ASUS ROG Swift PG248Q: Built For Competitive Gamers
On this review, we are taking a detailed look at the ASUS ROG Swift PG248Q. This is the exclusive display at ESL One 2016 and The International 2016; Solidifying ASUS’ stronghold at the eSports scene.
The ASUS ROG Swift PG248Q is dubbed as a competition grade monitor. What this brought to the table are the 24″ panel size, a native 1080P resolution, a 1ms response time and a 180Hz maximum refresh rate. Basically, the Swift PG248Q has everything a competitive gamer required to do the job with a few extras thrown in place. At 26500 Pesos / $450, the PG248Q seems to offer better value over the premium Swift PG258Q we’ve reviewed a while back.
|LCD Size (inch)||24|
|Max.Resolution ||1920 x 1080 at 144Hz, 180Hz (DP)|
|Display Area(mm)||531.36 x 298.89|
|Pixel Pitch (mm)||0.2768|
|Typ. Brightness (cd/㎡)||350|
|Typ. Contrast ||1000:1|
|Response time||1ms (GtG)|
|Input/Output Connector||HDMI, DisplayPort, Audio Out|
|VESA Wall Mount||YES (100x 100mm)|
|Hight Adjustment (mm)||0~120 mm|
|Anti-Screen Tearing||YES (G-SYNC)|
|Anti-Motion Blur||YES (ULMB @ 144Hz Max)|
|Blue Light Filter||YES|
The contrast ratio is rated at 1000:1, with a typical brightness rated at 350 cd/㎡. Response time is rated at 1ms GtG and refresh rate ranges from 60 to 180Hz. This monitor supports G-SYNC and ULMB. A plus on my book.
DESIGN, LAYOUT AND CONNECTIVITY:
The ASUS ROG Swift PG248Q is a 24″ gaming monitor with a compelling design. I’m glad that ASUS went with a safer stand design compared to their VG series. The screen coating on the other hand is a matte one, limiting glare to a great extent compared to lighter anti-glare materials.
The Swift PG248Q weighs in at around 6.6 kilograms which is lighter by a kilogram over the PG258Q. The power supply is external though so tuck that brick somewhere else. The stand is huge enough to hide the power adapter but I guess structural rigidity is still regarded with utmost importance.
The Swift PG248Q tilts from -5° to 20°, while it pivots at a maximum of 90° for landscape. It also swivels left to right at 50° and has a maximum height adjustment of 120mm. The PG248Q is also VESA mountable, capable of utilizing a 100mm wall mount.
The bezel is around 13-14mm thin. The power and OSD buttons are located at the back with a joystick to ease up navigation.
As for display options, you could go with a single HDMI 2.0 port, and a DisplayPort. Connectivity wise, ASUS ROG provided dual USB 3.0 ports and a jack for the audio out. They require the included data cables to work. The stand comes with a built-in cable management area which is nice.
ON-SCREEN DISPLAY MENU:
ASUS’ OSD is easy enough to use all thanks to the joystick and the good UI design. First menu we got here pertains to overclocking which is exclusive to ASUS’ overclockable displays.
There are 6 settings within the main menu, with the blue Light Filter hogging up a sub menu fort itself.
The third menu pertains to the color adjustments which consists of Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Color Temperature and Gamma.
The Image menu is for the adaptive contrast control, Overdrive and ULMB settings. Get used to adjusting strobing features here.
Input Select is where you could set the display’s input. It doesn’t matter that much if you only have two display ports on-board but I guess some users requires this feature.
Extra features from the GamePlus button includes a crosshair overlay, a timer for your oven, an FPS counter (cool) and a display alignment tuning. The last button is the GameVisual. It’s basically the built-in profiles.
