I think my favorite monitor of 2020 would have to be the ASUS ROG Swift PG43UQ -- it ticks virtually every box possible. It's a gigantic 43-inch gaming monitor/TV with a native 4K resolution and super-fast 144Hz refresh rate.
ASUS previously sent me the ROG Strix XG438Q (my review on that here) -- yes, I'm using the ROG Swift PG43UQ -- but the previous model was "Strix" and not "Swift". There's a big difference here. The ASUS ROG Strix XG438Q was favorite gaming monitor of 2019 -- but the new ASUS ROG Swift PG43UQ is my favorite monitor of 2020.
ASUS has improved on pretty much everything across the board, where it counts -- a higher 144Hz refresh rate (thanks to DSC) and a much brighter DisplayHDR 1000 certification. I've got them both side-by-side and the new ASUS ROG Swift PG43UQ really is a big upgrade.
The ASUS ROG Swift PG43UQ costs just under $1400 on Amazon right now, which is a great price as it is virtually identical to the Acer Predator CG7 (read my review on that here) but with a better style, and that ASUS ROG aesthetic.
The new ROG Swift PG43UQ gaming monitor looks identical to the previous model, and I love it -- it looks great to look at, and no RGB lighting flashy-flashy at the front.
I think that the monitor looks even better from the back, seriously -- I don't think I ever get to, or have to say that. But ASUS has some awesome aesthetic design. I think the monitor looks better from the back than the front, and it's kind of a shame that this design will be missed as it'll be facing a wall for most of its life.
In the bottom left you can take off this panel, accessing the I/O ports. You get a tool inside (nicely placed, ASUS) so you can screw the stand together -- or undo it to throw the monitor onto a monitor arm (something I want to do very shortly with this monitor, expect a follow up article covering that and then I'll update this with a link to it when I have it).
Then you get access to the I/O panel.
Inside, you'll have 1 x HDMI 2.0 and 2 x DP 1.4 ports -- an Aura Sync port and power input.
On the left, we have audio jacks, USB ports and another HDMI 2.0 port.
The buttons are on the right hand side of the monitor, just behind it -- nice and easy to access but you also get a remote control for some distanced-tweaking.
The stand is also great, with a nice trio of feet with thick pads.
Connectivity, Specs & Marketing
On the back of the ROG Swift PG43UQ we have 2 x DP 1.4 and 2 x HDMI 2.0 port for display outputs, 2 x USB 3.0 ports and audio ports on the side of the monitor.
You have full 4K resolution and 144Hz refresh rate thanks to DSC, or Display Stream Compression. This is the only way to have 4K at 120/144Hz without HDMI 2.1 -- which some monitors and more TVs now have. But for HDMI 2.1 (which can do 4K 144Hz or 8K 60Hz through a single cable) is only on the GeForce RTX 30 series and upcoming AMD Radeon RX 6000 series cards.
ASUS wants you to be able to buy the ROG Swift PG43UQ pretty much anywhere -- on your desk, in your lounge room, and enjoy 4K 144Hz goodness.
This ain't not ordinary 4K TV.
I don't like this slide... but 60FPS is awful once you've used 144FPS.
I'm not a fan of HDR gaming on PC right now, but we do have DisplayHDR 1000 certification. It's a beautiful, and very bright panel.
We have G-SYNC compatibility here, too.
There's a wicked Aura Sync ROG logo projector on the button of the display, which blasts down a ROG eye onto your desk.
Test System Specs
Sabrent sent over their huge Rocket Q 8TB NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSD, which will be my new Games install SSD inside of my main test bed.
I've got a new upgrade inside of my GPU test bed before my change to a next-gen test bed, where I will be preparing for NVIDIA's next-gen Ampere graphics cards and AMD's next-gen RDNA 2 graphics cards.
Sabrent helped out with some new storage for my GPU test beds, sending over a slew of crazy-fast Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSDs. I've got this installed into my GPU test bed as the new Games Storage drive, since games are so damn big now. Thanks to Sabrent, I've got 2TB of super-fast M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD storage now.
Anthony's GPU Test System Specifications
I've recently upgraded my GPU test bed -- at least for now, until AMD's new Ryzen 9 5950X processor is unleashed then the final update for 2020 will happen and we'll be all good for RDNA 2 and future Ampere GPU releases. You can read my article here: TweakTown GPU Test Bed Upgrade for 2021, But Then Zen 3 Was Announced.
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X (buy from Amazon)
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII HERO (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML360R RGB (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z NEO RGB 32GB (4x8GB) (F4-3600C18Q-32GTZN) (buy from Amazon)
- SSD: Sabrent 2TB Rocket NVMe PCIe 4.0 M.2 2280 (buy from Amazon)
- PSU: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 1200W (buy from Amazon)
- Case: InWin X-Frame 2.0
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional x64 (buy from Amazon)
Workstation & Gaming Use
I used the ASUS ROG Swift XG43UQ gaming monitor for close to 2 months as my workstation monitor, at around two arm lengths away from me (important to do -- I can't have it on my desk it's too big and too close for that size) with the 125% DPI scaling in Windows 10 -- kiss fingers emoji.
