Enter the ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q
Personally, I've been pushing the boundaries of high resolution and high refresh rate monitors forever. My first big purchase for my PC was way back when I purchased a Sony G520 21-inch CRT that provided 1600x1200 (at this time this was equivalent to 4K monitors) at 85Hz. Heck, the G520 was able to drive up to 170Hz depending on the resolution - even today, 170Hz is an impressive feat.
This is where the ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q steps up to the plate, offering its WQHD resolution of 2560x1440. Every other 2560x1440 monitor before it has been locked at 60Hz, which has seen gamers steer clear of them if they wanted to pursue high frame rates above the 60Hz threshold, shifting down to the 1920x1080 panels that offer 120Hz or even 144Hz. ASUS' other 144Hz monitor is the VG278HE, which has a resolution of 1920x1080, and a 2ms response time. This was one of the monitors that gamers could choose, if they wanted a seriously powerful display, until now.
ASUS has packed the ROG Swift PG278Q with a slew of gaming-related features outside of the obvious 2560x1440 resolution and NVIDIA's G-SYNC technology. Trace talked about these points, but I'm going to reiterate them quickly. ASUS has baked in a single DisplayPort 1.2 port on the ROG Swift PG278Q, something I'm perplexed with. Sure, 1440p at 144Hz requires DisplayPort 1.2, but surely ASUS could've provided other inputs if people chose to plug in a PS4, Xbox One, or even a PC that doesn't have DisplayPort. For me, my ASUS 31.5-inch 4K monitor had to be unplugged, because that too can only be plugged in through a DisplayPort connection (#firstworldproblems, I know).
We have two USB 3.0 ports which come in handy for plugging your mouse and keyboard into the monitor, which saves having to plug them into your PC, especially at a LAN. The 2560x1440 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate are also met with a super-rapid refresh rate of just 1ms, which culls virtually every single iota of motion blur and lag, providing the smoothest gaming monitor I've ever used, and I've used A LOT.
But it's not just technical specs that ASUS has made sure are nailed down, it's the smaller things outside of the monitor, too. Things like the is-it-even-there bezel of just 6mm, which makes it perfect for triple-monitor setups (something we hope to do in the very, very near future with three of these bad boys and GeForce GTX GPUs in triple SLI). But ASUS has also provided VESA wall mounting capabilities, an ergonomic stand that has full tilt, swivel, pivot and height adjustments - which makes it not only a great performing monitor, but a versatile monitor that will meet any gamer's needs. The ability to move it into portrait mode is one big feature, especially for those like myself who want to build systems with three of these bad boys, for NVIDIA Surround Vision in portrait - oh yes.
Not only that, we have two other big technologies built into the ROG Swift PG278Q - ULMB and NVIDIA 3D Vision. The first, ULMB or Ultra Low Motion Blur technology is NVIDIA's way of reducing the effects of motion blur, and is a quasi-sequel to NVIDIA's LightBoost technology from its 3D Vision technology. But, ULMB can only be enabled if you have G-SYNC disabled, so you have to choose between these two technologies - hint, I'd recommend G-SYNC.
Secondly, ASUS' new gaming monitor also supports 3D Vision 1 and 2. For those not acquainted with 3D Vision, it is NVIDIA's 3D technology that provides a seriously slick way of playing your games - in 3D. There are over 700 3D Vision ready games available to play, as well as the slew of 3D Blu-ray movies and YouTube 3D Playback content. Not everyone is a fan of 3D Vision, myself included, but the technology is there on top of a bunch of other great modes and technology to play with.
For our testing, NVIDIA provided the display chops with the ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q, but for the rest of our system, here's what I'm running right now:
- CPU: Intel Core i7 4930K processor w/Corsair H110i cooler (stock clocks)
- Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition
- RAM: 32GB Corsair Vengeance Pro (2 x 16GB kits) of 2400MHz DDR3
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 (reference) in SLI
- Storage: 240GB SanDisk Extreme II and 480GB SanDisk Extreme II
- Chassis: InWin X-Frame Limited Edition
- PSU: Corsair AX1200i digital PSU
- Software: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
- Drivers: GeForce 340.43
We'd like to thank all of our partners for their support, as this couldn't be possible without NVIDIA, ASUS, Corsair, SanDisk, or InWin. Without them, we wouldn't have the hardware here to test today, so I'd like to thank them all for providing us with the hardware here in my lab.
Enabling G-SYNC is incredibly easy, simply go into the NVIDIA Control Panel (right click on the desktop and click the NVIDIA Control Panel). Once you're in there, there are four sections to choose from: 3D Settings, Display, Stereoscopic 3D and Video. In the Display options, the second-to-last option is "Set up G-SYNC".
Go into the Set up G-SYNC tab, and make sure to click the box that says 'Enable G-SYNC'. Once you've done this, there's just a couple of other things you have to confirm: that you're running 144Hz - if you've got the hardware capable of driving anything above 100FPS at 2560x1440.
To do that, in the Display options, click 'Change Resolution'. Once you're in there, you'll see that you're sitting on 2560x1440 - but if not, change it to 2560x1440 - and the refresh rate is set to 60Hz. You should see something identical to the image above. To the right, you can see 'Refresh Rate' - change this to 144Hz.
If you've done this, you'll see what I have above: 2560x1440 at 144Hz. Now move the mouse around... there is an instant change to the entire movement of your mouse, isn't there? Try grabbing a window, and moving it in circles - you can still read the text inside of it. Better yet, grab a movie or video file and play it, moving the window in circles on the desktop. Beautiful, isn't it?
There's one final step you have to do, and that is to go into the 'Manage 3D Settings' in the 3D Settings tab. Once you're in there, make sure that the 'Vertical Sync' option says 'G-SYNC'. Once you've done that, you're all ready to get your G-SYNC on.
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