Asus ROG Strix XG32V Curved Gaming Monitor Review: Big, Smooth & Colorful

Grayscale, Gamma & Color

Grayscale Tracking

Many of the Strix XG32V’s GameVisual presets cannot be calibrated, like the sRGB option we tested. But in the default Racing mode, or the User setting, you can choose between three color temperatures, or tweak the RGB sliders as we did.

Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.

Nearly all the Asus gaming monitors we’ve tested come set to Racing mode. And in every case, they've offered good out-of-box accuracy. Our sample showed a barely visible green tint from 50% brightness on up. But that’s far easier to see in a test pattern than in actual content. Most users will be satisfied to simply adjust brightness to taste and leave the other controls alone.

That said, if you’re looking for an accurate sRGB preset for color-critical applications, the XG32V falls a little short. The red tint is slightly visible with an average error of 2.57dE. That isn’t too bad, but a more significant problem cropped up in the color test which we’ll show you below. Our advice is to accept it as a DCI-only display and enjoy the added color saturation that brings to gaming. If you plan to edit photos, you’ll need a custom profile to reign in the additional color.

You can calibrate the Racing mode to a high standard where no grayscale errors are visible. Our chart rivals that of many professional displays. This is excellent performance.

Comparisons

With an average out-of-box error of 2.17dE, the XG32V just makes it onto our “doesn’t need calibration” list. But with such a significant gain to be had, we recommend making the adjustments anyway. Using our recommended settings from page two will get you close to, if not right dead-on, our result. Our test group as a whole offers very good accuracy, and LG manages to squeak out victory by the tiniest of margins.

Gamma Response

The Strix XG32V takes an unusual approach to gamma tracking. After a few preliminary measurements, we concluded that BT.1886 is Asus’ standard for this monitor, and it sticks to that closely. There are slight aberrations at the low end where blacks are a bit too dark, and at the 90% level which is ever so slightly bright. In sRGB mode, the Strix XG32V tracks the sRGB (2.4) standard very well. While this isn’t the best performance we’ve seen, it isn’t too far off the mark.

Comparisons

The issues we spoke of at 10 and 90% brightness contribute to a merely average score in the range of values test. It’s nice to see Asus conforming to BT.1886. We just wish there were a 2.2 power option in the OSD. Modern displays should support both standards, but very few actually do. In the deviation test, we compared the Strix XG32V to a value of 2.4, while the rest are matched against 2.2. That’s why we express the result as a percentage. That puts this display squarely in the average of all the monitors we’ve tested.

Color Gamut & Luminance

For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, please click here.

Asus touts the Strix XG32V’s color as covering 125% of sRGB. That sounds like DCI-P3 to us and our measurements confirm that is indeed the native gamut in operation. It’s important to remember that games are typically mastered to the smaller sRGB gamut, so some colors may not look quite right. But we suspect most users will welcome the additional saturation. It’s a bit like watching a TV in Vivid mode. Things occasionally look unnatural but the overall effect is a positive one.

In Racing mode, everything is pretty much on-target. Only magenta shows a slight hue error, which is easily remedied by a grayscale calibration. Our standard takes BT.1886 gamma into account since a change in gamma will move the saturation and luminance targets. Considering its design parameters, this is a very accurate monitor.

We would expect a mode labeled sRGB to conform to that smaller gamut but the Strix XG32V does not. It retains the same DCI-P3 color of the other picture modes. Considering that all adjustments are locked out in that mode, we see little use for the sRGB preset.

Calibrating the Racing mode improves overall errors slightly, but we’ve lost a tiny bit of red saturation in the mid-tones. We still think the adjustments are worth the gains in grayscale accuracy. Regardless, luminance levels are very close to neutral, which is a very good thing.

Comparisons

Our calibrated average error of 1.74dE puts the Strix XG32V in excellent company. That’s a number we see from many professional monitors. Despite the DCI color gamut being used in sRGB mode, that average error is only 2.78dE. That’s because aside from red, the other colors are only a little over-saturated. Red however, is significantly bolder than it should be.

Our gamut volume measurement shows that Asus comes close to its 125% claim, with 115%. This is mainly due to the bonus red. Other colors are only a little over. If you plan to engage in graphics work with an Strix XG32V, you’ll need a display profile to maintain accuracy in the production chain.

