High Refresh Rate Panels and Displays – A Road-map and Round-up

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Originally written 15 September 2016. Last updated 27 May 2020

Introduction and Why High Refresh Rate?

We get a lot of questions about high refresh rate panels of varying sizes and technologies and it’s a topic gamers are of course very interested in. We thought it might be useful to provide a round-up of some of the news we’ve brought you over the last few months in relation to panel roadmaps, and announced displays to help get this information all in one place. This will hopefully give you an idea of what is currently available in each technology now, as well as what is planned for the future and when to expect other options to arrive. As ever, keep in mind the increasing demands on PC’s and graphics cards with the increases in refresh rates, not to mention the push for higher resolutions at the same time. Also we’d like to make the distinction up-front between panel manufacturers and monitor manufacturers here. Where we are talking about panel roadmaps and production, keep in mind that there is usually a lag of a couple of months after the panel goes in to mass production before we see any news of displays which will feature the new panel. There’s normally then a 3 – 4 month delay before that screen is released and widely available, so keep that in mind when we talk about dates in this article.

So why high refresh rate? The refresh rate of an LCD display is directly linked to two key areas. Firstly frame rate support. The higher the refresh rate, the higher the number of frames per second it can display, if you’ve got a graphics card and system capable enough to generate them. So if you’ve got a top end gaming system and can generate 120 frames per second (fps) you’d see the benefit of that on a 120Hz capable display, whereas a 60Hz display would only offer support for up to 60fps. Secondly because of the way LCD’s operate, the way the human eye perceives motion blur is directly impacted by the refresh rate as well. The higher the refresh rate, the less motion blur you will see, although past a certain point you start to reach the point of diminishing returns. There’s certainly big improvements when you move from 60Hz to 120Hz, and a smaller but not insignificant jump if you then jump to something like 240Hz. Beyond that, you’d probably see smaller and smaller improvements, and for additional blur reduction you’re probably going to want to consider a specific strobing blur reduction backlight system. The principles and operation of those are covered in our other article on Motion Blur Reduction Backlights.

Anyway, on to the panel and monitor roadmaps. Here are the highlights by technology:


Above: Some of the original high refresh rate IPS panels released. The Acer Predator XB270HU and Asus ROG Swift PG279Q with 27″ 144Hz

The original high refresh rate 27″ IPS panels – with 1440p Resolution

At the time of writing this article originally in September 2016 there was only one true high refresh rate option available in this technology, that being a 27” 2560 x 1440 resolution panel provide by AU Optronics (their IPS-type AHVA technology). It is used in a range of popular monitors such as the Acer Predator XB270HU (reviewed), the updated XB271HU and the equivalent models from Asus like their Asus ROG Swift PG279Q (reviewed). Many other models are available featuring various similar versions of panel and it is tried and tested.

Above: Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ was the first to offer high refresh rate IPS gaming with simultaneous VRR and blur reduction

This is a flat format panel which is available in standard (panel part M270DAN02.3) and borderless (part M270DAN02.6) varieties and offers a native 144Hz refresh rate. Where the panel is combined with a hardware G-sync module, manufacturers were also able to overclock the refresh rate a little to 165Hz on some of the displays. Blur reduction backlights were combined with this panel since the refresh rate support is high enough to make that a viable option for the first time from IPS screens. Some later screens such as the Asus TUF VG27AQ  (reviewed) featured a slightly different panel (M270Q008 V002) and was the first display that allows simultaneous use of the strobing blur reduction backlight and the variable refresh rate (G-sync/FreeSync).

Updated 27″ 1440p IPS panels with Wide Gamut and Boosted Refresh Rates

AU Optronics are currently producing these 2560 x 1440 resolution 27″ IPS-type panels with a slightly boosted refresh rate up to a native 165Hz (not needing an overclock) along with wide colour gamut support. This also goes hand in hand with some advancements in response times they are developing to help speed up pixel transitions. There are a few versions of this 165Hz panel planned.

  • The M270DAN06.6 is borderless and has a DCI-P3 gamut (compared with the original 144Hz panels which were sRGB only) and is in production now since June 2019.
  • The M270DAN06.7 is listed as a normal panel (i.e. not borderless) and has an Adobe RGB gamut and support for HDR600. This version should now be in production since October 2019.
  • The M270DAN08.2 is a borderless option with 165Hz refresh rate and Adobe RGB gamut, but without HDR 600 listed. This was due to go in to mass production in March 2020.

AU Optronics are also developing a 27″ 240Hz refresh rate panel (M270DAN08.0) with 1440p resolution, which should be in production now since January 2020. This too will feature a wide colour gamut but no HDR 600 support.

AUO had the monopoly on the high refresh rate 27″ IPS panels to start with, but LG.Display are now producing options of their own.

Above: LG 27GL850 with 144Hz l (left) and ViewSonic Elite XG270QG with 165Hz LG>Display IPS panel (right)

In the 27″ space is the LM270WQA panel was their first, with a 2560 x 1440 resolution and 144Hz native refresh rate and with a DCI-P3 colour gamut. It’s was originally expected to go in to production around December 2018 but then slipped back to Q2 2019, but is now in mass production thankfully. LG.Display are also promoting improvements in their IPS response times in their latest roadmaps, trying to improve on the 5ms G2G spec, pushing down down to 1ms G2G thanks to higher levels of overdrive. In practice we know that 1ms is unrealistic, but there are no doubt great improvements in pixel response times from these latest LG.Display panels.

The LG 27GL850 (reviewed) was the first display to feature this new panel. You may or may not remember that originally this screen was planned to feature a hardware G-sync module and therefore support a 165Hz overclock, but that was later dropped in favour of an adaptive-sync support and therefore limited to the native 144Hz. We have seen other displays released using this same 27″ LG.Display panel, including the ViewSonic Elite XG270QG (reviewed) which does feature a Native G-sync hardware module and therefore an overclocked 165Hz refresh rate.

Above: Acer Nitro XV272U and Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD with 27″ Innolux 1440p panel at 144Hz

We have in more recent times seen Innolux start to invest in high refresh rate IPS-type panels as well it seems with their AAS panel technology. There is a 27″ flat panel produced by them and in production since Dec 2018 (M270KCJ-K7B) which offers a 2560 x 1440 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate. We have seen the Acer Nitro XV272U and VG271U  released as well as new models from lesser known manufacturers like the Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD (reviewed).

Above: Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q with 165Hz IPS panel

Innolux are planning to develop this panel slightly further from March 2020 with a slightly increased 165Hz refresh rate and an improved response time spec (M270KCJ-K7B Cx). It looks likely that this panel will be featured in the updated version of the Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD which is the Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q.

Larger 31.5″ and 32″ Panels with 1440p

AU Optronics are also developing larger 32″ sized panels with 2560 x 1440 resolution and high refresh rate. Both of these larger panels offer wide colour gamut with 99% Adobe RGB listed, and look like they will feature HDR 600 support.

  • 32″ at 165Hz (M320DAN02.2) borderless panel with wide gamut that should be in production since Nov 2019.
  • 32″ at 240Hz (M320DAN02.0) version with wide gamut which should have gone in to production in Feb 2020

LG.Display were also planning to venture in to this larger bracket. Their panel is 31.5″ in size but features 2560 x 1440 and 165Hz refresh rate.

  • 31.5″ size (LM315WQ1) panel which was expected to go in to production in December 2018, but then slipped to mid 2019. It does not appear on the latest roadmap we have from Dec 2019 so may have been pushed back or scrapped.

Innolux are also developing options in this size range

  • 31.5″ size (M315KCA-E7B) borderless panel with 165Hz refresh rate. Potentially in two flavours, one normal SDR and one with HDR 600 support and both with wide colour gamut. Mass production Q3 2020

1080p IPS Panels with High Refresh Rates

Above: LG 27GL650F with 1080p and 144Hz IPS panel

Perhaps counter-intuitively, it was 1440p resolution IPS panels that were first released with high refresh rates. The lower resolution 1080p models came a bit later.

  • There is already a panel option available from LG.Display (LM270WF8) which is 27″ in size and has a 1080p resolution and 144Hz refresh rate. We’ve seen some displays announced in recent times which look to be using this panel like the LG 27GL650F. The Philips 272M8 and AOC AGON AG27G2 also look to be other models announced in some regions using this panel.

