Thanks to its 1440p 240Hz OLED panel with a high peak brightness, the ASUS PG27AQDM delivers incredibly responsive and immersive gaming experience, making it one of the best gaming monitors currently available – as long as you’re aware of the drawbacks related to OLED panels.
The ASUS ROG Swift PG27AQDM is a 27″ 1440p 240Hz gaming monitor based on LG’s W-OLED panel, promising both responsive gameplay and immersive HDR viewing experience.
Unlike LG’s 27GR95QE model, the ASUS PG27AQDM features an integrated heatsink for a bit higher brightness but it lacks HDMI 2.1 support. Let’s see how it performs.
The two main strengths of OLED panels include the infinite contrast ratio for true blacks and the instantaneous pixel response time speed for buttery-smooth performance with no visible trailing behind fast-moving objects.
Further, the ASUS PG27AQDM has a wide ~99% DCI-P3 gamut coverage for vibrant colors, true 10-bit color depth for excellent gradient handling and 178° wide viewing angles, allowing the image to remain basically the same regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen.
The monitor is also factory calibrated at Delta E < 2, which makes it ready for color-critical work right out of the box.
One of the main drawbacks of OLED displays is that they cannot get as bright as some LED-backlit screens. However, the ASUS PG27AQDM can easily maintain ~250-nits in SDR, which we find to be more than bright enough under normal lighting conditions. We’ll get into HDR brightness later in the review.
First, we’ll take a look at the image accuracy of the default settings (the ‘Racing Mode’ GameVisual picture preset) and see if any adjustments need to be made. For testing, we’re using the Datacolor SpyderX Pro colorimeter and DisplayCAL software.
Note that we’re using the latest MCM103 firmware for testing.
When you turn on the monitor for the first time, you’ll need to choose between Standard Mode and Power Saving Mode. We recommend using Standard Mode since Power Saving has limited brightness performance.
By default, the maximum brightness will change depending on the size of the bright content displayed – or APL (Average Picture Level). For instance, if you have a blank Word document taking up half of the screen, the ASUS PG27AQDM can achieve around 322-nits of brightness at its maximum brightness setting.
If you were to maximize the document to fill the entire screen, the brightness will drop to around 237-nits due to the ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter).
These jumps in brightness can be annoying, which is why there’s the Uniform Brightness option in the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu that caps the brightness to ~250-nits regardless of the APL.
The ASUS PG27AQDM provides you with an almost 30% brightness increase over the LG 27GR95QE in both SDR and HDR.
Next, the ASUS PG27AQDM monitor uses a wide color gamut by default, resulting in a high maximum Delta E of 6.6 and the average Delta E of 2.77 when viewing SDR content. This results in over-saturation, but most users will prefer the extra color vibrancy. Luckily, there are a few ways to clamp the gamut down for those who prefer less saturated but more accurate colors for SDR content.
The color temperature is around 6900K, which is a bit colder than the 6500K target, but there’s no prominent blue tint to the whitepoint in real use.
Gamma tracking is not ideal though, as some details in shadows will appear a bit too dark and some bright highlights will be too bright. The measured gamma average is 2.07 instead of 2.2. You can set the gamma to 2.4 in the OSD menu, which will actually give you an average gamma of 2.2 and make bright tones closer to the target, but details in the shadows will be even darker.
The monitor offers two ways to clamp its native ~147% sRGB color gamut down to ~100% sRGB color space coverage. You can select either the ‘sRGB Mode’ GameVisual picture preset or just change the ‘Display Color Space’ option to ‘sRGB.’
If you’re using the Display Color Space option, it will only lock you out of saturation and 6-axis settings, while the sRGB Mode also locks Uniformity Brightness (it’s forced enabled), color temperature and Shadow Boost settings.
Both methods provide similar results. The average Delta E is now only 1.08, while the maximum is 2.06. You get 99% sRGB coverage with a bit of over-saturation due to the 105% sRGB gamut volume. Gamma isn’t ideal with an average of 2.11 instead of 2.2, and the color temperature remains at 6900K.
We also tried using the software method of clamping the gamut via AMD’s Custom Color and while the sRGB gamut was successfully restricted to ~100% sRGB, it gave us a warm 5600K color temperature, so we recommend using the monitor’s solution instead.
We calibrated the display to improve things further. The Racing Mode only locks you out of VividPixel (sharpness), saturation and 6-axis settings. So, to calibrate the display you can use either ‘Racing Mode’ or ‘User.’
