ASUS XG279Q Review: 1440p 144Hz 1ms IPS Gaming Monitor

asus xg279q monitor

Bottom Line

The ASUS XG279Q is a solid 27" 1440p 144Hz IPS gaming monitor with a quick response time speed, wide color gamut, and plenty of additional features such as premium design, 170Hz factory-overclocking, and ELMB-SYNC. Unfortunately, some of these extra features don't live up to the hype yet they increase the monitor's price.

Design:
(5)
Display:
(4.8)
Performance:
(4.7)
Price/Value:
(3.5)
4.5

Introduction

The ASUS ROG Strix XG279Q is yet another very popular and sought-after 27″ 1440p 144Hz IPS gaming monitor.

Let’s see how it stacks up against similar alternatives when it comes to image quality, performance, features, and value for the price!

Image Quality

Right off the bat, we get a 2560×1440 Quad HD screen resolution, which looks great on the monitor’s 27″ sized screen.

It results in a pixel density of 108 PPI (pixels per inch), which translates to plenty of screen space and sharp details without any scaling necessary.

Further, 1440p is significantly less demanding to drive than 4K UHD allowing you to reach higher frame rates in video games more easily.

The ASUS XG279Q monitor is based on AU Optronics’ AHVA (IPS) panel with 178° wide viewing angles, a 400-nit peak brightness, a 1,000:1 static contrast ratio, 8-bit color depth, and 95% DCI-P3 color gamut.

As expected, the colors are vibrant, precise, and consistent regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen.

The DCI-P3 gamut can look (to some users) a bit over-saturated for sRGB content, but an emulated sRGB profile is provided as well in case you want to restrict the gamut to ~100% sRGB from the ‘native’ 125% sRGB.

Note, however, that the brightness is locked to 100/maximum in this mode, and you cannot change it. So, the screen might be too bright for you when using the sRGB mode.

Another thing to keep in mind is that ASUS misprint ‘90% DCI-P3’ on some boxes instead of ‘95% DCI-P3’.

Moving on, the ASUS XG279Q supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) and carries VESA’s entry-level DisplayHDR 400 certification.

Thanks to its wide color gamut and excellent peak brightness that reaches over 400-nits, some HDR content will look noticeably better than SDR, but you’re not getting the true HDR viewing experience.

The monitor even supports local dimming via its ‘Dynamic Dimming’ feature. Sadly, there are only eight dimming zones which are relatively slow and ineffective. You might want to enable it for watching movies, but you’ll mostly prefer it disabled.

All in all, you get a great picture quality with gorgeous colors and crisp details. Blacks aren’t quite pitch-black, which is expected from an IPS panel while HDR content is hit or miss. Some content might look better, some worse.

Performance

You can overclock the monitor up to 170Hz by simply increasing its refresh rate in the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu and your drivers/PC display settings.

Some users have reported frame skipping at 170Hz, whereas 165Hz works perfectly fine. This varies across different units of the monitor. You can simply test for frame skipping at 170Hz, and if it occurs, dial it back to 165Hz.

There’s no visible difference between 165Hz and 170Hz at all, so this isn’t a big issue. Even the difference between the monitor’s native 144Hz refresh rate and 170Hz isn’t that noticeable except for the ‘slightly smoother feel to it.’

The ASUS XG279Q boasts a rapid 1ms GtG (gray to gray) pixel response time speed. Naturally, this can only be achieved while using the most aggressive overdrive setting, which introduces too much overshoot (inverse ghosting).

There are six ‘OD’ (overdrive) options in total, from 0 to 5. Levels 4 and 5 add too much inverse ghosting and should be avoided while levels 0 and 1 are too slow and leave visible trailing behind fast-moving objects.

The default setting (level 3) effectively eliminates ghosting without adding too much overshoot, so you should use it at 165Hz+. The level 2 option has less overshoot, but more ghosting, so it’ll work better below 144Hz.

The ASUS XG279Q input lag amounts to only ~4ms, which makes for imperceptible delay.

One thing to keep in mind about IPS monitors is IPS glow, which is an expected drawback of this panel technology. It’s characterized as visible ‘glowing’ around the corners of the screen, similar to backlight bleeding.

The amount of IPS glow varies across different units of the monitor, but in all but most extreme cases, it’s manageable.

Finally, note that the ASUS XG279Q display has a flicker-free backlight and an integrated low-blue light filter, allowing you to go through long gaming sessions without eye strain/headaches.

Features

freesync and gsync

The OSD menu of the monitor is quite user-friendly and offers a bunch of useful features. Navigation through the menu is a breeze thanks to the joystick at the back of the monitor with three additional hotkeys for shortcuts.

AMD FreeSync is supported with a 48-170Hz variable refresh rate (VRR) range, and the monitor is certified by NVIDIA as ‘G-SYNC Compatible’ for tear-free gameplay with compatible graphics cards.

Over the HDMI ports, the FreeSync range is 48-144Hz.

The ASUS XG279Q also supports the exclusive ELMB-Sync technology, which allows ELMB (Extreme Low Motion Blur) and FreeSync/G-SYNC to work at the same time.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t work as good in practice because the pixel response time overdrive becomes locked when ELMB or ELMB-Sync is enabled.

