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AOC AG273QCX Review: Best Value 1440p 144Hz Curved Gaming Monitor

Aoc Ag273qcx Review 2020

Introduction

The AOC AG273QCX is an affordable 27″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor with 1ms MPRT, FreeSync 2, DisplayHDR 400, and plenty of additional features.

This gaming monitor was initially priced at $500, but nowadays it goes for ~$300 which makes for an exceptionally good deal.

Image Quality

Based on a VA (Vertical Alignment) panel, the AOC AG273QCX monitor offers a high static contrast ratio of 3,000:1 which translates to significantly deeper blacks than that of what other panel technologies (IPS and TN) with a 1,000:1 contrast ratio have to offer.

The colors are not as vibrant and accurate as what you might see on similarly priced IPS models, but they are great nonetheless with a wide 90% DCI-P3 color space coverage.

The AOC AG273QCX also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) and it’s been certified by VESA with their entry-level DisplayHDR 400 certification.

This won’t provide you with an otherworldly HDR viewing experience the high-end displays offer. Instead, you just get a glimpse of HDR can do which is understandable at this price range.

HDR content gets a boost in peak luminance (up to ~450-nits) which in addition to the wide color gamut (10-bit color depth is supported for HDR) and high contrast ratio provides a noticeable upgrade in image quality.

Finally, thanks to the screen resolution of 2560×1440 pixels, the 27″ AOC AG273QCX has a pixel density of 108 PPI (pixels per inch) which means you’ll get sharp details as well as plenty of screen space without having to use scaling.

Our unit didn’t have any dead/stuck pixels nor prominent backlight bleeding. AOC offers excellent four-year dead pixel warranty under their ‘Re-spawned’ program.

FreeSync & G-SYNC Compatibility

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Moving on, AMD FreeSync 2 is supported over both DisplayPort and HDMI on this monitor. If you have a compatible GPU, you can synchronize the monitor’s refresh rate with your GPU’s frame rates within the 48-144Hz variable refresh rate (VRR) range.

By doing so, you will eliminate all screen tearing and stuttering as long as your FPS (Frames Per Second) rate is within the VRR range. In case your FPS rate drops below 48FPS, LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) takes over and forces the monitor’s refresh rate to run at double or triple the frame rate for less tearing/stuttering.

The AOC AG273QCX is not certified as G-SYNC compatible by NVIDIA, but you can use FreeSync with compatible GPUs (GTX 10-series or newer). However, there are some issues when using FreeSync with NVIDIA cards on this monitor.

First of all, the VRR range is limited to 60Hz-144Hz and sometimes brightness flickering occurs when the FPS rate suddenly drops and when LFC is triggered (including in in-game menus).

Keep in mind that this issue may vary in intensity from one unit of the monitor to another.

Secondly, when FreeSync is enabled (with an NVIDIA card), response time overdrive becomes locked to ‘Off’ meaning that you’ll get more ghosting as opposed to when FreeSync is disabled and the Strong overdrive preset is selected.

With AMD cards, you can use FreeSync and ‘Strong’ overdrive simultaneously without any issues. Note that you can use FreeSync and HDR at the same time with both AMD and NVIDIA cards.

So, you may want to disable FreeSync in certain games if you have an NVIDIA card.

Performance

Other than that, there are no issues with performance.

The AOC AG273QCX input lag amounts to ~6ms which makes for imperceptible delay while the GtG response time speed of 4ms (using ‘Strong’ overdrive) eliminates most of visible trailing of fast-moving objects, except in darker scenes where black smearing is more noticeable – as expected from VA panels.

The amount of trailing/black smearing is tolerable – unless you’re a hardcore FPS competitive gamer in which case you should opt for a 240Hz display at this price range anyway, though you won’t get nearly as good image quality.

In fast-paced games, you can use the Motion Blur Reduction technology which via backlight strobing reduces the amount of visible ghosting at cost of the screen’s maximum brightness.

Using the MBR option in the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu of the monitor, you can manually adjust the strobing frequency (motion clarity vs picture brightness ratio).

Features

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The OSD menu of the AOC AG273QCX display is quite user-friendly and you can effortlessly make adjustments either by using the joystick placed beneath the bottom bezel of the monitor or via the provided QuickSwitch device.

Gaming features include the Game Mode picture presets (FPS, RTS, Racing, and three ‘Gamer’ customizable profiles), Shadow Control and Game Control (color saturation and gamma curvature adjustments), Overdrive (Off, Weak, Medium, Strong), Dial Point (custom crosshairs), Low Input Lag Mode, and Frame Counter.

Setting the overdrive option to ‘Boost’ enables the Motion Blur Reduction technology. You cannot use MBR and VRR at the same time.

