ViewSonic XG2401 24-inch FreeSync Monitor Review

ViewSonic is the latest major display manufacturer to add FreeSync to its lineup. Today, we're testing the 24-inch XG2401. It's a FHD/TN screen with a 144Hz refresh rate and ultra-fast panel response.

Early Verdict

For less than $300, the XG2401 is a terrific value. It's as fast as panels costing twice as much and offers equal or better accuracy. And it boasts the highest contrast we've measured from a non-VA panel. This new ViewSonic merits serious consideration for gamers on a budget.


  • +

    Contrast • Light output • Black levels • Color accuracy • Low input lag • Fast panel response • Build quality • Value


  • -

    Gamma tracking • 48Hz lower FreeSync limit

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There seems to be no shortage of premium gaming displays available with QHD resolution, high-end IPS panels and adaptive refresh. But not everyone wants to spend $600 and up on a monitor; especially if their video card is of the value-priced variety.

Thanks to FreeSync and an implementation that requires only DisplayPort 1.2 and no additional hardware, adaptive refresh can be added to an AMD-based system for an easier-to-live-with price. But don't think that means a free lunch. You will have to give up a few features if you want an optimized gaming experience for less than $350.

The two principal factors separating the expensive displays from inexpensive ones are resolution and panel tech. Naturally, more gamers want the 2560x1440 pixels of a QHD monitor. It doesn't take a thousand-dollar graphics board to drive most games to about 50fps at that density. But those extra dots will cost you at least $150 to $200 more. And if you want IPS instead of TN, plan on adding another $100 or so to the price tag.

If your max budget for an adaptive-refresh display is $300 (at this writing), you can figure on putting a 24-inch FHD/TN screen with FreeSync on your desktop. Today, we're checking out one such example from ViewSonic: the XG2401.

This combo deal includes MSI’s AM1I socket AM1 motherboard, which has a decent amount of connectivity options, with two SATA-III (6 Gbps) ports, a mini PCI-E slot, two USB 3.0 ports, and a PCI-E 2.0 x16 header operating at x4 speeds. Although AM1 systems are designed to be compact low-power computers, the full length PCI-E slot would permit you to install a budget graphics card to create a PC capable of playing games with low-end settings. The quad-core 2.05 GHz AMD Athlon 5350 APU is one of the highest-performance AM1 processors, and it contains a low-power iGPU with 128 shader cores. Because of the APU features, the system should also work well as an HTPC without needing a budget graphics card. During the sale, both items can be purchased together for $64.98, saving you $20 off of the full retail price of $84.98. Deal ends 3/17/2016.

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Yes the panel is FHD and TN, but we suggest putting any preconceived notions on hold until after you've seen our benchmark results. This is an extremely well-built monitor with class-leading contrast, excellent color accuracy and FreeSync right up to the panel's 144Hz maximum refresh rate.

The 48Hz end of the XG2401's range may be a concern to those who can't maintain framerates above that consistently. But since you're only pushing 1920x1080 pixels, it won't take an expensive video card to maintain speeds north of 60fps.

The backlight is a white LED in a flicker-free configuration. Rather than using pulse-width modulation, the XG2401 features constant current drive at all backlight levels. Very few people actually experience flicker but this arrangement ensures that no one will.

Aside from a solid chassis and nice styling, there aren't too many bells and whistles here. There's no blur-reduction feature but ViewSonic's overdrive implementation works reasonably well. You also get an input lag option that lowers processing overhead for faster response to inputs. It will net you about two milliseconds.

On paper, the XG2401 looks like a good value and a decent performer. Now that we have our hands on one, it's time to take a closer 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.

  • darthtomas_admin
    1st lol. On the serious note, is the panel native 8-bit one? That contrast ratio looks too good to be true .....
  • Amdlova
    i need this!
  • eklipz330
    48hz isn't optimal but it sure as hell is still damn good. 20hz would be perfect.

    freesync is kicking ASS. i hope nvidia continues to rest on their laurels as AMD picks up more market share and becomes a more formidable competitor.
  • RockyPlays
    Buying this asap.
  • karloe
    CONS: 48Hz lower FreeSync --> Christian, didn't you hear about Low Framerate Compensation?
    144 > 2,5x48 --> meaning LFC is on so the actual FreeSync range is 0-144Hz
  • rantoc
    *yawn* Yet another low res 1080p....
  • ubercake
    Great contrast. Definitely a plus for gaming. If you have the goods to keep framerates above 48 consistently, this monitor looks like a catch.
  • darthtomas_admin
    Christian, could you confirm screen part number ( is it real 8-bit one or 6-bit+dithering ) please.
  • sillynilly
    Another low price monitor good for a low range gaming rig. Not my cup of tea, but cool that the market isn't abandoning the cheaper options for peeps that don't run the latest, greatest parts in their rigs.
  • slashdot
    Not sure why people diss the "low price monitor", but Freesync and Gsync needs to encompass a larger range of price point. Faster value adoption means paying less "premium" for Freesync/Gsnyc in the top range. Otherwise, adaptive sync would be niche tech that would die in a year and two, and the so-called "premium feature" would no longer be supported.