Making sense of the current 27″ 1440p ~144hz IPS segment

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  • #65203
    Icewind

    Hi! After researching monitors for months and reading/watching many reviews I finally decided to make an account here because it’s time for me to just buy a new monitor. This is probably the best place for in-depth monitor discussions, and Adam is the reviewer I enjoy watching/reading the most, since he doesn’t just show you numbers or charts about how the monitor performs in theory, but he actually explains how it works and feels in practice, and tells you his very well informed (thanks to tons of experience) personal opinion. I’m coming from an old 24″ 1080p 60hz IPS monitor (overclocked to 72hz) and after buying an RX 6700XT last month I decided I’m going to get a 27″ 1440p ~144hz IPS one. And yes, I’ll gladly use the Amazon referral links to buy it! πŸ™‚

    No matter how much I’ve tried to investigate there are still some questions that I have, especially since I’ve never experienced a high refresh rate monitor in person, so I don’t really know what to expect.

    First I’d like to ask how big is the difference in perceived blur and “connected feel” between models using older or slower panels like the Benq EX2780Q, Gigabyte FI27Q or ASUS TUF VG27AQ, and the newer models using much faster panels. I know coming from “72hz” even the slower panels will provide an extremely noticeable improvement, but I’d like to know if getting a panel with much faster response times will provide another noticeable boost in blur reduction. Looking at photos from the UFO Motion Test in reviews I can clearly see the difference so for now I’m going to assume getting a faster panel should be the way to go, especially if the difference in price is not too high.

    Now, I’m going to list what I think are (hopefully) all the notable monitors currently available in the market that use those faster panels and I’ll try to list their cons taking into account what I’ve seen in reviews:

    First, there are many monitors from different brands that use a nano IPS panel. There are differences between them in terms of the tuning of the overdrive modes, support for HDR, whether they have an SRGB emulation mode or not, the inclusion of a G-Sync module or not, etc. However, they all share the same two main weaknesses: A 20% to 30% lower contrast ratio compared to other IPS panels, and a poor strobing mode because of an issue with the panel itself. So I’m not gonna list them all individually. I looked at many reviews and came to the conclusion that the overall best nano IPS monitor is the recently released LG 27GP850. Taking into account the Hardware Unboxed review, it seems to tick all boxes and its only weakness is tied to the panel itself.

    Then there are these two ASUS monitors:
    ASUS ROG Strix XG279Q
    ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ

    They seem to be basically the same monitor, since they use the same panel (AUO 270DAN06_6). According to the RTINGS reviews, they perform very similarly, though the newer model seems to have a bit better tuned overdrive modes. The big issue I’m seeing in their reviews is that they measured an abnormally high input lag at 60hz at around 32ms! This makes the monitor really bad for 60hz gaming (specifically for consoles and older / retro games that are locked to 60 fps, which is very important to me).

    At first I was going to move on but I decided to go through the rabbit hole of trying to make sense of this specific issue. Here’s what I found:

    I thought the input lag issue could either be related to the panel itself or Asus was the culprit. To check that I first tried to find out if there were other models with that same panel. There are indeed a few Acer monitors using that panel (which I will mention later when I discuss Acer models), though I couldn’t find any reviews that measured input lag at 60hz for those. So then I looked if RTINGS reviewed other monitors with abnormally high input lag at 60hz (thank god for their in-depth search tool!) and found 3 other models suffering from the same issue, all Asus as well:

    ASUS VG279QM (27″ 1080P IPS 240hz (280 OC))
    ASUS TUF Gaming VG258QM (25″ 1080P TN 240hz (280 OC))
    ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM (25″ 1080P IPS 240hz (280 OC))

    Now, all of this could also be a result from a mistaken or “faulty” measurement on RTINGS’ part, though they said they tested that several times since they were also shocked by the results. I still needed another way to confirm this though. Thankfully, ApertureGrille also reviewed the ASUS VG279QM, and he encountered the same issue. Not only that, on his video review he stated: “Even moving the cursor around the desktop felt terrible.” So it’s true, those measurements are correct and those Asus monitors have indeed horribly high input lag at 60hz.

    Well, back to finding out if this was Asus’ fault or not. The ASUS VG279QM uses this panel: AUO M270HAN03.0, which is also used by the Acer Nitro XV273 Xbmiiprzx, among others. That Acer monitor has a review on RTINGS where they measured a much lower (and average among most monitors) 60hz input lag result. It also has a TFT Central review, and they too measured low input lag at 60hz.

    That’s all the proof I need. I’m willing to say this specific input lag issue is not related to the panel used, but something Asus themselves got wrong, which is sad and annoying.

    *Update: Just read a Reddit thread of a guy that tried the XG279Q and he confirms that the issue abruptly appears at 60hz (and continues until the lowest refresh rate available). He says that at 65hz input lag is low. So I guess if you are using Adaptive Sync and make sure your framerate doesn’t get to 60 you should be good. But games locked at 60fps will still be an issue. Hmmm, what if you set the monitor’s refresh rate to 120hz and turn off Adaptive Sync while playing games locked at 60fps? Since it’s a multiple, shouldn’t that prevent tearing? Is that how it works? Even if that was the case, it’s not ideal at all. Oh, and he also mentioned that the SRGB mode locks brightness to a level that is too high.

