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Asus ROG Swift PG258Q Monitor Review

Final Analysis

Dedicated gaming displays have certainly come a long way since the 144Hz era was kicked off by the VG248QE. Back then 144Hz was the big news and that’s really all that set it apart from other displays. The real fun began with the introduction of adaptive refresh.

G-Sync is still a premium technology that adds around $200 to the price of any monitor. And we aren’t prepared to declare it superior to FreeSync. When video card performance is properly-matched to a monitor, the experience is the same with either technology. Where G-Sync shows an advantage is at the low end of the speed scale. Many FreeSync screens bottom out at 40Hz and sometimes higher. But G-Sync continues working down to 24Hz, well below the playable point. Of course with a monitor like the PG258Q, we’re not talking about the low end, are we?

After reading our gaming account, you might conclude that it is a perfect display. And it certainly comes close in many areas. Video processing is certainly beyond reproach. Not only can it reach 240Hz without an overclock, it boasts the finest implementation of ULMB we’ve seen yet. There’s plenty of light to compensate for the inevitable output reduction, and it is completely able to keep things together without G-Sync at high framerates. We saw nary a hesitation nor a stutter.

While it’s fun to watch the FPS counter rise when detail levels fall, we couldn’t see any reason to give up fine graphics textures just to hit 160 FPS, especially when 120 looks just as good. Nothing we threw at the PG258Q could force it below 100 FPS in fact. That’s a level that every gamer should strive for because once experienced, it can’t be unexperienced.

In our benchmark tests, color performance was exemplary – once the proper adjustments were made. Our only complaint about the PG258Q is its out-of-box accuracy. Thanks to a contrast control that’s set too high, color detail suffers due to clipping. While your initial impression will be that saturation is high, further investigation reveals quite a bit of lost information. We strongly urge you to, at minimum, turn the contrast slider down to 41. This fixes most of the issues we encountered. Further tweaks to the RGB controls take the monitor to a high level of image fidelity.

Gaming monitors have tough shoes to fill. They have to do many things well to earn their high price points. We feel the PG258Q has done this. In fact, it’s about as close to perfect as we’ve seen from any ROG product. If it could make some improvements in its default settings, it would be an easy home run. At least the fixes are easily made. For its superb gaming performance and image quality after calibration, we’re giving the Asus ROG Swift PG258Q our Tom’s Hardware Editor Recommended Award.


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  • apertotes
    I just don't get it. How can you leave the contrast (arguably the most importante feature on a screen after the resolution) out of the first page of the article? I couldn't care less about the bezel width, but please, state the contrast!
    Reply
  • cknobman
    G-Sync, no thanks.

    No wonder this thing is $600.

    Have fun paying the Nvidia tax.
    Reply
  • ahnilated
    1080P, *sigh* who wants this anymore! Get me a 4K monitor at 30-32" with good specs and G-Sync that isn't $4000.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    19637653 said:
    1080P, *sigh* who wants this anymore! Get me a 4K monitor at 30-32" with good specs and G-Sync that isn't $4000.

    Because that's the reality of GPUs at the moment. GPUs can get you a solid 4K/60 or a solid 1080p/144. You're not going to get 4K/144 in any modern games on any PC at the moment (unless you're only playing 20-year-old games). So there's not a lot of sense in wanting to invest in a 4K/144 monitor now, only in anticipation of when GPUs can finally push that many pixels, because you'll be wasting the monitor while you wait, and when such GPUs finally do arrive, the monitors will be better and cheaper.
    Reply
  • Rosanjin
    Do we know if this monitor is 3dVision capable?

    I would assume so, but I've learned some very expensive lessons by making purchases based on assumptions. : /
    Reply
  • __Isomorph__
    @apertotes: LOL damn right! who cares about the bezel??!
    Reply
  • ahnilated
    19637717 said:
    19637653 said:
    1080P, *sigh* who wants this anymore! Get me a 4K monitor at 30-32" with good specs and G-Sync that isn't $4000.

    Because that's the reality of GPUs at the moment. GPUs can get you a solid 4K/60 or a solid 1080p/144. You're not going to get 4K/144 in any modern games on any PC at the moment (unless you're only playing 20-year-old games). So there's not a lot of sense in wanting to invest in a 4K/144 monitor now, only in anticipation of when GPUs can finally push that many pixels, because you'll be wasting the monitor while you wait, and when such GPUs finally do arrive, the monitors will be better and cheaper.

    The reason you won't get it is because the GPU's won't do it, not because the games won't. Game developers want to make more realistic games but the GPU's are lagging way behind. Nvidia hasn't had any real competition for many years so there was no need for them to push to 4K gaming at 144Hz or higher. I am hoping AMD's cards will force Nvidia to get off their buts as it seems the consumers aren't going to pull their money from Nvidia until Nvidia gets back on the ball.
    Reply
  • Geo Matrix
    I agree with AHNILATED! DSTARR3 says, "Because that's the reality of GPUs at the moment". I say let's have some serious change! Asus and Nvidia are "milking the cow" with these old relics. Everything is now going 4K, 6K and 8K. It's time to stop milking the cow and people's wallets and put out the new technology. It's 2017, not 1980. We all know the new tech is already here.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    Based on the performance bump we saw from the 1080 Ti, I don't think it's fair to say that nVidia's slouching when it comes to GPU performance. Pricing, sure, they could use more competition. But something like 4K/144 is a seriously enormous amount of processing to do. The DisplayPort and HDMI interfaces themselves had to be updated to transfer that much data. I'm amazed we got 4K/60 out of GPUs as quickly as we did. Give it another generation and we should be hovering around 4K/144. But you ask why there's no 4K/144 gaming monitors coming out yet, and this is why. There aren't any 4K/144 GPUs out yet, either. And it's not because any particular company is stagnating. It's because pushing that many pixels to a monitor is a huge, huge task.
    Reply
  • Deadshot-89
    I use an Eizo EV 2336W. It has incredibly accurate and incredibly deep and vidid colors right out of the box. It also has a very deep picture and for an IPS screen very deep blacks. And to top it all off, it has extremely nice viewing angles, no color-shifts and it retains a ton of brightness at very steep angles. Motion performance is very OK for a 60 Hz screen.

    My current hardware isn't really capable of producing more than a reliable 1080p60. (GTX 970, i5-4590). So I see no reason to switch to a higher res screen or higher refresh rate screen.
    Reply