At $200 or less, the Gigabyte GS27QC is an excellent 1440p budget curved VA gaming monitor with deep blacks, high 170Hz refresh rate and plenty of useful features.
Gigabyte’s newest GS series consists of cut-down versions of their usual gaming monitors with height-adjustable stands, built-in KVM and USB hubs, offering fewer features but more affordable pricing.
The Gigabyte GS27QC is a 27″ 1440p model with a curved VA panel, 170Hz refresh rate, VRR and MBR support – let’s see how it performs!
First up, we’ll test the monitor’s image accuracy right out of the box with its default settings to see if there are any settings that can be changed for better results.
The Gigabyte GS27QC uses a 27″ 1440p 165Hz (170Hz factory OC) 1500R curved VA panel (SG2701G02-2 by CSOT) with a 4000:1 contrast ratio, 250-nits peak brightness and 108% sRGB color gamut volume specified.
For our testing, calibration and profiling, we’re using the Datacolor SpyderX Pro paired with DisplayCAL and HCFR software. The testing was done after the monitor had warmed up and we disabled all eco/power-saving features.
The default Standard picture preset uses the Normal color temperature option with 6881K which gives the whitepoint a minor cold/bluish tint. We recommend changing this to the User Define option with 6633K, a great result close to the 6500K target.
Other picture presets (Gaming, Movie, Reader, Custom, ECO) have different default brightness, contrast, color vibrance, sharpness, gamma, color temperature and Black Equalizer values, and they are less accurate.
Gamma tracking of the Gigabyte GS27QC is also decent with a 2.21 average (2.2 target), though it follows the 2.2 flat gamma instead of the sRGB tone curve, so some dark scenes in sRGB content will appear a bit darker than intended.
Now, while the average Delta E isn’t too bad at 3.58 (color deviation from the target, ≤1.5 is a good result), the maximum Delta E is way off at 17.6. This is mainly due to the monitor’s low sRGB color space coverage. There’s an sRGB mode that can bring down the average Delta E to 2.43 and the maximum down to 14.22.
Although the Gigabyte GS27QC has a 109.8% sRGB gamut volume, it only covers 90.2% of the actual sRGB color space – reds and some green-cyan shades are over-saturated, while blue is heavily undersaturated (hence the high maximum Delta E).
Despite the missing blue shades, the overall viewing experience is not that much different from displays with the standard ~100% sRGB color space coverage – but there’s a notable lack of color vibrance in comparison to wider gamut displays with ~90% DCI-P3 color space coverage (~125% sRGB volume), which are available in this price range.
If the image looks too dull to you, try increasing the Color Vibrance setting to 12 for a bit punchier (albeit less accurate) colors.
There’s an sRGB emulation mode that clamps the sRGB gamut volume down to ~96% with the same ~90% color space coverage for a lower average Delta E of 2.43 and a maximum of 14.22, but this just makes the colors even less vivid. While the colors are technically more accurate, they’re still not accurate enough.
If you plan on doing professional color-critical work, you should be looking for an IPS panel display anyway for more consistent and accurate colors with wider viewing angles. On VA panel monitors, there are minor gamma/saturation shifts noticeable at certain viewing angles, though this won’t be an issue for everyday use and basic content creation.
For a full calibration of the Gigabyte GS27QC, we used the User Define color temperature setting and changed the red gain to 93, green was left at the default to 100 and blue was reduced to 97 for a color temperature of 6500K.
While we managed to improve whitepoint, gamma, and average Delta E to 1.11, the maximum Delta E was still too high at 8.73 due to the monitor’s limited sRGB color space coverage. We used a brightness setting of 35/100 for 120-nits.
You can download our ICC profile here.
Next, we measured a peak brightness of 283-nits, a minimum brightness of 45-nits and a high static contrast ratio of 3385:1 at 200-nits.
