ROG Swift PG278Q, A Display Technology Revolution
From the tone of this review, you can probably tell we’re excited about G-Sync. It’s the first revolutionary display technology we've seen in a very long time. Advances in host and graphics processing performance are so frequent that they're practically predictable. But to see something totally new from a monitor is a rare and exotic treat.
For years, computer monitors have been hobbled by the ancient standards set forth by SMPTE and the television/film industries. And for much of that time, it worked out fine. The processing power in a high-end gaming rig from just a few years ago wasn't pushing much past 60 Hz in then-modern titles, and the realism of an advanced title's graphics wasn't as negatively affected by tearing or stuttering artifacts.
Now that our gaming machines wield incredible power, it's high time for a change. Last year, we saw the first appearance of monitors that could accept 120 and 144 Hz input signals, and those displays are still trickling out to the marketplace. But reconciling the variable frame rate of computer games with the fixed refresh of monitors became the next problem to tackle.
There's v-sync, which solves the tearing issue. But it also introduces unacceptable stuttering and extra input lag. When you have a game topping 60 FPS, it just doesn’t make sense to buffer frames while the monitor catches up. Now, with the introduction of Asus' ROG Swift PG278Q, we have a fully-realized G-Sync product. When you can lock the input and output speeds together, those annoying artifacts are gone for good.
The Swift isn’t a one-hit wonder. Asus builds in the best implementation of motion-blur reduction we’ve tested thus far. And the panel has plenty of light output to counteract the dimming that comes with ULMB. You can even vary the pulse width to find just the right balance between brightness and resolution. If all you need is that fast refresh, the PG278Q has that too: up to 144 Hz.
Beyond all of that unique functionality is another specification we may not have emphasized enough. The Swift is only the second gaming monitor we’ve seen boasting a native resolution of 2560x1440. Your feedback tells us that many gamers are holding out for larger screens with more pixels, and 1920x1080 just won’t cut it any longer.
If image fidelity is a priority for you like it is for us, the PG278Q checks that box as well. Contrast is equal to other gaming monitors we’ve tested. The same goes for color, grayscale, and gamma accuracy. Its OSD is minimal, but you still get everything you need for a great picture.
For those who skipped the earlier portions of this article, we urge you to go back and read those sections in order to best understand how to add a ROG Swift to your system, and how to get the most out of it. You need a reasonably powerful GeForce graphics card to not only take advantage of G-Sync and ULMB, but also to game comfortably at 2560x1440.
Asus' PG278Q represents the final piece of the high-end gaming rig puzzle. The company built a monitor that truly complements the investment many of you have made in computer hardware. And even though we're looking at a first-to-market product, it doesn't have the rough edges seen from so many first-gen implementations (like Asus' own PQ321 4K display, which required a number of firmware updates). For its excellent performance and gamer-oriented features, we feel it merits serious consideration.