PC gamers nowadays are currently divided when it comes to choosing their monitors: do they opt for a 4K Ultra HD experience at 60hz or do they go for a high refresh rate at a lower resolution? This has been a dilemma for many high-performance system owners and many have been waiting for monitor makers to finally bridge this gap and deliver the next stage in gaming desktop display. There are many reasons why gamers would want such a combination of display quality and fidelity despite its relatively pricey acquisition cost as well the system required to drive it. Still, its an eventuality that want now and while it sits in the premium, luxury segment of the market, its still a peek into the future. But you can have it right now thanks to ASUS and their new ROG Swift PG27UQ gaming monitor.
Featuring a 144hz refresh rate on a 3840×2160 resolution screen, that combination alone is a dream monitor but ASUS packs the ROG Swift PG27UQ with a whole lot more to put it on the current bleeding edge of screen technology: an IPS-type panel with DCI-P3 color gamut, HDR capabilities for realistic contrast together with NVIDIA G-Sync HDR for fluid, tear-free experience as well as an ambient light sensor for dynamic brightness control. There’s plenty more in there as well including design features as well as some bling and for its exorbitant $3000 (more or less) price tag, it needs it to further give more than just display performance.
- 27-inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) HDR gaming monitor with an overclockable 144Hz refresh rate for super-smooth gaming visuals
- NVIDIA G-SYNC HDR delivers lifelike contrast and color, with the brightest whites and darkest blacks bringing out details like never before
- Quantum-dot IPS display with a wide DCI-P3 color gamut provides realistic colors and smoother gradation
- ASUS Aura Sync technology creates immersive ambient lighting and supports synchronization with Aura-enabled components and peripherals
- New ROG Light Signal casts the ROG logo to create the perfect atmosphere for your gaming setup
As with most ROG monitor, the ROG Swift PG27UQ is packaged in their stylized, full-color print box with a picture of the monitor in both sides. There is a ton of marketing icons including those that denote its features including 144hz, HDR, etc.
The package is secured with a strap to the styrofoam placeholder inside. Opening up the package we are greeted with a good amount of accessories including documentations, the power brick, the stand LED logo replacements, ROG-branded HDMI, USB3.0 and DisplayPort cables and lastly, the rear cover.
ROG was adamant about using their cables for testing. We did use other cables for testing and ROG might be correct as some cables caused flickering in our tests. If you do encounter those, please make sure you’re using the included cables in the ROG PG27UQ package. The cable included are pretty much premium, featuring ROG branding on the ends of the cord. The DisplayPort cable is also lockless, FYI.
The ROG PG27UQ features a LED halo ambient light underneath the stand base which features replaceable logo. This monitor includes blanks which you can customize to have you own custom logo.
The ROG PG27UQ includes a pouch to keep the spare logos.
With the base installed, here is what the monitor looks like from the front. If you’re into the ROG styling, the PG27UQ doesn’t depart much from the other monitor in the product line: a medium-bezel screen belies a rather bulky back that shows off the majority of the ROG stylizing.
Looking at the back, like we mentioned, its where all that ROG aesthetic goes. A large ROG logo at side with the tech panel lines adorning the rear plate which bulges a bit to the mid. The pattern is broken up with a vented slash in the middle, with a clean half filling the other side. The monitor includes a port cover to further provide cover at the back. Its not necessary, but if you like cleaner aesthetics, it does wrap cables nicer.
A closer look at the intricate panel lines molded into the plastic shell of the ROG PG27UQ.
Going over input we have the DC port, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB3.0 Type-B input, USB3.0 Type-A ports and an audio jack. The black “Service Use Only” tab is a service interconnect and shouldn’t be available in retail model.
For the OSD control, ASUS ROG has placed the control stick rear portion of the right of the monitor. ROG’s implementation is one of the more intuitive controls we’ve had for monitor and its a nice touch that they didn’t think of oversaturating this monitor with more menu and features.
Going over the stand, we have articulated stand the allows 90* rotation of the screen. We also get some tilt action in there.
The monitor stand also allows panning as well.
Now let’s go over the extras of this monitor. We talked about lighting a bit earlier and the monitor, aside from the base logo also has a projection LED that allows it so beam a logo to a surface at the back of the screeen. There’s a scroll wheel used to hide the logo if you don’t want it. More about this later.
