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

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  • #65706
    SoundSerendipity

      I’m looking to buy a new PC monitor. It will be my only screen, so I will be using it for everything. I do a lot of web browsing, watch movies and YouTube, do some university work, and some gaming. I am not a competitive FPS gamer, I play a variety of games but mostly single player AAA games and RPGs (The Witcher, Divinity OS2, Cyberpunk 2077, Resident Evil..)

      It seems that a lot of “gaming” monitors sacrifice on picture quality in exchange for improved response times and high framerates for highly competitive games. I would prefer the opposite – a monitor with a great and impressive picture quality for watching movies and playing RPGs, even if this means slower response times. I think for my usage and the games I play, improved picture will be more noticeable than super-fast response times.

      I am specifically looking for a 27″ 1440p monitor. 144hz would be preferable as I would appreciate the smoothness and the option to play games at higher framerates. My budget is ~£350 and I am based in the UK so availability here is important! The Samsung Odyssey G7 seems great and I have considered stretching over budget for it, but I think that the aggressive curve may be troublesome for general computer work,

      Thank you, I greatly appreciate your advice!

      #65709
      PCM2

        Hi SoundSerendipity,

        I’ve merged your thread with this one as it’s a suitable place. The monitors suggested here are appealing for not just gaming but all-round usage. We cover both aspects in our reviews and take a very deep-dive into aspects such as contrast and colour reproduction. Which is certainly not weaker on these compared to lower refresh rate IPS options for a similar price. Quite the opposite if you consider gamut capability, in fact. A strong performance in key areas of image quality for gaming translates to a strong performance for desktop usage and vice-versa. Some additional suggestions covering a broader scope can be found in various pages of our recommendations section – I’d recommend looking through those pages but also the additional threads linked to there. Some relevant threads include:

        A thread covering VA alternatives such as the AOC CQ27G2U.
        Coverage of the 27″ Odyssey G7 you mentioned.
        27″ 1440p models for non-gaming uses.
        ASUS PA278QV as a possible 75Hz alternative.
        Some 60Hz options (for your uses I wouldn’t recommend these over the other higher refresh rate options covered elsewhere, however).

        #65714
        SoundSerendipity

          Hi PCM2, thank you for your reply and for merging my comment into a suitable thread.

          I took some time to read the resources and threads that you linked, however I did not read through the bottom 2 as I am preferably looking for a 144hz monitor (or close to). Here are my thoughts in regards to some recommended models around my price range from research I’ve done over the last few days.

          Dell S2721DGF
          Highly regarded and recommended by Hardware Unboxed. From comparing 27″ 1440p monitors with around 144hz refresh rate, I nearly pulled the trigger on this one after comparing it to many similar IPS models such as the Gigabyte M27Q and LG 27GL83A. However, I did not for a few reasons:
          1) Especially low contrast due to it’s Nano IPS Panel, which may be suboptimal for movies and darker games 2) This monitor apparently suffers from over saturated colours and lacks an sRGB mode

          ASUS TUF VG27AQ
          I also nearly bought this monitor, but did not after watching the Hardware Unboxed Review. It is a great contrast ratio for an IPS monitor and fits what I’m looking for in all other areas (size, resolution, refresh rate, price) however apparently this monitor performs very badly at 60hz. My current GPU (Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB) is not ideal for 1440p gaming, however I intend to upgrade it in the next 1-2 years. As I need a new monitor and would rather get a 1440p 144hz monitor so that when I upgrade my GPU I can use it to it’s full potential – however for a while I will be using my 1060 and it seems that gaming on the ASUS TUF VG27AQ with my current GPU would not be a good experience.