    Now, moving on to the Gigabyte M27Q. This monitor seems really good in all fronts, though it has the annoying fringing issues while displaying text due to its uncommon BGR subpixel layout. I know reviewers said that the fringing is not really noticeable in practice, but in Reddit and forum posts the opposite seems to be the case, with many people becoming too annoyed by that fact and returning the monitor, which makes me worried. Other than that, it seems this is the slowest monitor of this list in terms of response times, even though it’s still much faster than the ones using older panels.

    Then, MSI has 3 monitors in this category:
    MSI Optix G273QF
    MSI Optix MAG274QRF
    MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD

    Response times seem to be exactly the same according to the RTINGS reviews, which are really fast! That shouldn’t come as a surprise since they all use the same panel (AUO_M270DAN08_2). The big downside of these monitors seem to come from the fact that MSI decided to not provide any gamma controls nor SRGB mode in the OSD. This is very annoying since it means that the panel used doesn’t have any inherent issues, and thus MSI failed to provide the “no compromise” option. I would still like to ask though: since I have an AMD GPU I can have an SRGB mode anyways; so is the lack of gamma controls still a big enough con to discard these monitors? If the gamma is wrongly calibrated by default, does that mean there’s nothing you can do to properly adjust it apart from using an ICC profile (which I don’t care about since that doesn’t work in games or in most programs really)?

    Moving on. LG seems to use their nano IPS panels for most of their IPS lineup, but the LG 27GN800 is using a really fast BOE panel (MV270QHM-NF1) instead. Funnily enough though, it seems to also showcase a lower contrast ratio similar to nano IPS panels, as measured in 3 different reviews (839:1 – 876:1).

    Strobing is featured in the monitor and it doesn’t show the artifacts associated with the slow red phosphors of nano IPS panels though, proving again that it is a different panel.

    And now it’s the turn of Acer. oh Acer… what a mess. Trying to make sense of their lineup was like researching some obscure occult stuff.

    I found many models. The thing is that there’s not much info I could find for some of them. Not many reviews either.

    Acer Predator XB271HU bmiprz – 144hz
    Acer NITRO VG270U Pbmiipx – 144hz
    Acer NITRO VG271U Pbmiipx – 144hz
    Acer NITRO XV272U Pbmiiprzx – 144hz

    Those 4 are older models using very slow panels, according to the reviews I saw. Not interested.

    Acer NITRO XV272U KVbmiiprzx – 170hz

    This is a recently released monitor which uses a new, extremely fast Innolux panel (M270KCJ K7E). The reviews I’ve seen coincide that there is some sort of issue that is preventing the panel to even reach 200 nits of brightness in SDR mode, which is weird since under HDR mode it can perfectly reach 400 nits. I don’t know if this is a limitation of the panel itself or not. There have been some complaints about weird visual artifacts from some users, though I haven’t seen reviewers mention it.

    Acer NITRO XV272U Vbmiiprzx – 170hz
    There are no reviews about this one but it seems it recently released as well. Apparently it uses the same panel as the previous one, but I don’t really know.

    Acer Predator XB273U NV – 170hz
    This one hasn’t been released yet. It will probably use the same panel as the last 2.

    Acer Predator XB273U GSbmiiprzx – 165hz
    This one came out last year and is available for $500. I found a few reviews from less known sources. First this Chinese one (you can see the data he measured even if you can’t understand anything he says):. He shows that it uses the same panel as the two Asus monitors previously described (the ones with horrible input lag at 60hz). Hopefully, this one shouldn’t have that same issue. Another review said it uses an anti-glare coating (in matte) with a 3H hardness. Since you seem to know a bit about that, how bad that is? It’s also funny how they praise the white uniformity while the previous reviewer said it was really bad. Goes to show how panel lottery plays such a big role in the quality you end up getting.

    Finally, in the same Reddit post I mentioned before, the guy states that when he tried this monitor, the overshoot at 60hz with Adaptive Sync enabled was so high that it felt “completely unusable”. Sadly, it seems that for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON Acer always lock overdrive to the “normal” mode if you turn on Adaptive Sync. And most of the time, they tune the normal mode for the maximum refresh rate, which results in noticeable overshoot the closer you are to 60hz. So you are forced to deal with high overshoot or turn off Adaptive Sync if your framerate gets into the double digits. This means that you actually need to know how the normal overdrive mode performs across the refresh range before you buy any Acer monitor, which is totally nerve-wracking.

    Acer NITRO VG271U Sbmiipx – 170hz
    No info or reviews. I think it came out last year as well. It may use the same panel as the previous one.

    Acer NITRO VG272U Vbmiipx – 170hz
    This one appears on Taobao (Chinese marketplace) where they say it also uses the AUO 270DAN06_6 panel found on the 2 Asus monitors. There’s also a Russian review.

    Finally, ViewSonic:

    They recently released the ViewSonic VX2768-2KP-MHD, which seemed like a refresh of the “58” version. According to a review: “The ViewSonic VX2768-2KP-MHD’s pixel response time isn’t as good as its predecessor since it shows some blurring in fast or contrasting transitions. Its overdrive modes didn’t do any good in erasing the slight smudging and persistence.” This probably means it’s either using the same panel as its predecessor (with even worse overdrive tuning?) or another older and slower panel. Disappointing.

