Acer XB323UGP Review: 1440p 170Hz 1ms FreeSync IPS Gaming Monitor

Bottom Line

The Acer XB323UGP is one of the first 32″ 1440p IPS gaming monitors with a high 144Hz refresh rate, factory-overclocked to 170Hz. Additionally, it has a rapid 1ms GtG response time speed, a wide 99% Adobe RGB color gamut, FreeSync with certified G-SYNC compatibility, DisplayHDR 600 support, and premium design.

Design:
(5.0)
Display:
(4.9)
Performance:
(4.4)
Price/Value:
(3.9)
4.6

A lot of gamers have been waiting for a 32″ 1440p IPS gaming monitor with a high refresh rate. For quite a while, it was only VA panel displays that were available with this combination of specifications, whereas IPS models weren’t available larger than 27″.

Finally, the Acer Predator XB323UGP allows you to enjoy a big 32″ screen with consistent colors and wide viewing angles, as well as quick response time and a high refresh rate.

The full model name of this monitor is XB323U GPbmiiphzx.

We’ll refer to it as the XB323UGP in order to distinguish it from the XB323U GXbmiiphzx – or XB323UGX, which is the 240Hz variant of this monitor (overclockable to 270Hz).

Image Quality

The Acer XB323UGP is based on a 32″ AHVA (IPS-type) panel by AU Optronics. It has a quantum-dot enhanced backlight, which allows it to achieve the stunning 99% Adobe RGB color gamut (equivalent to ~160% sRGB) and 95% DCI-P3.

As a result, you get eye-catching colors, and you can use the monitor for professional color-critical work within the Adobe RGB color space, provided you have a colorimeter and appropriate software.

For sRGB content, the native gamut of the display produces saturated colors, especially greens and blues. Unlike it’s the case with DCI-P3 gamut monitors, reds won’t be over-saturated, as you can see from the image below.

DCI P3 vs Adobe RGB Color Gamut

At any rate, sRGB content will be more saturated. Some users prefer this, while others might prefer a more accurate sRGB color output, the way the content’s creator intended it.

Luckily, there’s an sRGB mode, which clamps the colors to ~100% sRGB. You can also adjust the brightness in this mode.

For HDR content, you get vivid and punchy colors. The gamut extends a bit beyond the DCI-P3 color space, so some added saturation is present, but the colors aren’t over-saturated, you just get extra shade variety.

Scenes with a lot of blue and green colors – for instance, involving water and trees, look particularly gorgeous.

The Acer XB323UGP monitor has a peak brightness of 400-nits, which gets a boost to 600-nits for HDR content. Its static contrast ratio amounts to 1,000:1, as expected from an IPS panel display.

Blacks won’t be quite as deep as those of VA panel monitors, but there’s a 16-zone local dimming solution which can dim parts of the screen for a more immersive viewing experience.

Related:What Is LED Local Dimming?

Overall, there’s a notable improvement with HDR content over SDR, but you’re not getting the “true HDR viewing experience”, which would require a full-array local dimming solution for a higher contrast ratio and stronger brightness.

Such a display would, naturally, also be considerably more expensive.

For the optimal HDR viewing experience, set the HDR option in the monitor’s OSD (On-Screen Display) menu to ‘HDR-600’ and disable ‘Super Sharpness.’

Other panel-related specifications include dithered 10-bit color depth (8-bit + 2-bit FRC) for 1.07 billion colors and 178° wide viewing angles, which make the image perfect regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen.

The 1440p WQHD resolution results in a pixel density of ~92 PPI (pixels per inch), which is equivalent to that of a 24″ 1080p monitor.

Basically, you get a decent amount of screen space as well as crisp details and text. At a normal viewing distance (3 ft or ~1 meter), you won’t be able to distinguish individual pixels.

Performance

freesync and gsync

The specified response time speed of the Acer XB323UGP is 1ms GtG (gray to gray pixel transition) and ‘up to 0.5ms GtG.’ Of course, this is just marketing.

You might get some pixels to transition at that speed by using the ‘Extreme’ overdrive preset, but it would introduce unbearable levels of pixel overshoot (inverse ghosting).

Luckily, the ‘Normal’ overdrive mode works just fine. It eliminates all trailing behind fast-moving objects at 170Hz without adding any overshoot.

However, if you’re using Adaptive-Sync (FreeSync or G-SYNC Compatible) and your frame rate is around 60FPS, the ‘Normal’ mode is too strong and results in minor inverse ghosting.

Sadly, when Adaptive-Sync is enabled, the overdrive is locked to ‘Normal.’

So, at ~60FPS, you’ll have to choose between the ‘Off’ overdrive mode for no overshoot – or Adaptive-Sync for no tearing with some overshoot. Overall, the amount of inverse ghosting at low FPS is tolerable, but it’s not perfect as it is at higher FPS.

The Acer XB323U GP supports both AMD’s FreeSync and NVIDIA’s G-SYNC Compatible variable refresh rate (VRR) technologies with a 48-170Hz dynamic range for tear-free gameplay.

Input lag amounts to ~4ms, which makes for imperceptible delay between your actions and the result on the screen.

As it’s the case with all IPS monitors, some IPS glow is present and its intensity varies across different units of the monitor, but in all except the most extreme cases, it’s manageable.