Since the locked overdrive mode is too aggressive, you’ll get too much overshoot at lower frame rates. At ~165Hz/FPS, there’s less overshoot, but strobe crosstalk (double images) becomes visible.

Not to mention that it will be quite difficult to maintain consistent ~165FPS at 1440p in most games. ELMB/ELMB-Sync also reduces the monitor’s maximum brightness while active. In any case, you’ll prefer it disabled.

Other features include Shadow Boost (improves visibility in darker games by altering the gamma curvature) and ASUS’ GameVisual (picture presets) and GamePlus (crosshairs, timers, etc.) features.

GameVisual modes include FPS, RTS/RPG, MOBA, Racing (the default factory-calibrated mode), Scenery, sRGB, and User. The GamePlus feature has a new ‘Sniper’ mode that zooms in a small area around your crosshair.

You’ll also find advanced picture adjustment tools such as gamma (1.8, 2.2, 2.5) and color saturation (0 – 100).

Design & Connectivity

asus xg279q monitor back

The XG279Q features ASUS’ standard ROG flashy gamer-inspired design with the Light In Motion logo projector, the AuraSync RGB lighting at the back, and the ‘3-side borderless’ thin bezels.

Next, the stand of the monitor is sturdy and offers versatile ergonomics including up to 120mm height adjustment, +/- 40° swivel, 90° pivot, -5°/20° tilt, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

The screen has a matte anti-glare coating with a slightly grainy surface, but the picture is overall very clear. Basically, you’ll only be able to notice the somewhat grainy effect if you’re really looking for it on a completely white background.

Connectivity options are abundant and include two HDMI 2.0 ports (max 144Hz at 1440p), DisplayPort 1.2, two 2W built-in speakers, a headphones jack, and a dual-USB 3.0 hub (2 downstream + 1 upstream + 1 service-only USB).

Price & Similar Monitors

The ASUS XG279Q price usually amounts to ~$600.

We recommend getting the LG 27GL850 instead, which goes for $500.

It has a better response time performance with less ghosting and overshoot (better overdrive implementation), a wider color gamut (98% DCI-P3 / 135% sRGB), and an sRGB mode with adjustable brightness.

The LG 27GL850 doesn’t have a backlight strobing technology nor local dimming, but those two features on the ASUS XG279Q don’t work very well anyway.

Further, its design cannot swivel to the left/right, and there’s no RGB lighting, but many users will actually prefer the cleaner look of the LG.

Next, the LG 27GL850 doesn’t have a factory-overclocked refresh rate, but, as we’ve already said, the difference between 144Hz and 170Hz is not that noticeable.

Besides, you could manually overclock the LG if you really wanted to. Still, just how far you’ll be able to overclock, it will depend on each unit of the monitor individually.

Finally, people tend to lean more towards the ASUS XG279Q due to the higher specified contrast ratio of 1,000:1 as opposed to that of the LG 27GL850 (specified as ‘700:1 – 1,000:1’).

Keep in mind that the contrast ratio specified by the manufacturer can always be slightly lower or slightly higher, so the contrast ratio of the XG279Q could be anywhere around 800:1 to 1,200:1.

So, a very good unit of the LG 27GL850 can have a higher contrast ratio than a bad unit of the ASUS XG279Q, but this difference is not really noticeable. In essence, both IPS models have grayish blacks in comparison to a VA panel.

Of course, a very good unit of the XG279Q would have noticeably better contrast than a bad unit of the 27GL850, but on average (which is 850:1 for LG, and 1,000:1 for ASUS), there’s no significant difference – certainly not worth $100 extra.

If you want deep and vivid blacks, you’ll need to go with a VA panel gaming monitor, which has downsides of its own such as a slower pixel response time speed.

Conclusion

Overall, the ASUS XG279Q offers a great picture quality thanks to its rich colors and high resolution while the performance is buttery-smooth thanks to FreeSync, quick response time, and high refresh rate.

Unfortunately, some of the premium features quickly add up to the price yet they’re not really necessary or even good which makes the LG 27GL850 a much better and cheaper option.

Having said that, the ASUS XG279Q is a lot better than the IPS models which use the previous-generation AUO AHVA panels or the IPS panels by Innolux – both of which are noticeably slower.

So, in case the LG 27GL850 is unavailable or you happen to get a good deal on the ASUS XG279Q, it’s definitely worth considering!

ASUS XG279Q Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Resolution2560×1440 (WQHD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate144Hz (170Hz OC)
Response Time1ms (GtG)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (48Hz-170Hz)
G-SYNC Compatible, ELMB-SYNC
Speakers2x2W
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other Ports2x USB 3.0, Headphone Jack
Brightness400 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (true 8-bit)
95% DCI-P3
HDRDisplayHDR 400
8 dimming zones
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Wide 95% DCI-P3 color gamut
  • Quick response time speed
  • FreeSync up to 170Hz, G-SYNC Compatible
  • Fully ergonomic design and rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Brightness locked to 100 in the sRGB mode
  • Only 8 dimming zones with slow response
  • Disappointing ELMB-Sync performance

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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.