AOC C27G2Z Review: 1080p 240Hz FreeSync Curved Gaming Monitor

The AOC C27G2Z is a 27" 1080p 240Hz gaming monitor based on a curved VA panel with FreeSync and MBR support. Here's why it's bad.

Bottom Line

The AOC C27G2Z is an overall decent gaming monitor, but it doesn’t excel at anything in particular. There are models at this price range that offer better performance or image quality.

Design:
(4.5)
Display:
(4.1)
Performance:
(4.0)
Price/Value:
(3.0)
3.9

The AOC C27G2Z is a 1080p 240Hz monitor based on a curved 27″ VA panel, aiming to provide you with both responsive and immersive gaming experience, but how does it actually perform? Let’s see!

Image Quality

Thanks to its VA panel, the AOC C27G2Z sports a high 3,000:1 static contrast ratio for deep and inky blacks, making for an engaging viewing experience, especially when watching content in a dark room.

While the monitor doesn’t suffer from IPS glow or narrow viewing angles of TN panels, there’s still some backlight bleeding and gamma/saturation shifts present, but it’s negligible.

Further, the C27G2Z has a wide 90% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage (~125% sRGB gamut size) for more saturated and rich colors. There’s also an sRGB emulation mode available under ‘Color Temperature’ settings that clamps the gamut down to ~100% sRGB should you prefer more accurate color output.

Sadly, brightness is locked to a high setting in this mode, so the image might be too bright for some users.

The peak brightness amounts to 250-nits, which is the minimum as far as LED-backlit monitors go, but the screen can still get more than bright enough under normal lighting conditions. If you plan on using the monitor in a particularly bright room, you might need to add some blinders/curtains though.

Now, the 1920×1080 resolution is not ideal for the 27″ sized screen of the AOC C27G2Z monitor. You get a mediocre pixel density of 81 PPI (pixels per inch), which means that you won’t have a lot of screen space and that details and text will be pixely, but this is less noticeable in games and when watching videos.

Performance

The input lag of the monitor amounts to around 3ms, so there’s no noticeable delay between your actions and the result on the screen.

When it comes to the pixel response time speed, it’s a different story. Some pixel transitions from dark to bright shades cannot keep up with the 240Hz refresh rate, causing noticeable smearing behind fast-moving objects, mostly in dark scenes.

Some gamers are more sensitive to this than others, however, considering that this 240Hz display is mainly aimed at competitive players, they’d be better off with an IPS panel monitor with significantly faster response times at the same price.

Therefore, we find that the AOC C27G2Z is mostly suited for those who want an immersive viewing experience with deep blacks and 240Hz, but aren’t sensitive to dark level smearing.

There are five response time overdrive modes: Off, Weak, Medium, Strong and Boost. Even the Strong mode has noticeable ghosting at 240Hz. At lower refresh rates, you should dial it back to ‘Medium’ in order to prevent overshoot. Finally, the ‘Boost’ mode is actually the same as the ‘Strong’ mode, but with MBR enabled.

Note that the monitor’s low pixel density further contributes to the visibility of smearing as individual pixels are ‘big’, which makes slow pixel transitions more noticeable.

So, if you’re after the combination of high refresh rate and contrast ratio, we recommend considering a 27″ 144Hz VA monitor with 2560×1440 resolution or a 24″ 1080p 144Hz model instead. Ideally, you should get the curved Samsung Odyssey G7, which even has a rapid 1ms GtG response time speed and 240Hz, but it’s more expensive.

Moving on, the monitor supports AMD FreeSync Premium with a 48-240Hz VRR (variable refresh rate) range and it works with NVIDIA GPUs (GTX 10-series or newer) via the ‘G-SYNC Compatible’ mode, despite lacking official certification.

Depending on the unit, some VRR brightness flickering can be detected with fluctuating frame rates.

Features

AOC C27G2Z Monitor OSD Menu

The advertised 0.5ms response time speed refers to the MPRT measure that you get when using the MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) backlight strobing technology.

While this feature does make fast-paced content appear clearer, smearing and image duplications (due to frame/refresh rate mismatch or strobe crosstalk) are still visible. On top of that, brightness is reduced while MBR is active and you cannot use it at the same time as VRR.

In the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu, you will find the MBR option which can be adjusted from 0 to 20 in increments of 1. This allows you to change the trade-off between motion clarity and image brightness; the clearer the motion, the darker the image, and vice versa.

Unless MBR is enabled, the backlight of the monitor is flicker-free. Additionally, there are four low-blue light filter presets.

To access and navigate the monitor’s OSD menu, there are four hotkeys beneath the bottom bezel of the screen on the right side. Alternatively, you can download AOC’s G-Menu software and make your adjustments in the desktop application.

Available gaming features include various picture presets (FPS, RTS, three customizable Gamer profiles, etc.), a crosshair overlay, Shadow Control (improves visibility in dark scenes by altering the gamma), Game Color (adjusts color saturation) and a refresh rate tracker.

Design & Connectivity

AOC C27G2Z Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor is quite sturdy and offers a good range of ergonomics, including up to 130mm height adjustment, +/- 30° swivel, -5°/23° tilt and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, VGA and a headphone jack. Both HDMI and DP support VRR up to 240Hz at 1080p.

There’s also the AOC C27G2ZU variant that features USB ports and built-in speakers.

Price & Similar Monitors

The AOC C27G2Z price ranges from $240 to $300.

If you’re into competitive gaming, we highly recommend getting a 1080p 240Hz monitor with an IPS panel instead, such as the Dell S2522HG for zero smearing.

At this price range, you can also get a 27″ 1440p 144Hz monitor with an IPS or VA panel, such as the Acer XV272UP or the AOC CQ27G2.

Be sure to visit our best monitors under $300 guide to check out more options.

Conclusion

Overall, the AOC C27G2Z is a decent gaming monitor, but it doesn’t excel at anything in particular. Its high contrast ratio and wide color gamut provide a vibrant image with deep blacks and rich colors, but the low pixel density results in smudgy details.

Further, the 240Hz refresh rate offers responsive gameplay, but the dark level smearing and potential VRR brightness flickering take away from the overall gaming experience.

Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Screen Curvature1500R
Resolution1920×1080 (Full HD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate240Hz
Response Time4ms (GtG)
Response Time (MBR)1ms (MPRT)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-240Hz)
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
  • Wide color gamut
  • Plenty of features, including FreeSync and MBR up to 240Hz
  • Ergonomic stand

The Cons:

  • Minor smearing in fast-paced games, mainly in darker scenes
  • Low pixel density
  • Some units prone to VRR brightness flickering

Related Reads

Samsung U28H750 Review
Samsung U28H750/UH750 Review: 4K TN QLED Gaming Monitor
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.