ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q G-SYNC Monitor Reviewby Chris Heinonen & Jarred Walton on February 13, 2015 10:00 AM EST
The ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) line includes everything you want for building a high-end gaming PC: GPUs, Motherboards, Keyboards and Mice, Sound Cards, Headsets, and now Monitors. The ROG Swift PG278Q is a 27” WQHD display that has both a 144Hz maximum refresh rate and NVIDIA G-SYNC. Combining both of these technologies provides the potential of a silky-smooth image that doesn’t get choppy if the frame rate happens to drop in demanding sequences.
My prior demonstrations of G-SYNC involved displays that fell below a 60Hz refresh rate. Even when falling down to 40-45fps, the G-SYNC displays manage to remain smooth when compared to a standard 60Hz display. With a 144Hz display, G-SYNC enables you to run at these very fast refresh rates without noticeable stuttering or tearing if your refresh rate falls below that. You might have the GPU power to run at 144Hz most of the time, but if you suffer slowdown during certain sequences the ASUS ROG will still appear as smooth as it did before.
Ergonomically the ASUS ROG offers a very well designed experience. The display has good height adjustment, tilt, swivel, and pivot. Since it is a TN panel and prone to color shifts when you move off-axis, being able to set it up to be perfectly even with your eyesight is a very good thing. There are a pair of USB 3.0 ports on the bottom of the rear panel, good for a keyboard or mouse, but none on the side to provide easy access for flash drives and other accessories.
The worst ergonomic feature of the ASUS ROG is that it utilizes an external power supply brick. The external brick is compact compared to others that have passed through, but it still means yet another cable and device to have to deal with on a desktop.
The On-Screen Display for the ASUS ROG is good though not excellent. It offers quick access to a few items, like refresh rate, but to do so it uses icons on the screen. Since the keys are on the back of the monitor, unless your face is level with the lower bezel (an unlikely occurrence) it is hard to determine which button is the correct one. If the buttons were on the front this would work well, but I just found myself always hitting the wrong option. Simply going to the main menu and selecting the item there is faster.
The main menu is controlled with a 4-way joystick on the back of the display. This is nice and easy to use, and lets you move around the menus quickly. The layout is a nice three-column variety that lets you see which submenu you are in without having to navigate all the way back out, which is nice. Menu systems have come a long way since I started reviewing monitors and the ASUS would beat anything I had to look at four years ago.
|ASUS ROG SWIFT PG278Q|
|Video Inputs||1x DisplayPort 1.2|
|Response Time||1ms GtG|
|Viewing Angle (H/V)||170 / 160|
|Power Consumption (operation)||<90W|
|Power Consumption (standby)||<0.5W|
|Tilt||Yes, -5 to 20 degrees|
|VESA Wall Mounting||Yes, 100mm|
|Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD)||24.4" x 14.3" x 9.4"|
|Additional Features||2x USB 3.0, G-SYNC|
|Limited Warranty||3 Years|
|Accessories||DisplayPort Cable, USB 3.0 Cable|
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Zak - Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - linkI paid the nVidia tax too and I love it too but haters will hate. I only spent one evening with it but I gotta say GSync is the best thing that happened to gaming since the SSD. You have to see it to believe it. No tearing, no lag, no sync issues. Perfectly smooth. I was sitting there looking at the Unigine Valley demo for minutes running buttery smooth at around 100fps with my jaw on the floor. Then I fired up Skyrim and OMFG!!! Gaming heaven!
But... Yes, the color quality leaves something to be desired, though I'm picking up a used iMac for my photo editing and will strip this PC down to gaming only. You wouldn't want to use this display for photo editing. But for gaming this is huge. I want to play all my games all over again.
Calista - Friday, February 13, 2015 - linkI'm still stunned how hard it seems for the manufacturers to get the USB ports right, especially since Dell was spot on more than ten years ago. Two or more in the back for static equipment, be it a webcam or similar, two along one of the sides for easy access when using a USB memory stick, attaching a camera or what not. http://www.anandtech.com/show/1193/2 Its larger siblings like the 3007WFP made it even better by adding a sd- and cf-reader.
Sivar - Friday, February 13, 2015 - linkI've wondered this as well.
My Dell 2001FP, which is still in use today despite being 14 years old, was their first to get this right. It's as if other manufacturers don't recognize the value enough to even copy Dell's design, let alone design something as nice themselves.
tential - Friday, February 13, 2015 - linkMy dad wanted a new monitor and this was the HARDEST requirement to fill for him. The amount of monitors with 4 USB ports, positioned correctly, is terribly low.
Zak - Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - linkBuy a tiny USB hub and attach it under the edge of the monitor with dual-sided sticky tape. I've done on many monitors. Not perfectly pretty but works.
bebimbap - Friday, February 13, 2015 - linkThe issue with having those kinds of things on the side of the monitor, is you require a thick bezel or one with more depth or both. currently most monitors are going with a thin bezel design both on the edge and in depth. I own the dell 3007 3011 and 2005fpw and they are about 3x as thick around the edge and 2x the depth of the pg278q. The asus "feels" much smaller than other 27" that i have experienced just because of the bezel size. also the screen part of it is much shallower than any other monitor i have used. usually from the edge of the Bezel to the surface of the screen is about 2-7mm depending on the size of the screen but, on the asus i would say 1mm.
you can always get a usb hub on your desk, or strapped to the back of the monitor.
as monitors get thinner you'll have a much harder time finding ports in the future.
sf101 - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkThis ^^^^^^^^^^
Things manufactures are trying to get away from are.
-Side mounted USB's
-Side Mounted Buttons
Thin /slim bezel's for Multi monitor use.
piroroadkill - Saturday, February 14, 2015 - linkThe 24" have had an SD reader on the side for a while too. Got a U2410.
Dell has always nailed inputs and layout for buttons and so on.
Wardrop - Saturday, February 14, 2015 - linkI wouldn't rave too much about dells button layouts, especially on the U2410. Having a button form the corner of the bezem (or any edge) can cause frustrations. At work I use three of these monitors, and anytime they got bumped, one of them gets switched off because the corner button is inadvertantly pressed in the process.
Rolphus - Friday, February 13, 2015 - linkI've got one of these, as part of a big gaming machine update I've been doing. I'd say the assessment is spot on.
Colour quality and especially consistency are clearly not in the same league as any halfway reasonable IPS display, but the smoothness you get from a high-refresh panel is lovely, and fast-paced games feel superbly solid. G-Sync is something I'm completely sold on, and having a ULMB 120Hz option for 3D Vision is also really handy for stable images. Sadly you can't mix the two - I'd love for "3D Vision 3" / "G-Sync 2" to be able to vary frame rates and store left and right eye frames on-display so lower frame rates can be doubled up properly, but that's probably wishful thinking, and a niche atop a niche. That's to say nothing of my theory that 3D Vision will probably die a death once there's a consumer desktop VR solution out there.
I also agree that it's a high-priced (perhaps overpriced), niche item - but it doesn't really have any competition at the moment.