ASUS MG279Q Monitor Now Officially a FreeSync Monitor

Subject: Displays | April 7, 2015 - 12:31 PM |
Tagged: variable refresh rate, mg279q, freesync, asus, amd

If you remember back at CES in early January, we got hands-on with an upcoming monitor from ASUS, the MG279Q. Unlike the company's other G-Sync enabled displays, this monitor was unique in that offered support for the Adaptive Sync portion of the DisplayPort 1.2a standard but was also not a part of AMD's initial wave of FreeSync monitors.

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The ASUS MG279Q from CES 2015

The screen technology itself was impressive: a 2560x1440 resolution, IPS-style implementation and a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz. (Note: the new marketing material indicates that the panel will have a 144 Hz maximum refresh rate. Maybe there was a hardware change since CES?) During a video interview with ASUS at the time it was labeled as having a minimum refresh rate of 40 Hz which is something we look forward to testing if and when we can get a sample in our labs.

At the time, there was some interesting debate about WHY this wasn't a FreeSync branded monitor. We asked AMD specifically about this monitor's capability to work with capable Radeon GPUs for variable refresh and they promised there were no lock-outs occurring. We guessed that maybe ASUS' deal with NVIDIA on G-Sync was preventing them from joining the FreeSync display program, but cleary that wasn't the case. Today on Twitter, AMD announced that the MG279Q was officially part of the FreeSync brand.

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I am glad to see more products come into the FreeSync monitor market and hopefully we'll have some solid gaming experiences with the ASUS MG279Q to report back on soon!

Source: AMD Twitter

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April 7, 2015 | 12:40 PM - Posted by Chizow (not verified)

I guess Asus finally agreed to pay AMD the FreeSync (TM) royalty to have it Branded as FreeSync (TM) monitor? :D

Will be interested to see if it ghosts as badly as the other FreeSync (TM) monitors on market, 40Hz is easy to drop below at 1440p!

April 7, 2015 | 12:53 PM - Posted by montocrispy (not verified)

AMD has said that the certification process and use of the brand FreeSync is at no cost to the manufacturer. Also if you have a 120hz(or 144hz according to their marketing material) you should have your settings such as to take advantage of it, leaving plenty of headroom to stay above 40hz.

April 8, 2015 | 08:55 AM - Posted by Chizow (not verified)

AMD has said a lot of things about FreeSync that turned out not to be truthful, in retrospect, so for them to be less than honest again here would not be surprising.

The fact is:

FreeSync is trademarked by AMD, and it is not a free or open standard, despite the claims and misconceptions purported by their supporters.

Who knows if there is a licensing fee or not, but if you're going to TRADEMARK something that generally implies you are using that mark to benefit your TRADE.

Also, you do realize these panels are 2560x1440 native right? Look at some reviews and see how hard it is to maintain 40FPS minimums for the most demanding cards with just a single-GPU, because bad news AMD fans, still no CF support for FreeSync and BAD ghosting at low refresh and tearing/flickering below minimum supported refresh rates!

April 8, 2015 | 09:37 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Well said!

April 8, 2015 | 09:44 AM - Posted by Puiu (not verified)

Everything you said is false. Are you one of those nvidia fanboys that likes to troll in the comments?
1. nobody pays AMD a fee to use the FreeSync trademark. it's just a certification that tells you that the adaptive sync works as intended on AMD hardware. (notice the "free" in the name?). amd benefits from the free publicity and hardware sales
2. you can find hundreds of games that can play at above 40 FPS 1440p. you don't need to just look at the latests games that are really power hungry. (saving 200$ should allow you to buy a much better GPU if yours isn't good)
3. tearing/flickering will only appear if you enable freesync at below the recommended fps. you have to understand that it's optional
4. CF support will be coming in future driver updates (same a ghosting fix, which isn't as bad as you make it out to be)
5. freesync isn't an open standard. it's just a name they use. adaptive sync is an open standard that anybody can use.

April 8, 2015 | 11:27 AM - Posted by Dusty

"CF support for FreeSync" - This is bad, hopefully fixed in future drivers.

"BAD ghosting at low refresh" - Entirely dependent on the panel, look at TFTcentral's review of the Acer Predator XB270HU vs the Asus ROG Swift PG278Q (IPS type vs TN)

"tearing/flickering below minimum supported refresh rates" - This is an artefact of having vsync on or off below the syncing threshold, true for both G-sync and Freesync.

I do agree that there has to be some sort of agreement for displays to be marked "Freesync Compatible" but the other option is just to market the adherence to the latest DP standard with Adaptive Sync.

