Acer XB323U GP vs ASUS PG329Q for gaming and desktop

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  • #63074
    Demonize

    Hi PCM,

    I’m using and still enjoying the AOC 24G2U/BK based on your great review, but time has come for something bigger and better. I’ve upgraded to an Nvidia 3080 and feel it’s wasted at the 1080p resolution and 144Hz refresh. I’ve enjoyed the vividness and pop of the colours on the AOC, especially for the fantasy and RPG games I play. And some of the shooter games. But when I watch movies with real locations I actually use the sRGB setting and enjoy that. I’m a bit weird like that in that I like the more natural and “reduced” look to things with that setting. I usually watch movies and TV shows in a bright room and I find the high brightness fine as well.

    Anyway, my plan is to upgrade this to a 1440p monitor. I’ve considered high resolution 4K as well, but I think I’ll stick with 1440p because:

    – I really want to go all the way up to 32″. The upcoming ASUS PG32UQ and ViewSonic XG320U you wrote about look fabulous and I don’t usually use that word, lol! But I think they will be too expensive for me.

    – I also think it will be too difficult to push out good 100fps or more at the 4K resolution. I am happy to reduce settings to make sure my games run like this, I can definitely tell the difference between 100fps+ or much lower frames on my AOC. And since upgrading my graphics card I always seem to get to enjoy this (yeah!)

    – I am happy with my 24″ 1080p for detail, just want it to be bigger. So I think 32″ 1440p will work well for me.

    With all of this, I’m looking at getting the Acer Predator XB323U GP or perhaps the ASUS ROG Swift PG329Q. And then giving my AOC to the wife for her to enjoy, big upgrade from her old 22″ Dell monitor. I am also open to alternative suggestions. I have also looked at the MSI Creator PS321QR but I don’t really like the brand. I’ve had bad experiences with laptops from them and don’t trust their monitors as much as others. I think ViewSonic has a version coming out as well? I really like the look of the Acer and your review almost has my convinced, but I want to explore all the options first. I know some options might be cheaper but I am happy with the price of the Acer so don’t mind the price differences.

    Thanks!

    #63076
    PCM2

    Hi there Demonize,

    I’m surprised it took somebody so long to ask about this. Well, plenty of comments surrounding this on our YouTube video and I know people discuss this sort of thing on Reddit a lot, but it’s good to have this posted here. I’m also glad you’re still enjoying your AOC 24G2U, I still consider that a really nice budget gaming option. I agree with your reasoning regarding the suitability of a 32″ 2560 x 1440 (WQHD / 1440p) model and as you’re aware I do recommend the Acer as the path forward given how much you enjoyed the AOC’s image. You’ll get to enjoy even stronger vibrancy, a quite dynamic and in my view enjoyable HDR performance and of course the extra space and pixels. Here are a few thoughts on the Acer XB323U GP in comparison to the ASUS PG329Q. Ultimately, I think you’d enjoy either model. Based on the below I side with the Acer, but you may think differently based on how you weigh things up. In addition there is some good user feedback from a member of the forum, uncia, which can be found on this thread. I share a few additional thoughts myself there, too.

    – The Acer’s sRGB emulation mode allows brightness to be adjusted. The ASUS has fixed brightness with its sRGB emulation mode. It’s ~160 cd/m² so still pretty useable, but some will have brightness preferences either side of that. TFT Central’s PG329Q had white point that was way off target and gamma that was a bit off with this setting as well, you can’t adjust that on either model but our Acer unit was better in both respects (mileage may vary).

    – 175Hz for ASUS vs. 170Hz for Acer. This is a negligible difference in practice and really just for marketing one-upmanship by ASUS.

    – The ASUS offers variable overdrive, the Acer doesn’t. This is nice in theory, but it isn’t perfectly implemented. The Acer performs better using its default ‘Normal’ setting (with or without Adaptive-Sync active) at its maximum refresh rate of 170Hz compared to the ASUS at 175Hz. Or indeed if you compare both models at 144Hz with Adaptive-Sync active, which slightly reduces the overshoot on the Acer. It has more rapid pixel responses and less ‘powdery trailing’, without obnoxious levels of overshoot. The ASUS performs better at lower refresh rates, particularly into the double digits where the Acer has strong overshoot – unless you turn the overdrive to ‘Off’.

    – ASUS includes a strobe backlight setting (ELMB Sync) that can be used with Adaptive-Sync as well. It shows a fair bit of overshoot as well as strobe crosstalk, particularly as refresh rate dips into the double digits. The tech is still useable if you like that kind of thing and it doesn’t have the strong phosphor glow you see on KSF backlights (Nano IPS etc.) I consider this an OK setting if you like to use such things, passable but not a great implementation. The Acer doesn’t include a strobe backlight setting of any sort.