    Last year they also released the ViewSonic ELITE XG270Q. This is a funny one. Reading about the specs and looking up the user manual on ViewSonic’s page I’m very impressed with what it offers. There I can see an SRGB mode, though according to that same post on Reddit I mentioned above, it seems to be the same as in the ViewSonic ELITE XG270QG that you reviewed here, where you said it didn’t really clamp the gamut to SRGB. Oh well, thankfully I have an AMD GPU. At least here there are proper gamma controls so that’s nice. 5 Overdrive modes as well + a strobing mode. It’s supposed to use the same Innolux panel (M270KCJ K7E) as the Acer NITRO XV272U KVbmiiprzx, so that should be interesting; though I haven’t found proper confirmation whether that’s the case or not. I wonder if it also has the low brightness issue under SDR or the weird artifacting some people complained about. The thing is, there are NO REVIEWS. Not a single one. Not even from non-specialized reviewers. Nothing. It’s like this monitor never released. Only thing I could find other than that Reddit post is this YouTube video where a guy who bought it shares some brief impressions. He seems to be impressed with the response times, saying that he sees no ghosting nor overshoot, which sounds nice.

    The monitor is available for $500, and it comes with all the bells and whistles of a high end monitor. I kinda feel like this could be THE ONE, though wouldn’t that be funny? Imagine that this is the overall best monitor on this segment but nobody knows it even exists? I’m actually very salty about this.

    Aaaand I think that’s it. Those seem to be the “fast” models available in this category (27″ 1440p ~144hz IPS). At first I said I was gonna focus on those and leave the older, slower models out; but after finishing writing all that, I realized all of those newer models seem to have at least one big issue/con/missing feature or there’s just not enough info about them. So I guess I will end up including in the possible selection what it probably is the better “all rounder” from the old guard, the Benq EX2780Q. Still, I’m somewhat disappointed, not gonna lie. It’s been two years since that Benq model released, and it seems nothing has come out since in this category that provides that solid quality on all fronts and no compromises but with a newer, faster panel. Come on Benq! Just release a successor to the EX2780Q with the panel used by the three MSI monitors mentioned before!

    Tl;dr:

    I want a 27″ 1440p ~144hz IPS monitor. Which of these is the best (or least bad)?
    Benq EX2780Q – 144hz. Older, slower panel.
    LG 27GP850 – 180hz. 20% to 30% lower contrast than normal for an IPS panel.
    ASUS ROG Strix XG279Q / ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ – 170hz. Absurdly high input lag at 60hz and below.
    Gigabyte M27Q – 170hz. BGR subpixel layout, leads to annoying fringing on text and icons. A bit slower response times than others.
    MSI Optix G273QF / MSI Optix MAG274QRF / MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD – 165hz. No gamma controls on OSD, no SRGB mode.
    -Acer NITRO XV272U KVbmiiprzx (/ Acer NITRO XV272U Vbmiiprzx?) – 170hz Low brightness on SDR mode. Complaints of weird artifacting. Locked overdrive with adaptive sync on, which leads to high overshoot at lower refresh rates.
    Acer Predator XB273U GSbmiiprzx (/ Acer NITRO VG271U Sbmiipx?) – 170hz. Locked overdrive with adaptive sync on, which leads to high overshoot at lower refresh rates.
    ViewSonic ELITE XG270Q – 165hz. SRGB mode doesn’t seem to work. Other than that it looks good on paper, though there are literally no reviews.

    Am I missing any other pertinent models?
    Are you aware of any upcoming monitors on this category I should keep an eye on? Should I wait a few months just in case?
    What about new panels on this category? Is there anything interesting that newer models could use? Do you know if we are gonna see another noticeable increase in response times for newer IPS panels very soon?

    PS: sorry about this mess of a post. It wasn’t easy to organize and it was written across a week, with many edits and changes along the way.

    #65206
    PCM2

    Hi Icewind and welcome,

    That’s a heck of a first post and I had a lot of points swimming around in my head whilst reading it, and I know I’ll probably forget to put some of those down for you now. A lot of those models and general characteristics based on their panel, plus my 2 cents on specific models using them, are covered in this thread. And others linked from there. I have been updating that thread continuously with thoughts on a number of the newer models you’ve mentioned. But I’m happy to have this as a fresh thread as there are a lot of interesting additional points to cover here and you’ve shared your own research which I’d like to be clearly visible to others. Ultimately, monitors are very subjective and you can find reasons to love or indeed be disappointed in any monitor. There are no perfect monitors. But there are two which I clearly recommend for gaming (and all-round use). I’ve received a great volume of positive feedback about both of these models over the past few months – and longer in the case of the BenQ. And this reinforces my own thoughts when I tested them out.

    – The Gigabyte M27Q. Reddit can be a toxic environment when it comes to focusing on a specific issue. Threads snowball as people who have that issue locate that thread by searching on Google and then add to it. It isn’t representative of the broader population and can give an extremely skewed view of things. I’ve gathered more than enough feedback on this model to tell you that the subpixel related fringing issues are noticed by a small minority of individuals. Unless you’re trying to run a multi-display setup with additional displays with RGB subpixel layout. And the majority of users really enjoy what this monitor has to offer. The overall contrast, colour reproduction characteristics, screen surface and responsiveness all hits the spot. Especially given the price. Yes there are faster models out there, but only a slim number would consider that an appreciable difference.

