It's not surprising that we're very pleased with the MG279Q. Since it's very similiar to Acer's XB270HU monitor, it should perform the same with regards to contrast, color accuracy, brightness and overall image quality; and it does.
AHVA represents a new crop of IPS panels that offer better viewing angles and in this case at least, 144Hz operation. Gamers have long wished for more IPS options and even though they're still scarce, you can now choose between two excellent screens from mainstream companies. The only other deciding factor is to go with G-Sync or FreeSync.
The debate about which is better rages on and even after our G-Sync vs FreeSync Reader's Choice event last month, there are still some points to argue. The only firm conclusion we can draw at this time is that G-Sync offers a more mature technology with more consistent implementation. You know that if you buy a G-Sync display it will work at up to 144Hz and when your game drops below 30fps, its frame-doubles rather than switching to V-Sync.
FreeSync is an open spec, which means each monitor can be slightly different in its implementation. Case in point is BenQ's overdrive issue with the XL2730Z, which has since been fixed through firmware. And now the MG279Q with its 90Hz upper limit. But we're satisfied that that's not really a limit after all. Our gaming experience shows that high framerates make the difference between FreeSync and non-FreeSync play to be practically non-existent.
The biggest divide between the two technologies seems to be cost. Since FreeSync is part of the DisplayPort spec it doesn't require extra hardware or licensing. G-Sync is all Nvidia and currently adds around $200 to the price of every monitor it comes with. Now that we have two nearly identical products in the MG279Q and XB270HU, that divide is clear. At the time of this writing the Acer monitor is approximately $250 more than the Asus MG279Q.
When choosing between the two, the question to ask yourself is this: which video board are you using? If the answer is Nvidia, then what are you willing to pay for a 144Hz QHD/IPS gaming monitor?
We enjoyed using both displays and given the performance test results and actual hands-on experience, there's no clear winner in our eyes. If you make frame-rate-matching your priority, G-Sync seems to have an edge in consistency right now. But from an image quality standpoint, the MG279Q and XB270HU are equals. So if price is your guide, Asus becomes the winner.
We like this new Asus gaming screen very much. For its image quality, performance and trouble-free FreeSync implementation, we're giving it the Tom's Editor Recommended Award.
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