NVIDIA G-SYNC Is Amazing: This is the exact start to the What's Hot section of my look at the ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q, and it continues to be the start of the Acer XB280HK What's Hot section. G-SYNC is sexy as hell technology, and even better at 4K.
4K with G-SYNC is Unstoppable: After a few hours of gaming at 4K with G-SYNC helping those frame rates feel perfect at 60FPS, it's hard to go back. Battlefield 4 at 3840x2160 at 60FPS with G-SYNC enabled is something you simply need to witness with your own eyes, playing the game yourself - it's almost unbelievable if you're coming from even 1080p.
Coming from a 'next-gen' console, to the 4K goodness with G-SYNC, would almost feel surreal.
Great For Games, Even Better for Desktop: The Acer XB280HK isn't just great in games, as 3840x2160 is beautiful for productivity. The 28-inch size might not be perfect, but for most, it is almost prefect. The panel quality is very high for a TN-based panel, so your eyes won't be punished because it's a TN panel at 4K.
Steep Hardware Requirements: This was my only complaint on my review of the ASUS ROG Swift, and it is something that bleeds into the Acer XB280HK, mostly because most gamers don't have the hardware to be gaming at 3840x2160 at 60FPS. G-SYNC does a lot to help, but you'll still ideally need two GeForce GTX 980s in SLI to get the most out of the XB280HK.
If the ASUS ROG Swift was the best gaming monitor, and it still is, then the Acer XB280HK is the best 4K gaming monitor. Acer has done an amazing job delivering the world's first 4K monitor with NVIDIA's G-SYNC technology, and even better, is that the company has done so at $799.
For $799, a decent 4K panel would be considered good value for money. But, most of those panels are TN, and aren't that great. Acer has used a TN panel here with the XB280HK, but it is definitely higher quality than most of the TN panels I've ever had my eyes witness.
On top of that, for $799, you're getting a 4K-capable 28-inch LED that has NVIDIA's game-changing G-SYNC technology. If you've got the right hardware, and let's face it, we're talking about the upper spectrum of displays here, it really pays off. My time with the Acer XB280HK was glorious, but I have the right hardware. The beautiful thing about G-SYNC is that even if you're getting close to the monitor's refresh rate, so in this case, 60Hz or 60FPS, G-SYNC will do the rest if you can get close.
This means you need to be hitting around 45-50FPS at 3840x2160, which can be achieved using a single GPU, if you were to turn the detail down in your games. I was running Battlefield 4 on a mix of medium/high and ultra settings, without a problem - hitting ~60FPS for most of the time. But when I didn't, G-SYNC was kicking in, keeping my gaming experience nice and fluid.
Wrapping it up, if the 2560x1440 resolution of the ROG Swift wasn't high enough, or you don't have the required hardware of hitting 144 frames per second at 2560x1440 (which is tough), then the Acer XB280HK definitely deserves your attention. Without G-SYNC, I would still find this monitor worthy of your money, but as I said earlier in the review, G-SYNC is simply the cherry on top of an already impressive display.
Now you have a choice: 2560x1440 at 144Hz, or 3840x2160 at 60Hz. This is a great time to be buying a monitor, as you have two insanely great choices, with NVIDIA sitting on both sides of the fence here thanks to its G-SYNC technology. The 4K resolution on Acer's XB280HK helps it become more of a multi-use monitor compared to the balls-against-the-wall gaming display that is the ASUS ROG Swift.
Now all I need is two more of these XB280HK's for some triple 4K G-SYNC gaming... but I think I'd need a few generations ahead in terms of GPUs, so come on NVIDIA, give me my GeForce GTX 10K series GPUs right now, please?
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