We tested the ASUS PG27UQ 4K HDR Behemoth

Ladies and gents, we are taking a look at the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ gaming monitor. One of the highlights we’ve seen at ASUS’ booth during COMPUTEX 2018, featuring High Dynamic Range support. One of the first on this saturated gaming market.

The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ not only features HDR, since it is also a thorough-breed gaming monitor under the hood. Bells and whistles included is the support for 144Hz refresh rate, G-SYNC and 4K UHD resolution under a 27″ QLED package.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

Display‎

LCD Size (inch)‎27
Aspect Ratio‎16:9‎
Resolution ‎3840 x 2160
Refresh Rate144Hz (Overclocked)
Display Area(mm)‎596.16 x 335.34
Pixel Pitch (mm)‎0.155
Brightness (cd/㎡)‎600
Contrast ‎1000:1 (50000:1, HDR)‎‎
DCRNA
Panel Type‎QLED (Quantum Dot)
Response Time‎4ms (Gray to Gray)

Connectivity

Input/Output Connector‎HDMI, 2x DisplayPort
USB/Audio‎Headphone out, Mic in, 2x USB 3.0 Type-A
Ergonomics
VESA Wall Mount‎100 x 100
Pivot0°/+90°
Swivel (left/right)‎-35°/+35°
Tilt (°)‎-5°/+20°
Hight Adjustment (mm)‎0/120

Special Features‎

Anti-Screen TearingNvidia G-SYNC
Anti-Motion BlurNA
ProfilesYES
Contrast ControlYES
Blue Light Filter‎YES‎
Black Equalizer‎YES
OverdriveYES‎
SpeakerNA

The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ is again a 4K UHD display based on a QLED panel. The contrast ratio is rated at 1000:1, though it goes way up to 50000:1 if HDR is turned on. Brightness is also rated at 600 cd/㎡, which is also chart topping. Response time is rated at 4ms GtG. This gaming monitor supports Nvidia G-SYNC yet it doesn’t feature any Anti-Motion Blur technology.

DESIGN, LAYOUT AND CONNECTIVITY:

The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ is a 27″ gaming monitor with sleek lines and passive aggressive looks. It weighs almost 10 kilograms which is a testament to the materials used and the overall build quality of the product.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ (5)

The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ features RGB lighting at the back. The signature aluminum base also adds up to the overall flare of the monitor but it does extend the foot print quite a bit, just like any ROG Swift displays we’ve tested before. A large desk is required to appreciate this beauty.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ (4)

Screen coating used is a blend between gloss and a matte finish. This is to accentuate the color reproduction of the panel while maintaining its functionality to diffuse ambient lighting. The bezel on the other hand is decent enough to allow multi-monitor setups. As if there’s someone sane enough to buy a triplet.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ (2)

ASUS made sure that the ROG Swift PG27UQ is made with ergonomics in mind. It tilts from -5° to 20° and swivels at a maximum of 40°‎. Height is also adjustable at a maximum of 120mm, plus it pivots for that not so normal portrait look. Another feature worth noting is the ROG Light Signal. It basically projects an ROG logo to a nearby surface. Think of it as ROG’s own Bat-Signal.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ (1)

As for display options, ASUS went with a single HDMI and a single DisplayPort. We also have an audio-in / out, plus dual USB 3.0 ports. There’s also a fan inside to keep things cool enough. I’m looking at you, G-SYNC module.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ (3)

Power is unfortunately external. A total bummer considering the size of the monitor and the stand. We have a cable management hole though.

ON-SCREEN DISPLAY MENU:

The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ features a familiar OSD and navigation options. That said, it is easy enough to use especially with a joystick at bay.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ OSD (1)

The Color menu is where you’ll find additional modes geared for everything except gaming. Image on the other hand is where you of course setup the overdrive, back lighting and black levels.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ OSD (2)

ASUS really did a great job with this OSD. Comparable to the ones we’ve tested before with a few additions here and there.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ OSD (3)

TEST SETUP, CALIBRATION AND METHODOLOGY:

Our test setup relies on the Blur Busters TestUFO Motion Tests and Data Color’s Spyder5ELITE Display Calibration System. Target for calibration is a 2.2 Gamma value, with a White Point at 6500K and a Brightness value set at 120 cd/㎡. Calibrated values are then analyzed with the Spyder5ELITE Display Analysis tool. Do note that Dynamic Contrast Ratio and other extra features built within the OSD are disabled during the tests.

TEST SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS
PROCESSORIntel Core i5 6600K
MOTHERBOARDASUS Z170-A
CPU COOLERCryorig C1 Top Flow
MEMORY KITCrucial Ballistix Tactical @ 2666MHz 4x4GB Kit
GRAPHICS CARDASUS GTX 1060 STRIX OC 6GB
INTERNAL STORAGE Crucial MX200 250GB
POWER SUPPLYCORSAIR RM850X 850W
DISPLAY27″ DELL U2715H
OPERATING SYSTEMMicrosoft 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 ICC profile taken from our Spyder5ELITE result, just send us a message. You may also read our guide on how to use ICC profiles.

ON SCREEN DISPLAY SETTINGS
Brightness26
Contrast50
SaturationNA
TemperatureNormal
Gamma2.2
PresetRacing, SDR Mode

GAMUT:

The Gamut test evaluates the color spaces the display exactly covers. That includes industry standard spaces such as sRGB and AdobeRGB. Higher percentage values are better.

