sync.
    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    1. Both Asus and Acer have always offered both G-Sync and Freesync versions of their Gaming monitors. The only impact on the consumer is the effort choosing the one that matches their card. No real mystery that the nVidia version hits the market 1st given the image below. Not really a mystery when vendors concentrate on the 82% of market before addressing the 18% of market.


    2. Either way, 144, 165, 180 Hz provides technology that represents the upper cost niches as opposed tot he lower. Peeps purchasing monitors at the upper price limits in any given category are likely to be purchasing GFX cards in the upper price limits. So what we see when pepes post their builds for the most part is GTX 1060s / RX 470s paired with $250 monitors. With 1070 / 1080s in the build, the monitor budget is a bit higher.

    3. It may be fun to call the price difference a "tax" but that is a misnomer:

    AMD Freesync package provides Freesysnc and no hardware module is installed in the monitor.
    nVidia G-Sync provides G-Syn and also includes a hardware module for ULMB

    When two monitors are made using the same panel, and electronics ... then one has a hardware module installed which provides ULMB and the other does not, is it not logical that that hardware module has a cost associated with it ? You can buy Freesync monitors with motion blur technology included but in such cases it is added by the monitor manufacturer. The difference being that w/ G-Sync, it's always the same module... with Freesync, the design and quality varies by monitor manufacturer.

    Never quite understood the mindset where there's an expectation that a company should invest millions of dollars in R&D and then should be required to share that technology for free. AMD has had the opportunity to license technology in the past and chose not to.

    4. As it says in this review:

    "While FreeSync offers the same net benefit, it takes a bit more digging to find the panels that can hit a 30Hz lower limit. Many stop the fun at 40Hz, which can be an issue for users of less expensive video cards."

    The digging will usually result in a monitor from a manufacturer who chose a more expensive panel which of course. like adding the MBR module, adds to the cost.

    I am not making a judgement as to whether the cost increase is "worth it".... that judgment will vary according to each individual. But the claim that the two technologies are "the same" or provide the same features and performance is just incorrect.
    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    Regarding the article....

    1. Regarding the "out-of-box" accuracy, I expect that you will be able to download corrected ICC profiles for this monitor shortly on TFTcentral

    2. When Acer made the move to 165 Hz in their Predator line, the 165 Hz was considered of no significant impact and many called it a gimmick. 165 Hz tho made one very important impact.... it allows a 120 Hz setting under ULMB, up from the 100 Hz that was available w/ the 144 Hz model. It would appear that 180 Hz offers no advantage here.

    3. I keep wondering why we don't see IPS panels in this segment ... guess is that by the time one includes a gaming capable IPS panel and modern hi-end gaming technology to support it, the price is so close to a 1440p panel, most would just choose the larger panel.
    Reply
  • rwinches
    So The AOC 144Hz Freesync 35 - 144Hz. is the better buy and at ~$210 you can get two.

    As you said, once you use TH recommended settings and start gaming The AOC is a great choice. Tom’s Hardware Editor Approved Award

    Tom's Conclusion Page
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/aoc-g2460pf-24-inch-144hz-freesync-monitor,4743-6.html
    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    I generally don't use THG reviews for decision purposes as the articles are the kind that "listen to Mom"" and follow the old adage "if ya don't have something nice to say, then don't say anything at all". As far as AOC, in my eyes, well let's just say I'm not a fan.... at least not till I see one I'm impressed with and that hasn't happened so far.

    As far as response time goes.... wish we had more detail and with lag added in for all reviews so that a valid comparison can be made.

    Would like to see something like this


    User reviews on newegg aren't too reassuring for the G2460PF with just 12 peeps contributing:

    5 eggs = 33%
    4 eggs = 42%
    3 eggs = 0%
    2 eggs = 8%
    1 egg = 17%

    and the ones complaining are citing no support and failure to meet spec.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA8X548C3991

    Compare that to the 1,171 Asus VG248QE reviews

    5 eggs = 72%
    4 eggs = 13%
    3 eggs = 5%
    2 eggs = 4%
    1 egg = 5%

    Again, for me I wouldn't touch that AOC ... I would touch this Asus either. Before I'd spend $500 on a TN 1080p panel, I'd save up another $200 and get a 1440p IPS, 165 Hz Acer Predator or Asus Swift. Peeps tend to keep monitors thru 2 or 3 builds so there's a tendency here to invest a bit and get something better since it will be around a lot longer.

    With today's video cards (i.e. 1070) ... I think if pushed into a corner @ 1080p until I could afford a 1440p, I'd be more likely to choose a VG248QE w/ no G-Sync. With every game above 60 fps ... G-Sync or Freesync really won't be missed since a) it's value is really below that threshold and b) you can do motion blur reduction via the toasty strobelight utility. Could then use the Vg248QE as an accessory monitor for monitoring utilities, ventrillo, etc

    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/variable_refresh.htm

    It should be noted that the real benefits of G-sync really come into play when viewing lower frame rate content, around 45 - 60fps typically delivers the best results compared with Vsync on/off. At consistently higher frame rates as you get nearer to 144 fps the benefits of G-sync are not as great, but still apparent. There will be a gradual transition period for each user where the benefits of using G-sync decrease, and it may instead be better to use the ULMB feature included, which is not available when using G-sync. Higher end gaming machines might be able to push out higher frame rates more consistently and so you might find less benefit in using G-sync. The ULMB could then help in another very important area, helping to reduce the perceived motion blur caused by LCD displays. It's nice to have both G-sync and ULMB available to choose from certainly on these G-sync enabled displays.

    Reply
  • Sam Hain
    24 inch... Dorm room hardware. Price... Rich-folk dorm room hardware with no sense.
    Reply
  • zodiacfml
    Way above my padded price expectation of $400.
    THG, can you do a blind test comparing 120 Hz monitor versus this?This is to find if there's any value to ever increasing refresh rates.
    Reply
  • Bezzell
    That price is a kick in the nuts.
    Reply
  • Verrin
    Not sure why people still make a big deal out of the lower refresh limit on FreeSync monitors. AMD has been compensating for that in software (called LFC), much like Nvidia does, for more than a year now. I've not seen screen tearing below 35Hz since FreeSync monitors first came out.
    Reply
  • DornyeiJ
    The refresh rate has no impact after a certain limit as the human mind has its own refresh rate what is limited. I think that something like 120 Hz is already higher as needed. This is the reason games are not pushing higher refresh rate. Games instead add more detail and image quality. I think this monitor is overkill. However ASUS will be able to sell it as some people with a lot of money will buy it. I will stick to a cheaper monitor with about 120 refresh rate.
    Reply