AU Optronics are also now producing 24.5″, 25″ and 27″ sized panels with this lower 1920 x 1080 resolution (Full HD), presumably aimed at lower end systems where the full 1440p resolution might be a challenge. These include 144Hz and 240Hz options

  • 24.5″ 144Hz panel (M250HAN01.6) should now be in mass production since June 2019
  • 24.5″ 240Hz version (M250HAN01.3) should now be in mass production since Q3 2019 as well. We will cover 240Hz IPS panels in more detail a little later.
  • Another 24.5″ 144Hz panel (M250HAN02.0) which should be in production now since Nov 2019. It’s unclear if this will really offer anything different to the earlier version though.
  • 27″ 144Hz panel (M270HAN02.2) has been in production since early 2019. A slightly updated version with improved response time spec (M270HAN03.2) has also been in production now since Oct 2019. Both have standard sRGB gamut.
  • 27″ 240Hz version (M270HAN03.0) with sRGB gamut which went in to production in Q3 2019. We will cover 240Hz IPS panels in more detail a little later.

Innolux are also offering 1080p IPS panels with high refresh rate

  • 23.8″ 165Hz panel (M238HCA-L7Z) planned for Q3 2020 mass production
  • 27″ 144Hz panel (M270HCA-L6B) already in mass production
  • 27″ 144Hz panel (M270HCA-L7B) with improved response time spec, mass production planned April 2020.

The early overclocked high refresh rate Ultrawide screens

Above: Some of the original overclocked ultrawide IPS displays. The Acer Predator X34 and Asus ROG Swift PG348Q with 34″ 100Hz panels

Apart from those 27” AU Optronics panels with 144Hz talked about above, there were no IPS-type panels available at the time of originally writing this article in September 2016 which natively support high refresh rates. In the larger display space, display manufacturers had some solid success in overclocking a curved 34” 3440 x 1440 resolution panel which has been around for quite some years, produced by LG.Display. This IPS panel is actually natively 60Hz, but when it is combined with a G-sync module it has been possible to overclock that refresh rate up to 100Hz successfully. Monitors like the Acer Predator X34 and Asus ROG Swift PG348Q (both reviewed) were two very popular options based on this panel, and overclocked  with a lot of success 3440 x 1440 @ 100Hz. They offered high refresh rate support and response times suitable to keep up the demands of the frame rate.

Ultrawide IPS panels with native high refresh rates

LG.Display were later than AUO to develop high refresh rate IPS-type panels, but their focus was largely on ultrawide models at the beginning. As a side note, all the way back in late 2015 LG.Display did actually have a 27” module (panel part LM270WF8) in their road-map which would have been their first venture in to high refresh rate IPS tech. That was a planned 1920 x 1080 @ 144Hz module, but as far as we know it was dropped and never emerged. Thankfully LG.Display are now investing in other high refresh rate IPS options, including many in the ultrawide space:

Above: LG 34UC79G with 2560 x 1080 @ 144Hz LG.Display IPS panel

34” curved ultra-wide with 2560 x 1080 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate – production in August 2016 (panel part LM340WW2). This represented LG.Display’s first available native high refresh IPS panel. We have tested the LG 34UC79G (reviewed) which features this panel with FreeSync support. A G-sync module version was also produced since Jan 2017. Although not listed in the most recent roadmaps we’ve seen, LG.Display appear to have a slightly updated version of this panel in production during H1 2019 with the same 2560 x 1080 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate, but an increased brightness spec of 300 cd/m2 compared with the earlier 250 cd/m2 specs. That is used in the LG 34GL750 which was released late in 2019.

Above: Dell Alienware AW3418DW and Asus ROG Swift PG349Q, with 34″ ultrawide LG.Display IPS panel with 100Hz native, 120Hz overclocked

34” curved ultra-wide with 3440 x 1440 resolution and 100Hz refresh rate – there is also already a 3440 x 1440 resolution @ 100Hz IPS (LM340UW4) panel available and used in some popular displays like the Dell Alienware AW3418DW (reviewed) for instance, where it is also paired with a G-sync module to offer an overclocked 120Hz refresh rate. There is also the Asus ROG Swift PG349Q which uses the new 100Hz native refresh rate panel and thanks to a G-sync module also allows a 120Hz overclock. Note that the PG349Q replaced the PG348Q which was a 60Hz panel overclocked to 100Hz. Other screens with FreeSync support are also available including the Acer Predator XR342CKP for example.

Above: LG 34GK950F/G (left) and Dell Alienware AW3420DW (right) with 3440 x 1440 resolution and 120/144Hz refresh rate

34” curved ultra-wide with 3440 x 1440 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate 
– The 100Hz UW4 panel mentioned above has now been superseded by a higher refresh rate options, with 144Hz. There was originally a couple of new versions of the older LM340UW3 panel (which is already available as a 60Hz option) planned around late 2017 with 144Hz, but it looks like those have been scrapped and replaced by the LM340UW5 instead. This UW5 panel has been used in a couple of screens already including the LG 34GK950F and 34GK950G that we have reviewed in full. Where it has been combined with a G-sync module, so far this has required a down-clock to a maximum 120Hz because of the limitations with the G-sync v1 module. The FreeSync version of the screen can use the full 144Hz refresh rate without issue as long as you have a suitable graphics card and DisplayPort 1.4 output. Dell have also released their Dell Alienware AW3420DW which uses this same panel but again is down-clocked slightly to 120Hz because it is a Native G-sync screen.

Larger Ultrawide IPS panel options

Above: LG 38UC99 with 37.5″ LG.Display IPS panel and small overclocked 75Hz refresh rate

37.5″ curved ultra-wide development – LG.Display are also investing in even larger ultra-wide screens in the curved 37.5″ space. We’ve seen the first of these appear in monitor form in September 2016 in the form of the LG 38UC99 (reviewed). These new panels offer a 24:10 aspect ratio and 3840 x 1600 resolution. The panel already in production and used in that LG screen is a maximum 75Hz refresh rate. We wouldn’t call this a “high refresh rate” but we mention it for reference.

Above: LG 38GL950G with 37.5″ 3840 x 1600 resolution panel and 175Hz

LG.Display are now also producing a 144Hz version with the same 3840 x 1600 resolution. Originally touted for a Q4 2017 production, this slipped and was then sent to mass production late in 2019. This is the LM375QW2 panel and it has already been featured in the LG 38GL950G (reviewed) which was the first screen to make use of this new panel and also offers an overclock up to 175Hz thanks to the use of a G-sync v2 module as well.

This same panel will also be featured in several forthcoming models including the Acer Predator X38 which features a Native G-sync module as well, and offers the same 175Hz overclock. That model is expected to be released around April 2020.

Above: LG 38WN95C with 37.5″ 144Hz IPS panel and 3840 x 1600 resolution

A few of adaptive-sync displays have also been announced based on an updated version of this panel which still offers the same 3840 x 1600 resolution and 144Hz native refresh rate, but which also includes HDR 600 support. These models are the LG 37GN950 (160Hz overclock, likely H2 2020), the more business-oriented LG 38WN95C (144Hz native, also likely H2 2020) and also the MSI Optix MEG381CQR (144Hz native, Q3/Q4 2020).

49″ ultrawide with 5120 x 1440 and 144Hz – LG.Display are already producing a 32:9 aspect ratio 49″ ultrawide panel with a 60Hz refresh rate and high 5120 x 1440 resolution. They also plan to produce a 144Hz refresh rate version although production was originally not expected until Q4 2019 and this panel does not appear on the latest roadmaps we have from Dec 2019 so it may well have slipped or been pushed back. No news of any screens featuring this panel yet.

AU Optronics don’t have any ultra-wide high refresh rate IPS-type panels in their current roadmaps, instead choosing to focus on VA-type panels in that space. So it seems that they are sticking to the typical 16:9 aspect ratio market, and leaving the 34”+ ultra-wide space to LG.Display for now. Samsung have so far not planned any high refresh rate PLS panels, which is their IPS-type technology. They seem to be more focused on their VA panels at the moment as well.

240Hz IPS Panels with 1080p Resolution

Above: Acer Nitro XV273X with 240Hz IPS panel and 1080p

We have now seen a variety of 240Hz IPS panels produced, with a range of monitors already released or announced. Some even offer overclocking features to extend 240Hz to even higher refresh rates – at the moment the maximum launched is 280Hz!