ASUS PG27UQ Benchmark (1)

Color space coverage is damn excellent. We got a 100% sRGB coverage while AdobeRGB results are at 99%. Even better than our new curved favorite from the MSI.

TONE RESPONSE:

Tone response is where we check the display’s Gamma values and or presets if there are any. We then compare the results with industry standards of 1.8, 2.2 and 2.4. Closer to these values are better.

ASUS PG27UQ Benchmark (2)

Tone response for the 3 gamma levels are off by +0.1. Nothing extraordinary here but it’s not bad either.

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.

ASUS PG27UQ Benchmark (3)

Brightness at 100% using our calibrated profile is rated at 464.7 cd/㎡. Contrast ratio on the other hand is at 2300:1. Be reminded that these figures were obtained on SDR mode.

ASUS PG27UQ Benchmark (4)

SCREEN UNIFORMITY:

This test shows us an overview of the screen’s uniformity at the calibrated brightness level. The closer this value to 0, the better the performance of the panel.

ASUS PG27UQ Benchmark (5)

Screen uniformity is decent. Nothing extraordinary around this area I assume.

COLOR ACCURACY:

This test shows how well different basic color hues are being reproduced by the display. These color tones correspond with the Datacolor SpyderCheckr. Lower Delta-E values are better.

ASUS PG27UQ Benchmark (6)

Color accuracy is what I could say outstanding. The best so far after the AG271QG and the PG258Q panel.

POWER CONSUMPTION:

The power consumption is checked with a power meter. Measurements are taken at maximum brightness level.

ASUS PG27UQ Benchmark (7)

With an active cooling system, G-SYNC and individually lit pixels, the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ featured the highest power requirement out of the bunch.

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.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ Test (2)

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.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ Test (1)

Backlight bleed at 120 cd/㎡ is totally unnoticeable with the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ . Viewing angles are also excellent.

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.

ASUS PG27UQ Benchmark (8)

Our button to pixel lag results shows that the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ has an average of 16.5ms button to pixel latency. It’s decent, but for a gaming display we expected better.

FRAME SKIPPING:

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.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ Test (3)

There is nothing to worry about the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ when it comes to frame skipping.

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.

ASUS PG27UQ Benchmark (9)

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. That said, these are still good references to check out. Especially true if we’re looking for differences based on refresh rates 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. This pursuit camera test is a peer-reviewed invention.

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ Test (4)

At 144Hz refresh rate, the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ hinted a motion persistence below 8ms. Overdrive is best set at the normal at all times. It’s just sad that ASUS doesn’t have any form of anti-motion blur technology to back this thing up.

GAMING EXPERIENCE:

The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ supports a maximum of 144Hz so it’s pretty smooth and responsive. Though this is no curved display, it makes up for its HDR support and overall image quality.

Monitor-Technology-Demonstration-2018-3

SDR display vs HDR display

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 the feature turned on. A requirement for gamers with compatible Nvidia graphics that couldn’t keep up with the refresh rate at 4K UHD.

G-SYNC display vs normal display with Vsync off

THE VERDICT:

The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ is the first 4K UHD QLED HDR gaming monitor that we have tested. It blew my mind at COMPUTEX 2018 and it did it again like I’ve never seen it before. Suffice to say, we really enjoyed the HDR experience which is exactly near impossible to explain with pictures alone. It’s just that good. All benchmark considered, it is a blast of a gaming monitor to work with. Let the benchmarks speak for themselves.

Gaming oriented features are excellent too, although I must say we expected a bit more around the latency area. 4ms GtG is all good, but button to pixel latency is on the ledge. Since this is a G-SYNC display, we also expected some form of anti-motion blur support via the chip. It’s not the case with this display maybe due to the nature of HDR and back lighting. Then there’s also the power and the hum of the active cooler.

On the topic of HDR, the display actually supports it at a maximum of 98Hz (10-bit). ASUS uses a sampling method called Chroma Subsampling to make do with the whole “4K HDR support at 144Hz”. Basically, we get compressed output for the bandwidth requirement of 4K UHD + 144Hz refresh rate. This isn’t bad, considering our not so perfect human eye sight. But, it is still noticeable when you look for it. That’s true on some quirky text and background color combinations.

Value wise, the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ comes in hot at 142000 PHP. That’s about $2600 in USD if you prefer to see less zeroes. It is expensive, as with any well designed first generation high performance product. The good thing? It is the closes thing you could get to the gaming equivalent of a luxury sports car on a desktop.

  • CHART TOPPING SDR PERFORMANCE
  • EXCELLENT VIEWING ANGLES
  • OSD NAVIGATION AND FEATURES
  • EXCELLENT ERGONOMICS
  • HDR MODE IS LIT
  • BUNDLED ACCESSORIES
  • G-SYNC SUPPORT
  • AESTHETICALLY APPEALING
  • BUILD QUALITY
  • LIGHTING THAT DOESN’T SUCK
  • ZERO ANTI-MOTION BLUR TECHNOLOGY
  • BUTTON TO PIXEL INPUT LAG
  • POWER CONSUMPTION
  • EXPENSIVE

TechPorn Awards 2018 (4)

TechPorn Awards 2018 (5)

ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ HDR Gaming Monitor
  • PERFORMANCE
  • BUILD QUALITY
  • FEATURES
  • AESTHETICS
  • VALUE
4.2

Summary

The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ HDR Gaming Monitor is expensive. There’s nothing we or ASUS could do to deny that fact; As with any well designed first generation high performance product. It is the closes thing you could get to the gaming equivalent of a luxury sports car on a desktop.