Gigabyte M32Q Review: 1440p 170Hz 1ms IPS FreeSync Gaming Monitor

The Gigabyte M32Q is an affordable 32" 1440p 165Hz (170Hz OC) 1ms IPS gaming monitor with AMD FreeSync and DisplayHDR 400.

Bottom Line

Thanks to its IPS panel with a wide color gamut and fast pixel response time speed, the Gigabyte M32Q offers both an immersive and responsive gaming experience. Additionally, it has an ergonomic stand, plenty of connectivity options, and a lot of useful features – all at a reasonable price.

Design:
(4.8)
Display:
(4.7)
Performance:
(4.5)
Price/Value:
(4.5)
4.6

If you’ve been looking for a flat-screen 32″ 1440p gaming monitor with a high refresh rate and quick response time, the Gigabyte M32Q is the most affordable option yet it offers excellent image quality and performance!

Image Quality

The Gigabyte M32Q is based on an IPS panel by Innolux with wide 178° viewing angles and consistent colors covering 94% of the DCI-P3 color space (~120% sRGB).

It also features an sRGB emulation mode (with adjustable brightness, but not color channels) that can clamp the native ~120% sRGB gamut down to ~100% for more accurate colors when watching sRGB content.

The contrast ratio amounts to 1,000:1 as expected from an IPS display, while the peak brightness goes up to 350-nits for SDR and up to 400-nits for HDR, which is plenty to keep the monitor bright enough to mitigate glare even in well-lit rooms, but not enough for a noteworthy HDR viewing experience.

Of course, given that the Gigabyte M32Q monitor has VESA’s entry-level DisplayHDR 400 certification, it shouldn’t be considered for its HDR capabilities – it’s more of a side feature.

With a contrast ratio of ~1,000:1, you won’t get as deep blacks as that of VA panel monitors at this price range (~3,000:1), but you will get a much better pixel response time performance for no dark smearing in fast-paced games, wider viewing angles and no VRR brightness flickering usually associated with VA technology.

Further, 1440p resolution looks good even on 31.5″ sized screens. You get 93 PPI (pixels per inch), which is the same pixel density found on 24″ 1080p monitors.

So, there won’t be as much screen space as there is on a 27″ 1440p or 32″ 4K monitor, and the details won’t be quite as crisp – but the large screen still offers an immersive viewing experience while 1440p is not nearly as demanding as 4K UHD, allowing you to maintain high FPS.

Besides, since you’ll be sitting further from a 32″ monitor than you would from a 24″ screen, individual pixels won’t be that distinguishable. In fact, at a distance of 37 inches (or 94cm) from the screen, pixels are completely indistinguishable by the human eye on a 31.5″ 1440p monitor.

Some IPS glow is noticeable, as it’s the case with all IPS panel monitors, but it varies across different units of monitors – the same goes for backlight bleeding, dead/stuck pixels, factory calibration, etc.

Note that, unlike the Gigabyte M27Q, the M32Q doesn’t have a BGR subpixel layout – it uses the standard RGB layout and there are no issues with text clarity.

Performance

The Gigabyte M32Q has low input lag of only ~3ms, which is imperceptible.

Pixel response time speed performance is also very good. There are five overdrive modes: Off, Picture Quality, Balance, Speed, and Smart OD.

‘Smart OD’ is the adaptive overdrive implementation as it essentially changes the overdrive level according to your frame rate when VRR (variable refresh rate) is enabled. However, it’s not well optimized and causes ghosting and overshoot at certain FPS.

The ‘Speed’ mode is too aggressive and causes overshoot even at the maximum refresh rate. The ‘Balance’ mode offers the fastest pixel response time without overshoot at 165Hz (or 170Hz if overclocked).

However, if you are using VRR and your frame rate is below 100FPS, ‘Balance’ will cause some overshoot, in which case, you should dial the overdrive down to ‘Picture Quality’ for better performance south of 100FPS.

Moving on, the Gigabyte M32Q supports AMD FreeSync Premium with a 48-170Hz VRR range for tear-free gameplay up to 170FPS. While it’s not officially certified by NVIDIA as ‘G-SYNC Compatible’, FreeSync works without issues when using compatible GeForce graphics cards (GTX 10-series or newer) over DisplayPort.

Gigabyte’s Aim Stabilizer Sync is supported as well, which uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur at a cost of picture brightness. It can be active at the same time as VRR and works within the 80-170Hz range.

Note that the specified 0.8ms MPRT measure for backlight strobing is just marketing, and not necessarily better than ‘1ms MPRT’ of another monitor. Still, Aim Stabilizer Sync is usable and improves motion clarity. There’s some minor red fringing due to slow red phosphor decay, but it’s not as noticeable as it’s on Nano IPS panels.

Features

Gigabyte M32Q Monitor OSD Menu Layout

The Gigabyte M32Q has the new Eyesafe certification that ensures less harmful low-blue light emission even when not using a dedicated blue light picture preset. You’ll also find a dedicated Reader mode and a low-blue light slider if you wish to further reduce it.