    – The BenQ EX2780Q. The “old guard” as you say, one of our longest-running recommendations and since the praise keeps coming in I see no reason to change that. I think most people would be able to see the differences in the pursuit photographs between this and some of the faster models. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll notice the differences in perceived blur when using the monitor normally, including gaming. The overall image quality including relatively strong contrast and vibrant colour output on this one can be quite appealing. The oversaturation isn’t as strong as on the Nano IPS models or those with Quantum Dots, and an effective and well-tuned sRGB emulation setting is included. The shifted peak of blue light is often overlooked but can enhance viewing comfort for some individuals, too. Most people will be particularly satisfied if this is their first high refresh rate monitor and they’re not heavily into playing too competitively. Again, it’s subjective.

    Whilst I have the notion of viewing comfort fresh in my mind, I’d like to address a few Acer-related points. The KV272U KV (and a few others including the upcoming XB273U NV) are both Eyesafe certified models based on the Innolux M270KCJ K7E, so they have a significantly shifted blue peak of light. To less energetic wavelengths and with reduced amplitude. I can confirm the ViewSonic XG270Q is based on the same panel (it’s in their parts catalogue which I have access to). This is a greater shift than with the Innolux M270KCJ K7B as used in the BenQ – some users won’t care for this either way, but I like to point it out. The responsiveness of the new Innolux panel has proven itself to be exceptional. But I have reservations based on feedback I’ve received on the KV272U KV. If you search the forum for the model code (use the simplified codes without the extra unnecessary letters) you’ll come across some of this:

    – The limited luminance under SDR is an odd one. Acer has added something called ‘Max Brightness’ to some of their models, which appears to be an energy saving feature enabled by default. You can see the setting in our OSD video from the XV282K KV review which has this setting. You have to scroll down through the ‘Picture’ part of the OSD to get to it. I’m not sure if the XV272U KV has such a setting and it’s just disabled by default, I know some reviewers and users would easily miss that setting. Or whether Acer didn’t add the setting, possibly overlooked it – perhaps something they would add in future revisions? Edit: the setting has been added by Acer but wasn’t there originally.

    – There are some text clarity issues raised by forum user brownc here and another to me by email. Which ironically affected viewing comfort in brownc’s case for a model that’s supposed to be focused on that. I think some on Reddit may have mentioned this as well. I’m not sure whether these issues are specific to the panel, the sharpness algorithm or both. I can’t test the XG270Q because it isn’t available here in the UK and ViewSonic won’t provide a sample. But it’s a model I’ve been personally interested in for a while- I just have no real feedback to give on it. Too many people assume it is just like the XG270QG without the G-SYNC module. But it isn’t, it’s based on a completely different panel. They should’ve really named it quite differently, they have no fewer than 4 completely different models which include “XG270” in the model code.

    Locked ‘Over Drive’ settings on quite a few Acer models with Adaptive-Sync active is indeed annoying. Sometimes if you change the overdrive setting before activating Adaptive-Sync, it changes the behaviour. So you can set it to ‘Off’ this way. But it’s annoyingly convoluted and I don’t see why they lock it off in the first place. The overdrive behaviour and strong overshoot at lower refresh rates (including 60Hz) was the main reason I didn’t end up giving the XV282K KV the ‘recommended badge‘, incidentally. It’s a conditional recommendation because it performed beautifully at high refresh rates, particularly near 144Hz. And I liked a lot about the model aside from that. But the ‘Off’ setting was inaccessible using Adaptive-Sync. Although in this particular case ‘Off’ performed seemingly identically to ‘Normal’ anyway – you can access the setting if using HDMI 2.1 VRR but changing it made no difference. Outside of VRR it didn’t, either.

    To address a few of your other questions or concerns more generally. You can’t just run the monitor at 120Hz static for 60fps content without VRR or VSync and expect no tearing. Tearing comes from a lack of synchronisation between frame and refresh rate. You could get this even if you used a frame rate limited at 120fps with the monitor set to 120Hz. Simply having the frame rate match the refresh rate or stick to a perfect multiple doesn’t mean the GPU is sending frames at exactly the right time for the monitor’s refresh rate. It’s like two singers singing a song at the same pitch and tempo, but at different times. Input lag is not specific to a panel, it depends on the assistive electronics such as scaling hardware. The panel will narrow down some of this and what can be used, but certainly don’t expect all models with a given panel to suffer odd 60Hz or below high input lag levels just because some do. All of the models you’re considering have ‘3H’ matte surfaces. That’s a measure of surface ‘hardness’ or scratch resistance in a pencil test more specifically and doesn’t tell you anything about the screen surface characteristics we discuss in our reviews.

    With respect to the models with Nano IPS panels, you’ve really nailed the main reason I don’t tend to strongly recommend them. And it’s the somewhat weak contrast. Deficiency there is something that’s easier to readily notice than the relative weaknesses of the models I do recommend, so I feel that’s justified. The strobe backlight issues are not specific to Nano IPS, they’re due to the KSF phosphors which are also used by those and most other wide gamut models. Any which don’t use Quantum Dots and have a strobe backlight setting shares the red and green flashes plus red fringing. Including the Gigabyte M27Q. And I still receive a lot of praise for various Nano IPS models. I do like them for their mixture of responsiveness and vibrant colour output and I agree that the recent 27GP850 seems about as good as any – with the 180Hz overclock being quite a nice little addition in my view given that the screen works well there. The weaker contrast isn’t something you’ll notice as readily if at all if your room is well-lit, too, and even with the other IPS models you’re going to have a less than stellar experience in dimmer lighting. I’d always recommend, with any LCD in fact, having some bias lighting behind the monitor if sitting in an otherwise dark room. LG missed a trick by not including their ‘Sphere Lighting 2.0’ with the 27GP850 – it’s one of the better RGB LED lighting features out there on a practical level.

