Asus MG279Q: The Messiah Of Monitors?

27-inch IPS LCD panel? Check. 144Hz refresh rate? Yep. Some kind of frame-smoothing adaptive sync technology? Present and accounted for. 2,560 by 1,440 pixels? Count ’em. A price you can afford? Bit borderline, but that was inevitable. Is Asus’s new MG279Q therefore the perfect LCD panel, the one we’ve all been waiting for, the veritable messiah of PC monitors? I’ve been eyeballs-on. All will now be revealed…

First, let’s deal with the price problem. The Asus MG279Q goes for around £475 in the UK and $600 Stateside. That’s a lot of money. In fact, it’s more money than I’d ideally want to spend on a monitor.

But you have to weigh that up against the fact that a monitor has a huge impact on everything you do with your PC, and also remember that monitors have legs. A really good monitor lasts a very long time. I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a couple of near decade-old 30-inch Dell’s and it’s only in the last six months that’s I’ve begun to seriously contemplate replacing them.

Anyway, the point is that if this Asus is truly the one, it’s worth cracking open your piggy bank and calling in all those old debts. But is the long wait for a monitor that combines the best in gaming goodness finally over?

In terms of the basics, this thing certainly scores highly. Aesthetically and in terms of packaging and design, it’s mercifully bullshit-lite but delivers what you actually need. So that’s decent build quality, a fully adjustable stand and a 100mm VESA mount. Tick, tick, tick.

The core image quality of the 27-inch IPS LCD panel is also impeccable. Actually, it’s more than that. It’s ruddy glorious. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing games, watching movies or just shuffling boring things about the Windows desktop. Everything looks fantastic.

That’s thanks to a combo of seriously nice colours – ultra vibrant and yet accurate and natural – and outstanding contrast for an IPS panel. In terms of raw image quality, I’m not sure I’ve seen anything better.

Actually, the obvious comparison here is Asus’s own RoG Swift. That ticks a lot of the same boxes as the MG279Q – 27-inch, 2,560 by 1,440 pixels, 144Hz refresh rate< , frame syncing. But thanks to its frankly craptastic looking TN panel, it's not even in the same parsec for image quality. Which is interesting because the Swift is far more expensive. The explanation, of course, is that the Swift sports Nvidia's G-Sync tec,h and this newbie is in the AMD FreeSync camp. Flick that FreeSync switch…

We’ve been over a lot of this stuff on multiple occasions. But to recap briefly, both are technologies that smooth out gameplay by virtue of syncing the output of your video card with the refresh rate of the monitor itself. They both also do so while removing screen tearing.

The difference is that Nvidia’s G-Sync requires a special scaler board to be fitted to the display, while AMD FreeSync makes do with simply an up-to-date DisplayPort interface to get the job done.

As it turns out, AMD’s approach has proven problematical. That’s because of another tech known as ‘overdrive.’ Again, we’ve touched on this previously, but overdrive essentially involves pumping excess voltage through pixels to encourage faster response.

It works, but it also needs to be carefully tuned to avoid going too far and introducing weird ghosting artefacts that occur when pixels actually over-shoot the target colour state. Anyway, long story short, G-Sync is optimised for overdrive. Thus far FreeSync has not been. I’m afraid that doesn’t change with the new Asus MG279Q. It’s still a problem.

It’s not easy to achieve, but I’ve tried to capture the problem here in AMD’s own FreeSync Windmill demo:

What you’re looking for is a ghostly shadow in the wake of the windmill’s blade (it rotates clockwise in the demo). Where the blade is bright, the ghosting is dark, and vice versa. What you need to ignore is the same-colour ghost slightly ahead of the blade. That’s a photography-related issue, not something you see with the naked eye. Like I said, capturing this stuff on camera isn’t easy.

Happily, however, the MG279Q has a really rather lovely OSD menu and within it you’ll find an overdrive setting that offers five levels of operation, plus fully deactivated. The upshot is that you can tweak the overdrive level to achieve a pretty decent compromise between ghosting and response.

