Originally published 5 January 2022, last updated 29 October 2022
Back in January at the CES 2022 event Asus announced their new ROG Swift PG27AQN eSports gaming monitor. Its’ a 27″ screen with a 2560 x 1440 resolution, but with a whopping 360Hz refresh rate. This is the first time we’ve seen 360Hz on any monitor with more than 1080p resolution and the PG27AQN also provides a range of new technology innovations according to the press release then, and more recently in October 2022. We also have an update on the specs, pricing and availability now which has been updated below.
The first 1440p 360Hz monitor
We’ve seen quite a few 360Hz refresh rate monitors already, including the Asus ROG Swift PG259QN that we reviewed back in September 2020 – the first to market in fact. This is the first time though that we’ve seen 360Hz available from a higher resolution screen, offering 2560 x 1440 like many 27″ sized screens. This is of course going to require an even more hefty system and graphics card to power it! The launch video states that this is via an overclocking feature, which would make sense as we are not aware of any native 360Hz AUO panels of this size. Either way, the refresh rate is higher than other 27″ 1440p models currently available.
Co-developed with NVIDIA
The screen features a Native NVIDIA G-sync module and has been co-developed with NVIDIA to optimise performance. This helps ensure super-smooth VRR experience, as well as bring other in-built benefits like variable overdrive and super-low input lag. The NVIDIA G-SYNC processor delivers an excellent gaming experience with no tearing, stuttering, or input lag. This variable refresh rate technology synchronizes the refresh rate of the display with the GPU so that you get a smooth and tear-free gaming experience, all without the latency introduced by traditional Vsync.
As well as the G-sync module, the screen includes NVIDIA Reflex Analyzer so you can measure and track system and display latency easily.
Why 1440p you might ask, and not the common esports standard of 1080p? According to the press release “NVIDIA researchers found that using a 27-inch 1440p display can improve aim by up to 3%, compared to playing on a traditional 1080p 24-inch display.” In case you did want to play at lower resolutions or on a smaller screen, the PG27AQN does offer the ability to use defined 25″ screen size mode at either 1920 x 1080 (1080p) or even 2368 x 1332 apparently.
‘Ultrafast IPS technology’ for improved response times
Asus were keen at CES 2022 to promote in their launch video and press release the new so-called ‘Ultrafast IPS’ technology they’ve used for this screen. Their press release says there are “three key innovations in its liquid-crystal display technology give it the fastest response time of any monitor we’ve ever made. We call this trio of innovations ultra-fast IPS technology. It’s built to crush motion blur and give gamers unprecedented clarity even in the fast-moving battlefields of today’s esports competitions.”
Asus say that in conjunction with AU Optronics (the panel manufacturer for this screen) they have introduced a new kind of liquid crystal that offers “higher birefringence and lower viscosity so they can twist quickly and make space for light to pass through, improving the response times”. They have also changed the orientation of the liquid crystals for efficiency. Previously, they were lined up parallel to the polarizer surface, so the response time for the entire screen to turn from black to white was slower. With this new arrangement, the liquid crystals take less time to turn compared to the ones found in normal panels. Asus have now listed the response time as 1ms G2G but do state in various places that the screen is supposedly “the fastest they’ve ever built”. In the more recent October 2022 press release they also say it can “delivery the fastest response time of any LCD display available”.
Lastly Asus and AUO have integrated a dual-layer voltage driver into the display. Conventional displays only use a single-layer voltage driver to twist the liquid crystals from the upper left to the bottom-right corner. With the new dual-layer voltage driver design, the liquid crystals twist from the upper-left and bottom-right corners simultaneously for a smoother, more consistent image.
It remains to be seen how this will perform in practice, but it does appear to be more than just a marketing gimmick, backed by actual technical improvements. Asus also provide this video explaining Ultrafast IPS in more detail that is worth a watch:
Other Specs and Features
The PG27AQN has 1x DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC and 3x HDMI 2.0 ports. A cable management channel built into the stand lets you tuck cords out of sight. And an integrated 2x USB port hub makes it easy to connect your favourite peripherals to your PC while keeping your desk surface tidy. There’s also a headphone connection included.
The screen will also carry the VESA DisplayHDR 600 certification meaning it must have some form of local dimming (expecting simple edge lit dimming with a small number of zones), along with a wide colour gamut with 98% DCI-P3 (~135% sRGB) and it should support 10-bit colour depth as that’s reqauired for this certification, although Asus list 16.7m colours on their spec page at the moment which is only 8-bit. This also offers a 600 nits peak brightness for HDR. In other specs there is a 400 nits SDR brightness, 1000:1 contrast ratio and 178/178 viewing angles. The screen comes factory calibrated with a dE <2 as well.
Asus’ AuraSync RGB lighting is also featured on the back of the screen as you can see from the below image. The overall design is familiar if you’ve ever used or seen their other ROG Swift monitors. The stand offers tilt, swivel, height and rotate adjustments.
Availability and Pricing
The Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN is available to order now in the UK from Scan.co.uk at a retail price of £1098.98. More details on availability in other regions when we get it.
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