    As for upcoming panels possibly worth waiting for, I am aware from murmurings on the Chinese market that there may be some upcoming models with VESA DisplayHDR 1000 support and Mini LED backlights. Something we haven’t seen on these 27″ 2560 x 1440 (WQHD / 1440p) high refresh rate models. Or any WQHD model for that matter. The AOC AG274QXM is one such model and some others are expected as well. So if you’re interested in the enhanced HDR side of things then yes, there may be some things worth waiting for. But for raw SDR performance I think there is a fine selection of models already on the market and it’s just a case of taking the plunge and trying one.

    #65208
    iMKa

    Hi Icewind, Adam and everyone !

    Well, you are not the only one in the quest of finding “the best” (depending on your criteria of course) 27β€³ 1440p ~144hz IPS monitor.
    I did basically the same road as you and I still can’t get up my mind and picking one … Thanks for summarising your journey already!

    There is one monitor that you didn’t mention though : The Iiyama GB2770QSU-B1

    That’s a pretty recent one and there is no serious reviews about it yet but here a few links (in Polish) where we can already grab some info :
    β€’ Here
    β€’ Here
    β€’ And Here

    The first link is maybe the more complete. Contrast is decent for an IPS (1200:1), responsiveness looks like to be around the LG Nano IPS monitor with almost no overshoot, there is an sRGB mode and gamma control. Uniformity and bleed seems also good. No information about the panel used but maybe it’s the same than MSI line up monitors, AUO_M270DAN08_2 ? Since the monitor is HDR 400, it should be also using a true 8-bit panel.

    Well, now I am hesitating between this Iiyama GB2770QSU-B1 and the Gigabyte M27Q. I was also worried about this fringing issue but thanks to Adam, I would give it a shot ! I’ll wait for some discount by the end of the month to pick one the same.

    #65211
    PCM2

    Hi iMKa and welcome,

    We don’t cover Iiyama models as they only serve limited markets. They aren’t available in North America, for example, which is where the vast majority of our user base who supports the website is based. And I don’t actively gather feedback on them so have nothing further to add on that model. However; it’s good that you’ve mentioned it and have provided some further reading for those who might be considering that model. And yes indeed, it will be true 8-bit due to the DisplayHDR 400 certification which requires at least true 8-bit from the monitor. And I think the AUO M270DAN08.2 is the most likely candidate based on its specifications and performance. πŸ™‚

    #65213
    Icewind

    Thanks so much for all the in-depth info and corrections!
    I know that there’s no “perfect” monitor, and that there is always gonna be compromises. I’m already compromising on lower contrast and IPS glow by choosing an IPS panel. But I still think asking for such easy to implement features like proper gamma controls or unlocked overdrive settings under Adaptive Sync shouldn’t be too much to ask. That’s what is annoying.

    It’s very interesting what you say about that “Max Brightness” setting in the XV282K KV you reviewed recently. In the TomsHardware review of the XV272U KV they show a screenshot of the OSD under the “Picture” mode and there’s no such setting. So you may be right that they forgot to add it to the OSD but it’s actually active by default under SDR with no way of turning it off. That might be the model where Acer first introduced that “feature”.

    In regards to the two Asus monitors mentioned, then it seems there’s no “easy fix” to the high input lag at 60hz and below then. I’ve seen you recommend those monitors before, but you probably weren’t aware of that issue. I’d suggest mentioning it before recommending them because it really looks like a glaring flaw.

    The text clarity issues some users experienced with the XV272U KV are somewhat worrying too, though now I wonder how it would compare to the M27Q in those terms.

    I agree that ViewSonic really messed up the name of the XG270Q. Since the other two 1440p models have an extra letter at the end, I guess people could think they are “better” or more “complete” versions. But in reality I really think the XG270Q is most probably vastly superior to the other two. The “QC” variant uses a curved VA panel, with all the compromises that it implies, while the “QG” model has an older nano IPS panel that is slower than the newer ones, and on top of that it makes use of an old G-Sync module that had many limitations.

    That upcoming panel with VESA DisplayHDR 1000 support and Mini LED backlight seems really promising, though I expect them to be at a very steep price. And from what I’ve seen, the Mini LED technology (which is FALD backlight) is still not there yet. It seems to not only be very expensive, but also has some compromises. The recently released 3000 USD Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX seems to have much slower response times that other 4K 144hz monitors like the Acer you recently reviewed or the LG 27GP950, which is probably because the dimming zones need to be able to keep up with the panel itself, and I feel like it might not be possible at the moment for it to match the speeds of those faster panels. Other than that, it seems that currently, having a large number of dimming zones requires a G-Sync module for Adaptive Sync to work properly under HDR, which needs bothersome active cooling inside the monitor.

    That’s why I just don’t really care for HDR right now. I think I’m happy to be able to try the basic experience that VESA DisplayHDR 400 offers.