With overdrive set to full reheat, the ghosting is catastrophic. But you can achieve good response with pretty much zero real-world ghosting. Great. Slightly less great is that the FreeSync functionality is limited to an operating range of 35-90Hz. So you can’t have adaptive sync and really high refresh on this screen.

Arguably, 90Hz is enough to get most of the benefits of high refresh, but it’s another niggle that undermines the FreeSync proposition. Oh, and you will of course need an AMD video card to use the FreeSync feature, whatever you think of it.

That’s equally true of G-Sync panels. You’ll need an Nvidia board. Bottom line is that adaptive sync comes with a level of lock-in. I don’t like it, but there it is.

On the other hand, you could argue that if you have a really quick GPU cranking out something in the region of 100 frames per second and a high-refresh monitor to go with it, the benefits of adaptive sync are pretty marginal. So, what the MG279Q has going for it is that FreeSync doesn’t add much by way of cost.

That means you can primarily view it as simply a 144Hz high-refresh IPS monitor and treat the FreeSync stuff as an interesting extra rather than a core feature. With G-Sync screens, the price premium is currently such that you need to be much more committed to the concept.

With all that in mind, is the MG279Q therefore the messiah of monitors? In the sense that it’s the best all-round, gaming-centric monitor I’ve yet seen, the answer would be a qualified yes.

34-inch superwide screens including the curved Samsung effort I eyed up recently are more dramatic but less usable as all rounders, not to mention a lot more expensive. 40-inch 4K screens also take things to another level in some respects, but there’s really only one option right now from Philips and it comes with compromises like a slightly iffy VA panel, 60Hz refresh, no adaptive sync and the problem of a graphics card powerful enough to drive all those bloody pixels.

That latter point means the very notion of a perfect LCD monitor probably makes no sense. Too much depends on outside factors like GPU performance. But given the various compromises and as far as I can see, this thing is as good as it currently gets.

92 Comments

  1. Azhrarn says:

    Looks like this is the Gaming sibling/upgrade to my own PA246Q (though it is 16:10, rather than 16:9).
    Something I should keep in mind when I start building a new PC. :)
    This one if obviously a lot newer, but in terms of quality for the IPS panel they seem fairly similar. :)
    Also quite similar is the substantial price-tag for its size. :D

    • hotmaildidntwork says:

      How will the different aspect ratios affect your build?

      • PenguinJim says:

        16:9 is a noticeable step down from 16:10 for Windows/Office use, games, video editing – pretty much anything that isn’t a 16:9 TV show or movie.

        But 16:9 is cheaper for panel manufacturers to make, so that’s what we’ve mostly been stuck with.

        • Jeeva says:

          It’s an interesting one, as I find that 16:9 monitors feel more cramped (in the office, though they’re also 22″ to my home 24″)… but this would be an improvement, both in vertical size and vertical pixel count on my current 24″ 1920×1200 screen. In theory, that should be better, right?

          Guess I’ll just have to try it…

          • snowgim says:

            Yeah, I’ve been thinking of upgrading my 24″ 1900×1200 monitor. So going to 27″ 16:9 1440p, I assume, will be a similar physical height but a bit wider, so it shouldn’t feel cramped.
            The only difference is the extra 240 pixels squashed into the same height, so things might look a little bit smaller onscreen, but not by much, and I’ll just get more room on the left and right.

      • Azhrarn says:

        I would prefer 16:10, so for a similar resolution to this screen that would be 2560×1600. The extra screen space is more noticeable than you’d think.

        I’ll certainly be taking a look at ASUS’ line-up of ProArt screens too, as that PA246Q screen has served me remarkably well over it’s 5 year lifespan (and in fact is still excellent, so I might postpone replacing it). However those tend to be limited to 60 or 75 Hz, rather than 120 or 144.

