Gigabyte M27Q Review: 1440p 170Hz FreeSync IPS Gaming Monitor

The Gigabyte M27Q is a 27" 1440p 165Hz (170Hz OC) FreeSync IPS gaming monitor with wide color gamut. Alas, it has a BGR subpixel layout.

Bottom Line

The Gigabyte M27Q is the best value high refresh rate 27″ 1440p IPS gaming monitor as long as you don’t mind the BGR subpixel layout. It boasts a wide Adobe RGB color gamut, fast response time speed, smooth VRR performance and plenty of additional features.

Design:
(4.0)
Display:
(4.7)
Performance:
(4.9)
Price/Value:
(4.8)
4.6

Looking for a high refresh rate 27″ 1440p IPS gaming monitor? We know there are a lot of models to choose from, which can make picking the best one for you a bit difficult – here’s everything you need to know about the Gigabyte M27Q!

Image Quality

Unlike most 27″ 1440p 144Hz+ IPS gaming monitors, the Gigabyte M27Q is based on an IPS panel by Sharp that uses an unconventional BGR subpixel layout.

This type of subpixel arrangement is usually found on 42.5″ 4K panels used for TVs and monitors. Its main downside is that text appears somewhat blurry with noticeable red and blue subpixel fringing.

RGB vs BGR

However, because a 27″ 1440p monitor has a bit higher pixel density than a 43″ 4K display, the text won’t be as blurry. Moreover, with proper ClearType settings, it won’t bother most users.

It’s still noticeable if you’re looking for it, so if you want crisp and sharp text, you should consider another monitor with the regular RGB subpixel layout. In videos and games, it’s even less of an issue.

Other than that, the details are sharp and you get plenty of screen space due to the high 109 PPI (pixels per inch) pixel density.

Further, the IPS panel ensures that the image remains flawless regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen thanks to the 178° wide viewing angles.

The Gigabyte M27Q monitor covers 92% of the DCI-P3 color space and ~95% of the Adobe RGB gamut, resulting in vibrant colors – especially when it comes to green, cyan and blue colors.

You will also find the sRGB emulation mode that can restrict the monitor’s native ~140% sRGB gamut size to ~100% sRGB gamut coverage for accurate colors when watching sRGB/SDR content. It’s possible to adjust brightness in this mode.

Thanks to the monitor’s wide color gamut, wide viewing angles and decent factory calibration, it’s useable for color-critical work as well.

With a peak brightness of 350-nits, the screen can get more than bright enough even in well-lit rooms. The contrast ratio amounts to 1,000:1, which is standard for IPS monitors; You won’t get as deep blacks as that of VA panels, but VA technology has its own downsides.

As expected, some IPS glow is visible as well, but to a tolerable/negligible degree. This also varies across different units of monitors.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is supported, but you’re not getting the true HDR experience due to the lack of local dimming, which is understandable at this price range. Peak brightness gets a small boost up to 400-nits, which in addition to the monitor’s wide color gamut can make some HDR scenes appear more vibrant.

Performance

Moving on, the Gigabyte M27Q has low input lag of around 4ms, which makes for imperceptible delay between your actions and the result on the screen.

Pixel response time speed is also excellent as there’s no visible trailing behind fast-moving objects.

There are three response time overdrive modes: Picture Quality, Balance and Speed.

The Picture Quality mode prevents ghosting at high refresh rates without adding any overshoot, even at lower refresh rates. So, whether you’re gaming at a fixed 170Hz refresh rate or with a variable refresh rate (VRR), it’s the best mode to use.

The supported VRR range is 48-170Hz and the monitor has AMD FreeSync Premium certification. It’s not officially validated by NVIDIA as ‘G-SYNC Compatible’, but VRR works without any issues when using GeForce cards.

Next, Motion Blur Reduction (MBR) is supported via Gigabyte’s Aim Stabilizer technology. It can’t be active at the same time as VRR though; it uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur at a cost of picture brightness.

While MBR introduces screen flickering, it’s invisible to the human eye. However, those sensitive to flicker might get headaches or eye strain after prolonged use.

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

Features

Gigabyte M27Q OSD Menu

The OSD (On-Screen Display) menu is well-organized and easy to use thanks to the directional joystick at the rear for the monitor. Alternatively, you can use the OSD Sidekick desktop application.

Useful features include various picture presets (Standard, FPS, RTS/RPG, Movie, Reader, sRGB and three customizable modes), on-screen timers, a refresh rate tracker, custom crosshairs and Black Equalizer (improves visibility in darker scenes).

Besides the standard image settings (brightness, contrast, color temperature, aspect ratio, etc.), you’ll find advanced adjustment tools, such as gamma, sharpness and Color Vibrance.

If you connect the Gigabyte M27Q monitor to your PC via a USB cable, you can use the Dashboard feature that’ll show your system’s performance on the screen (CPU/GPU utilization, temperature, etc.).

Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture modes are supported as well.

Design & Connectivity

Gigabyte M27Q Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor is sturdy and offers height adjustment up to 130mm, tilt by -5°/20° and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, USB-C (DP 1.2 Alt Mode, 10W Power Delivery), a headphone jack, a dual-USB 3.0 hub and an integrated KVM switch.

For 1440p 170Hz, you will need to use either 8-bit color depth or 10-bit color depth with chroma subsampling over DP.

HDMI 2.0 is limited to 144Hz at 2560×1440. The monitor can accept a 4K UHD signal and downscale it to 1440p (at 60Hz) on the PS5. 1080p 120Hz is supported as well.

On the Xbox consoles, you can use 1080p 120Hz and 1440p 120Hz with FreeSync as long as you have the F02 (at least) firmware installed.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Gigabyte M27Q price amounts to ~$300, which makes it one of the most affordable high refresh rate 27″ 1440p IPS gaming monitors.

If you’re worried about the BGR subpixel layout, we recommend checking out the MSI G273QF, the Gigabyte G27Q and the Acer XV272U as alternatives.

Otherwise, go with the M27Q since it offers useful extra features, such as the built-in KVM switch and wide Adobe RGB color gamut coverage.

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.

Conclusion

All in all, the Gigabyte M27Q is an excellent gaming monitor for the price. It boasts a fast IPS panel with exceptional Adobe RGB gamut coverage (and a provided sRGB mode), which is unprecedented at this price range.

Moreover, it offers a height-adjustable stand, a USB hub, a KVM switch, smooth VRR performance, and optional backlight strobing! As long as you’re not bothered by the BGR subpixel layout, the M27Q is the best value 27″ 1440p IPS gaming monitor currently available.

Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Resolution2560×1440 (QHD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate165Hz (170Hz OC)
Response Time (GtG)Not Specified
Response Time (Aim Stabilizer)0.5ms (MPRT)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-170Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0
USB-C (DP 1.2 Alt Mode, 10W PD)
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, 2x USB 3.0
Brightness350 cd/m²
Brightness (HDR)400 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (true 8-bit)
92% DCI-P3
HDRDisplayHDR 400
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • High pixel density, wide Adobe RGB color gamut (with sRGB mode)
  • Quick response time speed
  • Plenty of features, including FreeSync and MBR up to 170Hz
  • Height-adjustable stand, USB hub, KVM switch

The Cons:

  • IPS glow and inferior contrast ratio to VA panels (as expected from this panel technology)
  • Design lacks swivel and pivot adjustments
  • BGR subpixel layout

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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.