To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test PC Monitors. We cover brightness and contrast testing on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
We have plenty of 27-inch QHD HDR screens in our database to compare against the Gigabyte M27Q’s performance. Two of them are curved VA panels: Gigabyte’s G27QC and ViewSonic’s Elite XG270QC. IPS is represented by Dell’s S2721DGF and Pixio’s PX277 Prime. The lone TN monitor is a Pixio PX278. All support HDR, and all but the PX277 Prime include extended color.
The M27Q’s box touts “VESA DisplayHDR Certified” but doesn’t specify a peak brightness level. Our tests show it exceeds 400 nits for both SDR and HDR signals. Unlike many bright gaming monitors these days, it also can drop to a comfortable 50 nits for gaming in the dark.
Black levels are a mid-pack 0.3694 nit, which results in a very respectable contrast ratio of 1,118.9:1. The latest IPS panels are posting better scores in this test, though. An extra 100 or 200 points of contrast provides a visible difference. The M27Q has excellent image depth and well-saturated color. Of course, the two VA monitors are on another level of dynamic range with their deep black levels.
After Calibration to 200 nits
After our calibration to 200 nits brightness (see our recommended settings on page 1), the M27Q tops the IPS portion of the black level contest with 0.1932 nit. Contrast is slightly down from the default number because we reduced the contrast slider two clicks to flatten gamma and improve grayscale tracking. That adjustment could be considered optional because it only makes a tiny difference in visible highlight detail. Either way, the M27Q has very good contrast when compared to other IPS monitors.
Our M27Q sample looked a little hot in the two bottom corners of the screen, so ANSI contrast is a tad lower at 951.5:1. That’s still enough to keep it on top of the IPS heap. In practice, the image looked very sharp and detailed with vivid color and great dynamic range, though not quite up to the standard set by our two VA panels.