    Oh, one last thing I’d like to know. I asked in my first post about whether the MSI monitors are still a bad choice even if I have an AMD GPU. With no gamma controls in the OSD, is there really no way of correcting the gamma if it’s way off by default? Also, if I get a Colorimeter, will I be able to properly measure brightness levels, contrast, gamma and the full color gamut of the monitor (like those cool graphs seen in reviews with the triangle representing the gamut, and the different dots showing the accuracy)? Are Colorimeters mainly used to create an ICC profile for colour-aware applications, or could I use it to properly calibrate the monitor only through its OSD for general use? Would you recommend getting one for that purpose even if I don’t really need a perfectly calibrated monitor for work? The Datacolor SpyderX Pro is available in Amazon for 170 USD. If I end up tempted to get the XG270Q I could get one as well so we can have some data on that model, I guess.

    PS: iMKa, that’s an interesting model as well! But as Adam said, it’s only available in select regions. Though it’s good for you to mention it regardless.

    #65214
    M2077

    Hey there!

    So, I am in a similar predicament (although with the added option of the Samsung Odyssey G7 as it’s priced very competitively in my country for some reason) with regards to the 1440p 144Hz+ IPS (G7 is an exception) offerings.

    I don’t have much to say that wasn’t already said either by Adam or Icewind (great write up by the way). However, with regards to the Gigabyte M27Q, there was this post on Reddit that hadn’t gotten much attention, but claims to have fixed the fringing issue in apps that don’t respect ClearType with MacType, a 3rd party alternative to ClearType.

    I haven’t really heard from anyone else whether it really fixes it 100% or not, so I cannot confirm it unfortunately, but I thought that it was worth mentioning. (Maybe someone else on this forum tried it?)

    #65218
    PCM2

    The issue with gamma on the MSI models isn’t that the average gamma is simply displaced and too low (or high). It’s that the curve is all over the place, too high in some segments and too low in others. You can’t correct that in the graphics driver. You can overcome the lack of sRGB emulation mode as an AMD user, although that ‘CTC disabled’ tweak doesn’t always work as well on some models as others. It generally does, but there are exceptions where sometimes some coverage beyond sRGB reminds or there’s unwanted under-coverage. The same can apply to sRGB emulation modes on some models that have them, though.

    You can certainly use colorimeters to help with corrections at the OSD level rather than relying on profiling. And that’s highly recommended in most cases, adjust as much as possible through the OSD! That’s what we do for our reviews all the time when creating our ‘Test Settings’. The Datacolor devices like SpyderX Pro are very user-friendly and create nice graphics. They also allow you to adjust colour channels and brightness according to preferences – and lighting conditions at time of reading, if you like – without profiling.

    Hi again M2077. πŸ™‚ Most people wouldn’t have any desire to seek an alternative to ClearType because the only fringing that they’ll actually notice on the M27Q is cleared up with that. The majority of applications most commonly used by people will have their main focal areas (e.g. text in web browsers) corrected by ClearType. And some very small elements that most people won’t really care about looking slightly different, or won’t even notice, are not corrected. Menus in Chrome being the example we gave in the review. I agree that there are some exceptions that could be potentially annoying, like Adobe Reader. But that has its own subpixel rendering which I don’t think MacType could override*. I’d also add that most text on Adobe Reader looks less clearly fringed than the examples we gave in reviews. They were purposefully chosen to highlight the issue in an obvious way. And having used Adobe Reader extensively with the FI27Q-X, I can’t say it has bothered me or I’ve really given it much thought. I consider myself very adaptable, though. And I don’t need to spend hours a day looking at PDFs, thankfully. πŸ˜‰

    *Edit: I tested MacType. As expected, it doesn’t affect PDFs and can’t override Adobe’s own subpixel rendering. It does affect the representation of menu elements in web browsers such as Chrome, so if people find the usual look of those bothersome under BGR it’s worth trying this out.

    #65219
    M2077

    I see, thanks for the clarification and testing MacType out! It’s good to hear that it does work for some elements. Personally, I consider myself adaptable as well and can tolerate many oddities / flaws, but unfortunately I deal with text a lot (both in reading PDFs and other file formats (I don’t use Adobe Reader, though) and coding) so this issue has always stood out. Still, given the price of the M27Q as well as its other advantages, I haven’t written it off and would definitely be willing to give it a chance.

    Thanks again.

    #65232
    PCM2

    Obviously too early to gauge anything about performance. And I’m not sure exactly what panel is used or at this stage even the exact colour gamut, but the BenQ EX2710Q is another entry into this segment. The initial price seems to be set at $600, which was the same as the EX2780Q when it first launched. It quickly came down, so I don’t expect the EX2710Q to remain a $600 product for long either. And I feel paying that much for it is tough to justify.

    Edit: Further details on the EX2710Q.

    I was also asked a question on YouTube as to whether I’d recommend the ASUS VG27AQL1A over the Gigabyte M27Q. The answer is no:

    “The VG27AQL1A often has poorly calibrated gamma and has no gamma settings in the OSD. I feel it’s difficult to justify the price premium over the Gigabyte. Many people also like that the Gigabyte has a single overdrive setting that works well throughout the VRR range. The ASUS does not and in general the pixel overdrive isn’t as well-tuned as the Gigabyte. You have to either put up with moderately strong overshoot or more conventional trailing than the Gigabyte would give you.”

    For reference, the ASUS uses the C2 variant of the EX2780Q‘s panel (M270KCJ-K7B (C2)). It’s a bit faster, but some transitions are still difficult for it to perform quickly without pretty strong overshoot. I prefer the tuning of the Gigabyte’s panel, especially in a VRR environment where the ASUS has perhaps 3 different settings I’d consider ‘optimal’ depending on refresh rate band.