        The colour reproduction and calibration on the ProArt screens is excellent though.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        I’ve got a 16:9 and a 16:10 monitor at home, and personally I don’t notice much difference between the aspect ratios. They’re both the same (physical) height, and the difference in width is basically negligible, to my eyes.

    • All is Well says:

      I’d be a bit wary of this panel though – I’ve read reports about some problems getting it to actually perform to spec (and sometimes at all!), which were apparently so bad as to make Asus recall all of them. That was only a couple of months ago and if you get a faulty one you have to send it to Asus to get it fixed, which might be a bit of a hassle. So, you know, make sure you get one that’s been fixed!

    • Papageno says:

      I’d pay a good 100 dollars more for a 16×10 version of this.

  2. kael13 says:

    The new holy grail is clearly a curved ultra-wide 34″, fantastic colour, hi-refresh, g-sync/freesync-supporting beast of a monitor… One day. One day!

    • Gryz says:

      That day will be here soon. 1-3 Months from now (September 2015). Acer will release 3 curved widescreen monitors for gamers. The Acer Predator Z35, 35″ which comes with a VA-panel. G-Sync and 144Hz. Only 2560×1080 resolution though. And 2 similar 34″ widescreen IPS monitors, one with G-Sync and one with FreeSync. 3440×1440, but only 75Hz refreshrates.

      I made a list of all G-Sync and FreeSync monitors. But on another forum. Check it out if you want:
      link to forums.anandtech.com

    • Synesthesia says:

      I’m getting one on november, a 34 inch LG. I can’t wait.

  3. Tacroy says:

    Free/G-sync are useless to me because I play everything in a window.

    As such, FreeSync is far superior because it doesn’t cost extra.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    Seeing people complain about a 27″ 1440p 144Hz adaptive-sync IPS LCD for a mere $600 is the point where I realise I’ve lost touch with the average person’s tech budget.

    • subedii says:

      Those people aren’t average.

    • jezcentral says:

      Agreed. I paid £510 for the HP LG2475W, back in 2009. It was the first “perfect” IPS panel. I’m still using it, over six years later.

      I’d happily pay that amount that for this screen.

      • Jediben says:

        That HP was my own monitor too, until I dropped £689 on an Acer Predator 27somethingsomething in April. Shocking quality control but I avoided any backlight issues which plagued the model. Gsync is a fab tech but the monitors sporting it so far just aren’t good enough.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      It’s just plain missing the point i’d say.

      While this is not for the average person, anyone even remotely considering a monitor with such specifications and with a decent hardware budget can NOT deny it’s quite affordable for what it is.

      As for me i’m personally still bitter that this kind of stuff cannot live for some reason with hardware calibration and other things i care about, so i’m still “stuck” with professional monitors. Gaming is still more than possible anyway.

    • Razumen says:

      Agreed, I paid around $500 for my Dell U2410 IPS monitor, and while I’m not quite ready to retire it, I will be keeping my eye on this monitor as a possible future upgrade.

  5. TimRobbins says:

    Ability to command the loyalty of sea creatures?

  6. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    No, no this won’t do. I finally took the plunge and purchased my first monitor in 7 years, you’re not allowed to recommend any more now. Way to make my 27 inch, 1440p BENQ GW2765ht feel cheap with it’s a mere 60hz :(

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      You could be blowing up that flaming-nazi-cyber-mummy like one quarter of a millisecond sooner! What utter bullshit!

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        But yeah, I just purchased a fancy new BenQ as well a couple of months ago (pretty close to yours only it caps at 1080). Pretty much bought it though with the expectation that I will wait for GSync to become affordable.

      • fish99 says:

        The problem with 60Hz screens is having to choose between tearing or a potential framerate drop (or more input lag from triple buffering). A high refresh rate fixes this problem (without the need for g-sync or adaptive sync or any of that crap).