TEST SETUP, CALIBRATION AND METHODOLOGY:
Our test setup relies on the Blur Busters TestUFO Motion Tests and Data Color’s Spyder5ELITE Display Calibration System. Default display values are taken with the Spyder5ELITE to be compared later on with the calibrated values. Target for calibration is a 2.2 Gamma value, with a White Point at 6500K and a Brightness value set at 120 cd/㎡. The test system specifications are outlined below.
|TEST SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS|
|PROCESSOR||Intel Core i5 6600K|
|CPU COOLER||Cryorig C1 Top Flow|
|MEMORY KIT||Crucial Ballistix Tactical @ 2666MHz 4x4GB Kit|
|GRAPHICS CARD||ASUS GTX 1060 STRIX OC 6GB|
|INTERNAL STORAGE||Crucial MX200 250GB|
|POWER SUPPLY||CORSAIR RM850X 850W|
|DISPLAY||27″ DELL U2715H|
|OPERATING SYSTEM||Microsoft Windows 10 Pro|
The cameras used throughout the review for the motion artifact and high speed assessments are the Fujifilm XE-1 and the Nikon 1 J1. The following OSD values are selected for the display calibration. If you wish to use the calibrated color profile taken from our Spyder5ELITE result, just send us a request.
|On-Screen Display Settings|
|Gamma||N/A – Damn I forgot|
The Gamut test will show us which color space the display exactly covers. Industry standard color spaces are then compared to evaluate the panel’s performance. Higher is better.
Calibrated: 97% of sRGB, 73% of AdobeRGB | Factory Default: 98% of sRGB, 73% of AdobeRGB
Tone response is where we check the display’s Gamma values and compare it with industry standards of 1.8 and 2.2. Closer is better.
Calibrated: Measured Display Gamma: 2.4 (0.06) | Factory Default: Measured Display Gamma: 2.5 (0.05)
BRIGHTNESS AND CONTRAST:
The result of the tests shows us an overview on how the display actually performs in terms of Brightness and Contrast ratio on varying brightness levels. Higher is better.
Calibrated: 580:1 Contrast Ratio (Best) | Factory Default: 740:1 Contrast Ratio (Best)
This test shows us an overview of the screen’s color and luminance uniformity at different areas and brightness levels. The closer this value to 0, the better the performance of the panel. Lower is better.
Calibrated: 2.7 Max Color, 36% Max Luminance Variance | Factory Default: 2.8 Max Color, 33% Max Luminance Variance
This test shows how well different basic color hues are being reproduced by the display. These color tones correspond with the Datacolor SpyderCheckr. Lower is better.
Calibrated: Average of 1.66 | Factory Default: Average of 2.21
The power consumption is checked with a power meter. Measurements includes the default and calibrated results, together with various brightness settings and power mode.
BACKLIGHT BLEED AND VIEWING ANGLES:
Backlight Bleed is the phenomenon where backlighting from a display leaks. This is prevalent with LED backlight enabled displays where the LEDs used to light the panel are situated at the edges of the display. Testing the Backlight of the display is conducted on a dim room, simulating the recognizable amount of bleed for such scenario.
Viewing angles are also tested to check out how the display panel performs on various positions. This should be helpful if you are looking for a panel that could be used on multi-monitor setups.
Backlight bleed is decent at 120 cd/㎡. Viewing angles however are not really the best. I’ve been pampered by the PG258Q even though it’s a TN panel and this one can’t seem to match it.
BUTTON TO PIXEL INPUT LAG:
The Button to Pixel Input Lag is a combination of system latency from the point of input, processing and display output. That is the basic of it and to quantify the approximate Button to Pixel Input Lag, we utilized Quake 3 Arena as our main shooter. The game is set at the native resolution of the panel with the FPS locked at 250. We check how much delay in milliseconds it took the display to actually output the signal via a 1200 FPS high-speed camera with ~0.83ms of accuracy.
Button to pixel lag results shows that the test system has a minimum of 4.2ms latency and a maximum of 5.9ms latency. 5 passes suggests that the PG248Q together with our test system has an average of 5.2ms of button to pixel input lag. Just a hairline faster than the PG258Q.
Frame Skipping is the phenomenon where dropped frames and missing refreshes occur due to ineffective refresh rate overclocking. If your display exhibits such issues, it should be perceptually similar to in-game frame skipping. We are are utilizing the Blur Busters Frame Skipping Checker to test if there is any.
