Gaming Features: G-Sync, Fast Refresh, ULMB and GamePlus
Before we get to the product 360 and OSD menu tours, we want to explain the main three reasons gamers will want to consider buying a ROG Swift: G-Sync, fast refresh, and ULMB.
If you’ve seen a G-Sync demo with your own eyes, you know it’s quite addictive. The smoothness it imparts to games is hard to live without once you’ve tried it. So once you’ve connected the PG278Q, there are a couple of steps to take before launching your favorite first-person shooter.
Obviously, you need a G-Sync-supported video card. Any GeForce GTX 650 Ti or better will work. For our tests, we built a new platform around a GTX 780 from EVGA. You also need a DisplayPort 1.2-rated cable, which is included with every ROG Swift. Lastly, you should download the latest Nvidia drivers. As of this writing, that’s version 340.52.
Once you have your hardware together, open the Nvidia control panel. There are two areas you have to visit to enable G-Sync.
First check “Enable G-Sync” in the Set up G-Sync menu.
Then go to Manage 3D Settings and select G-Sync from the Vertical Sync options.
G-Sync only works for full-screen applications. If you play games in a window, it won’t function.
Fast Refresh Rates
The PG278Q supports refresh rates up to 144 Hz. You can change rates on-the-fly with the Turbo bezel button, or through Nvidia's control panel.
The selected rate won’t affect G-Sync. But if you want to set an upper limit, you can do that here. We ran our Windows desktop at 120 Hz and enjoyed fluid motion from mouse cursors and other objects. The choice is one of personal preference. If you want to engage the motion-blur reduction feature ULMB, choose 85, 100, or 120 Hz.
We saw motion-blur reduction via backlight strobing on Asus' VG248QE (with the LightBoost utility) and BenQ's XL2720Z, which has it built-in. Asus is doing the same thing with its Swift, going so far as to include a variable pulse width slider to control the amount of light output.
First and foremost, you can’t use ULMB and G-Sync at the same time. You can choose to eliminate screen tears or improve motion resolution, but not both. Like LightBoost and BenQ’s blur-reduction, engaging the backlight strobe cuts output anywhere from 57 percent or more depending on the setting.
Here’s what it looks like in the OSD.
We could only get ULMB to work with an Nvidia graphics card running driver 340.52 (dated July 29, 2014). It wouldn't work with our Radeon HD 7770. To enable it, the monitor must be set to 85, 100, or 120 Hz. Maximum brightness varies depending on refresh rate and the position of the Pulse Width slider. At 100, the backlight pulse is longer for maximum output. As you drop it down, light decreases as motion resolution increases.
GamePlus is only accessible from a bezel hotkey; you won’t find it in the OSD. It offers four different reticules and a timer function.
It’s similar to what we saw on the VG248QE. You can choose an aiming reticule and place it anywhere within a few inches of center using the OSD joystick. Or set a 30- to 90-minute timer to help you remember when to stop playing. The aiming point is especially helpful to FPS newbies, since it remains on-screen regardless of what’s happening in the game.