ASUS PG329Q Review: 1440p 175Hz 1ms FreeSync IPS Gaming Monitor

The ASUS PG329Q is a 32" 1440p 175Hz IPS gaming monitor with a fast 1ms GtG response time speed, FreeSync, ELMB-Sync, Adobe RGB color gamut, and DisplayHDR 600.

Bottom Line

The ASUS PG329Q is a 32″ 1440p 175Hz IPS gaming monitor with a wide Adobe RGB color gamut and DisplayHDR 600, which results in an immersive image quality, while its rapid response time speed, variable refresh rate, and ELMB-Sync ensure buttery-smooth performance.

Design:
(4.8)
Display:
(4.8)
Performance:
(4.6)
Price/Value:
(4.0)
4.6

The ASUS ROG Swift PG329Q is a flat-screen 32″ IPS gaming monitor with QHD resolution and a high 165Hz refresh rate (factory-overclockable to 175Hz).

Additionally, it’s equipped with Adaptive-Sync (certified as G-SYNC Compatible) and ASUS’ exclusive ELMB-Sync technology which allows for MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) and VRR (variable refresh rate) to work at the same time!

Image Quality

The monitor is based on an IPS panel developed by AU Optronics with a rapid 1ms GtG response time speed, 178° wide viewing angles, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, a 400-nit peak brightness, and 10-bit color depth support via dithering.

Its backlight is enhanced by quantum-dots which make for the impressive 160% sRGB color gamut. Although ASUS only quotes 160% sRGB and 98% DCI-P3 color space coverage, it actually covers ~99% of the Adobe RGB color space as well.

This allows the monitor to produce blue, cyan, and green shades that can’t be found on the more common DCI-P3 wide color gamut displays, which usually have a specified color gamut of 125% or 135% sRGB.

DCI P3 vs Adobe RGB Color Gamut 1

When viewing regular sRGB content (most games and web content), the native 160% sRGB gamut of the monitor will result in over-saturated colors.

Thankfully, there’s an sRGB emulation mode that restricts the color gamut to ~100% sRGB allowing you to view sRGB content the way it’s intended.

However, the sRGB mode doesn’t allow you to adjust the brightness. So, you’ll be locked to around 160-nits in this mode, which will probably be fine for most users, but perhaps too bright for others, especially in dark rooms.

The ASUS PG329Q monitor is also factory-calibrated at Delta E < 2, which makes it suitable for professional color-critical work out of the box.

Further, QHD resolution looks great even on 32″ sized screens. Granted, you won’t get as clear details as that of a 27″ 1440p display, but the image is still quite sharp and you won’t be able to distingusih individual pixels at a normal viewing distance.

Some users would probably prefer a higher 4K UHD resolution at this screen size, but since it’s a lot more demanding than 1440p, you wouldn’t get as high frame rates in games.

Due to the limitations of the IPS technology, static contrast ratio amounts to ~1,000:1, so blacks won’t be as deep as that of VA panels, but VA models have disadvantages of their own, such as inferior color accuracy and viewing angles.

When viewing HDR (High Dynamic Range) content, the ASUS PG329Q display gets a boost in peak brightness up to 600-nits for more vivid highlights.

Moreover, there are 16 dimming zones, which can dim parts of the screen that are supposed to be dark, without affecting the bright areas.

Since there are only 16 zones, you won’t be getting the true HDR viewing experience, but some HDR scenes can look significantly more immersive, especially if the dark and bright parts of the image are far apart.

Performance

Out of the box, the monitor’s set to 165Hz, wth the ability to overclock it to 175Hz over DisplayPort.

In truth, there’s no visible difference between 165Hz and 175Hz, but if you can output as many frames per second, there’s no point in letting them go to waste.

Now, the ASUS PG329Q has six response time overdrive modes, from Level 0 to Level 5, which you can adjust under the ‘Variable OD’ setting in the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu.

Level 5 is too aggressive and introduces too much overshoot even at 175Hz. Basically, this mode exists only so that ASUS could advertize the ‘1ms GtG’ response time speed, which is something all monitor manufacturers do.

Level 4 is much better as it only has minor overshoot at 165Hz/175Hz, but it is still too aggressive for lower refresh rates.

Level 3 is the optimal mode as it offers excellent performance across the entire 50-175Hz variable refresh rate range. Some inverse ghosting in form of dark trailing can be detected at 60Hz though.

So, if you’re using the monitor at fixed 60Hz or you’re sitting around 60FPS with variable refresh rate enabled and find the dark trailing bothersome, you should dial back the overdrive setting to Level 0 since Level 1 and Level 2 are pretty much identical to Level 3.

The ASUS PG329Q input lag is very low at around 4ms, which makes for imperceptible delay.

As it’s the case with all IPS panel monitors, some IPS glow is noticeable. The amount of IPS glow varies across different units of the monitor, but in all except for the extreme cases, it’s manageable.

Features

asus elmb sync technology

The ASUS PG329Q supports AMD FreeSync and it’s certified as G-SYNC Compatible by NVIDIA via the 452.06 or newer drivers ensuring flawless VRR performance up to 175FPS over DisplayPort.

The supported VRR range amounts to 50-165Hz or 50-175Hz when overclocked, but below 50FPS, LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) kicks in to keep tearing at bay via framerate multiplication.

Naturally, you can’t use ‘G-SYNC Compatible’ over HDMI on this monitor, but FreeSync is supported with a 48-144Hz VRR range.

According to ASUS, the PG329Q also supports the 1080p 120Hz mode on the PS5 and Xbox consoles, as well as 1440p 120Hz on the Xbox.

In addition, the monitor supports ASUS’ exclusive ELMB-Sync backlight strobing technology that allows ELMB (Extreme Low Motion Blur) to be used at the same time as FreeSync/G-SYNC Compatible.

