Asus ROG Swift PG258Q review: 240Hz gaming gone mad

Asus PG258Q

There’s something faintly ridiculous about the Asus ROG Swift PG258Q. Maybe it’s the fact it has a glowing red Asus ROG light coming out of its elevated, three-pronged stand. Maybe it’s the colossal 240Hz refresh rate. Or maybe it’s the price, which most retailers currently have pegged somewhere around the £500 mark (or $513 if you’re in the US). That’s a fair bit of cash for a 25in 1920×1080 screen, especially when the Acer XF270HUA gives you a 27in, 144Hz 2560×1440 display for the same money. Nah, on second thought, it’s definitely the light.

Thankfully, its so-called ‘Light in Motion’ feature isn’t a permanent fixture on the PG258Q and can be easily switched off in its onboard menu controls. But for all six of you who really dig this sort of thing, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s not one, but three different light intensities you can select for maximum gamer cred among your mates.

In all honesty, though, the raised stand and base do actually look quite stylish on your desk, and its bronze twisted metallic design makes a refreshing change from the angular slabs you normally find on heavily branded gaming monitors. Round the back, it gets even neater, as the overall design doesn’t just match Asus’ eye-like ROG logo, but there’s also a cheeky detachable plastic panel you can pop on to hide your DisplayPort, HDMI and USB cables – and that’s in addition to a small cavity in the stand itself. Throw in all the usual ergonomic treats you’d expect on a high-end monitor like this (height adjustment, tilt, swivel and rotation) and the PG258Q makes a great first impression.

On the Asus PG258Q, you get one DisplayPort, one HDMI and two USB3 ports.

On the Asus PG258Q, you get one DisplayPort, one HDMI and two USB3 ports.

Like its PG248Q predecessor, the PG258Q comes with multiple colour profiles and an intuitive menu system to help you get a good picture. Fortunately, its 25in 1920×1080 TN panel produced pretty great results straight out of the box, so you shouldn’t have to spend long fiddling with the settings.

Annoyingly, the sRGB mode – arguably the most balanced profile of the lot – is completely locked down in terms of adjustment, so you may want to switch to one of the other modes if you do want to make any changes. The sRGB mode still returned good results, though (93.3% of the sRGB colour gamut compared to the 94.3% I managed to get on the FPS mode after a few alterations to the colour temperature), so it should suffice for both gaming and general computing tasks without much effort on your part.

It’s also really, really quite bright, hitting an impressive 512cd/m2 at its peak. That’s too intense for prolonged use unless you’re using it in direct sunlight, so you’ll need to adjust it to a level that doesn’t make your eyes bleed, but at least there are plenty of blue light filters on hand to help cut down further on any potential eye fatigue.

Asus PG258Q rear with back panel

With the back panel attached, the PG258Q actually looks quite smart – save the red ROG light…

The main downside of having such a bright screen is that black levels suffer as a result, leaving darker areas of the screen looking a bit grey and washed out. I wouldn’t mind so much if the contrast level was a bit higher, but my measurement of 949:1 left me a little underwhelmed. It’s not terrible, but it’s trumped once again by the superior Acer XF270HUA, which produced a smoother gradation from black to white instead of visible chunks of grey like the PG258Q.

Where the XF270HUA can’t touch the PG258Q is the refresh rate. Whereas the XF270HUA maxes out at 144Hz, Asus lets you turn it all the way up to 240Hz, essentially giving your graphics card(s) free rein to go bananas with the frame rate, and really make the most of its Nvidia 3D Vision tech if you happen to own the necessary 3D glasses. Admittedly, even the GTX 1080 tucked away inside MSI’s monstrous GT75VR laptop struggled to go much above 200fps on Low in Doom, so unless you’ve got a dual-graphics card setup in your current rig, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to make use of all those extra refreshes.

Still, even if your current card isn’t quite up to the task of doing that right now, you’ve still got plenty of headroom for later on when you eventually come to upgrade, making it a good bit of future-proofing down the line. Likewise, the extra G-Sync support will also help prevent Nvidia card owners from experiencing any sudden frame rate dips if you do happen to stretch a little beyond your means, ensuring smooth, tear-free gaming whatever refresh rate you’re using.

For my money, I think I’d still rather get the Acer XF270HUA, as it has a better overall panel and a larger resolution. However, if your goal is to play games at 1080p at the best they can possibly be (and fancy a free copy of Assassin’s Creed Origins from CCL), then the PG258Q is still a good choice, particularly if you’ve got an Nvidia graphics card, and I’d definitely recommend it over Asus’ PG248Q – just don’t expect any sympathy if anyone happens to clap eyes on those red LEDs. For those looking to save a bit of money on high frame rate gaming, however, then the AOC G2460PF is still my top pick for those on a budget.


  1. flashman says:

    “really, really quite bright”

    I’m sorry but that’s irretrievably British.

