At the Asus Gamescom 2023 event today the company announced their new ROG Swift PG34WCDM monitor. This will mark the first time we’ve seen a higher refresh rate in this space, with the screen offering 240Hz and a range of OLED specs and features that are bound to attract attention.
First Impressions, Summary and Thoughts Video
Asus ROG Swift PG34WCDM Specs
The new screen is 34″ in size with a 3440 x 1440 resolution and a steep 800R curvature. This curve isn’t to everyone’s liking but does improve immersion on an ultrawide screen generally. There is a 0.03ms G2G rated response time thanks to the OLED panels near-instant response time. There is a high 240Hz refresh rate, which is supported by adaptive-sync for VRR from compatible AMD and NVIDIA systems. The screen is also certified against the AMD ‘FreeSync Premium Pro’ scheme to give some reassurance around VRR performance.
We will confirm more specs as soon as we have more detail and have quizzed the Asus product team
HDR capabilities including a 1300 nits peak brightness
One exciting spec of the new screen is a 1300 nit peak brightness for HDR at 3% APL window size, which drops a bit to a still pretty impressive 650 nits at 10% APL. This is a step up from the 1000 nits you will typically see in the OLED monitor market, and we hope this is achieved nicely in testing. This is made possible thanks to the custom heatsink Asus have added to the panel, which also means there’s no need for an active cooling fan (and associated noise). It should also hopefully help with lifespan and reduce the risk of image retention Asus say.
The screen will also meet the VESA ‘DisplayHDR 400 True Black’ certification tier, not to be confused with the HDR400 tier for LCD screens.
WOLED Panel Instead of QD-OLED – Differences
This new screen will be different to the wide range of currently available 34″ OLED panels on the market (e.g. the Dell Alienware AW3423DW) as it will use a WOLED technology panel from LG.Display, instead of the current QD-OLED panel from Samsung. This is what brings the higher 240Hz refresh rate to the screen compared with all the currently available 34″ panels which are 175Hz only, but will also mark a few other changes.
Sub-pixel layout and text rendering
Firstly there is a different pixel structure to WOLED (RWBG) than there is to QD-OLED (triangular RGB) which in our opinion leads to more fringing problems for text, especially as Samsung made some improvements with their second generation QD-OLED panels this year, as we experienced when we reviewed the Samsung Odyssey OLED G95SC recently. The WOLED panels are still fine for many people, but are definitely more suited to dynamic content and gaming than they are to static content. Update: Asus do say that these newer panels will improve things a bit through an improved algorithm, although the pixel structure remains unchanged for now. In our time with the screen we didn’t feel it looked much different to the 27″ models to be honest.
Secondly the screen coating will be different. WOLED panels use a traditional matte screen coating, and a fairly aggressive and grainy one from what we’ve seen from the 27″ market so far (e.g. Asus ROG Swift PG27AQDM). This is better at avoiding reflections and handling well-lit environments, but it isn’t to everyone’s taste. The previous 34″ QD-OLED panels on the market have a semi-glossy style coating, which looks cleaner and clearer, but does have some issues with reflections because of it.
Perceived contrast ratio
Thirdly, QD-OLED panels like the currently available 175Hz 34″ panels suffer from a reduced black depth and perceived contrast ratio in certain lighting conditions, caused by the lack of a polarizer on the panel and the QD (Quantum Dot) layer. This isn’t an issue in the same way on WOLED panels, although you will still see some issues in well-lit rooms as light is reflected from the panel and coating, but it’s not for the same reason, and not to the same extent as on QD-OLED. So the change to WOLED here is likely to be a positive change for those wanting to use the panel in the day time or more normally lit rooms than the existing QD-OLED options.
Connectivity and other features
The screen will offer DisplayPort, HDMI 2.1 and USB type-C connections. We will update this section with confirmation of capabilities later. The screen also includes a built-in KVM function.
Pricing and Availability
Update: based on the latest roadmap information we have we would anticipate it being launched around the middle of Q2 2024. The official Asus press release and their material at the event says it is expected to be available in Q1, although the product manager we spoke to at the event suggested it could even be released before the end of this year and in time for Christmas. Pricing is still to be confirmed.
For some further information, video, our thoughts and first impressions check out our video here
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