Additionally, the backlight of the monitor is flicker-free (unless Aim Stabilizer/Sync is enabled) and there’s a light matte anti-glare screen coating that prevents reflections without making the picture too grainy, ensuring a comfortable viewing experience even after prolonged use.

The monitor has a directional joystick for easy navigation through the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu and you can use the OSD Sidekick desktop application to make all monitor-related adjustments via your keyboard and mouse.

Both the menu and the software are well-organized and smooth with plenty of useful features available, including various picture presets, such as Standard, FPS, RTS/RPG, Reader, Movie, sRGB and three custom profiles.

Other useful gaming features include Black Equalizer (improves visibility in darker scenes), Eagle Eye (enlarges the part of image around the crosshair), custom crosshair overlays, on-screen timers and a refresh rate tracker.

Besides the standard image adjustment tools (brightness, contrast, color temperature, etc.), you’ll also find advanced settings, such as color vibrance, gamma presets, sharpness and 6-axis hue/saturation.

The Dashboard feature allows you to place an overlay on your screen to keep track of your system’s performance (for instance, CPU and GPU temperature, utilization, etc.) as long as the USB-B port on the monitor is connected to your PC.

Lastly, the Gigabyte M32Q supports Picture in Picture, Picture by Picture and has a built-in KVM switch, allowing you to control multiple devices connected to the screen via just one set of keyboard/mouse – you press the KVM switch button on the rear of the monitor to change which input you want to control.

Design & Connectivity

Gigabyte M32Q Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor is sturdy and offers height adjustment up to 130mm, swivel by +/- 30°, tilt by -5°/20° and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility, but no pivot.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0 ports (max 144Hz), a headphone jack, a USB 3.0 hub (one USB-B upstream and three USB-A downstream ports) and a USB-C port with DisplayPort Alternate Mode, but not enough power delivery to charge a laptop. The monitor also has a power switch.

While the Gigabyte M32Q has a native 8-bit color depth panel, it supports 10-bit via dithering. However, DisplayPort 1.2 only supports 10-bit color up to 120Hz at 1440p – so, if you want to use 10-bit color, you’ll need to use chroma subsampling (4:2:2 color format) or drop the color depth to 8-bit.

Given that the difference between 8-bit and 10-bit color depth is subtle, this is not really an issue. You might notice slightly smoother gradients in HDR games with 10-bit color, but HDR is not a selling point of the Gigabyte M32Q anyway.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Gigabyte M32Q goes for ~$500, which makes it one of the most affordable 32″ 1440p 144Hz+ IPS gaming monitors.

LG’s 32GP83B model goes for around the same price, but it doesn’t have a USB hub, MBR, or KVM Switch, while the performance and image quality is similar. It does have a bit wider 98% DCI-P3 color gamut though.

The LG 32GP850 model has a USB hub, MBR, and a 180Hz overclocked refresh rate, but it goes for $550 – $600. Due to its Nano IPS panel, MBR performance is not quite as good and it has a bit lower contrast ratio (~850:1).

The more expensive ~$700 models, such as the Acer XB323UGP and the ASUS PG329Q, offer DisplayHDR 600 and a wider 100% Adobe RGB color gamut.

While they offer a better HDR image quality, you still won’t get the true HDR viewing experience as they have only several dimming zones. There are also plenty of other alternatives worth considering at that price range, such as the Samsung C32G75T.

If you want a cheaper 32″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor, check out the Gigabyte G32QC (curved) and the LG 32GN650 (flat-screen).

They go for $300 – $400, but don’t have as fast response time, resulting in noticeable ghosting in fast-paced games, especially in darker scenes. Moreover, they’re prone to VRR brightness flickering but offer a higher contrast ratio.

For more information and the best monitor deals, check out our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide.

Conclusion

A lot of gamers have been waiting for 32″ 1440p 144Hz+ gaming monitors with a flat-screen IPS panel, and so far, the Gigabyte M32Q offers the best value for money in this category!

You get an immersive image quality with vibrant colors and wide viewing angles, a buttery-smooth performance with no prominent ghosting or overshoot across the entire refresh rate range, and plenty of extra features.

Specifications

Screen Size31.5-inch
Resolution2560×1440 (QHD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate165Hz (170Hz OC)
Response Time (GtG)1ms (GtG)
Response Time (Aim Stabilizer Sync)0.8ms (MPRT)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-170Hz)
Speakers2x3W
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0,
USB-C (DP Alt Mode)
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, 3x USB 3.0
Brightness350 cd/m²
Brightness (HDR)400 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (true 8-bit)
94% DCI-P3
HDRDisplayHDR 400
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Wide color gamut, sRGB mode
  • Quick response time speed
  • Plenty of features including FreeSync and MBR up to 170Hz
  • Ergonomic stand, USB hub, KVM switch, and a USB-C port

The Cons:

  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)
  • Design lacks pivot option

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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.