        • CaidKean says:

          Tearing isn’t solved by a higher/lower refresh rates, rather it’s a mismatch between the refresh rate of your monitor and when frames drawn by the GPU are sent to the monitor to be displayed.

          Also, maybe I misunderstood your post but triple buffering actually reduces input lag versus just vsync without triple buffering.

          • TechnoJellyfish says:

            Triple buffering uses two backbuffers instead of one and therefore adds another frame per second delay in the worst case. It definitely doesn’t reduce input lag by any means.

          • CaidKean says:

            Could you by any chance explain why it is wrong? My understanding has always been that using vsync with triple buffering compared to using vsync with lower buffering is preferable if your GPU is capable of outputting frames faster than your monitor is capable of refreshing, since it can store more ready frames in the buffers to send directly to the monitor as soon as it’s refresh finishes rather than store said frame in the VRAM until the monitor is ready to accept it.

          • Premium User Badge

            Wisq says:

            Tearing isn’t solved by higher refresh rates, no, but what they do solve is being able to use V-sync without such a framerate drop if your video card can’t keep up with your refresh rate, and/or with less noticeable stuttering.

            That is, if (via V-sync) you can only display frames that were completely rendered prior to the next screen refresh, you have significantly more freedom and ability to keep things smooth when you have a refresh opportunity 144 times a second rather than only 60.

          • TechnoJellyfish says:

            Your assessment is not wrong by any means, CaidKean. It depends on the actual implementation. OpenGL utilizes the “page flipping” method (one could say “proper” TB) which does in fact not introduce additional input lag (or, more precisely, render latency). In Direct3D, however, the only available method of TB is via a “render ahead queue” which does come with an increase in latency (up to one frame per second).

            Given the prevalence of DirectX, it is more than likely that you’ll see some lag whenever you enable triple buffering in the majority of games nowadays.

            Source: link to anandtech.com

  7. Premium User Badge

    steves says:

    “if you have a really quick GPU cranking out something in the region of 100 frames per second and a high-refresh monitor to go with it, the benefits of adaptive sync are pretty marginal”

    This is very true.

    I have the original ROG Swift, have had it for nearly a year now, and am not disappointed at all – it’s not remotely “craptastic looking”…until you look at it from a very weird angle, but why would you do that?

    The important thing is a monitor that can do 80~100 FPS. It’s *really* noticeable in anything remotely fast-paced, and in my opinion is the best upgrade you can make after a decent graphics card. If you’re on a budget, the cheap Korean monitors you can overclock to a higher refresh rate (Qnix?) are probably worth a look.

    The extra thing that nVidia offers is ULMB (it’s an either/or thing with G-SYNC though):

    link to tftcentral.co.uk

    This is ‘limited’ to 120 FPS, but that makes sod all difference, and if you’re playing older or less demanding games where you can easily get silly framerates it makes things move much nicer than having G-SYNC on.

    As always with stuff like this, it’s very subjective. Some people (me) are way more aware of motion than colours, others the opposite. It’s a shame it’s so hard to “try before you buy”, and for obvious reasons watching a video of a monitor is not much help.

    • Akbar says:

      “it’s not remotely “craptastic looking””
      Have you tried sitting it next to an IPS monitor? I felt this way about my old TN, until I replaced it with a QX2710. I’d put the same image up on each screen and the difference would be stunning. To be fair, I had a fairly crappy monitor so there might have been an issue in panel quality, but IPS is amazing.

      • Gryz says:

        The biggest difference would probably be 6-bit versus 8-bit color panels. Most of the IPS-panels are 8-bit (but not all). And only few of the TN-panels are 8-bit. An 8-bit panels will always look better than any 6-bit panels. The Asus Swift ROG is a 8-bit TN-panel, so that is not a point where IPS-panels are automatically better.

        Remains the viewing distances. I don’t have ADHD. I don’t have Parkinson. I usually keep my head in front of the middle of the screen. Viewing angles are a non-issue for me.

        You know is an issue ?
        Goddamn IPS-glow.

