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ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q 27-in Monitor Review - NVIDIA G-Sync at 2560x1440

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: ASUS

The ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q 27-in WQHD Monitor

G-Sync-specific technology aside, the ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q monitor has a lot to offer just in terms of being a display. Specifications, like refresh rate and response time are hard to beat, the build quality is impressive, as is the screen quality.

Technical Specifications

The PG278Q is a 27-inch display with a resolution of 2560x1440. This size and resolution has become quite popular with gamers over the last year, as the transition away from 1080p starts to ramp up (thankfully). It is a TN panel, but much like we found with the recently released ASUS 4K TN screen, the quality of TN is creeping up. Matching the performance of IPS or IGZO is still not in the cards, but the differences in level of TN design and extremely low cost implementations are night and day.

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Usage by several people here at the PC Perspective offices resulted in almost entirely positive impressions. The viewing angles seem to be even better than those found on the ASUS 4K PB287Q monitor, which we reviewed early in the summer, and had a surprisingly high left, right and top result. Only when trying to view the panel from below did I see the typical quick color shift of other TN panels. Obviously, looking UNDER the panel is one of the least common viewing directions. Still, keep that in mind, especially if you decide to place the monitor in portrait mode.

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The backlight is a white LED design, but the color reproduction is still fantastic. I ran this monitor through our color calibration process and it had no issues hitting 100% sRGB and, in fact, out of the box, was only about 3-5% off. For a TN panel that doesn’t come from the ASUS professional lineup of displays, that is another strength for the PG278Q.

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Maybe the most important specification is the 144 Hz refresh speed. More than double that of your standard 60 Hz LCD, the ASUS PG278Q is one of the first major brands to offer a 2560x1440 panel with that high of a refresh rate. Of course, you can run the panel at other refresh rates lower than 144 Hz, including 120 Hz, 85Hz and 60 Hz, but there is very little reason to do so. With a 144 Hz refresh you’ll see much smoother screen animation in games but also a faster “feeling” interface in Windows. You’ll never look at your mouse cursor the same again.

For gaming specifically, a 144 Hz refresh rate means dramatically less horizontal tearing when playing games with V-Sync disabled. Because this monitor supports NVIDIA G-Sync though, as long as you have a GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost card (or higher) you’ll definitely be enabling that feature, so that particular benefit of the refresh rate speed is lost. If you happen to buy this monitor and decide to use it with an AMD Radeon card, you will not get G-Sync support, of course, but you will still see the improvement of a 144 Hz refresh rate.

Physical Design

Building on the design of the ASUS PB287Q 4K display, the body and stand design on the ROG Swift PG278Q is top notch. Attempting to summon the essence of the Republic of Gamers line, the Swift has an angular design that looks aggressive and attractive at the same time. The base doesn’t quite have 90 degree edges and the stand sweeps inward with an opening in the middle for cable routing.

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Along the circular center of the monitor base you’ll find a red light that ASUS calls “Light in Motion” that illuminates to give the display a bit more character. I’m not quite sure why it’s referenced as being in motion, because it stayed at a static brightness all the time, at least, as far I could tell, but it makes a nice addition none the less.

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The bezel on the sides is impressively narrow at just 6mm wide. This gives the ROG Swift the look of almost no bezel, which is awesome even in a single display setup. The real magic would occur when you used three of these in a NVIDIA Surround gaming configuration, with three monitors all in landscape mode. Unfortunately, the bottom bezel is a big larger so the 5-display portrait style Surround wouldn’t be as impressive, if it were even possible today.

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Controls for the monitor are located on the back, at the lower right corner of the display, with its labels facing the front. The primary navigation is done with a small joystick that can move up, down, and in, to represent the click. One button on the back actually is called the "Turbo Button", which makes it sound cool, which it is, but not for the reasons you might think.

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The Turbo Button allows you to switch quickly between 60 Hz, 120 Hz and 144 Hz refresh rates, without having to enter the graphics card control panel and without entering the on-screen display of the ROG Swift itself. This is handy to showcase the differences between these refresh rates in games, or even in Windows itself, and it also allows you to shift between modes should some particular game show artifacting.