These 2400Hz IPS panels are initially available from AU Optronics and only with 1080p resolutions and in sizes of 24.5″ (M250HAN01.3) and 27″ (M270HAN03.0). The smaller version has been in production since July 2019, and the larger version slightly before since May 2019. AUO have had to work to improve response times even further to be able to cope with the high frame rate demands of 240Hz. The Acer Nitro XV273 X (reviewed) was the first screen released in 27″ and featuring the new 240Hz panel. We have also seen other models released including the Dell Alienware AW2720HFAcer Nitro VG272X and ViewSonic Elite XG270. There is also the Asus TUF Gaming VG279QM (reviewed) which allowed for an overclocked 280Hz refresh rate from this panel, and also supported Asus’ ELMB-sync for simultaneous blur reduction and variable refresh rates. Those models are adaptive-sync and so support FreeSync and G-sync. There are also some Native G-sync module screens like the Acer Predator XB273 X.

Above: Asus TUF Gaming VG259QM with 24.5″ size 280Hz IPS panel

The smaller 24.5″ equivalent panel from AUO has also been used in various models announced including the Acer Nitro XV253QX, Dell Alienware AW2521HFAcer VG252QX and MSI Optix MAG251RX for instance all with 240Hz. Asus are also releasing their 24.5″ TUF Gaming VG259QM which allows for a 280Hz overclock (like the 27″ model does) and includes simultaneous blur reduction and VRR support through their ELMB-sync technology.

Above: LG 27GN750 with 27″ IPS panel and 240Hz from LG.Display

LG.Display are also developing a 27″ IPS panel (LM270WF9) with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and 240Hz refresh rate. This will be combined with their new, lower 1ms G2G response time spec. Production has commenced since Q4 2019. A smaller 24.5″ IPS panel with 1080p and 240Hz is also planned but not until Q3 2020 at the moment. LG (the display manufacturer) announced the forthcoming release of their 27″ LG 27GN750 which features a 1080p IPS panel and 240Hz and is expected to be released in H1 2020 which is expected to use their new panel.

240Hz with 1440p Resolution

There are also plans to offer 240Hz IPS panels with a higher 2560 x 1440 Quad HD resolution. From AU Optronics there are 27″ (M270DAN08.0) and 32″ (M320DAN02.0) sized versions which were scheduled to go in to mass production in Jan 2020 and Feb 2020 respectively, which sound very interesting. Both have wide colour gamut as well. At the end of May 2020 some information appeared about the Acer Nitro XV272U X which looks to be the first model to feature the new 27″ 240Hz @ 1440p panel.

LG.Display also plan to develop a 27″ size 1440p IPS panel with 240Hz, with their offering including wide gamut support and also HDR 600. This isn’t expected to go in to production until Q4 2020 though.

From Innolux there are also plans to produce a 27″ 240Hz panel (M270KVA-E9B) with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 90% DCI-P3 gamut and HDR 600 support. Mass production is planned for Q3 2020 at the moment.

360Hz IPS Coming Soon?

There have been a couple of 360Hz refresh rate screens announced over the last 6 months, primarily being showcased as prototypes at CES 2020 in January. From recent information it appears that these will be IPS technology and almost certainly from AU Optronics, although official specs and details remain limited. We do know that they are 24.5″ in size and will be limited to a 1920 x 1080 resolution though. There are two 360Hz models currently announced, the Asus ROG Swift 360Hz, and the Dell Alienware AW2521H. More information on these when we get it.

27″ 4K resolution IPS panels

Above: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ and Acer Predator X27 with 27″ 4K @ 144Hz IPS-type panels and FALD HDR support

In the “4K” Ultra HD resolution space, AU Optronics have produced a flat 3840 x 2160 IPS-type module (M270QAN02) with 144Hz refresh rate which was showcased at Computex all the way back in June 2016 in the form of an Asus monitor prototype. There will be two flavours of this panel, a “normal” panel and then one that supports high end HDR.

The arguably more exciting M270QAN02.2 offers an Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate, but also has full HDR support and a full-array local dimming (FALD) 384-zone backlight. The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ (reviewed) was the first model announced featuring this new panel, offering a really impressive feature set even beyond the 3840 x 2160 resolution @ 144Hz which is exciting enough. See the linked review for more information but the other specs are focused on delivering high end HDR and support for NVIDIA G-sync variable refresh rates. Acer have already released a competing model, their Predator X27. AOC did have plans to release one in 2019 with their AGON AG273UG but this might have been scrapped as it never appeared. There is also the Acer ConteptD CP7271K P which is a more uniquely designed alternative coming soon.

Given that the Asus and Acer models only appeared around July/August 2018, that’s over 2 years since the prototype was shown off at Computex! It’s apparently been a massive challenge to get the FALD backlight working properly with the variable refresh rate G-sync module, and at suitable performance for fast gaming content.

A borderless version of the same 4K @ 144HZ with 384-zone FALD panel is expected to go in to production in Q3 2018 as well which could signal the next development phase for those high end HDR gaming screens. Although there are also developments with Mini LED backlights which are discussed below which offer more dimming zones, and may be the logical update to those screens already available.

Above: Acer Nitro XV273K with 4K @ 144Hz IPS panel, but no HDR

If you don’t want or need the HDR FALD support, the normal version of this AUO 4K @ 144Hz panel is the M270QAN02.3 with specs in line with typical panels. Without the HDR FALD backlight, it significantly brings the retail cost of the monitors down. There’s been a lot of complaints about the very high retail price of the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ and Acer Predator X27 monitors mentioned above, but that is largely due to the FALD HDR backlight production. If you just want an Ultra HD 144Hz IPS gaming panel without the added HDR capability, this alternative panel option might present some good, lower cost choices. We have reviewed the first screen that uses this panel which is the Acer Nitro XV273K (reviewed). This features AMD FreeSync support as well, while an NVIDIA G-Sync alternative is available in the form of the Acer Predator XB273K. There has also been the uniquely designed Acer ConceptD CP3271K P as well as the Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ and Nixeus NX-EDG274K for instance announced which are the same 27″ size and features the 4K resolution at 144Hz, but without a FALD HDR backlight.

Above: LG 27GN950 with 4K @ 144Hz IPS panel from LG.Display

LG.Display are also now planning on getting involved with the 4K @ 144Hz market, with a 27″ panel (LM270WR8) of their own now planned with 3840 x 2160 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate. This will give an alternative option to the AU Optronics panel currently used in several 4K @ 144Hz screens which will be interesting. This is listed with HDR600 support suggesting that some kind of edge-lit local dimming will be offered, but not a FALD like the AU Optronics offerings. Production is was originally planned for Q4 2019 but this more recently slipped to Q3 2020! So LG.Display will be very late to the party here! There is the LG 27GN950 already announced which is expected to be released in H2 2020 that will use this panel.

Innolux are also developing a 28″ sized (so slightly bigger) IPS-type panel with 3840 x 2160 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate. It doesn’t offer any local dimming or HDR, but has a >90% DCI-P3 gamut. The panel (M280DCA-E7B) is planned for mass production now in Q4 2020.

32″ 4K resolution IPS panels

AU Optronics are also planning a 32″ equivalent of these Ultra HD @ 144Hz panel (part number TBC). Originally it looked like there would again be an HDR version with a 384-zone FALD, and a “normal” version without. From the latest information we have it looks like perhaps the FALD version has been dropped, in favour of a Mini LED backlit option instead which is discussed below.

The normal non-HDR version still appears in plans. Panel production was originally expected around Q3 2018 but more recent information suggests this slipped back first to Q1 2019, then disappeared from roadmaps, only to re-appear with an expected production now of Q2 2020. Presumably because of the delays and challenges with the 27″ versions. It will not be until late 2020 before any monitors featuring those panels we expect right now.

Mini LED backlights with high refresh rates

Above: Mini LED promotional display showcased at Computex 2018 (not expected to be high refresh model)

AU Optronics also have plans to develop further HDR-capable panels with a new “mini LED” technology that will offer improvements in HDR local dimming capability over current Full Array Local Dimming (FALD) backlights. Mini LED offers much smaller chip sizes than normal LED and so can allow AUO to offer far more local dimming zones than even the current/planned FALD backlights that we’ve seen so far. Those FALD backlights have been limited to around 384 dimming zones on already announced 27″ and 32″ sized panels discussed above, certainly offering improvements in dimming capability compared with say, edge-lit panels.