While a peak brightness of 283-nits will make the monitor more than bright enough under normal lighting conditions, if you’re used to brighter screens or you’re in a room with studio lighting (or the screen faces a big window without blinds/curtains), you might need a brighter display than the Gigabyte GS27QC.
The high contrast ratio, on the other hand, allows for deep blacks and vivid details in the shadows of the image, resulting in an immersive viewing experience, especially in dark rooms. IPS panels with the standard ~1,000:1 contrast ratio have grayish blacks in comparison and you also don’t have to worry about IPS glow.
Next, we found one dead pixel in the top right part of the screen, but it’s not noticeable during everyday use. There was no excessive backlight bleeding or VA glow, no frame skipping, image retention or other visual artifacts.
Lagom’s 1, 2a and 2b patterns cause subtle scanlines to appear across the screen, while the 4a and 4b patterns add a grid mesh effect to the picture. Luckily, we haven’t run into any situations during regular use that would trigger these visual artifacts.
These pixel inversion artifacts are also common on VA panels. Most importantly, they’re not always visible like on some Samsung’s VA displays, such as the Neo G8.
When it comes to image uniformity, the left part and the bottom right part of the screen are a bit darker (up to 25% dimmer) than the center of the screen, though we didn’t find this to be noticeable during everyday use.
The 2560×1440 QHD resolution suits the 27″ sized screen of the Gigabyte GS27QC monitor very well. You get a high pixel density of 108.79 PPI (pixels per inch), which results in sharp text and details, as well as plenty of screen real estate available without any scaling necessary.
1440p is also significantly less demanding on the GPU than 4K UHD, but you’ll still need a decent mid-range graphics card for high frame-rate gaming.
Lastly, while the monitor supports HDR (High Dynamic Range), it lacks display capabilities for a noteworthy HDR image. There’s even no increase in brightness (we measured 271-nits and 6844K color temperature).
Depending on the way the content you’re viewing handles HDR metadata, it will look either over-saturated or washed out. You’ll also get increased sharpness and some details in highlights and shadows of the image will be lost.
Some users might prefer the oversaturated look, which is fine, just bear in mind that it’s not actually the creator’s intent nor really close to the proper HDR viewing experience (with either a FALD backlight or an OLED panel, both of which are more expensive).
One advantage when watching HDR content on this monitor is that you’ll get 10-bit color depth for smoother gradients. In the end, you’ll want HDR enabled or disabled depending on the content and your personal preference. In contrast, on true HDR displays, HDR should always be enabled when watching HDR content.
For pixel response time speed and input lag testing, we’re using OSRTT. We’re also using Blur Buster’s UFO ghosting test with 960 Pixels Per Sec, shutter speed set to 1/4 of the refresh rate with fixed focus, ISO and color temperature (6500K). Before the tests, the monitor was calibrated and warmed up.
By enabling the Overclock option in the OSD menu, you can set the monitor refresh rate to 170Hz. The difference between 165Hz and 170Hz is not noticeable but overclocking can introduce visual artifacts on some units (though there were none on our unit), so we recommend sticking with 165Hz.
The Gigabyte GS27QC has only two overdrive options: On and Off.
Usually, we prefer monitors to have multiple overdrive options and even a fully adjustable mode, but if a single overdrive mode works exceptionally well across the entire refresh rate range, there’s no need for other options – just like in this case. You can simply set the overdrive to On for minimum ghosting and no overshoot.
As you can see, overdrive On significantly improves pixel transition time across the entire refresh rate range without adding any overshoot.
Since there is zero overshoot, we feel that an additional more aggressive mode could improve the performance even further, but the overall performance is still very good for a budget VA display with an average GtG response time of 6.81ms, 0.6% overshoot error and 67% refresh rate compliance at maximum refresh rate.
The above response time testing was done at fixed refresh rates. When VRR is enabled (AMD FreeSync Premium, NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible), overdrive behaves a bit differently as there’s a low average 2.95% overshoot error across the refresh rate range, but the average response time speed is slightly improved at 5.77ms GtG.