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The OSD is clean and fast, though the feature set found in the PB287Q 4K display is obviously missing. You can adjust brightness, contrast, color temperature, enable ULMB, turn on or off the ring light on the stand, and so forth. You can also turn on ASUS-specific features, like GamePlus targeting reticules that are enabled in hardware, not in the game. If specific games do not have sights in them for some reason, this could be helpful.

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ASUS also includes a timer functionality that simply counts down from a specified starting point. RTS gamers that need to keep track of build times, or MMO players want to track rebuff times, might find them more convenient than looking at your watch or your cell phone.

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The back of the ASUS PG278Q is just as sleek and angled as the rest of the display, but the stand is for more than just looks. It is fully height adjustable, has the ability to tilt up or down, and it supports rotation, including portrait mode. As mentioned earlier, this mode is less desirable in a TN display where standard viewing angles are changed, but it’s there if you want it.

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If you want to mount the PG278Q to another stand or arm, you can do that thanks to ASUS’ inclusion of a standard VESA mount.

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Connectivity is an interesting area though – the PG278Q only supports DisplayPort input, period. There is no fall back for DVI or HDMI. ASUS chose this obviously because support for G-Sync requires DisplayPort and I believe that, since the NVIDIA G-Sync module takes over the controller duties for the display, that’s all we are getting. It would have been nice for ASUS or NVIDIA to figure out a way to get at least DVI on the display, if only for a fall back option when G-Sync is not required.

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ASUS did include a USB 3.0 hub though, which is a nice touch. Run the included USB 3.0 B-A cable to your machine and take advantage of two USB 3.0 ports on the bottom of your monitor. There is a service USB port on the right as well, but it is covered up to prevent you from trying to use it accidentally.


August 11, 2014 | 09:32 AM - Posted by arbiter

Asus VG248QE + g-sync kit is ~480$ if you do it yourself. A site by name of overlordcomputer is selling it pre installed for 500$. For people that are not feeling up to doing it themself.

August 11, 2014 | 10:22 AM - Posted by H1tman_Actua1

I bought my Asus VG248QE + g-sync from digital storm for 499 installed.

Done~!

August 12, 2014 | 11:58 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It's also worth mentioning that that is a 24" 1080p display.

October 13, 2014 | 09:24 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Asus VG248QE is a 24' 1080 display, and you are suggesting people spend $500 on it?

August 11, 2014 | 09:38 AM - Posted by Edkiefer (not verified)

question on resolution , how does desktop look at say 1080 if you didn't want to scale windows settings to 125% because some apps not like that .
I see many times comments anything but native gives blurry text .
I have old 2007FP Dell 1600x1200 and run a custom res and don't really notice any degrade .

August 11, 2014 | 10:08 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'll just quote Allyn Malventano


Now for people saying that it 'feels smoother', with no actual frame capture to back it up, makes it a bit of a bogus claim, IMO.

August 11, 2014 | 10:36 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

It's interesting to follow you around...

http://s3.amazonaws.com/pcper-pics/63543350199.png

August 11, 2014 | 04:38 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Thanks for quoting me, but I was talking about people saying one card 'felt smoother' than another card, where frame pacing had been fixed on both cards. My point was, how could people 'feel' that particular difference when the actual pacing difference between both platforms is negligible.

...now in this context, pretty much anyone you sit down in front of a GSYNC display is definitely going to see the difference. It pretty much smacks you in the face, especially at low FPS.

August 12, 2014 | 11:40 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks you for bringing the truth, and clearing up the usual misunderstanding. I agree GSync is hard to miss.

August 11, 2014 | 10:12 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hate the "gamer" look but love the specs.

August 11, 2014 | 10:22 AM - Posted by H1tman_Actua1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdqTIfNv2DE

BAM! suck it "free"sync!

August 11, 2014 | 11:00 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why didn't this get an "Editor's Choice" award instead of a gold award? What's the difference between those two awards anyway? lol.

August 11, 2014 | 11:49 AM - Posted by Pholostan

My guess would be the price. Very expensive for a TN panel, albeit a nice one.

I checked my go-to stores here, they have it in stock or on order. But they ask more than 1000 USD (7500 SEK including taxes). I think I'll keep my cheap Korean 1440p Samsung PLS that does 100Hz.

August 11, 2014 | 02:35 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Editor's Choice would be higher than Gold, yes. And you had it right - the exceptionally high price is what led me to not dive 100% in with this product. And also we have a 4K G-Sync option coming from Acer and a 1080p AOC model coming soon as well.

