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Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ Monitor Review: A Prime, Curved Pick for FreeSync Gaming

OSD Setup & Calibration

The OSD is packed with features and includes blur reduction, something rarely seen in a FreeSync monitor. Dig in, and you'll find a full set of calibration options, along with more than enough image modes and controls for the ROG Strix XG35VQ’s lighting effects.

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Eight preset modes adorn the XG35VQ's OSD. Racing mode is the default, and in our tests, it proved to be extremely accurate, even more so than sRGB, which locks out all image controls and fixes the brightness level at 175 nits. If you want to engage in color-critical work, opt for Racing, or calibrate the User mode as we did.

Four levels of blue-light filter are available if you need to warm up the look of white-background applications such as spreadsheets or word processors. Level 0 represents the off position.

The Color menu is where tweakers will spend most of their time. Saturation is grayed out in Racing but available in User. Either mode is a great starting point for calibration. You can choose among three color-temperature presets or roll your own white balance in User Mode. There are three gamma presets, which cover the wide range of 1.8 to 2.5. (We tried an experiment during our tests that we’ll tell you about on page four.)

Overdrive comes in five different strengths and works perfectly well up to level 4. The fifth slot produces too much black ghosting in moving objects to be usable. ASCR is the Asus version of dynamic contrast. We don’t see a need for it as the XG35VQ’s VA panel already provides excellent black levels and bright highlights. ELMB is the blur-reduction feature, and it works by strobing the backlight just like ULMB in a G-Sync monitor. It has only one pulse-width setting and reduces output by about 53%. It has no effect on contrast, though, which is a definite win. You will have to give up on using FreeSync, but it works up to the 100Hz maximum.

If you want to view two video sources simultaneously, the XG35VQ offers PIP and PBP. The PIP window is resizable and can be moved about. PBP offers aspect-ratio options, and the images can be swapped, as well.

Light In Motion, which we mentioned earlier on, refers to the LEDs that project on the desktop. They can be dimmed or turned off if desired. Aura Sync and Aura RGB have the controls for the colored ring around back of the display panel. You can also manipulate the color in the OSD and sync with software to work with your games. This menu ends with an AllReset function that returns all settings to their factory defaults.

The MyFavorite menu has four slots for storing user settings, which makes switching between configurations easy. Every monitor sold on Planet Earth should have this feature. Most televisions do, why not computer displays?

GamePlus

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Asus’ latest iteration of GamePlus is the best yet. In addition to four different crosshairs (two shapes and two colors) you get the usual countdown timers, frame-rate indicators, and display alignment graphic. The fps counter can be either a large number or a bar graph. Once engaged, it can be moved around the screen with the joystick, as can the timer and crosshair. You can’t use the functions together, though--only one at a time.

Calibration

The XG35VQ’s Racing mode is a good fire-and-forget preset. That’s how it comes out of the box, and we suggest that, if you don’t want to tweak matters, just set the brightness level to your taste and enjoy. You can calibrate in Racing or User, as we did. RGB sliders take gray-scale tracking from good to reference-level, and gamma tracks quite well using the 2.2 option. Regardless of mode, the native gamut is sRGB, and it is followed very closely. If you want a slightly darker gamma (something we often do want with VA monitors), it will affect color saturation. Then, it becomes a matter of personal preference. To set up your XG35VQ, feel free to try our recommended settings below.

Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ Calibration Settings
GameVisualUser
Brightness 200cd/m242
Brightness 120cd/m217
Brightness 100cd/m211
Brightness 80cd/m26
Contrast80
Saturation50
Gamma2.2
Color Temp UserRed 100, Green 100, Blue 94

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Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.