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

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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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Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

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.