Skip to main content

Overlord Tempest X270OC, 27" 120 Hz IPS Gaming Monitor Review

Overlord’s Tempest X270OC Satisfies The Speed And Resolution Obsession

At $450, the Tempest X270OC satisfies my value benchmark, if only because it's an overclockable IPS-based monitor. We've already established the advantages of running at 120 or 144 Hz in previous gaming monitor reviews. And, like you, we've lamented the fact that all other high-speed displays make certain compromises with TN technology, 6-bit/FRC color, and FHD resolutions. Now it seems that Overlord is breaking new ground, and we hope it inspires other companies to follow suit.

It seems like every time I review a QHD monitor, the audience reaction is that it’s too expensive and too slow. I'd agree with this assessment, for the most part. Now that LG’s IPS panels are at the heart of nearly every 27-inch QHD monitor on the planet, we side with the majority of enthusiasts impatient for prices to fall. Over the past 18 months, these displays were stuck at $600 and higher. There is some relief to be had in gray-market Korean products, but when you go off-trail to buy a monitor, quality becomes less consistent. Sometimes the prudent decision is to pay extra for support, a usable warranty, and a reasonable assurance that the panel you buy is free of defects.

Thanks to Overlord, we can now choose high quality and high performance. With its more robust control board installed, any user can overclock their Tempest X270OC simply by activating a few software tweaks. The utilities provided online make it easy to patch your Nvidia or AMD drivers and create custom display timings. With a little help from Overlord’s tech, I was able to get my sample running perfectly at 120 Hz in a few minutes.

If you’re concerned about stability, you needn’t be. I installed the Tempest and used it for several weeks for productivity and gaming, running at 120 Hz the entire time. There was nary a hiccup and I thoroughly enjoyed the smoother motion that comes with doubling the standard refresh rate. Activities as mundane as moving the mouse cursor across Windows' desktop are more satisfying. We’ve become so accustomed to the blur inherent in LCD panels that it’s easy to forget what judder-free motion even looks like.

Before I conclude, I have one final bit of advice for anyone considering the Tempest X270OC as a centerpiece of their gaming rig. And it's the same guidance I’d offer with any high-refresh rate monitor. To maximize your experience, buy as much graphics processing horsepower as you can afford. Since you'll save quite a bit on the display, put more budget into a capable video card. Gaming at a native 2560x1440 (and beyond) is taxing. If you skimp at any point before the signal leaves your computer case, you won't get as much enjoyment from the Tempest in your favorite titles. Feel free to consult Best Graphics Cards For The Money for help choosing an appropriate GPU.

At least now you can push those extra pixels without buying a monitor that costs as much as your whole system. For its exceptional performance and value, we’re giving the Overlord Tempest X270OC the Tom’s Hardware Smart Buy award.

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