April 8, 2015 | 01:56 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You don't get tearing below minimum with g-sync and g-sync doesn't go over maximum.

It's quite hilarous that amd tries to advertise it as advantage.

April 8, 2015 | 04:08 PM - Posted by Dusty

You are right, G-Sync won't show tearing but it will stutter because of "doubling the refresh rate and inserting duplicate frames starting at around the 37 FPS mark". In contrast "For both above and below the variable refresh area, AMD allows gamers to continue to select a VSync enabled or disabled setting."

So, stutter or screen tearing? Freesync implementation allows the user to choose, but G-Sync implementation is fixed, although possibly better if you are more sensitive to tearing than stutter.


April 8, 2015 | 06:19 PM - Posted by Annoyingmoose (not verified)

"G-Sync won't show tearing but it will stutter because of doubling the refresh rate..."

please read the source you linked, as it clearly states G-Sync doesn't tear nor stutter under minimum refresh. the duplication of frames (refresh rate) SOLVES both tear and stutter.

April 8, 2015 | 11:29 PM - Posted by Emu (not verified)

Duplication of frames by increasing the refresh rate and redrawing the last frame creates stutters but reduces flickering and tearing. Pretty much, if you are not smoothly showing new rendered frames at a minimum of 24fps/24Hz, particularly in fast moving scenes like turning 180 degrees in a fps, then video will appear to be pause momentarily and the frames will show a uneven difference between each (a.k.a. stuttering).

If you want an example of what stuttering looks like, turn on V-sync in your favourite FPS, increase the graphics to beyond what your GPU can handle (increase supersampling/fsaa/etc) and attempt to play it. Notice that you start missing bits of the action and movement no longer occurs fluidly and this effect gets worse as your frame rate approaches zero.

Tearing occurs when you start drawing a new frame in the middle of a redraw (especially in fast action scenes).

Flickering occurs when the display is not showing enough frames to keep the screen refreshed properly as LCD screens require active refreshing to keep the display at a even level of brightness. This issue is why Freesync monitors have a minimum refresh rate that is a lot higher then 0 and G-Sync monitors increase the refresh rate when the FPS gets too low.

None of these issues are desirable to the enduser, they are unavoidable at low frame rates and the solutions available don't do much alleviate the effects once you drop below a certain refresh rate. The best way to avoid having these issues though is to keep your framerate as high as you can and to avoid dropping below the minimum refresh rate of the monitor.

April 9, 2015 | 01:08 PM - Posted by Annoyingmoose (not verified)

no, G-Sync's dynamic duplication of frames (resulting in matching refresh rate) prevents the stutter caused by vsync (static refresh rate w/ dynamic fps).

there's no doubt low fps is less fluid, nevertheless when not synchronized with refresh rate its even worse.
I think you do not quite understand the concept of G-Sync to begin with.

April 30, 2015 | 09:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have G-Sync and I can tell you the person who replied to you is correct in saying there is stutter but not flicker or ghosting (unless I use high contrast on purpose) in g-sync. I need to get anther card to stay close to 60fps. But I refuse to get SLI from all the troubles that come with SLI from past and recent experience. I honestly should have waited like others e.g. for the Asus MG279Q ROG Dominator 27" IPS 144Hz 1440p Monitor, but its Adaptive-Sync and nvidia dont support it. I will buy this monitor and any GPU that supports it (simple).

April 30, 2015 | 09:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

+1 I am in the same boat, and from looking at forums, soo many people are in the same boat. And the only one losing out is nvidia, so I hope nvidia support it, or they will lose thousands of peoples custom over their crappy tactics.

April 8, 2015 | 03:17 PM - Posted by JohnGR

You are on every internet site spreading Nvidia propaganda. You are doing pretty nice work little green soldier. I have to give you credit for that.

April 8, 2015 | 07:05 PM - Posted by Annoyingmoose (not verified)

"propaganda definition: Official government communications to the public that are designed to influence opinion. The information may be true or false, but it is always carefully selected for its political effect."

thing is, in his favor, the information is mostly true.
something I can't say about your usual nvidia trolling. also, your AMD logo avatar isn't helping much.

April 9, 2015 | 06:03 AM - Posted by JohnGR

You can either read avatars, or the text in the posts. And no, it is NOT mostly true. It's misleading and the answers under his post show that.

