Gigabyte M28U Review: 4K 144Hz 1ms FreeSync IPS Gaming Monitor

The Gigabyte M28U is an affordable 28" 4K 144Hz 1ms FreeSync IPS gaming monitor with HDMI 2.1. Here's everything you need to know about it.

Bottom Line

The Gigabyte M28U is an attractively priced 4K 144Hz 1ms IPS gaming monitor with HDMI 2.1. It offers a crisp image quality with vibrant colors as well as smooth performance and plenty of useful features.

Design:
(4.5)
Display:
(4.7)
Performance:
(4.3)
Price/Value:
(4.5)
4.5

The Gigabyte M28U is an affordable 4K 144Hz IPS gaming monitor with HDMI 2.1. Of course, many gamers won’t find the $600 price tag to be affordable at all, but keep in mind that you’re saving ~$200 – $300 compared to alternatives.

Image Quality

The Gigabyte M28U monitor is based on an IPS panel by Innolux. It boasts 178° wide viewing angles for flawless image quality regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen, as well as a wide 94% DCI-P3 color gamut.

The colors are rich and consistent; the gamut is equivalent to ~120% sRGB, so you get some over-saturation for added vibrancy when viewing regular sRGB content.

You can also use the monitor’s sRGB emulation mode to restrict the gamut to ~100% sRGB for more accurate output. While adjusting the brightness setting in this mode is possible, other adjustments (such as color channels and overdrive) are locked.

The 4K UHD resolution results in incredibly sharp text and details on the 28″ viewable screen of the monitor, and you get plenty of screen real estate. Note that 4K is quite taxing on GPUs, so make sure your PC rig will be able to handle gaming at such a high resolution with decent frame rates.

With a peak brightness of 300-nits, the Gigabyte M28U can get more than bright enough under normal lighting conditions, while the static contrast ratio amounts to around 1,000:1, as expected from IPS panels.

Blacks won’t be quite as deep as that of VA panel displays, which typically have a contrast ratio of ~3,000:1, but there aren’t any 4K 144Hz VA monitors available. Moreover, VA panels have other disadvantages, such as narrower viewing angles and usually slower response time speed.

The Gigabyte M28U also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) and has VESA’s DisplayHDR 400 certification. When playing HDR content, the monitor gets a boost in peak brightness to ~400-nits for more vivid highlights.

While not mandatory for DisplayHDR 400 certification, the M28U also has localized dimming. However, there are only 8 zones that dim parts of the screen that needs to be dark. So, you’ll only see benefits from it when dark and bright objects are far apart.

In short, you’re not getting the true HDR viewing experience (as expected from a 4K 144Hz monitor at this price range), but some scenes will look a bit better thanks to the display’s wide color gamut, a small boost in brightness, and at least some form of local dimming.

Some IPS glow and backlight bleeding is noticeable, but this is expected from this panel technology. Its intensity varies across different units, but in most cases, it’s completely manageable.

Unlike some previous ‘cheap’ Gigabyte monitors that cut costs by using a BGR subpixel layout, the M28U uses a regular RGB layout, so text is sharp and crisp.

Performance

Moving on, the Gigabyte M28U boasts a rapid 1ms GtG pixel response time speed for minimal ghosting behind fast-moving objects.

There are five response time overdrive modes: Off, Smart OD, Picture Quality, Balance, and Speed. All five modes are rather aggressive as they can cause some overshoot, so we recommend using the ‘Off’ mode for the best results.

At 144Hz, the overshoot isn’t really visible when using the ‘Off’ mode. However, at 60Hz, you will be able to notice it, but it’s tolerable.

This also means that if you’re using VRR (variable refresh rate) technology, such as FreeSync, and you’re getting around 60FPS (and therefore 60Hz), some overshoot will be noticeable too.

Since screen tearing is a lot less noticeable at 144Hz than it is at 60Hz, you might want to consider disabling VRR at low FPS if pixel overshoot bothers you.

Further, when using the sRGB mode, the overdrive is locked to ‘Smart OD’, which can, unfortunately, cause noticeable pixel overshoot at certain refresh rates.

FreeSync and HDMI 2.1 VRR are supported up to 144Hz (48-144Hz range) for tear-free gameplay. Whlie the monitor is not certified as G-SYNC Compatible by NVIDIA, you can use VRR with compatible GeForce cards without issues.

It does have AMD’s FreeSync Premium Pro certification, so compatible games will get better HDR tone and gamut mapping.

The Gigabyte M28U input lag amounts to ~4ms, which makes for imperceptible delay.