          Samsung G7
          Above my price range, however Samsung are currently offering 20% student discount on this monitor so I could purchase the 27″ version for £439 which is a very good price. Although it seems to tick all the boxes in regards to a good contrast for movies and dark games, without bad response times or distracting levels of black smearing / ghosting, it doesn’t seem like the perfect monitor for me for a few reasons.
          1) The 1000R curve is very extreme and I was ideally looking for a flat monitor. I feel it could be distracting for general computer work 2) It is a high end monitor and I wonder if I will be spending more money than I need to for my usage, as I’m sure I won’t use all of it’s features 3) I will be using the monitor to watch movies with my partner and a 1000R curved screen with poor viewing angles may make this impossible

          – Other VA monitors – LG 32GK850G, Samsung CHG70, Dell S3220DGF
          I have seen some recommendations for the LG and Samsung in regards to VA panels that do not suffer from exceptional ghosting for gaming use, and the Dell was recommended in one of the threads you linked me to. Unfortunately, both the LG and Dell are only available in 32″ sizes and I would prefer a 27″ monitor at 1440p due to pixel density. Furthermore the Samsung CHG70 has poor response times at 60hz and therefore could be unsuitable for similar issues to the ASUS TUF VG27AQ

          I hope that outlines my concerns with the issues present in various recommended monitors. I understand that there is no monitor without some compromise, and I have been trying to decide which compromise I would be best off making. Many TV specialists swear by VA screens (if not OLED) for movies due to the superior contrast, and as I will be watching all of the movies I watch on this monitor and sometimes playing dark games such as RPG and horror games, I can see why that would be a good move. On the other side, gamers recommend IPS panels as apparently the improved contrast of a VA is empty if dark scenes are plagued with ghosting. The answer to both sides seems to be the Samsung G7, however I that has it’s own issues (curve and viewing angles when with partner), and also may be a higher end monitor than I really need!

          I would appreciate your advice and any recommendations as I’ve hit a bit of a wall! Thank you for your time spent helping people on this forum, I know it is appreciated by myself and many others.

          #65718
          PCM2

            I understand the 27″ preference entirely and also wanting to avoid a steep curve. The IPS or VA choice is always a very individual one. The panel types have distinct strengths and weaknesses, as summarised in these threads, our reviews and panel types article. It isn’t just the responsiveness to be aware of when comparing VA to IPS, it’s also that the gamma and colour consistency is weaker on VA models. And for the high refresh rate 27″ VA models, the screen surfaces tend to be somewhat ‘more matte’ (more layering and graininess compared to IPS alternatives). Also be aware that the weaknesses of IPS models when it comes to contrast are less apparent in a moderately bright room, or if you have bias lighting or similar behind the monitor. That’s something I point out when I review them, including showing this visually in more recent video reviews. It makes a difference and can certainly help with perceived contrast with any LCD panel. And makes your typical IPS issues such as lower static contrast and ‘IPS glow’ somewhat less apparent. No matter what you do with lighting (within reason), you won’t overcome the weaknesses with colour consistency or pixel responsiveness associated with VA models.

            My main recommendation in this thread and the recommendations section isn’t one you mentioned in your summary – the Gigabyte M27Q. It offers strong all-round performance, including decent contrast for the panel type, a generous but not extreme colour gamut and decent sRGB emulation mode plus good responsiveness with a single optimal overdrive setting across the VRR range. The light to very light screen surface is also very agreeable as I cover in the review. As I cover in the thread, the BGR subpixel layout isn’t something I’d worry about. Of course it isn’t ideal, but there are many potential issues when it comes to monitors and this is is something a minority are bothered by. So dismissing the monitor entirely because of that makes little sense. Another option to consider if you’re not too fussy when it comes to pixel responsiveness (as you noted, you aren’t) or ergonomics is the BenQ EX2780Q.

            Another potential option I haven’t really said too much about in this thread but I’ve received some good positive feedback on over the past several months is the MSI G273QF/QPF. My main reservation with this model would be its lack of adjustable gamma and the fact this usually sits a bit off from the usual ‘2.2’ curve. Although for most units, the deviation is not dramatic and usually less so than on the MAG274QRF-QD. It’s a very capable performer in terms of responsiveness, the colour gamut is generous but not extreme, so will provide extra saturation and vibrancy without going to extremes. It lacks an sRGB emulation setting, although in general I’d say that isn’t needed in the same way as it would be on a model with even more generous gamut. Contrast performance is good for the panel type, whilst the screen surface is very agreeable in my view (similar to the Gigabyte). It’s priced nicely and the ‘QPF’ model offers good ergonomic flexibility – but is not available in the UK. I might get around to reviewing this one at some point, but have a lot of other models I’d say the same about. 😉

            #65720
            SoundSerendipity

              Thank you again for your response.