    – Fully adjustable stand on Acer (pivot functionality now removed), the ASUS lacks pivot adjustment and also has a more limited height adjustment range (100mm for the ASUS vs. 130mm for the Acer). Some people find the stand adjustment range too limiting on the ASUS and that the screen sits lower than they’d like.

    – A user who compared the two models found the overall build quality of the Acer better, with a more solid, premium and weighty feel. The stand is a big part of that. He also preferred the Acer HDR implementation, stating it did better at creating ‘pop’ to bright shades and generally seemed brighter (in a good way).

    – I’ve seen some others echo these feelings about HDR who tried both models, the Acer seems more dynamic with its HDR setting for lack of a better phrase. But I still consider the ASUS a good step above average for monitor HDR – which I guess isn’t saying much. TFT Central’s review confirms a lower peak HDR luminance on the ASUS compared to what we recorded on the Acer.

    – The Acer has a better luminance adjustment range under SDR as well, with a lower minimum (44 cd/m² vs. 67 cd/m²) and higher maximum (414 cd/m² vs. 346 cd/m²). This is based on TFT Central’s recordings vs. out own. Inter-unit variation and different measurement instruments can account for some of this, but not all of it. For most users the brightness range is more than adequate in both cases, anyway.

    – Both models use an 8-bit panel but can leverage GPU dithering to handle a 10-bit colour signal. The way this is advertised is different, with Acer taking the conservative approach of advertising the 8-bit panel and ASUS including the GPU dithering stage and advertising 10-bit. The Acer has DP 1.4, whereas the ASUS has DP 1.2a+ (HDR feature set). This makes no practical difference given that both models rely on GPU dithering for the 10-bit stage, although I know it can be a nice box to have ticked for some people anyway.

    I’m afraid I don’t have any detailed feedback to share on the MSI PS321QR and can’t say how it would stack up on some of the finer points mentioned above. The only feedback I’ve had was from somebody who enjoys the experience for the same reason they’d enjoy the Acer or ASUS. They like vibrant colours and actually use the Adobe RGB gamut for their work. They said the HDR can work well for Netflix but it’s the first HDR experience they’ve had so can’t compare it to anything else. They mentioned the backlight seems to rapidly flicker sometimes under HDR unexpectedly, not sure what was causing that or whether it’s a wider issue with that model. The ViewSonic XG320Q is the model from the ViewSonic camp, but it’s not due until summer 2021. It’s mentioned briefly in this press release. Which doesn’t really have enough solid information for us to form a news piece, which is why we haven’t done so yet. It does confirm, based on the specifications, that it will almost certainly be the same panel used (AUO M320DAN02.2 AHVA). And there will be a ‘PureXP’ strobe backlight setting.

    #63081
    Demonize

    Wow. Thank you so much for your thorough and thoughtful response. You’ve sold me on that Acer and you’ve made me a lot more comfortable making this choice. I don’t feel like I’m missing out. For me a few things you said really struck the right note.

    – I strive for high frame rates, so I think the Acer with its fast pixel responses will be just fine. I’ve had some monitors that apparently have a lot of overshoot as well and I will just say I’m not too sensitive to that.

    – I prefer the design like I said and it is interesting to read I’m not the only one who does. I like the metal and sharp look compared to the more round plastic look.

    – I like my sRGB settings on this AOC. I could maybe live with dimmer, but I like maybe 200 candela or more for my bright room movies. I think the ROG might be too dim for me there.

    – I don’t like strobe backlight settings. I prefer flickerless experiences. I’ve put my CRT days behind me now.

    If I do buy the Acer I will let you know how I get on and I will surely use your link if I can or support you in another way. Thanks again!

    #63084
    PCM2

    You’re very welcome. I appreciate you wanting to support the site and if you do go for it I look forward to your impressions. 🙂

    #63278
    Demonize

    Hi again PCM,

    Just wanted to share some quick impressions on the XB323U, which I’ve been using for a few days now. I have to say it’s a definite keeping and I’m loving the experience.

    – Vividness is off the scale. I thought my AOC was vivid, this is on a different level. HDR is beautiful on this and some content under SDR has such immense pop! For sure I use that sRGB mode sometimes and it works really nicely for me.

    – Responsiveness is amazing. Just perfect for me. Honestly, I don’t find the overshoot bad even when the frame rate drops to 100fps or something. And at 170Hz I don’t really know if they could have made the experience better.

    – I love the size and immersion. Pixel density is similar to my AOC, not a problem for me and it actually looks more detailed somehow. I think it’s probably just the effect of the bigger screen and seeing the image spread out more without pixel density getting worse.

    – Contrast is not bad. I knew this wouldn’t be a big strength. Technically my AOC is stronger but really the experience is quite similar, neither stuns in a dark room. I don’t game in pitch dark so it doesn’t bother me. I really like it for HDR, I like the local dimming and the bright pop even in a bright room is great. It’s my default way of enjoying content now, I can’t get enough of it.