We selected custom color temperature settings and reduce blue channel gain to 79, red to 98 and green to 95 to get a 6500K color temperature on our unit (6492K to be exact). Gamma and color accuracy have also improved with an average Delta E of 0.61 and a maximum of 1.22. The maximum and minimum brightness remains the same at 254-nits and 22-nits, respectively, while the brightness setting of 39 provides 120-nits.
The 2560×1440 QHD resolution suits the 26.5″ sized screen of the monitor very well as you get a decent pixel density of 110.84 PPI (pixels per inch). As a result, you get plenty of screen real space with sharp details and no scaling necessary.
Since it uses LG’s W-OLED panel with a WRGB subpixel layout, there will be some fringing on small text and fine details. This isn’t noticeable in games and videos, and we find it to be negligible during everyday use at a normal viewing distance.
If you plan on using the monitor for work that involves a lot of text, some users might be bothered by text rending on this display, while others will be able to tolerate it. Note the red and green lines on letters in the images below – this is zoomed in to describe what small text looks like when looked up close.
You can also notice colored fringing on fine lines – for instance, on the highlighted text when using the ‘Find’ tool in Chrome, on folder icons, etc.
You can use Better ClearType Tuner to improve this a bit in some applications, but it can’t be completely fixed until we get proper OS support for panels with this subpixel layout. This is an issue with all monitors using LG’s W-OLED panels, and Samsung’s QD-OLED panels have a similar problem due to their triangular subpixel layout.
A lot of users would’ve preferred to see 4K resolution at this screen size, but we find that 1440p is perfectly fine. The difference in image quality in games and videos is not that noticeable, while 1440p is significantly less demanding on the GPU, allowing for higher picture settings and/or higher frame rates.
Of course, for other use, a higher resolution would be more beneficial, including making the text fringing less noticeable due to higher pixel density. While there are higher resolution OLED panels announced, we most likely won’t see them available until 2025.
Another downside of OLED panels is the risk of permanent image burn-in and temporary image retention. If you leave an image with bright static elements on the screen for too long, an afterimage of that element could become permanently visible.
For some people, this drawback is a fair trade-off for the image quality and performance you get, but for others, it can be deal-breaking.
If you plan on using the screen for color-critical or productivity work where you’ll have static elements displayed for hours without being able to play any other content in between, OLED might not be for you.
For gaming, content consumption and mixed-use, there’s no need to worry about burn-in as long as you’re using the monitor sensibly and use the built-in burn-in prevention features. Hiding your taskbar in Windows, using dark modes, hiding unnecessary HUD in games where possible, etc. will also help. You can also find plenty of free and useful apps, such as AutoHideDesktopIcons.
Sadly, ASUS’ 2-year warranty doesn’t cover burn-in, whereas Dell’s 3-year warranty for their QD-OLED ultrawide models does.
Under Screen Protection in System Setup of the monitor’s OSD menu, you’ll find the following features:
- Screen Saver – the screen automatically dims when no movement is detected
- Pixel Cleaning – detects and corrects pixel degradation if needed; the process takes around 6 minutes
- Screen Move – the image moves by a few pixels every now and then; the resolution of the monitor is a bit higher than 2560×1440 so that the image isn’t cropped when moved
- Adjust Logo Brightness – detects bright static elements and decreases their brightness
- Pixel Cleaning Cycle Reminder – reminds you to run the pixel cleaning feature every 1 to 8 hours, or never; we recommend leaving it at the default 8 hours
The monitor has three HDR modes: Gaming, Cinema and Console.
You can also enable brightness adjustment of these modes, but we recommend against it as it will affect the PQ EOTF tracking.
All three HDR modes also have two color temperature options: 6500K and 8200K. We measured a maximum brightness of 902-nits in the 6500K mode. The 8200K mode goes up to 970-nits, but it has a very high color temperature, resulting in bluish white.
Even the 6500K mode has a bit higher color temperature (6800K, Delta E of 3.0), but it’s not noticeable in real use.
There’s some over-saturation and under-saturation of colors, partially due to the missing ~4% for the full DCI-P3 gamut coverage. You still get really vibrant colors, though not as saturated and bright as that of QD-OLED panels.
There’s no difference between the three modes when it comes to overall brightness, color temperature, gray balance and color performance, but they have slightly different PQ EOTF tracking.
The Console Mode is the brightest, but it will display some bright highlights brighter than they should be, thus clipping some details. The Cinema Mode will have no highlight clipping at all, but it’s the darkest mode overall, while the Gaming Mode offers the most balanced performance.
In the HDR video of A Perfect Planet below, we measured a peak brightness of 515-nits (Gaming), 489-nits (Cinema) and 610-nits (Console) when displaying the same frame. You can move the slider to see how the Console mode on the right clips some highlights in comparison to the Cinema mode on the left. It’s difficult to capture this on camera, but the difference is more noticeable in person.
