ASUS PG248QP Review: 540Hz G-SYNC eSports Gaming Monitor

The ASUS PG248QP is a 24" 1080p 540Hz TN gaming monitor with a dedicated G-SYNC module and NVIDIA ULMB2 backlight strobing technology.

Bottom Line

The ASUS PG248QP is hands-down the best monitor for competitive FPS gaming available right now.

Design:
(5.0)
Display:
(4.5)
Performance:
(4.9)
Price/Value:
(3.5)
4.5

The ASUS PG248QP is currently the fastest gaming monitor available – here’s everything you need to know about it.

Image Quality

The ASUS ROG Swift Pro PG248QP is the first gaming monitor with a high 540Hz refresh rate, which provides you with the lowest input lag and the smoothest motion clarity currently available.

The biggest challenge of 540Hz displays is having a fast enough pixel response time speed to keep up with the refresh rate.

At 540Hz, new frames are drawn every 1.85ms, so unless the pixels aren’t as fast – or faster than that, there will be noticeable trailing behind fast-moving objects.

Luckily, the ASUS PG248QP uses AU Optronics’ E-TN (E-Sports Twisted Nematic) panel that delivers just that – a rapid pixel response time speed that can keep up with such a demanding refresh rate. As a result, there’s no ghosting in fast-paced scenes!

The TN panel technology has its downsides though – mainly, the narrow 160°/170° viewing angles that cause the image to degrade in quality when viewed at skewed angles. However, as long as you’re sitting directly in front of the screen (as all gamers do anyway), this won’t be an issue.

Related:IPS vs TN vs VA – Which Panel Type Should I Choose?

The E-TN panel of the monitor even boasts a wide 95% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, which provides you with more vibrant colors than that of some IPS or VA panels. The extra color variety can also be helpful in competitive games as it can make your enemies/objectives stand out more in certain environments.

Note that the monitor uses an sRGB emulation mode by default, which clamps the native ~130% sRGB gamut volume down to ~100% to avoid over-saturation. To access the wider color gamut, change the Display Color Space option in the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu to “Wide Gamut.”

The sRGB emulation mode is factory calibrated at Delta E < 2 in case you want a more accurate image without over-saturated colors in sRGB/SDR content.

Moving on, the ASUS PG248QP monitor has a strong 400-nit peak brightness, meaning that it can get more than bright enough to mitigate glare even in well-lit rooms.

The static contrast ratio amounts to around 1,000:1, as expected from a TN panel, so blacks won’t be as deep as that of VA panels or HDR displays with FALD (full-array local dimming) or OLED panels, but this isn’t important for competitive gaming.

The monitor does support HDR (High Dynamic Range), so it can accept the HDR10 signal and display it, but other than getting smoother gradients and wider color gamut in some high bitrate HDR content, you won’t be getting a proper HDR viewing experience.

Lastly, the 1920×1080 resolution provides you with a decent pixel density of 91.41 PPI on the 24.1″ viewable screen of the ASUS PG248QP monitor.

More importantly, the 1080p resolution is not particularly demanding, allowing you to actually reach ~540FPS to take full advantage of the display, provided that you have a powerful GPU and a fast CPU.

Performance

G Sync Module

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the ASUS ROG Swift Pro PG248QP has a fast enough 0.2ms GtG pixel response time speed to keep up with the 540Hz refresh rate, resulting in a ghosting-free gaming experience.

However, due to the sample-and-hold operation of OLED and LED-backlit displays, our eyes are still going to perceive some motion blur behind fast-moving objects. Some LED displays are equipped with backlight strobing (and OLEDs with Black Frame Insertion) technology to combat this.

The backlight rapidly turns on and off to eliminate the perceived motion blur, but this comes at the cost of picture brightness and some potential visual artifacts (such as strobe crosstalk or image duplication). Moreover, it can only be used at fixed refresh rates (on most monitors at least) and it introduces screen flickering that’s invisible to the human eye but can cause headaches after prolonged use to sensitive users.

The ASUS PG248QP uses NVIDIA’s cutting-edge ULMB2 (Ultra Low Motion Blur) technology. It works all the way up to 540Hz, has a low brightness penalty, and there’s minimum strobe crosstalk, resulting in CRT-like motion clarity with low input lag and a buttery-smooth gaming experience.

ULMB2 works at fixed refresh rates of 360Hz, 480Hz, 500Hz and 540Hz. For optimal results, your in-game frame rate should match the set refresh rate to avoid visual artifacts. So, if you can only maintain 360FPS and want to use backlight strobing, you should set the monitor to 360Hz and cap your frame rate to 360FPS.

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

You can also adjust ULMB Pulse Width from 10 to 100, in increments of 10. It changes the trade-off between image brightness and clarity, the darker the image the clearer the motion. With ULMB enabled, the highest brightness is 300-nits, which is plenty bright and leaves a lot of room for fine-tuning.

You can also adjust ULMB Pulse Offset, which changes at which part of the screen you want the motion to be the smoothest (ideally, in the middle of the screen).

The ASUS PG248QP 540Hz monitor has four response time overdrive modes: Off, Normal, ESports and Extreme. The Off mode is too slow (native panel performance), while Extreme has too much inverse ghosting.