        I had an Acer XB270HU. Same panel as the Asus being discussed in this article. Very nice monitor indeed. Until I started playing games. I play a lot of dark games. (Dishonored, Dying Light, Thief, dungeon-crawling in Skyrim or The Witcher. Etc). I play during the evenings and the nights, with little ambient lighting. When I really want to immerse myself, I even turn off the lights in my room.

        The Acer XB270HU has a terrible problem with IPS-glow. And/or backlight bleeding. When viewing dark content with low ambient lighting, the corners basically turn yellow. It’s terrible. It’s very distracting. It’s as if someone pointed a bright spot-light on the right lower side of my screen. I tried a 2nd XB270HU monitor, same problem. Lots and lots of complaints on forums everywhere. I’m sure this panel is very nice, if you view bright content in a well-lit room. But not for me.

        I have my hopes set on the Acer Predator Z35. That monitor will be using a VA-panel. VA-panels have much higher contrast, and thus much darker blacks. The only real VA-monitor atm is the Eizo FG2421. But that one doesn’t have G-Sync, and it is only 23.5″. Too small. Let’s hope the Z25 will be the perfect monitor form. (It probably won’t be for many, resolution is only 2560×1080). But in any case, I NEVER want to buy an IPS-monitor again. Never.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          That is agreeable, IPS glow is a problem that is never fixed unless you have a polarized screen, which is more expensive.

          Still, you’re not safe from TN’s problems even if looking straight at it, so let’s not spread this misinformation around. If you’re not that bothered with gamma/color shifts and you want a less expensive screen without IPS glow you might wanna look at AMVA, at least while you still have some of TN’s problem ( but less ) you can at least get something in return, which is the highest contrast ratio achievable on any LCD.

          Not there to say your taste is “wrong” though, afterall VA panels are possibly the worst when it comes to motion, so if that bothers you a lot i guess it’s a no buy.

      • Premium User Badge

        steves says:

        Yep. ‘Trying’ it right now!

        I have an old, and at the time, incredibly expensive 2560×1600 (whatever happened to 16:10 anyway?) IPS monitor right next to the gaming one – I ‘work’ from home quite a lot, and use both.

        My work involves lots of website designy things, and the difference in colour is noticeable. I use even more ridiculously expensive kit at the office that is all about the colours.

        IPS is unarguably better, but the the TN panel on the ROG is not in any way ‘craptastic’, and my point was that for gaming (and for me!) >60 FPS is more important,

        That said, don’t anyone buy a 144Hz/adaptive sync panel now that you can get IPS ones. Unless you are some sort of hyper-competitive pro-gamer who will notice a few milliseconds of input lag, which is a whole other argument.

      • ilmara says:

        This might be my eyes, but I have a Swift and a Dell U2713HM (1440p IPS) side by side, and frankly I can’t tell the difference (colour wise, I’m pretty much always in front of the monitor so the limited viewing angle don’t affect me much).

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Well, it’s easy, just have a look at this: link to lagom.nl

      If you don’t have viewing angle problems at all, you’ll see a perfectly grey background, otherwise you’ll see a lot of color and gamma shifts.

      Furthermore, if your viewing angle performance is perfect you might still see the “LAGOM” logo, if you do, that’s because the gamma settings are off.

      With a professional calibrated monitor you’ll see just a grey image and nothing else.

  8. DanMan says:

    Number of inputs? I’m not buying a monitor with just a single Display Port.

    I’m also finding myself playing games on my TV most of the time, so spending that much money on a new monitor is somewhat out of question, when I have a perfectly fine 24″, 1200p, 60Hz, IPS, 99% sRGB monitor from HP standing here.

    • Low Life says:

      It has two DisplayPort inputs and two HDMI inputs. Unfortunately no DVI.