April 7, 2015 | 01:06 PM - Posted by MAXLD (not verified)

Not if you scale your hardware and game settings properly. One of the mistakes people make when buying monitors is to ignore the cost in performance of the higher resolution. If you have an average graphics card and setup, then you can't expect to play high grade games at full details at a even higher resolution. Lower the settings, invest on a better card, or just stick with 1080p.
Besides, sub 40fps is not ideal even without any variable rate monitor/technology... and if you don't have a card able to push 40+ fps without lowering settings, then there's not much point in having a 144Hz panel in the first place.

April 8, 2015 | 08:52 AM - Posted by Chizow (not verified)

If you are lowering your settings to meet the window of a VRR monitor, the solution has already failed as VRR when first introduced by Nvidia was a major breakthrough because it for the first solution to adequately address frame rate drops below native refresh rate.

This is like the various people who insisted runtframes weren't a problem for CF if you just dropped settings so you didn't drop below refresh. Completely defeats the purpose of using CF to begin with!

April 7, 2015 | 05:30 PM - Posted by Bianchi4me (not verified)

Have considered making fiction writing a full time gig, and not just a part-time fanboy thing?

April 8, 2015 | 02:15 AM - Posted by JohnGR

I guess Asus gave the middle finger at Nvidia.

April 8, 2015 | 08:49 AM - Posted by Chizow (not verified)

IPS, G-Sync, superior version of the Swift says no. As usual Asus gives AMD peasants the 2nd-rate version in advance.


April 8, 2015 | 12:30 PM - Posted by Dusty

Read this before you hashtag yourself to death:

April 8, 2015 | 06:31 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yeah, we know that it's easy to drop below 40FPS if you are using Nvidia card.

April 8, 2015 | 08:48 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

*Yeah, we know that it's easy to drop below 40FPS if you are using AMD card.*

Fixed that for ya!

April 8, 2015 | 08:57 AM - Posted by Chizow (not verified)

Well Nvidia users have not only the fastest, but 2nd fastest single-GPU option on the market, and if that's not enough, they can always add a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th for extra G-Sync goodness.

AMD? Stuck at 1x290X max. Is that enough for 1440p at 40+FPS without dropping to console-peasant settings? lol nope, but I'm sure that won't stop AMD fanboys with typical low standards.

April 8, 2015 | 12:46 PM - Posted by Dusty

"Generally, the PowerColor PCS+ R9 290X with its max overclock out-performed the MSI GeForce GTX 970 4G using its highest overclock."

Do you purposely ignore anything that contradicts your viewpoint? even if it's featured on the very website you are on?

April 8, 2015 | 03:40 PM - Posted by JustTheFacts (not verified)

I see you're still trolling hard for Nvidia, chizow. Trying to become the next Rollo? Good luck with that.

G-Sync - Requires expensive scaler replacement, slow adoption, Nvidia gets a cut of each sale, proprietary technology designed to lock you into buying only Nvidia video cards.

FreeSync - Uses the monitor's own built-in scaler, faster adoption, offers equivalent performance to G-sync at a lower cost, VESA industry standard means any company can utilize Adaptive-Sync for FREE (even Nvidia).

April 9, 2015 | 01:18 PM - Posted by Heydan83 (not verified)

I don´t understand people on monitor reviews, you always read comments about complaining how manufactures release 1080p at 60hz monitors, that they should be doing as minimum 1440p with 120hz, and when they announce these type of monitors there´s always an excuse.... now it´s seems nearly impossible to get 40fps minimum while gaming on 1440p monitors... men stop been such an nvidia fan boys, this is the right way to do new technology, an open standard is way better than some proprietary tech, maybe it is not a perfect technology right now, but obviously it´s gonna evolve with different releases, nvidia and all of their fan boys needs to eat their pride and accept this standard.

April 7, 2015 | 01:03 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm only interested if this has working overdrive in freesync mode before going for g-sync version.

April 7, 2015 | 01:55 PM - Posted by H1tman_Actua1

Yup not "free" at all. nice premium price tag for less effective range than Gsync

April 7, 2015 | 02:00 PM - Posted by MontoCrispy (not verified)

Point out the 27 inch 144hz 1440p IPS panels that this is competing with and show the price premium that you are talking about.

April 7, 2015 | 02:11 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You talk big for someone who has no proof for the claims he makes. Show us links that have prices for comparable monitors or GTFO!!

April 7, 2015 | 05:18 PM - Posted by Bianchi4me (not verified)

H1tman Actual, will be starring today in the role of wacky Nvidia fanboy. Please remember all fanboy statements are for comedic purposes only, and should not be judged according to standards of originality, accuracy, or rationality.

April 8, 2015 | 12:45 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Someone's an idiot..

