The Bottom Line
- + OLED goodness, once you go OLED... you'll NEVER go back
- + 4K 138Hz for ultra-high-end gaming + OLED
- + HDMI 2.1 means it'll work with your PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X
- + Costs less than a GeForce RTX 4090
- - GPU grunt required, but other than that... this is near monitor perfection
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
I love myself a new OLED gaming monitor to try out, as a personal owner of LG's super-impressive 77-inch 4K 120Hz OLED TV any time a company wants me to test an OLED gaming monitor out... I'm all ears... well, all eyes I guess. Introducing the impressive new ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor, and what a beauty it is.
The new ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor is an absolute beast, ready to carve through your games (new and old) if you've got the GPU power to handle 4K at 138Hz, that is. You've got an absolutely stellar 42-inch OLED panel inside, with the native 4K resolution + 138Hz refresh rate you're going to need a GeForce RTX 4090 to drive it.
ASUS wakes up and includes HDMI 2.1 connectivity on the ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ, meaning you can hit up to 4K 120FPS on your Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 console. It makes the ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ great for PC and console gamers alike, so you're not just getting all that special OLED + 4K + 120Hz+ for the PC, but also your 4K 120FPS-capable console.
ASUS still has the larger ROG Swift OLED PG48UQ gaming monitor with its bigger 48-inch OLED panel, so if that was too big -- as it's the same size as the LG OLED TVs available in 48-inch 4K 120Hz -- the 42-inch OLED panel on the ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ should be perfect.
You've got a few fantastic OLED options at this price point, with the LG 42 C2 OLED, the Dell Alienware AW3423DW, and even the AORUS FO48U OLED gaming monitor... so how does the new ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ stack up? Pretty damn awesome, so let's dive right into it.
The new ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor has an MSRP of $899, but it is currently on Amazon for $1399.
ASUS ships the ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor in a larger-than-life box, which took me 30+ minutes to clear my room and desk to even be able to take photos of it. You might want to keep the box for your collection, but I dare you to show me the shelf big enough to keep it on.
You can be rest assured: ASUS is keeping your expensive, super-powered OLED gaming monitor safe inside of that packaging.
This little sticker tells you everything you need to know about the ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor.
From the front and the back, we've got the awesome ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor smiling for the camera. The back has more going on, but that's because the front is taken up by that huge 42-inch OLED panel.
I love to see the little details ASUS puts into its ROG products, and these little parts a big part of that experience.
You can install a webcam, or a light or anything else that'll screw into the top of the monitor... in this day and age of game streaming... this is a big deal for a gaming monitor. Another nice "ROG" touch.
You don't get crappy speakers with the ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor, you get some pretty damn good Harman Kardon speakers.
I totally love the ROG eye on the front of the monitor, down at the bottom so it's not distracting but it always has a... watchful eye on you.
It's super-thin, too!
Connectivity, Specs, Marketing
ASUS is finally moving into the warm, warm arms of HDMI 2.1 connectivity on its new ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor... something I've been asking for from ASUS for a while now. We're finally here, with more than just HDMI 2.1 connectivity.
We have 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 connector, 2 x HDMI 2.1 ports, 2 x HDMI 2.0 ports (big difference there) with the HDMI 2.1 speed up at the max 48Gbps of bandwidth. You've got 3.5mm audio jacks on the monitor too, as well as multiple USB ports... so you're totally covered in the I/O department with the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ.
If you're a streamer, you can attach a webcam or light on the top of the monitor.
Test System Specs
I've recently upgraded my major GPU test bed for 2022, but I will be upgrading again soon enough once Intel launches its new 13th Gen Core "Raptor Lake" CPUs and Z790 motherboards, and AMD with its upcoming Ryzen 7000 series "Zen 4" CPUs and X670E motherboards.
The new upgrades include the shift to the Intel Core i9-12900K processor, ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme motherboard, 64GB of Sabrent Rocket DDR5-4800 memory, and 8TB of Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD goodness. Intel's flagship Core i9-12900K is a beast, with the Alder Lake CPU packing 8 Performance cores (P-cores) and 8 Efficient cores (E-cores) at up to 5.2GHz.
Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme
I've got that installed into the bigger-than-life ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme motherboard, which is absolutely loaded to the brim with technologies and features that houses everything you need. We're talking about one of the best-looking designs on a motherboard yet, PCIe 5.0 support, enthusiast-grade 10GbE networking, and oh-so-much more.
RAM: 64GB Sabrent Rocket DDR5-4800
Sabrent helped out in a huge way by sending over 64GB of DDR5-4800 memory in the form of 4 x 16GB DDR5-4800 modules of its new Sabrent Rocket DDR5 memory. The company also helped out in an even bigger way, supplying us with a gigantic and super-fast 8TB model of its Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD.
SSD: 8TB Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus M.2
We're talking about 7.5GB/sec+ (7500MB/sec) from a single M.2 SSD, along with a gigantic 8TB of capacity. The 2TB drives aren't big enough for all of our game installs for GPU testing... the 4TB is much better, but the 8TB gives us room to move into 2023 without worrying about installing multiple games that are 200GB+ in size.
Some glory shots, of course.
Displays: ASUS ROG Strix 43-inch 4K 120Hz
ASUS has been a tight partner of TweakTown for many years, with the fine folks at ASUS Australia sending over their ROG Strix XG438Q and ROG Swift PG43UQ gaming monitors for our GPU test benches. They're both capable of 4K 120Hz+ through their DisplayPort 1.4 connectivity.
I will be upgrading these in the near future, over to some DisplayPort 2.0-capable panels and some new HDMI 2.1-enabled 4K 165Hz panels in OLED form of course...given that next-gen GPUs are right around the corner, there has been no better time to upgrade your display or TV.
I've been working on this system for a while now, but now we're stretching its legs with the newly-released PC port of Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered. Not just in 1080p or 1440p, not even in just 4K... but at 8K with a native resolution of 7680 x 4320. I've run through some of the very fastest GPU silicon on the planet.
- CPU: Intel Core i9-12900K (buy from Amazon)
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: CORSAIR iCUE H150i ELITE LCD Display (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Sabrent Rocket 64GB DDR5-4800 (4 x 16GB) (F4-3600C18Q-32GTZN) (buy from Amazon)
- SSD: Sabrent 8TB Rocket 4 Plus PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD (buy from Amazon)
- PSU: MSI MPG A1000G Gaming Power Supply 1000W (buy from Amazon)
- Case: InWin X-Frame 2.0
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro x64 (buy from Amazon)
- Display: ASUS ROG Swift PG43UQ (4K 120Hz) (buy from Amazon)
What's Hot, What's Not
- OLED goodness: I don't think you could buy a cheap OLED gaming monitor, because they're all kick-ass and would beat a moderately, or even top-of-the-line LCD gaming monitor. OLED panels are amazing for gaming, working, movies, and everything in between. Once you go OLED, you can't go back.
- 4K 138Hz, oh and it's OLED: Not only do you have an OLED panel, but you've got native 4K and not just at 120Hz for the PC but at a slightly higher 138Hz with OC enabled. Gaming at 4K 138FPS+ is an absolute chore on the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor.
- HDMI 2.1 connectivity: If you've got a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X console (as well as a PC, or even without one) then the HDMI 2.1 connectivity is a big deal on the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ.
- PlayStation 5 + Xbox Series X gaming: HDMI 2.1 connectivity is absolutely pivotal on a high-end gaming monitor or TV, with the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ offering some absolutely stellar gaming experiences on the high-end consoles if you've got one, and hook it into the monitor through HDMI 2.1 port.
- Not super expensive: At $1399 it's not super expensive, cheaper than the new flagship NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 that I'd recommend to drive the 4K 138Hz+ out of the monitor.
- GPU grunt required for 4K 138FPS gaming: You're going to want either an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080, GeForce RTX 4090, or an AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT or Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card for 4K 138FPS+ gaming.
Gaming Performance + Best GPU Required
Please, please don't buy this monitor without making sure you've got the GPU power to handle it. Driving 4K 60FPS+ in AAA titles is hard enough without AI-powered upscaling like DLSS or FSR, so the 4K 138FPS+ that the new ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor is even harder.
NVIDIA just released its new GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card which has enough GPU horsepower to drive the 4K 138FPS+ out of the monitor, but we're still a couple of weeks away from the release of the GeForce RTX 4080 16GB, and AMD's upcoming RDNA 3-powered Radeon RX 7000 series GPUs.
