ASUS & Acer’s 144Hz 4K HDR Monitors With NVIDIA G-Sync Finally Coming
Stephan Jukic – March 25, 2018
4K UHD monitors have taken their time in reaching the 144Hz refresh rate barrier for PC gaming but now this new advancement is finally coming along with the 2018 display releases. The latest and for gamers at least possibly most impressive examples might just be the new 4K HDR PC monitors that are finally coming from Asus and Acer. They also happen to include full high dynamic range display and, most crucially, NVIDIA G-Sync technology.
Both companies have been promising the release of these advanced new gaming monitors (though they can be used for plenty of other things) since mid-2017. Initially, it was claimed that the 27 inch 144Hz displays would go on sale as of late 2017 but that obviously didn’t pan out. Now, finally and for real it seems, we can expect them to hit the shelves in April. This at least is what NVIDIA has asserted just recently at GDC 2018. Specifically, the company stated that shipping will start before the end of its Q1 fiscal quarter, which ends on April 29th, 2018.
The Acer Predator X27 and the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ are both based on a reference design put together by NVIDIA itself for 4K-gaming oriented specs and both monitors come with the same essential build and internal specs, though they do have their minor differences as well. Most crucially, both models are implementations of NVIDIA’s idealized design for G-Sync HDR monitors, which is aimed at being efficient for high PC gaming performance while also providing the best possible graphics rendering in full 4K resolution.
As such, the Predator X27 and ROG Swift PG27UQ both offer full 3840 x 2160p resolution, full support for HDR10 color and contrast rendering and both include G-sync frame rate synchronization technology, which is designed to smoothly mesh the FPS output of NVIDIA GPUs with the refresh rate of a monitor being used to render games being played on them. Their maximum refresh rate is 144Hz, meaning that both models can handle graphics at up to 144fps and even in 4K resolution if you actually have a GPU that’s capable of pulling such a feat off. By contrast, the vast majority of older 4K monitors handle only up to 60Hz of refresh for 60FPS gaming at 4K resolution, even if a given graphics card can output more.
On the visual graphics side of things, these two Asus/Acer monitors also deliver some impressive-as-hell specs due to their HDR-compatible build. These include peak brightness of up to an impressively high 1000 nits, a direct LED backlighting system with a whopping 384 dimming zones (crammed into just 27 inches of screen real estate) and quantum dot display film that augments their color performance to full HDR10 levels, with nearly 100% DCI-P3 color space coverage. All of these technologies in both monitors are possible specifically because their displays are based on an AU Optronics M270QAN02.2 AHVA panel that was the only one on the market with this advanced and broad combination of technologies.
In other words, these two monitors are expected to output visuals that match or beat even those of most premium 4K HDR TVs on today’s market. For a couple of PC monitors, that’s impressive.
Acer and ASUS have been quiet about why they delayed the releases of both devices for so long but we’re guessing that it has something to do with a need to refine their combination of display and performance technologies. Either way, given the still small scope of the 4K PC gaming market and the difficulty most GPUs have with rendering 4K graphics at anywhere close to 144Hz or in HDR, we’d hardly say that there is an urgency at work here.
Neither Acer or ASUS have yet commented further on NVIDIA’s statement about the release date of the monitors but we’re assuming that their silence is by itself a type of confirmation. Pricing details, final appearances and further details about the final specific release specs of these monitors are still up in the air.
On a further note, we should also state that for the vast majority of gamers, having a 144Hz 4K UHD monitor will not be a necessity for high-end gaming. For one thing, the GPU power needed just to push 4K UHD graphics up to 60fps on a 60Hz display is huge and outside the capacities of many of the most powerful individual cards on today’s market from either NVIDIA or AMD. Reaching 144Hz would be even more daunting. On the other hand, these two monitors could definitely produce some genuinely powerhouse performance for high frame rate upscaled 1440p or 1080p FHD gaming. The inclusion of HDR display would create visuals that are downright stunning, particularly due to the presence of quantum dot color and that insane 384 local dimming zone backlight array.