We did another real scene test in Cyberpunk 2077. The brightness of the ‘Security Service’ sign is 741-nits (Gaming), 681-nits (Cinema) and 766-nits (Console).
Keep in mind that all three modes are generally a bit darker than they should be, it’s just that the Gaming and Console modes are also too bright at ~80% white. We haven’t run into any scene where the Console mode clips the highlights in any meaningful way, so if you just want the brightest HDR experience, it’s usable.
The Gaming Mode doesn’t overexpose the highlights as much as the Console Mode, and it’s actually brighter at 70% white without blowing out the details. It’s the most accurate mode overall, but since the differences are very minor, you can just pick the one that looks the best to you without worrying too much.
A refresh rate of 240Hz provides buttery-smooth motion clarity, and while the difference between 120Hz and 240Hz isn’t as big as it is going to 120Hz from 60Hz, it’s definitely noticeable. The video above is shot at 240FPS to illustrate the difference in motion clarity. To take full advantage of 240Hz, you’ll also need to get 240FPS.
For pixel response time and input latency testing, we’re using OSRTT.
Another big advantage of OLED displays is the instantaneous pixel response time speed, which results in no trailing artifacts behind fast-moving objects. This also means that there’s no need for response time overdrive, as pixels transition almost instantly regardless of the refresh rate.
We’re using Blur Busters’ pursuit camera UFO ghosting test to illustrate how these measures translate to real use.
Here’s a comparison with a few other high refresh rate models, including the BenQ EX3210U and the MSI MAG281URF with fast IPS panels and the MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR with a slow VA panel.
Moving on, the average total system input lag amounts to 4.53ms at 240Hz, 7.76ms at 120Hz and 12.27ms at 60Hz (0.1ms is attributed to click time, 1ms is processing delay and the rest is display lag).
Latency is low regardless of the refresh rate and there’s no perceptible delay between your actions and the result on the screen.
Variable refresh rate is supported via AMD’s FreeSync Premium, NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible and HDMI 2.1 VRR, allowing for tear-free gameplay up to 240FPS. Some near-black VRR flicker can be detected in certain dark scenes with unstable frame rates, but this is the case with all OLED displays and it occurs rarely.
Next, the monitor has excellent brightness uniformity, but as expected from LG’s W-OLED panel, gray uniformity is not ideal as there’s a visible ‘dirty screen effect’ when displaying solid mid-dark gray tones. It’s not visible in everyday use, but it can be observed when looking at websites with gray backgrounds, for instance.
We didn’t find any dead or stuck pixels on the screen, and there are no inversion artifacts or frame skipping.
Also, there’s no backlight bleeding, IPS/VA glow or blooming artifacts, which makes for true blacks and an exceptionally immersive viewing experience in a dark room.
Apart from the minor fluctuations in brightness due to the way OLED panels work (which is invisible to the human eye), the monitor is completely flicker-free. There’s also a low-blue light filter mode with four levels, but only Level 4 actually reduces blue light output down to a 5500K warm color temperature.
Behind the ROG chin, there’s a directional joystick for quick and easy navigation through the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu as well as a power button and an additional hotkey that can be assigned to different shortcuts.
Pressing the joystick or moving it to the left opens up the menu, while moving it to the right, down and up can also be assigned to different shortcuts. The illuminated ROG logo serves as the power indication and the LED can be disabled.
You can also download ASUS’ DisplayWidget Center desktop application to make your adjustments via keyboard/mouse.
Useful gaming features include Shadow Boost (improves visibility in dark scenes by altering the gamma curvature), a refresh rate tracker, crosshair overlays, on-screen timers and Sniper (zooms in the area around your crosshair).
Besides the standard image adjustment tools (brightness, contrast, color temperature, etc.), the ASUS PG27AQDM also supports 6-axis saturation, gamma (from 1.8 to 2.6), sharpness (VividPixel), Auto Input Detection and Aspect Control (Full, Equivalent, 1:1 and 16:9 25″W).
The 16:9 25″W aspect control option displays the image as a 24.5″ monitor with a 1920×1080 240Hz or 2368×1332 240Hz resolution. However, VRR is disabled in this mode.
Next, the monitor also has user-updatable firmware. The update process is quick and simple. Simply connect the monitor to your PC via a USB-A to USB-B cable, download and run the update, and it’s done in about 5 minutes.
Design & Connectivity
The stand of the monitor is quite sturdy and offers full ergonomic support, including up to 110mm height adjustment, -5°/20° tilt, +/- 30° swivel, +/- 90° pivot and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility (via the provided adapter).