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MORE: How We Test Monitors

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  • Ninjawithagun
    So many things that are not in favor of this monitor, which IMHO is too little, too late and uses 'last-gen' technologies. Where are the OLED HDR G-Sync 165-200Hz monitors of the same or even higher resolutions? And the 16:9 aspect ratio is already losing market share quickly to the 21:9 monitors as more and more people transition over. This monitor is just old news being sold as something new.
  • Ninjawithagun
    1025177 said:
    Asus' curved 32” ROG Strix XG32V impresses, thanks to its VA panel with 2560x1440 pixels, a 1800mm curve radius, DCI-P3 color, and a 144Hz refresh rate with FreeSync down to 48Hz. Asus ROG Strix XG32V Curved Gaming Monitor Review: Big, Smooth & Colorful : Read more


    VA panels are notorious for ghosting. I have yet to see a single VA panel monitor not have this issue. The DCI-P3 color gamut is a nice feature to have. I still heavily prefer G-Sync 2 over FreeSync 2 not matter what as the overall gaming experience is still superior with Nvidia cards, albeit is subject to one's preferences over the long term. G-Sync also has a much better lower dynamic refresh threshold of 30Hz versus 48Hz of the FreeSync 2. Overall, the refresh rate supported by the XG32V are great, but again are ruined by the ghosting caused by the use of a VA panel. And the absence of HDR is an absolute fail IMHO.
  • Xenocrates
    Ninja, look at the price tag of this, and compare it to the price tag of other monitors with the sort of specs you're talking about. The 4K 27 inch Swift from Asus is nearly twice the price, while the same approximate size dell Monitor, the now canceled Dell UP3017Q which was only 120hz, was priced at 5000 dollars, and didn't provide enough margin to be worth fixing the image quality issues.

    It's not cutting edge, sure. But it's a good product. I personally wouldn't go much above 600$ for a monitor. After all, I can buy three decent quality 1080p screens for that price. But if all people make are super monitors with four digit price tags, and cheap crap, that's what people will buy. But a nice middle ground, with monitors between 400 and 800, helps build a healthy market, because those supermonitors, once the cutting edge has moved on, can move to higher bulk, and trickle down, without us needing to wait for the prices to drop quite as much to get the features.
  • Ninjawithagun
    2215749 said:
    Ninja, look at the price tag of this, and compare it to the price tag of other monitors with the sort of specs you're talking about. The 4K 27 inch Swift from Asus is nearly twice the price, while the same approximate size dell Monitor, the now canceled Dell UP3017Q which was only 120hz, was priced at 5000 dollars, and didn't provide enough margin to be worth fixing the image quality issues. It's not cutting edge, sure. But it's a good product. I personally wouldn't go much above 600$ for a monitor. After all, I can buy three decent quality 1080p screens for that price. But if all people make are super monitors with four digit price tags, and cheap crap, that's what people will buy. But a nice middle ground, with monitors between 400 and 800, helps build a healthy market, because those supermonitors, once the cutting edge has moved on, can move to higher bulk, and trickle down, without us needing to wait for the prices to drop quite as much to get the features.


    It has nothing to do with price. I am strictly speaking about available technologies. It has been proven time and time again that even the most expensive, best features, best spec'd monitors sell out immediately. I for one am willing to pay more for more, but am unwilling to pay less for the same old tech we have had for several years. Ironically, even my budget minded friends who PC game are frustrated that monitors have ceased to advance along in technologies that have been available in TVs for years. OLED (or similar tech), HDR (Dynamic or static, either would be welcome), high variable/dynamic refresh rates, and a single monitor solution having all of these technologies is well overdue in the monitor market. Remember CES 2017 where several manufactures said they would have these monitors to market by end of 2017? It's now Spring 2018 and these monitors are nowhere to be found. Sad.
  • Co BIY
    Something like this is on my list. Iprefer the 16:9 ratio for my computer monitor.

