Buying a monitor? Please refer to this post before purchasing.
October 23, 2021 at 7:30 am #66550Red_Negan
I almost gave up with AUO displays but the curiosity got the best of me. I feel with this display I could copy and paste my PG279QM impressions and they’ll hold strong but there are a few things I want to add that may be a difference-maker for some.
Firstly, here’s a quick snap looks glorious
According to Asus, both the Racing Mode and sRGB mode have calibration. Racing mode is intense, if you’ve used the S2721DGF with its crazy unlocked gamut this is that on steroids. sRGB mode Gamma seems slightly low but it looks similar to both the PG279QM and FI27Q-X thrown into their sRGB modes, everything is locked, a bit annoying this is an advantage the PG279QM had which is prob a better option for those who want that flexibility. The build is identical but more of a stealth look, more batman like, pretty nifty, I like this look more than the PG279QM which actually looked cheaper to me, the light grey in comparison looked more plasticky. Both displays feel solid on the desk unlike the GP850 I’ve had for the past 3 weeks here which is light and wobbly, feels cheap.
Standouts for me are like the PG279QM these panels just have a deep, full image whereas the NanoCell panels from LG ala AW2721D, GP850 have a less full-bodied appearance, this could be mostly I believe, a result of lower than normal contrast ratios and the fact that these traditional IPS panels seal very little letting more light through than AHVA type displays. It’s no secret that AUO panels have always had higher than typical contrast when it comes to gaming monitors. Contrast seems typical, looked similar to the FI27Q-X and PG279QM, I purposely do not measure my monitors at home, I like to use play for, well play so bringing work into playtime isn’t fun but I am looking at getting back in editing and creation so if I decide to keep this monitor, it certainly has the gamut capability for it. For me the FI27Q-X, PG279QM, and XG27AQM are very similar monitors, I feel those 3 at also monitors that have more to offer because of their strong gamut coverage but I feel the AW2721D like the G7 is one of those play only monitors where every feature is gaming based whereas I feel all 3 of the AdobeRGB displays secretly are aimed at multiple purpose colorwork.
The XG27 offers strong text rendering, mediocre QC, my panel has a dust spot but I really don’t care at this point, the perfect panel doesn’t exist. An area I didn’t quite like about the PG279QM too much was the coating, I am sensitive to this, the XG27AQM I think has a similar coating but it seems a tad smoother to me but this could be production variation or just because? who knows. I’d describe it as light-medium with a smooth finish. It renders complex images with ease and doesn’t trip over itself despite AUO panels being susceptible to some color blend.
Motion wise this monitor is damn smooth, feels like it’s Gsync brother, smooth, fast, responsive these AUO panels are really something. The UFO test looks clean as a whistle. I threw ELMB on and while I don’t use it in-game, it made the UFO test pattern look detailed and sharp, pretty cool. Oh yeah, 270hz overclock with 10-bit color enabled. Do I notice 270hz over 240hz, no, not really? This display like the PG279QM plays well with story games and shooters, this is maybe a more versatile competitive monitor than the PG279QQM but I would say going for either is fine. I don’t think, gaming-wise, this offers anything over the PG279QM outside of its ELMB but it is able to keep 10-bit color enabled so for those that want to experience some light HDR this is a bonus. HDR here is better than other HDR400 displays, it’s able to provide some dynamic range but make no mistake, it isn’t a sell-out feature. The HDR performance here is at the top of HDR400 monitor list but that really doesn’t mean much.
Worth a buy?
I don’t know what else I can add that I’ve not mentioned in my PG279QM impressions as this honestly feels like using that displays minus the exclusive features. I guess some will say which one should they get and honestly at this point, I’d say get whatever is in stock unless you truly must have ELMB or the Gamut switch control. They feel similar, they feel calibrated about the same, this unit was measured by Asus to apparently have a less than 0.30 average, I don’t know if I buy that but I don’t really care at the moment as it’s strictly a gaming monitor for now. I also think at £599 at some places, the FI27Q-X has a very similar performance to this, feels like it’s from the same family, deep, lush picture with some solid sRGB calibration with the Aorus. I also love how the FI27Q-X looks personally and the toggle feels way higher quality, this one feels awful so stick to the OSD software. The G7 is another one although it uses a different panel type, it has a stronger dark room performance with better black uniformity but covers way less of the major color spaces. The G7 has a stronger semi HDR performance but offers worse viewing angles. This monitor is solid, it offers standout features like the PG27 but has its own tricks like ELMB, 270hz OC, and cool as heck design. Part of me though always keeps thinking about the FI27Q-X I enjoyed my time with it and I could easily recommend that one even though it’s technically inferior in some areas I feel a price drop on that display would make that an easier recommendation.