I personally used NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 4090 for the purposes of around two-thirds of my review on the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor, but in the few days leading up to my last few days using the OLED beast, the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti was enough to feed that 4K 138FPS lust.
4K 120FPS+ is hard enough on most graphics cards, but now that NVIDIA has its next-gen GeForce RTX 4090 out in the wild, the new GeForce RTX 4080 16GB is close... and AMD's new RDNA 3-based Radeon RX 7000 series GPUs are only hours away at this point... driving 4K 120FPS+ and even 4K 138FPS+ is (slowly) becoming easier and easier.
I was enjoying some glorious games of Overwatch 2 on the new GeForce RTX 4090 and an absolutely beautiful gaming OLED beast in the form of the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor was nothing by joyous. If you are considering a new gaming monitor, you will have tears of joy in your eyes once your eyeballs are on this monitor. There are simply no regrets.
Not just games, but work and media with TVs and movies are absolutely amazing on the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ. I put 10s of hours of work into the monitor, as well as many movies and TVs with a stand out being high-end flicks like Zack Snyder's Justice League, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and many others looking nothing less than stellar on the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ.
Putting it side-by-side, well... I guess, room-by-room given that my LG 77-inch 4K 120Hz OLED TV is in my bedroom, was amazing. As I've said previously, once you go OLED you'll never, ever go back.
ASUS has an absolute star of a gaming monitor with its ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor, especially when you team it with a monster new GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card. Driving that 4K 120FPS -- well, 4K 138FPS -- isn't an issue with a GeForce RTX 4090 inside of your system.
Not only are you driving that beautifully smooth 4K 120FPS+ but you're also getting the gorgeous OLED blacks that you can only get with an OLED panel, amazing viewing angles if you're sharing the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor with friends, and playing console games (or even games on the PC with some controllers on the lounge).
Speaking of console gaming, while I'm reviewing this from the perspective of a PC enthusiast and gamer, I did hook my PlayStation 5 up to the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor and enjoy some Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart... and seriously, when you see games like that on an OLED monitor, you simply cannot go back to a non-OLED display.
ASUS tweaking the refresh rate on its ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor from 120Hz to 138Hz isn't night and day, but man does it run buttery smooth if you've got the CPU and GPU power to drive it. But for me, it's ASUS finally listening and including HDMI 2.1 connectivity. Not just for PC gamers (you'd want to use DisplayPort 1.4 for that tasty 4K at 165Hz) on a monitor that will be sold throughout 2023.
If we rewind back to all the way into July 2021, the ASUS ROG Strix XG43UQ monitor is something I called the "best HDMI 2.1 gaming monitor" but the company was advertising as the "world's first 43-inch HDMI 2.1 gaming monitor" Well, twelve months is a long time and in that time ASUS has been putting in the hard yards with getting the ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ into perfection. But that ain't an OLED panel...
Like Superman crushing a handful of coal into diamonds in Superman III, ASUS continues to refine its own diamonds... ROG gaming monitors.
The alternative here is an LG 42-inch C2 OLED TV... but then you've got a TV. If you wanted a "gaming monitor" versus a "TV" then that's another consideration. LG sells their 42-inch C2 OLED TV on Amazon for less than $1000 while ASUS is charging $1400+ ($1700+ at the time of writing) for its ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor.
ASUS provides a kick-ass experience, with a better stand than the regular TV feet that LG uses on its 42-inch C2 OLED TV, too. You know if you're a ROG fan, these last couple of paragraphs don't matter, but as a reviewer, I'm going to point you towards another alternative (that also costs less). Another thing is 4K 120Hz versus 4K 138Hz, if those extra 18Hz matter, too.
ASUS knocks it out of the park with the ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ gaming monitor, especially if you've got a powerhouse GeForce RTX 4090 or Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card. You'll want to have as much GPU power as possible, but if you do... tears of pure joy you will have.
The Bottom Line
The ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ is everything you want in a high-end gaming monitor: OLED panel, 4K 138Hz, HDMI 2.1 connectivity, an awesome design and so much more. Pick this up with your GeForce RTX 4090 or Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card. You will NOT regret it. Join the OLED party, baby!