Additionally, the Gigabyte M28U supports Aim Stabilizer Sync which allows you to use backlight strobing at the same time as VRR for reduced perceived motion blur without any tearing and with minimal double images.

Features

Gigabyte M28U OSD Menu Layout

Next, the Gigabyte M28U offers plenty of useful features. Its OSD (On-Screen Display) menu is user-friendly and it can be navigated either via the directional joystick at the rear of the monitor or via the OSD Sidekick desktop application.

In the menu, you’ll find several pre-calibrated presets (Standard, FPS, RTS/RPG, Reader, sRGB, and three customizable profiles), Black Equalizer (improves visibility in dark scenes), custom crosshair overlays, a refresh rate tracker, on-screen timers and Eagle Eye (zooms-in the pixels around your crosshair).

There are also advanced image adjustment tools available, including sharpness, gamma, color hue/saturation and color vibrance.

The Dashboard feature allows you to keep track of your PC performance (GPU/CPU temperature, utilization, etc.) as long as you connect the monitor to your PC via USB.

Further, the Gigabyte M28U HDMI 2.1 monitor has the new Eyesafe certification which guarantees reduced harmful low-blue light emission even when a dedicated low-blue filter mode is not applied.

The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free (unless Aim Stabilizer Sync is enabled), so you don’t have to worry about getting headaches or eye strain from prolonged use of the screen if you’re sensitive to flickering.

Lastly, Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture modes are supported, but you can’t use FreeSync or HDR when they’re enabled.

Design & Connectivity

Gigabyte M28U Design

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

The screen has a matte anti-glare coating that prevents reflections without making the image too grainy.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.1 ports, DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, USB-C (with DP 1.4 Alt Mode and 15W PD), a headphone jack, a USB 3.0 hub (3 downstream + 1 upstream) and dual 3W built-in speakers.

Both HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 support 4K 144Hz 10-bit color, but DP uses visually lossless compression, that is, DSC (Display Stream Compression).

On the PS5, HDMI 2.1 is limited to 4:2:0 chroma subsampling on this monitor, even though the PS5 has enough bandwidth for 4:2:2. So, small text displayed on colored backgrounds will look a bit smudgy, but this won’t be an issue for gaming.

You don’t have to use chroma subsampling over HDMI when using the Xbox Series X or a graphics card with HDMI 2.1.

There’s also an integrated KVM switch that allows you to control multiple devices connected to the screen via one set of keyboard/mouse (you press the KVM button at the back of the monitor to change which device you want to control).

Price & Similar Monitors

The Gigabyte M28U goes for $600, which is excellent value for money.

As noted earlier, it’s ~$200 – $300 cheaper than the alternatives. The LG 27GP950, for instance, goes for $900.

While the LG 27GP950 does offer better HDR image quality with a higher 600-nit peak brightness and more dimming zones (16), its HDR picture is still somewhat underwhelming for a $900 monitor.

The LG 27GP950 also offers a bit better response time speed at 60Hz, but a lot of gamers will be perfectly satisfied with the Gigabyte M28U.

If you’re interested in a 32″ 4K 144Hz IPS model, check out the Gigabyte Aorus FI32U.

Visit our best 4K 144Hz (HDMI 2.1) gaming monitors buyer’s guide for more information and similar displays. We also recommend checking out our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor guide.

Conclusion

The Gigabyte M28U is an excellent 4K 144Hz gaming monitor for the money thanks to its IPS panel with quick response time, wide color gamut and wide viewing angles.

Additionally, it has plenty of useful features including HDMI 2.1, FreeSync Premium Pro, a height-adjustable stand and rich connectivity options.

Specifications

Screen Size28-inch
Resolution3840×2160 (Ultra HD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate144Hz
Response Time (GtG)1ms (GtG)
Response Time (Aim Stabilizer Sync)2ms (MPRT)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-144Hz)
Speakers2x3W
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.1,
USB-C (DP 1.4 Alt Mode, 15W PD)
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, 3x USB 3.0
Brightness300 cd/m²
Brightness (HDR)400 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
94% DCI-P3, 120% sRGB
HDRDisplayHDR 400
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Accurate and consistent colors
  • Wide color gamut, sRGB mode
  • Quick response time speed
  • 4K UHD, DisplayHDR 400 with 8 dimming zones
  • Plenty of features, including FreeSync + MBR up to 144Hz
  • Ergonomic stand, rich connectivity options, KVM switch, HDMI 2.1

The Cons:

  • Some overshoot at low Hz/FPS
  • Design lacks swivel and pivot options
  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)

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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.