The AW2721D is a monitor I want to compare it and give a bit of attention to because I’ve also had this monitor in my possession recently as well along with the GP850 but I feel mentioning the GP850 is pointless because it really is copy and paste any GL850 impression ever which doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s actually solid but it doesn’t offer much. The AW2721D like this sits firmly on the desk, I’d give the edge in build to the AW, it feels nicer and the smaller bezel at the bottom makes the image appear more spaced out. Both feel equally as snappy, the AW being Gsync will have its advantages at lower refresh rate dips but I can’t say I notice much. What I do notice is the XG27 looks cleaner in motion, it feels sharper, retains the image at higher speeds and I feel that in intense battles in Ark, I can catch my opponent in my sites and track them better. What I’m saying is this monitor retains more detail in motion. Picture quality wise I feel the AW has a cleaner-looking appearance at closer distances but as mentioned earlier I feel it looks a little light bodied where the XG is a very full, lush image it displays the image as an expensive monitor should. It’s like listening to two pairs of headphones, one is refined and full-bodied while the other is good but just isn’t as refined, that’s the best I can explain, sorry. I couldn’t give you an educated opinion as, without image processing, there’s no logical explanation but simply, these AUO panels can look great, they always have done it’s the QC that’s the problem.
Both offer similar black levels but the uniformity on the XG seems better and it seems to offer better black depth, slightly so. The XG27AQM unclamped is way more colorful and vibrant, it covers more space. In their default modes, the AW2721D is tamer but the AW2721D offers no other modes that clamp to sRGB across different sources. Both are fantastic monitors I do think the XG is more suitable for multiple workloads while the AW2721D makes for a better gaming monitor for mixed refresh gaming and for those that want to tip their toes in semi HDR. This 240hz league is tough.October 23, 2021 at 7:47 am #66555PCM2
Red_Negan, thanks again for sharing your very detailed impressions on a 240Hz WQHD option. I almost feel like I should start paying you at this point. 😉 For those interested in learning more about the other models used in the comparisons here, I’d recommend sifting through Red_Negan’s other posts as detailed feedback has been provided on many of those now.
I’m glad to see you were very impressed with the responsiveness of the XG27AQM, even coming from its G-SYNC brother. I’m not sure if you’ve mentioned previously what GPU you have? It doesn’t really matter but I’m just curious if you spent much time in the double digits for refresh rate. And if so, did you find you could get away with using one overdrive mode for all refresh rates, or did you prefer switching over? It’s also nice to see you perhaps found the screen surface more agreeable, though I know that can be a tricky one to assess when it’s only a slight difference.
The desktop wallpaper in your image must look extremely intense with the native ‘Adobe RGB+’ gamut of the Quantum Dot LED backlight (which remains me, I must update the news piece as it says “WLED” which is not correct). The image of your monitor looks very intense on this FI27Q-X, though as you know that can’t reproduce the same pure red intensity and verges more towards intense orange-red energy. What sort of brightness level does the sRGB emulation mode of the XG27AQM lock to? It’s a shame it isn’t a completely separate toggle as it was on the PG279QM and locks of brightness, colour channels and various other settings. Though I know many would be happy to use one of the GPU-level alternatives on the XG27AQM as its own sRGB emulation is pretty inflexible. Having a well-calibrated sRGB emulation setting with good flexibility is definitely still a nice bonus, though, and I wish how the PG279QM handled this was the rule rather than the exception.October 23, 2021 at 2:40 pm #66557Red_Negan
Haha! that would be a dream job for me, playing with tech is always fun. I have the 2080 Super, which will be upgrading at some point but I’ve been taking my time with my rig. I hit max refresh on the typical games like CSGO, Fortnite, not really games I enjoy but more to test how a display performances at its limits. The main game I take seriously is Ark, that games really depends on how many structures are on the map but I can sometimes hit 170+ FPS with some setting manipulation. COD: Cold War I get around 150-180fps that one also depends on settings used. For Story games like RDR2, Death Stranding, Witcher, CyberPunk I personally always aim for at least 60fps for those types of games but those vary, I get sometimes over 100+ on some of those titles.
