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When measuring the performance of any system, balance is always the key to success. Spending a lot of money will usually guarantee excellence but balance will always deliver the best possible gaming experience. If you buy an Ultra HD monitor, you won’t get frame rates higher than 144 fps, and you’ll need to buy a top-of-the-line video card to drive it at maximum speed. When motion enters the equation, QHD at 170 fps can provide as much or more clarity than UHD at 144. And you can achieve this at a lower cost, both for the monitor and the video card.
This is the reason why high-speed 27-inch QHD monitors are flooding the market right now. The latest panels run at 165 or 170 Hz and you can get IPS or VA technology. It’s no longer necessary to settle for TN to see the fastest frame rates and quickest response.
The Asus ROG Strix XG27AQ represents this trend perfectly. It’s complete in its feature set and its dedication to performance. With 170 Hz, G-Sync certification and FreeSync compatibility, HDR and extended color; it delivers everything a premium gaming monitor should at a reasonable cost. It isn’t exactly a budget display, but it costs far less than an Ultra HD screen with a full-array local dimming backlight or a jumbo ultra-wide monitor.
Our tests show the XG27AQ to be color accurate after a few adjustments are dialed in. It covers more than 91% of the DCI-P3 gamut which is a little better than average. Dynamic Dimming effectively increases contrast for both SDR and HDR content, and the latter looks very good, especially in brighter material.
Video processing options are on par with the best monitors we’ve seen. Not only do you get motion blur reduction through a backlight strobe, it can be used with adaptive sync, one of the very few monitors that has this capability. It also boasts a very effective overdrive which cuts blur with no artifacts to spoil the image. And don’t forget Asus usual kit of gaming aids, GamePlus. The sniper mode is particularly cool and nicely enhances the aiming points, frame counters and timers we usually see. And if you’re into LED lighting, Aura Sync and Aura RGB provide plenty of flash.
The Asus ROG Strix XG27AQ is a strong and worthy addition to the 27-inch QHD gaming monitor category. It’s a decent value and it delivers all the performance necessary for a quality experience. Gamers shopping for an ideal balance between performance and cost should definitely check it out.
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.
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After looking at this review, I just purchased it from Amazon. I love my ASUS PG279Q monitor but I would like HDR and my son needs a monitor upgrade. NOT going to 4K for many reasons, old eyes, small text, low frame rates, etc. Perhaps when RTX 3080 Ti becomes available at MSRP, I may reexamine 4k but for now, two good monitors running at 120Hz+ with IPS is my monitor of choice.Reply
Obligatory me asking for 32" 4k 144hz in 3, 2...Reply
no hdr...dont want it...hdr just makes things look much nicerReply