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

Overlord Tempest X270OC: 27” 120 Hz IPS Gaming Monitor Review

Over the past few months, we’ve covered several gaming-oriented monitors capable of refresh rates greater than 60 Hz. They all performed extremely well, and certainly lived up to their speedy specifications. But there was one thing still lacking: higher resolutions.

In the current market, a high-refresh gaming monitor is always based on a TN panel with a 6-bit/FRC color depth and FHD resolution. The speed issue is addressed decisively. Moreover, the screens that have come through our lab performed well with regards to color accuracy. However, enthusiasts plead for the greater pixel density of QHD and the superior viewing angles of IPS technology.

So far, the only company to answer that call with a quality-controlled and warrantied product is Overlord Computer, a small firm that markets gaming accessories and peripherals.

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Panel TypeAH-IPS
BacklightW-LED, edge array
Screen Size27-inch
Max Resolution2560x1440
Max Refresh Rate60 Hz, up to 120 Hz
Aspect Ratio16:9
Native Color Depth8-bit
Native GamutsRGB
Response Time (GTG)6 ms
Brightness380 cd/m2
Speakers2 x 10 W
DisplayPort v1.2-
HDMI 1.4-
Audio  In1 x 3.5 mm
Media Card Reader-
Panel DimensionsWxHxD w/base25.25 x 19 x 8.5 in636 x 479 x 214 mm
Panel Thickness2.5 in / 63 mm
Bezel Width.95-1.55 in / 24-39 mm
Weight15 lbs / 6.8 kg
WarrantyOne year

Overlord’s best-selling line of monitors is the Tempest series. For gamers seeking the extra size and pixel density of a 27-inch QHD display, there are several different models available. You can have one with or without an anti-glare layer, for instance. Removing that layer improves clarity and detail rendering. If you can manage the light sources in your room, it’s a compelling option.

Of course, this company's main attraction is its overclockable panels. Right now, the Tempest is the only IPS screen capable of refresh rates higher than 60 Hz. And its pricing is significantly below the average for even run-of-the-mill QHD monitors. In fact, the only less-expensive ones we know of are the gray-market Auria and Catleap screens. Neither of those run above 60 Hz reliably, though.

The key to Overlord’s success with the X270OC is a custom-made control board. That single component is the reason other IPS screens are stuck at 60 Hz. You can perform the same software tweaks necessary to run at 120 Hz on other monitors, but unless the board is equipped to handle those extra frames, you'll likely see either an unusable image or nothing at all.

The Tempest monitors are essentially hand-built using an A-grade LG panel as their core part. The proprietary control boards are tested before installation to be sure they can handle higher rate signals. Heat is minimized in the chassis by utilizing external power supplies. And the end result is the only 2560x1440 monitor available able to run at 120 Hz.

Otherwise, the X270OC is a very typical 8-bit sRGB IPS QHD monitor with a W-LED edge backlight. It runs your Windows apps, games, and other software no differently than any other display. Our press sample was tested to 120 Hz prior to shipment, and we verified its operation with our test platform. But this is no one-trick pony. We discovered it performs well in other areas too. Let’s take a look.

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.

  • oudmaster
    the price is interesting with these specs !
    any idea if there will be a similar monitor spec but 4k resolution ?

  • oudmaster
    the price is interesting with these specs !
    any idea if there will be a similar monitor spec but 4k resolution ?

  • oudmaster
  • wtfxxxgp
    Crickey me...this is a monitor of note it seems! At that price point, I find it incredible. Well done to Overlord! The only issue I have now is... will the price increase as a result of all the buzz this will generate? This is probably going to be my next monitor, depending on exchange rates...
  • Shneiky
    4K at 120 MHz? Not in the next 5 years.
  • Swiperd3
    Driving QHD to 120 FPS at the max graphics detail is sure as hell will require A LOT of horsepower. Will TOP-SLI/CF-x2 be enough for modern FPS games?
  • Traciatim
    Wow, you get this with one of the variable sync techs and you have yourself one fantastic monitor.
  • waxdart
    16:9 :(
  • envy14tpe
    Thank you Thank you Thank you. I've been dying to see a review on this monitor.
  • Reaver192
    Yeah, I've been waiting fir this for too long. I wanted one of these months ago but they have been out of stock. Such a sweet deal