AOC C24G1A Review: 1080p 165Hz FreeSync Curved Gaming Monitor

Bottom Line

The AOC C24G1A offers a responsive gaming experience with deep blacks and vibrant colors at a very affordable price. Plus, you get an ergonomic stand and plenty of extra gaming features including FreeSync and MBR.

Alas, some units are affected by the FreeSync brightness flickering issue and there’s some minor black smearing in dark scenes of games.

Design:
(4.5)
Display:
(4.5)
Performance:
(4.0)
Price/Value:
(5.0)
4.5

The AOC C24G1A is the improved version of the popular AOC C24G1. It offers a wider color gamut and a slightly higher factory-overclocked 165Hz refresh rate, at the same price.

Image Quality

Based on a 23.6″ curved VA (Vertical Alignment) panel by Samsung, the AOC C24G1A 1080p monitor provides you with a pixel density of 93 PPI (pixels per inch).

As a result, you get a decent amount of screen space and reasonably sharp details, unlike that of 27″ 1080p monitors, which have a more pixelated image quality.

Further, 1080p is still considered as the standard and most widespread resolution, and it’s great for gaming as it’s not very demanding – allowing you to take advantage of the monitor’s 165Hz refresh rate even with a decent budget/mid-range gaming graphics card.

The main asset of the VA technology is the superior static contrast ratio of 3,000:1, which results in deep and inky blacks. Indeed, blacks on IPS and TN monitors look grayish in comparison.

While the peak brightness is minimal at 250-nits, the screen can get more than bright enough under normal lighting conditions. However, if you have a room with plenty of direct sunlight, you will need some curtains or blinders for the optimal viewing experience.

The AOC C24G1A features a wide color gamut backlight covering ~90% of the DCI-P3 color space, which is equivalent to around 120% sRGB.

This results in saturated and vibrant colors, but you also have the option to use the provided sRGB color temperature mode, in case you want to restrict the color output to ~100% sRGB for a more accurate color reproduction.

Unfortunately, you cannot adjust the picture brightness in the sRGB mode. It’s locked to ’90’, so the screen might be too bright (especially at night or in a dark room) to some users in this particular mode.

The viewing angles amount to 178° both horizontally and vertically, but as it’s the case with all VA monitors, some gamma shifts and black crush are noticeable at certain angles.

In everyday use and gaming, this is not an issue, but we don’t recommend this monitor, or any VA display for that matter, for color-critical work. For basic content creation where color accuracy is not crucial, the C24G1A will do fine.

Performance

While the AOC C24G1A is faster than the C24G1 in terms that it has a higher 165Hz refresh rate, its pixel response time speed remains pretty much the same.

There are four response time overdrive modes: Off, Weak, Medium, and Strong.

At 165Hz, we recommend using the ‘Strong’ mode as it eliminates most of visible trailing behind fast-moving objects.

Alas, some black smearing will be noticeable in darker scenes of fast-paced games due to the slower dark to bright pixel transitions, which is the case with all VA monitors at this price range, and even much higher.

If you’re using the monitor at a lower refresh rate or with FreeSync/G-SYNC Compatible, the Medium mode will work better as ‘Strong’ can introduce pixel overshoot (inverse ghosting) at lower refresh rates.

Setting the overdrive setting to ‘Boost’ enables the backlight strobing technology, which reduces the perceived motion blur at a cost of picture brightness.

Using the ‘MBR’ option in the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu of the monitor, you can adjust the intensity of backlight strobing from 1 to 20 in increments of ‘1’ allowing you to find the perfect trade-off between motion clarity and picture brightness.

The input lag amounts to only ~4ms, which is not an issue as you won’t be able to notice or feel any delays between your actions and the result on the screen.

AMD FreeSync is supported with a 48-165Hz variable refresh rate (VRR) range, and it works with compatible NVIDIA cards.

However, just like most monitors using Samsung’s VA panels, some units are affected by the notorious VRR brightness flickering issue.

Features

The OSD menu offers plenty of useful features, but the navigation through it using the monitor’s four hotkeys is not as pleasant.

Luckily, you can use AOC’s G-Menu application and make most of the monitor’s adjustments using your mouse and keyboard.

Noteworthy gaming features include Shadow Boost (improves visibility in darker scenes), Game Color (adjusts color saturation), a refresh rate tracker, and an on-screen crosshair.

You’ll also find various pre-calibrated picture presets (FPS, RTS, Racing, etc.) and a low-blue light filter option, which along with the monitor’s flicker-free backlight prevents eye fatigue caused by prolonged use of the display.

Design & Connectivity

aoc c24g1a monitor back

The stand of the monitor is excellent considering the price.

It’s sturdy and offers a good range of ergonomics including up to 130mm height adjustment, -4°/21.5° tilt, +/- 30° swivel, and VESA mount compatibility (100x100mm).

The screen has a matte anti-glare coating that eliminates reflections without making the picture grainy, while the bezels are ultra-thin, ideal for multi-monitor setups.

Additionally, the screen has a 1500R curvature, which is not particularly noticeable as the monitor is only 24″, but it adds a bit of extra depth to the picture.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, VGA, and an audio line-out port for external speakers or headphones.

Price & Similar Monitors

The AOC C24G1A price usually amounts to $144.49, which makes it the best gaming monitor under $150.

For around $10 extra, you might want to check out the ASUS VP249QGR with an IPS panel.

It has a faster response time speed for no black smearing, and you won’t risk getting a unit with the brightness flickering issue.

However, the VP249QGR doesn’t have as a high contrast ratio, so blacks won’t be as deep.

If you’re looking for a better IPS model, consider the AOC 24G2 with a fully ergonomic stand and a wider color gamut than the ASUS VP249QGR.

You might also want to visit our best gaming monitor buyer’s guide for more deals and information.

Conclusion

Just like the previous model, the AOC C24G1A is an excellent budget gaming monitor, one of the best. We get an extra 21Hz and a wider color gamut for the same price, so there’s nothing to complain about.

We do wish, however, that AOC opted for a directional joystick instead of the hotkeys for OSD navigation and that picture brightness was adjustable in the sRGB mode.

Specifications

Screen Size23.6-inch
Screen Curvature1500R
Resolution1920×1080 (Full HD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate165Hz
Response Time (GtG)4ms (GtG)
Response Time (MBR)1ms (MPRT)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-165Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0, VGA
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness250 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio3000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (true 8-bit)
~90% DCI-P3
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • High contrast ratio for deep blacks
  • Wide color gamut
  • Plenty of features including 1ms MPRT and FreeSync up to 165Hz
  • Excellent value for the price
  • Ergonomic and sturdy design

The Cons:

  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, particularly where dark pixels are involved
  • No joystick for OSD navigation

Related Reads

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.