August 11, 2014 | 04:56 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

please don't tell me that 4k gsync monitor will be a 27-28" TN. :-(

When will we see a 32" or larger gsync non-TN 4k monitor?

August 12, 2014 | 04:55 PM - Posted by Klimax (not verified)

Heh, and I would love 24". (25"+ wouldn't fit space)

August 10, 2015 | 07:54 PM - Posted by JCCIII

...

August 11, 2014 | 11:01 AM - Posted by remon (not verified)

It's a pitty, in eyefinity, the best cards to run those 3 monitors don't support the one feature that makes this monitor special.

August 11, 2014 | 11:08 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

does Ultra Low Motion Blur work with Intel/AMD graphics card?

August 11, 2014 | 04:49 PM - Posted by Wesley (not verified)

ULMB still has workarounds for the VG248QE that do work, but ULMB on something like the ROG Swift will be very difficult to crack because it's a custom scaler designed by Nvidia to drive the monitor. Even Nvidia has been paying attention to how people are using ULMB, disabling it for GSync.

If you'd like any indication of how much Nvidia hates supporting ULMB, they appear to have gotten ASUS to disable it entirely for any Radeon GPUs, even though the option is in the monitor's OSD menu and not part of GSync at all.

August 11, 2014 | 06:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

this really sucks, they are already making money with the gsync module thing inside the monitor, and it shouldn't require any work from forceware or geforce;

personally 120-144Hz and ULMB sounds a lot more exciting than Gsync.

I play games with no vsync and don't care much about tearing, but LCD motion blur is horrible

also being a vendor specific feature just kills it for me;

August 12, 2014 | 12:19 PM - Posted by H1tman_Actua1

You're a total fucken retard.... please find out how variable refresh rate works...kook

August 11, 2014 | 11:09 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

also, can you disable the annoying red light thing?

August 11, 2014 | 11:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

yes, you can. 4th post in the thread.

http://www.guru3d.com/articles-summary/asus-rog-swift-pg278q-gsync-gamin...

August 11, 2014 | 11:38 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

G-Sync out of range bug

http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?50213-Asus-PG278Q-Out-of-Range-bug

August 11, 2014 | 11:56 AM - Posted by H1tman_Actua1

beta driver 340.43 is broken with Gsync.

August 11, 2014 | 12:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So are the 340.52 WHQLs.

Beta or WHQL the bug is there. Not very comforting given how long G-Sync has been in development to still have a bug like this persist.

August 11, 2014 | 02:42 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Odd, I used BOTH of those drivers in my testing.

August 11, 2014 | 03:52 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You also said the 30fps dip is gone. Linus and others noted its still there in their reviews.

August 11, 2014 | 04:52 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

I believe the dip Linus spoke of is not really a dip (or gap). When we made that second chart, (showing the gap / judder is gone), I made sure I was watching it run. The thing is that when FPS drops down in the 20's, the delay between frames really becomes noticable. It's really more a matter of your brain no longer seeing motion and more individual frames. The transitions into and out of such low FPS figures was smooth, even though watching video at such a low frame rate is jarring to the eye.

August 12, 2014 | 12:17 PM - Posted by H1tman_Actua1

negative,

I had no issue with the next driver only the that beta.

Also I'm not using the swift I'm talking about the ASUS VG248QE with Gsync module.

August 29, 2014 | 07:33 AM - Posted by ManuelG (not verified)

This has been fixed and should appear in our next driver release.

August 11, 2014 | 01:03 PM - Posted by Hani

dies g-sync work smoothly with SLI setups?

August 11, 2014 | 02:37 PM - Posted by arbiter

yes it would, linus in his review was using SLI'ed titan's

August 12, 2014 | 12:17 PM - Posted by H1tman_Actua1

Ive also test the ASUS VG248QE Gync on my SLI rig and it works great!!

August 12, 2014 | 12:17 PM - Posted by H1tman_Actua1

Ive also test the ASUS VG248QE Gync on my SLI rig and it works great!!

August 12, 2014 | 01:08 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No, it doesnt.

I mean, it does for the majority of games. But even after that, SLI by nature adds more input lag into the mix and will ALWAYS add SOME frame pacing issues (nvidia even is WAY ahead of AMD on this one, but still).