    • Someoldguy says:

      More irretrievably British than Flashman? My goodness.

      • daztec says:

        Isn’t that what Flashman said to the Afghans as he crawled blinking against the sun to surrender the union jack and the fort?

  2. Unclepauly says:

    It isn’t the graphics card holding back the frames on doom I’m afraid. Lowering the res to 480p will not get you more than 200fps. At those settings it’s all processor speed. The gpu isn’t even flexing a muscle

  3. RabbitIslandHermit says:

    I am legitimately curious if people can discern the difference between 144hz and 240hz.

    • Grizzly says:

      Have Alice do a double blind test with Devil Daggers?

    • MattM says:

      I’d like to know as well.
      LinusTechTips did a video a few years back blind testing 60 vs 120 fps. One guy couldn’t tell the other difference but Linus could easily distinguish between the two.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        I’d say 60 to 120/144/165 is definitely easy to see, but between 144 and 165 or 144 and 240, it’ll be tougher. The oft quoted USAF test used a 1/220th impulse to test pilots, so at 240Hz you’re cruising past even that. It’ll probably feel smoother than 144, but be far less distinctive and run into diminishing returns.

        The primary advantage I could see of a proper 240Hz panel is that it can support more refresh rates than 144Hz can natively, but that’s a bit of a moot point with G-Sync/Adaptive Sync.

        • JohnH says:

          Personally, I know from old days experimenting with CRTs and high refresh AND today with my 144Hz 1440p g-sync monitor that I can easily distinguish between 60 fps and >100 fps. But 120 fps vs 144 fps? I won’t make that claim for my own eyes hehe.
          The leap from 144 to 240 is huge though, so theoretically you should be able to tell the difference doing A/B testing. But I’m not sure if I’ll notice it while playing any game.

    • Addie says:

      I’d say the answer would be, yes you can, if you know what you’re looking for and the test is favourable. If you’ve a high rate monitor, then there’s a website (testufo dot com) that shows a scrolling ufo at various framerates. For small things moving quickly, the difference is quite noticeable – both a UFO against a star-field as in the test, and in certain games, particle effects at high frame rate look visibly smoother and better. Most things do not, though.

      The main benefit I’ve seen from a high frame-rate monitor is the complete elimination of screen tearing; you can leave V-sync on, and when you drop under 60 Hz the difference is very subtle, as opposed to on a 60 Hz monitor, where the difference is pretty bad. Dark Souls 3 was one of the worst offenders, as there’s some zones that persistently drop down to about 50 fps on my setup, which either means a lot of tearing, or sudden really laggy control.

      In something a bit older (eg. Darksiders 2) I can run at 1440p at 144 Hz pretty stably. Testing with the NVidia frame limiter, even for a fairly fast 3rd-person brawler, there’s some difference between 60 fps and about 80, and then very little above that, even when panning the camera quickly. The difference between 100 fps and 144 fps is that the fans run like crazy to generate the extra 50% of frames, so I’ve got some games limited to 100 fps just to stop them from winding me up.

    • aircool says:

      I’d say probably…

      It depends on how long you’ve been playing with such high framerates. I often cap framerates at 60fps just to keep the PC quiet, but for online first person shooters, I’ll set the maximum to 144 to match my monitors refresh rate (one of the older ASUS ROG G-Sync monitors).

      Once you’ve been playing a game at, say, an average of 140fps, you can definitely tell the difference between 120fps and 60fps.

      It’s not something that’s obvious at first, so sitting someone down in front of a monitor and running a few tests isn’t likely to give you any reliable results. However, get them to play Battlefield 1 for a few weeks at 120fps and they’ll struggle to feel comfortable at 60fps.

      • mike22 says:

        Yes but that’s because 60hz is significantly slower than our eyes refresh rate. 144hz much less so.

        Nobody is debating whether or not there’s a difference between 60 and 144hz, but I’d buy you a cup of tea if you could tell the difference between 144hz and 240hz.

    • mike22 says:

      I don’t think we need to test it do we? Unless you’re in an extreme minority (i.e. fighter pilot candidate) then it will be 100% imperceptible. And even if you are in that minority I think it’d be the kind of thing you’d have to make an effort to notice.

      And even then we’re talking about double blind studies to detect tiny differences. It’s not going to have any impact on gaming. The people above I assume are the kind of folks that spend their time in 3DMark and buying $60 monster cables. You can see a difference between any hardware if you tell yourself there is one.

      • Don Reba says:

        No need to test when we have one man’s opinion, eh? I’m pretty sure the majority would be able to tell the difference.

  4. steves says:

    I’m sure there are people who think 144Hz isn’t enough, just as there are those who think 60 is fine, but I’m old enough now that my perception & reactions top out around 90-100, so I’ll stick with my original old-school ROG Swift ’til GPUs get a bit better and I can do the same at 4K.

