Acer XV252QF Review: 1080p 390Hz 1ms FreeSync IPS Gaming Monitor

The Acer XV252QF is a 1080p 360Hz 1ms IPS gaming monitor that's overclockable to 390Hz! Moreover, it offers VRR, MBR, and plenty of other features!

Bottom Line

The Acer XV252QF is the perfect $500 gaming monitor for all competitive players who are playing undemanding eSports titles at 300-400FPS or higher. It offers an incredibly responsive gaming experience with smooth motion clarity, vivid colors and plenty of useful features.

Design:
(5.0)
Display:
(4.6)
Performance:
(4.9)
Price/Value:
(4.7)
4.8

The Acer XV252QF is the first 360Hz gaming monitor available without the dedicated G-SYNC module, allowing for a lower price tag; here’s how it stacks up against the alternatives.

Image Quality

Thanks to its IPS panel, the Acer Nitro XV252Q F provides wide 178° viewing angles for flawless image quality regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen. Further, with ~99% sRGB gamut coverage, you get accurate and rich colors without over-saturation.

Now, the Full HD resolution results in only a decent pixel density of ~93 PPI (pixels per inch) on 24.5″ screens, which might seem too low for a ~$500 monitor, but if you wish to take full advantage of 390Hz, it makes sense.

In order to see the benefits of 390Hz, you’ll need to get 390FPS, which is mainly doable at 1080p and while playing undemanding eSports titles at low settings.

Still, the image is pretty crisp and you get a fair amount of screen real estate. Moreover, most professional players prefer ~24″ sized screens as it allows them to see everything that’s happening on the screen without having to move their eyes/heads much.

The Acer XV252QF can get quite bright thanks to its 400-nit peak luminance while the contrast ratio sits at 1,000:1, which is standard for IPS monitors.

You won’t have any trouble with the glare even in well-lit rooms and even though blacks aren’t quite as deep as that of VA panels with a ~3,000:1 contrast ratio, they’re decent.

Besides, there aren’t any 360Hz monitors with VA technology (at least not yet) due to their slower pixel response times.

Some IPS glow is noticeable, as expected from an IPS panel, but it’s manageable and its intensity will vary across different units of the monitor.

Performance

The main selling point of the Acer XV252QF monitor is, of course, the 360Hz refresh rate that’s overclockable to 390Hz by simply enabling the option in the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu and then increasing the refresh rate in your drivers/display settings.

You most likely won’t notice the difference between 360Hz and 390Hz, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there – you get lower input lag (just below 3ms), which is sometimes enough to determine the result of a match.

The pixel response time speed is also impressive as it can keep up with the fast refresh rate and thus prevent visible trailing behind fast-moving objects.

While screen tearing becomes almost unnoticeable at 390Hz, you can use AMD FreeSync to enable variable refresh rate (VRR) for tear-free gameplay within the supported 48-390Hz range, and below 48FPS via LFC (Low Framerate Compensation).

The Acer XV252QF is not officially certified by NVIDIA as G-SYNC Compatible, but FreeSync works with GeForce cards without any issues.

There are three response time overdrive settings: Off, Normal, and Extreme. ‘Normal’ works best across the entire refresh rate range; there’s no ghosting nor overshoot.

When FreeSync/G-SYNC Compatible is enabled, response time overdrive is locked to ‘Normal’, but since it’s the best setting anyway, this won’t be an issue.

The Acer XV252QF also supports MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) via the VRB (Visual Response Boost) feature.

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

VRB uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur. Unlike the 360Hz G-SYNC models with NVIDIA ULMB that can only strobe at up to 240Hz, the VRB on the XV252QF can work all the way up to 390Hz!

This allows you to keep the fluidity and lower input lag of a higher refresh rate while also getting smoother motion clarity. For the best MBR results, your in-game FPS should be as close to your refresh rate as possible, so use it in conjunction with V-Sync (and this input lag trick) or in-game FPS cap.

VRB can’t be active at the same time as VRR. It also reduces the maximum brightness while enabled, but there are two well-optimized presets available: Normal (brighter screen, more motion blur) and Extreme (darker screen, less motion blur).

All in all, the Acer Nitro XV252QF provides you with three different ways to enjoy competitive gaming, depending on your personal preference.

For minimal input lag, you can just run it at a fixed 390Hz. For tear-free gameplay, use FreeSync/G-SYNC with 387FPS cap to prevent any spikes in input lag. And for CRT-like motion clarity, use VRB with V-Sync or FPS cap matching the refresh rate. There’s no single best option, it will vary from player to player and from game to game.

Features

The Acer XV252QF 390Hz display is equipped with plenty of additional useful features, including various picture presets, Black Boost (improves visibility in dark scenes), a refresh rate tracker and crosshair overlays (Aim Point).

You also get a lot of image adjustment tools besides the standard brightness, contrast, and color temperature settings; There are gamma, sharpness, grayscale and 6-axis hue/saturation adjustments available.

To access and navigate the OSD menu, there’s a directional joystick at the rear of the monitor, along with three hotkeys for shortcuts and the power button.

The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free (unless VRB is enabled) and there’s a low-blue light filter mode.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is also supported and the monitor is DisplayHDR 400 certified by VESA. However, due to its low contrast ratio and lack of a wide color gamut, you won’t get a meaningful HDR viewing experience.

Design & Connectivity

Acer XV252QF Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor is a bit wobbly, but it takes up little desk space, allowing you to place your keyboard close to it.

Moreover, it offers full ergonomic support with up to 120mm height adjustment, -5°/25° tilt, +/- 180° swivel, 90° pivot, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0 ports (limited to 240Hz), a headphone jack and dual 2W integrated speakers.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Acer XV252QF goes for ~$500, which is a great price considering that the G-SYNC models, such as the Dell Alienware AW2521H, go for ~$700 yet don’t offer any particularly meaningful benefits.

Aopen, a sub-company of Acer, offers the Acer Aopen 25XV2Q model which uses the same panel. It has the same features, image quality and performance – just different branding. So, you can pick between them depending on availability and region.

Along with the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K, the Acer XV252QF is the best monitor for competitive gaming you can get for $500.

The MBR implementation of the XL2546K has a lower brightness penalty, but the monitor is limited to 240Hz and it has a TN panel with inferior colors and viewing angles.

Visit our comprehensive best gaming monitor buyer’s guide if you’re looking for a different kind of display.

Conclusion

If you’re a competitive gamer playing eSports titles and you can maintain 300-400FPS or over, you can’t go wrong with the Acer XV252QF.

Specifications

Screen Size24.5-inch
Resolution1920×1080 (Full HD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate360Hz (390Hz OC)
Response Time (GtG)1ms
Motion Blur ReductionVRB (Visual Response Boost)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-390Hz)
Speakers2x2W
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness400 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (true 8-bit)
HDRDisplayHDR 400
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Quick response time and low input lag, overclockable to 390Hz
  • Plenty of features including VRR and MBR up to 390Hz
  • Accurate colors and wide viewing angles
  • Fully ergonomic stand

The Cons:

  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)

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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.