If your goal is gsync and MAX possible smoothness then more than 1 video card IS a mistake. Since its counter active to that goal.

August 12, 2014 | 09:22 PM - Posted by Rytes (not verified)

You have no idea what your talking about....almost every online review and video showcasing this monitor has used SLI and all have said it runs smoothly. Which is the whole purpose of G-sync..*sigh* people and their(F*ck Logic!) statements...

August 12, 2014 | 09:22 PM - Posted by Rytes (not verified)

You have no idea what your talking about....almost every online review and video showcasing this monitor has used SLI and all have said it runs smoothly. Which is the whole purpose of G-sync..*sigh* people and their(F*ck Logic!) statements...

August 12, 2014 | 09:22 PM - Posted by Rytes (not verified)

You have no idea what your talking about....almost every online review and video showcasing this monitor has used SLI and all have said it runs smoothly. Which is the whole purpose of G-sync..*sigh* people and their(F*ck Logic!) statements...

August 13, 2014 | 03:24 AM - Posted by PapaDragon

Im Selling a Kidney to get this monitor, anyone interested?.. Great job Asus! Would love to play Battlefield 3 & 4 on this beast some day in the not too distant future!!

Hey Ryan, Excellent Video showcase and review, the best one out there, very informative!!

August 11, 2014 | 02:01 PM - Posted by Shane (not verified)

I'd be more interested in this if they offered a stand-less option. I use a triple monitor setup and, as long as it has VESA, I would happily forgo the fancy lights and adjustments for a price reduction.

August 11, 2014 | 02:38 PM - Posted by arbiter

it does have a VESA mount for you. stand is option if you want to use it or not

August 12, 2014 | 09:27 AM - Posted by Shane (not verified)

Read "as long as it has VESA" as a statement about monitors in general and "I would happily forgo the fancy lights and adjustments for a price reduction" as emphasis on price reduction. I have this prejudice against paying for things I know I'm not going to use.

August 11, 2014 | 02:38 PM - Posted by Rustknuckle (not verified)

Despite its over 1000$ MSRP here in Norway it sold out faster than free handjobs.

Cant even describe how happy I am with this monitor. Did not expect G-Sync to be this good while running 2x GTX Titan. Its giving my other two monitors an inferiority complex.

August 11, 2014 | 03:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

G-sync is great but this monitor is ripoff

August 11, 2014 | 03:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There is also this problem.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8S2KkJFFMY&feature=youtu.be

http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?50004-PG278Q-vertical-stripes-e...

August 11, 2014 | 03:44 PM - Posted by larsoncc

Holy cow, get this reviewer a glass of water! Hearing him struggle to swallow was enough to make me register to make a comment! Guys, we're totally OK with you having a drink of water while doing a review!

This review really makes me want to do the GSync mod on my VG248QE.

August 11, 2014 | 04:09 PM - Posted by funandjam

I think that once this sync tech has been out for quite awhile and prices drop a lot(for both versions of it), then I might consider upgrading my monitor and gpu. But in the mean time, my current setup provides a very smooth gaming experience.

August 11, 2014 | 04:15 PM - Posted by Lithium (not verified)

yea yea

I`m using nVidia 2d surround and ``it’s going to be basically impossible to go back.``

Now there is G-Sync.

Does G-Sync support triple monitor setups?

Bad bad RED PCPer

August 11, 2014 | 05:02 PM - Posted by arbiter

ATM i believe g-sync is limited to 1 monitor, this is like due to the fact that most video cards only have 1 display port on them. Which in the future could change.

August 11, 2014 | 05:26 PM - Posted by Polycrastinator (not verified)

At $600 this would be an instabuy. But that price tag is just too much. The question is really going to be once the supply has settled down, what discounts do we see, if any?

August 11, 2014 | 07:28 PM - Posted by GPU

I've got the Asus VG278HE 144Hz 1080p strobing monitor and this is the sort of monitor I want to upgrade it to.

It's not enough though. I'm gonna wait until we see a 2160p version of this Asus ROG monitor that still works at 144Hz and has G-Sync. I will then upgrade my graphics card to maintain a solid 120/144Hz framerate. It might take up to two years for the monitor and NVIDIA graphics cards to become available, but I'm in no hurry and money isn't too much of a barrier, either.