Over at the top of the monitor is a light sensor which adjusts brightness accordingly.
Here’s a shot of the stand with the LED lights on.
Here is what ASUS calls the Light Signal logo, the one at the back, being cast into a wall. It gets bigger at a certain distance and is really a standout feature but if you prefer it discrete, you can turn it off.
And last off, the one at the back. This logo lighting can be controlled internally via the OSD panel or synced to other ROG panel via ASUS AURA Sync technology.
Difference between SDR and HDR
Now aside from GSync, 144hz, 4K reso and other things that are easily gauged, HDR is another thing. HDR basically simulates luminance of how the eye can perceive. Black is black and white is white and the so on and so forth. The better the screen is at displaying these differences, the higher their rating. ASUS touts the ROG PG27UQ with a HDR1000 logo, the highest of its kind and one that is only handed out to a few in the world right now.
Here’s an example using an HDR demo video. The left display showcases the scene without HDR content while the one on the right is with HDR. That’s a significant difference in quality and games and other such content that is delivered with HDR will be more vivid than that without. Which leads to a few things to discuss. First off is availability, despite HDR being a display technology, content is still required for it to be utilized and right now not all games and videos are HDR ready. Another thing is the value that it gives to the user. HDR isn’t appreciated by anyone and that includes people that can burn 3000$ in a heartbeart. Ultimately, HDR is nice to have but is more a novelty nowadays.
We’ve had this monitor since its launch and in terms of performance, the monitor itself is the absolute best in what it has to offer from 4K 144hz G-Sync HDR etc. but it does require power and native 4K running at 144hz is simply out of the question. We started out with a GTX 1080 Ti on this thing and now we’re on an RTX 2080 Ti but even with performance improvement in this generation, its just not enough for 4K 144hz smooth in AAA titles. Barring pricing, an RTX 2080 Ti in SLI would be the closest possible option for that for compatible games but do note that your investment price has just doubled for this. If you play mostly eSports titles, you can get away with a single card, even with older-gen until you feel the time is right but even if you can’t reach the 144hz plateau, there’s still G-Sync here that can smooth out those games.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this review, gamers are put into a spot when choosing their monitors: do I go with 4K or do I go with 144hz? Well for $3000 you can have both and a lot more. One of the strong points of the ROG PG27UQ is its impeccable screen quality thanks for its DCI-P3 rated screen. Either work or play, its display quality is impressive and if you’re like me running a work machine-first, gaming-second, it eventually pays for itself. No matter if I’m crunching Excel spreadsheets for our data charts or editing photos and videos, there’s a certain air of comfort that what you see on screen is as lifelike as possible.
Talking about the choice to go with a 27″ panel with a 16:9 ratio, its still the the standard and 27″ is a good size. While ultrawide panels have been popping up, they serve a different segment of the market and a 16:9 Ultra HD 144hz panel just seems to be next logical step in the growth from 1080p so we can see the reasoning why panel makers will go this route.
Still, one thing that the duration of this review has taught us is that there is no buyer’s remorse in getting this monitor. We’ve played, worked and streamed on this monitor. We’ve went from data analysis in Excel to video editing in Premiere, to playing Anthem and Overwatch. One new thing we experienced is watching HDR films from Bluray releases on this monitor. I’ve never had an HDR screen and its certainly an eye-opening experience. Focusing more on games, you’re not restricted to playing at 4K either. If you feel you’re machine can’t cut it, 1080p or 1440p is still available and the G-Sync technology will help if you’re still going under. eSports titles tend to be on the lighter side in terms of resources so its a nice balance in achieving that performance goal.
Ultimately, the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ is on top of the monitor game right now if you’re after the best at both work and play. While the entry price to this exclusive club is steep, knowing that its an investment that pays off if your using it for work. If you’re just in it for pure gaming then future proofing should be more your justification for the price outside the excellent display quality. Its been nearly a year and industry standard has yet to achieve levels that would make this monitor obsolete. Ultrawide tech isn’t a rival either to this technology so there’s also no point fuzzing about ultrawide releases unless you’re into that really niche market.
So, there’s definitely no recommending this monitor to everyone but for those that are investing or have deep pockets and are looking to the best monitor money can buy, the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ is easily that monitor delivering excellent screen quality, build and features that top of its class today.
The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ is backed by a 3-year warranty. We give it our B2G Gold Award and B2G Performance Award!