              It sounds like IPS should be the way to go then, the BenQ EX2780Q and MSI G273QF both look promising. It is hard to tell without seeing one in person, but overall they seem to be recommended more than VA panels and I’m sure the reasons for that are as you outlined in your reply. In terms of lighting, I will be using bias lighting to help with perceived contrast, and also a desk lamp. I will not, however, be using my main ceiling light as I prefer more ambient lighting to my rooms in the evenings. Hopefully that level of light will be fine for this panel type?

              In regards to the Gigabyte M27Q, I did look into it extensively and it seems a great monitor on many levels. The above average contrast level is attractive to me, however I think the BGR subpixel layout will be problematic for me. I am enrolling in university and so will be using this monitor for documents regularly, as well as entertainment. With this in mind, what would be your main recommendation?

              #65723
              PCM2

                As I’ve said, a minority of users would take issue with the BGR subpixels on the monitor. This specifically includes desktop work – it’s very common for people to use the monitor to read text on the internet or various office applications. And it simply isn’t something most will take issue with. I really have nothing to add that isn’t already covered in that respect in the review or earlier in the thread. You certainly shouldn’t assume the BGR subpixels will be an issue, as they only are for a small minority of individuals. There’s nothing unusual about your use case that would make it any more likely you’ll find it problematic. Some people are even fine to use monitors with far more obvious text-related issues such as partial subpixel illumination, much weaker pixel densities or even a combination – everybody filters information differently. The fringing in this case has a far more minor effect on the image, following appropriate ClearType adjustment, which is why most people don’t notice it.

                But if you’re still unsure, I think the EX2780Q is a good fall-back and will work well for you. The MSI I’d be more hesitant to strongly recommend simply as I haven’t used it myself, but as I’ve said I’ve received a lot of positive user feedback. Enough to make me seriously consider it might be worth reviewing at some point. 🙂 And it sounds as if you’re doing all the right things with lighting, the idea with bias lighting is it should enhance perceived contrast even if the room is otherwise dark. It’s pretty subjective and it isn’t a complete replacement for actual strong contrast and lack of ‘IPS glow’, but it should certainly help take the edge off those traditional IPS weaknesses.

                #65772
                PCM2

                  I reported earlier that Acer has upgraded firmware on the XV272K UV to add a ‘Max Brightness’ option, to increase maximum SDR brightness. New firmware which presumably includes this fix is now available to download rather than just being something you need to rely on being applied to newer units at the factory. The file includes a utility which will upgrade the firmware via USB.

                  #66607
                  Bruizer

                    Any potential of getting a review on the XV272U KVbmiiprzx? It recently got an update fixing it’s low contrast and seems that it could be a contender for an all around top value 144hz+ 1440p monitor. Looking at replacing my BenQ EX2780Q. This seems comparable to the Gigabyte M27Q but without the controversial BGR sub-pixel layout. It has also seen sales as low as $300 US.

                    Rtings has a pretty solid, updated review but nothing like a good ole PC Monitor’s review. 😉

                    Anyone else have any experience with this particular monitor recently?

                    #66613
                    PCM2

                      Hi Bruizer,

                      The Acer XV272U KV (preferred shorthand designation) is covered in this thread which I’ve merged your with. As is the Gigabyte M27Q and other competing models. The issue that was fixed with the Acer was a relatively low maximum brightness under SDR, nothing to do with contrast specifically. It has other issues covered in this thread, including with text rendering. It has been confirmed to me now by multiple parties that text appears fringed in places and softer than it should. I’m not sure exactly what causes it, but other models using the panel don’t seem to suffer from it or at least I haven’t seen feedback suggesting they do. I don’t plan to review this model myself. The text related issues seem to be something more people notice than any issues with the BGR subpixels of the M27Q, which as this thread makes clear isn’t a good reason for most people to avoid it.

                      #66618
                      Bruizer

                        Ah! I completely missed this thread when I made my post! Sorry! 🙂

                        #66620
                        PCM2

                          No problem!

