Grayscale, Gamma & Color
Like nearly all Asus monitors, the PG27V ships set to its Racing image mode. In most cases, this is a good out-of-box setting. But as noted earlier, our sample required a few tweaks to look its best.
Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.
By default, the PG27V is set to its user color temp with the RGB sliders maxed. This results in a serious lack of blue in the grayscale, rendering everything a warm green color. For a quick fix, set color temp to warm. That will get you close to D65, but with a slight blue tint. The sRGB preset measures almost identically to Racing and all adjustments are locked out. In our opinion, that makes the preset useless. At least brightness is fixed at a good level: 205 nits. The best performance is found when making changes to the red and green controls. That, plus a reduction in contrast, results in excellent tracking with all errors well below the visible point.
7.59dE is a weak out-of-box result when compared to the latest gaming screens. And we know Asus is capable of better. Most of their screens have an average grayscale error below 3dE, including the Strix XG32V, which we reviewed recently. If you do nothing but change the color temp to Warm, the error drops to 3.54dE, which is visibly better. Calibration unlocks the PG27V’s full potential, with an excellent .81dE average grayscale error.
Gamma is another area where the PG27V’s out-of-box performance is lacking. The too-high contrast setting results in noticeable clipping in highlight areas of the image. Tracking is generally too dark as well, which makes detail harder to see at all output levels. The default setting is labelled 2.2 but as you can see, it measures closer to 2.6. Fortunately, the 1.8 option gets the average value under 2.4. And our adjustments to the contrast slider take care of the clipping issue, resulting in decent tracking.
With calibration, gamma tracking becomes nice and tight with only .19 difference between the highest and lowest value. The average is 2.37, which translates to a 7.72% deviation from 2.2. Since native contrast is relatively low, we recommend a higher backlight setting to ensure visibility of fine detail. The Asus PG27V’s good resolution and color mean that the image will display a good amount of information. You just need to hit the right combination of settings to see it.
Color Gamut & Luminance
For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, please click here.
Incorrect gamma and contrast defaults have a large impact on the PG27V’s color gamut accuracy. Starting with the white point in the center, you can see that the entire spectrum is off the mark. Red not only misses its hue targets, it’s over-saturated in the mid-tones as well. This is all due to gamma issues caused by a mislabeled preset and a too-high contrast setting. In the final two charts, you can see the huge improvement that comes from a few simple adjustments. Even if you don’t calibrate the RGB sliders, a color temp setting of Warm along with a change in gamma to 1.8 and a contrast value of 43 will work wonders.
Before calibration, the Asus PG27V’s color error averaged 6.58dE in Racing mode and 6.82dE in sRGB. Color targets were further off in the lower saturations, with some numbers as high as 8dE. After making our changes, the error drops to a much more tolerable 2.78dE. In fact, all colors are spot-on at these settings, except blue which remains slightly over-saturated. This is all without the benefit of a color management system. And it demonstrates the importance of basic settings like gamma, contrast, and color temperature.
Gamut volume is slightly higher than 100% sRGB, thanks to that blue primary. It's better to have it over-saturated than under. That way, an ICC profile can reign in the excess color. We don’t expect to see too many Asus PG27Vs incorporated into professional workstations, but accurate color is always welcome, no matter what the application.
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