This prevents image duplications caused by frame/refresh rate mismatch, but the maximum picture brightness is still reduced while this technology is active.

If you choose to, you can still use the standard ELMB technology at fixed refresh rates of 144Hz, 165Hz, or 175Hz.

This way, you gain access to the ‘Clarity Level’ setting, which allows you to adjust the trade-off between image brightness and motion clarity. There are five levels (from 1 to 5), Level 5 offers the clearest motion clarity, but it has the lowest brightness of ~100-nits, Level 3 has a bit higher brightness at ~150-nits, while Level 1 sits at around ~190-nits.

You can also adjust the Clarity Position setting. Usually, backlight strobing results in the clearest motion in the center of the screen, while the top and bottom have strobe cross-talk. With Clarity Position, you can change which part of the screen (top, middle, or bottom) has the clearest performance.

When you enable ELMB-Sync, you don’t have access to the Clarity Level setting, but the brightness level is still decent at ~130-nits. All in all, ELMB-Sync can notably improve motion clarity in fast-paced games as long as your frame rate is over at least 100FPS.

ASUS PG329Q OSD Menu

The OSD menu is well-organized and easy to use thanks to the directional joystick placed at the rear of the monitor.

Noteworthy features include ASUS GamePlus (on-screen crosshairs and timers, a refresh rate tracker, and a sniper feature that enlarges the pixels around your crosshair) and GameVisual (various pre-calibrated picture presets, such as Racing, FPS, MOBA, RTS/RPG, sRGB, etc.).

You’ll also find the Shadow Boost feature (improves visibility in darker scenes) and advanced image adjustment tools including three gamma presets (1.8, 2.2, and 2.5), Saturation, and Picture in Picture/Picture by Picture.

The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free and there’s an integrated low-blue lighter filter.

Design & Connectivity

ASUS ROG Swift PG329Q Monitor Back

The stand of the monitor is sturdy and offers a decent range of ergonomics including up to 100mm height adjustment, -5°/20° tilt, and +/- 25° swivel.

You cannot pivot/rotate the screen though. The screen has a matte anti-glare coating that eliminates reflections and it’s VESA mount compatible (100x100mm). You’ll also find AuraSync RGB lighting at the back of the monitor (the ROG logo).

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0 ports (maximum 144Hz), a headphones jack, and a dual-USB 3.0 hub.

Note that due to the DisplayPort 1.2 limitations, the monitor is limited to 60Hz at 1440p with 10-bit color depth by default. You can create a custom resolution for 120Hz.

For 144Hz and over, you’ll need to drop the color depth to 8-bit. Keep in mind that most games support 8-bit color depth only.

The difference between 10-bit and 8-bit color is also not very noticeable in games, apart from somewhat smoother gradients with 10-bit color depth.

Since it’s mostly graphically-intensive and demanding games that support 10-bit color, if you intend on using variable refresh rate, 120Hz/FPS at 1440p should be plenty anyway.

Price & Similar Monitors

The ASUS PG329Q price amounts to ~$700, which is reasonable.

For $100 more, you might also want to consider the Acer Predator XB323UGP based on the same panel. It has a bit better design quality, DisplayPort 1.4 (for 170Hz + 10-bit color), and its sRGB mode has adjustable brightness.

However, it doesn’t support ELMB-Sync or MBR of any kind.

Further, just like the PG329Q, it has some overshoot at ~60FPS with the Normal overdrive active. The only way to prevent it is by disabling FreeSync since you cannot adjust the overdrive with VRR enabled.

Generally, the PG329Q offers a bit better performance thanks to ELMB-Sync and better overdrive implementation, whereas the XB323UGP offers a better design and somewhat better image quality due to 10-bit color depth support at its maximum refresh rate.

Any other major difference between the two, such as color accuracy out of the box, slightly better contrast or brightness, the amount of IPS glow, etc. can be attributed to panel variance.

Since it’s cheaper yet offers better performance and more features, we are more inclined to recommend the PG329Q. It still has a decent design and the 10-bit color depth limitation won’t matter to most gamers, we only wish it had adjustable brightness in the sRGB mode.

Other monitors worth considering at this price range include the LG 34GP83A 3440×1440 144Hz IPS ultrawide, the Samsung Odyssey G7 1440p 240Hz curved VA model, and the Acer XV272UX 1440p 240Hz IPS monitor with a wide Adobe RGB gamut.

For more information, visit our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide.

Conclusion

Gamers have actually been waiting for a while for 32″ IPS gaming monitors with a high resolution and a fast refresh rate.

Both the ASUS PG329Q and the Acer XB323UGP deliver just that – plus a very wide Adobe RGB gamut, fast response time, and decent HDR image quality for both immersive and responsive gaming experience. The choice between the two mainly comes down to your personal preference and budget.

Specifications

Screen Size32-inch
Resolution2560×1440 (QHD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate175Hz
Response Time (GtG)1ms (GtG)
Response Time (ELMB-Sync)Not specified
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (50-175Hz)
G-SYNC Compatible (50-175Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, 2x USB 3.0
Brightness400 cd/m²
Brightness (HDR)600 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
99% Adobe RGB
HDRDisplayHDR 600
BacklightQLED edge-lit, 16 dimming zones
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Wide Adobe RGB color gamut for striking colors, DisplayHDR 600
  • sRGB mode
  • Plenty of gaming features including ELMB-Sync up to 175Hz
  • Quick response time speed
  • Decent build quality and ergonomics

The Cons:

  • Design lacks pivot option
  • IPS glow and inferior contrast ratio in comparison to VA
  • Can’t adjust brightness in the sRGB mode

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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.