April 8, 2015 | 08:48 AM - Posted by Chizow (not verified)

New marketing (TM) name is FreeGhost, you get 2-3 more images for free than G-Sync, no royalty included. :)

April 8, 2015 | 08:50 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Still many AMD (broke ass) fanboys hanging on there. For every 1 NVidia fanboy there are atleast 5 AMD ignorant trolls/fanboys lol

April 8, 2015 | 09:14 AM - Posted by Chizow (not verified)

Haha yes I've said it many times, if even half the AMD fans bought the products they rave about consistently, AMD's outlook today may be very different!

I mean the 290/X have been great deals at $200-$300 since the 970 decimated their pricing months ago and AMD *STILL* can't give them away.

April 8, 2015 | 09:46 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There is a reason why these AMD fans can only afford the second best , cheap alternatives. They don't have a good education which in some countries costs a hell of a lot and due to this have shitty jobs, minimum wage and so on.

Some come with the argument that they have a family and number of kids blah blah. hey I have a family and 2 kids yet I can make a good living and save to get a better product after doing some deep research because I'm a Tech Enthusiast and this is my hobby. Another friend of mine has a much more expensive hobby fixing and collecting vintage motor cycles. We both work in IT and make a good living.

I can understand if you're a student and want to enjoy this PC Master Race too but can't afford it. Get a side job and save and get the products that are worth it.

April 8, 2015 | 10:05 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm amazed that after the bitcoin mining craze AMD is still in the shitter. Didn't they sell a shit ton of cards then???
At least boosted their financial slightly???

April 7, 2015 | 02:43 PM - Posted by Coupe

I love how everyone is talking about the minimum refresh rate. If that becomes part of the specsheet, monitor vendors will be more inclined to get the minimum in the 20s. Thanks for this!

April 7, 2015 | 05:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There is no reason to get the minimum refresh supported by the panel down. With a panel that supports 120 Hz or more you could easily set the minimum at 60 Hz and use frame doubling or tripling to keep the frame rate in the proper range. AMD needs to fix the issues at the low frame rates. The only question is, can they do this without specialized hardware.

April 7, 2015 | 02:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Has the same panel as Acer XB270HU Predator, wich btw is 144hz and so forth. Anyways, as the Predator is a stunning monitor in every aspect, so have high hopes for this ASUS. And no, I would´t pay 599USD if I had a crap graphics card which could´t keep up with WQHD anyways. Low fps will always be low fps.

April 7, 2015 | 03:11 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

would be 100% better without matte finish

April 7, 2015 | 04:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So glad it's matte. Glare my eyes out? No thanks

April 7, 2015 | 05:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Anyone with the slightest interest in image quality will be using their display in a reasonably dark room without strong lights hitting the monitor. Even a matte display looks terrible with glare.

April 7, 2015 | 05:29 PM - Posted by Mark.Y (not verified)

^ this
glare off matte is more pronounced makes it impossible to see anything at all plus any other glare bounces off matte making colors even more dull looking and blacks look grey.

April 8, 2015 | 09:20 PM - Posted by Ty (not verified)

I'm convinced that the people most opposed to glossy displays are so horrified at the prospect of seeing their own reflection that they avoid it at all costs. Perhaps they think they'll turn to salt.

April 8, 2015 | 10:55 AM - Posted by Mark.Y (not verified)

Even in decent lit room as long as not directly in front of window *common sense* its fine but like you guys said you also get glare from matte screens. ATM every freakn gaming monitor is matte and they have to stop this BS

April 7, 2015 | 04:13 PM - Posted by Areus

Q1 has come and gone and I don't see this available for sale anywhere. Another CES lie!

April 7, 2015 | 05:27 PM - Posted by Bianchi4me (not verified)

Seems like they decided to tweak things a bit, so maybe a delay resulted they couldn't forsee... But yeah, a lot of times manufacturers seem to be faking release dates to cut into other folks' sales. "Hey, don't buy that guy's thingamajig, because my faster\cheaper\cooler thingamajig is just over the horizon...". Looking at you, AMD.

April 7, 2015 | 08:50 PM - Posted by godrilla (not verified)

I think I have seen an interview with asus rep saying end of 1st half of year. Or maybe beginning of 3rd quarter.

April 7, 2015 | 10:46 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Germany seems to have them

April 8, 2015 | 07:50 AM - Posted by ScepticMatt (not verified)

They don't have it yet.

The listings state "Lieferzeit über 7 Tage" (delivery period above 7 days), "mindestens eine Woche" (minimum of 7 days) or "nicht lieferbar" (not available)

April 7, 2015 | 10:20 PM - Posted by nova-goa (not verified)

it has a 5ms response time so nah ill skip this monitor.