  9. melnificent says:

    I’ve been eyeing up the Philips 40″ 4k monitors as a replacement for my samsung tv. PC is already sat under it and the high input lag (60ms) is ruining mist games now

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Mist games do require a high refresh, wot with all those dazzling particle effects.

    • CaidKean says:

      In preparation for your new purchase I highly recommend making use of link to displaylag.com if you aren’t already aware of it. They list detailed well-done measurements of input lag on not just monitors but also HDTVs.

  10. Solidstate89 says:

    I’m still waiting for the G-Sync version of this monitor to finally come out. They announced it months ago and have said absolutely nothing about it since.

    • internisus says:

      Same here. The Asus ROG SWIFT PG279Q. I thought that was what this article was about at first, so I’ve been left in sullen disappointment.

      Of course, I can’t currently afford the bloody thing, so perhaps it’s for the best that it’s disappeared.

    • harkonian says:

      Acer has an amazing g-sync monitor that looks to be pretty similar to this one — the Acer XB270HU

  11. caff says:

    Good article, but I’ve been using the 40″ Philips BDM4065UC since January and been really happy with its performance. I’m sure it’s not as rich or vibrant as some monitors might be, but it’s gaming performance at 4K is superb, and it looks very pretty regardless of the panel type. 4K at 40 inches is probably equivalent to this screen – but it’s just bigger.

    I haven’t yet seen a 144Hz screen, so perhaps I am missing something.

  12. DeepFried says:

    All hail the…. wait, no gsync?

    Meh

  13. PenguinJim says:

    “Is Asus’s new MG279Q therefore the perfect LCD panel, the one we’ve all been waiting for, the veritable messiah of PC monitors?”

    No, it’s 16:9, which is a compromise.

    We are waiting for a 144Hz IPS 1600P monitor.

  14. Mr Coot says:

    I’ve decided to wait for something 16:10. I think I remember when we got sold the pup of 16:9… the fervour was all about being able to watch videos on your puter. I have no idea why this was a thing. Who does that nowdays? Possibly puter enthusiasts at the time didn’t generally have a dedicated widescreen TV or budgets were tight for TVs & DvD players. Or maybe it was proactive marketing by the panel makers. Extra vertical real estate is very valuable if you play a lot of MMOs.

    What I would really like is for gfx cards to come to the party so I can reasonably run 3x 1600 at once.

  15. heretic says:

    Are there any “good” monitors for around 200 GBP? Dumping as much as a high end graphics card on a monitor like this one is still a bit much for me, but I guess if the life span of the monitor is several years maybe it’s worth it… hmm

    • bobbobob says:

      I’m right with you. I’m looking for a very small list to make me buy a new monitor. I’m happy with 1080p gaming at 120Hz or higher. Probably 27″+ and I’m not particularly fussy about aspects.

    • Mittens89 says:

      Check out the Dell U2414H. Its a 24″ 1080P IPS display for around £180. I picked one up a few weeks ago and ive been really pleased with it. It’s factory calibrated so it looks great and you don’t have to fiddle about with the settings. Just be sure to download the driver and set it to sRGB to turn on the calibrated mode.

      It’s a fantastic monitor. I’ve been playing through Mirror’s Edge again to test out the colour vibrance and contrast and it really is a stunning bit of kit.

      • iainl says:

        I’ve got to second that – I’m really happy with my 2414H, whether working on photos in Lightroom or playing Elite Dangerous in the dark.

      • PenguinJim says:

        The U2412M for £188 from Amazon should be worth the extra tenner to upgrade to a 1900×1200 screen.

      • heretic says:

        Cheers guys, sounds like what I need!

    • suibhne says:

      My current monitor has lasted me through three graphics cards, and my previous one did the same. Assuming you buy decent kit to start with, they have a super-long usable life.

    • OmNomNom says:

      I’d recommend looking at the lower Benq models. They are great quality for the price and often are top of the pack when it comes to gaming response times etc

  16. TechnoJellyfish says:

    Add 16:10 aspect ratio (and probably G-Sync too) into the mix, then we’re talking.