Above: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQX with 144Hz, 4K resolution and Mini LED backlight

The new mini LED backlight systems will support more zones with the first gaming option with high refresh expected to be a 27″ upgrade to the FALD version used for the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ and co. The updated Mini LED version increased the zones from 384 to 576, and Asus have already announced their updated Asus ROG Swift PG27UQX display. Acer are also expected to have an updated version of their Predator X27 around the same time, although no official information has been released yet. The new Mini LED panel was originally planned for production around October 2019 but this has slipped now to Q2 2020, so don’t expect release of the new screens until H2 2020 at best.

Above: Acer Predator X32 with 32″ IPS panel and 4K @ 144Hz

There is a also planned 32″ panel from AUO with Mini LED which will offer an Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 resolution, 600 cd/m2 brightness (1000 cd/m2 peak), 99% Adobe RGB gamut and 120/144Hz refresh rate. We have seen a couple of screens announced so far based on this panel including the professional-oriented Asus ProArt PA32UCG and gaming Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX and Acer Predator X32. This 32″ panel isn’t scheduled to go in to production until Q2 2020 so again don’t expect to see these displays until H2 2020.

In the future, expect to see even smaller “micro LED” production to offer even more zones and direct backlighting for HDR displays. There are no dates or expectations from AUO on the use of micro LED yet though.

Related to Mini LED backlights, Innolux are also working on some exciting 31.5″ sized panel options with ‘4K’ 3840 x 2160 resolution and 144Hz refresh rates. There are three different panel options planned with varying backlight options.

  • The simplest is the “normal” SDR capable panel (M315DCA-K7B) with a regular backlight (i.e. no local dimming) but with 144Hz refresh rate, 90% DCI-P3 gamut. A prototype is planned for Q3 2019 but this is not expected to go in to mass production until June 2020 at the moment (3 quarters after prototype).
  • A step up from that is a Mini LED backlit version (M315DCB-K80) again with 144Hz but this time offering >10,000 dimming zones for HDR, and certainly beyond the current FALD and even early Mini LED options we’ve discussed above from AU Optronics. This is listed with an even wider 95% BT 2020 colour gamut as well. Mass production is currently unknown although a prototype is expected around Q4 2019, and with mass production from Q3 2020.
  • Finally there is a “Megazone” backlit version (panel part M315DCM-E70) with over 1 million dimming zones! This is VESA HDR 1000 compliant and with a >90% DCI-P3 gamut. Mass production is now expected for Q2 2020.

No news of any displays using any of these three new 31.5″ Innolux IPS panels yet. More information on these panels from Innolux in our latest news piece.

Other high refresh IPS panels of note

Above: Wasabi Mango UHD430 display with 43″ IPS panel and 120Hz

There is also a 43″ sized panel which is being used in the Korean branded Wasabi Mango UHD430 display. We are not sure who the panel manufacturer is for this screen but it is an IPS-type panel and offers a 3840 x 2160 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. This screen lacks any variable refresh rate technology but comes at a very low price.

Above: Acer Nitro VG240Y P with 23.8″ 1080p panel and 144Hz

A few smaller 23.8″ sized screens have also started to appear recently, with a 144Hz refresh rate IPS technology panel and 1080p resolution. The Acer Nitro VG240Y P and Philips 242M8 for instance have appeared in some regions. We believe this will be based on a panel from lesser-known manufacturer Panda who have a matching panel which went in to production in Q1 2019 (panel part LC238LF1F).

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IPS-type panel options summary (in size order)

ManufacturerSizeAspect RatioResolutionRefresh RateColour GamutPanel mass production expected fromExample Monitors where known, not exhaustive
Innolux23.8″ flat16:91920 x 1080165HzWide gamutQ3 2020 
Panda23.8″ flat16:91920 x 1080144HzsRGBQ1 2019 Acer Nitro VG240Y PPhilips 242M8
AU Optronics24.5″ flat16:91920 x 1080144HzsRGBJune 2019 
AU Optronics24.5″ flat16:91920 x 1080144HzsRGBNov 2019 
AU Optronics24.5″ flat16:91920 x 1080240HzsRGBQ3 2019Acer Nitro XV253QX, Dell Alienware AW2521HFAcer VG252QX, MSI Optix MAG251RX,Asus TUF Gaming VG259QM
LG.Display24.5″ flat16:91920 x 1080240HzsRGBQ3 2020 
AU Optronics24.5″ flat16:91920 x 1080360Hz??Asus ROG Swift 360HzDell Alienware AW2521H
AU Optronics27″ flat16:91920 x 1080144HzsRGBOct 2019 
AU Optronics27″ flat16:91920 x 1080240HzsRGBQ3 2019Acer Predator XV273XDell Alienware AW2720HFAcer Nitro VG272X, Asus TUF Gaming VG279QMViewSonic Elite XG270
AU Optronics27″ flat16:92560 x 1440144Hz (165Hz overclocked for some)sRGB2015Acer Predator XB270HU, XB271HU, Asus ROG Swift PG279QAsus MG279Q,  Asus TUF VG27AQ
AU Optronics27″ flat16:92560 x 1440165HzWide gamut
Wide gamut HDR 600
Wide gamut
June 2019
Oct 2019
March 2020
AU Optronics27″ flat16:92560 x 1440240HzWide gamutJan 2020Acer Nitro XV272U X
AU Optronics27″ flat16:93840 x 2160144HzWide gamutJune 2018Acer Nitro XV273KAcer Predator XB273KAcer ConceptD CP3271K PNixeus NX-EDG274KAsus ROG Strix XG27UQ
AU Optronics27″ flat (HDR 384 zones)16:93840 x 2160144HzWide gamutQ1 2018Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ, Acer Predator X27, AOC AGON AG273UG, Acer ConceptD CP7271KP
AU Optronics27″ flat (HDR 384 zones) borderless16:93840 x 2160144HzWide gamutQ3 2018 
AU Optronics27″ flat (Mini LED 576 zones)16:93840 x 2160144HzWide gamutOct 2019Asus ROG Swift PG27UQX
LG.Display27″ flat16:91920 x 1080144HzsRGB2019 ?LG 27GL650F, Philips 272M8, AOC AGON AG27G2
LG.Display27″ flat16:91920 x 1080240HzsRGBQ4 2019LG 27GN750
LG.Display27″ flat16:92560 x 1440144HzWide gamutQ2 2019LG 27GL850ViewSonic Elite XG270QG
LG.Display27″ flat16:92560 x 1440240HzWide gamutQ4 2020 
LG.Display27″ flat16:93840 x 2160144HzWide gamutQ3 2020LG 27GN950
Innolux27″ flat16:91920 x 1080144HzWide gamut2019 
Innolux27″ flat (improved response time spec)16:91920 x 1080144HzWide gamutApril 2020 
Innolux27″ flat16:92560 x 1440144HzWide gamutDec 2018Acer Nitro XV272U and VG271UGigabyte Aorus AD27QD
Innolux27″ flat16:92560 x 1440165HzWide gamutMar 2020Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q
Innolux27″ flat16:92560 x 1440240HzWide gamutQ3 2020 
Innolux28″ flat16:93840 x 2160144HzWide gamutQ4 2019 
Innolux31.5″ flat (SDR version)16:92560 x 1440165HzWide gamutQ3 2020 
Innolux31.5″ flat (HDR 600)16:92560 x 1440165HzWide gamutQ3 2020 
Innolux31.5″ flat (SDR version)16:93840 x 2160120/144HzWide gamutJune 2020 
Innolux31.5″ flat (Mini LED, 10,000 zone version)16:93840 x 2160120/144HzWide gamutQ3 2020 
Innolux31.5″ flat (Megazone, 1 million zones version)16:93840 x 2160120/144HzWide gamutQ2 2020 
LG.Display31.5″ flat16:92560 x 1440165HzWide gamutpossibly scrapped? 
AU Optronics32″ flat16:92560 x 1440165HzWide gamutNov 2019 
AU Optronics32″ flat16:92560 x 1440240HzWide gamutFeb 2020 
AU Optronics32″ flat16:93840 x 2160144HzWide gamuQ2 2020 
AU Optronics32″ flat (Mini LED HDR)16:93840 x 2160144HzWide gamutQ2 2020Asus ProArt PA32UCGAsus ROG Swift PG32UQXAcer Predator X32
LG.Display34″ curved 3800R21:92560 x 1080144HzsRGBAug 16 plus H1 2019 update?LG 34UC79G, LG 34GL750
LG.Display34″ curved 3800R21:93440 x 144060Hz native, 100Hz overclockedsRGB2015Acer Predator X34 and Asus ROG Swift PG348Q
LG.Display34″ curved 1900R21:93440 x 1440100Hz native, 120Hz overclocked in some casessRGBQ3 2017Dell Alienware AW3418DWAcer Predator XR342CKPAsus ROG Swift PG349Q
LG.Display34″ curved 1900R21:93440 x 1440144HzWide gamutMay 2018LG 34GK950F and 34GK950GDell Alienware AW3420DW
LG.Display37.5″ curved 2300R24:103840 x 1600144Hz (175Hz max overclock)Wide gamutQ4 2019LG 38GL950GAcer Predator X38LG 37GN950LG 38WN95CMSI Optix MEG381CQR
Unknown43″ flat16:93840 x 2160120HzsRGB2018Wasabi Mango UHD430
LG.Display49″ curved32:95120 x 1440144Hz?possibly scrapped? 