    #65233
    Icewind

    Damn, that’s great news! After what Benq achieved with the EX2780Q, I’m looking forward to this one. And yeah, $600 is just too much, it would have to be VESA Display HDR600 certified or at least have a G-Sync module to justify that price.

    Oh, you can actually take a look at the Japanese user manual in that page. On page 33 there’s a really cool chart that shows which settings you can change on each image mode. On both the “Display HDR” and “sRGB” modes you can change brightness, contrast, sharpness and overdrive, which is really nice to know. Color Temperature and Gamma controls are only available in the custom mode.

    I don’t know how long it’s gonna take for it to release worldwide, but it looks promising. I do wonder which panel it uses though. It can’t be the AUO_M270DAN08_2 used on the MSI monitors because that one can’t reach 400 nits of brightness for the HDR400 certification. I guess it would probably be either the newer M270KCJ K7E or the AUO 270DAN06_6 used on the Asus models. Though it could also use a nano IPS panel or even the Sharp one used in the M27Q I guess.

    And I fully agree that the ASUS VG27AQL1A is not a good option. I didn’t even mention it in my first post because it uses a slower panel and the overdrive tuning was bad according to the reviews I saw at the time.

    #65237
    Icewind

    Well, I saw that the ViewSonic Elite XG270Q was at a nice discount for a couple of days on Amazon US so I pulled the trigger and ordered one. I got it for $356 instead of its normal price of $500 which seemed like a great deal. And yes, I used your link. πŸ™‚

    It will take a while for it to arrive since I don’t actually live in the US. Here there are very few monitors available in this category, and they are all older models at absurdly inflated prices. As an example, the Gigabyte FI27Q is being sold at around the equivalent of 750 USD. Even after paying international shipping and taxes the XG270Q is substantially cheaper (and much better quality). I’m still running the risk of the monitor arriving broken and having to send it back, but I’d rather take that risk than pay for heavily overpriced old models that weren’t even good at the time.

    I’ll provide detailed impressions and all the info you may want to know about the monitor when I have it in my hands.

    #65239
    PCM2

    I think you did the right thing jumping on that deal, it’s a great price for the monitor! I appreciate your support and look forward to your impressions when it arrives. I hope you get a good unit! πŸ™‚

    Just a quick note that the Acer XV272U KV now has updated firmware which adds a ‘Max Brightness’ setting. This operates just like it does on the XV282K KV, allowing the monitor to go significantly brighter under SDR than without the setting.

    #65412
    hakki

    Hey, are you planning to review the Acer XV272U KV at some point? Also, on your first reply to this thread you said it has “a significantly shifted blue peak of light.”. Could you elaborate a bit what that means and is it something to worry about?

    Sorry if this is in the wrong thread but could you recommend other similar monitors? My budget isn’t set in stone but I’d use it for video editing, programming and gaming. I don’t understand that much about monitors but after reading some rtings reviews, I think the monitor should have great color gamut, at least 144hz refresh rate, preferably a bit higher than the typical 1000:1 contrast ratio and at least better than average black uniformity.

    M27Q looks pretty nice but the black uniformity doesn’t looks very good on the rtings review (but this can vary between units so maybe they just got unlucky) and I’ve read from Reddit that because it uses BRG instead of RGB, the text might look blurry even with cleartype on.

    XG27AQ also seems decent but I’m not sure if it’s worth spending 250€ more to it compared to the XV272U KV because it doesn’t seem to be that much better but I could be wrong.

    Thank you!

    #65415
    PCM2

    Hi there hakki,

    I don’t currently plan to review the XV272U KV as a sample isn’t available. The XB273U NV which is based on the same panel is a possibility at some point, but I can’t promise that. The shifted peak of blue light is a good thing, for viewing comfort – not something to “worry” about. There are many other factors to consider in that respect. Read the final few paragraphs of the calibration section of our XV282K KV review, which shares this Eyesafe technology.

    Black uniformity and uniformity in general varies sometimes wildly between units and you aren’t going to be guaranteed good performance there, especially not with models of this sort of price. Even with much more expensive models you’re at the mercy of the dark uniformity lottery. Our M27Q was perfectly reasonable in that respect, but that doesn’t mean a unit you try would be. Same applies to any model and I make my recommendation for the Gigabyte clear. I’m not going to repeat what I’ve said about the subpixel layout again. I’ve made my position on this extremely clear in my first post here and elsewhere on the forum, plus cover this in detail in the review.

    #65425
    Icewind

    Hi all. The XG270Q just arrived today!

    First of all, I’m relieved that there’s no glaring issue with my unit. Everything seems to work as intended, and it doesn’t even have any dead or stuck pixels!
    There’s a bit of backlight bleed, though what’s more noticeable is the IPS glow. God, OLED monitors can’t come quick enough.

    The OSD has a ton of options and submenus, which I’ll take a look and tinker with in the following days. I’m kinda busy with many things at the moment, so I didn’t have much time to test stuff. I’ve mainly used testufo.com for now. In the videogame motion demos the difference between 60 and 165 fps is STAGGERING. You always think “60 is fine” until you try something higher than that and then you can’t come back. After looking at the 165fps version for a couple of minutes, suddenly 60 felt really sluggish, which it didn’t before. It’s amazing how your brain adapts to the higher refresh rate and then when you go back it tells you “nah that’s not good enough anymore”. It’s like a blessing and a curse at the same time haha.

