The Asus ROG Swift PG279Q is the best gaming monitor you can buy right now. For years, gamers have been forced to make a choice between picture quality and refresh rate. Cheaper, faster TN panels delivered fast refresh speeds up to 144Hz, while IPS screens offered more vibrant colors and dramatically better viewing angles, but at much slower refresh rates. But as monitor technology has improved, there’s now a handful of monitors available that pair an IPS screen with a 144Hz refresh rate.
The PG279Q is a 27-inch monitor with a 2560×1440 resolution, which we currently consider the sweet spot for high-end gaming. It offers substantially more pixels than 1080p without being as demanding as a 4K panel, meaning games look sharp at 27 inches but won’t bring a good GPU to its knees. Plus, you can still get higher than 60Hz refresh rates, which isn’t possible on the current crop of 4K displays. You can also comfortably run at 100 percent scaling in Windows, something that isn’t always desirable with 4K panels.
Panel size: 27-inch
Native resolution: 2560 x 1440
Panel technology: IPS
Refresh rate: 165Hz
Pixel response: 4ms
Inputs: 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, 2x USB 3.0
Like its primary competitor, the Acer Predator XB271HU, the PG279Q is an IPS panel with a refresh rate that can be overclocked up to 165Hz. (The difference between 144Hz and 165Hz is mostly negligible though.) Inputs include DisplayPort 1.2a as well as HDMI 1.4 (one of each), a nice addition over our previous best monitor pick. Both displays also feature Nvidia’s G-Sync technology for variable refresh rates, assuming you’re using an Nvidia GPU. If you’re an AMD user, however, you won’t benefit from G-Sync and should consider a FreeSync monitor instead. Our pick for that is below.
The PG279Q gets the edge over the XB271HU thanks to Asus’s build quality and superior menu system. Its footprint also occupies slightly less desk real estate, thanks to a standard square base as opposed to the Predator’s large, angular feet.
Nvidia’s G-Sync is the first to synchronize GPU and monitor. It’s a way to avoid screen tearing without the stutter or slowdown of V-Sync. The G-Sync hardware added to compatible screens allows the GPU to synchronize with the screen so that it will only deliver full frames when the screen is ready to display them. Because it’s a proprietary tech and requires additional hardware installed in the monitor, there is a price premium attached.
The best argument for the PG279Q’s dominance as a gaming monitor comes from TFTCentral’s exhaustive review. The review dives into the panel’s refresh rate, color balance, and every one of its features. Here’s the conclusion: “Very fast response times for an IPS panel, 144Hz native refresh rate support, no lag, NVIDIA G-sync capability, ULMB blur reduction mode, and a few nice gaming extras all add up to an excellent gaming offering.”
The biggest drawback to such a fine monitor, of course, is the price. The PG279Q can be found for less than $800/£700, but not by much. Having said that, we consider a monitor an investment. Don’t buy something cheap you’ll want to replace in two years. Buy a great monitor that will still be going strong half a decade from now. There are 144Hz IPS monitors similar to Asus’s offering, only with FreeSync instead of G-Sync, but the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q is the best choice and worth every dollar.