Sadly, the dark-level pixel transitions are a bit slower meaning that some ghosting will be noticeable behind fast-moving objects in dark scenes, as expected from budget VA panels.
Most gamers won’t be bothered by this, but if you’re sensitive to ghosting, you should look for a faster display – either one with an IPS panel (available in this price range) or with a fast VA panel, such as the Samsung G7 (~$500).
Here’s how the monitor’s pixel response time performance looks in Blur Busters’ UFO ghosting test.
The Gigabyte GS27QC also supports Aim Stabilizer, which uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur at the cost of picture brightness. However, as you can see in the images above, while the fast-moving object is clearer, there’s image duplication due to strobe crosstalk, so we feel that most gamers won’t use this feature.
While Aim Stabilizer is active, brightness is reduced to 140-nits and you cannot enable VRR (variable refresh rate). It also introduces screen flickering that’s invisible to the human eye, but can cause headaches after prolonged use to those sensitive to flicker. Lastly, Aim Stabilizer only works at fixed refresh rates higher than 100Hz.
While it’s great to see that it’s faster than the other VA panels we’ve tested, it’s still noticeably slower than the typical high refresh rate fast IPS gaming monitor.
Next, the Gigabyte GS27QC supports variable refresh rate with AMD FreeSync Premium certification for tear-free gameplay up to 170FPS (48-170Hz range).
Although it’s not officially certified as G-SYNC Compatible by NVIDIA, VRR does work with GeForce GPUs (10-series or newer) over DisplayPort, whereas AMD FreeSync is supported over both HDMI and DP on Radeon graphics cards.
The VRR performance was smooth and we didn’t even detect any brightness flickering that’s common for high refresh rate VA panels, though this could vary from unit to unit (and game to game).
The Gigabyte GS27QC has a low display lag of 3.42ms at 170Hz, 5.76ms at 120Hz and 9.24ms at 60Hz. The display latency is lower than the refresh rate cycle it was measured at, meaning that you won’t be able to notice or feel any delay between your actions and the result on the screen.
Lastly, the backlight of the monitor is flicker-free (unless Aim Stabilizer is enabled) and there’s a low-blue light filter mode available (adjustable from 0 to 10, in increments of 1 – ranging from 6551K to 4896K measured color temperature).
There’s a directional joystick beneath the bottom bezel of the screen for quick and easy navigation through the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu, which is well-organized and packed with features.
Pressing the joystick opens up a small menu from which you can enter the main menu, select crosshairs (four styles) or use Game Assist (on-screen timer, refresh rate tracker and Display Alignment) features.
In the main OSD menu, you’ll find the standard image adjustment tools (brightness, contrast, color temperature, etc.), as well as some advanced settings, such as sharpness and gamma (6 modes).
Other supported features include:
- Black Equalizer – improves visibility in dark scenes by increasing the gamma
- Color Vibrance – increases color saturation
- Input Auto Switch
- Super Resolution – increases sharpness
- Display Mode – full, aspect
- DCR – dynamic contrast ratio
- Audio – volume, mute
- OSD settings – display time, transparency, lock
- Auto power off
- Power LED indicator
When the OSD menu is not open, you can use the joystick up, down, left or right buttons as shortcuts for Aim Stabilizer, Black Equalizer, Crosshair, LBL, Volume, Input, Contrast, Brightness and Picture Mode features/settings (you can assign up to four in the menu).
Alternatively, you can download the Gigabyte Control Center application and use the Sidekick tab to make all of your OSD adjustments using a keyboard and mouse.
Unlike the dedicated OSD Sidekick software we’ve seen in Gigabyte monitors (with USB ports) before, there is no draw-your-own crosshair feature in this app.
However, you can still assign keyboard shortcuts for certain functions (increasing and decreasing the brightness, etc.) and assign different picture modes to different applications.