The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free and there’s an integrated low-blue light filter.

Features

Acer XB323UGP On Screen Display Menu Layout

At the rear of the monitor, at the right side, there’s a directional joystick, three additional hotkeys for shortcuts, and a power button.

Apart from the standard image adjustment tools such as brightness, contrast, color channels, etc., you also get access to advanced settings such as gamma, 6-axis hue/saturation, and Color Space (Standard, SMPTE-C, DCI, EBU, HDR, Rec. 709, and sRGB).

For gaming, there’s Black Boost (improves visibility in darker scenes), a refresh rate tracker, and the Aim Point crosshair overlays.

Design & Connectivity

Acer XB323UGP Back

The Acer XB323UGP boasts premium build quality and a good range of ergonomics including up to 130mm height adjustment, +/- 90° pivot, +/- 20° swivel, -5°/23° tilt, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

The screen has a light matte anti-glare coating which prevents reflections, but doesn’t make the picture appear grainy.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a headphones jack, a quad-USB 3.0 hub, and dual 2W integrated speakers.

Note that HDMI 2.0 is limited to 144Hz. The HDMI inputs on this monitor support HDR, but not variable refresh rate.

DisplayPort 1.4 allows the Acer XB323UGP to simultaneously deliver 170Hz at 1440p with 10-bit color depth, without any image compression.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Acer XB323UGP goes for ~$800, which is reasonable considering its wide color gamut IPS panel, premium build quality, and other features.

Now, ASUS offers a similar monitor based on the same panel, the ASUS ROG Swift PG329Q for ~$700.

The image quality and performance is largely similar, but there are some differences.

Firstly, the ASUS PG329Q has DisplayPort 1.2, so it can only do 10-bit color at 1440p 120Hz via a custom resolution. At higher refresh rates, it’s limited to 8-bit color.

However, note that the difference between 8-bit and 10-bit color is not that noticeable in games (apart from the gradients), and most video games only support 8-bit color anyway.

Further, the sRGB mode of the PG329Q doesn’t allow you to adjust brightness, so it might be too bright for you at its locked setting. The Acer XB323U GP also has a bit better build quality and its stand allows for higher height-adjustment and 90° pivot into the portrait position.

Just like the XB323UGP, the ASUS PG329Q has some overshoot at 60Hz when using the optimal Level 3 overdrive setting. You can remove it by dialing back the overdrive to Level 0, just like you would set the overdrive to ‘Off’ on the XB323UGP.

Now, the PG329Q supports the ELMB-Sync (Extreme Low Motion Blur) technology.

Related:What Is Motion Blur Reduction? (ULMB, LightBoost, BenQ Blur Reduction, Ultra Low Motion Blur)

ELMB-Sync uses backlight strobing to reduce the perceived motion blur at a cost of picture brightness. The result is better motion clarity, but a dimmer picture (~120-nits), which is perfectly usable to some, but too dark to others.

ASUS’ exclusive ELMB-Sync technology also allows you to use ELMB at the same time as FreeSync/G-SYNC Compatible thus preventing image duplications caused by refresh/frame rate mismatch.

Other backlight strobing implementations have to rely on V-Sync or in-game FPS caps to achieve this, which results in higher input lag.

So, to sum up. The XB323UGP has better design, DisplayPort 1.4, and a more flexible sRGB mode, whereas the PG329Q is cheaper and offers ELMB-Sync. In the end, it’s up to personal preference.

If you mostly play FPS games competitively and like CRT-like motion clarity, get the PG329Q for its ELMB-Sync; otherwise, the XB323UGP is a better pick overall.

MSI also offers a monitor based on the same panel called MSI Creator PS321QR, which is more intended for professional-use thanks to its Delta E ≤ 2 factory-calibration. It also has a 165Hz refresh rate, a USB-C port (DP Alt Mode, no PD), and an SD card reader.

At this price range, you might also want to consider the Samsung Odyssey G7 curved 1440p 240Hz monitor with a VA panel and a higher contrast ratio or the LG 34GP83A ultrawide display. Visit our best gaming monitor buyer’s guide for more information.

Conclusion

All in all, the Acer XB323UGP is an outstanding gaming monitor. It offers absolutely gorgeous colors and it’s fit for professional color-critical use. Next, the HDR viewing experience is decent, within expectations at this price range, while the performance is buttery-smooth with the exception of minor overshoot at lower frame rates when using VRR.

Specifications

Screen Size32-inch
Resolution2560×1440 (QHD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate170Hz
Response Time (GtG)1ms (GtG)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-170Hz)
G-SYNC Compatible (48-170Hz)
Speakers2x2W
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, 4x USB 3.0
Brightness400 cd/m²
Brightness (HDR)600 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
99% Adobe RGB, 95% DCI-P3
HDRDisplayHDR 600
BacklightQLED edge-lit, 16 dimming zones
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Wide Adobe RGB color gamut for striking colors, DisplayHDR 600
  • sRGB mode with adjustable brightness
  • Plenty of gaming features including G-SYNC compatibility up to 170Hz
  • Quick response time speed
  • Excellent build quality, ergonomic stand, and rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • No backlight strobing technology
  • Overdrive could’ve been a bit better implemented
  • IPS glow and inferior contrast ratio in comparison to VA

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Rob Shafer
Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.