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Asus PG279Q ROG Swift 27-inch 165Hz Gaming Monitor Review

We have the highly-anticipated ROG Swift PG279Q in the lab today. It’s a 27-inch IPS-type panel with QHD resolution, G-Sync, ULMB and an unprecedented 165Hz max refresh rate.

Our Verdict

Asus' new addition to its ROG line isn't perfect but it certainly delivers on its promise. With a sharp and bright IPS panel, 165Hz and G-Sync, the PG279Q has everything an enthusiast could want. It doesn't come cheap but we suspect that buyer's remorse will be rare to non-existent. We enjoyed gaming on it and think you will too.

For

  • Stable at 165Hz
  • G-Sync
  • Bright sharp picture
  • Saturated color
  • GamePlus
  • OSD joystick controller
  • Styling
  • Solid build quality

Against

  • Significant light output reduction in ULMB mode
  • Calibration required for best image quality
  • Expensive

Introduction

If you're more than a casual game-player then Asus' Republic of Gamers series of products should be very familiar to you. Users looking to build a no-holds-barred rig can literally create an all-Asus system made up of premium components that deliver only the highest performance.

The monitor portion of the line includes several models that run at 144Hz and support both FreeSync and G-Sync adaptive refresh rates. Last year, the very first G-Sync display to hit the market was the 27-inch ROG Swift PG278Q. It was also one of the first screens to support 2560x1440 resolution at 144Hz. The only downside: It is TN-based.

Since we reviewed it gamers have been patiently waiting for more IPS gaming monitors to appear. In early 2015 the gates finally opened and several shiny new products became available. Asus was once again at the front of the pack with the MG279Q FreeSync monitor. And Acer followed quickly with its XG270HU. Both are based on the same excellent panel part and did extremely well in our tests.

But leave it to Asus to trump all with the world's first 165Hz computer monitor: The ROG Swift PG279Q.

Specifications

Asus turns to AU Optronics for an AHVA panel in the 27-inch size running at QHD resolution. Native refresh is 144Hz but an overclock option is incorporated into the OSD that allows rates up to 165Hz over DisplayPort. Each screen is tested for stability before leaving the factory so you can be sure that every sample runs at the advertised speed.

We've looked at other AHVA monitors before and we want to make sure there's no confusion. AHVA is a variation of IPS that offers superior off-axis performance. It's not the super-high contrast AMVA technology seen in screens like the Philips BDM4065UC and BenQ XR3501. So what you have here is essentially an IPS screen with better viewing angles and all the other benefits associated with the tech.

The PG279Q is a premium product and no gaming features have been left out. In addition to a 165Hz panel you get Nvidia's G-Sync adaptive-refresh technology, ULMB motion-blur reduction, GamePlus, a hot-key to switch framerates on the fly and the usual lineup of gaming-specific image modes. It's an impressive package wrapped in a nicely-styled chassis with a solid stand. There is no doubt that you'll call attention to yourself when you show up at a LAN party with one of these.

The price is high-end as well—over $700 at this writing. But if you buy one now, you'll be getting a completely unique product and what is likely to be the ultimate gaming display for at least the near-future. Will it measure up to the hype? Let's take a look.

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  • TechyInAZ
    That is one sweet monitor! I can't imagine how good the OLED versions will be. : )

    It's interesting to note that this monitor is actually more demanding than a 4k 60hz monitor. Even though this is only a 2k monitor, it actually has nearly 3x the Hz compared to it's 4k counterparts, making it not supprising that you need at least dual GTX 980tis/Titan Xes to run everything at good settings.
    Reply
  • Epsilon_0EVP
    This isn't the first 165Hz+ monitor. Plenty of CRT's could achieve around 200Hz at low resolutions, and that was over 10 years ago.
    Reply
  • Uri___Pisarev
    I don't know, i went from a 32 inch TV to a 34 inch ultra wide Dell. I feel like i can still use a bigger monitor, anything sub 30 is just too small.
    Reply
  • ubercake
    What I like about these G-sync monitors is you don't have to use an SLI setup to push maximum framerates to minimize perceivable tearing. Ever since the GTX 980 and the Asus PG278Q, all I've needed for great smooth video performance is a G-sync monitor and a single video card. I don't need 165Hz/165fps. I just need smooth gaming through the gamut of my GTX 980's performance whether the framerates are in the 30s or 100s, it's still smooth; no tearing. This G-sync is great tech.