  17. DeepFried says:

    27″, 4k, 16:10, 144hz, G-Sync, IPS.

    Then we can talk.

    • Asurmen says:

      What would be the point of doing 4k AND 144hz? No GPU will be able to run that for a long time. Not only that but do any of the connection standards have the bandwidth for that?

    • iainl says:

      4k on a 27″ monitor’s going to be an -awful- lot of GPU power being used on pixels you can’t see. Quite apart from there not being any 4k 16:10 screens I’m aware of.

  18. DrollRemark says:

    It… it does portrait mode?

    Oh I am so sold.

    • OmNomNom says:

      Don’t most monitors do portrait?

      • MattM says:

        I can turn my monitor sideways and activate portrait mode in the control panel, but I get a huge amount of color shift and moving my head a little causes noticeable shifts.

  19. CookPassBabtridge says:

    I Jeremy, is this using he same AU Optronics panel that the ACER XB270HU used? It had terrible yellow bleed / glow that covered a large part of the screen when playing dark games with the lights off (made horror really pants), and seemed to be an issue for a lot of users. Amazon US even briefly withdrew their stock because of it and many people tried to use the ACER swap out procedure, apparently many still wating after weeks for an answer. I had the monitor for a while and it is amazing, but the glow made anything other than bright images in a well lit room unusable. I would like to get another one but if its the same panel I am very leery of buying.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Damn edit function. That should be Hi Jeremy. That came out very Asimovian

      • PenguinJim says:

        The First Law of Robotics is you do not talk about robotics. (Re-read The Naked Sun today, coincidentally enough! :) )

  20. OmNomNom says:

    Well written but i disagree.

    An opinion and some additional information as someone who has used both monitors extensively:

    The Freesync kills it.
    The PG278Q is a TN panel that actually has more accurate colours out of the box (check TFT central) and pretty unmatched colour quality as far as TN goes (MG279Q is superior after tweaking) and of course it has GSYNC which is vastly superior to Freesync at this point, not least because it works at any refresh rate.
    Because of the IPS panel response times are still inferior on the MG279Q too which is something to consider if you play a lot of shooters or twitch games. (The MG278Q also has additional latency at 90hz so enabling Freesync will increase latency).
    IPS glow is still noticeable in dark scenes.
    Finally the lack of ULMB sucks but admittedly the implementation on the PG278Q is not ideal either. It is quite dim and inferior to other cheaper monitors such as the Benq XL2720Z.

    TL;DR Once tuned (not default) the colour performance (and black level) of the MG279Q is slightly superior to the PG278Q but it is inferior in every other way.
    The ROG SWIFT PG278Q is the better monitor overall.

    • Asurmen says:

      Then turn FreeSync off. Boom problem solved. The rest is all subjective maybes.

      • OmNomNom says:

        Boom enjoy fewer features. No

        • Asurmen says:

          Boom, turn off a feature you’re not paying extra money for. No loss to the consumer if FreeSync isn’t what they want.

    • Sakkura says:

      Freesync is just as good as G-Sync. It’s a matter of pros and cons, and Freesync for example tends to have lower input lag.

      As for the refresh rate window, G-Sync does not work at any refresh rate. It just works the same way across different models, whereas the refresh rate window of Freesync varies from one model to another. In any case, having adaptive refresh isn’t going to make sub-30 FPS tolerable, so extremely wide refresh rate windows are pointless.

    • Jeremy Laird says:

      Which serves mainly to prove that a lot of the objective measurements are irrelevant when it comes to gaming a opposed to pro graphics work with calibrated panels.

      The bottom line is that the TN Swift looks sludgy and dull and utterly mediocre, where this thing looks glorious. I personally wouldn’t go near the Swift, it’s a very disappointing panel. And that’s not me being knee-jerk anti-TN.

      The latest 4K 27-inch monitors are nice and vibrant. The Swift’s TN panel is very dreary.