I’ve kept mine on OD 3 I find it to be a good balance and hasn’t been a problem on varied refresh gaming. I could prob get away with 4 comfortably but I like to always find that sweet spot of good-looking and performance. Yeah, the screen surface is very minimal, I’d even say it could be down to something like just being more tolerable but so far it’s been fine. The picture has been looking pretty good, it’s a different look compared to the NanoCell panels but to me, AHVA displays have always had a unique look. Yes, that wallpaper can look extremely intense and fatiguing almost with the gamut unlocked, the sky goes blood Red, and kicks the senses off to know something is wrong. That said though, the unlocked gamut does bring out some subtle shades that make the picture look better in certain areas but the gamut is so massive overall. I like that about the FI27Q-X it didn’t bring the Reds out as strongly, I often would switch to standard mode on the FI27Q-X as it provided a nice boost to the greens they could be tasteful in some games, the XG27AQM I cannot do that. Even the sRGB mode on here has me questioning if there’s some slightly over coverage or it at least hits the 100% bang on. Sometimes many I’ve measured in the past end up having 97-99% in their sRGB modes.
I went into the service menu and my unit was locked to 50% which I’m guessing is around 200-nits. Luckily I managed to change it, I put it on 30-nits which has always been a nice balance for my dim room. I would’ve loved to have a gamut toggle. Part of me thinks the XG27AQM was absolutely a business decision, I feel with the gamut toggle, lack of fan being appealing this would’ve outsold the PG279QM. Luckily it’s a none issue for me because for gaming at the moment, the sRGB mode seems solid. After trying this model it has certainly killed any interest in the upcoming 300hz monitors, 30 extra hz at this level isn’t something I’d consider chasing. I also feel that monitors like the PG/XG27, FI27Q-X, AW27. G7. XB27 is as good as it’s going to get for a while. I’ll prob settle down with this display for a while unless something substantial comes out in the next few years. Are you going to be sticking to the FI27Q-X for a while?October 23, 2021 at 2:52 pm #66560PCM2
I always find it funny when you can change sRGB mode brightness in a Service Menu but for some reason they lock the setting off in the OSD. Did you mean to say you reduced it to ‘30%’ brightness rather than 30 nits? At least you could do that, even if it wasn’t an OSD setting specifically. Visually, I prefer 100% or slight overcoverage to undercoverage of sRGB as well. I do plan to keep the FI27Q-X as my main monitor and a reference monitor for a while. It does so well in many respects including areas like screen surface which I’m personally very fussy about. And the fact it has some minor weaknesses (for example with pixel responsiveness) that most people will find very difficult to notice means it sets a useful benchmark. Some screens will realistically beat it in that respect and it’s very encouraging when they do. I put up with the Dell S2716DG for a good 5 years as my main gaming monitor and prefer pretty much everything about the Gigabyte. Though I think I could only bear to keep that Dell as long as I did because I spend more time using the monitors I’m reviewing than my own screen. I love the variety that gives me and I know I’m very lucky to have that. 😉October 23, 2021 at 4:27 pm #66562Red_Negan
Yeah, it never makes sense. It’s not even a business decision because even the PG279QM has an sRGB preset (Not the gamut toggle) that has locked brightness which is so weird because the dedicated gamut toggle has unlocked everything. 30% brightness which seems to be just over 100-nits or so, I like it to just stand out above room brightness. I’m the same, 100-110% I tend to like. The G7 has an sRGB mode that has about 105-110% sRGB which was tastefully done. I recommend the FI27Q-X a lot but it seems to get shot down by the BGR layout but I really don’t see the issue with it as text rendering has been a non-issue. I don’t think it offers worse text performance than the others and I also think it has one of the best screen surfaces it really makes the image pop. Out of all the monitors I’ve tried, it’s one of the best-looking displays I’ve used. Ah, the S2716DG that display was very universally accepted and pretty solid for gaming when it first came out. I remember it having some under coverage at least the unit I tried and the contrast was pretty low but compared to the competition it felt very responsive. I had the S2719DGF a few years back that display looked quite nice but when IPS-type displays started becoming more used and got better performing I didn’t see the need for TN displays.November 1, 2021 at 12:18 pm #66588Red_Negan
An update on the XG27AQM. Those who’ve seen my PG279QM would see I mentioned about about a star lighting effecting where the pixels would twinkle and they’re be 100’s of dimly lit sub pixels. This issue has appeared on my XG27AQM as well as some stuck pixels that seemed to be getting bolder.