MOTION CLARITY – DISPLAY PERSISTENCE:
Motion Picture Response Time (MPRT) is the numbered approach to demonstrate the level of perceived motion blur on a display. Basically, a lower persistence value indicates less motion blur. Refresh rate and the sampling method plays a major part here whereas a higher refresh rate nominally features better display persistence values.
Assessing the typical display persistence is easy enough with sample and hold displays, while CRT and Strobe Lighting enabled displays are quite difficult to test with the current tools available. With that said, Use these as references alone.
MOTION CLARITY – PURSUIT CAMERA:
Setting up a pursuit camera courtesy of Blur Busters allows us to a great extent, perceive the actual motion blur of the display. Using such method also allows us to check out for other motion artifacts including ghosting, inverse ghosting and other artifacts. My current hand-driven camera rail setup for this method provides excellent results, but it is far from perfect. This pursuit camera test is a peer-reviewed invention.
At 180Hz, the ASUS ROG Swift PG248Q hints a motion persistence of around 5ms. Streaks are much more minimal compared to the PG258Q which is nice. Overdrive is at normal during these tests since turning it to extreme allowed excessive streaks to appear.
144Hz vs 180Hz is not exactly a slaughter but the difference is clear as day. Almost near the PG258Q at 200Hz but not quite there. What I like about it though are the less intrusive streaks compared to its bigger brother. That, together with a better strobing performance over the PG258Q are excellent advantages.
First off, let us talk about Nvidia’s ULMB or Ultra Low Motion Blur. This display supports it at a maximum of 144Hz so it’s a trade-off if you want the 180Hz refresh. Higher refresh rate = less blur, but ULMB at 144Hz could potentially eliminate it. If I am to answer which one is my preference, I would say I’d go with ULMB at 144Hz with FPS games. ULMB works well with other genres too, but you’d get a dimmer environment – a draw back of strobing. So, setting up the PG2458Q at 180Hz for most genres especially RPGs, is actually a good choice too.
Motion blur dramatization between a 144 Hz Strobe Display (~1 ms) and a 60 Hz Display (~16.7 ms)
If you’re the kind of gamer who’d trade your soul just to eliminate tearing, then the Nvidia G-SYNC is for you. Setting it up is breeze and it’s an excellent way to eliminate tearing. Dipping to lower frame rates and shooting up again also feels smoother with G-SYNC turned on. G-SYNC is better to be experienced rather than explained. Suffice to say, I enjoyed gaming with this monitor.
Screen tearing dramatization between a G-SYNC display and a normal Display
Since the ROG Swift PG248Q comes with both G-SYNC and ULMB support, you can choose between the two. I’ve got no problem with both and you could always switch between them whenever you like. Just make sure your system is fully compatible with G-SYNC. The graphics card, that is.
The ASUS ROG Swift PG248Q is a monitor that showed me the true meaning of love and hate relationships (hardware-wise). For an instance, it displayed an exceptional motion clarity performance, coupled up with overclockable refresh rates that could go up to 180Hz. G-SYNC is of course also one of its main features so gamers wanting to experience tear-free gaming will be delighted. Gaming is where this thing shines the most and boy it delivers.
Now as for the hate part, the panel isn’t just capable of producing excellent tone response, a good color temperature and luminance across the screen space. Viewing angles are also not exactly redeeming and is far from the best TN panel I’ve tested. These are however, not exactly deal breakers – since you’re buying this display mainly for gaming. But, if you’re like me that play games and work at the same time, then prepare to compromise. Seems like the PG258Q spoiled me a bunch with its general panel performance.
As for gaming oriented features built within the display, I find most of them amusing but not entirely useful. Essentially the same sentiments with the PG258Q’s GamePlus mode. Again, there’s that questionable inclusion of the HDMI port, which is something I’ll happily trade for another DisplayPort.
In closing, the ASUS ROG Swift PG2548Q is still a great display in spite of its short comings. Ticking most of my requirements for a gaming panel, it is indeed a competition grade monitor. Keeping up with the spirit of ROG to provide gamers an excellent performance where it matters.