August 16, 2014 | 08:48 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

2 years? I doubt it. Look how long it took for 1440p@144Hz to show up and yes pg278q is the first one.

August 12, 2014 | 03:56 AM - Posted by MTeeJay (not verified)

Got one pre-ordered, then end of the month cant come soon enough!

August 12, 2014 | 09:47 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

500$ lol

August 13, 2014 | 01:10 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nice to see progress made with LCDs, but there are still too many disadvantages with this monitor. I'll stick with my FW900s for awhile longer; 15 years and it still hasn't been surpassed.

August 26, 2014 | 12:15 AM - Posted by JCCIII

ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q is not worth your money; wait!

* Missing ASUS EyeCare Technology (very bad)

* Poor Panel Choice, a TN monitor, colors fades with the move of your head

* One connector, no legacy video connections, one video input, DisplayPort only

* Ultra Low Motion Blur (ULMB) does not work in conjunction with G-Sync

* Inconsistent Bezel Thickness: bottom is much thicker than the sides and top

* Missing ASUS SPLENDID Video Intelligence Technology

* 2560 x 1440, 16:9; should be 2560 x 1600, which is 16:10

Sincerely, Joseph C. Carbone III; 25 August 2014

December 22, 2014 | 10:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Are you the kind of idiot that want's a brand new Ferrari for $20K and expects 100mpg from it and the ability to ferry 5 kids around?

* Poor Panel Choice, a TN monitor, colors fades with the move of your head

TN is a TN. TN is used for this monitor because of the vastly superior refresh rates and response times. Which is one of the key selling points of this monitor. If they have of used an IPS panel then the monitor wouldn't have this level of performance (speed).

If you wan't to edit photos etc, this is not a good monitor, I agree.

* Ultra Low Motion Blur (ULMB) does not work in conjunction with G-Sync

No one said it did, Asus clearly state as much. It's a shame it doesn't - I assume there is a technical reason?

* One connector, no legacy video connections, one video input, DisplayPort only

Doesn't both me personally, if you wanted VGA (on a 2560x1440? LOL) then fair enough, check the specs. I believe it needs a DP port as HDMI doesn't have the bandwidth to run this res at 144hz.

* Inconsistent Bezel Thickness: bottom is much thicker than the sides and top

Agree, this is annoying if you want to put monitors above/below or side by side in a vertical position

This is your only valid point as fair as I'm concerned, as I don't believe they make this clear before purchase.

* 2560 x 1440, 16:9; should be 2560 x 1600, which is 16:10

No they should use 4K, 8k, 1080p, 1920x1200..... why SHOULD IT BE 16:10 rather than 16:9 ? do you just WANT it to be 16:10 therefore you shall decree ?

Maybe some people prefer 16:9... did you consider that?

I would hate to live in your utopia!

September 19, 2014 | 07:28 PM - Posted by FlyingPenguinOFC (not verified)

So far it seems like the new driver released today (344.11) solved the out of range bug. Installed it this AM and I've been running at 144 Hz all day heavily gaming with no problems.

I am more than happy with the monitor. Yeah it's over priced (hopefully it'll come down a bit in price later) but GSync is just a total game changer.

The panel, despite being TN, is stunning.

As previous poster noted, it's odd that they chose to make the bottom wider then the other three sides of the bezel. Not a real problem for me, or most people, but it would ruin the effect if you wanted to do 4 or 6 display multimonitor in a rectangle.

June 12, 2015 | 07:14 PM - Posted by biosat_lost (not verified)

I´ve also bbought an Asus VG248QE for getting G-sync for it later.

So i live in germany Europe, and i don´t see any chance or way to get a G-sync module!!!!

i´m member of several pc-hardware forums and i know quite alot about making my own gaming pc´s with buying every single part( choosing them before),

Every second month i order an update for my pc.....

How can i order a g-sync modul for the asus VG 248QE??????

Can i order it from california??

2. question: when i have 2 MSI GTX 970 Gaming in SLI, is it possible to take a dual-gpu GTX 760 ROG Mars for physx???

If not which are the best gpu´s for physx with a GTX 970SLI??

Would quadro or tesla be an good choice???

3.question does there come a GTX 990 with 2 GTx 980 GPU`S and 2x 4GB??????
Will there be any GTX 980 with 8GB? like EVGA Classified 8GB???

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