ASUS VG279QM Review: 1080p 280Hz IPS Gaming Monitor With ELMB-Sync

asus vg279qm monitor

Bottom Line

The ASUS VG279QM is currently the fastest gaming monitor available thanks to its 280Hz overclockable refresh rate. However, this doesn't provide a big difference over other 240Hz models - some of which offer more noticeable advantages such as a higher pixel density or better MBR performance. Still, the monitor offers a buttery-smooth performance that works flawlessly straight out of the box with vibrant colors and plenty of extra features.

Design:
(5)
Display:
(4.5)
Performance:
(4.9)
Price/Value:
(4.7)
4.8

Introduction

The ASUS VG279QM is yet another gaming monitor based on the 1080p 240Hz IPS panel by AU Optronics, however, what makes this monitor stand out from the crowd is its factory-overclockable 280Hz refresh rate and ASUS’ unique ELMB-Sync technology which allows you to simultaneously run VRR and MBR!

Image Quality

In terms of image quality, the ASUS TUF VG279QM is not different from other models that use the same panel with a 400-nit peak brightness, a 1,000:1 static contrast ratio, 178° viewing angles, 8-bit color depth, and 99% sRGB gamut.

Overall, you get a bright picture quality with vivid and consistent colors, and the picture won’t shift in color, contrast, or brightness regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen.

However, many people will find the 27″ sized screen of the monitor to be too big for its 1920×1080 screen resolution.

The pixel per inch (PPI) ratio of the ASUS VG279QM amounts to 81 PPI, so the picture won’t have as much screen real estate or as vivid details as, for instance, a 24″ 1080p monitor with 91 PPI.

For games, watching movies, and other multimedia use, the low pixel density will be acceptable to most users as you can just sit a bit further from the screen in order to make the individual pixels less distinguishable.

Moving on, the ASUS VG279QM supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) and carries VESA’s DisplayHDR 400 certificate.

For a noteworthy HDR viewing experience, a monitor would need a much higher brightness and contrast as well as a wider color gamut and local dimming, so HDR content won’t look any better on this monitor.

You can just ignore HDR on this monitor as it doesn’t improve the picture quality nor increase the monitor’s price, which is the case for most DisplayHDR 400 monitors.

In spite of its low pixel density and meaningless HDR support, the picture looks great on the ASUS VG279QM thanks to its vibrant and accurate colors, good peak brightness, and wide viewing angles.

Performance

The ASUS VG279QM input lag performance is impressive, with just around 2ms of delay, which is imperceptible.

Its pixel response time performance is very good, as well.

There are six response time overdrive modes which you can change by using the TraceFree feature found in the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu of the monitor; modes scale from 0 to 100, in increments of 20.

For the best performance and the least amount of ghosting and overshoot at 280Hz, you should set TraceFree to ’80’ as ‘100’ introduces a lot of inverse ghosting.

Some pixels transitions here and there may not make it in time, but this isn’t noticeable in real use unless you are really looking for it by using various tests that are meant to highlight these artifacts.

Since TraceFree at 80 is more suited for 280Hz, there will be some overshoot at 240Hz. So, we recommend just running the monitor at 280Hz. 

When playing more demanding games at around 100FPS-144FPS with FreeSync enabled, you should dial back the overdrive to ’60’. And at 60Hz/FPS, you should set TraceFree to ’40’ for the optimal performance.

AMD FreeSync is supported with a 48-280Hz VRR (variable refresh rate) range, and NVIDIA certifies the monitor as ‘G-SYNC Compatible’ for flawless performance without any tearing, stuttering, or flickering.

ELMB-Sync

asus elmb sync technology

At the time of this writing, only a few of ASUS’ gaming monitors can simultaneously run VRR (either FreeSync or G-SYNC Compatible) and MBR (Motion Blur Reduction).

MBR uses backlight strobing to eliminate trailing behind fast-moving objects for better motion clarity. By doing so, however, it sacrifices screen brightness.

ASUS calls their MBR technology ‘Extreme Low Motion Blur’ or ELMB while ELMB-Sync allows ELMB and FreeSync to be enabled at the same time.

For the best performance while strobing, your frame rate should be as close as to the monitor’s refresh rate as possible.

This is why combining VRR with strobing is ideal, at least in theory.

In order to avoid strobe crosstalk, a 240Hz gaming monitor would need to strobe at a lower refresh rate, usually at 100Hz, 120Hz, or 144Hz.