It has a 35% haze matte anti-glare coating. It’s not the lightest coating we’ve seen as there’s some noticeable graininess to the image, but it’s mainly visible when looking at solid colors from up close. It’s not an issue during regular use and it helps prevent reflections.
The screen is exceptionally slim (~0.5mm) and has ultra-thin bezels on all four sides with a black strip in-between the bezels and the image (7mm thick at the sides and top, and 9mm thick at the bottom).
At the rear of the monitor, you’ll find customizable Aura RGB lighting with rainbow and color cycle effects or static, breathing and strobing single color (RGBCMY). The stand also has ASUS’ ROG logo projector, which comes with two swappable logos and three blank/customizable ones. All LED effects can be disabled in the OSD menu.
In the box, along with the monitor, you’ll get all the necessary cables in a small ASUS bag, including DisplayPort, HDMI, USB-A to USB-B 3.0 and an external power adapter. You also get a calibration report, warranty information form, ASUS ROG stickers and a quick start guide.
Connectivity options are abundant and include DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a dual-USB 3.0 hub and a headphone jack. A lot of users are disappointed that there’s no HDMI 2.1 support, so just how big of an issue is this?
If you’re using the monitor on a PC, then DP 1.4 will do just fine. It uses DSC (Display Stream Compression) to achieve 1440p 240Hz with 10-bit color, but the compression is visually lossless and doesn’t affect performance or image quality.
When it comes to consoles, the PS5 supports 1440p 120Hz with VRR and HDR on this monitor, but Xbox consoles only support HDR at 4K UHD, so you’ll have to choose between 1440p 120Hz or 4K 60Hz HDR.
The ASUS PG27AQDM has HDMI 2.1 VRR support but no FRL (Fixed Rate Link), so it’s limited to HDMI 2.0 bandwidth.
The LG 27GR95QE supports 4K 120Hz upscaling, so it is a better option for the Xbox Series/One X/S consoles, though it has a ~30% lower brightness.
Price & Similar Monitors
The ASUS PG27AQDM price amounts to $1,000. We recommend it over LG’s model with a lower brightness, which goes for the same price.
Note that Corsair is also supposed to release their model, the XENEON 27QHD240, based on the same panel with HDMI 2.1, USB-C and a three-year warranty that covers burn-in. No word on pricing and availability yet though.
We also recommend checking out the 34″ 3440×1440 175Hz QD-OLED models, such as the Dell AW3423DWF if you’re a fan of the ultrawide format.
Check out our best HDR monitors buyer’s guide for more monitors and recommendations.
Overall, the ASUS ROG Swift PG27AQDM is an excellent HDR gaming monitor.
We were pleasantly surprised by the brightness performance considering it’s using a W-OLED panel. As a result, you get bright and punchy highlights with vibrant colors and crisp details, while OLED’s per-pixel dimming ensures true blacks without any light bleeding or haloing that’s associated with LED-backlit monitors.
Additionally, you get buttery-smooth performance thanks to the high 240Hz refresh rate, instantaneous pixel response time speed and smooth VRR behavior.
The fear of burn-in will repel a lot of users, though we feel that if you are using the monitor properly, you shouldn’t worry too much. Still, it would’ve been nice to have a proper warranty that covers burn-in – like that of Dell’s QD-OLED models.
We weren’t bothered too much by text fringing caused by the WRGB subpixel layout, but some people might be more sensitive to it, which in combination with the burn-in risk can be a deal-breaker for those looking for a monitor for both work and play.
When it comes to gaming and content consumption, the ASUS PG27AQDM is one of the best gaming monitors currently available.
|Aspect Ratio||16:9 (Widescreen)|
|Response Time||0.03ms (GtG)|
|Adaptive-Sync||FreeSync, G-SYNC Compatible (48-240Hz)|
HDMI VRR (48-240Hz)
|Ports||DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0|
|Other Ports||Headphone Jack, 2x USB 3.0|
|Brightness (1 – 3% White Window)||900 cd/m²|
|Brightness (10% White Window)||850 cd/m²|
|Brightness (100% White Window)||160 cd/m² (HDR)|
250 cd/m² (SDR)
|Colors||1.07 billion (true 10-bit)|
- Infinite contrast ratio
- Wide color gamut with sRGB mode
- High peak brightness
- Low input lag, instant response time
- Plenty of features, including VRR up to 240Hz
- Fully adjustable stand and rich connectivity options
- Risk of permanent image burn-in
- Text clarity issues due to the uncommon subpixel layout
- Burn-in not covered by warranty