The difference between the Normal and ESports modes is minor. “ESports” is a bit more aggressive and has some overshoot (inverse ghosting), so we recommend the Normal mode for most users.

If you’re gaming in a bit colder room or want to jump straight into the game without leaving your display ~30 minutes to an hour to warm up, the ESports mode can still be useful until your room/monitor properly warms up.

The G-SYNC module of the monitor provides you with variable overdrive, meaning that the Normal mode works perfectly regardless of the refresh rate.

Features

ASUS PG248QP OSD Menu

The ASUS PG248QP supports variable refresh rate for tear-free gameplay up to 540FPS with NVIDIA cards. However, note that if VRR is enabled and you’re using an AMD graphics card, you will be limited to 500Hz.

Since screen tearing isn’t really an issue at 540Hz and given that most gamers will use ULMB2 instead of VRR, this shouldn’t bother most AMD users.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you will need Windows 11 to set the monitor to 540Hz (Windows 10 is limited to 500Hz) as well as an RTX 20-series GPU or newer.

The monitor has a native refresh rate of 480Hz, so you’ll need to enable the Overclocking option in the OSD menu to get 540Hz.

There’s a directional joystick at the rear of the monitor, as well as three additional hotkeys and a dedicated power button, so navigation through the OSD menu and all the features is quick and easy.

Useful gaming features include crosshair overlays, on-screen timers, a refresh rate tracker, various picture presets and Dark Boost (improves visibility in dark games by altering the gamma curvature).

In addition to the standard image adjustment tools (brightness, contrast, color temperature, etc.), you also get some advanced settings, including five gamma modes, 6-axis hue/saturation, auto input detection and aspect control (full, aspect or Esports Pro Mode that stretches the image).

Next, there’s an integrated light sensor that can adjust screen brightness according to ambient lighting, AuraSync RGB lighting (for the ROG logo at the back of the monitor), and the NVIDIA Reflex Latency Analyzer that can measure input latency if you have a compatible mouse connected to the monitor’s USB port.

Lastly, there’s a low-blue light mode and the backlight of the monitor is flicker-free (unless ULMB2 is enabled).

Design & Connectivity

The stand of the monitor is sturdy and offers a good range of ergonomics, including up to 110mm height adjustment, +/- 30° swivel, -5°/20° tilt and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

The screen has a light matte anti-glare coating that prevents reflections without adding too much graininess to the image, while the legs of the stand’s base are adjustable in case you like to keep your keyboard and mouse closer to the screen.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, two HDMI 2.0 ports (limited to 240Hz), a headphone jack and a dual-USB 3.0 hub.

The headphone jack has an integrated ESS codec with 32-bit 384 kHz PCM audio support for low latency, surround sound and improved audio. There are different options in the OSD menu, such as Footstep Enhancement, Gunshot Equalizer, Surround Sound and a customizable User Mode.

Price & Similar Monitors

The ASUS PG248QP price amounts to $900, which is expensive but also understandable considering that it’s intended for professional gamers.

If you’re interested in something similar but cheaper, consider waiting for the 540Hz TN models without the G-SYNC module. The Acer XV242F is currently available in China for ~$540, but we don’t know when (or if) it will be available in the US.

While Acer’s VRB (Visual Response Boost) backlight strobing implementation has been very good on some of their previous displays (working at the maximum refresh rate with low brightness penalty), we have yet to see how it works on the Acer XV242F, especially when it comes to strobe crosstalk.

BenQ announced their Zowie XL2586X model too, with a 24.5″ 1080p 540Hz TN panel and DyAc 2 backlight strobing implementation.

You should also consider the BenQ XL2566K with a fast 1080p 360Hz TN panel.

It doesn’t have as wide color gamut, but its DyAc+ technology works from 100Hz up to 360Hz. So, if you can’t maintain over 360FPS anyway (and don’t plan on a big CPU/GPU upgrade soon) or even play some competitive FPS titles between 100FPS and 360FPS and want to use backlight strobing, the XL2566K will suit you better than the PG248QP for ~$600.

Check out our best monitors for FPS gaming buyer’s guide for more options and information.

Conclusion

All in all, if you have a powerful enough PC rig for ~540FPS gaming, the ASUS ROG Swift Pro PG248QP is the best gaming monitor currently available. It’s expensive, but if you’re a professional player, it is a worthy investment.

Specifications

Screen Size24.1-inch
Resolution1920×1080 (Full HD)
Panel TypeE-TN
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate540Hz
Response Time0.2ms (GtG)
Motion Blur ReductionNVIDIA ULMB 2
Adaptive-SyncG-SYNC (30-540Hz)
FreeSync (48-500Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, 2x USB 3.0
Brightness400 cd/m²
Brightness (HDR)400 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
95% DCI-P3
HDRVESA DisplayHDR 400
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • High 540Hz refresh rate, rapid response time speed, low input lag
  • VRR up to 540Hz (500Hz for AMD GPUs)
  • Exceptional backlight strobing performance thanks to ULMB2
  • Plenty of gaming features
  • Ergonomic stand, USB hub

The Cons:

  • Narrow viewing angles
  • ULMB2 doesn’t work below 360Hz

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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.