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.

Unboxing

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.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ

Looking at the certificate itself, ASUS included all of their testing method and equipment used.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ

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.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ

Specification

Display

Panel Size Wide Screen 27.0″(68.47cm) 16:9
Color Saturation 97% (DCI-P3), 99% (Adobe RGB)
Panel Type In-Plane Switching
True Resolution 3840×2160
Display Viewing Area (HxV) 596.16 x 335.34 mm
Display Surface Non-glare
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)
Flicker Free Yes
HDR Support Yes
Dynamically Local Dimming Yes, 384 zones
Refresh Rate (Max) 144Hz (overclocking)
Power Consumption 180W (HDR on)

Video Feature

Trace Free Technology Yes
Color Accuracy △E≦ 3
GamePlus (modes) Yes (Crosshair/Timer/FPS Counter/Display Alignment)
Low Blue Light Yes
HDCP Support Yes
Game Visual 6 Modes(Scenery/Racing/Cinema/RTS/RPG/FPS/sRGB Modes)
G-Sync Yes

Mechanical Design

Tilt +20°~-5°
Swivel +35°~-35°
Pivot 0°~+90°
Height Adjustment 0~120 mm
VESA Support 100x100mm
Lighting Aura Sync & ROG Light Signal

I/O Ports

Signal Input HDMI(v2.0), DisplayPort 1.4
Earphone Jack 3.5mm
USB upstream USB 3.0 Type-B x1
USB downstream USB 3.0 Type-A x2

Note

  1. True resolution:
    • DP: 3840 x2160 @ 144Hz (overclocking)
    • DP: 3840×2160 @120Hz (native)
    • HDMI : 3840x 2160 (up to 60Hz)
  2. Brightness: 600 cd/m² (typical/HDR on)

Ports

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.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ

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.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ

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.

Design

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ

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.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ

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.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ

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.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ

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.

Features

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.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ

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.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ

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”.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ

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

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.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ
Hitting 93FPS here.

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?

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Materials
8
Specs
8
Ports
9
Ergonomics
8
Display Quality
9
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