      • OmNomNom says:

        Fair enough. Important enough to post twice I suppose :)

        Now where is that edit function…

    • Jeremy Laird says:

      Which serves mainly to prove that a lot of the objective measurements are irrelevant when it comes to gaming a opposed to pro graphics work with calibrated panels.

      The bottom line is that the TN Swift looks sludgy and dull and utterly mediocre, where this thing looks glorious. I personally wouldn’t go near the Swift, it’s a very disappointing panel. And that’s not me being knee-jerk anti-TN.

      The latest 4K 27-inch monitors are nice and vibrant. The Swift’s TN panel is very dreary.

  21. Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

    Forgive me for sounding like an uneducated peasant, but I still think the original matte 23 Cinema Display HD that apple used to do is the best monitor that money can buy you. It has s ips and a decent response time, and I’ve seen many other monitors next to it at LAN parties and such, and nothing to me has ever been comparable.

    I sold my 6 year old Mac Pro about a year ago, and wound up being about four or five hundred quid under budget for my new PC wot I built because I just couldn’t find a better looking monitor. It’s over 7 years old, looks fantastic on the screen and around it, and even better for those who don’t have one you can pick them up for a third of the price of all the fancy ips monitors that are fluttering their feathers these days.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      There is a slight part of truth in that Apple displays are usually the only few monitors with almost perfect out of the box performance, even more than Dell’s semi-pro line, and that is especially true when it comes to manufacturing standards: less uniformity problems, backlight bleeding, more in house testing and so on.

      But no, there absolutely are better monitors, like NEC’s and EIZO’s pro line, mostly because of hardware calibration, better backlighting, factory testing and great color space emulation, which is ironic since a wide gamut monitor emulates the restricted sRGB gamut better than a native one does because the latter tends to over/undershoot it, and you can always have wider gamuts at your disposal when you need them.

      Stuff like AdobeRGB is good for those who print in that color space, not much for the rest of the world which mostly uses sRGB, but it has it’s uses even in gaming if you find one that normally looks too dull ( and there are many ), or if Borderlands is not colorful enough for your tastes!

  22. herpderp says:

    This monitor is the best there is for now. Maybe we’ll get something better in the next 2 years. But hey, 2 years is a long time in tech.

    We can’t have 4k @ 120hz (for a reasonable price yet, including the GPU to run it). So, the only cons really are IPS glow, latency and aspect ratio. Latency actually is good enough (and best in any IPS) with “trace free” for 144hz.

    For single player games I would use freesync and optimize/lock FPS between 40-90.
    For multiplayer I would maximize FPS.
    I can’t stand TN anymore, never again. So this is the only option really.

    • herpderp says:

      Sorry, I meant to include that the monitor should be at least 27″. Personally, 27″ 16:9 works fine with my 24″ 16:10 because the height is about the same.

  23. Bobtree says:

    The Asus MG279Q does not have a motion-blur reduction strobing mode.

    The Asus PG279Q should also be out this year. According to Asus it has “extensive connectivity” options including DisplayPort and HDMI (AFAIK, all other G-Sync displays have only a single DP input).

    I’m still wondering if or when the significant price markup on G-Sync displays will come down as Nvidia claims. I also hope Nvidia do add support for the DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync standard, but I have no expectations.

    In other news, G-Sync now supports variable-refresh overdrive (officially) and windowed mode (maybe a big performance hit vs fullscreen), and optional vsync above max refresh.

  24. waltC says:

    This has to be one of the strangest monitor reviews I’ve ever read…;) There are just too many problems/misconceptions for me to address in this one, and surprisingly, very little in the way of actual information…

  25. Mr_Blastman says:

    This monitor is only capable of displaying 72% of the NTSC color gamut. Yuck. No thanks. There need to be more high gamut monitors. There is a huge difference in their picture quality.

  26. Iratedgamer says:

    I’ll stick to playing games on my 46 inch tv