April 7, 2015 | 10:52 PM - Posted by indy (not verified)

Damn, I thought this monitor was remaining neutral because we were soon going to see G-Sync+FreeSync support.

I assumed Nvidia were going to get G-Sync going on this thing without the module. I guess we're still a bit off that...

April 8, 2015 | 05:45 AM - Posted by Heavy (not verified)

nvidia can enabel gsync on this monitor right now with a driver update they just dont want too

April 8, 2015 | 04:24 PM - Posted by Dusty

No, they require a monitor side controller because of the way their implementation is set up. This is good in that they have more granular control of the frames and when the display is updating, but it is bad because even if it is a mass produced chip in a monitor it is an added cost.

April 8, 2015 | 06:53 PM - Posted by indy (not verified)

Didn't somebody get G-Sync working on a laptop with a leaked Nvidia driver a couple of months ago?

Sure it probably doesn't work as well as the module because of the reasons you mentioned, but it does work. I think this is the point HEAVY was making.

April 8, 2015 | 02:05 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Freesync is just empty label from amd marketing - monitor itself is still vesa adaptive sync.

April 8, 2015 | 12:02 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Manufacturers need to start listing minimum refresh rates for these Freesync monitors.

April 8, 2015 | 01:57 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

AMD could also specify a minimum "floor" of xx refresh rate to be freesync certified. The super narrow operating range on that LG ultra-wide monitor they recently reviewed is going to piss people off. Right now, AMD needs manufacturers, but long term they are going to have to set some standards to ensure a good user experience

April 8, 2015 | 05:53 AM - Posted by Heavy (not verified)

nah just let the monitor companies come out with their own stuff this is where the capital market rules dont buy the crapy freesync monitor buy the good one with the features you want, will see lower prices and better monitors soons especialy if nvidia enabels their cards to work with freesync aka vrr a standard.

April 8, 2015 | 05:53 AM - Posted by Heavy (not verified)

nah just let the monitor companies come out with their own stuff this is where the capital market rules dont buy the crapy freesync monitor buy the good one with the features you want, will see lower prices and better monitors soons especialy if nvidia enabels their cards to work with freesync aka vrr a standard.

April 8, 2015 | 02:24 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So many NVIDIA shills in the comments. Holy shit.

April 9, 2015 | 05:16 PM - Posted by Daniel Nielsen (not verified)

So much garbage in this comment section, if i didn't know any better i would have mistaken it for YouTube comments.

April 10, 2015 | 01:27 PM - Posted by Annoyingmoose (not verified)

I'd say garbage fits your own comment more than anything.

April 10, 2015 | 09:02 PM - Posted by wolsty7

it would be great if asus would release a gsync version of this panel, i'd rather buy from asus than the xb270hu from acer

April 21, 2015 | 09:33 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


Jim - ASUS

Just wanted to let you know, I've now had it confirmed that the ASUS MG279Q can enable both FreeSync and Overdrive (TraceFree) at the same time.


If you connect the XL2730Z to a FreeSync system then the AMA function (overdrive circuit) is disabled. It doesnt matter whether you have FreeSync ticked or not in the graphics card settings, it is still turned off. If you "break" the end to end freeSync system by doing something like switching to DVI instead of DisplayPort, or using a non-FreeSync supporting drive, AMA behaves as it should. obviously if you use the screen from an NVIDIA /Intel card or a non-FreeSync card then it behaves as it should. [...]

This is apparently an issue affecting all FreeSync screens and will require both an AMD driver fix (being worked on i'm told) and a firmware update for the FreeSync screen. i'm pending info from benQ about what is needed for the XL2730Z and how that will work.

April 21, 2015 | 10:48 AM - Posted by obababoy

This is exciting!! I really wish they could have knocked down the minimum refresh to 30hz.

I still have a hard time spending $600 on something like this. I can't wait for a 21:9 3440x1440p monitor with Freesync and 30hz refresh.

Once that occurs I will just hand them a blank check :)

May 8, 2015 | 09:28 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Breaking news, ASUS recalls this screen due to it not being truly 144 Hz but 120 Hz. When running 144 Hz it skips every 6th frame!!!

May 11, 2015 | 01:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

LoL all the AMD haters Holy Shit. They sound like the last 3 makers of the horse carriage buggies and the automobile is getting ready to put them out of business. I guess when you see your little hold on something go away you will cry to the end!!!! Nvidia just need to grow up and embrace the correct change not there own pocket book change.

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