Design & Connectivity
While Gigabyte’s monitors have been generally praised for offering height-adjustable stands at budget prices, the new GS series offers tilt-only stands, but at a lower price, which will appeal to those who don’t need any ergonomics or already own a third-party stand.
The stand is very sturdy even though it doesn’t take up a lot of desk space. Besides tilting the screen by -5°/20°, you can mount it via the 100x100mm VESA pattern. There’s also a detachable cable management bracket.
Next, the screen has a moderate 1500R screen curvature for added immersion and a very light matte anti-glare coating that prevents reflections without adding too much graininess to the image.
It has ultra-thin bezels at the top and at the sides of the screen (with a 6mm black border before the image starts), while the bottom bezel is a bit thicker at ~15mm (with a ~1mm border). The design is mostly matte except for the Gigabyte logo at the rear and parts of the bottom bezel, which are glossy.
In the box, along with the monitor and its stand, you’ll get a warranty card, a quick start guide, a power cable (the power supply is integrated), and a DisplayPort cable.
Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4 (with HBR2), two HDMI 2.0 ports (limited to 144Hz at 2560×1440) and a headphone jack.
HBR2 means that the DP port is limited to 2560×1440 120Hz with 10-bit color, though the difference between 8-bit and 10-bit color in SDR is not noticeable (most SDR content is made for 8-bit color depth). So, we recommend using 165Hz/170Hz with 8-bit color.
With HDR content, your GPU will use dithering (8-bit + FRC) for 1.07 billion colors, resulting in smoother gradients (less banding), which is mostly indistinguishable from native 10-bit color depth (unless you’re doing professional color-critical work, in which case you’d be looking at much more expensive displays anyway).
In short, don’t dwell on the lack of HBR3 support as most budget 1440p 144Hz+ displays use HBR2. It’s basically DisplayPort 1.2 with added HDR support, labeled as DisplayPort 1.4 even though it has DP 1.2 data rate (since DP 1.2 doesn’t support HDR, though some manufacturers label this as DP 1.2 + HDR instead of DP 1.4).
Price & Similar Monitors
The Gigabyte GS27QC price ranges from $200 to $230. There’s also the 32″ sized version, the Gigabyte GS32QC, for $250.
At $230, it’s too expensive considering that you can nowadays find a 27″ 1440p ~165Hz IPS gaming monitor with faster response times, wider color gamut and ergonomic stand for under $250, such as the Acer XV272UV.
However, if you’d rather have a curved VA panel with a higher contrast ratio, the Gigabyte GS27QC is a solid option at $200. Alternatively, consider the Koorui 27E6QC with a wider color gamut and a more subtle 1800R curvature; it can be found on sale for $170.
A model with an ergonomic stand and a wider color gamut, such as the Gigabyte G27QCA and the Dell S2722DGM will cost you around $250, but at this price range, you should also consider investing $30 – $60 extra for the AOC Q27G3XMN with a mini LED backlight for much better HDR image quality.
To learn more about monitors and ensure you’re getting the model most suited for your personal preference, visit our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide.
If you’re looking for a 27″ 1440p gaming monitor for $200 or less, the Gigabyte GS27QC is an excellent option.
In case you’re sensitive to dark-level ghosting, we recommend investing $20 – $50 in an IPS model, which will also provide you with more vibrant colors (albeit at the cost of contrast ratio and IPS glow).
|Aspect Ratio||16:9 (Widescreen)|
|Refresh Rate||165Hz (170Hz OC)|
|Response Time (GtG)||Not specified|
|Response Time (Aim Stabilizer)||1ms (MPRT)|
|Ports||DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0|
|Other Ports||Headphone Jack|
|Contrast Ratio||4000:1 (static)|
|Colors||1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)|
- High contrast ratio for deep blacks
- High pixel density
- Plenty of gaming features, including VRR and MBR up to 170Hz
- Minor ghosting in fast-paced games, mainly in dark scenes
- Tilt-only stand
- No wide color gamut