During the ASUS monitor showcase not too long ago, we saw one monitor in particular that is ASUS’s current best with top-of-the-line hardware built into a single monitor. That monitor is the ROG Swift PG27UQ – a 4K resolution monitor with 144Hz refresh rate with G-Sync, supports HDR and priced at RM10,999.
So what is the deal with this super high-priced monitor? Is it worth the price? Let’s find out in this review of the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ.
Firstly, let’s take a look at the box itself. Being charged a premium, the contents better be fantastic. Looking inside, we can find the a slew of things – starting from the power brick, a color calibration testing report for this particular monitor with its serial number, a few guides, and a pouch for the accessories. It’s worth noting that the power brick for this monstrous monitor is actually the same as some of their ROG laptops.
Looking at the certificate itself, ASUS included all of their testing method and equipment used.
On the cable side of things, the ROG Swift PG27UQ comes with a USB 3.0 uplink cable, a HDMI cable, and also a super-premium DisplayPort cable that supports up to 8K in resolution. Obviously, that’s a story for another time.
|Panel Size||Wide Screen 27.0″(68.47cm) 16:9|
|Color Saturation||97% (DCI-P3), 99% (Adobe RGB)|
|Panel Type||In-Plane Switching|
|Display Viewing Area (HxV)||596.16 x 335.34 mm|
|Pixel Pitch||0.155 mm|
|Brightness||600 cd/㎡ (Typical)/1000 cd/㎡ (Peak)|
|Contrast Ratio (Max)||1000 :1 (Typical)/50000 :1 (HDR)|
|Viewing Angle (CR≧10)||178°(H)/178°(V)|
|Response Time||4ms GtG|
|Display colors||1.07b (10 bit with dithering)|
|Dynamically Local Dimming||Yes, 384 zones|
|Refresh Rate (Max)||144Hz (overclocking)|
|Power Consumption||180W (HDR on)|
|Trace Free Technology||Yes|
|Color Accuracy||△E≦ 3|
|GamePlus (modes)||Yes (Crosshair/Timer/FPS Counter/Display Alignment)|
|Low Blue Light||Yes|
|Game Visual||6 Modes(Scenery/Racing/Cinema/RTS/RPG/FPS/sRGB Modes)|
|Height Adjustment||0~120 mm|
|Lighting||Aura Sync & ROG Light Signal|
|Signal Input||HDMI(v2.0), DisplayPort 1.4|
|USB upstream||USB 3.0 Type-B x1|
|USB downstream||USB 3.0 Type-A x2|
The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ comes with two video inputs behind the monitor itself – HDMI and also DisplayPort. For a monitor like this, we do not advise in using HDMI at all as HDMI itself is the bottleneck and can only run at 4K 60FPS maximum for this particular monitor. While running on DisplayPort however, the ROG Swift PG27UQ can run at a native 4K resolution at 120Hz. To run on 144Hz, you’ll need to overclock the monitor. More on this later.
There is also a USB uplink port and two more USB-A ports alongside with a 3.5mm audio jack. Essentially, the ROG Swift PG27UQ becomes a USB 3.0 hub and also a 3.5mm audio passthrough if HDMI audio output is used.
Here we can also see an interesting port – the “service use only” port. According to ASUS, you can update the firmware of the monitor and presumably get some enhacements and improvements. However, you’ll have to bring the monitor back to ASUS’s service center to do the firmware upgrade as it uses a proprietary cable.
Of course, there’s also a power jack. It uses an external power brick and this monitor actually consumes quite a lot of power – which ties in to how the monitor is designed aesthetically.
While looking at the back, we can see that the monitor has a chromed diagonal line going through the entire monitor. This separator actually creates a gap and lets air to pass through. This monitor consumes lots of power, and having these gaps is to prevent overheating.
On the monitor arm itself we can see the ROG Light Signal and a little wheel beneath it. You can actually adjust the ROG Light Signal’s angle to have it shine higher or lower – or turn it off completely via the OSD.
At the right left side of the monitor, there’s a big ROG logo in what seems to be silver – but it’s actually an RGB-illuminated logo that can be synchronized with Aura Sync.
At the bottom right corner of the ROG Swift PG27UQ, we can see ASUS using their signature joystick OSD controller and also a few more buttons.
There’s also a little ambient light sensor at the top to detect if the environment is too bright or dark, then adjusts the brightness accordingly. It’s actually how smartphones’ automatic brightness works.
In terms of ergonomics, the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ has height adjustment, swivel, tilt, and pivoting. VESA mount options is available as well for those who prefers to use a flexible monitor arm, which requires the removal of the stand to reveal the 100x100mm VESA mounting point.
Aside from the top-of-the-line specs of the display, the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ does come with the usual set of ROG monitor features. Let’s take a look at the OSD menu.
Looking at the full menu, we first see the option for overclocking. It turns on 144Hz refresh rate but cuts down on the color space. When it comes to gaming, that reduction in color space isn’t going to affect much – but it does affect tasks that require precision in color reproduction.
This is not ASUS’s problem, but actually DisplayPort 1.4’s hardware limitation in bandwidth.
Then we have a total of 5 levels of blue-light filter. You can either use the one included in the monitor’s firmware or just use Windows 10’s built-in “night mode”.
One big highlight here with the ROG Swift PG27UQ is the quantum dot display with a total of 384 different backlight zones. It is super bright compared to conventional IPS LCD monitors, but it has something called the halo effect.
You can mitigate the halo effect by going into the OSD menu and tinker with the “dark boost” option. You can select and it can actually reduce the halo effect by quite a lot. Here is an exaggerated comparison of the halo effect from the IPS glow.
Using the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ
I absolutely love the color of the ROG Swift PG27UQ. The display is really bright and yes – I can even do photo or video editing on this monitor since the colors are accurate. HDR content is definitely a piece of cake for the ROG Swift PG27UQ, something that gamers, enthusiasts and the professionals will appreciate.
It’s a monitor that’s way ahead of its time – and with that said, even two GTX 1080 Ti reference cards in SLI can’t even reach 120Hz for most games. While playing Overwatch with the highest possible settings, it ranges around 96FPS to about 110FPS most of the time. Which is actually good – you don’t need to overclock the monitor and reduce the color space.
Imagine if the game does not support SLI – then the game wouldn’t even run consistently at 30FPS.
Wrapping up the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ review
Honestly speaking, this monitor is way ahead of its time. DisplayPort 1.4 is a hardware limiting factor here and we do not know if ASUS can actually upgrade the ROG Swift PG27UQ to the next iteration of DisplayPort via the service port with a firmware upgrade.
That aside, for a single graphics card to run 4K resolution at 144Hz alone, it’s going to be tough. Currently, even the GTX 1080 Ti couldn’t run 4K at 60FPS consistently for AAA games. It’s really a waste for not being able to fully utilize such a powerful monitor to the full extent.
This particular monitor is on a league of its own. It can’t be compared with any other monitors in the market other than the Acer Predator X27. With that said, the price of RM10,999 is very steep – and I can’t even run at 120 FPS for most of the games even with a system that uses an Intel Core i7-6900K and two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti in SLI.
Perhaps we shall wait until the next generation of graphic cards from NVIDIA and AMD before making this purchase?