While I would’ve lived with the dust spot on the display having this in dark content is very annoying and it’s making me rethink going make to AUO panels. It’s very frustrating because every AUO panel I’ve used I’ve loved how it displays deep colour and great capability but there’s always quirks that really ruin the experience or pride of the display(that a thing?)I can live with a few dead or stuck pixels, I mean all displays have something to various degrees but this effect is so odd.
My iPhone 13 Pro max has a semi decent macro mode so I’m going to see if I can get photos of this tonight after work so will update. Where I’m going to go from here is either an exchange to try get a good unit as I do love this display I’m even tempted to go to the FI27Q-X again but I’m leaning to just getting a replacement but this is the exact issue I had on my PG279QM and the other PG units I’ve tested so this isn’t a 1 off.November 1, 2021 at 12:21 pm #66591PCM2
Ah no, I’m sorry to hear you’ve noticed that issue with the XG27AQM as well. When you say it “appeared” on your XG27AQM, do you think it was always there and you didn’t notice it initially. Or that it developed after some time? Sounds like one of those annoying things that when you notice it, it’s difficult to stop noticing it or thinking about it. I have the same feeling myself with certain weird quirks on some monitors – like there are some I think are free from ‘dynamic interlace pattern artifacts’. Then I notice them in some situation and it basically heightens my awareness of them in other situations as well.November 2, 2021 at 9:05 am #66592Red_Negan
It for sure sucks as this is otherwise a good display. I tried to photograph it but there are so many of these green, lit pixels and they’re so small it’s almost impossible and just appears as tiny globs of glow on camera I’d need a decent DSLR with a good macro lens. The annoying thing is for short bursts I can get them visible on screen but when I take the shot it turns into a mess. I personally think they were always there I just kept my display at a lower brightness for a while and just got on with it but when tinkering with higher brightness modes it highlighted how many there were. If I’m being fair, at seating distance I count 13+ bright larger pixels.
If I were to count how many tiny visible pixels getting closer to the screen I would be hear all night.
Someone posted this on Reddit a while back, this is the same effect I see in these panels https://i.imgur.com/RA5bZLW.jpeg
Mine looks worse though I call it the star effect because there’s various grades of pixel brightness with them so it’s like there visible ones than ones that twinkle it’s so odd to explain.
Your point about once you notice it you can’t stop is so relatable. Even before seeing the pixels I have a dark blotch on a pure white screen, it’s prob a smudge or some sort and I was fine with it until I wasn’t then the whole, there must be a unit without these and doubt creeps in. Fun fact, my PG279QM I shared on here had the exact same black blotch.
With people like us we spend so much time on displays and different displays we tend to notice things that some may not pick upon until they really deep dive and I don’t think the majority would, they’d scan the panel and probably say it’s fine which I totally think is fair, I mean if you can’t see it, game on right? I see so many people on Reddit saying their displays are free from pixel defects or quirks and I just cannot buy it because since I’ve become so sensitive to these screen imperfections I’ve seen them on every screen I think when it comes to monitors or any screens I do believe that there needs to be a level of acceptance. For example, 3 years ago, 1 dead pixel wouldn’t be accepted but now, if at reasonable seating distance I can only see a few bright pixels and they don’t affect my usage then I’d keep it. I do accept bright pixels, just not double digits right away. I said to a few people online that it’s impossible to control millions of pixels and expect them to work in a linear pattern, some will die, some will stick.
If I’m being honest, I would probably keep this XG27AQM if it only had the blotch or the pixel quirks, I can live with one issue but two leaves a bit of a sour taste.
This monitor is being collected on Wednesday, where to go from here is the tough choice now. I was going to just go for a straight replacement but with the issues with the PG279QM and other units I’ve seen I was already done with AUO panels but I wanted to give this one a shot to see what it was like and now it feels back to square one.
I’ve been thinking about downgrading to 165hz and going for more robust displays like the innolux panels, the FI27Q-P has always been a nice display, smooth antiglare with a light touch and stronger than typical contrast for these panel types. I don’t think I’d go Nanocell, too weak in the contrast. The FI27Q-X is a display I loved over time, returned my 3 units due to multiple bright pixels also but nothing compared to these panels I prob should’ve just stuck to one of those units. The FI27Q-X has one of the best antiglare coatings too and isn’t too expensive.
Anyway back on topic, for those reading that are considering this display, my personal advice would be stuck pixels are common in all displays, just be aware these panels have some pixel quirks that are unique to them and dust and smudge spots seem to be something I’ve encountered in these AUO panels on white backgrounds. It really is a good monitor so if you can look past these things, you’re likely to think it’s fantastic.
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