                          And as this thread has now been revitalised, so to speak, it seems a suitable place to mention that I intend to review the Nixeus NX-EDG27X shortly. This model retails for a higher price than some of the others discussed here, like the M27Q. But I feel it’s quite an interesting one as it’s based on the AUO M270DAN08.6 which is supposed to be a rather fast panel. It also includes a 100-point overdrive slider and markets variable overdrive and a 30 – 165Hz VRR range. Nixeus specifies a 98% DCI-P3 colour space so it should offer a decent dose of vibrancy as well. All very nice on paper of course, but will be interesting to see how it all turns out in practice.

                          And I thought I’d already posted some focused thoughts on the BenQ EX2710Q, but it seems I haven’t. This post covers that model and explains why it isn’t a monitor I’ll be recommending – it certainly isn’t a direct replacement for the EX2780Q in terms of its capability.

                          #66822
                          PCM2

                            Now our review of the Nixeus NX-EDG27X is live, I’d like to draw a quick comparison with the Gigabyte M27Q. The Nixeus is faster, has a broader hardware VRR range, offers a wider gamut in the red region and has normal RGB subpixels. As covered earlier in the thread, most users would not find these deficiencies to be an issue on the Gigabyte. And it is by far the cheaper of the two models at time of review. For those who do dislike these deficiencies the Nixeus is a possible alternative to explore and may just hit the spot. Whilst these features may not all be perfectly implemented on the Gigabyte M27Q, it does still have the following features which the Nixeus lacks:

                            – Strobe backlight mode.

                            sRGB emulation setting.

                            – Good Adobe RGB coverage.

                            – HDR support.

                            – USB-C and KVM functionality.

                            – ‘4K’ UHD downsampling mode.

                            – Better white point calibration (mileage may vary, to an extent) and superior RGB channel precision, making this easier to correct or adjust.

                            – Comprehensive OSD with intuitive control system (joystick and software control). Plus gaming additions such as ‘Black eQualizer’, customizable on-screen crosshairs and an on-screen FPS counter (refresh rate display).

                            – Not a feature per se, but I personally prefer the Gigabyte’s screen surface as it’s less grainy. Most people will find the Nixeus just fine in that respect, however. And they both have that light to very light matte quality to them to help preserve clarity and vibrancy.

                            – Global availability. At time of review, the Nixeus is restricted to the US and some neighbouring countries.

                            In addition to the above, I’d like to remind readers that the BenQ EX2780Q remains one of our longest-running recommendations for reasons explored in the dedicated section and earlier in this thread. It’s certainly no match for the responsiveness of the Nixeus (or Gigabyte for that matter) but based on its current price in most markets it’s exceptional value for money in my view and a very feature-rich product.

                            #66879
                            savingstimes

                              I’m wondering about the viability of the Gigabyte M27Q and it’s BGR layout specifically in a dual monitor scenario involving one primary monitor and another off secondary. My understanding is given current Windows limitations in terms of sub pixel font rendering that per monitor settings for RGB and BGR is effectively not workable in practice? Essentially this would mean that the off secondary monitor would have to be set to the wrong pixel layout or that sub pixel font rendering would have to be disabled?

                              With that said if the BGR Sharp panels are off the table due to that usage scenario and if the low contrast of the LG Nano IPS panels are unconvincing this would effectively leave implementations with the newer AUO or newer Innolux panels (not convinced of the speed of the older ones, also I want height adjustment, they all seem to be paired with fixed stands like the EX2780Q)? The Nixeus mentioned above is not available here from an actual major retailer with easy free returns so I can’t consider it (due to the high defect rate of monitors). The MSI’s I saw ranged from $100-$150 (depending on the version) more expensive than the Gigabyte.

                              At this point I’m wondering if it’s better for me to just stop gap upgrade to a 1080p 144hz (ex2510 seems to not have “flaws” with the sale price making it cheaper) or even 240hz (Dell s2522hg) cheaply ($185 and $205 respectively) and wait out more 1440p panels or for 4k panels to come down in price.

                              #66889
                              PCM2

                                That’s correct, Windows does not allow one monitor to be optimised for BGR and the other RGB. From the review: “Unfortunately the main optimisation you’re interested in (for BGR or RGB) is largely determined by what is selected in ClearType for the primary display. Only applications built using WPF can have ‘per display’ optimisations and most will just pay attention to what is selected in ClearType for the primary display. This limits the appeal of multi-display setups in Windows with mixed RGB and BGR layouts.”.