For workstation use it is a total joy -- the 4K resolution and 125% DPI scaling makes it amazing for workstation use, as I'm typing into our CMS everyday -- working with spreadsheets for benchmarks, Adobe Photoshop for editing images, and so much more.
The brighter DisplayHDR 1000-capable panel stands out enough to make it a big difference side-by-side with its DisplayHDR 600 cousin. It wasn't too bright like an OLED can be, but it is bright enough to really stand out and make even workstation use pop. But what about gaming?
I used the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card for the gaming use on the monitor, enough to drive 4K 144Hz in plenty of popular games -- but I'm happy with rendering something like Call of Duty: Warzone at 1440p and playing at 120FPS minimum 144FPS average, versus sub-100FPS with things maxed out at 4K.
I want the maxed out graphics but will sacrifice the resolution to 1440p, and then upscaled to 4K on the 43-inch panel looks amazing. Call of Duty: Warzone, Apex Legends, I even played some old school Total Annihilation on the ASUS ROG Swift XG43UQ and it was fantastic.
It is my favorite gaming monitor of 2020, but you're going to need the GPU grunt to power it -- if you do, then you're in for a world-changing display for your gaming.
What's Hot & What's Not
- 43-inch is perfect for PC gaming: Place it at a good distance from your PC and you have a huge but not too big gaming monitor, with its native 4K resolution being perfect on the 43-inch size.
- Matches with GeForce RTX 3080: You will need a beefy graphics card, where my time with the ASUS ROG Swift PG43UQ was on the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3080 (OC Edition) -- my review on that here too.
- 4K resolution: I'm using 125% DPI on Windows 10 and my workstation use on this monitor is off the charts good, I have another 43-inch monitor next to it and have plans to upgrade to 3 of these ASUS ROG Swift PG43UQ in the very near future for the ultimate in workstation setups.
- 144Hz refresh rate: Seriously, 4K @ 144Hz is just insanity. If you can drive 144FPS in your favorite game, you're laughing. If not, knocking down the rendering resolution to 1440p is actually nowhere near as bad as it used to be on smaller, high-res displays. I played COD: Warzone rendered at 1440p upscaled to 4K with amazing results.
- DSC technology: DSC is the key to driving 144Hz through a single DP 1.4 cable, else you would need two of them -- or HDMI 2.1.
- DisplayHDR 1000: Another tick for ASUS, as the ROG Swift PG43UQ is super-bright, too. It's a good contrast between the DisplayHDR 600 version in the ASUS ROG Strix XG438Q.
- Stand: The stand on this monitor is great, nice and firm and it doesn't take up a huge amount of space -- nor does it sit too high. It would be much better if it were height adjustable, though -- or at least a height adjustable stand that ASUS sold for it.
- No HDMI 2.1: This is a big no-no for the end of 2020, but ASUS is working on new HDMI 2.1-capable monitors that will be available in the same 43-inch size. So if you wanted to plug a console into it, too -- then wait. If not, then the HDMI 2.1 port isn't even a downside for you.
- High-end GPU required: You're going to need a GeForce RTX 3080, and you'll be rocking -- if you have the money don't hesitate on the GeForce RTX 3090 but there could be some new cards on the way soon. If you missed out on the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090, then this monitor is ready for you.
ASUS had me sold on the previous-gen 43-inch 4K gaming beast monitor in the ROG Strix XG438Q but the newer ROG Swift PG43UQ is a big step up in all the right ways.
If you've got a good enough graphics card to hit 1440p 120-144FPS then you'll be golden, and if you've got a graphics card capable of hitting 4K 120-144FPS then you're going to have an even better time. If you're playing games like Rocket League, Overwatch, League of Legends, CS:GO, and many other hugely popular esports games you're going to hit 4K 144FPS easily on a high-end GPU.
But if you want to buy this monitor to plug your gaming PC and current-gen Xbox One S/X or PlayStation 4 console, then the HDMI 2.0 port here is good enough. ASUS will have a new HDMI 2.1-capable 43-inch 4K gaming monitor coming out later this year, or in 2021.
So if you're wanting a multi-function huge 43-inch 4K 144Hz gaming monitor that will work with the next-gen Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 consoles -- as well as your gaming PC, then you could wait for the new model.
But if you don't want or need HDMI 2.1, then the ASUS ROG Swift PG43UQ is one of the very best gaming monitors you can buy and won't break the bank (too much) at $1500.
The Bottom Line
ASUS hits the gaming monitor home run of 2020 with the ROG Swift PG43UQ -- 43 inches of 4K goodness at 4K and DisplayHDR 1000. Power it with a GeForce RTX 3080 and you're golden.