BenQ XL2720Z 27" 144 Hz Monitor, Anchoring Your Gaming Rig?
For a display to truly be classified as a gaming monitor, it must be able to run at high refresh rates. With high-end graphics configurations topping 100 FPS in demanding titles at the most taxing detail settings, competitive gamers need panels able to keep up. G-Sync holds a lot of promise by matching the input and output frame rates, but compatible displays are only just now starting to trickle into the market. We expect to see a few press samples soon.
If you need a gamer-oriented screen today, your best bet is one able to refresh at up to 144 Hz. We tested Asus’ VG248QE back in the fall and concluded that it offered fantastic speed, along with surprisingly good contrast and color accuracy. Today, we continue our inquest by reviewing BenQ's 27-inch XL2720Z.
|Panel Type||TN Film|
|Backlight||W-LED, edge array|
|Max Refresh Rate||144 Hz|
|Native Color Depth||6-bit w/FRC|
|Response Time (GTG)||1 ms|
|Audio In||via HDMI or DP|
|USB||v2.0: 1 up, 3 down|
|Media Card Reader||-|
|Panel DimensionsW x H x D w/base||25.3 x 21.6 x 10.7 in642 x 548 x 273 mm|
|Panel Thickness||2.6 in / 67 mm|
|Bezel Width||.8 in / 20 mm|
|Weight||16.5 lbs / 7.5 kg|
There are a couple of features worth mentioning that are not part of the specs. The first of these is Flicker-Free, which is BenQ’s term for an LED backlight that does not use pulse-width modulation. Most monitors reduce their output by cycling the backlight at high frequencies, as high as 20 kHz, in fact. This can sometimes manifest as flicker to more sensitive users. The two ways to combat this problem are to increase the PWM frequency or power the backlight with direct current, as BenQ does. Voltage is kept constant and the backlight is not cycled, regardless of brightness setting, so flicker is not possible even at minimal levels.
The second major feature is Blur Reduction, BenQ's marketing term for backlight strobing. Functionally, it operates like Nvidia's LightBoost technology whereby the backlight is turned on and off between frames to minimize the blur inherent to sample-and-hold display technology like LCD. Since it’s now built into the monitor, you can use it with any graphics card, not just one that’s LightBoost-enabled. Without Blur Reduction, each frame of the image stays on-screen until the next frame is rendered. This is different than CRT or plasma displays that actually go dark between frames. Of course, it’s all happening 60 times per second or more so your eye shouldn't perceive the flicker. Instead, you get smoother motion resolution. The main side-effect is a reduction in light output. But there is a solution in the form of a third-party utility we included in our testing. For the rest of that story, see page nine.
Like Asus' VG248QE and other high-speed monitors, the XL2720Z is a twisted-nematic (TN) panel. In-plane switching (IPS) and its variants have made major strides in most areas of image quality, but speed is not on that list. Today’s reality is that if you want fast response and low input lag, you have to use TN.
The second part of the speed equation is bit-depth. This BenQ monitor uses an AU Optronics six-bit native panel with a frame rate conversion algorithm to create a perceived eight-bit output signal. In practice, it works extremely well. We talked about the banding artifacts that can result from signal compression in Asus VG248QE: A 24-Inch, 144 Hz Gaming Monitor Under $300. We didn’t see any on that display, nor did we see any on this one. By using a six-bit panel, both response time and input lag are significantly reduced.
BenQ includes several more goodies in the XL2720Z that cater to gamers. Let’s take a look.
It's still an interim monitor, though. What I really want is a large affordable WQHD or UHD IPS gaming monitor.
especially on a large 27" screen?
In the early 2000s it might have been ok to have such resolution, but nowadays
it is no longer usable. Even for a 24" screen the minimal resolution is
Until they are not making these 27" screens to have more pixels, they are not
seeing any cash out of me. I rather buy el-cheapo monitors from Ebay as a mail
order from Korea.
Monitor manufacturers, please stop living in the 80s and stop hustling us with
sometimes I feel like nobody is listening... or just trying to sell me a bridge for the low low.
decent review, but if youve got the gpu for 144Hz. 2160p @60 is just a cootie shot away
What on earth have happened? Why did prices go up, and resolution went down?
Why are there no 30" 2560x1600 TN panels out there for gamers for 700 Euros?
This monitor is made for gaming, true gamers don't care a grate deal about resolution. We are in it for the refresh rates and the response time. Ive been gaming on a old CRT monitor till last year with a change to the Asus VG248QE. Even though its still much slower than my old CRT it works. I have 2 computers 1 for gaming and one for everyday and video work. Gaming machine is set up around a single R9 290X, 4770K, and a Asus VG monitor. My other computer is a crossfired 295s, 3930K, and 3 IPS 4k monitors.
A single card is better for latency, 4770K is more than enough to push data to the 290X and the monitor has a fast refresh rate. Its better at gaming than my extremely high dollar build. Peripherals are set up differently as you can imagine gaming computer has razer and a 7.1 headset. The other is mostly set up for 2.1 but i do have a 7.1 headset for room sound.
"This monitor is made for gaming, true gamers don't care a grate deal about resolution"
You meant, online multiplayer gamers don't care a grate deal about resolution.
I prefer to play single-player FPS, where I do want to have all the eye candy,
and I want to see the vegetation, desert, sky etc. The only advantage of a PC is
that it can provide better graphics, that is the main point.
Otherwise I could just go out, buy an 1080p TV, a Crapbox1, Crapbox360, or PlayStopper 4, and game on that thing in 1080p.
I think monitor technology is not moving forward (in fact moving backwards) exactly because people are happy to buy their 1080p crap for 500 Euros.
In the early 2000s CRTs were still the standard. 4:3 was the standard aspect ratio. There were no 1080p LCD monitors let alone large 1080p LCD monitors, and I paid ~$1200(NZD) for a 17" 1280x1024@60Hz (16ms) LCD display in 2003. That's how bad it was back then.