    – No issues with my unit. Good quality, solid build, not noticed any dead pixels. I thought I had one but it turned out to be some glue residue or something that wiped off.

    So thank you PCM for your recommendation. It’s a great screen and I plan on enjoying this for many years. I’m sure my next upgrade will be to 4K of this size and will come with a new graphics card as well. I don’t feel rushed to do this, it is something to enjoy in the future. I will let you know if I have anything further to add. I would also like to say that even though I have found my monitor I will continue to enjoy your reviews and other content. I love your style and commitment so thanks again.

    #63280
    PCM2

    That’s high praise indeed, Demonize. I’m glad you’re enjoying the XB323U GP so much and I also appreciate your kind words about the site. I always like to see people stick around even if they aren’t actively hunting for a monitor. It shows the content can be entertaining as well as informative. I joked in another post that I should start a PC Monitors anonymous club, for those who find themselves addicted to the website even when they aren’t looking for a new monitor. 😀

    #63692
    kurtangus

    Hi, this was a really good read. Im also stuck between these two monitors and I have to say that I’m quite confused by it all still. I currently have an Eizo Colour Edge 247, I’m a retoucher and need accurate colour but also want one of these monitors for the size and all the bells and whistles.
    My industry calibrates to ADOBE RGB for print proofing, so that’s how the EIZO is calibrated. Is it possible to calibrate both of these to ADOBE with an external calibrator like an i1 and colour navigator?

    Thanks and sorry if this is answered above, it gets quite technical. 🙂

    #63695
    PCM2

    Hi kurtangus,

    Yes – both models use the same panel and backlighting. As covered in our review of the XB323U GP, we measured “100% Adobe RGB coverage with some extension beyond”. Your colorimeter will get rid of that overextension for any colour-managed applications you use so you’ll be left with an excellent match for Adobe RGB. The same applies to the PG329Q.

    #63699
    kurtangus

    Amazing, thanks for the reply.

    So is one better than the other in terms of colour?

    Or anything really, they sound very similar.

    I’m basically replacing bot and Apple cinema 30inch and the Eizo lol. Apple display was great for 2560×1440 but only 60hz max. And the eizo is only 24 inch and 1080. I’ve warm through both lol.
    So is the ASU’s and also the Acer better in resolution to the Apple display and the same colour as the Eizo? That’s crazy good if so.

    I think you just made my day. But I was going for the ASUS pg329q. Now I don’t know if I should actually look at the acer. 😞😀

    #63704
    PCM2

    The differences between the two models are highlighted in my first reply in this thread. But as I mentioned, they use the same panel and have the same backlight. So you can’t really separate them based on colour reproduction if you’re going to be fully calibrating and profiling using a colorimeter. Their capabilities are exactly the same in that respect.

    #63708
    kurtangus

    Ok thanks so much for your help!

    #63760
    kurtangus

    HI again, I just received a message from Asus saying that you can’t calibrate the PG329Q with a spyder? Does this also apply to the Acer XB323U GP?

    Sorry so many questions. I was literally about to order lol. Loved your video review by the way, amazingly detailed.

    #63763
    PCM2

    It depends how old the Spyder device is, but newer models such as the SpyderX series can measure the gamut appropriately and make suitable adjustments based on that. You won’t be calibrating the monitor itself because these models don’t support hardware calibration, you’ll be creating an ICC profile and adjustments will be made there on the software level as with most monitors.

    #63766
    kurtangus

    Ah ok I understand, is that the same as my Eizo where I use an i1 with Colour Navigator? Such a big learning curve. I don’t know what I would do without asking you

    #63768
    PCM2

    No. That’s a solution for direct calibration of the monitor (i.e. hardware calibration).

    #63772
    kurtangus

    OK, I just watched a video. Hmmmm, So can I use an i1Display Pro to software calibrate the Acer XB323U GP? And if I can what software would I need? Is the Acer XB323U GP still able to calibrate accurately if its only software calibration. Sorry im getting there.

    #63780
    PCM2

    Yes, it’s really just older colorimeters (especially some Spyder models) that struggle with the calibration of models with such a wide colour gamut. The i1Display Pro is appropriately sensitive to the spectrum used for the QD backlights on the PG329Q and XB323U GP. I can’t really recommend specific software as it’s not something I have a lot of experience with. For my purposes I simply use the bundled Datacolor software that comes with the SpyderX Elite and I also use software called basICColor display which works with the i1Display Pro as well. I can certainly recommend that software, but there may be cheaper alternatives that would do the job just fine. In fact I know some users happily use free software such as DisplayCAL which seems to do a good job and is continuously updated as well.

    #63781
    kurtangus

    Thanks again for all your help, I’ve just ordered one. Fingers crossed! 🙂

    #64670
    PCM2

    Just to note that the XB323U GP has been updated slightly and no longer includes pivot adjustment for the stand. So that advantage for the Acer over the ASUS no longer exists.

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