AU Optronics VA panels

Above: Eizo FORIS FG2421 with 23.5″ Sharp VA panel and 120Hz

At the time of originally writing this article, there had only been a couple of high refresh rate VA panels released and used in mainstream monitors. Back in 2013 we saw a flat 23.5” panel emerge from Sharp, who aren’t really a big manufacturer of LCD panels for desktop monitors. Their 120Hz capable 1920 x 1080 VA panel was used in the very popular Eizo Foris FG2421 (reviewed). This was the first real venture in to high refresh rate VA panels and showed what was possible from that technology when response times and refresh rate were handled well.

35″ Ultrawide Panels from AU Optronics with 1080p Resolution

Above: Acer Predator Z35 with 35″ ultrawide VA panel and 200Hz overclocked refresh rate

A couple of years later on in late 2015 we saw AU Optronics release a curved 35” ultra-wide AMVA panel (M350DVR01.0) with 2560 x 1080 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate, which was used in various monitors including the BenQ XR3501 and Acer Predator Z35 (reviewed) for instance. That relatively low resolution allowed the refresh rate of 144Hz to be supported over DisplayPort 1.2 video interfaces as a full 3440 x 1440 wouldn’t be possible at that time. In some cases, like with the Acer Predator Z35, the panel was combined with a Native G-sync module and this allows overclocking of the refresh rate up to 200Hz. Although from our tests, the pixel response times were not really adequate to keep up with the frame rate and 120Hz is about the sensible limit for that panel. Response times are certainly the main challenge when trying to achieve high refresh rates on VA panels, particularly where often there are slow transitions from black > grey shades.

Above: AOC AGON AG352QCX with native 200Hz VA panel and 2560 x 1080 resolution

AU Optronics have a native 200Hz version of this curved 35” panel (M350DVR01.2) with 2560 x 1080 resolution that went in to production in June 2016 (M350DVR01.2) and was adopted first in the AOC AGON AG352QCX for instance.

35″ Ultrawide Panels from AU Optronics with 1440p Resolution

Above: Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ with 35″ ultrawide VA panel and 100Hz native refresh rate

In the higher resolution ultra-wide space AU Optronics have AMVA panels in production with 3440 x 1440 resolution and high native refresh rates. There is the curved 35” M350QVR01.0 panel which went in to production in Sept 2016 which offers a native 100Hz refresh rate, allowing AMVA panels to rival the alternative IPS panels of the same resolution and refresh rate at that time. The first screens to be announced based on these 100Hz VA panels at 3440 x 1440 were the HP Omen X35 and AOC AGON AG352UCG (reviewed). Some later models like the AOC AGON AG352UCG6 for instance used the same 3440 x 1440 @ 100Hz panels but combined it with a G-sync module to offer a small overclock to 120Hz.

There is also a borderless version in production since September 2016 (M350QVR01.1) which we’ve seen used in monitors like the Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ (reviewed) and BenQ EX3501R (reviewed).

Both these 100Hz native panels were standard gamut (sRGB) and the 100Hz refresh rate was possible still using the widespread DisplayPort 1.2 video interface. Both these 100Hz native 35″ panels have gone end of life for production now since Oct 2019.

AU Optronics have also developed a 3440 x 1440 VA panel in 35″ size which has a slightly higher native 120Hz refresh rate and  a move to wide colour gamut. There are available in normal and borderless versions (M350QVR01.3 and M350QVR01.5) which went in to development in September 2019 (delayed considerably from original plans dating all the way back to January 2018). It’s unclear when mass production will start at this stage.

35″ Ultrawide Panels with 200Hz and FALD HDR

Above: Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ and Acer Predator X35 with 35″ ultrawide VA panels and 200Hz refresh rate, with FALD HDR backlight

AUO have also developed another 35″ panel (M350QVR01.7) which supports an even higher 200Hz at 3440 x 1440 and is made possible by DisplayPort 1.4 connections. This went in to mass production in Q3 2018 (delayed a long time from original plans of Q3 2017) and we reviewed the first monitor to appear with this new panel – the Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ. It’s a very high end and expensive panel option since it also features a 512-zone FALD backlight for HDR.

There’s the Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ (reviewed) and Acer Predator X35 already available in most regions using this panel. There is also an AOC equivalent which has only recently been launched in Q1 2020 – the AOC AGON AG353UCG.

AU Optronics – Other Sizes of 23.6″, 27″, 30″, 31.5″

Above: LG 32GK850G with 31.5″ AUO VA panel and 165Hz overclocked refresh rate

There is a 23.6″ sized curved VA panel produced in more recent times by AUO with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate. This went in to development in Oct 2019 and should go in to mass production during Q1 2020. This is the smallest AUO VA panel with high refresh rate they produce.

A couple of curved 27” 16:9 aspect ratio panels are in production from AU Optronics:

  • There was at one time plans to produce a 27″ 2560 x 1440 resolution @ 144Hz curved VA panel but this seems to have been dropped and no longer appears on roadmaps. There is instead a 240Hz version listed now which started development in Nov 2019 and should hopefully go in to mass production around May 2020.
  • There is also a lower resolution 1920 x 1080 curved version (M270HVR01.0) with 165Hz refresh rate support which went in to production around July 2017 and is still produced
  • An updated 200Hz version of this 1080p panel (the M270HVR01.2) was originally expected to go in to production in Q4 2018 but this slipped to May 2019 but should now be in production.
  • There are also plans to produce a native 240Hz version with 1080p resolution (panel part TBC) which isn’t expected to go in to development until late May 2020. Mass production date is not yet known.

AU Optronics have also produced some curved 30” ultra-wide panels:

  • The first (M300DVR01.0) has a 2560 x 1080 resolution and a 200Hz refresh rate. That’s already in mass production. The Acer Predator Z301C meets these same specs but according to the Acer spec page that model is 144Hz natively, and 200Hz with an overclock. That may be more down to the G-sync module than the panel though and looks probable that it is using this particular AUO panel.
  • A new 240Hz capable equivalent (M300DVR02.0) with the same 2560 x 1080 resolution is planned, with development scheduled for Q1 2020.s
  • They also used to have a curved 30” ultrawide panel with 3440 x 1440 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate which went in to production during Q3 2016 although this no longer appears on roadmaps so has probably been scrapped now.

As well as the ultra-wide market, AU Optronics are also already producing some 31.5” 16:9 aspect ratio panels:

  • Curved panels with 2560 x 1440 resolution and 165Hz refresh rate (M315DVR01.0 and M315DVR01.3 and M315DVR01.9). These started to go in to production since around April 2017
  • There is also a flat version of this 31.5″ panel available (M315DVR01.?) with same 2560 x 1440 resolution which went in to production some time during early 2018 and has already been adopted in models including the LG 32GK850G (reviewed) for instance. This is a 144Hz flat format panel, but thanks to the presence of a G-sync module has also been overclocked to 165Hz on that LG screen.
  • An updated 31.5″ curved panel (part number TBC) with the same 2560 x 1440 resolution but an increased 240Hz refresh rate is also planned although development won’t start until around April 2020 from the latest info we have, delayed from original Sept 2019 plans. It’s unclear when this will go in to mass production at the moment.
  • A curved 31.5″ panel with a lower 1920 x 1080 resolution is also produced (M315HVR01.0) again with 165Hz refresh rate. This is now in production
  • An updated 31.5″ sized version with 1920 x 1080 resolution and a native 240Hz refresh rate is also now in development as of Dec 2019.

