Dedicated gaming displays have certainly come a long way since the 144Hz era was kicked off by the VG248QE. Back then 144Hz was the big news and that’s really all that set it apart from other displays. The real fun began with the introduction of adaptive refresh.
G-Sync is still a premium technology that adds around $200 to the price of any monitor. And we aren’t prepared to declare it superior to FreeSync. When video card performance is properly-matched to a monitor, the experience is the same with either technology. Where G-Sync shows an advantage is at the low end of the speed scale. Many FreeSync screens bottom out at 40Hz and sometimes higher. But G-Sync continues working down to 24Hz, well below the playable point. Of course with a monitor like the PG258Q, we’re not talking about the low end, are we?
After reading our gaming account, you might conclude that it is a perfect display. And it certainly comes close in many areas. Video processing is certainly beyond reproach. Not only can it reach 240Hz without an overclock, it boasts the finest implementation of ULMB we’ve seen yet. There’s plenty of light to compensate for the inevitable output reduction, and it is completely able to keep things together without G-Sync at high framerates. We saw nary a hesitation nor a stutter.
While it’s fun to watch the FPS counter rise when detail levels fall, we couldn’t see any reason to give up fine graphics textures just to hit 160 FPS, especially when 120 looks just as good. Nothing we threw at the PG258Q could force it below 100 FPS in fact. That’s a level that every gamer should strive for because once experienced, it can’t be unexperienced.
In our benchmark tests, color performance was exemplary – once the proper adjustments were made. Our only complaint about the PG258Q is its out-of-box accuracy. Thanks to a contrast control that’s set too high, color detail suffers due to clipping. While your initial impression will be that saturation is high, further investigation reveals quite a bit of lost information. We strongly urge you to, at minimum, turn the contrast slider down to 41. This fixes most of the issues we encountered. Further tweaks to the RGB controls take the monitor to a high level of image fidelity.
Gaming monitors have tough shoes to fill. They have to do many things well to earn their high price points. We feel the PG258Q has done this. In fact, it’s about as close to perfect as we’ve seen from any ROG product. If it could make some improvements in its default settings, it would be an easy home run. At least the fixes are easily made. For its superb gaming performance and image quality after calibration, we’re giving the Asus ROG Swift PG258Q our Tom’s Hardware Editor Recommended Award.
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