    I tried all the Overdrive modes (Standard, Fast, Faster, Ultra Fast, Fastest) at 165, 120 and 60 hz with the UFO pursuit camera test (Adaptive Sync was enabled). For 165, there’s some overshoot at the Fastest setting. Ultra Fast produced some very minor and faint traces of overshoot in my view, but I could only notice it after looking closely at it for a while. Faster produces no overshoot. For 120, Faster shows some overshoot, while Fast shows none. Finally at 60, there’s noticeable overshoot in all modes except for Standard, which in a sense is a shame; though I have to make it clear that even the Standard mode looks great at all refresh rates, with very little “powdery trailing”, and no signs of black smearing, even in the dark scene.

    I tried the strobing option but didn’t like it. Brightness goes down A LOT, making the monitor too dim for my taste. And while there’s much less blur and everything is more defined in motion, the red-colored fringing artifact (that Adam mentioned seems to affect all 1440p monitors that feature a wider color gamut) is very present in the XG270Q.

    I tried taking camera pursuit pictures of the UFO test following the steps mentioned here but the only camera I have is the one from my phone and I don’t have a camera rail. If you have any tips on how to achieve a properly aligned photo with just my hands please tell me. I’ll keep trying though, since I know this is important.

    Oh, I also ended up ordering a SpyderX Pro Colorimeter, since it was only 100 USD for a few days. It should be arriving this or the next week, so I’ll have more in-depth tests by then with proper data.

    If you have any specific questions about the XG270Q you can ask freely, though keep in mind that I’ll have access to the colorimeter by next week.

    PS: It’s great to hear that they fixed the brightness issue with the Acer XV272U KV! My XG270Q seemed very bright at max brightness, so it wasn’t a panel issue after all.

    #65430
    PCM2

    Thanks for sharing your impressions on the XG270Q, Icewind. It sounds like you’re enjoying it overall and I’m glad you can now see what you’ve been missing when it comes to the refresh rate. And it sounds as if the XG270Q puts the refresh rate to very good use, which is what I’d expect from the panel. It’s a natively fast panel so I agree some people will probably find sticking with the ‘Standard’ setting for all refresh rates works well. If you’re always going to be at much higher frame rates the other settings could be of interest, but I know people like a decent ‘set and forget’ type setting.

    For TestUFO, it’s quite easy (with many hours of practice, haha) to capture the motion without a rail. I don’t use a rail to capture the pursuit photos used in the reviews. It can be naturally difficult with a smartphone because you can’t really grab them in the same way as a camera and they don’t have the same weight or bulk as a good camera, meaning it can be tricky to keep it lined up well. My advice with a smartphone would be to take a video with several tracking passes of the screen from left to right. You can then try to capture individual frames from that video, at least some of them should be quite useable and give a useful indication of how the monitor performs.

    #65509
    hakki

    Thanks for the answer! I ended up getting the Acer XV272U KV because it was on a massive sale and so far I’ve enjoyed it for the most part. You mentioned before that there’s a new firmware update that should fix the low brightness in SDR mode by adding the “Max Brightness” setting and I was wondering if you remember where did you hear that? For some reason I can’t find anything about new firmware update from Google and the low SDR brightness is probably the biggest con of this monitor for me.

    #65511
    PCM2

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the monitor overall. The inclusion of the ‘Max Brightness’ setting on newer versions of the XV272U KV was confirmed by a Taiwanese user here. There will now be a situation where some units will have this updated firmware, others will not. It might be worth contacting Acer to see if they can update the firmware in their Service Centre – if you don’t mind being without the monitor for a bit. This is why I quite like the way Gigabyte makes it very easy for users to update firmware themselves and advertises the firmware versions so clearly. For example, they added better 120Hz support for games consoles via a firmware update for the M27Q which users can apply themselves using OSD Sidekick software and a PC.

    #65582
    roner

    I’ve been searching the internet to see if anyone knows the difference between the Acer NITRO XV272U Vbmiiprzx and the XV272U KVbmiiprzx as their specs seem identical. Reddit users report that both use the same new K7E Innolux panel. The only difference I’ve been able to find is that on Acer’s website, the XV272U Vbmiiprzx is advertised with a 2ms response time whereas the XV272U KVbmiiprzx is advertised with a 1ms response time. I believe the XV272U KVbmiiprzx is also slightly newer, but I think both were released in 2020. Since both models use the same panel, if there really is a difference in response times between them, would it be due to a difference in overdrive mode tuning?

    #65584
    PCM2

    Hi roner,

    The XV272U V does indeed use the same panel (Innolux M270KCJ K7E) as the XV272U KV. It’s possible there are differences in pixel overdrive tuning, but I wouldn’t look too much into the specified response times. Any tuning difference there would probably be between a useless ‘Extreme’ setting on one and an even more useless ‘Extreme’ setting on another. The ‘V’ variant also lacks the ‘VisionCare 3.0’ sensor suite described in our news piece on the ‘KV’ variant.

    Edit: It appears Acer has revised the XV272U V perhaps multiple times since launch. I have information suggesting its Spring 2022 re-release may land it with an AUO panel such as the With its latest re-release it may be based on an AUO panel such as the M270DAN08.6 used in the Nixeus NX-EDG27X.

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