    Now add the PG279Q's fast IPS performance and better contrast to the mix and it seems like an intriguing proposition...
    Reply
  • Robert Dunlop
    I bought the Acer XB27HU with 165hz and what l wasn't prepared for was how fun these types of monitors make playing games again.

    The reviewer is spot on.
    Reply
  • Uri___Pisarev
    That is one sweet monitor! I can't imagine how good the OLED versions will be. : )

    It's interesting to note that this monitor is actually more demanding than a 4k 60hz monitor. Even though this is only a 2k monitor, it actually has nearly 3x the Hz compared to it's 4k counterparts, making it not supprising that you need at least dual GTX 980tis/Titan Xes to run everything at good settings.

    So you need to spend over 2K to really enjoy the product? That's insane to be honest. If you are a regular person out there and all you are willing to spend is $200 on the card (most common option that people chose) that means you will be able to buy that card and fully maxout this monitor oh in about 7 years or so, that's how long it will take for a GTX960 equivalent to be as powerful as 2 980ti's.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    17546502 said:
    That is one sweet monitor! I can't imagine how good the OLED versions will be. : )

    It's interesting to note that this monitor is actually more demanding than a 4k 60hz monitor. Even though this is only a 2k monitor, it actually has nearly 3x the Hz compared to it's 4k counterparts, making it not supprising that you need at least dual GTX 980tis/Titan Xes to run everything at good settings.

    So you need to spend over 2K to really enjoy the product? That's insane to be honest. If you are a regular person out there and all you are willing to spend is $200 on the card (most common option that people chose) that means you will be able to buy that card and fully maxout this monitor oh in about 7 years or so, that's how long it will take for a GTX960 equivalent to be as powerful as 2 980ti's.

    G sync will help with that.

    Plus, like the reviewer said, this monitor is has future proofing in mind. It's designed for future cards that can handle this kind of product.
    Reply
  • toddybody
    I sold my G-Sync 4K panel for a DELL 2716DG (27"@1440p G-Sync 144hz)...90fps has become the new 60fps for me. Can't tell folks how huge it is to go past 60hz.
    Reply
  • agentsi1511
    That is one sweet monitor! I can't imagine how good the OLED versions will be. : )

    It's interesting to note that this monitor is actually more demanding than a 4k 60hz monitor. Even though this is only a 2k monitor, it actually has nearly 3x the Hz compared to it's 4k counterparts, making it not supprising that you need at least dual GTX 980tis/Titan Xes to run everything at good settings.


    This is totally wrong, don't mislead people researching things. I have the Acer XB270HU and run everything at max settings on single GTX 970. IT is not more demanding than a 4k monitor in anyway. As someone with Techy in their name I would imagine you had a clue about this.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    17546521 said:
    That is one sweet monitor! I can't imagine how good the OLED versions will be. : )

    It's interesting to note that this monitor is actually more demanding than a 4k 60hz monitor. Even though this is only a 2k monitor, it actually has nearly 3x the Hz compared to it's 4k counterparts, making it not supprising that you need at least dual GTX 980tis/Titan Xes to run everything at good settings.


    This is totally wrong, don't mislead people researching things. I have the Acer XB270HU and run everything at max settings on single GTX 970. IT is not more demanding than a 4k monitor in anyway. As someone with Techy in their name I would imagine you had a clue about this.

    What games do you play?
    Reply