Very large size and ‘Big Format Gaming Display’ panels

Above: Asus ROG Strix XG438Q with 43.4″ 4K panel and 120Hz

Of other interest are a couple of 43.4″ sized panels based on VA technology from AUO. This is a fairly new panel sector for AUO as sizes for gaming displays start to grow and grow. Two panels of this size are planned both with an Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 resolution and a flat format instead of curved.

Above: Acer Predator CG437K P with 43.4″ 4K panel and 144Hz

The first is the M430QVN02.2 which has HDR 1000 certification and 144Hz refresh rate. That should be in mass production now as of H1 2019. The second is the M430QVN02.0 which has a slightly lower HDR 600 spec and 120Hz refresh rate, and should also be in production now as of May 2019. It looks likely that the first of these to appear will be the HDR 600 / 120Hz version which has been used in the Asus ROG Strix XG438Q (reviewed). The HDR 1000 / 144Hz version of the panel has been incorporated in to the Acer Predator CG437K P which is also now available.

Above: Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ with 43.4″ VA panel and 144Hz

Asus also look like they will release a second model at a later date, using the HDR 1000 / 144Hz panel this time – the Asus ROG Strix XG43UQ and also the Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ. This is the World’s first screen to use Display Stream Compression (DSC). This will allow higher refresh rates like 144Hz along with 4K resolutions, without needing to sacrifice colour depth or chroma levels, as today’s equivalent monitors require. The Acer Predator CG437K P mentioned above with 4K @ 144Hz will require some kind of colour compression to reach the maximum 144Hz incidentally as it does not use DSC.

Above: Asus ROG Swift PG65 Big Format Gaming Display with 65″ VA Panel and 144Hz

very large 65″ VA panel in a flat format is also produced and looks very interesting from a spec point of view. This panel was expected to go in to production in Q4 2018 as well and will have a 3840 x 2160 Ultra HD resolution and 144Hz refresh rate. Models from Asus, Acer and HP were announced all the way back in January 2018 and are expected to be available in the first half of 2019 now. These models feature a 384-zone FALD HDR backlight as well. The HP Omen X Emperium 65 was the first to be available, around February 2019.

AU Optronics are also working on an updated version of these 65″ VA panels with 3840 x 2160 resolution and 144Hz, but this time with a 1000+ zone Mini LED backlight. No word on development dates or any screens featuring this new panel option yet.

AU Optronics VA Panel Options Summary

SizeAspect RatioResolutionRefresh RatePanel mass Production fromExample Monitors, not exhaustive
23.6″ curved 1800R16:91920 x 1080144HzDevelopment Oct 2019, MP Q1 2020? 
27″ curved 1800R16:91920 x 1080165HzJuly 2017 
27″ curved 1800R16:91920 x 1080200HzQ4 2018 
27″ curved16:91920 x 1080240HzDevelopment May 2020. MP unknown 
27″ curved16:92560 x 1440240HzDevelopment Nov 2019, MP from May 2020 
30″ curved 1800R21:92560 x 1080200Hz2016Acer Predator Z301C (?)
30″ curved 1500R21:92560 x 1080240HzDevelopment Q1 2020 
30″ curved 2000R21:93440 x 1440144HzQ3 2016 
31.5″ curved 1500R16:91920x 1080165Hz2019 
31.5″ curved 1500R16:91920x 1080240HzDevelopment Dec 2019 
31″.5 curved 1800R16:92560 x 1440165HzApril 17 
31.5″ flat16:92560 x 1440144Hz (165Hz overclock)2018LG 32GK850G
31.5″ curved16:92560 x 1440240HzDevelopment from April 2020. MP unknown 
35″ curved 2000R21:92560 x 1080144 (200Hz overclocked)2015BenQ XR3501, Acer Predator Z35
35″ curved 2000R21:92560 x 1080200Hz nativeJune 2016AOC AGON AG352QCX
35″ curved 1800R21:93440 x 1440100Hz (120Hz with overclock)Sept 16 – Oct 2019HP Omen X35, AOC AGON AG352UCGAsus ROG Strix XG35VQ, AOC AGON AG352UCG6 (120Hz), BenQ EX3501R
35″ curved 1800R21:93440 x 1440120HzDevelopment from Sept 19 
35″ curved 1800R with 512-zone FALD HDR21:93440 x 1440200HzQ3 2018Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ, Acer Predator X35, AOC AGON AG353UCG
43.4″ flat (HDR 600)16:93840 x 2160120HzMay 2019Asus ROG Strix XG438Q
43.4″ flat  (HDR 1000)16:93840 x 2160144HzH1 2019Acer Predator CG437K PAsus ROG Strix XG43UQAsus ROG Swift PG43UQ
65″ flat with 384-zone FALD HDR16:93840 x 2160144HzQ4 2018Asus ROG Swift PG65, Acer Predator BFGD and HP Omen X Emperium 65
65″ flat with 1000+ zone Mini LED HDR16:93840 x 2160144Hz? 

Samsung VA panels

We have not had any panel roadmap updates for Samsung for quite some time now, so there are almost certainly other panels in production that are not listed in this article unfortunately.

Samsung SVA – sizes of 23.6″, 27″ and 31.5″

Above: Samsung C27FG70 and Acer Predator Z271 with 27″ curved VA panels and 144Hz

Samsung are also investing in the high refresh rate VA market with their equivalent technology, now commonly referred to by them as SVA. They have a curved 23.6” VA panel with 1920 x 1080 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate in production since July 2016 (LSM236HP02). The Samsung C24FG70 gaming display was the first to make use of this new panel which was released in October 2016.

There is also a curved 27” version with the same 1920 x 1080 @ 144Hz (LTM270HP02) which went in to production in May 2016. The Samsung C27FG70 and Acer Predator Z271 (the latter we have reviewed) are examples of screens which use this Samsung 27” VA panel with 1920 x 1080 @ 144Hz. This has more recently been updated to a 165Hz version (LSM270HP09) which went in to production in Q4 2018. The Coolermaster GM27-CF (reviewed) is an example of a display using this 165Hz VA panel with 1080p resolution, and includes an overclocking capability up to 200Hz in fact.

Above: Samsung C27RG50 with 240Hz VA panel

Samsung are also now producing a 240Hz VA panel of their own (LSM270HP10) which went in to production in Q3 2019 and gives an alternative VA option to the AU Optronics VA offerings. This has been used already in the Samsung C27RG50 (reviewed) already, one of the World’s first 240Hz VA panels.

Samsung also have a 27″ panel with a higher 2560 x 1440 resolution and 144Hz in production since Q2 2017. This has been used in some displays already, for instance the AOC AGON AG273QCX. Samsung also now have an update to this panel with a boosted 165Hz refresh rate, and this panel went in to production in Q1 2019.

Above: Samsung C32HG70 with 31.5″ Samsung VA panel and 144Hz

They also have a couple of curved 31.5” sized panels planned with a 144Hz refresh rate. The LTM315HP01 went in to production in September 2017 and offers a 1920 x 1080 resolution and 144Hz. This was then replaced by the LTM315HP04 in Q3 2018 with similar specs. There has been a more recently update (LTM315HP06) as of Q3 2019 production with 165Hz.

The LSM315DP01 is also already in production with a higher 2560 x 1440 resolution. The latter has been used in screens like the Samsung C32HG70 (reviewed) and AOC AGON AG322QC4 (reviewed), and models like the Asus ROG Strix XG32VQR. Samsung also offer an update to this panel with a boosted 165Hz refresh rate, and this panel went in to production in Q1 2019.

4K Ultra HD Resolution VA panels

Originally expected for production around July 2018 and then delayed quite a long way until Q2 2019, Samsung will also start to produce a 31.5″ curved VA panel with 3840 x 2160 Ultra HD resolution. This panel will support a 120Hz refresh rate. We’ve not seen any monitors announced featuring this panel, but it could be an interesting alternative to the 4K @ 144Hz IPS models already available like the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q, Acer Predator X27 and Acer Nitro XV273K we talked about earlier.

Samsung Ultrawide VA options – 29″ and 34″

Above: Philips 349X7FJEW with 34″ ultrawide Samsung SVA panel and 100Hz

Samsung are also investing in the ultra-wide space with a curved 29” mega-wide 32:9 aspect ratio panel offering 3840 x 1080 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate (LSM290DP01) which is in production already.

Perhaps of most interest is a curved 34” ultra-wide panel to rival those being developed by LG.Display in their IPS technology. The LTM340YP03 offers a curved format, 3440 x 1440 resolution and a 100Hz native refresh rate. This first appeared in the Samsung C34F791 display and has appeared in other monitors including the Philips 349X7FJEW (reviewed).