When ELMB and ELMB-Sync are enabled, the ASUS VG279QM is locked to an overdrive mode that corresponds to setting TraceFree to ’80’, which is too aggressive for lower refresh rates.

As a result, you will get visible overshoot while strobing below 200Hz.

While strobing above 200Hz, overshoot is reduced the higher your FPS/Hz is, but it will be difficult to constantly maintain such a high frame rate, thus resulting in strobe crosstalk or duplicate images.

You can also run ELMB without FreeSync at fixed refresh rates of 120Hz, 144Hz, 240Hz, 270Hz, and 280Hz, but the overdrive setting will again be locked.

While ELMB/ELMB-Sync is enabled, the monitor’s maximum brightness peaks at around 200-nits.

We also reviewed the ViewSonic XG270, which features the ‘Blur Busters Approved’ certification for its PureXP backlight strobing technology.

While PureXP cannot run at the same time as VRR, it offers a significantly smoother motion clarity when strobing at 120Hz with no ghosting or overshoot and with minimal strobe crosstalk (much less than on the VG279QM).

So, if you want the best backlight strobing performance for CRT-like motion clarity, we recommend checking out the ViewSonic XG270.

In case you just want to game with VRR or with uncapped frame rates, the ASUS VG279QM will suit your better.

Features

asus vg279qm monitor gameplus features

Other features include ASUS’ standard GamePlus utilities, including custom crosshairs, an FPS/Hz tracker, on-screen timers, display alignment, and the new Sniper feature, which puts a dot in the middle of the screen and zooms in a small area around it for increased precision.

GameVisual consists of pre-calibrated picture presets such as Racing, RTS/RPG, FPS, sRGB, and MOBA.

You’ll also find the overclocking option in the OSD menu as well as Shadow Boost (improves visibility in darker games), a low-blue light filter, and other standard adjustments such as contrast/brightness, color temperature, saturation, etc.

The OSD menu is well-organized and easy to work with thanks to the 5-way joystick placed at the back of the monitor along with three extra hotkeys and a power button.

Lastly, the monitor is completely flicker-free (unless ELMB/ELMB-Sync is enabled) as it doesn’t use PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation) to regulate brightness.

Design & Connectivity

asus vg279qm back

The stand of the monitor offers a full range of ergonomics including up to 130mm height adjustment, -5°/33° tilt, 90° pivot, +/- 90° swivel, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports (max 240Hz at 1920×1080), a single DisplayPort 1.2 input, a headphones jack, and dual 2W integrated speakers.

The screen has a light anti-glare coating that removes reflections but doesn’t make the picture appear grainy.

Price & Similar Monitors

The ASUS VG279QM monitor goes for around $400.

If you want the best MBR performance, we recommend going with the ViewSonic XG270 instead at this price range.

In case you aren’t interested in backlight strobing, the ASUS VG279QM is a better option though you should also consider the MSI MAG251RX which has a 24.5″ 1080p 240Hz IPS panel with a higher PPI ratio.

The VG279QM is also available as a 24.5″ sized variant, the ASUS VG259QM.

Visit our best 240Hz gaming monitors buyer’s guide for more information and the best deals available.

Conclusion

All in all, the ASUS VG279QM is a great gaming monitor for the price.

We were pleasantly surprised that its pixel response time was able to keep up with the high 280Hz refresh rate which is neat if your PC can output as many frames; whether the extra 40FPS/Hz is worth the extra cost is up to you.

ASUS VG279QM Specifications

Screen Size 27-inch
Resolution 1920×1080 (Full HD)
Panel Type IPS
Aspect Ratio 16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate 240Hz (280Hz Overclocked)
Response Time 1ms (GtG)
Adaptive Sync FreeSync (48Hz-280Hz)
G-SYNC Compatible
ELMB-Sync
Speakers 2x2W
Ports DisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other Ports Headphone Jack
Brightness 400 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio 1000:1 (static)
Colors 16.7 million (true 8-bit)
HDR HDR10, VESA DisplayHDR 400
VESA Yes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Precise colors, wide viewing angles
  • ELMB-Sync
  • Quick response time and low input lag
  • Plenty of gaming features including FreeSync
  • Fully ergonomic design

The Cons:

  • Low pixel density
  • Backlight strobing technology could be better optimized

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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.