                                If you’re not happy with the current WQHD options for performance and pricing regions, I don’t think there’s any harm in waiting. And perhaps going for a Full HD option as a stopgap in the meantime might make sense. I certainly expect to see high refresh rate ‘4K’ options creep down in price just as we’ve seen with high refresh rate WQHD options. And hopefully a broader spread of WQHD options or for more appropriate pricing in your region for what should be more affordable models (such as the MSI G273QPF) might be realised. There’s also the Gigabyte G27Q to consider, depending on pricing.

                                #66890
                                savingstimes

                                  That’s really a shame. The M27Q does seem to me to have the best overall balance of things as you’ve noted. It’s unique green extension and coverage is also rather intriguing to me.

                                  I’m curious regarding the actual design decision of using BGR. I believe BGR is more common (although still not the majority?) choice among TVs. I’m not sure if you might any insight as to why a BGR layout would be chosen? Is there any inherent advantages to a BGR layout? I’ve seen speculation that perhaps it’s cheaper to implement? Is that from an actual manufacturing stand point or perhaps a patent licensing issue?

                                  Hypothetically if Gigabyte (or another manufacturer) were to make a monitor with the Sharp BGR panel mounted upside down what would the limitations be? I assume of course issues with respect to things such as the port orientation and OSD layout would not be an issue compared to the user solution. Would problems still persist with respect to things such as VRR, input lag, response times? I’m assuming the panel itself would still be limited to scanning from bottom to top and is that what is negatively effecting the display characteristics above?

                                  I’d actually planned to stop gap to 1080p 144hz+ for the last two years already and wait out 4k 144hz (perhaps with more robust HDR) but seeing something like the M27Q available for basically $260 was tempting. I bought the AOC 24G2 then largely in part due to your review on here and it met my expectations matching the accolades of the review. Unfortunately it also matched the significant deviation on the right 1/3rd, perhaps being even worse, and so had to return it as it was noticeably off color especially on lighter colors. I ran into the same issue with a different monitor last year as well. My luck?

                                  #66892
                                  PCM2

                                    I’m not in-tune enough with the manufacturing side of things to accurately address those hypothetical questions. I assume Sharp has tooled their factories to produce panels with BGR subpixels as they mainly produce TV panels (as you’ve noted, BGR is more common there). I’m not sure what prevents them from converting that to an RGB process and whether there would be some sort of electronic limitations associated with that. Perhaps they mass produce certain components (LCD drivers, controller boards etc.) that are specifically designed for BGR as well. I would’ve thought they could be reprogrammed rather than there being some sort of hardware limitation there, but I’m not overly familiar with such things.

                                    Sorry to hear about your 24G2, uniformity issues do seem pretty common with that one. 🙁

                                    #66970
                                    Bruizer

                                      Just got an Acer Nitro XV272U KVbmiiprzx so I figured I’d share a little insight into this illusive monitor.

                                      I’m coming from a BenQ EX2780Q and this is all subjective as it based off my eyes and feeling, not tools. So take with a grain of salt.

                                      – In terms of 144hz (BenQ) vs 170hz (Acer), not a big jump or significant difference but it’s slightly smoother. But what is noticeable is the huge improvement in pixel responsiveness! This panel is probably the best alternative to a nano-IPS panel (basing this off reviews of the various nano-IPS offerings). Almost no perceptible overshoot/ghosting/trailing/etc. whereas with my BenQ it was noticeable. So you are getting comparable/equal response time performance to the nano-IPS panels BUT you are getting it with an improved contrast performance.

                                      – Speaking of contrast, my BenQ had a touch better contrast. But this Acer is still good and should in theory still have noticeably better contrast than the nano-IPS panels (again, basing this off reviews of the various nano-IPS offerings). Just know there are still other IPS panels that probably offer better contrast such as maybe the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD (basing off reviews).

                                      – Color accuracy out of the box was better than my BenQ. But if you are someone who likes their colors a little saturated for some extra pop over accuracy, the BenQ had a touch more.

                                      – My panel has very tolerable glow compared to other IPS panels I’ve tried and no bleed.

                                      – Color/panel uniformity is better than my BenQ but not perfect. I’d say the left side of the panel is a little warmer while the right side is a little cooler. It’s very subtle though whereas my BenQ and others I’ve tried where more noticeable.