Above: Nixeus NX-EDG34S with 34″ ultrawide VA panel and 144Hz

Samsung also offer a 144Hz refresh rate version (LTM340YP05) of this panel with the same 3440 x 1440 resolution, with production since Q3 2018. The Nixeus NX-EDG34S (reviewed), AOC CU34G2X and MSI Optix MPG341CQR are examples of displays using this new 144Hz panel.

Samsung Ultrawide VA options – 43.4 and 49″

Above: Asus ROG Strix XG49VQ with 49″ ultrawide panel, 3840 x 1080 res and 144Hz

Samsung have also produced a massive 49″ sized panel (LSM490YP01), with a curved 32:9 mega-wide (Samsung are referring to these as “Grand Circle”) aspect ratio and “Double Full HD” resolution of 3840 x 1080. This offers a 144Hz refresh rate and went in to production in Sept 2017. The Samsung C49HG90 was the first display to be based on this panel and there have been others released since like the Asus VG49V, Asus ROG Strix XG49VQ and Acer EI491CR for instance.

Above: Samsung C49RG90 with 49″ ultrawide Samsung VA panel and 144Hz and 5120 x 1440 resolution

There is also another 49″ sized VA panel which went in to production around November 2018 (LSM490YP02) which offers a higher 5120 x 1440 resolution (DQHD = Dual quad HD resolution) and will have the same 3-side frameless design, 1800R curvature and support for 120Hz refresh rate. Slightly lower refresh rate but a much higher resolution. The Samsung C49RG90 (reviewed) is the first screen to make use of this new higher resolution panel. Other displays include the AOC AGON AG493UCX for example.

Above: Samsung Odyssey G9 ultrawide display with 49″ VA panel, 5120 x 1440 res and 240Hz refresh rate

Samsung look to have plans to increase the refresh rate of this 49″ ultrawide panel even more. The Samsung Odyssey G9 display for instance has been announced that will offer the same 5120 x 1440 resolution but now includes a 240Hz refresh rate! According to the press release this model is expected to be available in Q2 2020.

Above: Lenovo Legion Y44w with 43.4″ ultrawide VA panel and 144Hz

There’s also the slightly smaller 43.4″ sized VA panel (LSM434YP01), being positioned by Samsung as “dual 24.7 inch” in size and offering a 3840 x 1200 resolution. There will be a 144Hz version of this panel which should now be in mass production since around September 2018 (after slipping from originally forecast Sept 2017). The Lenovo Legion Y44w (reviewed) announced in January 2019 was one of the first screens to use this 43.4″ curved ultrawide VA panel, with 144Hz refresh rate. There’s also been the Asus ROG Strix XG43VQ which we believe is based on the same, or similar panel but this model only has a 120HZ refresh rate spec.

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Samsung VA Panel Options Summary

SizeAspect RatioResolutionRefresh RatePanel mass Production fromExample Monitors, not exhaustive
23.6″ curved 1800R16:91920 x 1080144HzJuly 2016Samsung C24FG70
27″ curved 1800R16:91920 x 1080144HzMay 2016Samsung C27FG70, Acer Predator Z271
27″ curved 1500R16:91920 x 1080165HzQ4 2018Coolermaster GM27-CF
27″ curved 1500R16:91920 x 1080240HzQ3 2019Samsung C27RG50
27″ curved 1800R16:92560 x 1440144HzQ2 2017AOC AGON AG273QCX
27″ curved 1800R16:92560 x 1440165HzQ1 2019 
29″ curved 1800R32:93840 x 1080144Hz2015? 
31.5″ curved 1800R16:91920 x 1080144HzApril 2016 and later updated Q3 2018 
31.5″ curved 1500R16:91920 x 1080165HzQ3 2019 
31.5″ curved 1800R16:92560 x 1440144HzApril 2016Samsung C32HG70Asus ROG Strix XG32VQRAOC AGON AG322QC4
31.5″ curved 1800R16:92560 x 1440165HzQ1 2019 
31.5″ curved 1800R16:93840 x 2160120HzQ2 2019 
34″ curved 1800R21:93440 x 1440100HzSept 2016Samsung C34F791, Philips 349X7FJEW
34″ curved 1800R21:93440 x 1440144HzQ3 2018Nixeus NX-EDG34SMSI Optix MPG341CQRAOC CU34G2X
43.4″ curved 1800R29:93840 x 1200144HzSept 2018Lenovo Legion Y44wAsus ROG Strix XG43VQ
49″ curved 1800R32:93840 x 1080144HzSept 2017Samsung C49HG90, Asus VG49V, Asus ROG Strix XG49VQ, Acer EI491CR
49″ curved 1800R32:95120 x 1440120HzNov 2018Samsung C49RG90AOC AGON AG493UCX
49″ curved 1000R32:95120 x 1440240HzQ2 2020?Samsung Odyssey G9

Other displays with high refresh rate VA panels

There are a bunch of displays now announced or released with high refresh rate VA panels, although it is tricky to identify in many cases if they are using an AUO or Samsung VA panel, or something new altogether in fact. Especially when we haven’t had any up to date information from Samsung in quite some time. We list some examples here:

TN Film

TN Film panels have been available for many years with high refresh rates of 120Hz and 144Hz. We won’t try and cover those in this article. They were the first to be offered as the technology allows for fast response times and suitable pixel performance to keep up with the frame rate and refresh rate demands. So high refresh rate TN Film panels are certainly nothing new, and widely available already in many sizes.

Above: Asus ROG Swift PG248Q and Dell S2417DG with boosted refresh rates, a little more than common 120 – 144Hz

Over the last few years there has begun a push to extend the refresh rates even further. Some native 144Hz panels have been overclocked a little, such as the flat 24” panel featured in the Asus ROG Swift PG248Q, which was boosted to 180Hz thanks to the addition of a G-sync module. There is also the flat 23.8” Dell S2417DG which has a slightly boosted refresh rate from 144Hz to 165Hz. The real changes in the TN Film market with regards to refresh rate has come through the increase of the native refresh rate even higher.

240Hz Refresh Rate Panels from AU Optronics – 24.5″ and 27″

Above: Asus ROG Swift PG258Q with 24.5″ 240Hz TN Film panel

We’ve seen a couple of panels produced by AU Optronics with a slightly higher native 165Hz refresh rate. More interestingly, they now have panels with 1920 x 1080 resolution and a native 240Hz refresh rate as well which marks a significant increase in native refresh rate support. The first generation are already available in flat 24.5” (M250HTN01.0 and M250HTN01.3) and flat 27” (M270HTN02.0 and M270HTN02.3) sizes initially with 1920 x 1080 resolutions.

Mass production saw the 24.5″ panel going in to production in October 2016, and the 27″ version in October/November 2016. We’ve seen quite a few monitors released already by key gaming manufacturers which make use of the 24.5″ panel. There are the Acer Predator XB251HQT, Asus ROG Swift PG258Q (reviewed and pictured above), BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 and AOC AGON AG251FZ (also reviewed) for instance.

Above: LG 27GK750F with 27″ 240Hz TN Film panel

The 27” panel with 240Hz refresh rate was a little behind the 24.5″ version so there are fewer displays announced using that panel but we do know that the Acer Predator XB272 features this spec as does the LG 27GK750F (reviewed) and the BenQ ZOWIE XL2740 for example.

Above: MSI Oculux NXG251 and Acer Nitro XF252Q with 24.5″ 240Hz TN Film panel (gen 2)

Updates to the first generation of 24.5″ and 27″ panels are now in production too with gen 2, pushing the response time performance a little bit and offering the new 3ms ISO response time spec and 0.5ms G2G target. Those panels are sticking with largely the same spec as before including the FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution. The 24.5″ update (available as the M250HTN01.7, 1.8 and 1.9 panels) went in to production around November 2018 (originally planned for August 2018), while the 27″ update (M270HTN02.7 panel) was expected to go in to production in December 2018 but slipped to May 2019.

There’s been many screens we’ve seen announced or released including the Acer Nitro XF252Q (reviewed) and AOC AGON AG251FZ2 for instance. Look out for response time specs of 0.5ms G2G or less which probably indicates the use of the second generation of 240Hz TN Film panel. For the 27″ gen 2 panel the Acer Nitro XF272 X was one of the first to use it. There’s also been models like the BenQ Zowie XL2746S released.

