Viewing Angles, Uniformity, Response And Lag
To learn how we measure screen uniformity, please click here.
AHVA panels are simply another flavor of IPS but they do offer better off-axis viewing to the sides than typical monitors. The only effect there is a slight brightness falloff and a barely-visible blue tint. From the top things turn decidedly green but there is no loss of detail. In our photo you can see very little difference between the zero and 10 percent steps. That's due to the PG279Q's gamma error, not its pixel structure.
Screen Uniformity: Luminance
We've reviewed a few displays that have little to no air gap between the anti-glare and LC layers. While image clarity is enhanced by this approach, it makes the monitor more prone to light-bleed. The 17.58 percent result is mainly caused by a hotspot in our sample's lower right corner. If not for that issue, it would have measured under 10 percent.
Here's the white field measurement.
White-field uniformity is not affected by the tight panel layers. 10.22 percent puts the ROG Swift on par with most monitors we review. At this level you won't be able to see any problems in anything but the darkest content.
Screen Uniformity: Color
The lower right zone is the culprit again in our color uniformity test. We could see a minor blue tint in that area in our 80 percent white field pattern. It's a very slight error and you won't see it in actual content. But the other premium gaming displays here measure somewhat better.
Pixel Response And Input Lag
Please click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.
We suspect many of you have skipped to this page before reading the rest of the review. 165Hz is, after all, the reason to buy a PG279Q. In terms of panel response it doesn't make a difference compared to a 144Hz display. And TN is slightly quicker overall. Here we're also showing the effect of Asus' Overdrive option. Setting it to Extreme does reduce draw time by one millisecond but the extra ghosting it introduces isn't worth it in our opinion. Leaving it on Normal improves motion resolution without such artifacts.
Here are the lag results.
The extra Hertz don't seem to affect input lag either. That's probably a function of the PG279Q's IPS technology. Realistically though, no one will be able to perceive a difference of six milliseconds in even the fastest gameplay. The main attraction here is motion quality and resolution and this new Asus has plenty of both.
G-Sync, ULMB And 165Hz
On page three we detailed the PG279Q's different operating modes. If one were to use the ROG Swift with an AMD video card (extremely unlikely), they could still enjoy its Normal mode over DisplayPort with a 165Hz max refresh rate. Does this provide the best quality in fast-paced games? The answer is pretty much yes. If you can drive QHD resolutions up to or over 100fps, the effects of tearing are nearly non-existent. As we've said in our FreeSync monitor reviews, the real difference happens between 40 and 80fps.
We played our go-to titles Far Cry 4, Battlefield 4 and Tomb Raider to assess the real-world impact of G-Sync, fast refresh and ULMB. First off, ULMB quickly became something we would not choose to use. Not only does it reduce light output and contrast, it prevents framerates from exceeding 120Hz. While this by itself isn't a big deal, the loss of G-Sync meant we saw tearing in all games when the action became intense. By upping detail to max levels, it wasn't too difficult to bring our Titan X graphics board down below 80fps. At that point, blur-reduction couldn't hide the other artifacts we saw.
Returning to G-Sync mode, we were able to set the Overclock slider to 165Hz and restore all the monitor's brightness. While we never saw 165fps in the GamePlus rate indicator, we had no trouble maintaining values north of 100. This is where it truly feels like you're interacting with a film. Motion is so smooth and life-like that you find yourself playing far longer than planned. A monitor like this with a suitably-powerful gaming PC can be a tremendously fun time-waster.