ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q review – Dude, it’s the best!

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Back in the day, buying a monitor was easy. Just find a monitor with the resolution you want and if it fits your budget, there you go. Your new display. Nowadays it’s getting difficult in searching for the ideal monitor for you since there are lots of new technologies and features popping up in displays. That said, we aren’t complaining. ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q is a 27-inch IPS gaming monitor with a maximum refresh rate of 165Hz, with support for NVIDIA G-SYNC technology. Dubbed as the best gaming display in the market, let’s see what it has to offer.

 

Unboxing

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The Swift PG279Q comes in a pretty big box, with most of the specification and details about the monitor are printed on the box. From the top we see that Swift PG279Q is a 27-inch gaming monitor with 2560 x 1440p resolution. It also uses an IPS panel instead of the TN one in its predecessor, the Swift PG278Q, and natively offers a 144Hz refresh rate that can be overclocked up to 165Hz. The monitor also features NVIDIA’s proprietary Ultra Low Motion Blur (ULMB) and G-SYNC technologies.

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In the box, we have the ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q itself along with its accessories. As for the accessories, we have the necessary cables such as the power cable, Displayport cable, power adapter, a driver CD and also a ASUS VIP member notice documentation.

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Appearance

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At the front look of one of the best gaming monitors out there, we have the ASUS logo. Also on the thin bezel, we have the Displayport and HDMI logos at the bottom left and also the legends for the buttons along the right edge.  At the base, we have a G-SYNC logo and of course the legendary ASUS ROG eye.

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When the monitor is turned on we have the ASUS ROG logo glowing in red along with a ring around the stand. A nice touch from ASUS to further enhance the aesthetics of this monitor.

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Here are the legends for the monitor’s buttons.

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At the back of monitor we have the ASUS ROG emblem and big ASUS logo. On the left (when we are looking at its rear), we have the monitor control buttons and there is also a Kensington lock slot over on the right side.

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The panel display can be adjusted in height by up to 120mm, swivel +/- 60 degree and tilt at +28/-5 degree.

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The control buttons consist of four buttons with one red joystick for more intuitive navigation of the built-in menu on the Swift PG279Q.

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There is a cable routing channel in the monitor stand to help you manage your cables neatly.

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Last but not least, the panel can also be rotated 180° to a portrait orientation.

 

Specification

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User Experience

Although the Swift PG279Q comes with the Ultra-Low Motion Blur (ULMB) feature, but G-SYNC gets the most attention here. This is the absolute reason why a NVIDIA’s graphics card is necessary in order to enjoy the Swift PG279Q. So, get a good graphics card worthy of the Swift PG279Q like a GeForce GTX 1070 or GTX 1080. I do think that 4K is overkill for a 27-inch display, so I am kinda glad that ASUS went with 1440p, which I consider to be somewhat of a “sweet spot” for monitors of this size.

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The monitor was painless to setup. Just plug in the Displayport cable and power cable, and you are set. With an IPS panel (actually it is an AHVA panel from AU Optronics), the viewing angle of the monitor is great. From the images above you can see there’s no washed out colors at any angle.

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With a robust on screen display and the joystick controller it was easy to navigate and overclock the monitor to 165Hz. The image quality is superb out of the box for me and colors look accurate enough to my naked eyes that I did not find it necessary to calibrate it.

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In order to reduces glares and diffuses reflection, the Swift PG279Q is coated with an Anti-Glare (AG) coating, similar to most monitor in the market. This gives it a matte appearance.

The monitor has built-in speakers, two watts each. Audio quality wise, it is average at best. However I really do not think anyone with this monitor will be using the speakers. If ASUS really want to improve the audio quality, they might want to consider throwing in the awesome speakers found in the ASUS Zenfone 3 Ultra for its next generation gaming monitor.

Using the Swift PG279Q for media consumption is a poor test of a gaming display like this. With most videos only at 25fps, and some of it at 60fps, the only thing I can appreciate when watching movies is the color reproduction. This monitor is meant for gaming after all, so with G-SYNC turned on and the panel overclocked to 165Hz, I played games numerous times to get a feel of how does G-SYNC enhances my gaming experience. In terms of hardware I’m using the dual NVIDIA GTX 980 in SLI configuration, as found in the ASUS ROG GT51. I do believe to get frame rates worthy of the 165Hz refresh rate, you need at least two NVIDIA GTX Titan X Pascal for AAA titles. But irregardless of the frame rate, G-SYNC enhances your gaming experience in ways that is difficult to describe but is definitely noticeable when you experience it.

I tried the Swift PG279Q in several scenarios, with and without G-SYNC, and the panel underclocked to 120Hz so ULMB is enabled and more. The results I got was varied, and as expected, the Swift PG279Q is best used with G-SYNC turned on. The gameplay was very smooth with no screen tearing occur. The experience is very different when compared to my standard 60Hz monitor. While V-sync can somewhat eliminate screen tearing, that does not happen with G-SYNC, and the higher frame rates at which the monitor can synchronize with the frame rate output of the SLI GTX 980s I have here is just heavenly. When playing game with a G-SYNC monitors, frame rates do not matter in terms of the smoothness of the visuals, but a higher frame rate does still translate to a better gaming experience. And with G-SYNC, the higher frame rate will not cause annoying screen tearing, but fluidly smooth graphics.

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Last part that I would like to touch on is the connectivity ports available on this monitor. Other reviewers have found the Swift PG278Q to be lacking in input connectivity options. For me even with only a single DisplayPort and HDMI connector, it’s more than enough, since who the heck is going to connect a NVIDIA G-SYNC capable monitor to a console. For me, the issue I had with the ports is the USB 3.0 hub, which I found quite difficult to access. So, I would suggest to connect devices that are rarely unplugged like your mouse and keyboard.

 

Conclusion

The Swift PG279Q definitely wins in term of specifications over its predecessor, the Swift PG278Q. For me the Swift PG279Q is the best display I have ever used. ASUS has succeeded in putting the Swift PG29Q as the world’s best gaming monitor available in market but in order to take full advantage it you must fulfill some conditions. A good graphics cards that is at least capable of running most games at 1440p with a decent frame rate, and of course, must be NVIDIA G-SYNC ready. It’s quite a pricey monitor, with an asking price of around RM4000 but I dare say it’s a good investment over the long-term. If I had extra money to spend, the Swift PG279Q will definitely be in my shopping list. I award the ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q with our Gold Pokdeward!

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