AU Optronics did at one time have plans to develop these 240Hz refresh rate TN Film panels further in 2018 and 2019, looking to develop a 25″ curved version with 1920 x 1080 resolution in Q3 2018. This doesn’t seem to have ever appeared as far as we can tell, and isn’t included in current roadmaps.

240Hz TN Film panels with 1440p resolution

Above: HP Omen X27 and AOC AGON AG273QZ with 27″ 2560 x 1440 TN Film panel and 240HZ

AUO have also developed panels with a higher 2560 x 1440 resolution, with production since around November 2018. The new 27″ 2560 x 1440 @ 240Hz panel (M270DTN02.7) also offers a 3ms response time (ISO figure without overdrive, down from the typical 5ms limit for TN Film), 400 cd/m2 brightness and even an extended gamut offering 90% DCI-P3 coverage. That 3ms response time spec is AUO pushing the overall responsiveness of the panel, and they rate that as being able to offer <1ms G2G response times with overdrive used, and in fact their target is achieving 0.5ms.

The Lenovo Legion Y27gq announced in January 2019 was the first screen to make use of this new 27″ 1440p, 240Hz panel. There have also been a couple of others since like the HP Omen X27 and the AOC AGON AG273QZ (reviewed).

Smaller 23.8″ sized screens

Above: Asus ROG Strix XG248Q with 23.8″ 240Hz TN Film panel

Finally we have seen a 23.8″ sized monitor announced in June 2018 by Asus, the ROG Strix XG248Q which has a 240Hz native refresh rate TN Film panel. This looks like it will be using a new 240Hz TN Film panel from Innolux, who have entered the high refresh rate TN Film market now as well (panel M238HHJ-K70).

AU Optronics TN Film Panel Options Summary

ManufacturerSizeAspect RatioResolutionRefresh RatePanel mass Production fromExample Monitors, not exhaustive
Innolux23.8″ flat16:91920 x 1080240Hz2018 ?Asus ROG Strix XG248Q?
AU Optronics24.5″ flat (gen 1)16:91920 x 1080240HzOct 2016Acer Predator XB251HQT, Asus ROG Swift PG258Q, BenQ ZOWIE XL2540, AOC AGON AG251FZ etc
AU Optronics24.5″ flat (gen 2 with 0.5ms response time)16:91920 x 1080240HzNov 2018MSI Oculux NXG251?, Acer Nitro XF252Q, AOC AGON AG251FZ2
AU Optronics25″ curved (24.5″?)16:91920 x 1080240HzQ3 2018. Scrapped? 
AU Optronics27″ flat (gen 1)16:91920 x 1080240HzOct/Nov 2016Acer Predator XB272, BenQ Zowie XL2740, LG 27GK750F
AU Optronics27″ flat (gen 2 with 0.5ms response time)16:91920 x 1080240HzDec 2018Acer Nitro XF272 XBenQ Zowie XL2746S
AU Optronics27″ flat (1440p)16:92560 x 1440240HzNov 2018Lenovo Legion Y27gqHP Omen X27 and the AOC AGON AG273QZ

As ever, our panel parts database is kept as up to date as possible with available and planned panels, along with their specs. We will continue to bring you news when we can of any planned panels and displays.

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Change Log for Article

Article change log – update 27/5/20

  • Added link to Samsung C27RG50 (240Hz VA panel) review now completed – the World’s first 240Hz VA panel
  • Added link to Acer XZ270X and XZ320QX with 27″ and 32″ 240Hz VA panels
  • Added link to Acer Nitro XV272U X – the World’s first 240Hz IPS panel with 1440p resolution
  • Added link to AOC AGON AG273QZ review now completed – one of only a few 1440p TN Film models with 240Hz
  • Review link for Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ – 27″ IPS with 4K at 144Hz refresh rate
  • Added section on forthcoming 360Hz IPS models and panels
  • Added link to Coolermaster GM27-CF with 27″ VA panel and 165Hz / 200Hz refresh rate

Article Change Log – Update 1/5/20

  • A few minor updates to the Samsung VA panel section

Article Change Log – Update 2/4/20

  • Big update with all the latest news and monitor announcements. Including updates for 240Hz IPS, VA and TN Film panels, new model links and new panel developments from Innolux, AUO and LG.Display

Article Change Log – Update 8/8/19

  • Big update with all the latest news and monitor announcements. Including updates for 240Hz IPS, VA and TN Film panels, new model links and new panel developments from Innolux, AUO and LG.Display

Article Change Log – Update 9/1/19

  • Updated after CES 2019 news. Added Asus ROG Strix XG438Q (large format VA), Lenovo Legion Y27gq (27″ 1440p, 240Hz TN Film panel), Lenovo Legion Y44w (43.4″ ultrawide VA panel with 144Hz), HP Omen X Emperium 65 (BFGD with VA panel).

Article Change Log – Update 4/1/19

  • Added Samsung CRG49 (with 49″ VA panel), LG 27GL850G (27″ IPS panel) and corrected LG 38GK950G refresh rate spec to 175Hz overclockable

Article Change Log – Update 3/1/19

  • Massive update to all sections with latest panel and monitor insight

Article Change Log – Update 8/6/18

  • Massive update to the article overall

Article Change Log – Update 9/10/17

  • Updates to timelines for 34″ and 37.5″ IPS panels
  • Updated timeline for production of 27″ 4K @ 144Hz IPS panels
  • 32″ IPS panel with 4K resolution and 144Hz added to IPS section
  • Update to timelines of Samsung SVA panels in various sizes
  • Updates to 240Hz TN Film panels with new curved and higher res options

Article Change Log – Update 22/6/17

  • Updated details for Acer Predator X27 – 27″ IPS with 144Hz Ultra HD res panel
  • Added Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ and Acer Predator X35 to 35″ VA panels roadmap with 200Hz support
  • Added Samsung C49HG90 to 49″ mega-wide VA panels with 144Hz refresh rate

Article Change Log – Update 31/3/17

  • Added Samsung 49″ 32:9 aspect ratio VA panel at 144Hz and 44″ 29:9 aspect ratio VA  at 144Hz
  • Added 35″ curved VA panel from AUO with 3440 x 1440 @ 200Hz
  • Added 27″ 3840 x 2160 @ 144Hz IPS-type panel from AUO and updated HDR version info
  • Added summary tables in each section to help keep things simple

Article Change Log – Update 30/3/17

  • Added Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ and Acer Predator XB272-HDR to 4K IPS at 144Hz with date expectations
  • Added links to the Acer Predator Z271 (27″ 1080p, VA, 144Hz), Asus ROG Swift PG258Q (24″, 1080p, 240Hz, TN Film) and AOC AGON AG352UCG (35″, 3440 x 1440, 100Hz, VA) reviews

Article Change Log – Update 13/3/17

  • Added AOC AGON AG352QCX to 35″ 2560 x 1440 res VA technology models at 200Hz

Article Change Log – Update 25/1/17

  • Added HP Omen X35 and AOC AGON AG325UCG to the roadmap of 35″ 3440 x 1440 res VA screens with 100Hz native refresh rate
  • Added link to AOC AGON AG251FZ review, now completed. Asus ROG Swift PG258Q review coming soon

Article Change Log – Update 15/12/16

  • Added AOC AGON AG251FZ to the list of forthcoming 24.5″ 240Hz TN Film models – review coming soon
  • Added BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 to the list of forthcoming 24.5″ 240Hz TN Film models
  • Updated details of the 34″ 144Hz native 2560 x 1080 IPS panel from LG.Display used in the LG 34UC79G (review now available).

Article Change Log – Update 20/10/16

  • Updated status of 34″ IPS Ultra-wide panel with 3440 x 1440 res @ 144Hz. Planned production delayed from Q1 to Q3 2017.
  • Added new detail of planned 37.5″ IPS panels with 3840 x 2160 @ 144Hz
  • Correction to panel part numbers for 24.5″ TN Film panels at 240Hz
  • Updated mass production dates for 240Hz TN Film panels. 24.5″ now in mass production from Oct, and 27″ from Nov 2016.
  • Updated mass production date for 27″ 240Hz TN Film panels, Oct/Nov 2016. Panel part numbers also updated
  • Update to 35″ 3440 x 1440 VA panels from AUO. 100Hz versions mass production delayed from June/July to Sept 2016. 200Hz version no longer listed (now 100Hz).
  • Update panel part for AUO 31.5″ VA panel with 2560 x 1440 @ 144Hz. Mass production expectation of January 2017.

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