    I have to think that graphics card availability is hurting new monitor sales. What is the point of FreeSync when AMD cards are 100% unavailable? (not that nVidia cards are more available).
  • Ninjawithagun
    I prefer 21:9 as I can choose whenever and whatever I want to run 16:9 should I feel the urge to do so. But, for gaming there is no substitute. 21:9 is absolutely amazing when gaming or watching a movie!
  • singemagique
    I have multiple panels at my desktops (at least 2 at each) and prefer the 16:9, this isn't a bad deal considering the price. While 21:9 may be better for movies, I much prefer to watch my films on my television with proper surround sound.
  • cryoburner
    1025177 said:
    Most of these panels come in a 21:9 ultra-wide aspect ratio, but a few models stick with the more-common 16:9 shape.

    I really don't think this is actually true. Using Newegg's search tools to look for curved screens (new condition with Newegg as the seller to avoid duplicates) they appear to currently be selling 30 models of curved 16:9 screens, and just 29 models of curved 21:9 screens. That is pretty much evenly split between ultra-wide and wide aspect-ratios, with the standard 16:9 aspect ratio technically having slightly more options available when it comes to curved monitors.
  • cryoburner
    146263 said:
    So many things that are not in favor of this monitor, which IMHO is too little, too late and uses 'last-gen' technologies. Where are the OLED HDR G-Sync 165-200Hz monitors of the same or even higher resolutions? And the 16:9 aspect ratio is already losing market share quickly to the 21:9 monitors as more and more people transition over. This monitor is just old news being sold as something new. ...G-Sync also has a much better lower dynamic refresh threshold of 30Hz versus 48Hz of the FreeSync 2.

    The last I checked, OLED still wasn't really suitable for screens that will be left on for many hours a day. The problem is that OLED degrades relatively quickly. If an OLED screen is left on for 8 hours a day, it can lose around 50% of its brightness after just 5 years, with blue degrading faster than the other colors, potentially resulting in the color balance getting shifted over time. TV and phone screens are typically only on for a few hours or less a day, so that might not be as much of a problem for them, but many computer screens tend to be left on for much longer lengths of time.

    And this screen shouldn't need G-Sync, since it has the industry standard Adaptive-Sync, otherwise known as FreeSync. Complain to Nvidia for why they still only support their proprietary version of the technology, while refusing to support the open standard that's part of the official DisplayPort specification. Microsoft announced just the other day that the Xbox One will be getting Freesync support soon, and it probably won't be long before the Playstation adds it as well. Screen manufacturers need to buy an extra, expensive chipset from Nvidia to support G-Sync, whereas FreeSync is supported by standard DisplayPort hardware and doesn't cost extra to add. Nvidia needs to support the open standard that everyone else is using, not the other way around. It seems likely that Nvidia may add support for FreeSync eventually, and there's not likely any reason why they couldn't enable it for their cards today, but they are holding out as long as they can to sell overpriced monitor chipsets and encourage people to stay locked into their hardware ecosystem.

    And as for the "lower dynamic refresh threshhold", that's not entirely accurate, since Low Framerate Compensation (LFC) allows Freesync to continue operating at lower frame rates. Below 48fps, it will simply keep the same image up for additional frames at a higher refresh rate. For example, at 47fps, it might display the image twice at 94Hz, and at 30fps, it might display the image twice at 60Hz to keep adaptive sync active at frame rates below what the hardware natively supports.

    The resolution and frame rate seem great for this monitor. High refresh rates are good to have, but you start seeing diminishing returns past a certain point. I doubt anyone could notice any significant difference between gaming at 144Hz and at 165 Hz. And 144Hz is already pushing the limits of what VA and IPS panels are capable of. At higher refresh rates than that, you're pretty much stuck with outdated TN panel technology, which aside from having faster pixel response times, is worse than the other screen technologies when it comes to actual image quality. And that's assuming your CPU can even keep up with frame rates in excess of 144Hz, which won't be the case in most recent demanding titles, even with the highest end CPUs currently available.

    2560x1440 is also a good resolution, and 31.5" is a decent size for that. Higher resolutions will be harder to push at high frame rates in recent games, even on enthusiast-level cards. And if someone really wants to run their game at a 21:9 aspect ratio, there's no reason why they can't on a 2560x1440 screen. Setting the resolution to 2560x1080 on this screen with a bit of letterboxing at the top and bottom should result in an area equivalent in size to a 30" 21:9 monitor.