Other features include LowBlue Mode (filters out the harmful low-blue lights), standard picture adjustments (brightness, contrast, color temperature, etc), and Light FX Mode which allows you to customize color, pattern, and intensity of the RGB LEDs placed at the back of the monitor.

Note that the backlight of the monitor is flicker-free as it doesn’t use PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation) to regulate brightness, so those sensitive to flickering won’t be getting headaches after prolonged use.

Design & Connectivity

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The AOC AG273QCX HDR gaming monitor has an ergonomic stand with up to 110mm of height adjustment, +/- 30° swivel, -4°/22° tilt, and 75x75mm VESA mount compatibility, but no pivot/rotate function.

Other design features include a headset hanger, a carrying handle, and a light matte anti-glare screen coating.

Connectivity options are very generous with VGA, two HDMI 2.0 ports, two DisplayPort 1.4 inputs, headphones and microphone jacks, a mini USB port for the QuickSwitch keypad, and a quad-USB 3.0 hub (one port with fast charging).

The AOC AG273QCX is also one of the rare monitors that works with Xbox One X at 1440p 120Hz with FreeSync.

There are also two 5W integrated speakers with TruVolume HD and five DTS sound presets (Game, Rock, Live, Classical, and Theater).

Price & Similar Monitors

The AOC AG273QCX price is only ~$300 which makes for incredible value for the money as it used to go for around $500 when it was first released.

There’s also a model of this monitor with NVIDIA’s G-SYNC module and 165Hz overclock, the AOC AG273QCG, which is a lot more expensive (~$500).

Alternatively, you may want to consider the Samsung C27HG70 1440p 144Hz curved VA monitor with DisplayHDR 600. It offers a better HDR image quality, but it doesn’t handle ghosting as good yet it’s more expensive (~$500).

For $500, you’d be better off with the LG 27GL850.

Finally, if you don’t care for HDR but want a 1440p 144Hz curved display, there’s the MSI MAG271CQR with better G-SYNC compatibility, but also a higher price.

If you’re not from the US and want something similar at this price range, check out the Samsung C27JG50.

Visit our best gaming monitor under $300 and best gaming monitor under $400 buying guides for more options at this price range.

Conclusion

The AOC AG273QCX provides an immersive image quality thanks to its high contrast ratio, wide color gamut, and 1440p resolution while AMD FreeSync, 1ms MPRT, and 144Hz ensure a smooth and responsive gaming experience.

The plethora of additional features as well the ergonomic design and exceptionally rich connectivity options are a big plus as well.

For AMD GPU users, the AOC AG273QCX is the best 27″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor for the money.

If you have an NVIDIA GPU, you won’t be able to utilize the full potential of this monitor, but it’s workable:

At high frame rates, you will want to use MBR due to the overdrive issue (which may get fixed with NVIDIA’s drivers update). Or you can just use the Strong overdrive mode, but since you’re not getting VRR, might as well make use of MBR.

In games where your FPS fluctuates a lot or sits around 60FPS, you will need to lower your picture settings or upgrade your PC rig (to gain more FPS) – or simply disable FreeSync.

Overall, you should be able to find the settings that work best for you depending on what you are most sensitive to (brightness flickering, tearing, ghosting, etc).

If you don’t want to compromise when it comes to using FreeSync with NVIDIA cards, check out the above-mentioned MSI MAG271CQR with better G-SYNC compatibility.

AOC AG273QCX Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Screen Curvature1800R
Resolution2560×1440 (WQHD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate144Hz
Response Time4ms (GtG)
Response Time (MBR)1ms (MPRT)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync 2 (48Hz-144Hz)
(60Hz-144Hz with NVIDIA GPUs)
Speakers2x5W
Ports2x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0, VGA
Other Ports4x USB 3.0, Headphone Jack, Microphone Jack
Brightness400 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio3000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
90% DCI-P3
VESAYes (75x75mm)
HDRVESA DisplayHDR 400

The Pros

  • High contrast ratio and wide color gamut
  • AMD FreeSync 2 and HDR400
  • Plenty of gaming features including 1ms MPRT
  • Ergonomic design and extensive connectivity options

The Cons

  • Design lacks pivot/rotate function
  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, mostly in darker scenes
  • FreeSync issues with NVIDIA cards
AOC AG273QCX Review
  • 9.6/10
    Design - 9.6/10
  • 9.5/10
    Display - 9.5/10
  • 7.6/10
    Performance - 7.6/10
  • 9.5/10
    Price/Value - 9.5/10
9.1/10

Summary

The AOC AG273QCX offers exceptional value for the price. You get an immersive image quality, smooth performance, excellent design and connectivity options, and plenty of additional features. The brightness flickering issues may put off those with NVIDIA cards, but they are tolerable considering the price as they won’t occur in every game.

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