    Caring about what the back of a monitor looks like is pretty crazy, especially when the non-screen parts are hideous from the front too, as everything from ASUS inevitably is, but there’s one thing worth noting in that second photo, which is the mini-joystick on the left at the top of the controls, and a thing ASUS deserve huge credit for.

    Remember those terrible on-screen menu things you have to dick about with for ages to get the colours/contrast/brighness right? Imagine being able to navigate that with something where up/down/left/right made sense. This is that.

  5. geldonyetich says:

    I feel G-Sync makes a large difference, and so I try to get G-Sync monitors whenever possible. The ROG Swift line was the top of my list.

    However, the price on the ROG Swift was so high that I decided to spring for a refurbished Acer Z35 instead – might as well go entry-level ultrawide for that price! It goes to show that there’s a definite competitive disadvantage to pricing a common aspect ratio monitor that high, even with a nice refresh rate.

    (That said, I can’t recommend the Z35. It takes too long to light black pixels. This results in smearing in dark environments, and small things against a black background become virtually invisible because the involved pixels aren’t lit for long enough. I do like the blacker blacks of a VA panel, though, so I guess it’s a bit of a trade-off.)

  6. Don Reba says:

    When you measure the colour accuracy of a TN panel, what range of angles are you measuring it over? It’s pretty pointless if it’s accurate only on the part of the screen at which you look directly perpendicularly.

  7. CitizenX3639 says:

    Question to forum, as an owner of a 35″ curved ultra wide, could anyone go back? I guess when I see these 25-27″ articles I just shrug, but I know there is an audience but just wondering the interest at that size with so many other options.

    • mike22 says:

      Where is that screen placed?

      At a desk I couldn’t go any higher than 27″, it would be like sitting at the front row of the cinema, awing but not so good for actually seeing anything (not to mention the resolution which would need to be so much higher for it to not be a garbled mess of pixels). I use a 47″ TV for most of my gaming but I’m sat 8 feet away from it.

  8. snv says:

    Even if you machine can not crank out that many frames, this high refresh rate makes G-Sync/Freesync obsolete

    The high brightness is probably related to make the screen usable with shutter glasses, since those effectively halve the amount of light reaching your eyes.

  9. Jaykera says:

    Building habits with a 240hz monitor then playing a 30 fps console title must be a painful experience.

    I personally refrain myself from going too high (60-90 fps) because I want to play Red dead 2 and The last of us part 2 without my eyes bleeding. :)

  10. Ghostwise says:

    There’s something faintly ridiculous about the Asus ROG Swift PG258Q.

    As an Asus ROG PG348Q owner I resent this. *We* are the ridiculous ones. Those PG258Q johnny-come-lately types can only pretend they’re half as goofy as we are.

  11. mike22 says:

    I seem to spend half my life taping over bright blue LEDs.

    Why do they do it? Why do they think we want to be distracted by glaring lights? Especially when trying to stare at another set of lights. My YouView box’s primary function seems to be alerting me to its existence.

    Down with LED status lights on electronics!

    • montfalcon says:

      Indeed! This really is a bugbear of mine. I have two monitors on my desk, and if they go to sleep on their own, the power status LEDs blink bright enough to light all the way across the 12m long room where the bed is.

      I also have a set of Harman/Kardon Nova speakers, which I adore, except for turning them on and off, or when they auto power-off they play a beep loud enough to wake people in the next room.

      Can we just get small E-ink displays or something?

    • JohnH says:

      Yup, I agree. I can turn it off in the menu of my Dell UP2716D, but only while the monitor is on. Still have to take care of the blinking shit while it’s in standby. :(

      And the Dell S2716DG next to it have no such option at all sadly.

    • duns4t says:


      I HATED that I had to register online simply to install the bloatware for my Razer mouse necessary to turn off the ugly (with a selection of ugly) colored LED lighting on it.

      If I’d known that before buying, rather than just picking it up on a friend’s recommendation, I wouldn’t have even bought it. And I’ll be vetting that for any potential Razer buys in the future.

  12. technoobology says:

    A 1080p TN monitor? Sorry not even the high refresh rate can make this monitor worth it. I am not surprised with the author’s claim of the blacks on this monitor. Having had the the Asus ROG G-Sync TN 1440p monitor (PG278QR?), the blacks on the screen were horrendous. I wasn’t sure what was worse, the price to pay for a TN monitor or the rave reviews so many gave for it. Granted the G Sync technology was fanstastic. And having that joystick for OSD menu should be standard for all monitors. I returned that monitor and checked out the IPS version to see if it was any better and it was far accurate in colors, but the blacks suffered just the same on it. The Dell S2716DG 1440p monitor, another TN panel, produced far better blacks. 144hz vs 240hz, there would be a noticeable difference, but why would anyone want their graphics card (high end or not) to work so hard anyways?

    I lost faith in Asus in producing monitors, regardless of resolution.

  13. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    That back cover is some Kett bionic nightmare designed by the ghost of Giger.