Asus ROG Swift PG278Q 27-inch G-Sync Monitor Review

ROG Swift PG278Q, A Display Technology Revolution

From the tone of this review, you can probably tell we’re excited about G-Sync. It’s the first revolutionary display technology we've seen in a very long time. Advances in host and graphics processing performance are so frequent that they're practically predictable. But to see something totally new from a monitor is a rare and exotic treat.

For years, computer monitors have been hobbled by the ancient standards set forth by SMPTE and the television/film industries. And for much of that time, it worked out fine. The processing power in a high-end gaming rig from just a few years ago wasn't pushing much past 60 Hz in then-modern titles, and the realism of an advanced title's graphics wasn't as negatively affected by tearing or stuttering artifacts.

Now that our gaming machines wield incredible power, it's high time for a change. Last year, we saw the first appearance of monitors that could accept 120 and 144 Hz input signals, and those displays are still trickling out to the marketplace. But reconciling the variable frame rate of computer games with the fixed refresh of monitors became the next problem to tackle.

There's v-sync, which solves the tearing issue. But it also introduces unacceptable stuttering and extra input lag. When you have a game topping 60 FPS, it just doesn’t make sense to buffer frames while the monitor catches up. Now, with the introduction of Asus' ROG Swift PG278Q, we have a fully-realized G-Sync product. When you can lock the input and output speeds together, those annoying artifacts are gone for good.

The Swift isn’t a one-hit wonder. Asus builds in the best implementation of motion-blur reduction we’ve tested thus far. And the panel has plenty of light output to counteract the dimming that comes with ULMB. You can even vary the pulse width to find just the right balance between brightness and resolution. If all you need is that fast refresh, the PG278Q has that too: up to 144 Hz.

Beyond all of that unique functionality is another specification we may not have emphasized enough. The Swift is only the second gaming monitor we’ve seen boasting a native resolution of 2560x1440. Your feedback tells us that many gamers are holding out for larger screens with more pixels, and 1920x1080 just won’t cut it any longer.

If image fidelity is a priority for you like it is for us, the PG278Q checks that box as well. Contrast is equal to other gaming monitors we’ve tested. The same goes for color, grayscale, and gamma accuracy. Its OSD is minimal, but you still get everything you need for a great picture.

For those who skipped the earlier portions of this article, we urge you to go back and read those sections in order to best understand how to add a ROG Swift to your system, and how to get the most out of it. You need a reasonably powerful GeForce graphics card to not only take advantage of G-Sync and ULMB, but also to game comfortably at 2560x1440.

Asus' PG278Q represents the final piece of the high-end gaming rig puzzle. The company built a monitor that truly complements the investment many of you have made in computer hardware. And even though we're looking at a first-to-market product, it doesn't have the rough edges seen from so many first-gen implementations (like Asus' own PQ321 4K display, which required a number of firmware updates). For its excellent performance and gamer-oriented features, we feel it merits serious consideration.

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.

  • ubercake
    That Amazon link is to the PB278Q, not the PG278Q! ARRGGGGHHHHH!!!
  • TechyInAZ
    Nice! This is great since I am one of those picky guys that believes that 30fps doesn't bring a good enough gaming experience.

    But one thing I do hope for is a 144hz g-sync IPS monitor, ever since I've gotten my new Asus MX239H the ips makes a huge difference in games.

    But besides that, it is a glorious monitor, resolution is great, 144hz, and of course g sync makes it a wonderful monitor.

    But really $800? I know that it is one of the few g sync equipped monitors, but you can buy a 4k monitor for $650!
  • CraigN
    Yes - please fix that Amazon link. I almost shat myself thinking that was available already.
  • apertotes
    Anybody knows if the incompatibility between G-Sync and ULMB is something that will get fixed or is here to stay?
  • CraigN
    13933468 said:
    Anybody knows if the incompatibility between G-Sync and ULMB is something that will get fixed or is here to stay?

    Pretty unlikely. ULMB requires a static refresh rate, because it has to strobe the monitor at a constant rate. GSYNC would mean that it would have to strobe in time with each frame, at a variable rate. You would introduce a lag time on the strobing if you tried to do this, since it would be at a variable rate instead of a constant one.
  • rh_dog
    I know it's expensive for 2560x1440, I know it's not IPS, but to get the refresh rate @144hz and the 1ms g2g and g-sync? The few reviews for this monitor that are out there are all glowing. Come on, Asus, release the thing already, I've been waiting since the Jan announcement for this monitor. Shut up and take my money!!!
  • pchampn
    Guys ROG Swift PG278Q is not even listed on Amazon. Update your links, please!!
  • Rendezvous
    Omg! I need this now..... I alrdy have 800 set aside for it...I need a exact release date now!
  • agentbb007
    Asus has said on Twitter it should be in the US by the end of August. I can't wait for this, I'm checking newegg everyday to see when it shows up! I hope they have enough of these coming in because there seems to be a lot of people waiting to buy this monitor.
  • Merry_Blind
    Yayy finally a review for this monitor! Thanks Tom's!

    Off to read it now! lol