Asus ROG Swift PG27V 27" Curved Gaming Monitor Review: A Gaming Sweet Spot?

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Brightness & Contrast

To read the full details of our monitor tests, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.

Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

Adaptive refresh is a must in any gaming monitor like the PG27V. To that end, we’ve included other performance standouts in the comparison group. Two 240Hz screens come in the form of Alienware’s AW2518H and ViewSonic’s XG2530. The Acer Z301C and AOC AG352UCG are curved ultra-wides, and we have the Asus ROG Stix XG32V that we mentioned previously.

Ideally, a ULMB monitor should have plenty of output overhead, since blur reduction reduces brightness. The PG27V tops out at over 400 nits, which is perfect. Engaging ULMB at the maximum pulse width setting results in a 44% drop in white level and about 35% less contrast. The fact that it works at 120Hz helps somewhat; we’ve seen greater differences in past G-Sync screens. With QHD resolution, it’s easy enough to keep frame rates high without buying a top-end video card, so we don’t imagine many users will employ ULMB. But it’s there and well-implemented if you wish to forego adaptive refresh.

Black levels are on par with the two 25” TN screens we're comparing the Asus PG27V to here,  and visibly brighter than those of the VA panels in the group. Speed is a good thing, and we’re fans of the super-high frame rates coming from the 240Hz models. But the extra contrast afforded by VA makes for a significant improvement in image depth and quality.

Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level

Asus has kept the PG27V’s brightness range on the narrow side. This makes it easy to dial in a precise output level, but more difficult to play in a completely dark room. With calibration, the minimum level drops to around 95 nits, which is a little more palatable. Contrast remains consistent in G-Sync or normal mode regardless of the chosen intensity setting.

After Calibration to 200cd/m2

During calibration, we had to lower the contrast slider seven clicks to solve a clipping issue, and to clean up the PG27V’s grayscale tracking. But doin so unfortunately drops the sequential value to 740.7:1. We’d prefer to see it stay closer to 1000:1. You can compensate a little by leaving gamma set to 2.2 for a darker look. But this makes fine shadow detail harder to see. Ultimately, we settled for the 1.8 preset and lived with a little less image depth. Our settings also make a not-so-subtle improvement to color accuracy, which you’ll see in the next round of tests.

ANSI Contrast Ratio

The ANSI result is slightly lower than the sequential result, but no more so than any other good-quality monitor. The PG27V has less overall dynamic range than the average gaming monitor, so it’s best used at bright settings to keep fine details visible. QHD resolution and good color after calibration partially make up for its lack of contrast. Again, it’s hard to ignore the numbers posted by any VA panel. Why manufacturers aren’t going all in with that technology is something of a mystery to us.

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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.

  • fredfinks
    Curved 27"? F no.
    Curved 21:9 34" maybe. Curved 16:9, even on a 32"? Just no.
    This curve on non-ultrawide screens is an abomination. How are curved TVs working out for users? what a moronic fad. Same with the monitor spewing out RGB nonsense from the base & back. A tacky, seizure inducing 12yr old's laser show wet dream. so leet.

    You might try 100+hz and not want to go back. But try a 32" and you dont want to go back to sub 30" ever again. Even if its 10000hz.
    What im waiting for is a quality, non-curved, non-asus or acer, non-rgb, true 32" 16:9 1440p VA gysnc screen. Preferably Samsung. LG has one but its a 31.5" skimp out. It also has the RGB aids.

    A 35" 2:1 screen size ratio. If only.....
  • BulkZerker
    G-Sync is not a pro. It's a tax for what can be used by any video card in the form of freesync.
  • darkchazz
    That is crazy overpriced for a TN panel. Probably due to ROG branding + Gsync + the curve.

    Why would anyone buy this instead of the cheaper 1440p 144hz IPS (AHVA) monitors?
  • DerekA_C
    I tested Acer and Asus, TN and IPS panels of the last gen 1440p 144hz oc to 165hz and with ULMB @ 120hz on the Predator blows all the rest out of the water. The colors and the motion on the IPS panel is better than the TN by far. Now if we could get IPS down to 2ms that would be amazing. oh btw I got my IPS Predator for $550 with literally an inch of so hard to see even in dark screen back light bleed probably one of the best I've seen even out of all the reviewers on youtube showing theirs. Not a single stuck or dead or bleached out pixel, it is almost perfect I'd say 99% I'd really love to see an IPS certified for 2ms. I think it is doable with our technology but will they release one.
  • ddferrari
    $800 for a 27" TN panel? Pass.

    I got my 3440x1440 curved Dell Alienware monitor on sale for $940. It sports an IPS panel, 120Hz refresh rate and Gsync. I don't really see the need for a curved screen at 27", unless it is literally one foot from your face.
  • Sam Hain
    Was going to wait for this monitor (when if ever released) but saw the reviews on Euro sites/YouTube prior to release in the U.S. and was not a "stellar-performer" especially when considering the MSRP.

    Curve and ambient lighting not worth it when compared to other similar spec (superior, same or less priced) monitors... but to some it is.
  • Nintendork

    Same for me

    28-32" 1440 120Hz VA 3000:1+ ZERO CURVES, full glossy
  • Nintendork
    Once you realize people how HORRID is to use a matter or semimatte screen with craptastic 1000:1 or less contrast ratio vs glossy high contrast VA or an OLED TV...
  • Diji1
    Wait ... I can't use a VESA monitor arm on this thing because of ambient lighting? GTFO.

    And to me it looks as though light is going to be projected unevenly from the back because the light strip is not horizontal or centred.

    Apart from that I always disliked their downward facing ambient lighting, at least with Acer it lights your desk nicely eg X34