                                      – Speakers suck but then again I got spoiled with the BenQ as it has probably the best monitor speakers on the market.

                                      – Ergonomics are great in regards to tilt, rotation, swivel, and height adjustment. Wobble is mild but don’t expect it to stand as stiff as a statue if you bump your desk.

                                      – The matte coating would probably be considered on the lighter side. So while it is less grainy (which I prefer), you will notice glare/reflections a little more. Viewing angles are great.

                                      – Many will notice in their research that this panel originally got docked early on for having poor brightness. They since have released firmware that allows you to unlock higher brightness. Even though I just got mine, I still had to install that and turn the max brightness setting on. Makes a huge difference and is plenty bright. And I’m someone who likes ’em bright. Definitely couldn’t recommend if they hadn’t fixed this because out of the box the brightness w/o the firmware wasn’t good.

                                      – HDR… I don’t really think you buy a monitor that is branded as HDR400 for it’s HDR. So I haven’t tested that and will leave someone else to comment on that.

                                      – I’d add that as someone who plays fast paced first person shooters, the overall input lag of the monitor is very low and it is a dream to play on. Very responsive.

                                      So I’d say to wrap it up: If you are looking for a good overall panel that excels at fast paced gaming without making noticeable sacrifices to do so, it’s great.

                                      #66972
                                      PCM2

                                        Thanks for sharing your feedback on the XV272U KV, Bruizer. It was really nice to see your thoughts on it compared to the BenQ EX2780Q, using an older version of the panel. And also to see that you’re really enjoying the experience overall.

                                        This is also the first feedback I’ve received on this model for quite a few months, certainly since the firmware was updated to improve SDR brightness. Some of the earlier feedback I received suggested there were some issues with the sharpness algorithm of the monitor. This isn’t something that was always or even often complained about, so I couldn’t quite pin down what was causing this issue. I do know sometimes people are quite particular about sharpness algorithms so it could’ve just been that it didn’t quite fit their personal preferences. Based on the subpixel layout of the panel I can’t see any issues with that that could be to blame. So it’s good to see you didn’t mention this as an issue – it’s even possible Acer has addressed this with a firmware update somewhere along the line. Perhaps at the same time they addressed the SDR brightness limitation. 🙂

                                        #66973
                                        Bruizer

                                          Happy to be able to contribute!

                                          In regards to sharpness. I haven’t read anything previously about this online (I scoured reddit, google, and all the review sites for a month hunting down everything I could) though I’m sure you hear a bit more being in the review circle. I will say there is really no sharpness adjustment except for a “Super Sharpness” option that you can turn on or off. Some fine sharpness adjustment would definitely be ideal. Turning Super Sharpness on is definitely too sharp. As it stands stock… It might could stand to be a sliver sharper but honestly I may be overthinking it now because you said something. Haha! Because 2 days of use prior to now I hadn’t noticed anything from desktop, websites, text, apps, or games.

                                          #67009
                                          Hindsight

                                            Hi guys, first off I wanted to thank you for all the great info on this site. I considered starting another topic to discuss how these newer IPS compare to several year old TN panels, but since a lot of the new monitors are discussed here I figured this might be a better place to ask?

                                            I’ve been running an AG241QX for the past couple of years and while it’s a cracking screen with my only real complaint being the screen coating, I tend to play more relaxed these days and can’t help but think a 27″ might be more suited. Comparing your pursuit images between the recommended M27Q and my current monitor amd even at 120Hz it looks to have less blur than mine at 144Hz. Did the camera set-up change over the years accounting for some/most/all of this perceived difference? or are they (IPS) really this good now?

                                            I’m a little put off by the BGR panel and currently eyeing the attractively priced (UK) GB2770QSU-B1, my only concern is the state of reviews on it. I mean most give it good reviews and even say it performs higher than stated specs in terms of contrast and brightness which makes me a bit suspicious, then there’s these pursuit images showing some pretty obvious image doubling to me (unstated but presumed max refresh rate?)
                                            The other polish review starts out with a glaring error stating this is using a 6Bit+frc panel (specific panel not stated) which surely can’t be correct? A couple of commenters highlight this but go un-answered.

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